Remote Control

Ross Werner ross at
Sun Apr 30 14:33:31 MDT 2006

On Sun, 30 Apr 2006, Hans Fugal wrote:
>> thing). But at the end of the day, I think you're eventually going to be
>> annoyed at the line-of-sight requirements of infrared and go RF.
> My TV, DVD, and VCR all use line-of-sight IR. We once had dish and the
> PVR used RF and that was pretty cool, but I think I'll survive.

The difference (at least for me) is that the TV, DVD, and VCR are all 
sitting right in front of you on your entertainment center when you're 
clicking the remote. The IR device is attached to your computer, which is 
a little less convenient, but if you have a long enough cable it's not a 
big problem. (I suppose I get annoyed at IR on the TV/DVD/VCR too so maybe 
I'm just easily annoyed. :)

> What's the range of this one? Some of the newegg reviews are pretty down
> on the range of it. I think my couch is about 10 feet from the
> computer/tv.

Depending on where I position the receiver, it gets about 9-12 feet before 
wigging out. My guess is you wouldn't have problems with it as long as 
you had a few choices with regards to where you put the receiver. But I 
certainly never had range problems like the newegg reviews claim. As 
always, YMMV.

> I didn't think about a learning remote learning keyboard functions. Will
> any IR keyboard receiver be compatible with any learning remote?

No idea on this one. I would imagine so, but I'm not really sure. It 
would probably be more expensive to buy an IR keyboard set and a 
learning remote than one of the other solutions, unless you happen to 
already have one of them.

How the Irman works is it just runs as a daemon (lirc), and you have a 
config file that maps certain infrared sequences to lirc commands. 
Whenever the Irman device gets a particular infrared sequence, you get a 
message in /dev/lirc. Linux programs like mplayer and xmms have lirc 
support, which means they listen to /dev/lirc and if they see a particular 
command, they fast-forward or rewind or pause or whatever you have it 
configured to do in that particular application.

There's another application that can listen to /dev/lirc and issue 
keyboard or mouse commands, but I've never tried that before--I've always 
just used mplayer/xmms built-in lirc support.

 	~ Ross

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