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Advanced IR Emitter or Onscreen Remote Control Troubleshooting

Here are some advanced troubleshooting steps to help you narrow down any issues with your IR Emitter cables (formerly called IR blaster) or the onscreen remote control, including a cool digital camera test.

The Slingbox controls your A/V device(s) either with its built-in IR emitters on the Slingbox 350 and 500, or with the IR Emitter cable that is included with all Slingbox models.

So if:

  • the IR Blaster cable is inserted firmly into the back panel of the Slingbox;

  • the emitter (the bulb at the end of the IR Blaster cable) is positioned properly in front of the IR receiver of your A/V device;

  • and you have chosen an appropriate IR code when you used the Setup Wizard to configure the SlingPlayer software,

...then you should be able to control the A/V device from your SlingPlayer Remote Control.

But what if you can't?

If the onscreen remote control doesn't work at all (for example, none of the SlingPlayer remote control buttons work) here are some advanced things to try.

Verify the location of the IR sensor on your A/V device:

  • If you don’t see or can’t find the IR sensor: Sensors are often behind a dark, reddish plastic window on the front of your device. Others may be hidden behind the plastic on the front of the device. If you don't see the sensor, shine a flashlight on the front of the device and look for a small bulb similar to the one on the end of the IR Emitter. Make sure that the IR Emitter is properly located so that its light bulb can trigger the IR sensor on your A/V device.

Verify that the remote control system on your A/V device is still working:

  • Make sure that your handheld remote control and your A/V device are set to use IR signals to communicate. Some remotes and devices can use either IR (infra-red) or RF (radio frequency) signals. IR Blasters only work with IR signals.

  • Put fresh batteries in the handheld remote control that came with your A/V device, and try to control it. If it doesn't work, then something's wrong with your A/V device's ability to accept remote control signals.

Verify that the IR Emitter is working properly (for older IR Emitters):

  • You can also try the digital camera test. Rather than configuring a different device, you can visually inspect the emitters to see if they're transmitting a signal when you press a button on the SlingPlayer onscreen remote control.  To do this, you'll need any digital camera. You'll also need to position yourself so that you can press a button on the remote control while viewing the IR emitter up close through the camera's LCD display. (Getting help from a friend might be the easiest solution.)

    If you're viewing the IR emitters through the camera LCD viewfinder, you'll actually see a small flash of white light (as shown below) when any SlingPlayer remote control button is pressed. The flash is quick but easily detected through the camera LCD display.

    Important note: This may or may not work with smartphone cameras, some of which have IR filters that can block the small flash of white light. With some smartphones, a potential workaround that may work is viewing the flash with the front camera, instead of the back one. But generally, if you try this test with a smartphone camera, understand that a "false negative" result is very possible.



Proper position of camera in relation to IR emitter.

The small white flash on the emitter (as seen by the camera LCD view) indicates the emitter is transmitting properly. Note: The human eye can't detect this white flash directly; you need to look through the camera's LCD screen.

If you see emitters flashing when you send commands, chances are good the problem is not in the IR Emitter.

Slingbox 350 and 500 IR Emitters

Slingbox 350 and 500 have built-in IR Emitters. For most users, these will be adequate for controlling your set-top box or other units connected to your Slingbox. These new Slingboxes also come with an optional IR emitter that is shaped like a pyramid. This new IR emitter has a wider and longer range, and does not require that it be placed directly in front of the unit being controlled. If you are experiencing issues with the new IR emitter (pictured below), make sure it is placed so there is nothing directly blocking the IR signal from reaching the component needed.


Remote control still not working?

The last resort to take on your own would be to uninstall SlingPlayer, then reinstall again. If that doesn't work, then contact Technical Support for assistance.

More about remotes...

Remote Control Enhancement Request Community

Here's a place on the Slingbox Answers Forum where you can go to request new remote controls!

My cable/satellite set-top box is not responding to remote commands

If you are unable to control your Comcast, DISHNetwork, or DirecTV set-top box through your Slingbox, this article may help!

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