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I've got an old HP Slimline s5212y PC (Windows 7) that I want to connect to an HDTV primarily to watch internet sites such as TV.com. The HP specs say it has a passive ir receiver on the front, but I could find no documentation. Can anyone give me a clue as to how I might use this IR receiver - ie what is its intended purpose? Thanks.
 

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It is probably an eHome compatible IR receiver. You can look in device manager under USB devices and check. It should respond to standard Windows Media Center commands. If you have a Harmony remote it would be easy to set up.
 

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It is probably an eHome compatible IR receiver. You can look in device manager under USB devices and check. It should respond to standard Windows Media Center commands. If you have a Harmony remote it would be easy to set up.
Thank you very much. I do have a Harmony remote & will check it out.
 

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AFAIK, HP's "passive IR receivers" aren't RC6/eHome/MCE sensors at all.


The actual definition of a "passive IR sensor" is essentially what you see in motion sensor lights/switches. HP has used the term a bit "off-label" here to describe an IR extender system it has used in some of their chassis.


The sensor in your PC is likely built into the card reader and is supposed to be mated to a slot-fitted bracket (not an actual PCI/PCIe card but just goes in the slot), with other IR connectors for an extender system. It's called "passive" in some cases because they had both passive implementations and ones with "controller" electronics, depending on the intended purpose and what TV tuners might be bundled as options on a particular model.


When designed such that the TV tuner would have the "controller" the front IR receiver and rear ports (if applicable) would be "passive". In the other scenario the front IR would connect to a similar bracket, but one that had the "controller" (that likely connected to USB, the TV tuner, or some proprietary port, I'm not sure).

A further explanation (with pictures) is here:
http://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c01744910


So I'm pretty sure the front panel IR sensor in the card reader, on its own, isn't usable as an IR sensor for Windows purposes. Hence their use of the term "passive", despite it not actually being what is otherwise defined as a passive IR sensor (a motion detector).
 
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