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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am trying to find out some basic information on using IR Blasters and so far I am having a problem tracking down information. I am trying to figure out how to use one to program channel changes on my Comcast set top box, a Motorola DCT-2224 (since many of my Comcast channels are now encrypted, I can no longer program channel changes directly into the DVD recorder as I used to be able to do).


As near as I can tell, you connect the IR blaster either directly through a jack on the device you wish to control or place it in front of the IR sensor on the front of that box. I have found a number of “IR Blasters” for sale on Amazon which consist only of a single cable with a standard 1/8” jack on one end and an “IR” input jack on the other end. My Motorola set top box has an “IR” jack on the back (which is described as for IR Blaster input) which is about 1/8” in diameter but doesn’t seem to securely accept a standard 1/8” plug.


So, what kind of IR blaster do I need for my Comcast box? Since the IR Blaster receptacle on the back of my Comcast box is round and the connectors on the cables listed on Amazon are square or rectangular, do I need to be looking for a cable that sticks to the IR sensor on the front of the set top box?


Finally, what do I then connect the other end of the IR Blaster cable to in order to actually program the channel changes and times? As near as I can tell, it seems to have to connect to a computer or a VCR if the VCR is IR Blaster Capable. I have a Magnavox H2160MW9A and a Panasonic DMR-ES45VS DVD Recorder and as near as I can tell, neither has the capability to connect to an IR Blaster. So, can I either connect the IR Blaster to my home computer (which is running VISTA) and if so, what software do I need to do this? Or is the alternative to get a 3rd VCR, one that is IR Blaster connectable to control the channel changes on my Comcast Set Top box?


As I mentioned earlier, I have *NO* experience with IR Blasters and have been able to find little information regarding them. Can someone provide some basic info to help? Thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
OK. I think I am beginning to figure this out. It looks as if several DVD recorder manufacturers (Hauppage, Sony etc.) still make VCRs which include IR blasters. Since I will do the bulk of my recording on my Magnavox H2160MW9A with the hard drive, the best solution to my situation looks to be to get another DVD recorder with an IR blaster to control the cable box when I need to automatically change the Set Top cable box channels while recording.


Seems like a cumbersome solution but since Magnavox doesn't have an IR blaster (wish it did, would make life MUCH easier), this looks to be the best solution.
 
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