A recent update to Google Play Services seems to have caused some issues to the Nexus Player's remote controller that's now performing in a significantly less reliable manner, some owners of the device report. The problems appear to be widespread enough that over a hundred people are currently following the related thread started in Google's official Issue Tracker following the rollout of the update that began in mid-November and should now be available on a global level. Accounts describing the issues aren't identical but most agree that the problems first manifest themselves in the form of an unresponsive remote controller or one that appears to be extremely slow to respond to input. Several users described unresponsiveness as being rather severe, with the remote supposedly taking up to five seconds before the Nexus Player reacts to whatever action was initiated. Some said the situation improves with usage but reverts back to the problematic state of affairs after the remote isn't in use for some ten minutes.
While rolling back the Google Play Services update appears to eliminate the problem, at least several users who contributed to the Google Issue Tracker thread claim the bug existed for a while now and predates the latest upgrade to the company's background service framework, adding that the update only made the problematic behavior more frequent. The bug is also said to predate the Android 8.0 Oreo upgrade, with one source estimating it started troubling the device since the second half of September and another claiming that the same behavior is affecting both the 7.1.2 and 8.0 OS builds. Besides general unresponsiveness, a number of Nexus Player owners are reporting that their remote controllers recently started going to sleep much more quickly, taking only around 30 seconds before they start hibernating. As uninstalling Google Play Services is also said to be a quick workaround for that particular problem, the two are believed to be connected.
A Google representative already acknowledged these complaints about the Nexus Player's remote and said the company is investigating the matter, promising they'll provide an update as soon as one is available. The latest related statement from the company was given on Monday when Google was still developing a solution to the problem and it's currently unclear how much longer that process will take.