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IR blaster intermittant. Could it be broken?

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Posted by: quizboy

My question is basically, will the IR blaster eventually fail (after 4 years) and need to be replaced? Detailed description below:

I'm having a problem. I've been using my Series 1 TiVo for years now, but I just started having an issue two days ago. I noticed that the programs set to record on that day were all set to the same (and incorrect) channel (ie. instead of recording channels 5, 239, and 57 everything was recorded on channel 12), but the TiVo thought it was recording the correct channel.
I checked the IR blasters (BTW, I have time warner cable and a scientific atlanta HD cable box), but they looked fine. The cable box remote worked (the channels changed), but the TiVo still couldn't change the channels. I looked in the TiVo setup and tried a different remote setting, but had no luck. I rebooted the cable box and TiVo; still the TiVo did not change channels. I then reseated the IR blaster connection to the back of the TiVo, and the cable box started to see the numbers, but didn't change the channel. I repeated the setup and found that my cable box no longer needed "enter" to be hit to switch channels (in fact, it prevented the channel from switching). At this point, everything is working.
At this point, I assume that my cable box's behavior has changed (Time Warner "upgrades" their boxes from time to time, and it drives me crazy!). I haven't seen any problems related to "enter" since then.
The next day, I noticed that the channels were not switching again (they weren't being seen by the cable box). I reseated the IR blaster connection in back of the TiVo, and everything worked again. Now, I noticed a program was recorded on the wrong channel again this morning, but the TiVo is changing the channels correctly right now.

So, do I need to replace the IR blaster?
Does anyone know about the "stronger" IR emitters from Smarthomes (forums won't let me post the url right now) that I've seen on this forum?
The issue doesn't sound like a short in the IR cord, but like the connector on the back is faulty. Does this connector need to be resoldered? Has anyone heard of this breaking?
I looked throught the forums, but didn't see anything similar to my issue. I am going to
try building an IR tent, but I don't believe that this is the problem.

It's odd. The TiVo has been working fine for years, and I haven't changed anything in my setup. It still works like a charm most of the time, but occasionally seems to fail. It stopped failing on it's own once and reseating the IR plug fixed it twice.

Any suggestions? Thanks.



Posted by: stevel

I have had emitters fail. The ones from Smarthome are fine - you don't really need "stronger" ones. I buy "Genuine Xantech" emitters from www.worthdist.com myself.




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