Last night my wife said her Tivo remote control was broken. The remote control appeared to be working but the Tivo was not responding. I did the usual checks; batteries were good, red light on remote came on, remote could operate the TV and my other Tivo so the remote was good. There is a yellow light on the Tivo that is supposed to flash when it receives a signal and it didn’t. I pulled the plug on the Tivo and waited 30 seconds before plugging it back in. The Tivo booted properly but still wouldn’t respond to the remote. This is bad.
Luckily I had a spare Tivo lying around so I swapped the face-plates with the IR receivers and the receiver check as good. The only things left were a software/drive problem or a fried motherboard. My problem turned out to be a somewhat common one, a burned out L30 resistor on the motherboard. Luckily I fixed it quite easily in just a few minutes.
A proper fix is to remove and replace the L30 resistor. Any capacity will do and you can even just solder in a piece of wire in place of the resistor. This requires soldering tool that I don’t have so I found an easier way. The L30 resistor is right next to the IR ribbon connector as seen in the picture below.
My fix took just a few minutes to complete. All that is needed is about 6″ of Cat5 network cable and a T10 Torx driver. You probably have an extra patch cable stuffed in a box somewhere. Just cut a 6 inch piece and remove the outer sheath and separate on strand of wire. Remove 1/2″ of insulation from each end of the wire and you are ready to go.
Unplug your Tivo and using the T10 Torx driver remove the screws holding the cover on and remove the cover. Looking at the Tivo from the rear insert one end of the wire into the farthest left contact on the IR connector. The IR connector is marked CN10. Attach the other end of the wire to a good ground. I used a hard drive bracket screw. Done! See photo below.
Your Tivo may look a little different as there were several different manufacturers; Tivo, Humax, AT&T, Sony, etc. The model shown is an AT&T Series II. Once your Tivo fully reboots you should have a flashing yellow light on the face-plate and a working remote.
This fix works on Series II Tivos but may work on other series as well. The problem usually occurs when someone doing upgrades turns the Tivo on without the IR cable properly attached. This causes the L30 resistor to burn out. In my case the Tivo had been in service for years and just stopped working. My Tivo has a Lifetime subscription and I want to keep it going. Weaknees will do the fix for $149.95 but even with a Lifetime subscription an old Series II isn’t worth that much. My fix is free and only takes a few minutes to complete. Leave a comment if this saves your Tivo