Is your remote transmitting a beam?
Last week, I was ‘helping’ a friend get Public TV reception on her TV (that has no cable or any other service). I thought it would be ‘as simple as’ replacing her indoor nonamplified antenna (which simply plugged into the TV through a coaxial cable) with an amplified antenna that also plugged into the wall and then redoing a signal scan. Yeah, right…
After, the antenna was replaced, I clicked the power button on the remote and the TV did nothing. I pressed harder and faster. Nothing. I replaced the remote batteries. Nothing. Oh noes, I must have ‘broken’ something! I disassembled the new stuff, reinstalled the old stuff. Nothing. I moved the TV to an entirely new location in the house that had grounded wiring. Something. I moved it back. Nothing. Was the signal from the remote on the fritz? Remotes typically transmit their signal via infrared light. But humans can’t see infrared light with the naked eye.
Searching the Internet, I found a really cool trick for identifying if a remote is transmitting a beam. Get a digital camera or a cell phone that can take pictures. Power up the camera and point it at the remote’s infrared transmitter. Press the power button on the remote and you’ll see the emission of light in the camera (if the remote is working). This remote was working!
It turned out that this particular TV was finicky about powering back up when it was warm. After the Internet search and the camera/remote parlor trick, everything worked.