Universal Remote Options for PlayStation 3 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 09-06-2008, 05:30 AM - Thread Starter
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I have been reading through the various posts here on the question of how to get a PlayStation 3 to work as a Blu-Ray player with a universal remote. There is lots of information, but I wanted to try to summarize what I picked up, and to ask a few specific questions I have not yet found the answers to.

The setup–I just ordered a PlayStation 3 from Sony for $250 ($400 less $150 for signing up for their free VISA card) plus tax (shipping included). I have not really been a game player since I used to sell the original Ataris (yes, I am really that old), so I got it as a blu-ray disk player to go with my brand-new 52" LCD TV. I also got a Harmony 550 remote (for $50), which is way-cool. I am now faced with the problem of how to control the PS3 with the Harmony. There appear to be two general categories of solutions:

1. Use an infrared-to-bluetooth converter.
2. Use an infrared-to-USB "dongle."

1. Infrared-to-Bluetooth converters.

I can find four of these on the market. The IR2BT, the PS3ToothFairy, the IR4PS3, and the Schmartstuff PS3IR-Pro. Assuming I understand these things, the IR4PS3 and the PS3ToothFairy both require the cannibalization of a Sony bluetooth remote, while the IR2BT and the PS3IR-Pro use their own proprietary circuitry. Presumably, the two proprietary units are vulnerable to problems caused by PS3 firmware updates, while the two Frankenstein units should be upgrade-proof. This was demonstrated by the IR2BT which is in the process of providing a free upgrade to buyers of its earlier units that were adversely affected by a Sony firmware modification. The PS3IR-Pro can have its firmware updated through a USB port, which should resolve avoid such problems were they to arise.

The downside to these solutions? They are costly. As best I can tell, the IR2BT (which is currently out of stock and doesn’t list the price) is the least expensive at $55 (I think). The PS3TF runs $64 plus the cost of the Sony remote (currently $17.17 from Sam’s Club, including shipping) (they also offer a completely assembled version–currently out of stock–for $89). The IR4PS3 is sold by a Canadian guy named “Ben” for $40 plus the cost of the Sony remote, or, he will add in the Sony remote module for an additional $28.20 or so (he is out of stock on the Sony remotes so this price may vary). Rounding out the group, the PS3IR-Pro is $100. All of these come with power supply connections, but the power supplies are extra, as too is shipping. The advantage of these units, and the reason why people are willing to spend so much for these things, is that they all give you the same degree of control as Sony’s own remote control.

2. Infrared-to-USB Dongles

Most of these units come with their own remote controls. The exception–and the most expensive of the lot–is the Schmartstuff PS3IRX1, running at $35 plus shipping. The rest are cheap Chinese models that come with their own remotes, and seem to run in price from under $10 up to about $25. Initially, the major rap against these units was that they couldn’t turn the PS3 on or off. I believe the latter issue was resolved in one of the PS3 firmware updates so that they can now turn off the PS3.

So, here’s where I am. I have now invested one arm and one leg in the TV, plus another $250 for the PS3 and $50 for the remote. I am not thrilled by the prospect of shelling out another $60 to $105 for an IR-BT converter–it just seems like an extravagance. This leads to my questions.

First, has anyone noticed any functional distinctions among the four IR-BT converters? They all seem to get good marks. I might have chided the IR2BT for its problem with the Sony firmware update, except that they really stepped up by fixing at no charge all of the units they had previously sold. Moreover, each of these four entrepreneur/vendors (including the Canadian guy) get very high marks for their customer service and responsiveness. Is there any real basis to choose among them?

Second, what features am I giving up if I go with a dongle? If the only thing I lose is the ability to turn the PS3 on, I could probably use the exercise.

Third, is there any real difference between the dongles? The PS3IRX1 claims (well, actually its vendor makes this claim, the dongle itself probably doesn’t talk) that it works better than the cheap Chinese models. Has anyone tested this?

Moreover, I have seen nothing that compares these dongles or their remotes. Do these different dongles have different functionalities, or is that an issue with the remotes rather than the dongles? If the latter, can I program functions for the dongle that are not actually on the remote, or might someone at Logitech already have done that in the Harmony software? I note that two of the cheap Chinese products have brand names, sort of: Intec and Nyko, and that they are included in the Harmony database. Is there any functional difference between them? I also note that there appears to be a raft of unnamed, even cheaper remotes. How do these compare? How can they be programmed into the Harmony? Can I just lie to my Harmony and tell it I am using the Nyko, Intec or even the Schmartsuff? More fundamentally, do they use common translation codes, or is each unique requiring unique programming of the remote?

While I apologize for raising issues that may have been addressed in other threads, I did not find them. Besides, laying all of this out helps me to clarify my thoughts (albeit at your expense). In any case, I have noticed that a number of posters here clearly have substantial technical expertise, as well as being kind and generous souls. Any insights you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 26 Old 09-06-2008, 07:38 AM
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Almost all of your answers can be found in this thread.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ight=converter
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post #3 of 26 Old 09-06-2008, 08:43 AM
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the shmartz dongle is smaller and supports more commands. It looks like a part of the PS3.

I find it to work better overall than my Nyko Blu-Wave, too.

Of the IR-BT solutions, the PS3 Tooth Fairy uses the actual Sony BT remote. That means a future firmware won't keep it from working.
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post #4 of 26 Old 09-06-2008, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steven975 View Post

the shmartz dongle is smaller and supports more commands. It looks like a part of the PS3.

I find it to work better overall than my Nyko Blu-Wave, too.

Of the IR-BT solutions, the PS3 Tooth Fairy uses the actual Sony BT remote. That means a future firmware won't keep it from working.

The PS3Toothfairy, IR4PS3, and Schmartz PS3IR-Pro all use the bluetooth card from the Sony remote. So none of them should ever have the problem that the IR2BT had. This is covered in the thread I linked to earlier.
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post #5 of 26 Old 09-07-2008, 05:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beerstalker View Post

The PS3Toothfairy, IR4PS3, and Schmartz PS3IR-Pro all use the bluetooth card from the Sony remote. So none of them should ever have the problem that the IR2BT had. This is covered in the thread I linked to earlier.

I actually had slogged through that lengthy thread--including your helpful posts. It does not contain any sort of "dongle" comparison, however, as far as I could find. Furthermore, I can glean no functional distinction between the 4 IR-BT converters--they all appear to work equally well. Although the cheapest--the currently out-of-stock IR2BT--may be the most susceptable to screw-ups from Sony's proclivity to mess up its firmware, the vendor has been willing to stand behind it. Nevertheless, because he has them in stock, at the moment I am torn between buying the IR4PS3 kit (total cost about $66) or just going super-cheap with the Nyko (I am kicking myself for missing Amazon's $10 offer last week).
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post #6 of 26 Old 09-07-2008, 09:20 AM
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I bought the PS3 Tooth Fairy device and am very pleased with it. I am using it with a Harmony remote. It has a "macro" for power off, so I don't need to keep the harmony pointed at it while it cycles through the PS3 power off sequence... it accepts the "power off" command from the Harmony, then executes it's macro (which can take a few seconds). Not had a single problem as yet and was a no brainer to set up, very pleased and there's a fairly recent support thread on AVS somewhere with the engineer / manufacturer on here.

Amazingly stupid error on Sony's part not to sell a $30 IR add-on given the PS3 is likely still selling as many units as a Blu Ray player as it is game console.

egg
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post #7 of 26 Old 09-07-2008, 09:32 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steven975 View Post

the shmartz dongle is smaller and supports more commands. It looks like a part of the PS3.

I find it to work better overall than my Nyko Blu-Wave, too.

Of the IR-BT solutions, the PS3 Tooth Fairy uses the actual Sony BT remote. That means a future firmware won't keep it from working.

I was all set to get the Nyko but now your post has me curious. The Nyko remote is about $15.00 and the Shmartz doggle is $35.00. You say the Shmartz works better. Could you explain in further detail and if it's worth over twice the price? Thanks
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post #8 of 26 Old 09-07-2008, 10:06 AM
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The nyko wont turn a PS3 on or off. Not sure if the Schmartz one will. That was, for me, an important feature and th PS3 Tooth Fairy does a really nice job of that (but costs .. I think .. $70 iirc).

egg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eggman51 View Post

The nyko wont turn a PS3 on or off. Not sure if the Schmartz one will. That was, for me, an important feature and th PS3 Tooth Fairy does a really nice job of that (but costs .. I think .. $70 iirc).

egg

I was under the impression the Nyko would turn the PS3 off as that option is now available in the PS3 menu. Turning on is a minor nuisance as you have to put a game or movie in anyway.
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post #10 of 26 Old 09-07-2008, 02:27 PM
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Can any of these, except the Nyko, work with an ordinary universal remote like the Universal Remote Control RF-10, or are they limited to Harmonys and other high end remotes? Thnks
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post #11 of 26 Old 09-07-2008, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxdog03 View Post

I was all set to get the Nyko but now your post has me curious. The Nyko remote is about $15.00 and the Shmartz doggle is $35.00. You say the Shmartz works better. Could you explain in further detail and if it's worth over twice the price? Thanks

Yes, this is exactly the sort of thing I want to know as well.

Oh, and for those who have been following this, the PS3ToothFairy seems to be out of stock as of this evening.
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post #12 of 26 Old 09-09-2008, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgreen View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxdog03 View Post

I was all set to get the Nyko but now your post has me curious. The Nyko remote is about $15.00 and the Shmartz doggle is $35.00. You say the Shmartz works better. Could you explain in further detail and if it's worth over twice the price? Thanks

Yes, this is exactly the sort of thing I want to know as well.

I'd like to know the answer to this, too.

What are the tangible benefits of the Shmartz device compared to the Nyko, other than appearance?

Scott

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post #13 of 26 Old 09-12-2008, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Maybe no answers, but I at least fell into some decisions. For something less than $12, I bought the (cheap) Nyko. At least if I hate it, I am not out too much and can move up to one of the pricier (and presumbably better) solutions. I just got the email that the remote shipped early this morning from only about 20 miles away (that darned Amazon has warehouses everywhere). Even more exciting, my backordered PS3 is now in stock at Sony and shipped this morning as well. By next week, I should know if this solution (Nyko+Harmony+PS3=?) is adequate. I guess I will have to get some Blu-Ray disks to watch first. Hmmm.
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post #14 of 26 Old 09-12-2008, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxdog03 View Post

I was under the impression the Nyko would turn the PS3 off as that option is now available in the PS3 menu. Turning on is a minor nuisance as you have to put a game or movie in anyway.

Indeed, that's what I'm living with right now. Turn on with disc (be it game or movie), turn off from XMB, followed by a "Power off all" on the Harmony 720.

I am leaning on eventually going PS3toothfairy but not inconvenienced enough that it matters at this point.

-- "No matter where you go, there you are."

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post #15 of 26 Old 09-12-2008, 05:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgreen View Post

Maybe no answers, but I at least fell into some decisions. For something less than $12, I bought the (cheap) Nyko. At least if I hate it, I am not out too much and can move up to one of the pricier (and presumbably better) solutions. I just got the email that the remote shipped early this morning from only about 20 miles away (that darned Amazon has warehouses everywhere). Even more exciting, my backordered PS3 is now in stock at Sony and shipped this morning as well. By next week, I should know if this solution (Nyko+Harmony+PS3=?) is adequate. I guess I will have to get some Blu-Ray disks to watch first. Hmmm.


Definitely let us know how it works out. You're also in for a shock as to how well your SD DVD's will look on the PS3 as the upconversion does a very nice job.
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post #16 of 26 Old 09-15-2008, 01:36 PM
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I've put an order in for the IR4PS3 and will post some insights when it arrives.
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post #17 of 26 Old 09-15-2008, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxdog03 View Post

I was all set to get the Nyko but now your post has me curious. The Nyko remote is about $15.00 and the Shmartz doggle is $35.00. You say the Shmartz works better. Could you explain in further detail and if it's worth over twice the price? Thanks

The nyko receiver often has its times where it just doesn't feel like working. Plus it sticks out too much. The Schmartz receiver is very small and protrues about a half inch from the USB port. You can't break a USB port accidentally with the Schmartz.

Also, if you turn on the PS3 with the controller, it will always be #1 with the Schmartz, and will #2 by default at all times with the Nyko.

Plus the schmartz knows every command of the PS2 DVD remote...the nykos command vocabulary is not as large. It's not an issue really unless you want to map L3/R3 to something, though.
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post #18 of 26 Old 09-19-2008, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dimsumx View Post

I've put an order in for the IR4PS3 and will post some insights when it arrives.

Dimsumx, I look forward to your review and comments. You may also want to post your insights here on the "IR4PS3 works just as promised" thread http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1023735
I been using my IR4PS3 for about a month now with my Harmony One remote and have been VERY pleased with the IR4PS3's performance. I have all the functions of the PS3 BT remote now with my Harmony remote, and most importantly I am back to just ONE IR remote for all my home theater components.
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post #19 of 26 Old 10-08-2008, 11:29 PM
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I have the harmony 1000 (possibly rf extender in near future) i purchased the nyko bluwave today and going to return it tomorrow because of no turn on/off functions. I am going to have to purchase one of the ir to bt boxes. i like the fact that they dont have to be attached to ps3 and all of them are fully compatible with harmony controllers.
ps3toothfairy seems like the finest one because of turn of marco which can do several commands (basically ps button -> turn off ps3 -> yes) and it can detect whether ps3 is on or off.
schmartz pro seems like a similar device. not sure it has macro functions or power detection but it costs more money 89 vs 100.

ps3toothfairy is not in stock but the schmartz pro is. should i go ahead and get the schmartz pro or wait for the ps3toothfairy?
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post #20 of 26 Old 10-08-2008, 11:51 PM
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I am very happy with the ps3toothfairy. I can't compare any other products. The power off macro on the ps3toothfairy is very nicely done.
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post #21 of 26 Old 10-09-2008, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eggman51 View Post

I bought the PS3 Tooth Fairy device and am very pleased with it. I am using it with a Harmony remote. It has a "macro" for power off, so I don't need to keep the harmony pointed at it while it cycles through the PS3 power off sequence... it accepts the "power off" command from the Harmony, then executes it's macro (which can take a few seconds). Not had a single problem as yet and was a no brainer to set up, very pleased and there's a fairly recent support thread on AVS somewhere with the engineer / manufacturer on here.

Amazingly stupid error on Sony's part not to sell a $30 IR add-on given the PS3 is likely still selling as many units as a Blu Ray player as it is game console.

egg


Well I've installed a Harmony 1000 for some friends with a PS3 (and a Wii) and told them to hold off while I investigate the best IR adapter options.

Looks like the Tooth Fairy is the outright winner so far.
The least problems, and the most reliable of the four.... correct?

Are there any issues I should be aware of before ordering one?


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post #22 of 26 Old 10-09-2008, 09:21 AM
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I can't comment on issues in comparison to the other devices, I've only used the ps3oothfairy. Research indicates that the design of some of the other devices is susceptible to breakage when Sony changes firmware and that the design of the ps3toothfairy does not seem to suffer from this.

It took about 3 minutes to set up my ps3toothfairy with my Harmony (it's in the database) and it has worked flawlessly since I installed it about 3 months ago.

egg
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post #23 of 26 Old 10-11-2008, 07:34 PM
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Hi Electric_Haggis,

I'm the engineer of the ps3toothfairy, so feel free to PM me or contact me via the site if you have any questions. I expect them in stock by the end of next week, then I'll have new stock weekly for several weeks.

egg, thanks for all the nice things you have to say about the product. I am happy that you are satisfied with it.

Regards,
Ayman
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post #24 of 26 Old 10-11-2008, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UxiSXRD View Post

Indeed, that's what I'm living with right now. Turn on with disc (be it game or movie), turn off from XMB, followed by a "Power off all" on the Harmony 720.

I am leaning on eventually going PS3toothfairy but not inconvenienced enough that it matters at this point.

I am trying to get the Nyko via the Harmony to turn off the PS3 as it turns off all other devices but there is a limitation in the Harmony software. Assuming the Harmony doesn't know where in the XMB you are, you need to enter about 6-7 left cursor movements, two up and then two Enters to shut down the PS3. Alas the Harmony software only allows for 6 commands to be attached to one key button. Apparently Logitech can fix that for you but it's a call to CS which I did but gave up waiting. Maybe a less busy time and I will try again.

Turning on the PS3 via one of the controllers is no big deal for me.
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post #25 of 26 Old 10-11-2008, 10:38 PM
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Dude chill out. You are thinking way too much.

Just get the IR2BT and call it a day!
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post #26 of 26 Old 04-06-2009, 09:48 PM
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i USE THE sCHMARTZ PS3IR-PRO...no problems, wont need to get up to turn it on anymore.
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