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No More Quirky IR for Media Center

Autonomic explains the oddity and develops a quick-fix for Media Center's IR toggle codes.


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This is the easy way to undo (or redo) the Media Center’s IR toggle commands. Find it at http://www.autonomichome.com/support.htm.

I get this question all the time: I programmed the IR codes for Media Center into my universal remote, but they only work some of the time.

What's the deal?

The deal is an oddity known as IR toggle codes, and the fix was revealed during the two-day Media Center University at the Electronic House Expo.

Michael De Nigris of Autonomic Controls discussed the issue during the Geeks and Tweaks session of MCU. While preparing for the discussion, Autonomic went ahead and created a script to implement a quick-fix for this unnerving situation.

Problem


Windows Media Center expects to see two different alternating IR codes for certain functions. For example: Up-A, Up-B, Up-A, Up-B.

This is a method commonly used by IR receiving devices to eliminate "bounce," or the inadvertent transmission of multiple button presses caused by accidental "double-clicks," or intermittent signal reception.

The problem is that many universal or learning remotes cannot be taught to handle toggle codes.

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Visit Autonomic at EHX Spring, March 13-15 in Orlando, booth 1544.


Symptoms


How do you know if you have such a remote?

The cursor keys might only work once. If a different command is sent, then the troublesome function will work again … once.

Unfortunately, a cursory test of your programming may not reveal the problem, since the buttons will all work, but just once.

Solution


If your controller does not support toggle codes, use the Windows Registry to disable the de-bounce logic.

The registry key is LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\
Services\HidIR\Remotes\745a17a0-74d3-11d0-b6fe-00a0c90f57da.

Want an easier way? Autonomic Home has written a script that will change the registry code for you. Visit http://www.autonomichome.com/support.htm . Two-thirds down the page you'll find a file that contains two registry scripts. One will turn off the debounce function, and another will turn it back on.

Download the .zip file, extract the two scripts, and double click the appropriate script for the desired effect.

Even Better Solution


Many other consumer devices utilize Media Center's method of "debouncing" received IR signals.

So, for the best results, utilize a control system that can deal with debounce. Most high-end control systems can deal with this just fine, but you must be aware of the requirement and program your control system accordingly.

Better still, avoid IR all together. Utilize IP or RS-232 control of a Media Center.

And it just so happens that Autonomic Home has some very nifty applications for controlling Media Center reliably and simply through a variety of interfaces, no IR required.

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Or you could always do it this way.




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Article Topics

News · Product News · Media Center · EHX Spring · Media Center · All topics

About the Author

Julie Jacobson, 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.

5 Comments (displayed in order by date/time)

Posted by Travis  on  03/13  at  12:25 PM

This is great until a windows update comes down and disables it.

This fix has been around for about 2 years - it was the same for XP.

I have personally had it happen where one day the remote did not work again and I looked in the registry and it had been changed back.

This is one of the many reasons Microsoft does not belong in the living room.

Posted by Julie Jacobson  on  03/15  at  03:25 AM

This comment came from AVSForum and I’ve asked our friends at Autonomic to reply…

Got this from someone on AVSForum ..

The article on remote codes has an error
Using the ControlSet001 registry key is not always correct. This could be the LastKnownGood backup and the system is using ControlSet002. The place this should be changed is in the CurrentControlSet. Using the ControlSet001 could cause some users to not see a result from the change.

The registry key is LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\
Services\HidIR\Remotes\745a17a0-74d3-11d0-b6fe-00a0c90f57da.

Posted by Julie Jacobson  on  03/15  at  05:25 AM

Response from Autonomic:

Perfectly logical – thank them for pointing it out.  We’ll update the scripts on Monday.

thank you, AVSForum, for always keeping us honest!

Posted by Michael de Nigris  on  03/15  at  10:04 AM

We’ve updated the registry scripts on our site accordingly.

Thanks Julie and AVS for pointing it out.

Posted by Alfred Mansour  on  09/23  at  10:47 PM

I have personally had it happen where one day the remote did not work again and I looked in the registry and it had been changed back. frontierville cheats

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