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How to Control PlayStation 3 with IR

PS3 uses Bluetooth, while A/V gear uses IR. RC's Daniel Tonks shows how to reconcile the two.

The PlayStation 3 didn't come out of Sony's integration group, ya know. There isn't an IR receiver on the unit, and naturally you can't control it through RS-232.

So here you have a very fine Blu-ray Disc player that you cannot readily integrate with an HDTV set or surround sound. Sadly, the PS3 and its companion remote communicate via Bluetooth, and there aren't a lot of TVs and sound systems, let alone universal remote controls, that employ this protocol.

We thought, perhaps, there would be some promising news when Sony showed the STR-DA5200ES A/V receiver a few months ago. There was so much buzz about the user interface mimicking the Cross Media Bar GUI of the PS3, we thought maybe the two devices could communicate with each other. But there was nothing there. You'd think Sony would at least find a way to integrate the PS3 with its own receivers.

Indeed, you can incorporate the PS3 and its Blu-ray Disc player into your home theater environment. Daniel Tonks at proves it in his elegant review, "How to Add Infrared Remote Control Capabilities to the PS3."

At one point, Tonks reminds us, Sony talked about incorporating consumer IR (CIR) into its PlayStation Portable (PSP), which might have been useful for something, but alas it was not to be.

What You Need

  • Sony PS3 system
  • PSX/PS2 Controller to USB adapter

  • Original DVD remote control for the PS2 with external IR receiver

Good luck trying to find the required PS2 remote. Look for one that says "with IR receiver unit."

The remote will give you these functions on the PS3: Up, down, left, right, options menu, quit player, Blu-ray menu, enter, previous chapter, scan+, scan-, next chapter, display, pause.

Note the mapping of the PS2 buttons to the PS3 command set is not intuitive -- the PS2's START button, for example, activates the PAUSE command on the PS3 -- but Tonks provides the details.

The rest is easy, just learn those buttons into a universal remote, and you have a modicum of integration between the PS3 and your other entertainment devices.

Tonks says:

Using a universal remote control this way works fairly well, although the PS3 is a little less quick to respond to repeated commands from the adapter, so you can’t press "up-up-up" as rapidly as with the Bluetooth controller. The 35 other commands on the Sony PS2 DVD remote control? They don’t do anything. There’s also no way to power on the unit using infrared nor navigate the Cross Media Bar, although this isn’t as inconvenient as it sounds since the PS3 will turn on and automatically play a movie when one is inserted.

For all the caveats and the hookup details read Tonks' complete review.

For every IR code for every IR device on the planet (it seems), go to the File Area.

Any Hope for PS3 & SideShow Remotes?

Here's a thought: The first batch of universal remotes with Microsoft's SideShow technology communicate via Bluetooth with Vista PCs. The remotes that we've seen so far, including Interlink's reference design and SideShow remotes from Ricavision and Philips, also include IR for controlling A/V and other IR devices.

Has Sony enabled third parties to develop Bluetooth remotes for the PS3? If so, wouldn't it be nice to have a SideShow remote that controls the PS3 and all your A/V gear?

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Article Topics

News · Product News · Gaming · All topics

About the Author

Julie Jacobson, Co-Founder, EH Publishing / Editor-at-large, CE Pro
Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson. [More by Julie Jacobson]


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