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Topic: 'Absolute' IR TV commands. (Read 2134 times) previous topic - next topic


I really want to send this this message to all the people at Sony, Panasonic, NEC, Kogan and the myriad of others who's job it is to design TV sets. If you agree with what I'm asking for, spread the word and let's see if we can make a small, but significant, change the software in every TV set.
I've chosen the Raspberry Pi and Arduino websites to start the ball rolling because they are ideal platforms for making a home theatre system which is what this request is all about.

The request is simple. I want TV and other media device manufacturers to to add 'absloute' commands to the list of instructions that the TV, sound system, satellite receiver etc. can receive from an IR remote control. By absolute I mean a command with no ambiguity: 'switch off', 'switch on', 'go to input HDMI 1', 'mute', 'unmute' etc.
The problem with trying to build a truly integrated home theatre system at the moment is that TV commands are mostly 'relative' (my term). The 'power' IR code will switch the TV off if it's on and vice versa. The 'mute' command also toggles between states in the same way. The 'select input' codes are driven from the 'up'/'down' keys and the exact number of codes required to select a specific input is unknown if you cannot see the TV display telling you which input is currently selected.

My elderly relatives don't want to have  a pile of separate remote controllers and a book of instructions on which remote to use when they want to switch between the DVD player and the satellite receiver. I don't want to have three remotes, one of which is used for nothing but toggling the power on the Bose sound system.

It is easy for those of us who read this kind of forum to make devices that can receive, decode and/or send IR codes in accordance with a few lines of software but more difficult to make ones that can tell if the TV is currently switched on or off and which input is selected.
In my own case I have built a simple device using an Arduino to detect when my media PC is switched on or off and it sends 'power' commands to my Kogan TV and Bose sound system to make them match. But I have had to add considerable complexity to measure the incoming mains current to detect whether the devices are already on or off to decide if a code should be sent or not and, in the case of the Bose, this still doesn't work reliably. I am also probably breaking Australian law by building equipment which is in-line with the mains power supply when I am not a qualified electrician.

How much expense would be involved in adding a few lines of code to the TV's software to include the absolute commands I've outlined above and a single page document describing them in the 'support' page on the manufacturer's website?
Obviously these codes would not in any way affect the existing remote control function, they are only relevant to automatic control by other machines. But with these absolute codes available it would be possible to truly integrate any number of IR controlled media devices and control them simply and easily without needing a table covered in different remotes and a book of instructions for the non-geek members of the family.

If you think this is a good idea please spread it around and it might just find it's way to the right people.

Kit Wareham-Norfolk.


Many brands now are talking among themselves over HDMI to alleviate that.  For instance, my Samsung TV talks to my Samsung Blueray to turn it on and start playing (if a disc is inserted) when I select blueray as a source.
Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years.  Screw Shield for Mega/Due/Uno,  Bobuino with ATMega1284P, & other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  my website.


That's a good start but obviously you are locked into one manufacturer from now on, and can only have the services that their devices can provide. That's the only business model that makes sense for a big player.

My current project is aimed at having full control of the TV and sound system from a media PC running iTunes and Windows media Centre. My arduino Leonardo sketch can detect codes from the WMC remote and send ALT-TAB commands to the PC to switch applications. A standard remote is not ideal for navigating iTunes but I might write to Apple next!
For this job just having absolute control of ON and OFF would do most of what I want.



RZUSMAN just wrote the following on the Raspberry Pi forum...

"This has been an issue with AV enthusiasts for many decades.
Fortunately, most TVs do have these codes, but they are "hidden."
http://www.remotecentral.com is the place to go to find these hidden codes."

Fingers crossed my TV is included :)


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