Controlling Multiple Units of Same Brand / Manufacturer
If you have a single recorder, no problem for you. If you have one Philips and one Magnavox recorder, no problem for you either since neither remote will operate the other brand.
If you have multiple recorders or OTHER devices mfgd by Funai (Magnavox, Toshiba, Sylvania, Emerson, Symphonic et al),
you've got a problem since there's no known "coding" system for our DVDRs, and each brand has MULTIPLE buttons that turn the units on. For us, those buttons are Standby/On, PLAY and Open/Close. This means you can't use the remote to turn just one recorder on and PLAY the titles on that unit's HDD... something we do all the time... without turning the other recorders (and other devices?) on and operating them all, simultaneously and blindly!
Fortunately, there are at least 4 ways to isolate a specific machine (the "target" unit) in a multi-unit system of Funai-built devices:
1. KLUGE (Kapturer of Latent User Guidance Energy)
Add a KLUGE over the sensor window of non-target unit(s).
greeting card is perfect for a poor-man's KLUGE... it's already creased and folded. Mine, shown below, turned out to be OK for long-distance use but the IR burned through at close range (~3-4 ft) when doing some tests.
Test YOUR (thicker) Kluges at close range to make sure the IR can't burn through them. If not thick enough, you can be making unintended changes to non-target machines, like I did.
KLUGEs should also be large enough to cover the display window between the buttons... 4" wide x at least 6" long, with 2+" of the 6" folded over the sensor and the remaining 4" length on the top side of the fold where more is better for stability. Overall size should be easy to handle, as well. We found full-panel coverage necessary here AFTER some smaller ones got off-kilter just enough to allow IR to "leak" in and we ended up deleting some titles we didn't intend to.
Philips units have sharp edges and straight faces, making it easy to keep them in place and flush on the glass. However, Mag units have rounded edges and sloping faces, requiring some longer Kluge dimensions.
If your stack is above your TV and you've got Mags, like me, you'll be shooting upwards with the remote. If so, make sure you've got enough length on the front (IR) side to go below the bottom of the Mag's glass, and that they fit flush against the glass... you don't want IR bouncing off the unit below up into the sensor area.
Heed this story of disaster if you operate one unit with KLUGE leaking or missing from other units!
These are my original greeting-card Kluges that IR burned thru at close range:
Here's DALET75's Kluge-build
with laminated layers of manila folder and aluminum foil. He made them 5" wide, like mine, but 10½" long so they stayed in place better on the sloping face of the Mags (2½" folded over sensor and 8" on top).
Kansas_Tom (and now, me too) uses durable "Kansas Kluges" cut from black, molded-plastic VHS-tape cases, with lots of length on front, as shown below. They block IR at close range and look good while doing it! Notes:(1) High-class feet too, which raise units up and allow extra length on IR side. He made the feet from 2X2 pieces of wood 1/2" high and wrapped the sides with black contact paper. (2) Feet are not necessary since air flow is side>back and these DVDRs don't run hot anyway, based on lots of user experience and one 34-hour back-to-back marathon as noted in last para. here
2. NextGen 413 or 433MHz IR>RF>IR Remote Range Extender, $50
Uses an RF transmitter that replaces one battery in one of your OEM remotes. That remote then sends an RF signal to the NextGen receiver on or next to your DVDR. The receiver has an IR blaster that you place over the DVDR sensor so only the signal from the RF remote is seen by that DVDR. Since RF is NOT line-of-sight like our remotes, this unit makes one DVDR respond from anywhere in your house, even if it's hidden in a cabinet. Not sure if emitter is large enough to cover entire
DVDR sensor but, if not, just cover "exposed" edges with black tape?
Important Note - Designed for one unit in remote or covered location. Will work for two same-brand units but will also require two remotes.
This device converts an existing IR remote to RF rather than IR, so it won't work on a 2nd unprotected unit in the same place. You'll end up needing two remotes: one for conversion to RF and one normal remote for a 2nd unit. Also, the DVDR with the RF receiver will require careful blocking of the sensor so the normal IR remote doesn't leak into it when operating the IR-controlled unit. You can buy extra transmitters and receivers but that's only if you want to control multiple units at the same time, not normally what we want to do.
For the OEM remote, separate same-brand machines by several feet either sideways or up and down. Test your remote and see how well it works sideways vs up/down and place units and point remote accordingly.
4. Drive Isolation
If you set the target unit on HDD drive and non-target units on DVD drive, with no DVD loaded
, you can operate only the target unit's HDD and all that's on it at will. The non-target units will turn on but be non-responsive to all playback commands... they'll still do timer recordings but nothing else you need to worry about while playing the target unit, just don't do any Setup or other menu ops on the target unit. The external HDD/DVD buttons on the Mags make them easier than the Philips to isolate the machine you want to use.
This method is not recommended for multiple users, especially youngsters, in the house?