How to Increase the Range for Television Remote Control

by David Wayne
A metallic reflector can reduce the number of attempts needed to change channels.

A metallic reflector can reduce the number of attempts needed to change channels.

Television remote controls use infrared light to send signals to a receiver that converts them to electronic instructions for your television. The small light bulb in your remote control may not be strong enough to send clear signals over a distance greater than about 30 feet. You can increase this range and focus the infrared light beam by installing a metallic reflector inside your remote control. This inexpensive and simple method can add five to 10 feet to your range.

1

Remove your remote control's batteries and locate any screws holding the case together. Usually, three to four screws are visible on the back of the case. Remove these screws and gently pry apart the top and bottom parts of the case.

2

Locate the remote control's infrared LED, and using electrical tape, cover the leads connecting the LED to the circuit board. This step prevents the leads from contacting the metallic reflector and creating a short circuit, which can cause your remote control to malfunction and heat up.

3

Create a wide, flat reflector from a small piece of aluminum foil, forming the reflector into a shape that fits securely in the remote control case's bottom half, or the half not containing the circuit board, LED and buttons. Using electrical tape, attach the reflector to the part of the case that meets the LED when the remote control is reassembled. As long as the LED's leads are covered, the reflector can touch the LED without causing problems.

4

Reassemble your remote control, ensuring that the reflector doesn't cover the front of the LED. Insert the batteries and test your remote control from a greater range than previously possible.

Tip

  • check Ensure that no objects are obstructing the line of sight between your remote control and your television because the infrared light cannot pass through solid objects.

Items you will need

About the Author

David Wayne has been writing since 2010, with technology columns appearing in several regional newspapers in Texas. Wayne graduated from the University of Houston in 2005, earning a Bachelor of Arts in communications.

Photo Credits

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