How to Improve Remote Control Effectiveness

This article tells you how to increase range and sensitivity between remotes and TVs, Set-top-boxes, etc.

Locate the infrared receiver on TV or device.

An IF receiver (RX) is an optical sensor that detects a signal from the IR transmitter (TX) on your remote.

Look for the receiver on the front face of the TV or device. Most often, the IR receiver is discretely placed along the top or bottom edge of the screen and covered by a red or gray film or plastic lens.

  • Use a flashlight to better locate the receiver lenses. Sometimes they are so small and placed within the protective edge of LCD screens or the covers color match and are flushed in with the surface.

Inspect your remote control for damage.

Check for a damaged vent or infrared light bulb.

A damaged or scratched transmitter diode may not effectively send out signals to your device.

Clean and polish the lens.

Polish scratched or dull Infrared diode lenses on old beat up remotes.

Remove any buildup grime or dirt from old remote controls.

Keep the surface free of dust.

The IR/RX surface lenses should stay clean and dust free.

A dirty IR can diminish effective controller distance by several feet.

Move the TV closer or elevate it.

If the receiver is located at the bottom of the screen, raising the TV will help.

Having the unit too far back from the edge may obstruct the line of sight between the remote controller and the receiver.

Check for a film cover over the sensor or sender.

Many devices like STBs have dark covers over the sensors and/or senders.

Sometimes you’ll see a thin film of color that can be peeled off. Remove the film cover for better results.

Use a reflector.

Try putting an aluminum foil reflector or collector around the sender/sensor.

This can improve the signal.

Start with a fresh set of batteries.

Replace remote batteries with a fresh set every 3 – 4 months.

When batteries weaken, signal can suffer.

  • Never mix different batteries or new with used.
  • Alkaline batteries may be too strong for a remote control even though they are rated with same voltage.

Store the remote control properly.

Remove the batteries if a remote won’t be used for longer than a month.

This can prevent damage and battery degradation.

Always point remote controller directly to the receiver.

The way you hold the remote control determines its effectiveness.

Point the remote directly at the TV or device for best results.


  • Stick a note with programming codes within the battery compartment/lid for easy reference when replacing batteries.


  • Be careful not to short electronics with foil.

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