Support
  • System Status
All Slingbox network systems are OK

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.

Your Slingbox controls your AV devices by mimicking their remote control's IR signals. The Slingbox sends IR signals in either/both of two ways:

 

  • With an IR Emitter cable that is included with all Slingbox models;
  • Via powerful IR emitters that are built-in to the sides of the housings of the Slingbox 350, Slingbox M1, Slingbox M2, or Slingbox 500. In the unlikely event that the built-in IR Emitter is still not enough, you can also use the optional 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 IR emitter (the bulb at the end of the IR Blaster cable) is positioned properly in front of the IR receiver (little dark red window) of your AV device;

  • You have chosen your correct set-top box model when you configured your Slingbox ...

... then you should be able to control your AV device with the onscreen remote control when you're watching your TV via your Slingbox. Be sure to double-check all of those things before going to the more advanced solutions.

What if you have done that, and remote control still isn't working?

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 that the IR Emitter is properly aimed at your AV device:

  • First, find the IR sensor on your A/V device. It is often behind a dark, reddish plastic window on the front of your device. Others may be hidden somewhere in the design of 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 window with a bulb similar to the one on the end of the IR Emitter. Make sure that the IR Emitter is properly located so that its bulb can trigger the IR sensor on your AV device.

Verify that the remote control system on your AV device is still working:

  • Make sure that your handheld remote control and your AV device are set to use IR signals to communicate. Some remotes and devices can use either IR (infra-red) or RF (radio frequency) signals. These dual-purpose remote controls may have a switch (often in the battery compartment) to change this. Other times you need to make this change in the AV device's settings that you access via your TV screen. Check with your set-top box's owner's manual. But the bottom line is: IR Blasters only work with IR signals!

  • Put fresh batteries in the handheld remote control that came with your AV device, and try to control it. If it doesn't work, then you should begin to suspect that something's wrong with your AV 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. This is a quick way to inspect the emitters visually 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 can use a smartphone camera, but see the Important note about smartphone cameras below. 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.)
  • Once you're viewing a Slingbox IR emitter (either the IR Emitter cable or one built into the Slingbox housing) through the camera LCD viewfinder, click/tap a button on the SlingPlayer onscreen remote control to give a command. You should see a small flash of white light (as shown below) when any SlingPlayer remote control button is pressed. The flash is quick but still easy to see through the camera LCD display.

    Important note about smartphone cameras: Some smartphone cameras, like many Apple iPhone models, have IR filters that can block the small flash of white light. This test won't work with that camera ... it'll appear that the IR Emitter isn't working when it actually is.

    However, if your smartphone has both front and back camera, try the test with both of them. Some smartphones, like the Apple iPhone 5, have an IR filter on the back (primary) camera, but no IR filter on the front ("selfie") camera. The front camera works well with this test.

    Bottom line: If you try this test with a smartphone camera, be sure to understand that a "false negative" result is very possible.

digicam.ashx

IR_light.ashx

Proper position of camera in relation to IR emitter.

The small white flash on the emitter (as seen by the camera LCD screen) indicates the IR 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.

Remember! The IR Emitter can send IR signals all day long, but if you've selected the wrong set-top box when you configured your Slingbox, then the Slingbox won't send the correct IR signals via the IR Emitter, and the remote control feature won't work ... even if the IR Emitter is working fine.

Slingbox 350 and Slingbox 500 built-in IR Emitters

Slingbox 350 and Slingbox 500 have very powerful IR emitters that are built in to their housings. For most users, these work quite well for controlling a set-top box or other units connected to a Slingbox.

These newer Slingbox models also come with an optional IR emitter that is shaped like a small pyramid. This new IR emitter has a wider and longer range than the older version, so it doesn't have to be placed directly in front of the A/V device being controlled. That said: the IR Emitters that are built into the Slingbox work so well, it's unlikely that you'll need to use the optional IR Emitter cable. The main reason for using it is if the A/V device being controlled is located in such a way that it's hard for IR light beams to reach it ... for example, if it sits in a normally-closed cabinet.

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.



IRblaster.ashx



Slingbox M1 and Slingbox M2 built-in IR Emitters

The Slingbox M1 and Slingbox M2 have very powerful IR emitters that are built in to their housings.

This model also comes with an optional IR Emitter cable, pictured below. It is unlikely that you'll need to use it, as the IR Emitters that are built into the Slingbox housing are powerful and work very well. However, if the A/V device being controlled is located in a way that makes IR control a challenge ... for example, it sits in a closed cabinet ... then the IR Emitter cable can be very useful.

The IR Emitter cable that is supplied with your Slingbox M1 or Slingbox M2 resembles the one that came with older Slingbox models, but it is not the same. If you are experiencing issues with the IR Emitter, make sure:

  • The IR Emitter is placed directly in front of the IR receiver of the AV device;
  • There is nothing directly blocking the IR signal from reaching the component.


M1_IR_Blaster.ashx



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 Slingbox Technical Support for assistance.

More about remotes...

Remote Control Enhancement Request
You can request new virtual remote controls by tweeting us at https://twitter.com/Slingbox.

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!

Affected Products
  • Slingbox AV
  • Slingbox Classic
  • Slingbox 500 - SlingTV
  • Slingbox TUNER
  • Slingbox PRO
  • Slingbox SOLO
  • Slingbox PRO-HD
  • Slingbox 350
  • Slingbox M1 - M2
Affected Countries
  • United Kingdom
  • Canada
  • Ireland
  • United States
Need Help?
  • FAQ
  • Get answers to your questions here.
×

Slingbox Support Site Feedback

Please complete this form for web site feedback only. For technical support issues, click Contact Us.
Please select a topic for your feedback *
Your Feedback *
Please enter your email address *


We appreciate your feedback, but we cannot reply or give product support here. Your contact information will only be used if we need more information on the feedback you provide. If you require a response, please click Contact Us.
×

Slingbox Support Site Feedback

Please complete this form for web site feedback only. For technical support issues, click Contact Us.
Please select a topic for your feedback *
Your Feedback *
Please enter your email address *


We appreciate your feedback, but we cannot reply or give product support here. Your contact information will only be used if we need more information on the feedback you provide. If you require a response, please click Contact Us.