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Check infrared remote control

An infrared remote control sends a signal using infrared (IR) light. Human eyes cannot see this light. However, you can make it visible using a digital camera, cell phone camera, or camcorder in camera mode.

To check if your infrared remote control is sending a signal, follow these steps:

Select a device you want to use:

  1. Smartphone: Open the camera app
    Digital camera: turn on the camera
    Camcorder: Turn on the camcorder and select recording mode
  2. Point the end of the remote control with the infrared transmitter at the lens of the camera or camcorder.
    Look into the viewfinder or the display.
  3. Press and hold one of the buttons on the remote control.

When the remote control sends a signal, you will see a light in the viewfinder or on the phone screen when you press a button on the remote control. This can be a faint pink or white glow, see photo:

Remote control infrared signal


You can use it to check whether an infrared remote control or the inserted battery is working. Or whether the remote control uses Bluetooth wireless technology and/or infrared.

Please note: A line of sight is always necessary for controlling a device via IR. So you can't hide a media player or similar easily. The advantage of IR is that different remote controls can control the same device. This doesn't work with Bluetooth.

There are also mixed types, for example the Bluetooth remote controls of Fire TV, Apple TV or some televisions can also send infrared commands, for example to control a sound system.

With our FeinControl large button remote control, you can accept any infrared commands from existing remote controls. This remote control is therefore capable of learning. But this only works if the original remote control is present and uses IR commands. So you can't use the FeinControl for replacing a  Bluetooth remote control.