TV doesn't work with original or replacement remotes

We have a TV, Toshiba, somewhere between 5 and 10 years old, it has a built in VHS and DVD player. I don’t have the model number on hand but it wasn’t top of the line when it was new.

Anyway a month or two back the remote seemed to stop working. We replaced the batteries, still nothing. So I ordered a replacement remote from these nice people: http://www.replacementremotes.com/.

(From what I was able to figure out both on that site and elsewhere the exact Toshiba remote we had was no longer available, but a different Toshiba model was supposed to be equivalent, so that was the one I ordered).

Anyway long story short the replacement remote doesn’t seem to work with the TV either. I tried multiple brand new packages of batteries with each of them so I don’t think that is it, it seems more like the TV can’t “see” the remotes any more. I read the owner’s manual cover to cover, there isn’t any kind of reset code or anything that needs to be done with the TV when you change remotes.

So the question is this: is it possible for a TV or other device that uses a remote to not be able to see the remote anymore?

The TV seems to work fine otherwise but to really be able to use all the features we use (DVD menus, mostly) you need to use the remote. I know we can buy a cheap replacement DVD player and hook it up to the TV and use that but I would like to use the one we already have if we can.

Thanks in advance.

Yes. At least in my experience. My Sanyo no longer recognizes its own remote. It will work with a universal remote, but you lose most of the model specific features (ie the timer).

Oddly, every single universal remote, regardless of brand or cost, stops working after about six - nine months. Then I have to go buy another remote. I often buy the exact same remote again. It works for six - nine months then slowly the keys stop working, one by one.

I don’t know why a tv suddenly won’t recognize it’s own remote anymore, or any remote for that matter. I just know it can happen. Or at least in the known SDMB universe it can happen to you and me. Yay.

I had a Magnavox TV and after about 5 years the remote stopped, universale remotes didn’t work, so I assumed the sensor died.

I got cable for awhile, so other than the volume it didn’t matter. Then like 2 years later I got rid of the cable and for some reason the remote worked again.

I don’t know why it stopped and I have no clue why it started again

Inside the TV, behind an IR-transparent window is a phototransistor (or more likely in a modern TV set, an IR receive module which includes the phototransistor, filtering and interface circuitry all in one package) which feeds circuitry to decode and act upon remote control signals. Like any other circuitry, this can fail. So, yeah, it obviously happens.

Terrific. Of all the stupid things that could have failed on this TV it never occured to me the remote sensor would break before the VHS deck, the DVD player, or the remote itself. We’ve never had any other problems with this TV and from looking at some more info I have determined it is newer than I thought, probably only 6 years old.

Oh well, it was time to switch to high def anyway.

Is it even possible to fix something like this? I know, I know, just buy a new tv. But the fact of the matter is, I’m cheap. My tv is 15 years old, and beyond this problem works fine. Plus, if I buy a new one, I’ll end up donating this one, and it would suck to lob it on someone when the remote is screwy.

So, anyway, is it possible to fix this?

No reason it shouldn’t be possible. It could be something as simple as a failed solder (had that happen with a reciever once that got picky about remote signals).

This is a good time to think about starting a family. Kids make great remotes!!

At the risk of asking the obvious, have you made sure there’s nothing blocking this “window,” or that it isn’t smudged so that it just needs to be cleaned?

Yeah, our eight year old will usually adjust the volume and such if we ask him. The problem in this case is we can’t use 90% of the internal DVD player functions.

Good point, but yes I have checked this and there is nothing obviously wrong in this regard.
Thanks everyone for your help, I will probably just hook up a cheap DVD player for now and we will probably upgrade to high-def at some point.