Schmart Solutions for PS3 IR Control (Discussion, Feedback, Q&A) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 951 Old 11-28-2007, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
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There has been a lot of talk about devices that would allow the PS3 to work with a universal remote, and this thread provides a good deal of information, but there's still a need have all the information readily available and easy to find. I will work with Mike in providing such information in this new thread, and we will eventually have a FAQ section too.

This an ongoing dialog relating to the USBIRX3, the PS3IRX1, and the PS3IR+PWR devices. Here you will be able get support and join in on the discussion of features and enhancements as well as recommend building a totally new product.

The USBIRX3 was the original device. It looks a lot like a USB memory stick. This product is no longer available but it is still fully supported. This device runs the same firmware as the newer USBIRX3. Therefor, it can be upgraded to provide the same functionality as the USBIRX3 at any time. To do this you must purchase the upgrade on the website and then send your device back to Schmartz.com. For a small fee your device will be updated to the latest firmware version and shipped back to you in 3-4 days for US destinations. International destinations will take a bit longer. I expect most owners will want to wait to upgrade until after the Home key support is added and has passed field testing.

The PS3IRX1 device has replaced the USBIRX3. It is a much better looking design that fits snuggly against the PS3 front panel. The plastic cover is shiny black to match the PS3 look. All PS3 game controller buttons are mapped to standard PS2 and Sony DVD IR codes. The home button is not yet supported. However, this feature will be added soon. Thanks to the feedback from AVS members, this product is bug free and works extremely well. Home key support is the only outstanding feature request at the moment. Once this feature is implemented and fully tested, I expect this firmware will remain the same for the life of the product. The device can be upgraded at anytime in the future by sending the device back to Schmartz.com for the latest firmware. It's good to have this option available in case Sony modifies the PS3 firmware in such a way as to adversely effect the functionality of the PS3IRX1.

The PS3IR+PWR device is now complete, although shipping at a slow pace due to the surprisingly high initial demand. It has all of the features of the PS3IRX1 plus the ability to switch the PS3 power ON and OFF. Power switching is accomplished by spoofing a touch key event on the front panel. A small sticker is placed over the 0/1 front panel button. This sticker contains a very thin copper layer that is connected to the device via a tiny black wire. After the upgrade, the front panel button is still available for manual touch key operation. The wire can be hidden by routing it under the PS3. This an entirely benign upgrade so, no modifications of the PS3 are required.
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post #2 of 951 Old 11-28-2007, 01:26 PM
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Setting Up Your IR Remote for the PS3IR Device
To setup your universal remote, simply select either PS2, PS3, or a Sony DVD as the device. For Sony DVD you may need to try several DVD Models to find the correct IR code set. Important note! Even though some remotes give rather ominous warnings that the PS3 will not function with an IR remote, you can simply ignore these outdated messages. In all cases, the PS3IR devices allow your remote to work perfectly well in spite of these dire warnings by the Logitech Harmony setup program.

Finally, in the very rare instance that your remote does not support the PS2, PS3, or a Sony DVD option, you can use the pronto codes in the attached file. If you must teach your remote, you can still purchase a PS2 remote at just about any store that carries Sony products for around $10. I'd recommend just borrowing one temporarily.

Using Your PS3IR Device
If you want the wireless game controller to be controller number 1, simply turn on the PS3 using the wireless controller. In this way, the PS3IR device gets bumped up to a higher device number. This can be important since some games must be started from controller number 1.

Please see the attached key mapping file for a description of what keys are supported and how they are mapped to simulated PS3 controller button events.

Please note: There is no magic way to create additional key functionality if the corresponding action is not included as a feature of the game controller in the PS3 firmware. In short, if you can perform a function with the Sony game controller, it will likewise be supported by the PS3IR device. This means that keys such as Subtitle will not be supported. Where it makes sense, keys are mapped to game controller keys that are close to the desired functionality. For instance, most remotes support slow forward and slow back buttons. These buttons are actually mapped to the only forward and back buttons that the game controller supports. Various indexing speeds are available by pressing the button repeatedly. This is true for several buttons since the game controller tends to use a single button to toggle between modes whereas most remotes provide discrete buttons for the same functions. Fortunately, the key mapping is quite intuitive so my advice is just to start enjoying your new PS3IR device. Using it is much simpler than this explanation!

OK, there is actually one little bit of magic involved. Even though Sony only supports a power ON/OFF toggle mode, I have been able to implement discrete power On and Off commands for the PS3IR+PWR device by utilizing the schmarts of the micro-controller.

Development News

The PS3IR-PRO is finally ready!

The PS3IR+PWR has been discontinued. Sony broke the USB power in the V2.2 firmware release. Buggers!

Shipping Status (As of 3/3/2008)
I have plenty of PS3IRX1 devices in stock.

I have attached an RTI Command Library for the PS3IR+PWR (Schmartz_cml.zip). This will be of interest for anyone using the RTI Theater Touch Designer or Integration Designer. It will save you a little time and effort. Thanks go out to Jim Bask of RemoteShoppe.com for this contribution.

 

PS3IR+PWR Install.pdf 339.306640625k . file

 

PS3IR Pronto Codes.zip 16.3974609375k . file

 

Key Mapping for PS3IR Devices.pdf 29.7001953125k . file

 

PS3IRX1 Install.pdf 33.763671875k . file

 

Schmartz_cml.zip 0.912109375k . file
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post #3 of 951 Old 11-28-2007, 03:03 PM
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This sounds very cool. I was wondering if an RF solution would be possible as well? Or what is the best way to use an RF Universal remote with this solution?

- Roger
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post #4 of 951 Old 11-28-2007, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Huston View Post

This sounds very cool. I was wondering if an RF solution would be possible as well? Or what is the best way to use an RF Universal remote with this solution?

- Roger

What do you mean by RF solution?

I'm in the early stages of research on an IR to Bluetooth adapter that looks like a Sony BT remote to the PS3. The advantages are that it would work with any Universal remote and would be able to provide exactly the same functionality as the Sony remote.
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post #5 of 951 Old 11-28-2007, 04:12 PM
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I am just looking into remotes so forgive me if I misspoke. What I thought I meant is that I want to use an RF based universal remote that can control a device directly and not use an IR repeater. My DirectTV HR20 can be setup to either recognize RF or IR remotes.

All my stuff is in a nice sealed av center and getting IR to work can mean moving your remote around. I just wanted to use an RF based remote so I can be anywhere in the room and have the remote pointed in any direction to get it to work.

- Roger
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post #6 of 951 Old 11-28-2007, 04:24 PM
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Thanks for setting up the new thread - will be looking forward to the FAQ
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post #7 of 951 Old 11-29-2007, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMuecke View Post

I'm in the early stages of research on an IR to Bluetooth adapter that looks like a Sony BT remote to the PS3. The advantages are that it would work with any Universal remote and would be able to provide exactly the same functionality as the Sony remote.

This is what I'm most interested in. Do you have an ETA for this product?

Chet
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post #8 of 951 Old 11-29-2007, 10:13 AM
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Mike, another option could be WiFi. I have a WiFi capable remote and I'd like to be able to control the PS3 via IP (including on/off). The PSP can do it. Why couldn't a WiFi capable remote?

Chet
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post #9 of 951 Old 11-29-2007, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckenisell View Post

Mike, another option could be WiFi. I have a WiFi capable remote and I'd like to be able to control the PS3 via IP (including on/off). The PSP can do it. Why couldn't a WiFi capable remote?

In that case you wouldn't need any hardware I suspect. So... it's not something I would spend any time on. But it sounds cool.
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post #10 of 951 Old 11-29-2007, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Huston View Post

I am just looking into remotes so forgive me if I misspoke. What I thought I meant is that I want to use an RF based universal remote that can control a device directly and not use an IR repeater. My DirectTV HR20 can be setup to either recognize RF or IR remotes.

All my stuff is in a nice sealed av center and getting IR to work can mean moving your remote around. I just wanted to use an RF based remote so I can be anywhere in the room and have the remote pointed in any direction to get it to work.

- Roger

This is off topic for this thread. What you need is a remote that has a RF base with IR repeaters such as the Harmony 890. URC and other have similar solutions as well.


As far as this thread is concerned... One of the main things that keeps me from pulling the trigger on a PS3 (besides cost) is the lack of IR integration. It seems like a USB device for the PS3 that receives IR signals and converts them to Bluetooth would do the job. I just wish Sony would add an IR port!

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post #11 of 951 Old 11-29-2007, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj View Post

...

...One of the main things that keeps me from pulling the trigger on a PS3 (besides cost) is the lack of IR integration. It seems like a USB device for the PS3 that receives IR signals and converts them to Bluetooth would do the job. I just wish Sony would add an IR port!

I'm a little confused by your comment. I use my IR only Harmony remote with the USBIRX3 to control all of my A/V equipment including the PS3.

The two "issues" that exist wrt the PS3 are the inability to turn Off or On the PS3 with the Harmony remote. I view this as a non-issue as I walk over to the PS3 to insert the DVD/BD and this action turns the PS3 On. At the completion of the movie I walk over an eject the DVD/BD snd either turn the PS3 Off or leave it on as desired.
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post #12 of 951 Old 11-29-2007, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltiDawg View Post

I'm a little confused by your comment. I use my IR only Harmony remote with the USBIRX3 to control all of my A/V equipment including the PS3.

The two "issues" that exist wrt the PS3 are the inability to turn Off or On the PS3 with the Harmony remote. I view this as a non-issue as I walk over to the PS3 to insert the DVD/BD and this action turns the PS3 On. At the completion of the movie I walk over an eject the DVD/BD snd either turn the PS3 Off or leave it on as desired.

It still isn't a complete solution. Yes it would work, but it would be nice if they just added an IR port in the first place. It also seems as if the IR solutions are improving and I guess I'll have to order one if I ever get a PS3. I need all the excusses I can come up with to not spend another $400+.

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post #13 of 951 Old 11-29-2007, 04:04 PM
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It still isn't a complete solution. ...

For you it obviously is not, as explained it is a complete solution for some of us.
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post #14 of 951 Old 11-29-2007, 06:38 PM
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Feedback = I love it!


Just received this lil' black jewel today, plugged it into the front of the PS3...configured my Harmony 880 online...walked back over to my A/V wall & started watching Deadwood Season 1 again .

Only change I made to my 880's default button assignments was that I reassigned the "OK" button to accept the PS2 "X" command...and that was it!

Super-duper-mod!

- Dave

PS. I'll look forward to the On/Off firmware update down the road...but again, this is a great thing you've done!
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post #15 of 951 Old 11-29-2007, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMuecke View Post

What do you mean by RF solution?

I'm in the early stages of research on an IR to Bluetooth adapter that looks like a Sony BT remote to the PS3. The advantages are that it would work with any Universal remote and would be able to provide exactly the same functionality as the Sony remote.

That would be "Kick Azz". How much do you think it may cost?
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post #16 of 951 Old 11-29-2007, 08:05 PM
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Awesome, I was in the process of buying the PS2 Remote and IR, and a PS2 to USB converter. You just saved me some money.

Great work, and I'm very impressed. I look forward to your future projects.
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post #17 of 951 Old 12-02-2007, 09:43 AM
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That would be "Kick Azz". How much do you think it may cost?

It depenz a little on the volume. If I sold 200 I'd be surprised. Seeing as how it is such a specialty item. So I will have to charge a whopping $100 at first to make it worth my time. Also, the only way I can make the BlueTooth part in low volumes is to use the PCB in the PS3 remote. I think what I'd do is offer to "Upgrade" your existing PS3 remote if you send it to me. That way I wouldn't be making a wireless device and get sideways with the FCC. Otherwise I would need to spend at least $10K-$20K on FCC testing and certification. They do allow for prototype construction though. I should have time to test my prototype in the next week or so.
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post #18 of 951 Old 12-02-2007, 02:05 PM
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The good news is: I have figured out how to implement the home key. I have it working here in the lab.

The bad news: Sony only enables this feature for certain products. If I use the USB Vendor Id (VID) from an existing product that has a home key, I can make it work. Unfortunately, using someone else's VID is not allowed. Since I want to remain a USB member in good standing, I can't spoof another companies VID.

What I will do is leave the code in that supports the home key. Then I will work toward getting Sony to add my VID to the list in a future PS3 firmware update. I need a way to contact Sony about this. Any help is appreciated.
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post #19 of 951 Old 12-03-2007, 05:19 AM
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Sorry to be a pain (I've already posted this question under another subject).


How sensitive is the PS3IRX1 and does it need direct line of sight?

I ask this as I have had devices in the past that are really poor in terms of IR signal reception.

I will be controlling my PS3 through a Sony Audio System Remote, but a my PS3 is low-down I am worried that the PS3IRX1 will be obscured by the 'lip' at the front of the PS3. I addition I have a table in the middle of the lounge further compounding and line-of-sight issues.

Does anybody out there have any views on this before I buy.

Cheers in advance.
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post #20 of 951 Old 12-03-2007, 07:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cucumberuk View Post

Sorry to be a pain (I've already posted this question under another subject).


How sensitive is the PS3IRX1 and does it need direct line of sight?

I ask this as I have had devices in the past that are really poor in terms of IR signal reception.

I will be controlling my PS3 through a Sony Audio System Remote, but a my PS3 is low-down I am worried that the PS3IRX1 will be obscured by the 'lip' at the front of the PS3. I addition I have a table in the middle of the lounge further compounding and line-of-sight issues.

Does anybody out there have any views on this before I buy.

Cheers in advance.

Of course, all IR products will be line-of-sight. That said, depending on what type of surface is close by, the PS3IRX1 may still work great from just the reflections. You can also use a USB extension cable and place the PS3IRX1 in direct line-of-sight that way. USB extension cables are readily available at any electronic store.
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post #21 of 951 Old 12-03-2007, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMuecke View Post

The good news is: I have figured out how to implement the home key. I have it working here in the lab.

The bad news: Sony only enables this feature for certain products. If I use the USB Vendor Id (VID) from an existing product that has a home key, I can make it work. Unfortunately, using someone else's VID is not allowed. Since I want to remain a USB member in good standing, I can't spoof another companies VID.

What I will do is leave the code in that supports the home key. Then I will work toward getting Sony to add my VID to the list in a future PS3 firmware update. I need a way to contact Sony about this. Any help is appreciated.

Well, dang. I was afraid they might be doing something like that.

On a completely unrelated topic, have you given any more thought to the previously-discussed idea of having a field-flashable version of the PS3IRX1? It would be a nice feature to have for those of us who want to keep up with future updates and not have to ship the unit back to you for reflashing. You also might include a small software utility to allow some minor tweaking of settings inside the firmware before it's flashed. Button mappings, IR sensitivity, even -- to pick an example out of thin air -- USB vendor id? Of course, you couldn't be held responsible if someone chose to modify the VID on their unit to match one that happens to support the Home key. And I'm sure the software would include dire warnings against doing such a thing.

(I'm thinking here of Oppo Digital, whose first DVD player, was, of course, region-locked to DVD region 1. Of course, they offered flash firmware upgrades, and there were instructions on their website for getting into the unit's service menu so you could check your firmware version. As it happened, the first item on that menu was to set the region code for the player, and all you had to do was hit 0 to make it region-free. Not that they'd ever tell you to do that.)
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post #22 of 951 Old 12-03-2007, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Dixie Flatline View Post

On a completely unrelated topic, have you given any more thought to the previously-discussed idea of having a field-flashable version of the PS3IRX1?

LOL. I have been looking into the field-flashable release. I'm seeing a large increase in support effort for the related applications to manage and change said firmware options.

Unless.. I spend the (considerable) time to add a mode that allows each product to enumerate as a USB mass storage device. Then, I could just put the update on the website for download. While still in the web browser, you could save the file to the mass storage device. Viola! It is done... no? Easier said than done but, very possible.

A web page for setting options would allow customizing the image before it is downloaded. This would not require any specific host support. Just some Java and scripts to make the web pages. This would mean that you could update the device with a PC, MAC, or even the PS3 itself!
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post #23 of 951 Old 12-06-2007, 07:10 AM
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Too bad to hear about the Home button issue. Have you just tried calling into the regular support lines at Sony to see if they can tell you what route to take as a hardware add-on developer?
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post #24 of 951 Old 12-07-2007, 07:34 AM
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Too bad to hear about the Home button issue. Have you just tried calling into the regular support lines at Sony to see if they can tell you what route to take as a hardware add-on developer?

Yes the support lines were no help but I finally found the Sony developer site. I knew there HAD to be one someplace. Anyway, I will need to become a licensed vendor of some sort. Depending on the up front $$$ I will go ahead and join if they let me. I have started the process.
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post #25 of 951 Old 12-07-2007, 07:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MMuecke View Post

Yes the support lines were no help but I finally found the Sony developer site. I knew there HAD to be one someplace. Anyway, I will need to become a licensed vendor of some sort. Depending on the up front $$$ I will go ahead and join if they let me. I have started the process.

Excellent news. At least the ball has started rolling.
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post #26 of 951 Old 12-07-2007, 08:23 AM
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I finally put my 80g "Wal-Mart special" PS3 in the rack a couple of days ago. After spending some time configuring it, I plugged in the PS3IRX1 I recently purchased and programmed my Harmony 720. Everything now seems to work as advertised, hopefully enough for my wife to figure out. Turning the unit on and off is less a problem for me since I intend to have this thing spend it spare time crunching WUs in the Folding effort.

Rick
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post #27 of 951 Old 12-11-2007, 05:31 AM
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Ordered mine today from the site (the standard $35 unit, not the new power-able unit). Hopefully you can ship it ASAP as I'd love to get it by this weekend if feasible. Even gave you a UPS acct# to use if you want

I've got a Harmony 880 that should arrive today according to Amazon's provided tracking info. Hope to have that hooked up and set before the Schmartz arrives, so that I can get instant gratification from that. YAY!
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post #28 of 951 Old 12-11-2007, 08:27 AM
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I just ordered the New version with PWR On/Off. Can't wait to get my grubby hands on it. There is nothing wrong with the current version, but this will make things easier for the rest of my family, not having to use the PS3 Controller to turn on/off the PS3. Something so simple, seems to vex them. My sister will come over to do laundry, and will watch a Blu-Ray movie. When I come home from work, everything will be off but the PS3!

~EOR~
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post #29 of 951 Old 12-11-2007, 08:51 AM
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The way I looked at it was that until they make a remote that loads the DVD, I still need to get up to put the disk in the PS3 so I might as well turn it on then....

The $35 PS3IRX1 is all I needed.
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post #30 of 951 Old 12-11-2007, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C5Bill View Post

The way I looked at it was that until they make a remote that loads the DVD, I still need to get up to put the disk in the PS3 so I might as well turn it on then....

The $35 PS3IRX1 is all I needed.

Ditto.
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