Why Won’t My Samsung TV Change Channels?

Why Won't My Samsung TV Change Channels?

If you have a Samsung TV, it is likely you will only need one remote to control both the channels of the television and compatible smart TV applications.

This is not intended to function with issues, but they occur sometimes. Some of the following solutions may resolve your issues.

Why Won’t My Samsung TV Change Channels?

If you have a Samsung TV, it is likely you will only need one remote to control both the channels of the television and compatible smart TV applications.

This is not intended to function with issues, but they occur sometimes. Some of the following solutions may resolve your issues.

1. There’s An Issue With Your Remote

There are various reasons why your remote may not be working. The most common issues include physical damage, battery issues, pairing issues, or issues with the individual infrared sensor on the remote or television.

The following list of fixes may possibly resolve these issues.

Fix 1 – Check Whether the Remote Emits an IR (infrared) Signal

Infrared remote controls send out infrared light signals. You can not see these lights with your eyes; however, they may be visible through the lens of a camera, cell phone camera, or camcorder.

Most IR remote controls have the IR symbol. However, IR remote controls of Android devices released in 2016 do not have this IR symbol.

The following steps will teach you how to check if the IR remote control sends infrared signals:

1. Turn on your camera.

2. Then, point at the end of the remote control with the IR emitter pointed towards the camera.

3. Press and hold a button on the remote control.

4. Look at the viewfinder on the camera or the screen.

5. If the remote sends a signal, you will see the light in the viewfinder or screen when you press buttons on the remote.

It is important to note that you cannot use certain phones and various models of iPhones due to their built-in cameras having a filter that removes infrared light.

Use a separate device or contact the manufacturer of your device to determine if you can disable the IR filter.

If you see this infrared light when you aren’t pressing buttons, it is likely that a button on the remote may be stuck and the other buttons no longer function properly.

If you are seeing an IR signal, but the remote still is not functioning properly, it is possible that you need to clear the IR sensor along with the remote itself.

The sensor’s terminals, along with the wire that connects to the board, may get clogged with dust. This prevents the board from receiving a signal from the IR remote.

As a user, you need to ensure that the remote sensor is clean and ready for use by doing the same thing.

Fix 2 – Check the Remote’s Buttons

It is quite possible that the buttons on your remote are not functioning properly. If this is a possibility for you, you can check if your buttons are working yourself.

If you need to check if your buttons are working, you can look through the viewfinder of your camera or the LCD screen on your phone to see if an infrared signal is emitted from the remote.

You can see if there is a signal and test each individual button; however, you should also look at it when you are pressing no buttons.

If an infrared signal is emitted even when you aren’t pressing any buttons, then it is possible that one of the buttons specifically is broken or you have something lodged in the side of the button.

In order to resolve this issue, you can clean the remote before looking again.

Fix 3 – Replace the Batteries

You can try to replace the batteries (view on Amazon) in your Samsung Smart TV remote. This is possible if, in the previous steps, no infrared signal was emitted when you were pressing buttons on the remote.

If you are unsure and you want to take batteries out of the remote to either replace them or test them for energy, you can do so by following these steps:

1. Push the rear cover open in the direction of the arrow at the bottom of the remote control.

2. Insert the batteries. (AA)

3. Check and ensure that the positive and negative ends of the batteries are facing the correct directions.

4. Close the rear cover again.

5. If you have a Samsung Standard Remote Control, use the following steps:

6. Gently pull on the notch of the battery cover.

7. Remove the cover completely once it comes loose.

8. Insert two AAA alkaline batteries.

9. Make sure you align the positive and negative polarities properly.

10. Slide the battery cover over using the arrows on the remote so that the cover is completely attached to the remote control.

Each battery has two terminals. One terminal is marked (+), which is positive, while the other is marked (-), or negative. In normal batteries, like the batteries you’ll be using for your remote, the terminals are located on the ends of the batteries.

If you connect a wire between the two terminals, electrons will flow from negative ends to positive ends as fast as they can.

This is both bad for the battery as well as being dangerous.

Fix 4 – Check for the Interference of the Signal Between the Remote & the Receiver

The interference itself is not hard to find. It is actually quite the opposite. Interference involves a combination of two or more electromagnetic waveforms to form a resultant wave in which the displacement is either reinforced or canceled.

Unintentional RF sources are the most common devices that produce an electrical spark. Sparks are potent RF generators that splatter energy over a wide frequency spectrum.

Any wiring that is connected to the spark source conducts the RF, but that isn’t all. It also acts as a transmitting antenna to radiate it.

There are two broad categories of interference: narrowband and broadband. The only kind applicable here is broadband interference, so that is all we will discuss today.

Broadband interference typically includes things like switch-mode power supply harmonics, power line noise, things like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, or digital television.

If you look at a spectrum analyzer, this type of interference appears to be a broad range of signals or an increase in the noise floor.

Regarding cable television, signal leakage from cable television systems generally occurs on their prescribed channel assignments.

Various channels already overlap existing over-the-air radio communications signals. If a leaking signal is a digital channel, interference will appear similar to a wideband noise.

There are two primary methods for locating radio frequency interference. This is called direction finding.

The first method is called “Pan ‘N Scan.” In this method, you “pan” a directional antenna and “scan” for the interfering signal. While doing this, you record the direction on a map and keep note of intersecting lines.

The second method is called “Hot and Cold.” In this method, you use an omnidirectional antenna and simultaneously watch the signal strength.

With this method, the rule of thumb is for every 6 dB change, and you have either doubled or halved the distance to the interfering source.

You can install radio direction-finding equipment into vehicles or used portables.

Step attenuators can also be valuable when direction finding. This device allows you to control the signal strength indication (and receiver overload) as you approach the interference source.

Before you take the other steps, however, you can check and see if there is anything that may be obstructing your infrared signal from the remote to the television.

It can help you if you clean a television that may be dusty or dirty.

Additionally, fluorescent and LED lights often interfere with infrared lights. Therefore, you should try shutting off lights that fall into this category that may be near or above the television or remote.

Fix 5 – Try a Spare Remote If You Have One

It is possible that you may be able to use another remote to return to normal function.

If you have a spare remote, attempt to connect it to the system. If you don’t have a spare remote control, you can buy one. I have good news! You don’t necessarily have to buy a device-specific replacement.

There are various universal remotes that are compatible with numerous popular devices. Some of them even have mobile applications you can use as a remote control until you are able to purchase a new one!

Bigger stores like Wal-Mart, Target, and Best buy have a diverse collection of universal remote controls. Universal remote controls can be used with any device model from nearly every manufacturer.

Most types of universal remotes work with various devices. They can control things like your television, cable box, and DVD player all from one remote.

You can also purchase a remote directly from the manufacturer of your device. They more than likely sell a replacement model.

If the manufacturer cannot sell to you directly over the phone or the internet, they will be able to point you in the direction of the nearest retailer.

Fix 6 – Reset Your Remote

A possible fix to your problem is very simple. This fix involves resetting the remote. To do this, remove the batteries and press the power button for eight (8) seconds to reset the remote.

Then, place the batteries back in control and hold the power button on the remote.

If you need help accessing the battery compartment, you can check the user manual.

If you have recently purchased a newer television, it is likely that you need to reset the remote so that you can use it with your newer television.

This process is quick and easy. Rarely is it necessary these days because when you program the remote for a new television, the old programming codes are removed automatically.

Whether you are using the remote controller that came packaged with your television or a universal remote, you may occasionally find that the television is not responding promptly or at all to your inputs.

Even the best televisions that money can buy sometimes fail to function properly with remote controls.

There can be many reasons that your remote is not responding to inputs, but this will often require you to reset the remote control.

There are a couple of general methods that cover most models of remote controls. They are all simple and quick.

Some television remote controls can occasionally enter a mode of being “locked up” and fail to respond to button presses or communication with the television. The most common cause of unresponsive remote controls involves problems with the batteries.

Faulty remote controls can be detrimental to your television-watching experience. There are some things to look for and steps that you can take before you are allowed to panic.

Fix 7 – Replace Your Remote

If none of the other solutions work, your best option may be to replace your remote.

You can replace your remote with either a universal remote or a replacement model from your manufacturer.

Amazon shares many universal remotes (view on Amazon) that allow users to program the remote to control multiple devices. It is also often a cheaper option than buying a replacement remote from the manufacturer.

For example, this replacement is slightly more expensive, but it is also a direct replacement for the original remote.

2. The Channel is Unavailable in Your Region

It is likely that the channel you are trying to watch is unavailable in your region.

Unavailable content almost always depends on one thing: content licensing. Most studios sell the rights to content on a country-by-country or region-by-region basis.

The reasoning behind this involves getting more money for their content if they split up the license rights into various transactions with numerous providers rather than just gaining one large lump sum.

Content distributors like television channels or streaming services like Netflix prefer to pay for one big license at a cheaper price than having to pay to stream the content in various regions.

Adversely, television channels or streaming services (like Netflix) would rather sell the various smaller licenses so that they make more money.

If you try to watch a show that is not licensed in your region, you will receive an error.

License issues are not one streaming service’s fault. Despite them wanting to show you your favorite movie while you’re in a foreign country on vacation, they are not legally allowed to offer the video in that location.

Studios negotiate for the prices of the licenses they are selling to various regions rather than sell a global license to the content to streaming providers. The types of content available around the world are very different if you compare different countries.

For example, American Netflix offers over 6,000 titles, whereas Netflix in the United Kingdom only offers around two-thirds of that number.

Fix 1 – Change Channels

There is an easy solution to this problem. You can simply change the channel to something else.

It is possible that there are select channels not available in your region because your region did not buy the license for that content in your area.

As I mentioned previously, the licenses to content like movies are often sold to regions rather than a streaming service provider in its entirety.

3. There’s A Bug

It is possible that you have a bug if your television or remote is not functioning properly. If you think this is the case, there are steps you can take to ensure that you are able to use your remote at television as intended.

The first thing you should do is check for software updates. These typically provide bug and security fixes for both your television and your remote. You should keep this software up to date to minimize errors.

If you have a bug that you have not been able to resolve with your television or remote, use the following fixes to repair your remote.

Fix 1 – Unplug Your TV For 1 Minute, Then Plug It Back In

The fix can be as simple as unplugging your television. If you think you have a bug, this is one possible way to solve your issues.

1. Unplug your television.

2. Leave it unplugged for one minute.

3. Plug the television back in.

4. Manually power the television back on.

Fix 2 – Reset Your TV

It is possible that you need to reset your television to resolve any existing bug issues.

If you want to restore all television settings to the factory default, you can use the following steps:

1. Open Settings.

2. Click General.

3. Click Reset.

4. Enter your PIN. (0000 is the default.)

5. Select reset.

6. To complete the reset, click OK. This will restart your television automatically.

7. If the aforementioned steps do not function with your television, go to Settings again. Click Support and then Self Diagnosis. In that menu, you will see the Reset option.

If those instructions do not help you reset your television, it may be best to check the device’s user manual for the exact instructions for your television’s model.

If you are using an application to control your television, you should be aware that the Reset function is not available.

4. You Haven’t Gotten Your Cable Box Setup, So Your Remote Can’t Communicate With Your Television

It is possible that you do not have your cable box set up properly or at all, so your remote is incapable of communicating properly with your television. The best way to resolve this issue is discussed below.

Fix – 1 Setup Your Remote To Work With Your Cable Box

Many of the remote controls that come with devices are capable of functioning as universal remote controls.

In addition to controlling your cable box, you can program your cable television remote to control your television set accompanied by numerous other audio and video devices.

The quickest way to set up your remote to work with your television properly is to enter the television manufacturer code for the brand of television that you are programming the remote to link to.

However, you do not necessarily have to have the code handy so that you can program the remote properly; the process is simply longer when you don’t have the code.

Samsung TV remotes specifically can fall out of sync when people accidentally press the wrong buttons. This, in turn, can deprogram the remote from the television.

When the remote control is out of sync with the television, the remote will not operate the television as it normally would. If this is the case, you need to reprogram your Samsung television remote control so that it falls back in sync with the television.

Turn off the television you are programming the remote control to work with.

The television needs to be turned off for the syncing process to be completed. Even though the television is switched off, it can still catch the signal from the remote control.

Press down on the “TV” button on the remote control.

This function tells the remote that it is paired with a television. This allows the remote to give out the appropriate signal during the process of syncing.

Use an item with a thin tip, like a paper clip, to press down on the tiny indented “Set” button at the bottom of the remote control.

Use the link in the resource section to find the code for your television. Type in the 3-digit code on the number pad of the remote. If the first code does not work properly, continue down the list of codes until you find one that works properly.

Press the “Power” button on the remote.

If the television turns on, the code works properly. If the television does not turn on, repeat steps two through five until the television turns on from a remote signal.


If you are having trouble using your remote, you are not on your own. You could have fallen victim to a number of issues.

However, dead batteries and interference from various types of electronics are the two most popular reasons why your television may not be reacting to remote inputs. An additional possibility involves obstructions between the television’s infrared receptors.

Before you try changing these terrible tiny batteries or performing a hard reset, however, it is a great idea to try resetting the television itself. The steps to performing such a task are outlined above.

Brady Klinger-Meyers is an experienced tech writer and marketer who currently writes for Techzillo as well as other popular sites like MakeUseOf. At Techzillo, he focuses on consumer technology in general with his interest being Android OS. Read our Editorial Guidlines and Fact Checking process.


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