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Adding IR Remote Control to the Sony PS3
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Sony PlayStation 3 IR Remote Parts
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The parts you’ll need.
Well, necessity is the mother of invention, and using only off-the-shelf hardware it’s possible to add a basic level of infrared remote control capabilities to today’s PS3. Here’s what you need:
  1. A Sony PS3 system (20gb or 60gb)
  2. A PSX/PS2 Controller to USB adapter
  3. An original DVD remote control for the PS2 with external IR receiver
Some further explanation may be required for two of these items.

The “PSX/PS2 Controller to USB adapter” is a conversion cable designed to make PlayStation controllers compatible with traditional home computers. It does not appear to matter exactly which adapter you purchase; I used a Sector 7 model 5810257 sold by The Source (formerly known as Radio Shack) in Canada, however you should be able to use almost anything created for this purpose. Radio Shack in the US sells a particularly compact looking model.

The trickiest item to obtain will be the original DVD remote control for the PS2 – at least one that comes with an external IR receiver. All currently marketed DVD add-on remotes do not include that external IR receiver, since one is already built into the slim PS2. So, you’ll need to find an add-on remote designed for the original PS2. For this test I used the official Sony PlayStation 2 DVD Remote Control model SCPH-10172, which specifically mentions “with IR receiver unit” on the package front. The part number of the IR receiver is SCPH-10160. To find one check out the usual suspects for non-current hardware – eBay, bulk liquidators, and so forth.

To assemble this contraption, plug the IR receiver into the PS2 controller end of the adapter cable, and then plug the USB end of the adapter into one of the PS3’s front mounted USB ports. The end result may look a little bit ungainly, but it’s better than nothing!

Here’s what works:

Remote Button    PS3/BD Command
UpUp
DownDown
LeftLeft
RightRight
Triangle*Options Menu
Circle*Quit Player
Square*BD Menu
Cross*Enter
L1Previous Chapter
L2Scan -
R1Next Chapter
R2 Scan +
SelectDisplay
StartPause
* Works on all PS3 screens; other commands only function while in the BD player.

Sony PlayStation 3 with IR Remote Control
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So, that’s 14 functional buttons. 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.

Note that if you purchase a different brand of PS2 remote you may need to map its commands to their PS3 equivalents yourself, using the original remote control. I also do not recommend using the Mad Catz add-on PS2 DVD remote with IR receiver for the original PlayStation 2, as its non-standard commands are notoriously difficult for universal remote controls to learn.

If there’s enough demand for infrared remote control of the PS3 I’m sure that an accessory company will step up to the plate and offer an official – and more elegant – IR remote control solution, hopefully with a level of control that at least matches the official PS3 Bluetooth remote (which has 51 commands). But for now, this collection of non-intended hardware and adapters makes a practical and inexpensive way to integrate your PS3 with your universal remote control.

You can also check out our complete review of the official Sony PlayStation 3 Blue-ray Disc Remote Control.

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