Here are some possible problems and fixes.

  1. IR relay receiver/emitter moved or fell off. IR Relays Systems retransmit the IR (Infrared Light) signal from your remote to the TV or another component such as a hidden cable box.    The picture shows an IR relay receiver attached to a TV. The receiver/emitter of the system could come loose with age or be knocked off when cleaning or moving the electronic device they are connected too. Look around your components, TV first, and see if there is an IR relay receiver hanging behind or beside it. Affix it back to the same area it was previously installed.  Check your other components to see if an IR emitter has fallen off.  Here is a picture of a typical IR emitter. Try your remote. If it still doesn’t work, you may need to adjust where you put the receiver and emitters as it may not be in the optimal location.
  2. Dead batteries: Some older remotes have batteries vs. charging stations. Check and replace the battery if it is not working properly.
  3. Needs a Reboot: Sometimes devices such as cable boxes and streaming media devices perform software updates when not in use. Occasionally the device may not restart cleanly.  The easiest way to clear this is to unplug it from the AC power outlet, count to 30 and plug it back in.  Give the unit time to become active, typically a minute or 2, and try to control it again.

FYI, If you have a universal remote such as a Logitech Harmony device they also use IR emitters.  These can be knocked out of place as described above.