Article ID : 00159898 / Last Modified : 04/06/2018

How to test if a remote control is sending an Infrared (IR) signal.

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NOTE:

  • This Answer is for infrared remote controls with the Image (IR) mark.
  • The Image (IR) mark is not on Android TV remote controls released in 2016, but they are nonetheless infrared remote controls.

An IR Remote Control sends out a signal using Infrared light.  You cannot see this light with your eyes, but by using a digital camera, cell phone camera, or camcorder in camera mode you can see the signal.

To check if your IR Remote is sending a signal, follow the steps below:

  1. Pick a device to use:
    1. Digital Camera - turn the camera on.
    2. Cell Phone with camera - open the camera app.
    3. Camcorder - turn the camcorder on an set it to Camera mode.
  2. Point the end of the remote control with the IR emitter at the camera or camcorder lens.
  3. Look at the viewfinder or LCD screen. 
  4. Press and hold one of the buttons on the remote control.

If the remote control is sending a signal, you should see a light in the viewfinder or cell phone screen when you press buttons on the remote control.

NOTE: Infrared light may not be visible on some smartphones. In that case, check for infrared light using the front-facing camera mode, or if it still cannot be checked, use a digital still camera or other mobile phone.

 If the transmitter is visible  If the transmitter is not visible
 Image  Image
 The remote control is normal.  The battery is dead or the remote control may be damaged.


Depending on whether the transmitter is visible or not, follow the instructions below:

  • If the light of the remote control transmitter is not visible when any button is pressed, there is a possibility the batteries are spent. Switch to new batteries and check whether or not the transmitter lights up.
    NOTE: Insert a battery consistent with the + pole and - pole according to the indication.
    If the symptoms do not improve, the remote control may be broken.
  • You can also test each of the buttons on the remote by pressing them one at a time and checking to see if you see a light from the emitter.

    NOTE: If you see a light when no button is pressed, one of the buttons on the remote may be stuck and preventing other buttons from working.  If this is the case:

    1. Remove the batteries.
    2. Press and release each button a couple of times to see if you can free the stuck button.
    3. Replace the batteries and test the remote again.

    If you continue to see a light when no button is pressed, the remote control may need to be replaced.

  • If it does not light up when its specific button is pressed, the button may be broken.