Kindle Fire as a remote? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 02-08-2012, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
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So I have been in the need for a Universal remote for quite a little while.

I was originally interested in the Acoustic Research ARRX18G, but due to them no longer supporting this device and the problem with using a Mac to access the database, made it a no go. However, I like the look, and principle of the device.

I have never been impressed with the Harmony remotes, due to cost and the fact that I need to control at least 10 items, and probably more later.

So my Vife got a Kindle Fire for her B.day.

Can a Kindle Fire be used as a universal remote? If so, how does it broadcast the commands? Is there an additional device that is needed, i.e. IR Repeater/extender? RF capabilities?

I have seen the iRule threads, but they seem to be for iPhones/Pods/Pads.

What are your suggestions, and/or ideas on this. I would prefer to not buy something, if I can make the Kindle Fire work successfully. However, if there are too many quirks, then I might as well get a dedicated Universal remote....and would prefer it to be as cost efficient as possible.

Thanx.
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post #2 of 8 Old 02-08-2012, 09:01 AM
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Like yourself I spent the better part of 2 months researching options for Android based universal remotes since I already had a GTab 10.1 and didn't want to buy another piece of HW.

After weighing all of the options and determining what I wanted to control (Comcast Cablebox/DVR, Samsung Smart TV & PS3), the items I needed were some kind of IP to IR interface and an IR to BT interface to control my PS3.

I tested out the Logitech Harmony Link & PS3 Adapter and the interface is clunky, does not support tablets natively and lacked any customization options. I was hopeful because I like consolidating vendors and Logitech offers both pieces of HW and the Android app already. Returning these 2 devices and I uninstalled the app...

My second test is currently using a Global Cache iTach device (WF2IR model) and a REBL-X IR2BT adapter. This allows any signal sent from an app on my Gtab to go wirelessly through my router to the iTach which then blasts the IR signal to the device. If that signal happens to be for the PS3, the REBL-X then translates the IR to a proper BT command. This seems to be the most common used piece of HW since it truly is platform agnostic, many apps interface with the iTach.

So far I found 2 choices for software on the tablet... iRule & TouchSquid. I am currently testing the iRule app as it has a somewhat steep learning curve but seems like its the most flexible option and also has all of the necessary IR codes for my devices in its database. I continue to monitor the Touchsquid forum and posts as well. There is a cost difference between the apps as well so depending on your budget you might be swayed one way or the other.

Hope this info helps.
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post #3 of 8 Old 02-08-2012, 10:14 AM
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I just made a post in another thread about using a cheap Android tablet with iRule to control my system. Here's the link if you're interested.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...postcount=6010

I've tried the Harmony Link and it was awful. I really like iRule and found it easy to setup and use. Feel free to ask me questions.
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post #4 of 8 Old 02-08-2012, 10:42 AM
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I use iRule with my Kindle Fire. I came from using irule with my ipod touch so was experienced with how the app and the builder worked. The android version works well but is still fairly new and is being improved all the time, it does everything that the ipod version does, but connection times are slower and a few other things.

But, for the price the Kindle Fire is a great step up. My control scheme looks so much nicer in the larger screen and resolution. Having more space with which to design has made it more functional as well.

As the android version matures I'm sure I will buy either another Kindle Fire or some other tablet to replace the ipods.

As mentioned, for IR and RS232 control of devices additional hardware is requied from global cache.

I have not used any of the other remote apps for either IOS or Android so can not comment on how iRule compares. But I will say that if you are willing to spend some time with it you can completely design your system control scheme from the ground up. iRule provides many different default buttons, they can be downloaded and modified by you in photoshop or other graphics editor, shared with other users, etc. It is not cookie cutter by an means, thus requires more effort on the part of the user than other solutions.

PSN ID: Seldom_Seen
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post #5 of 8 Old 02-08-2012, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanx for everyone's input.

iRule, seems interesting, I will need to do more research on it. However, as SeldomSeen31 said, "...you can completely design your system control scheme from the ground up." That appeals to me.

Other than the Kindle Fire, which my vife already has, what is the cost difference for "IR and RS232 control of devices additional hardware" i.e. "Global Cache iTach device (WF2IR model) and a REBL-X IR2BT adapter" versus, just trying to find a universal remote that will control all of my devices?
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post #6 of 8 Old 02-08-2012, 12:53 PM
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I only researched devices that supported IP2IR which would be wired to my router or WF2IR which would connect wirelessly to my router. I did not reserach any RS232 devices.

If you are looking to control a PS3 you will need a IR2BT conversion device. The PS3 only know bluetooth, and there isn't an IR device with bluetooth built-in hence the need to the converter. Look here for an excellent write-up on the differences between models.
http://www.remoteshoppe.com/p-553-ro...on-3-2011.aspx

Your investment for hardware is going to be around $150 to $200 depending on which devices you choose and from which vendor.
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post #7 of 8 Old 02-08-2012, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CNPalmer View Post

If you are looking to control a PS3 you will need a IR2BT conversion device. The PS3 only know bluetooth, and there isn't an IR device with bluetooth built-in hence the need to the converter.

FWIW, I can control my PS3 entirely via IR and HDMI-CEC (Bravia Sync). Works fine for power on/off and all transport, menu and nav commands. YMMV depending on how HDMI-CEC is implemented in your TV. If that doesn't work for you, and you can live without remote power on, then a $2 auvio USB/IR adapter will work fine using sony blu-ray codes.
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post #8 of 8 Old 02-08-2012, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

FWIW, I can control my PS3 entirely via IR and HDMI-CEC (Bravia Sync). Works fine for power on/off and all transport, menu and nav commands. YMMV depending on how HDMI-CEC is implemented in your TV. If that doesn't work for you, and you can live without remote power on, then a $2 auvio USB/IR adapter will work fine using sony blu-ray codes.

Forgot about this since I'm still running my 60GB "fat" backwards compt. model... perhaps time to upgrade to a newer 320GB slim model with HDMI-CEC enabled. Seems all "fat" models had it disabled.
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