For anyone following the progress of our ‘Custom TV Infrared remote control’ for the SKY+ box, we received it back for some upgrading over the last week and tomorrow (weather permitting – there are lots of high winds in Europe today, with many flights being cancelled) it will be flown back to its owner, with several upgrades on board.
When the custom remote (SR-1) first went into service, several scenarios were observed that didn’t fully match with our user’s needs 100%. Accordingly, we received a request to upgrade the functionality, as follows:
- The operation of powering on and off the SKY box and the TV did not work as originally described to us. The IR codes were adjusted to allow powering on/off the SKY box and the attached LG TV via 2 dedicated buttons. The SKY+ box uses a proprietary RC6 IR protocol, while the LG TV used the standard NEC 32 bit IR protocol.
- Several of the 12 buttons had their functions swapped around to suit the particular needs of our user.
- The last and more significant change was to code up a special function of the PAUSE & PLAY buttons of the SKY+ remote. These buttons are tricky. Firstly, because it originally appeared that they were the same button with one IR signal, but in fact they are 2 different buttons hidden under one key of the remote. If you press the top half of the key, PAUSE is sent and if you press the bottom half of the key PLAY is sent. Secondly, and to complicate matters more, we were forced to implement both of these functions on the same button of the custom remote also. After some brainstorming, we devised a state machine of sorts, whereby, the first press of the button sent a pause and a second press within 5 seconds also sent the play command. In essence, press once for pause and press twice for play. The reason for this solution is to avoid some quirks in the SKY+ box about the way PLAY and PAUSE operate (depending on what part of the menu structure you are in). Again the priority was to customise the remote for our user only, which we did.
We will report back on progress the next time the SR-1 finds its way back to Dublin, although if it earns many more ‘air-miles’ it may grow wings of its own (quadcopter anyone?). Hopefully, TV viewing over the Christmas period will be enhanced by having the new SR-1 version.