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Receiving IR commands with CQC
#1
Background:

My home theater has been running controlled by a Samsung Q1 for many years. Although OK as a controller I sometimes had the issue that the 802.11 connection would disappear for a few seconds making CQC unresponsive. This happened on two different Q1's. My second Q1 died about a month ago and I have been making do with a small netbook running Windows 7/CQC. This form factor is worse than the Q1.

I decided I really like the convenience and form factor of a backlit remote after deploying an MX-500 in a secondary viewing environment (The MX-500 and viewer have a view of all components so it is pretty straight forward to tell what the power state is and the HDMI control path turns on the receiver and sets it to the appropriate input when I turn on the TV).

With that in mind I dug out an MX-700 learning remote and bought a GC-IRE/GC-RG1 combo with the intent of getting CQC/my theater controlled via IR.

The question:

Does anyone have a running example of using CQC to receive IR commands? I have an ongoing dialog with Dean as I can't seem to make either a GC-IRL or USB-UIRT reliably learn/respond to commands. So I thought I should toss this out to the community and see if others are having success. The alternative for me is an expensive RF remote like an RTi with an RP-6 base station.
Mark Stega
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#2
I originally used the UIRT for all of my control, I still use it to control my XBox360. It was a little difficult to train, I found that the problem was usually with the remote I was using to train. If I had trouble with a particular remote, I would learn it into my pronto then use that to train since it had monster IR blasters. Alternatively you can just go to Remotecentral and try an download the necessary codes and import them directly.

Past learning, I never had an issue with it receiving commands for control. The problem may again be a weak remote, placement, or interference from sunlight etc. I positioned the UIRT in a good place in my rack and use a Xantech connection block to connect it to devices in my rack. I suppose, if all else fails, you could front it with another sensor(s).

I now use an android tablet running RDP for control, with a lot of tweaks. It's not perfect, the buttons don't always highlight when you press them, etc. RIVA gives a similar experience. I am anticipating one of the upcoming Win7 tablets as being the best CQC remote solution.
Wuench
My Home Theater/Automation Website

[THREAD=5957]BlueGlass CQC Config[/THREAD]
[THREAD=10624]Wuench's CQC Drivers[/THREAD]
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#3
I played a little longer this morning, digging out my USB-UIRT (which I used only for learning IR commands for the three devices that have IR control only). I was able to teach it two commands although it took 15 or so attempts for one of the commands. It seemed to be pretty reliable (95+% as a guess) in detecting the commands once they were learned. The GC-IRE I managed to teach a single command (I gave up on the second well north of one hundred tries) and it was accurate in receiving only about 50% of the time.

So IR control is not looking very promising for me.

I too am looking forward to trying the forthcoming Win8 tablets, but they will be expensive in the beginning (and they better not be locked into the Metro mode since the IV won't run as a Metro client).
Mark Stega
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#4
It is definitely the case that they can all be sensitive in various ways, to the angle you are hitting them during training vs. the angle you hit them when using them. Also I think to having nearby reflective surfaces that would tend to maybe cause indirect reflections to hit the receiver.

I use IR for my little system since I don't have a touch screen and some of the commands just never fail and others are quite sensitive to my hand being in the right position. Probably it's just because it was iffy when learned I guess. I'm using a UIRT so I don't think it's anything to do with a data reduction issue on my part, snce the UIRT does that work in the case of IR learning/receiving. If I re-trained those commands they'd probably work better. I think I have issues also because it's mounted flush on the top of a speaker. I should probalby push it forward so that the end is past the top flat edge of the speaker.

Froma training perspective I never have problems. CQC watches to see three identical signals in a row to make sure it's seeing the right thing. I almost always just hit it three times and it's done, at least with the UIRT that I've been using. You do though want to be sure that you just do a simple press and release. Don't hold it down. And also train it from the same basic distance/location that you would later use it from. For learning IR codes to later blast you want to put them up against each other. But for training it for receiving, do it from the regular distance and location as much as you can.
Dean Roddey
Explorans limites defectum
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#5
Dean, the repeat requirement when learning can be the rub. Not all IR commands seem to repeat any longer. I've encountered a few. Tivo for instance.

There's a work around for this on the IR blaster since the files can be exported, edited and reimported. Jon has an IR learning utility that allows you to capture a sequence that is sent only once. I posted this once before with Jon's permission. Since it doesn't repeat there can be a little trial and error getting a good capture though if you're careful this hasn't been much of an issue for me. At least so far.

This is why I've asked in the past to have the ability to export/import the IR command files for IR commands being received by CQC like you can for the blaster files. I should add that this would also allow one to use pronto files from Remote Central etc.
Les
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#6
The repeating command is probably where things get mess up. Most remotes will only send out a signal once - like "Play" Those are fairly easy to learn since you simply press the remote button three times in a row while in learning mode.

However, I suspect there are other remotes that send the command continuously and this is the problem - at least this is where I have run into issues. You have to time your presses just right to get a single command through without repeating. You would think that it would be OK to simply hold the button down and let the IR signal repeat until it is learned, but I have run into situations where the pressed and held signal is not exactly like the press and don't hold signal and therefore the learned signal using the press and hold method won't work because the end user will not press and hold the remote button normally.
Brian - a long time user that rarely messes with the system now
Other systems used:
SageTV w/ cablecard tuner & multiple extenders for viewing
BlueIris and IP cameras for CCTV
Incredible PBX for home phone
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#7
If I were super-clever I guess I could do some sort of data reduction operation on the data in some cases. But I have no idea how to really optimally do that.
Dean Roddey
Explorans limites defectum
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#8
Capture of one of the non-repeating strings is what Jon's UIRT utility does. Simply push the remote button once and accept whatever is captured. Worked for me on several cases in which it didn't repeat and pressing the. Button three times didn't make CQC's learning routine happy. You do need the ability to edit the CQC files however to input. Works for blasting but not receiving as a result.
Les
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