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How to Test a Remote Control

How to Test a Remote Control

Ever Wonder if There's a Way to Test a Remote Control?

There is and I'm gonna show you how in a minute.  Don't worry, it's actually pretty easy. 

Most remote controls you run into use infrared signals to transmit your command to the unit you're looking to control. This guide will only work with for these remotes. Other remotes work off from frequency and are more difficult to test. 

Today's test subject will be the Panasonic N2QAYB000011 DVD Player Remote Control

a close up of a remote control

1.) The first thing you want to do is make sure you have fresh batteries installed in the remote control. This will not work without batteries or with dead batteries.

a machine on the counter

2.) Next find the Infrared (IR) LED on the top of the remote. This is the little lens that the signal travels through to get to your unit. 

a hand holding a cellphone

3.) You then will need a camera. Cellphone cameras work well for this. Make sure you turn the camera on. 

With the fresh batteries installed, you will want to point the remote control at the camera. 

4.) While looking through the lens or screen of the camera (or the screen of your cellphone) point the remote control at the camera and press a button. 

screen of a cell phone

The LED on the top of the remote will transmit its signal and will turn a bluish purple color. You will only be able to view this while looking through a camera. The camera will see the signal that your naked eye cannot. 

5.) Test each button of the remote control the same way. If each button lights up that bluish purple color, you have a fully functioning remote control. 

On many models, there a few buttons that will not transmit a signal but will still operate. This happens a lot with record buttons of remotes and occasionally menu and setup buttons. 

What happens if the Remote Control tests OK but will still not work with my Unit?

In this case, there could be a couple different things tripping you up. 

1.) First you want to make sure the path from your remote control to your unit is clear. Sometimes there could be something blocking the IR signal from your remote to the receiver on your unit. The signal can not get through solid objects. 

Once you have removed all objects that could be blocking the signal and it still does not work there are a couple of other things that could be at work. 

2.) You could have the wrong model remote for the unit. This is a very common mistake. Sometimes it can be difficult to determine which model it is that you need. This is especially true with older model remotes and electronics. It is not always well documented which models a remote control is compatible with. It is even possible that we have models mixed up in our listing.

3.) The electronics unit IR receiver could be damaged. It is possible that the receiver on your TV, VCR, DVD Player, Projector, Audio System, etc. could be damaged. If this is the case, no remote control will work with it. This is not as common but does happen on occasion. 

I hope you found this guide helpful. This is how we test each of our remotes before we list them. If the remote transmits a signal from each button, it will work with its compatible unit without any problems. 

If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us at: or myself directly at

See you next time!

Terry Nichols

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