Forum Thread

Tv remote electronics project

a3b2c1r46 208 57 February 2, 2016 at 06:00 PM
Evening,

So I've been tasked with an oddball project. I've racked my brain trying to think of a solution.

I have a large room that has a wall mounted tv. For reasons that aren't worth getting into the tv cannot have a standard remote. I need to wall mount a remote control to change channels and volume as the tv will be out of reach.

Ideally we would use an off the shelf tv but would consider other types if not too expensive.

Thoughts on how to do this?

I've considered putting the remote in a wall mount box that would relay the button presses but that idea has issues such as line of sight and mechanical pressing of the buttons.

Are there solutions out there that I've overlooked? Perhas something from the hospitality world?

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#2
Quote from a3b2c1r46 View Post :
I have a large room that has a wall mounted tv. For reasons that aren't worth getting into the tv cannot have a standard remote.
It would probably help to describe this a little more... describe the size of the room, why a normal remote won't work (is loss/theft a significant concern or is it other reasons), who's going to use it, your content source(s) (cable box, dvd, computer presentations, built in tuner, etc. -- where is the source equipment located relative to tv?) where the 'remote' will be used relative to the location of the tv, etc.

What's your budget? It shouldn't be necessary to replace the tv, but what brand/model are the tv?

It seems like you may want to consider an IR extender or some kind. Most of these just provide a solution for times when line of sight doesn't work and you still use a traditional remote. Some are network enabled, allowing you to control them from a phone, computer or potentially even integrating it into a home automation system with touchscreen wall panels $$$.
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Last edited by jkee February 2, 2016 at 06:27 PM
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#3
Thanks for the reply. Here's some more details:

The room is fairly large; off cuff i'd say 35' x 50' but the remote can be mounted anywhere including (preferably actually) right under the tv.

TV is a generic Element TV from walmart or Amazon. No idea on model number. The source is an in house analog tv cable network. Cable channels come in on digital cable and 6 digital tv tuner boxes convert tv to composite video/audio which is then modulated to analog TV channels and distributed throughout the building.

Regarding the standard remote. Its a combination of theft and abuse as it is a fairly hostile environment. I'd equate it to a hospital ER waiting room in the type of abuse it may see; people generally unconcerned about life of the equipment and having a loose remote would disappear in 30 mins.

Budget is not huge but if it's something that would last i wouldn't mind spending money on it.

I've thought about the remote extenders and in some format they might be an option. My concern with them is power required on both ends and its something else to be tampered with. Not out of the question but trying to sort through if there is a better option.

It's a bit crazy but i've considered mounting remote to wall in a box or something under the tv then run fiber optic cable from the IR flasher to the IR receiver on TV. I know the fiber will carry the IR and the tv will probably pick it up but i don't think it's the best solution.
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#4
http://www.tomsguide.com/us/pictu...-apps.html

just use an android tablet with an app


or use a phone Smart IR Remote ($4.99)Picture 4 of 16
If you've got an IR blaster mounted inside your smartphone (HTC One M8, Samsung Galaxy S5, LG G2), try Anymote. This little app turns your blaster-equipped smartphone into a universal remote for a wide variety of appliances, from TVs, set top boxes, DVD players or just about any device that accepts IR commands. The app has a lot of cool features, such as the ability to create custom remotes that bring

Maybe get a voice activated remote and put it in a box with just the voice button to push?
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Last edited by komondor February 2, 2016 at 07:58 PM
#5
Quote from a3b2c1r46 View Post :
The room is fairly large; off cuff i'd say 35' x 50' but the remote can be mounted anywhere including (preferably actually) right under the tv.
At that point, what's wrong with the physical buttons on the TV itself?

Something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Universal-J...big+button
probably wouldn't walk away...

A piece of fiber optic cable isn't likely to work in the scenario you imagine. This would be one example of an ir extender, but i'm not sure something like this would help: http://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=9895

I did find a product or two that probably does what you'd like, but they've been discontinued and aren't easy to setup.

Here's one from Xantech that would require all of the following (at prices much low than when it sold new ~$100 total):
LM110 http://www.ebay.com/itm/Xantech-L...SweW5VLzMr
KM4W of equivelent: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Xantech-K...2008753434
789-44 http://www.ebay.com/itm/SALE-XANT...Sw5IJWcHV2
ir emitter http://www.ebay.com/itm/SALE-XANT...1079488113
might also require special programming remote or computer interface for programming.... yes like tis: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Xantech-R...SwKtlWpnmL
And a manual for some eye bleeding fun: http://www.parts-express.com/pedo...-41900.pdf

I also saw some pieces of an Elan system on ebay, also discontinued.
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Last edited by jkee February 3, 2016 at 10:12 AM
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#6
Could you get a separate tuner and simple set the TV to "video in" mode? Then cover the IR sensor and let the receptionist or whoever else is going to be responsible have the remote and the TV tuner in their area.
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#7
Quote from dealgate View Post :
Could you get a separate tuner and simple set the TV to "video in" mode? Then cover the IR sensor and let the receptionist or whoever else is going to be responsible have the remote and the TV tuner in their area.
I like this idea, It's probably rare the TV would ever be shut off if in an ER situation as they are always open.
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#8
Quote from jkee View Post :
At that point, what's wrong with the physical buttons on the TV itself?

That's what we're doing now. The hope is to move the new tv's higher so they will be tampered with less but the side effect is moving the buttons out of reach.

I'm looking into the equipment you posted. Something like that is what I was hoping was out there but I'm going to have to look into it more to see if it would work for us or not.

Thanks for the replies everybody; keep the ideas coming please.
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#9
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
I like this idea, It's probably rare the TV would ever be shut off if in an ER situation as they are always open.
We did this previously. The problem was that it was labor intensive in our environment for the person doing the controlling as the guests were constantly requesting changes.

While we don't have to be on the spot ready to change the channel it is more convienet to allow them to change it themselves.

I wonder if some part of this idea would work though... Totally not workable here but I'm thinking of those old slider channel 3/4 switches we used to use on Atari / Nintendo systems.

Something that basically removed the need to move the tv's tuner off of one channel or use HDMI or something.
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#10
Could you wall mount an arduino or raspberry pi running a universal remote app with a series of buttons or even a touch screen (new raspberry pi has an awesome one available) with a small wire running to the TV? You could tape/mount an IR LED right in front of the TV IR sensor.
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#11
Quote from a3b2c1r46 View Post :
Thanks for the replies everybody; keep the ideas coming please.
To come at this from a slightly different angle, any chance you have a guest wifi network?
With a network enabled ir blaster, you could rig up a smartphone friendly webpage with limited remote functions and put a plaque on the wall with instructions.

Documentation is limited for those products I linked to. From some things I read that old Elan one is a real PITA. They may be more trouble than they're worth. Modern day equivalents that are pricey, total cost >$1000 in most cases. At that point you could buy several hundred cheap universal remotes.

I think the giant remote is an amusing option and probably wouldn't walk away. You could attach the remote to the wall with a retractable cable of some kind, epoxy might be required.
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#12
Quote from jkee View Post :
I think the giant remote is an amusing option and probably wouldn't walk away. You could attach the remote to the wall with a retractable cable of some kind, epoxy might be required.
Use a cinder block!
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#13
Quote from a3b2c1r46 View Post :
We did this previously. The problem was that it was labor intensive in our environment for the person doing the controlling as the guests were constantly requesting changes.

While we don't have to be on the spot ready to change the channel it is more convienet to allow them to change it themselves.
Maybe I'm not understanding your use case, but why not just set the TV on one channel and leave it? Put it on Food Network or your local news channel, and that should be appropriate enough for people. I can't imagine being in some sort of waiting room (ER, doctor's office, car dealership) or bar and fighting over what channel the TV is on.
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