Two components on the same remote control frequency

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by ScottH, Jan 14, 2002.

  1. ScottH

    ScottH Producer

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    I just connected a second RCA Directv receiver to my setup, so that I can do the old "split screen" with my widescreen TV (I have them on two separate inputs). The problem is, both of my RCA receivers run on the same remote frequency, so whenever I change the channel on one, it changes on the other. Does anyone know of a workaround for this?
     
  2. Ergin Guney

    Ergin Guney Agent

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    Obviously what you need is to switch one of the two receivers to a different remote ID (or "code", or "channel"). This may or may not be possible. (The vast majority of equipment do not have this capability.) Notice that switching the "ID" of a piece of equipment would also require that you switch its remote control to the same ID, so that it can keep talking to the right device. This implies that for any model of equipment with this capability, the remote should also have a switch for selecting this "ID". If I were you, I would check the remote carefully to see if it has any kind of slider or toggle switch (or a pinhole button) that is labeled as "ID" or "channel" or anything else like that, or maybe not labeled at all. (Remember to check in the battery compartment too.)
    If you don't see an explicit switch like that, it may still be possible through a cryptic key combination or some such thing. But in that case, it means you'll have to do more investigative work. You could start by going through the manual (and possibly even comb through the archives of forums like this or of Usenet through groups.google.com), and may even have to take it all the way to reaching an RCA engineer over the phone through tech support in order to find out whether such a feature exists.
    If you find your receiver does not have any such capability, there could still be a way of working around this problem, but it may be a long shot. Bear with me for a moment...
    Some devices need to control other devices (of any brand) to change channels or turn power on an off, etc. Examples of this are VCRs that may need to control cable boxes, in order to turn them on and tune to a specific channel to make a recording that was programmed into the VCR's timer; PVRs like TiVo or Showstopper that likewise need to flip channels on cable or satellite receiver boxes in order to channel surf; or satellite receivers with program guides that need to turn VCRs on and off and start and stop recording in order to support single-button recording from their built-in program guide. Such devices mostly use "IR blasts" to control these other equipment (i.e., they use an infrared signal so strong that, if the other device is anywhere in the room, it gets enough IR illumination to receive the IR command). But there are also others that use tiny "IR modules" connected to the host device via cable. You stick this "IR module" directly on the IR receiver window of the device to be controlled. The module "injects" a weak IR signal directly into the IR eye of the device to be controlled, instead of having to produce a huge IR blast that will bounce around every surface in the room and reflect back to the equipment that is supposed to receive it.
    So here's what can be done: The tiny IR module of a VCR or PVR like this can be connected to the IR eye of one of your RCA receivers. Then you can tape over that IR eye (and the IR module stuck on it) with a tape that doesn't transmit light. That way, this IR eye will receive IR commands only from the tiny IR module stuck on it, and not from any other IR signal in the room. You can set this VCR/PVR as the source to be displayed in your PIP window. Then, you can use the other RCA receiver to do your regular viewing, and use this "taped" receiver as your PIP tuner. This will mean that you'll be flipping channels through the RCA receiver's remote during regular viewing, but doing it through the VCR's/PVR's remote when flipping through the PIP channels.
    Considering the low likelihood that you may already own a VCR or PVR with such a stick-on IR control module, and the impractically of buying one just for this purpose if you don't, I admit that this is really stretching it. But, if you find out your RCA receivers don't support multiple IDs, this is at least something that will work, no matter how far fetched. [​IMG] (Short of devising a mechanical masking mechanism that obscures the IR eye of one RCA receiver versus the other via a mechanical lever or something... [​IMG] )
     
  3. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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    I know Dishnetwork has at least one RF reciever that would solve this problem but not sure if Direct or RCA has any that works on RF. If they do I would return yours for that model.

    Wes
     
  4. ScottH

    ScottH Producer

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    I actually got it working exactly how I want it...it was actually quite simple. Ergin, your suggestions got me thinking...thanks! One of the receivers actually has one of those "IR Modules" so I started looking at the setup for the receiver and found an option for the remote control to change which "button" on the remote will control that specific receiver (SAT1 or SAT2). I changed it to SAT2, and then just had my Marantz RC2000 remote learn the commands from SAT2 on different buttons. It was actually quite easy. Thank you for all your help and suggestions!
     

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