Author Topic: USB-UIRT way to go for STB and TV control?  (Read 1348 times)

jamo

  • Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 458
    • View Profile
    • LMCE user Page
USB-UIRT way to go for STB and TV control?
« on: October 02, 2012, 10:11:34 am »
Quick advice please. I'm thinking of buying one of these babies PRIMARILY to control my STB (South African DSTV decoder) and TV (Hisense 40" HD LCD).

I need to
  • switch source on the TV between AV1 and VGA to switch between my SAT box input and my MD input
  • change channles on the SAT box, control the PVR on the sat-box when I'm watching it
  • power on and off the TV and SAT box

Here's how I understand it will work-

I use my IR Remote (whatever of the 3 I choose to set up - and I can set it up by recording with the USB-UIRT, right?) to send signals to the USB-UIRT receiver. Then by default, all my commands go to the media director - power off shuts it down, play, pause, rew etc controls whatever media is playing etc. Then, if I hit "watch DSTV" scenario that I've set up, the USB-UIRT transmitter will send a signal to my TV to "switch source" to the AV1 input connected to the sat box, and, thereafter, relay all my commands from the remote to the SAT box via same USB-UIRT transmitter.  Then, presumably, if I want to go back to media director input, I press some button on my remote that is short-cut to a scenario for "watch MD". Therafter, all my commands on the remote go to the MD again.

Am I on the right or wrong track there? Is the USB-UIRT the thing I want or is there something new and better to do this? I guess there are a few other options like the GC100 and IRTRANS?

Any thoughts, comments, advice, ridicule before I buy this thing?

jamo

  • Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 458
    • View Profile
    • LMCE user Page
Re: USB-UIRT way to go for STB and TV control?
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2012, 09:13:24 am »
Jamo

Sorry, can't add too much to your post at this stage but a little googling reveals the following impressions-

To control stuff via IR there seem to be 5 main options in ascending order of moola

  • el-cheapo homebrew
    Cheapest option, with which you are currently experimenting. Probably takes a lot of hacking and configuring. Good for the soul, bad for the marriage.
  • MCE remote/receiver/blaster combo
    Eg. windows MCE-type remotes which sometimes come with receivers/blasters. Don't know much about these but a few seem to have been made to work.
  • USB-UIRT
    A bit more pricey but apparently works OTB which is very appealing. Something that seems a little strange to me is that from the picture of the unit it appears the receiver "eye" and two integrated blasters are on the same side of the little box. That seems odd to me because if you point your remote at the receiver, then the blasters will be sending transmit codes back at you... surely they should go out the other side of the unit to be directed towards the AV devices? There is a jack for a remote blaster which would help.
  • IRTRANS products
    Haven't done much research on these but from what I recall they look a bit more expensive than the above
  • GlobalCache products
    From the website they look very neat, there is a wide range of them and they can be network attached and POE which is very nice. Think putting a little device in the ceiling attached to a network cable that powers it and tells it to blast codes to a tiny little blaster up in the corner of the room to control all AV equipment. Out of sight and neat. However the pricing requires re-mortgaging your house. In this country a simple unit like I'm describing is about the same price as a z-box. Nuts

tschak909

  • LinuxMCE God
  • ****
  • Posts: 5497
  • DOES work for LinuxMCE.
    • View Profile
Re: USB-UIRT way to go for STB and TV control?
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2012, 05:25:00 am »
the USB UIRT works great out of the box, both as a transmitter, and receiver. Just plug it in, and go.

Where it falls flat, are when you need to transmit to more than one device that has the same IR codes, for this, a GC-100 is the only thing that can handle this elegantly.

-Thom

jamo

  • Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 458
    • View Profile
    • LMCE user Page
Re: USB-UIRT way to go for STB and TV control?
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2012, 10:36:20 am »
Thanks for the thoughts Thom, am leaning towards that one. Don't think I'll need to send the same IR codes to more than one device- they're all pretty unique so should be ok.

Will fiddle a bit more with my serial transmitter when I have some time and if I don't come right there, the USB-UIRT will be the way to go for me.

seth

  • Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 485
  • A day w/o LinuxMCE is like a day w/o sunshine!
    • View Profile
Re: USB-UIRT way to go for STB and TV control?
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2012, 07:03:50 pm »
Hi all.

A note here. Not sure who's STB you will choose, but I can speak for Dish Network, and DirecTV if you have more than one receiver.

By default these two STB's are set for remote codeset 1. As all my receivers are in a closet in the basement, I have had to use the factory remotes the Dish receivers came with to set one to default codeset 1, and the other to codeset 2. Now I had to create 2 different device templates, one for each receiver, as if you use a common template for both, and you change your second box to codeset 2, it updates the template for the first box to use codeset 2 as well. So I learned 2 sets of IR commands using the USB-UIRT.

I have a dual-head emitter and I use 2 different codes. One for each box.
I have the USB-UIRT with the 56K (dish receiver transmitter) and one dual-head ir blaster plugged into it.

Just something to keep in mind.

Regards,

Seth
".....Because Once you've LinuxMCE'd....."
System stats located at my user page:

http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/User:Seth