GiGA Genie Turns Off My TV Problem

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We had a weird malfunction today with our home TV, and I’m not sure why the hell the KT (Korea Telecom) engineers designed and deployed this buggy implementation.

(Context: the GiGA Genie is an IPTV set-top box line-up from KT, Korea Telecom, sold here in South Korea for users that have a service contract with KT for Internet and TV. This article talks about the GiGA Genie 3 device. Other legacy devices may have unrelated problems.)

The Problem

When I press the “combined power” button on the GiGA Genie remote to turn on the TV, the TV turns on, then immediately turns off. When that happens, the HDMI-CEC sync kicks in, and the GiGA Genie unit shuts off as well, which means we’re now stuck in a loop where the TV and the GiGA Genie unit never turns on.

(In rare circumstances you can spam the power button to turn on the units before they have a chance to sync their status over HDMI-CEC, but this only worked once every five times during testing.)

During this loop, when the TV and the GiGA Genie unit turns on, you can see two dots on the GiGA Genie unit (resembling a little face, almost), where the LED clock usually is. And then once the GiGA Genie boots, the TV shuts off.

The Solution

Really simple. Inside “Genie Settings”, find the menu named “Use IR to control TV” (IR로 TV 제어) or “Use voice control to control IR household appliances” (음성으로 IR 가전 제어), and turn off the “TV control” (TV 제어) option.


There are three reasons why a TV connected to a GiGA Genie turns on:

  • The GiGA Genie remote’s “combined power” button, or the “TV power” button has been pressed
  • While the GiGA Genie unit and TV are connected over HDMI-CEC, the GiGA Genie unit has been switched on
  • The GiGA Genie unit receives a request (“Hey Genie, turn on the TV”) to power on the TV using the built-in IR blaster

Before, the last option – IR blaster – only emitted IR signals when you used voice commands, but a recent firmware update seems to have broken the functionality. Now, when the GiGA Genie unit turns on, it detects that the TV is off and tries to turn it on using IR, and that’s where the bug lies.

TL;DR: Turn on the TV and GiGA Genie unit using the “combined power” button -> TV turns on -> GiGA Genie unit turns on and turns on the TV using the IR blaster -> The TV, having received the signal from the GiGA Genie unit, switches off -> Through HDMI-CEC, the GiGA Genie notices the TV has shut off and powers off as well -> Infinite loop

Please fix this, KT :(