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Really nice remotes are surprisingly expensive. If you are properly set up, you need something that will control the amplifier, the TV, the DVD, the video (well, by the time I can afford everything else, we can probably forgo that one), several sound separates and, if you're like me, a small video-dedicated
computer. Really, you also want to be able to program the control with macros, so that when you want to watch a dvd, for instance, the dvd button switches on the dvd player, TV and amplifier, switches the input modes on the TV and the amplifier to the DVD channels, and mutes the TV volume, or some such).
This not only makes for expensive remote controls, it makes them large and covered in buttons, only a fifth of which you are likely to use at any one time.
You can buy really nice remotes, of course, with touch sensitive screens and image maps that will change depending on the function of the remote - but these are still bulky, and cost a great deal more money than they should.
It seems to me that most of us allready have access to a possible alternative. Most of us have a mobile phone or a PDA which has a bluetooth capability. These can be programed to a greater or lesser degree to do all (or at least some, in the case of a primitive phone) of the tasks required above.
My idea, which would make this a practical, affordable reality, is simply a relay station which is capable of translating certain bluetooth signals to certain IR signals and vica versa.
Sony-Ericsson RC Cars
Somehow responsible for this much less exciting idea. [yamahito, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]
[Amos Kito, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]
[yamahito, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]
||"Indigo" is home automation software for the Mac. It communicates with the "Sony Ericsson Phone" Bluetooth interface. Since the software will also run infrared X-10 controls, this idea is just starting to bake. But the article doesn't say you can use just any old Bluetoothed Palm Pilot.
The [link] also has its own link to Indigo info.
||So this doesn't involve placing a
remote signal booster in
someones braces? I guess I can
bun it anyway, I like consumer
electronics and can see a market
for this. +
||Amos: I use a similar program for IR controls called girder - except that it's versatile enough to use most input signals and translate them to sophisticated commands; I'm just playing with it as an alternative to the logitech iTouch software for the keyboard, too.
But this isn't so much about controlling the computer as controlling everything else as well...
||Even though I've seen those fancy LCD remotes for $200 and less, this is still good, especially for those who, as you say, already have PDA's. +
||I was kinda waiting for that one, UB - the IR link on mobiles and PDAs is designed to be relatively high bandwidth at short distance. With the ones I've tried, it's almost impossible to use them as a useful remote unless they're right next to the receiver and pointing straight into it.
||No no no this will break up my marriage! The rules work like this. If I've got the T.V. remote then my wife has the volume (amplifier remote), I then get the video recorder remote and she gets the DVD remote etc. Combining them all into one would start a war!