[mythtv-users] Dedicated frontend IR remote control without a tuner card.

Jarod Wilson jarod at wilsonet.com
Fri Jul 9 01:55:31 UTC 2010

On Thu, Jul 8, 2010 at 9:08 PM, Clay <ctmythtv at pacbell.net> wrote:
> First off, I have to say 0.23 is turning out to be a gem of a release.
> With very little head banging, consolidating all my tuners (and existing
> recordings) into a dedicated backend is coming along nicely.
> Last hurdle to clear is how to get my now frontend only box to listen to the
> remote.
> No more PVR-150 = no more IR receiver.
> Hours of general stfw, specific gossamer-threads.com, and mythtv.org/wiki
> searches and I know everything there is to know about remotes, but nothing
> about how to get the signal into the frontend.
> Wandered the halls of Fry's, Saw one MS MCE remote with USB IR receiver. I
> already have the remote (two, actually) plus I'd rather not ship my $$ to
> Redmond.
> Read the wiki page on how to build a IR transceiver. $10 worth of parts and
> $50 worth of tools...
> I see online stores selling USB transceivers as an option, but I want it
> NOW! *g* and I'd hate to order one and find out it doesn't work.
> If The $50.00 MCE remote is my best option, I'll go with that.
> Is there an off the shelf IR USB (or serial) solution?

Speaking as one of the core lirc developers and the guy who is doing
the bulk of the kernel driver porting to the new in-kernel IR
infrastructure, stick with the mce transceiver -- the driver for it is
merged in an upstream staging tree, pending pull into Linus' tree when
the 2.6.36 merge window opens. Bundles can be had for $25 or less from
newegg.com, and you don't *have* to use the bundled remote either, you
can use just about any remote with them. They support the widest range
of IR protocols and carrier frequencies of any hardware I know, have
excellent reception range, and pretty much Just Work (at least, with
sufficiently new enough code, if you get one of the newer devices...

As for the streamzap recommendation... meh. I have one of those too.
Its okay. The mce receiver hardware is definitely better though -- its
got a wider range of frequency support, and a 50ms sampling interval,
where the streamzap has only a 250ms sampling interval. Its fine for
the stock remote, and some other remotes, but not as good if you're
looking to use a different remote that may use a different carrier
frequency and/or shorter pulse/space intervals. (lirc_streamzap is
definitely high on the list to port to the new IR infra, but not 'til
after lirc_zilog).

Jarod Wilson
jarod at wilsonet.com

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