Tag Archives: remote

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georgekorsnick: OM NOM NOM NOM.

about 5 hours ago

funhiguy: good job on @KHONnews

about 5 hours ago

matzrios: If I was Wicket For A Day What Will I Do?

about 5 hours ago

JoshWolrich: what I can&#39t update twitter from my tv??? *eats remote in disgust*

about 5 hours ago

TrevorReadinger: “I have to stop watching Bizarre Foods on an empty stomach!”

about 5 hours ago

barineau: Brave choice of pics. I can NSFW that image in ______ mins.

about 5 hours ago

gjhickman: Caption = “my morning media consumption”

about 5 hours ago

pjarbona: I eat remotes for breakfast! Not the most innovative caption, but hey, I tried. 🙁

about 4 hours ago

What is a Remote Control Extender?

Geek!This is Robert Engelbardt’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

Geeks are usually interested in clever gadgets even when they don’t involve computers. Recently, I purchased a really slick device called a Remote Control Extender. This product eliminates the nuisance of having to point a remote control directly toward a TV, DVD player, cable box or other entertainment equipment for actuation and functioning.

Almost all standard remote controls utilize an infrared (IR) signal that requires a direct line-of-sight to the items being controlled. Any obstructions or excessive distance between remotes and the equipment will result in total failure or, very commonly, inconsistent operation.

When I read a description of a gadget that could modify almost any remote control to permit reliable operation without having to direct it towards the equipment, I had to determine how this device actually works. I found that it’s quite different from a typical IR extender.

This remote control extender consists of a small, clamshell-shaped base unit that looks like a miniature “flying saucer” powered by 117 VAC. Additional parts include two half-sized AAA batteries. One serves as a spare and another is inserted into a cylinder that’s shaped like a standard AA battery. Both batteries are rechargeable and the spare is maintained in a socket on the bottom of the clamshell where it’s under continuous charge. A tiny detector and RF transmitter is located in one end of the cylinder.

The designers of this device somehow determined that most IR remotes produce a signal that can be detected in their battery compartments – something I would never have thought possible!

The IR signal emitted by the remote control is converted to a radio frequency (RF) signal transmitting over a distance up to 100 feet. The user simply substitutes one of the two standard AA batteries in the remote with the half-size rechargeable battery and the detector/transmitter that’s placed in the AA sized cylinder. If the remote uses AAA batteries, the detector/transmitter and half-size AAA battery (already in an AAA-sized cylinder) is similarly inserted in the remote replacing one of the standard batteries..

The clamshell base unit has a small telescopic antenna to receive the RF signal from the modified remote where it’s converted back to an IR signal. This signal is used by the equipment to be controlled as is normally done with an unmodified remote control.

An extender cable with a small IR “eye emitter” on the other end is also provided. This cable plugs into the base unit and the emitter end is placed close to the IR detector in the equipment being controlled. The basic package includes a single emitter IR extender cable; however, optional cables can be obtained with multiple IR emitters for controlling more than one piece of equipment.

The Remote Control Extender permits controlling equipment with a remote from any location within 100 feet. No longer is it necessary to point the remote directly towards the equipment and, of course, the device obviates the difficulty of controlling items that are inside closed cabinets. In some cases, reliable controlling is even possible from another room!

Besides enjoying the convenience provided by the Remote Control Extender, my “geekiness” was heightened by the clever design of this device. Some very brilliant engineers created a low-cost solution to common remote control problems. Now if the device could also help the user find a “lost” remote, its benefits would be incalculable.

Have You Turned Your iPhone into a PC or Mac Remote?


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How many remote controls do you have lying around? I’m sure there are several. Do you have one for your computer… one that can control elements on your screen, much like a mouse would? If you have an iPhone, you certainly do have one. There’s a new App out for $6.00, called the Air Mouse, that will let you turn your iPhone into a remote for Mac OS X… or a PC.

The app features two modes. In the gyro mode, the pointer on the screen is moved using the iPhone’s accelerometer. One needs to press and hold a trigger button to activate the motion. In the Touchpad mode, a part of the screen becomes a touchpad, which can be used very much like any notebook touchpad. The ‘mouse’ also features a scrolling pad and two buttons.

So how does it perform? The gyro mode I’m not too sure about. It is very cool and exciting, but only for a little while. Some people report that after practice, controlling the pointer is easy. Unfortunately I don’t have that much time to waste so I moved on. The Touchpad mode on the other hand I am in love with. The responsiveness is very good, and it feels like you are holding a real wireless mouse.

The keyboard on the other hand does not have the function keys like Command or Control, although the iTunes screenshot shows those buttons. This must be what the internal build looks like, with Apple restricting any tampering with the keyboard.

Six dollars isn’t much to spend if you do a lot of presentations, or you just like the “WOW” factor of controlling your machine from across the room. What other recommendations do you have for me? Be sure and send them along. I can’t read your minds!

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How Do You Remote Control Your Media Center?


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There’s one App I’ve had installed on my iPhone since the beginning that I never used until tonight. My friend Andy was fawning over the Remote App. I hadn’t used it, and he was incredulous. He kept telling me how awesome it was, so I had to check it out.

Be a mobile DJ. With Remote, you can control the music on your computer or Apple TV from your iPod touch or iPhone. Play, pause, skip, shuffle. See your songs, playlists, and album art. Update to iTunes 8 and you can create a Genius playlist or edit an existing playlist. And do it all on your iPod touch or iPhone as if you were right in front of your computer. Remote works with your Wi-Fi network, so you can control playback from anywhere in and around your home.

Setting up Remote is simple and safe. A unique passcode pairs your iPod touch or iPhone with your computer and Apple TV. You already know how to work Remote. It uses the same music playback controls you’re familiar with on iPod touch or iPhone. Tap the Genius icon to create a Genius playlist in your iTunes. Tap Refresh for a different result. Or tap New and get a completely different playlist. With Remote, you can search your entire iTunes music library. Just tap out the name, select the song, and begin playing the music. Now you can edit existing playlists in your iTunes library right from your iPod touch or iPhone. Change the song order with the drag of a finger or delete a song with a tap. It’s your music mixed the way you want it.

Remote lets you control the music on your Apple TV from anywhere in your home. Pause a song from the bedroom. Resume play from the kitchen. And enjoy total remote control. There’s no better complement to AirTunes than Remote. You can see all your AirPort Express and Apple TV AirTunes speakers on your iPod touch or iPhone. Turn all of them on or turn a few of them off, and rock the house.

So I set it up on my iPhone, and paired it with my computer that already had iTunes. I typed in the code it gave me, and bang. I was able to access all of the media on my computer, using my iPhone. It even pulls in the cover art! I am now remote-controlling with my iPhone. You can pause, change songs, adjust the volume, and do anything you could with any other type of remote.

Is this really free? You bet it is! And it’s pretty dang awesome, too. Thanks, Andy!

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