This evening i finished my IRTrans project.
With the IRTrans i can control all IR controlled devices in the livingroom from wherever i want.
The IRTrans Ethernet is based on a TCP/IP Client/Server architecture and communication is done using port 21000.
There are several ways to integrate the IRTrans in your own software; my personal favorite interface is the TCP/ASCII interface, since it’s easy to do and you’re independant of dll’s, ActiveX and other things like that. The ASCII interface gives you the ability to send and receive IR commands and to retrieve lists of the configured remotes and commands.
All this can be very easily done by opening a Client socket to port 21000 of the machine where you have the IRServer software running.
You can send commands like: Asnd TV,vol_up or Asnd mediaplayer,ch+ .
After the command has been sent, you’ll receive a status message with which you can determine if everything went as expected.
IR commands that are received by the IRTrans Receviver are sent over the socket from IRTrans to your own software as well;
you’ll receive things like **00034 RCV_COM pinnacle,play,0,0 . That way you know someone pressed the play-button on your pinnacle remote.
Learning all IR codes of 4 remotes took me about 2-3 hours. Because i already had a lot of IR codes stored in my Philips Pronto TSU9600,
it was just a matter of copy/paste since IRTrans supports the Pronto CCF IR format. Everything worked perfectly.
With the IRTRans located in the opposite corner of the livingroom, being >10 m away from the equipment it has to control,
there have been no problems of IR commands not being executed by TV/Home Theatre/STB/Media player.
And from now on, with the IRTrans in the livingroom, i don’t have have to use the Pronto IR anymore. Not the Pronto does bad IR, but it was too ‘closed’ in relation the rest of my Home Automation stuff. New setup is that the Pronto sends commands to my Home Automation software, which relays these commands to the IRTrans.
This is the same approach i use for lighting: the Pronto sends a ‘light XY on’ command to my Home Automation software which takes care of the rest.
Benefits of doing IR this way are:
- No more aiming needed;
- Full IR control from everywhere;
- IR is now easier expandable for multiroom control;
- My HA software now knows what buttons are pressed and can automatically trigger events based on them; like closing the curtains at the ‘Play Movie’ button.
- It also knows about all kinds of other events happening: so when there’s an incoming phonecall, i can mute Radio and TV.
The IRTrans certainly is a great addition to my hardware.