.... but luckily there was a solution....
it's been a little erratic over the last couple of days... sometimes not lighting up on the first press of a button and so I suspected the batteries, but a quick checked showed they where still at 80%+ (I love these batteries with the new-fangled touch meter on the side... it's a little thing but a great example or technology actually being helpful !)
but today when I went to watch a DVD nothing.... no lights, no activity, nada :(
luckily you can reset the remote by taking out the batteries and leaving it a while. These guys recommend 30 mins, but about a minute pressing all the buttons did the trick for me.
Who'd have thunk it... even the Microsoft remotes need rebooting every now and then :)