In my husband’s words, he would like to tell you about a fix we found for a problem with our remote control.
“A few months ago I wrote an article about the new Comcast DCX-3400 series DVR. It is the one with a 320 GB hard drive and I felt it was a vast improvement over the earlier 160 MB DVRs and a huge step forward with giving us more storage for HD programming. The only issue we had with the DCX 3400 was a strange issue with the remote control and how the DVR didn’t seem to be receiving the infrared (IR) signal from the remote. It was most frustrating having to push a command 5, 6, 7 or more times before the command “took” and the DVR responded. It was baffling to say the least. I had two identical DCX-3400s and the exact same dark grey remote for each and each had the same issue.
My son, Chuck Alexander, who is a technician at Los Alamos National Laboratory and an electronics whiz, was home for the holidays and I asked him about it. He has a sixth sense when it comes to electronics and sometimes I don’t think he even knows where his inspiration comes from, but he figured out how to solve this issue.
Realize that this issue with the remote had nothing to do with the distance between the remote and the DVR. You could have the remote 6 inches from the IR receptor on the DVR and it would still take multiple key presses to get the DVR to respond.
He had me shine a flashlight at the IR sensor on the DVR and then use the remote control as normal. It was amazing how it immediately started working properly. Every single press of the remote worked instantly, each and every time. I was 10 feet away, shining a flashlight towards the DVR, that’s all it took. My son theorized that white light emitted the entire spectrum of light, including enough infrared which somehow enabled the remote controls IR signal to be enhanced enough to be consistently recognized by the DVR. It didn’t make sense, but it works like a charm.
What I did was get one of those tiny book reading lights, not an LED kind, but an incandescent bulb kind and sat it on top of the DVR such that it extended out and over the IR receiver on the DVR. This way the light is unobtrusive and you don’t have to worry about pointing flashlights.
I know there must be others out there having this same issue with the DCX-3400 and remote control. It can be hugely frustrating when trying to fast forward or navigate through the guide when the remote isn’t responding. It was almost impossible to enter a 3-digit channel number and have it recognize all three numbers. With this simple solution, my system works perfectly. I’d love to hear if Comcast has received complaints about this issue and what solutions they have recommended.
Trust me, as crazy as this solution sounds, it does work, especially at night. This is when we had most of our issues although it also happened during the day as well, just not as consistently as at night.
If you’d like to go directly to where we purchased our light, click here.”