Tivo Remote Control Fix

Tivo LogoLast 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.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

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 one 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 CN19. Attach the other end of the wire to a good ground. I used a hard drive bracket screw. Done! See photo below.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

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 :)

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8 Responses to Tivo Remote Control Fix

  1. ed haskil says:

    Craig, got real excited when i located your post. I was sure it was the resistor but checked resistance first and was not open or shorted closed. Your fix didnt work in my case. How did you determine that was the resistor at fault, and how did you determine that grounding the end pin would fix it?

    • Craig Harris says:

      Hi Ed, sorry you couldn’t fix your Tivo. I found the L30 resistor fix on some forum somewhere. The fix posted required soldering to replace or jump the resistor. Since it goes to ground I just traced it’s path back to the ribbon cable and jumped it to ground there. An easy fix. It’s been nearly a year and the Tivo is still working great.

  2. ed haskil says:

    one correction,… you mention in the instructions that the pin is the “CN10”. The correct connector according to the photo is CN19. The CN10 connection is at the other end. (right side, view from rear of box)

  3. ed haskil says:

    Hi Craig,…. My apologies,… You are the MAN!!!!!
    Due to a failed previous attempt at a repair and user error my first attempt at your fix was undermined by me.
    Using my trusty multi-meter I checked continuity between the pin and the grounding screw. I fixed the ground and YEAH! it worked!
    Thanks for taking time to post the repair, you saved me as well as many others $$$.
    All the best.

  4. monica says:

    Hmmm… this was a good possible option for my issue… remote does not work on this TiVo but does work on the other one. Buttons on the face plate all work, just cannot recieve the signal… however my TiVo is a series 2 Humax and the guts look TOTALLY different. I’m stumped!

    Any Ideas what L30 relates to in a Humax Series 2? :-(
    Lost without my TiVo

  5. James says:

    I was about to have Weaknees repair my series 2 TiVo when I figured I would try to see if anybody out there had a cheaper fix. I had just replaced a bad power supply and I guess I partly removed the ribbon connector without realizing it before I powered up. Your explanation and pics were awesome and worked perfectly to fix my TiVo. Many thanks for posting!!! Couldn’t have been easier and free. Sweet!

    P.S. Nothing against Weaknees they are great, I just didn’t feel like shipping my TiVo to them and spending $150!

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