How to Fix a Broken TV IR Sensor

By Charles Jackson

A TV infrared sensor is the component which receives any commands sent from your television's remote control. If you find that your television remote is no longer working, yet you have already replaced the batteries, then you may find that the problem is in the IR receiver rather than the remote control itself. Fortunately, there are some fairly straightforward ways to fix most IR receiver problems. Be aware, however, that taking apart your television and attempting to carry out the repairs yourself will most likely void your warranty.

Things You'll Need

  • Small flathead screwdriver
  • Lint-free cleaning swabs
  • Distilled alcohol
  • Batteries

Step 1

Insert new batteries into your remote control before continuing, just to ensure that the problem is most likely with the IR receiver and not with the remote control. With the television switched on, test the remote control by pressing several buttons. You should also make sure that there is nothing else interfering with the signal, such as other remote control devices in the room. If nothing works, then proceed to the next step. If one or more buttons work, but not all of them, then the problem is more likely to be with the remote control pad itself.

Step 2

Turn off the television. Plug speakers or a set of headphones into the television set and turn on the TV again. With the TV on, remove the headphones or speakers since this will reset the IR receiver. On many televisions, the IR receiver is automatically turned off when there are headphones plugged in.

Step 3

Clean the IR receiver using a lint-free cloth damp with distilled alcohol. Alternatively, you can use specialized screen wipes used for cleaning flat-screen monitors. The IR receiver will be located somewhere on the front of the TV set. If you can't find it, refer to the instructions. You should find a diagram explaining where everything is located.

Step 4

Turn off and unplug the television and remove the grill or front-panel from the front of the TV. Carefully remove the IR receiver from the television. It should be plugged into a port in the main circuit board of the TV. If it is soldered into the circuit board, do not try to remove it. Using the cloth and distilled alcohol, gently clean the connections between the IR receiver and the TV. Plug it back in and put back the front panel of the TV. If your remote control still does not work, then you will need to take it into an electronics repair center or, if it is still under warranty, return the TV for a replacement.