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Youview+ box not responding reliably to remote -- IR receiver problem

Ian_D
Hooked
Posts: 7
Registered: 22-01-2017

Youview+ box not responding reliably to remote -- IR receiver problem

Starting a new topic with a more accurate title, hoping to get a response from Plusnet...

I have the same problem as reported by some other people, it's not the remote (also does it with my Harmony), it's the Youview+ box -- there have been lots of reports on the BT and TalkTalk forums (and elsewhere) about this, the problem is insufficient filtering/noise rejection in the IR receiver, in other words a design problem with the box. If there is a source of IR noise in the room, including many TVs (especially plasma) but also some types of lighting, this is not adequately filtered out and swamps the IR signal from the remote control.

I've just had an engineer visit from the firm who maintain all the BT/TalkTalk/YouView boxes and he said it's a known issue with this box, they have a list of TVs which have triggered the problem -- but it's not a problem with the TVs, most other remote-controlled electronics (including four different things all sitting next to my Youview+ box) don't show the problem. It's even known to the companies who design and supply IR remote-control receivers. However it doesn't seen to be known to Plusnet support...

A temporary bodge is to move the box to where it picks up less reflected IR noise from the TV screen (e.g. towards the back of a deep cabinet or where it's shadowed by a shelf) and put a folded piece of paper (2 thicknesses worked for me) over the IR sensor at the RH end of the front panel. Mine now works nearly all the time, but this shouldn't be needed to fix a basic design problem with the hardware -- an STB which won't work next to a TV is not fit for purpose.

The engineer took my TV details (Panasonic TX43G30 plasma) and claimed that it may be possible for them to download a firmware fix to the problem, but I'll believe it when I see it. In the meantime I've told Plusnet that as it stands the box is not fit for purpose, and if they can't fix it in firmware then they need to fix the hardware and supply an updated box which works properly, or I'll consider cancelling my contract.

This is all really annoying, especially it taking a week and four phonecalls to Plusnet to get an engineer to come out (which they insist on doing, and threatening to charge for it -- not sure this is legal with a fault from new?) to tell me what I knew already and say they'd post me a replacement box. When the box is working it's really very well thought out, but this experience has soured my relationship with Plusnet which was previously very good.

Let's hope Plusnet can come up with a solution to this -- also sort out their customer support for TV problems... ;-)

7 REPLIES
MrSilver
Pro
Posts: 550
Thanks: 88
Fixes: 9
Registered: 05-10-2016

Re: Youview+ box not responding reliably to remote -- IR receiver problem

So you do know Plusnet dont develop the TV box? Its a standard YouView Humax box which Humax write and own the firmware on behalf of YouView.

So although I'd agree you bought from Plusnet so your contract is with them, they have zero ability to make firmware changes to filter out IR noise etc.

The fact you say its all over TalkTalk and BT forums and also not fixed suggests YouView are not seeing it as a priority to fix so you wont get any new boxes that fix the problem or firmware updates. 

That might help you make the decision quick er if you want to try to cancel the contract rather than waiting to see what someone is going to do for you, as Plusnet will have zero ability to change that.

Ian_D
Hooked
Posts: 7
Registered: 22-01-2017

Re: Youview+ box not responding reliably to remote -- IR receiver problem

I'm perfectly aware that the box is made by Humax and is the same unit supplied to all the Youview retailers.

However customers (like me) buy the box from Plusnet (or BT, or TalkTalk) so the responsibility to supply goods fit for purpose rests with them, not Humax. If enough customers put enough pressure on Plusnet and co. they in turn will put pressure on Humax to fix the problem, since they'll be the ones losing money (and customers). Maybe Humax will carry on ignoring this, but they risk a backlash from their Youview customers.

I've put Plusnet on notice that the fault was present in the box when supplied, which means that legally I can cancel the contract if they fail to fix the problem in a reasonable time. Let's wait and see what happens...

MrSilver
Pro
Posts: 550
Thanks: 88
Fixes: 9
Registered: 05-10-2016

Re: Youview+ box not responding reliably to remote -- IR receiver problem

I was more commenting on what you said here

I've told Plusnet that as it stands the box is not fit for purpose, and if they can't fix it in firmware then they need to fix the hardware and supply an updated box which works properly, or I'll consider cancelling my contract.

and pointing out you might as well just save your time and cancel as Plusnet have zero control over the firmware. I also doubt Plusnet have any real clout size wise compared to TalkTalk / BT who have been doing TV for much longer so any backlash against humax would have been long going on by now.

 

Ian_D
Hooked
Posts: 7
Registered: 22-01-2017

Re: Youview+ box not responding reliably to remote -- IR receiver problem

Plusnet may have little clout with Humax but you'd have to hope it's not zero ;-)

Cancellation is a last resort if I can't get the box working satisfactorily; Youview is the best TV package overall for me, and cancelling just to move to BT is pointless since they have the same hardware with the same problem. I'm not willing to spend a four-figure sum buying one of the few new TVs that provides as good an HD picture as my plasma does over a wide range of viewing angles (i.e. OLED) while radiating less IR noise.

So I'll keep pushing Plusnet to come up with a fix (or get Humax to do it) in the hope that it won't come to this...

Ian_D
Hooked
Posts: 7
Registered: 22-01-2017

Re: Youview+ box not responding reliably to remote -- IR receiver problem

And I'm still waiting for a reply from Plusnet support (via ticket or on this forum) about this problem -- I suspect it's all gone quiet because nobody wants to pick up the ticking bomb and admit that there is a problem with the Youview+ box design...

Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 517
Thanks: 51
Fixes: 18
Registered: 02-03-2015

Re: Youview+ box not responding reliably to remote -- IR receiver problem

Hi @Ian_D

I am sorry to hear about the issues that you are facing with your YouView service. I can see that one of our TV faults agents has responded back to your fault ticket. From looking over this have you tried tried the STB on a different TV as the engineer that visited deemed that the issues is not with the box but the equipment surrounding this.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Ben Babinski
 Plusnet Help Team
Ian_D
Hooked
Posts: 7
Registered: 22-01-2017

Re: Youview+ box not responding reliably to remote -- IR receiver problem

I can lug another TV from upstairs but I can predict what the result will be. From everything I've already tried (and other people) the problem is definitely the box IR receiver being overwhelmed by radiated IR noise from the TV -- if I move the box so it's shielded from screen light (and IR) bouncing back off the room walls and put two layers of paper over the IR receiver to reduce the incoming IR level the problem largely goes away.

My engineering guess is that the problem is either not enough filtering (out-of-band IR noise) in the box front panel, not enough AGC range in the IR receiver (can't turn gain down enough), or both -- this is backed up by technical information provided by companies who supply IR receivers, it's well known that badly designed ones suffer from problems in the presence of IR background noise from things like TVs and lighting.

Many other people have reported the same problem with the Youview+ box, some TVs (e.g. plasma, high frame rate LED) interfere with the IR receiver, as do some lights (LED, CFL). But the fault is not with the IR noise source (TV) since the vast majority of other IR receivers are perfectly capable of working fine under the same conditions -- this even includes other Humax STBs.

In my case this includes a home theatre, a hi-fi, an SD PVR, the TV itself, and all the media streamers I've used in the last few years (four different ones, including a home-built Raspberry Pi one) -- not one of them has shown any problem like the Youview+ box, even though all of them are controlled from the same Harmony programmable remote control and are right next to the Youview box (underneath the TV).

[and yes, the Youview+ box remote control behaves exactly the same as the BT one the engineer brought and the Harmony, it's nothing to do with the remote control]

If I have tried eight different items of equipment in the same place controlled by the same remote control, and seven work perfectly but one doesn't without careful light-shielded placement and sticking bits of paper onto the front panel, I think it's obvious where the problem lies...