Since I purchased the PS3 at launch, I've been patiently waiting for the IR command of the PS3 via BT since it came out. I can't think of a day that I ever regret purchasing my Harmony universal remote, but the PS3 did make it very problematic from a one remote control perspective.
Now it appears that 6
very small companies (and 1 large) have come out with a similar device. All will take the IR commands from a programmable universal remote and then resend the signal as a BT command the PS3 can receive. It's a 1 remote home theater answer if you have and like PS3.IR2BT11/3/08 DISCONTINUED:
, made by IR2BT Devices, Inc. hit the streets first as ordering began on 3/28/08 - selling 200 in approx. 12 hours and preordering another 300 in about 8 hours 1 week later. The current plans of the manufacturer at this time of writing is to ship 100 units/week. To power the device the owner can use a mini-usb cable to an always on USB port or 2 AA batteries. So far what I'm hearing is the reviews are good if not great. The current price is $55 plus shipping. There is an option for an opt-in mailing list
when more IR2BT become available. IR2BT offers good forum support for their device and consumers.MAJOR EDIT: With as of Firmware 2.40 on 7/1/08 there appears to be a problem with BT communication and pairing upon startup of a PS3 with IR2BT units with serial numbers from 0001 to 1399. If you didn't update to 2.40/2.41 and you have an affected unit, there isn't a problem yet. However, when you do upgrade your PS3's firmware you will run into this unfortunate error. Without the ability for the user to update firmware for the IR2BT device at home, this is real problem, but a fix has been made. It does however, require you sending your unit back to the manufacturer to flash a new firmware that corrects for the problem. Follow the instructions for returning the IR2BT as found on their website. All currently sold IR2BT units are not showing this error and according to the manufacturer while it might be possible for Sony to cause an error in the future, that change in BT would have to disable the functionality of the Sony BT remote, so it is believed to be highly unlikely to happen again.8/31/09 MAJOR EDIT UPDATE
:In a wacky twist of fate, with the release of FW 3.00 for the PS3, if you never sent your IR2BT back in the recall to be fixed, it should now be working! Well that is what users here at AVS are reporting
. A full year later Sony messes with its firmware and its like the problem never existed. I'm sure Bruce with the IR2BT company is little less than thrilled to hear that.NEW IR2BTci:
The IR2BT company has discontinued the original IR2BT model and replaced it with the new IR2BTci model sold for $150
. For information and images: start here
. The major changes include power by USB option and firmware upgradeable but read the link for further details.SCHMARTSTUFF
The second group of products, are brought to you by Schmartz.com
. Schmartz.com does offer great email support and communications to which I can attest and a return customer discount.EDIT: Their first product, the PS3IR-PRO has now been discontinued (firmware support still continues). What once sold for $100 has now been replaced with much more feature packed and cheaper alternatives. See Below:
EDIT (5/7/09): NEW PS3IR-1000
has been released which boasts USB Power Sensing for flawless power functions, Infrared Emitting for remote control programming, twelve User Macros including a fully editable Discrete Off macro, and PS3 control from your PC desktop. Full PS3 control including Discrete On and Discrete Off, external infrared input, firmware upgradeability and good looks with slimmer design, LED status indicator for power state/signal reception. PS3 powerstate sensing
(ps) (additional USB ps cable required - see accessories) and custom macros at a price of $80 ($90 w/ ps cable).
EDIT (9/14/09): NEW PS3IR-500
Just to add, as I am a current Schmartz consumer, he had added a new lower cost device running at $39.99 that beats the logitech in functionality and price, while maybe not in aesthetics. Apparently its virtually the same as the PS3IR-1000, but without the power sensing. EDIT: 4/16/2010 - It appears to be discontinued.PS3TOOTHFAIRY
As of a post today at avs, there appears to now be a 3rd player in this niche market. http://www.ps3toothfairy.com
has come out with something very similar to the above 2 products. Their target ship date is 4/30/08 with a starting price of $50 (which will hopefully be lower) that is a retrofit, utilizing your existing PS3 remote. The $75 assembly is ready to go, minus the power supply. For power, "the ps3toothfairy uses a standard 2.1mm polarized, tip-positive barrel connector. We will also offer a subminiature 110-250V wall pack as well as a USB-A to 2.1mm cable. You may of course provide your own power cable, the device requires a 4 to 12VDC input. For installers that wish to build their own cable, we can provide a list of qualified connectors." Sorry for the direct quote, but that escapes my technical jargon. There is an option for an opt-in mailing list
for when the toothfairies go on sale/are available. There is now an PS3toothfairy thread
going here at AVS which has some user reviews and discussion.IR4PS3
EDIT: 5/23/08 - I have updated this post to include the 4th version of an IR to BT converter
. There unfortunately is very little web information about this product but I will give you what posters have reported. The device is called the IR4PS3 and has been available since mid-April, and according to some works great. There is no website as of yet, but all inquiries/orders are done through firstname.lastname@example.org
c/o Ben. For a review of the IR4PS3 you can read a pretty good review
at remotecentral.com. According to one reviewer, the the latest version of the device includes a kit with a little box that requires you to pull the card out of the PS3 BT remote and also get an AC adapter for everything to work. There is now an IR4PS3 thread
going here at AVS which has some user reviews and discussion.BLUEBEAM
EDIT: 3/5/09 - And it looks like we might now have yet a 5th player in this game if IR control of the PS3. Audio Authority's new BlueBeam IR to Bluetooth converter
. It will be available late March and it appears it will also among the most expensive at $159. We'll have to see how that plays out.HARMONY
EDIT: 3/19/09 (updated 5/13/09) - And yet again there is new player in town. This time coming from a much bigger name. It looks like Logitech/Harmony
is about to enter the fray of IR to BT converters. Here is the link @ EngadgetHD
It is now out and for sale at Amazon
for $59.99!8/31/09 MAJOR EDIT
: Apparently with the advent of the PS3 Slim
, when used in conjunction with Harmony adapter, seems to have created a major pairing problem for BT devices. Not a good sign for a device that doesn't have the ability to update its firmware.
The problem has been isolated by Logitech to a FW change made by Sony and select Logitech devices with PID #'s earlier than LZ922xx will have this issue with PS3 slims. The have RMA's the affected devices and those currently being shipped are not affected.SYNOPSIS
So, for those of you out there looking for a IR/BT universal remote to work this your PS3, you need not to. Check out these three sites to see your options to get the PS3 onto your IR universal remote. For those that have any product I/we would love to hear your reviews.
Here is very good synopsis for 3 of the 4 IR/BT converters in layman terms. Big thanks to Beerstalker!
Originally Posted by Beerstalker
Nyko BluWave - does not support PS button so not power on or off. Does not allow you to directly control audio tracks, subtitles, video angles, color buttons, etc. You have to bring up the PlayStation on screen menu and use it to perform those functions. The IR receiver looks like a thumb drive sticking out of the front of the PS3 when installed.Edit by dogdoctor 8/15/08: with PS update 2.40 there is now an option to turn off the PS3 without the use of the PS button. So in essence with pure IR controllers of the PS3 you can now turn off the PS3, you still however, can not turn it on.
Shmartz Stuff PS3IRX1 - Same limitations as the Nyko BluWave. This is a more attractive USB device that blends into the PS3 so well most people won't even notice it is there.
IR2BT - supports all the same functions as the official Sony Bluetooth remote. Requires the remote control to send out the macro for power down (PS, down, down, PS held for 3.5 seconds, X, X). Some Universal remotes cannot be programmed with a 3.5 second button hold, so the macro will not work with them. Those owner's would have to shut the PS3 down manually. This unit can not be updated in the field, so it possibly could stop to work at some point in the future but it is highly unlikely.
PS3 Toothfairy - supports all the same functions as the official Sony Bluetooth remote. The power off macro is built into the unit itself, so users just send a single discreet power off command from their remote, and the PS3Toothfairy sounds out the entire power off macro (so you don't have to sit there and point the remote at the unit for 5 seconds while the PS3 shuts down). The PS3Toothfairy is also available in a version that offers a 3.5mm mono jack input for direct IR control. The PS3 Toothfairy does not support firware upgrades (at least not that I know of), but it does offer the ability to change some of programming through different button presses etc, so it should be a little more futureproof.
PS3IR-Pro - Supports all the same functions as the official Sony Bluetooth remote. A recent firmware update has the power off macro is built into the unit itself. Users just send a single discreet power off command from their remote, and the Pro sounds out the entire power off macro (so you don't have to sit there and point the remote at the unit for 5 seconds while the PS3 shuts down). The Pro allows for firware updates through a USB port, so it can add new features and be more future proof. Mike is still working to get direct IR control working, but as of right now it is not.