Fixing the Boxee Box Remote

Over the last week the remote for my Boxee Box started going a bit weird. I thought that the battery was probably dying, so replaced it, but it still wasn’t working right.

After some frustrated experimentation I discovered that I could make it work by pressing hard on the battery compartment cover while using it. It looks like I had the same issue as described on the Boxee issue tracker, here. People on the Boxee forum here also described it, among other things.

Diagnosis

It looks like people are suffering from various issues with the remote, some of them software issues. The fix I describe below is only for people who seem to be suffering from the battery not making full contact with the terminals inside the battery compartment. You can normally tell by pressing hard on the battery compartment while trying to operate the remote. If this temporarily fixes things, then this post is for you.

It looks like the contacts inside the battery compartment can get bent out of position over time. Pushing on the battery cover re-establishes contact temporarily, but also probably just bends the contacts even further. I did some experimenting to try and fix this. First of all, I tried to jam some paper in the battery holder behind the battery to push it farther into the compartment when closed, unfortunately, this didn’t work reliably for me. Eventually, what did work was to pull the battery contact back into the compartment so that it would make full contact with the battery again. Since so many people seem affected by this, I took pictures along the way.

Tools required

One paperclip.

The Operation

First of all, the disclaimer. There are crazy people in the world who attempt to hold bloggers responsible for bad advice. If you mess your remote up following the instructions below, it’s your problem, not mine.

First of all, let’s look at the 3v lithium battery.

The battery used in the boxee box. Note the positions of the contacts.

The battery has its negative contact on its top, and its positive contact on the bottom and all around its sides. The Boxee remote makes contact with the top and the sides of the battery.

I made a little hook out of a paper clip to poke around inside the battery compartment with.

A paper clip, and trusty but battered needle-nosed pliers.

Next, let’s have a look inside the remote battery compartment. Remove your battery holder, and look into the empty compartment (you might need some bright lighting), you should see the following:

Inside the Boxee remote battery compartment

Inside the Boxee remote battery compartment

Note: At the very rear of the compartment is a kind of hooked pin that makes contact with the (positive) sides of the battery. I originally imagined it was this terminal that was at fault, but I was wrong. I tried to bend it back towards me with my paperclip hook, but it made no difference.

To fix your remote, gently pull the negative terminals out a bit.

It’s not very clear in the photo, but you should be able to see them clearly in your own remote. The negative terminal consists of 2 very small strips of metal on the bottom side of the compartment. You can easily hook your paperclip around these, and pull them back a little so that they protrude more into the compartment. This should help them make fuller contact with the battery when you re-insert it.

Please be careful, and don’t pull them out too much, break them off, or otherwise damage your remote. Go slowly, testing the remote until it works again.

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Posted in Tech
35 comments on “Fixing the Boxee Box Remote
  1. gbelzile says:

    I use a wireless keyboard now. 20$ and so much better than the remote.

  2. Cameron says:

    Thank you! Excellent fix. Saved me money to purchase a new remote. 🙂

  3. Kathi Wood says:

    It’s nice of you to be so helpful by providing a possible fix for the boxee remote. But you left one thing out. I have a problem with my boxer but I do not know if I have the same problem that you have because I have no Idea what you mean by “weird”. My boxee remote is extremely sensitive. If I tap it softly it will click 3-5 times taking me where I don’t want to go

    • Fangl says:

      Kathi, did you solve your problems with multiple “selection” of one character/button but you have click just once ?
      I have the same issue but the hint of battery contact described in this page does not help me.

      Thx anyone for some feedback.

    • Chris says:

      Mine is sensitive to will this fix it?

  4. Hugh says:

    how do you hook up the wireless keyboard to the boxee? does it need to use one of the USB ports for a receiver?

  5. Hugh says:

    ..ALSO does anyone know where one might buy a replacement remote?

  6. tjaabo says:

    I had similar issue but after pairing it again with the boxee box it worked as it should again. Think the issue was that I had bought a second one to the bedroom and it caused a conflict.

  7. Sofia says:

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!
    This fix worked like a charm. So happy to finally have my remote back. No more barely working smartphone app-replacements for me. 😀

  8. mafen says:

    Thank you very much, it worked

  9. Pamela says:

    Thank you so much Sean. This was the 2nd time the remote stopped working within a year and the staff where we bought it said I had to contact DLink to get it replaced and probably buy a new one. Your directions were very clear and worked brilliantly!

  10. Robert says:

    I too was experiencing this problem and noticed that taking the battery compartment out & replacing it seemed to help for one push. So I changed the battery. But it was still not working after 2 min power down followed by a re-pairing. Still no dice! ;-). So I tried your method with the paperclip tool. Still nothing. I inspected the keyboard and discovered the ALT key stuck in the down position. I fixed that and paired it and voila! It works! At least I have spare batteries now!! 🙂

    • Mike says:

      A stuck key was my issue as well and your comment solved it for me. Nothing was noticeable, I just tried mashing all the keys and that fixed it. Thanks!

    • Strizzleman Swift says:

      Robert I doubt you’ll see this but after trying everything else here and on my own… I read your post….FU*#*$&$A^KKKKK … I can’t believe i had the same exact problem…To be so smart I feel sooooo dumb right now…THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU….I was a click away from Ebay!!!! 🙂

  11. Dave says:

    Awesome, thanks for sharing! Wasn’t sure what to do 🙂

  12. jamie says:

    I had issues with my remote, tried everything, turns out ALT key was stuck

  13. Kevin says:

    Boxee not working turns on green then flashes red three times then keeps repeating the same any ideas

  14. Ronni says:

    Thank you so much. It did the trick. Thought it was total dead, but no. So thanks very much for very good guide and your effort 🙂

  15. Johan Petrini says:

    The remote works again.
    Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

  16. Tino says:

    Hi folks!
    Thanks for the hint on what was wrong…I actually just put a small folded piece of paper on the downside of the battery so that it like this is pushed towards the contact. works as well for me….

  17. tom says:

    Thanks for the tip.. I did the small piece of paper and worked really well..

  18. Jason says:

    Cheers mate, saved me a new remote!!

  19. Naftali says:

    After having the battery taken out (by someone else!) I do not know how should I put it in; is the battery’s positive side attached to the bottom of the battery’s plastic holder or the opposite.
    You mentioned that “The negative terminal consists… ON YHE BOTTOM side of the compartment Well, if I’m refering to the photo (to configure out what is the bottom side), I see the Yellow arrow pointing at what looks like the bottom-side ofthat photo, and it’s actually the negative side of the battery… so I don’t realy know now how should I insert the battery. (It saya on the battery holder “- face up”, so it seems that the positive side shoul be on the keyboard’s side abd the negative on the 3-buttons side. Is that true?

    • The positive contact is around the sides of the battery, and the negative is the top part. The picture at the start of the post shows the yellow arrow pointing at the negative contact, which is the side of the battery with the black circle going around it. The “bottom” of the battery is the side that is completely flat.
      The battery goes in to the battery drawer with the bottom facing down.

  20. Carlo says:

    My remote stop working try every thing but by unplugging my boxe boxe power cord and wait 30 seconds and plug it back my remote start to work love my boxe

  21. Shaun says:

    It’s official, Sean Blanchfield is awesome. dusted off an old boxee i forgot i owned. remote didn’t work, was ready to trash it but googled for a fix just in case. thought it was a long shot but no, Sean to the immediate rescue. plus, he has an awesome name, even if it spells it wrong.

  22. George says:

    Thank you very much. You helped me solve my Boxee remote issues. Peace!

  23. George D says:

    Thank you very much. your assistance was immeasurable. Peace!

  24. Tom says:

    Thanks, after changing the battery I had kinda given up. This sorted the issue for me!! I just pulled it back every so slight with a key, wasn’t even that gentle.

  25. Gary Harding says:

    I was given a completely new Boxee yesterday as a gift, very excited, and stupidly put the battery in the remote the wrong way around at first. Now the remote unit does not seem to do anything when I press the center OK button to try and select from an on-screen menu. I have replaced the battery with a new one in case it was aged. I have done the 5 sec pairing… and no luck. Could I have damaged the remote? Would love to get this Boxee working for my elderly Dad. Thank you.

  26. Jörg Ossenbrüggen says:

    Thank you so much!

  27. Webster Phreaky says:

    This is not the only solution / problem, there is also a problem with Boxee Box making multiple responses to the a single button press (mouse wheel, enter, menu button or the Netflix top button), such as if you are looking at your list of movies and you press down once and the Boxee Box seems to go nuts and moves down multiple times. This is especially frustrating if you are trying to type something with the flip side keyboard. D-Link says it’s a battery issue in the remote (low voltage) or the contact thing you reference, but it’s not. I get the same issues with a fresh battery, “adjusting” the battery contacts and even with Boxee Remote apps from on my Android Nexus Tablet … so it certainly ISN’T the remote! I’ve even tried multiple times to ‘re-paring’ the remote to the Boxee Box to no solution. I think there is a bug or a file corruption in the Boxee Box firmware. Hope someone has a solution.

  28. Keith B says:

    Pairing the remote to individual Boxee Boxes does NOT fix the multiple repeated responses though, it least not on my THREE Boxee Boxes on three different TV’s. I’ve carefully pair each remote to individual “BB’s”, none turn on or control other BB’s in the house. Still, one of my BB’s exhibits the “phantom repeats” to single key presses, an I know it’s not the factory BB controllers fault because it also happens with two different Android BB apps I have on my Google Nexus 7 Tablet, which does control other BB’s just fine with no phantom repeats. I’m afraid the problem is a bug in the hardware on perhaps a corruption that develops in the Firmware and a Complete Reset of the BB is the only thing that fixes it …. temporarily, when it starts happening again after a few weeks.

  29. dream26z says:

    it worked
    Thanks : )

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