First check the remote's functionality. The easiest way to do this (if you're a little bit handy with electronics) is to get a small battery-powered amp and a small solar cell from somewhere like Radio Shack. Solder the solar cell to an 1/8" plug and plug it into the amp's input. Turn the amp on and point the remote at the solar cell. If the remote is working, the solar cell will pick up the infrared signals emitted by the remote's IR LED and you will hear a series of clicks and pops from the amp when you press a key on the remote. This is a very handy cheap test device. I always have one around the house.
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To reset the recorder to factory defaults as if it was just removed from the box - leave the recorder on then press and hold the channel up and down buttons at the same time until it says "Bye" on the display. When it shows the clock it is off - wait a few seconds then turn it back on - you should see the initial setup asking you to choose a language.
Note: You may have to flip down part of the front panel to reveal the channel buttons.
No do not try soldering the led. This is a led (Light Emitting Diode) It is supposed to look like that. You might have a bad IR sensor in the Recorder itself. The Ir sensor (Infared Sensor) receives commands from the remote and relays the command to the microprocessor in the recorder for processing. To make sure its the remote try a universal remote and program it for your dvd recorder and see if it takes commands of any sort. IR sensor are very cheap the only issue is installing it on the main board of the recorder.
Im thinking that maybe you a have a timer recording set. The whole unit wont function at all if you turn it on via power button (remote or unit). There should be a button at the top of the remote called 'timer set' pressing this will disable that mode and allow complete use of everything. but make sure u press timer set again when powering down, otherwise simply turning off the machine will leave the timer recording disabled.
Look into your manual that came with your dvd recorder for DMR-E80H, Page 46, Changing the Remote Control Code. My child played with a remote control as well and reconfigured it as well. In the manual, you have explanation how to configure your remote control again to work.