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Volume button on remote launching The Roku Channel

A couple of weeks ago, each time I would hit the volume down button on the remote for my TCL Roku TV while I was in an app which also was available within the Roku Channel, it would bring up a question splash screen: "Exit [channel name] and launch 'The Roku Channel'?" with choices to Launch or Cancel. Now in some apps, the volume down button just switches to The Roku Channel without me hitting anything else. The question still appears on apps also available within The Roku Channel.

When using the Roku app on my phone to control the TV, the volume buttons in the phone app work fine, so I am pretty sure this a remote control problem. I have tried most of the normal fixes (switch batteries, warm and cold reboot of remote through secret menu, power cycling TV). One solution - updating the remote firmware through one of the secret menus - only had "Cancel" as an option when I clicked it. 

Has anyone else run into this, which seems to be a marketing gimmick gone awry? If so, how did you fix it short of getting a replacement remote?

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