Using laptop IR to control TV
December 26, 2005 1:47 PM   Subscribe

How can I use the IR port on my Windows XP laptop to control my television?
posted by punishinglemur to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) possibly?
posted by jackofsaxons at 2:33 PM on December 26, 2005

There's a couple of programs for FIR/IRDA ports on Palm devices, and I've used them with varying success.

The problem I find with internalized FIR/IRDA ports on both laptops and Palm devices is that they tend to be either vastly underpowered or using an unfocused beam when compared to TV remotes.

The range seems to be lackluster, as the ports are more often designed for use for a connection that's just within a couple of feet, without the inconvenience of wires.

I've had more success controlling a media player in a laptop using the FIR/IRDA port and an external stock IR remote.
posted by loquacious at 2:54 PM on December 26, 2005

I've never had the chance to play with a laptops IR, but my Palm Tungsten works a treat.
posted by a. at 9:04 PM on December 26, 2005

WinLIRC will not work with the IrDA ports on a laptop. You would have to buy/make the serial Tx and Rx hardware that it requires.

I don't think it's possible with IrDA for this because is designed for high speed data communications over short distances, not for the much lower bandwidth / longer distance / wider beam angle needed for remote control.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:47 PM on December 26, 2005

Yeah, IrDA is designed for fairly short distances, not the longer distances you want for a TV remote.

A bigger problem is that IrDA is a specific protocol (set of protocols, really), and it's really unlikely that your TV remote is speaking IrDA. There are a few common de-facto-standard IR remote protocols, but a lot of them are just hacked-together ad-hoc things. It's not impossible that the particular IR hardware in your laptop is flexible enough to speak whatever your TV is expecting, but it's not guaranteed, either.
posted by hattifattener at 4:08 AM on December 27, 2005

You can try Girder (which is apparently and sadly no longer free). I've had great success with it as a generic plug-in based remote control application (albeit I used it for communicating with a Palm Pilot, if I remember correctly).
posted by spiderskull at 10:47 PM on December 27, 2005

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