Nothing can be more annoying than a TV remote that stops working. This is what happened the other day when I was at my friend Bill’s house. We were getting settled in to watch the football game and the T CL Roku TVremote started acting up.
Fortunately I have a lot of experience with TV’s and was able to run some quick tests and figure out what the problem was.
I decided to write up the solution so that anyone who encounters the same problem can follow these steps to solve the problem.
Now without further ado, let’s get right into it.
In this solution guide, we start with the simple tips first and then move on to the more complex steps.
- 1 Restart your TV
- 2 Bring the remote closer to the TV
- 3 Check the batteries
- 4 Remove Obstructions
- 5 Remove reflective surfaces
- 6 Check if the Infrared is working
- 7 Re-pair the remote
- 8 Remove Sources of Interference
- 9 Check for stuck buttons
- 10 Alternative Solutions
- 11 Frequently Asked Questions
- 12 Conclusion
Restart your TV
The simplest thing to try is restarting your TV by unplugging it from the wall supply. Wait for a few minutes. This is so that the internal electronics has the chance to power down completely (internal capacitors can take time to discharge).
The next step is to press the power button on the TV and hold it down for around 15 seconds.
Then plug the TV back in. Check to see if the remote works. If not, then go to the next step.
Bring the remote closer to the TV
The range depends on many factors such as angle at which the remote is relative to the receiver in the TV, interference, obstructing objects and more. It can be significantly reduced.
Bring the remote closer to the TV and see if that makes a difference to its operation. Additionally try pointing the remote to the TV at different angles. If the operation of the remote is influenced by distance or angle, that’s a hint that you’ve got an issue with interference or physical objects are impacting the range.
Check the batteries
This is one of the most common reasons for a non-functioning remote. As a first step, open the battery compartment and remove the batteries.
Check for any corrosion build up on the terminals. This can prevent contact between the battery and terminals. Scrape any residue off the terminals.
Then reinsert the batteries and see if it solved the problem.
Note that this step is the equivalent of resetting the remote as there is no Reset button or On-Off switch on the remote.
It’s also possible that one or both batteries are weak or dead. If you have a multimeter  handy, check the voltage level on each battery and see if it’s within an acceptable range. If you don’t have a multimeter, you can simply replace both the batteries (don’t just replace one).
Did either of these steps resolve the issue? If not let’s proceed with the next troubleshooting step.
Some remotes use Infrared (IR) communications to control the TV. Others use wireless technology. Some remotes also use a combination of both.
Unlike wireless signals, infrared uses light pulses to communicate and there must be a line-of-sight path between the remote and the TV. In other words, the TV has to ‘see’ the light signals from the remote.
As a first step make sure the plastic cover has been peeled off the IR sensor on the front. This can impact the signal to a point where it either has very limited range or doesn’t work at all.
Make sure there is a clear path between the front of the remote and the TV. Also make sure that the IR has no dirt, food or anything else stuck to it. All of these things impact the remote signals visibility to the TV. This can in turn impact the remote’s ability to communicate with the TV.
Remove reflective surfaces
Don’t place any reflective surfaces such as a cell phone below the TV IR sensor. This reflects the IR signal and confuses the sensor in the TV to a point where it can’t register commands from the remote.
Check if the Infrared is working
Note that you cannot see infrared light with your eyes. A camera test can be used to confirm there is nothing wrong with the IR operation. You will need a phone or a digital camera for this.
Before you perform this test make sure you have a new set of batteries in the remote.
If you’re using a cell phone cell phone, open the camera app. If you’re using a digital camera, turn the camera on.
View the emitter of the remote through your camera
- Press any button on the remote
- If you see a light in the camera while pressing the button, the IR is functioning properly
- If you do not see a light, the Infrared is not working.
If the IR is not working, you will need to replace the remote.
Re-pair the remote
Enhanced TV remotes use a Wireless Wi-Fi connection to communicate with the TV.
When the TV is powered on, this link is automatically established. However sometimes there could be a technical issue. Examples of such issues are:
- The remote might be too far away from the TV for instance. This prevents the remote from connecting.
- The wireless remotes have a single Wi-Fi radio in them.They operate on the same frequency as that of the access point. So if your WiFi network switched to a different frequency the remote might not detect the change. The remote will need to be re-paired.
Let’s try re-establishing that communication link to see if it resolves the problem. To do this follow the steps below:
- Open the battery compartment and remove the batteries from the remote
- Power down the Roku TV by unplugging the cable from the wall outlet. Wait for 5 seconds.
- Plug the TV back in
- Wait for home screen to appear on the TV.
- The next step is to reinsert the batteries into the remote. Insert the negative end of the battery into the remote first. This ensures the best connectivity of the battery with the terminals.
- Press and hold down the Pairing button for 3 seconds or until the LED status light starts flashing. If the light does not flash, it’s an indicator that the battery needs replacement.
- Wait for 30 seconds and your remote should now pair with your TV
If the above steps did not work, you might have to repeat the process one more time.
Remove Sources of Interference
Enhanced remote uses wireless connectivity to establish a link with your TV. Other electronic devices such as Wi-Fi access points, routers, Cell phones, Microwave ovens all interfere with this communication link.
Remove electronic devices from the area around your remote or TV. Even moving them by a small amount will reduce the impact of this radio frequency interference.
Content is Copyright 2022 S3Semi
If you have an IR remote and are able to see the light at the front of the remote when no button is pressed, one of the buttons may be stuck. Try the following steps:
- Remove the batteries
- Press and release each button on the remote a couple of times to see if you can get the button un-stuck.
- Reinsert the batteries and test the remote again.
Use the Roku App on your phone
Use your cable, satellite or universal remote
As the heading suggests, in some situations, you can program another remote to control certain functions of your TCL Roku TV. Note that the remote might not support all the functionality of the original remote. However it could be adequate for your applications. It also means one less remote to worry about!
Please see this list of remotes and codes.
Content is Copyright 2022 S3Semi
Replace the Remote
A simple TCL Roku TV remote can be purchased separately and costs around $5 on eBay. This is possibly the easiest solution but it will take a few days to arrive so you may be better off driving to your local Best Buy.
Note that many of the replacement remotes only have Infrared capability (not wireless). As well, these remotes are not designed for Roku Sticks, Box or Player. They are only intended for use with the Roku TV.
Frequently Asked Questions
What battery does the Roku TV remote use?
TCL Roku TV remote uses two AAA batteries
Are all Roku Remotes IR (Infrared)?
No, some Roku remotes use Wi-Fi technology. Specifically the Enhanced and Voice remotes.
In this post I have documented solutions for when your TCL Roku TV remote stops working. Here is a list of steps that can be followed to solve the problem:
- Restart your TV
- Bring your remote closer to the TV
- Check the batteries
- Remove Obstructions
- Check if the Infrared is working
- Re-pair the remote
- Remove sources of Interference
- Check for stuck buttons
If none of these solutions work then you can use the Roku TV app on your phone to control the TV. Alternatively you can also purchase a replacement remote.