Current location:Home- >Forum Index- >IR in Tablet Computer, Smartphone, STB, SAT,......
           1 05/24/2012 22:01:40      
czlyw
Joined:2011-09-26
Post:161
[turned]Using the iPod / iPhone / iPad as a universal remote control

http://www.avforums.com/forums/remote-controls/1216415-using-ipod-iphone-ipad-universal-remote-control.html

1.0 Introduction
I’ve been looking at getting a Philips Pronto universal remote control for many months, but the high cost in the UK has been holding me back from making a purchase. For example the TSU9400 model is currently retailing for around £700 and the larger TSU9400 model is currently retailing for around £1,000.

In addition if you wanted to control your devices without having direct line of site you would also need to purchase a wireless extender, for example the Philips RFX9400 retailing for around £250. A number of forum members have previously imported the Philips Pronto remote controls from the USA, but the weakening of the exchange rate has eroded most the potential saving and introduces potential warranty issues should the remote control develop a fault.

Even the much more basic and less flexible Logitech Harmony 1100 remote control is currently retailing for over £300, which prompted me to explore the potential of the Apple iPod / iPhone / iPad for use as a universal remote control. I was surprised to find that there were a large number of solutions already available or currently under development, therefore I have created this thread to summarise the available apps / hardware and to discuss forum member’s experiences of these solutions.

Unfortunately the iPod / iPhone / iPad do not include an InfraRed (IR) transmitter (hopefully one will be included in the next generation of devices), a separate hardware device is required to transmit the IR commands from the iPod / iPhone / iPad to your devices. The available solutions can broadly be divided into one of the following two categories:
• Solutions which use the built in WiFi capability of the Apple iPod / iPhone / iPad and an external IR converter to control your devices
• Solutions which add an additional hardware dongle to Apple iPod / iPhone / iPad enabling it to use IR to control your devices directly

With an 8GB iPod touch retailing for around £150 (assuming you don’t already have one) and IR hardware dongles expected to retail for around £50 there is potential to have a touch screen universal remote control solution for significantly less than the Philips Pronto range of devices.

However the apps and hardware are still at an early stage of development and there is not a clear market leader at this point, so there is likely to be some teething problems as developers continue to address bugs and refine functionality.
 
2.0 WiFi with external IR converter
These solutions use the built in WiFi capability of the Apple iPod / iPhone / iPad and an external IR converter to control your devices.
Positives:
• Provides control without having direct line of site
• Does not add additional bulk to the iPod / iPhone / iPad
• More flexible user interface designs
Negatives:
• More expensive iPod / iPhone / iPad apps
• Requires the purchase of an external IR converter
• More difficult to setup

The following companies are providing apps in this category:
• Airremote (http://www.airremote.com/index.php?page=0)
• Bobby (Bobby - Universal Remote Control software for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch)
• CommandFusion (iViewer - Product - CommandFusion)
• iMasterControl (iMasterControl)
• iRule (iRule - iPhone & iPod Touch Universal Remote Control)
• ThinkFloor: RedEye (ThinkFlood :: Say Hello to RedEye mini)
• Total Control (Total Control - Home)

The following companies are providing external IR converters:
• Bitwise Controls (Bitwise Controls : Home)
• Global Caché (http://www.globalcache.com/index.html)
• IRTrans (IRTrans Infrared Control System)

Not all IR converters work with all of the iPod / iPhone / iPad apps listed above so you should check carefully to ensure compatibility before making a purchase.
 
3.0 IR hardware dongle
These solutions add an additional hardware dongle to Apple iPod / iPhone / iPad enabling it to use IR to control your devices directly.
Positives:
• Cheaper iPod / iPhone / iPad apps
• IR dongles cheaper that external IR converter
• Easier to set up
Negatives:
• Cannot provide control without having direct line of site
• Adds additional bulk to the iPod / iPhone / iPad
• Less flexible user interface designs

The following companies are providing apps and hardware dongles in this category:
• L5 Remote (http://l5remote.com/)
• New Kinetix (http://www.newkinetix.com/)
• Power A (http://www.powera.com/iphone/iphone....ction=0&prod=1)
• ThinkFloor: RedEye Mini (http://thinkflood.com/)
 
114.226.*.*