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Dealing with devices with input cycling
This thread has 13 replies. Displaying all posts.
Post 1 made on Wednesday December 28, 2016 at 09:27
Chris Frost
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Hello all, I just wondered if any of you have a good solution for dealing with devices that lack direct input codes? The usual trick of going to a default input then either up or down arrow X times doesn't work in this case as there is no default input unfortunately.

I have a couple of client jobs now where they're using Sony 4K TVs (XD9305) and one of them also has the Sony soundbar HT-ST9. Nether the TV nor the soundbar remotes offer anything more than a simple "input" button which cycles through the inputs. I have done the usual capture-scrutinize-generate all codes-search for discretes routine but come up empty handed on the soundbar.

I think one of the issues is that the device is looking for an extended duration code that the existing Marantz remotes (ancient RC9200's) I'm updating can't accommodate as standard. I can alter the hex code to change the durations, but as you can imagine, doing that for over 200 codes on the off-chance that I might find an as-yet-undiscovered discrete for the inputs is a colossal PITA and hugely time-consuming when on-site.

Is there a smarter solution that I'm missing? Any help would be appreciated :)
Post 2 made on Wednesday December 28, 2016 at 10:16
Impaqt
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On December 28, 2016 at 09:27, Chris Frost said...
Hello all, I just wondered if any of you have a good solution for dealing with devices that lack direct input codes? The usual trick of going to a default input then either up or down arrow X times doesn't work in this case as there is no default input unfortunately.

I have a couple of client jobs now where they're using Sony 4K TVs (XD9305) and one of them also has the Sony soundbar HT-ST9. Nether the TV nor the soundbar remotes offer anything more than a simple "input" button which cycles through the inputs. I have done the usual capture-scrutinize-generate all codes-search for discretes routine but come up empty handed on the soundbar.

I think one of the issues is that the device is looking for an extended duration code that the existing Marantz remotes (ancient RC9200's) I'm updating can't accommodate as standard. I can alter the hex code to change the durations, but as you can imagine, doing that for over 200 codes on the off-chance that I might find an as-yet-undiscovered discrete for the inputs is a colossal PITA and hugely time-consuming when on-site.

Is there a smarter solution that I'm missing? Any help would be appreciated :)

I know the HT-ST9 uses standard Sony receiver codes. So you can use that for disretes.

Have you tried the standard sony discrete codes for TV's?

If for some reason they dont work, you need to have a channel available in the tuner and then CH+ (Or -) will anchor it to that tuner input.

What remote are you using?
I'm no engineer, but I did stay at a Motel 6 last night!
OP | Post 3 made on Wednesday December 28, 2016 at 12:00
Chris Frost
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Hi and thanks for the reply.

The remotes on site for the soundbar job are a couple of Marantz RC9200 and a Marantz RC5400 that I supplied and installed a decade ago. The room with the 4K sony TV and soundbar uses one of the 9200's.

Learning codes from the Sony HT-ST9 and then decoding them gives me the following:

[Cursor Up] Sony15, device = 176, obc = 120

0000 0067 0050 0000 0060 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0030 032f 0060 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0030 032f 0060 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0030 032f 0060 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0030 032f 0060 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018

[Display] Sony15, device = 48, obc = 75

0000 0067 0040 0000 0060 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0347 0060 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0347 0060 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0347 0060 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018

[Clear Audio+] Sony20, device = 16, subdevice = 104, obc = 47

0000 0067 0069 0000 0060 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0018 0212 0060 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0018 0212 0060 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0018 0212 0060 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0018 0212 0060 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018


Having a look at the receiver discretes from the RC Discrete Libraries I see:
 
HDMI A (AV2 (Current)):
0000 0067 0000 0015 0060 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0241
Notes: Tested on STR-DA5400ES.

and that decodes as protocol = Sony20, device = 16, subdevice = 40, obc = 62

HDMI A (AV1 (Older/Alternate)):
0000 0067 0000 0015 0060 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0253
Notes: Tested on STR-DA5400ES.

and that decodes as protocol = Sony20, device = 16, subdevice = 32, obc = 62

It tried both the above when I was there on site programming and got no response from the soundbar.

Obviously while the protocol and device match for one of the codes sets learned from the soundbar's remote, the subdevices are different and clearly the lengths of the hex strings are different too which is why I meantioned the duration issue in the OP.

When learning from the remote on site each learned code was tested back using Touch Screen Setup's 'test' feature. The long duration codes all worked. These were captured using a short press of the donor remote's buttons. Long presses during learning resulted in shorter codes roughly equivalent in length to those from the discrete library; however the soundbar didn't respond when those were tested.


I had tried the standard Sony discrete codes for TVs but again without success. However, I have since searched RC and got some others to try that were posted in discussion threads. I will try those when next on site.

All code learning was done head to head approx 2-3" gap and under blackout cloth. Code testing was done with the Marantz RC9200 connected to the laptop via am FTDI USB to Serial converter and running on Windows XP on a laptop that I keep for supporting older remotes. Site conditions: LED GU10 lighting.
Post 4 made on Wednesday December 28, 2016 at 12:07
Impaqt
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The Soundbars dont have all the inputs the receivers do. I seem to recall finding discreet swithes for all the inputs with the ZA3000 Codeset. I dont have a Sony SB on display right now to verify though.

SOny TV's should work with these codes
[Link: files.remotecentral.com]

If the dont, see Above CH_ anchor recommendation.

And sell your client a new remote.
I'm no engineer, but I did stay at a Motel 6 last night!
Post 5 made on Wednesday December 28, 2016 at 13:26
Ernie Gilman
Yes, That Ernie!
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If you generate the regular codes and install them in the Marantz remotes, you can mimic a long button push by using a long button push. There won't be many of them. For instance, a DILA I installed about fifteen years ago used a long push, but only for Power Off.

The difficulty is getting a long button push itself into the remote.

The original Pronto (for sure) and Marantz (I think) remotes, which would include the 9200, issued commands in such a way that a long push macro could be constructed. The 5400 and its family won't do this.

The method was to learn the IR command two different ways.
A.Learn it the normal way.
B.Learn only the repeating part of the command, and not the initial part of the command:
Put the remote into Learn;
push the Marantz's button that you want to learn onto;
cover the face of the remote you want to learn from;
push the button you want to learn from;
after a short time, remove your hand from the front of the remote you're learning from.
Let it learn.

A learns the standard code.
B does not learn the initial part of the code. It only learns the repeating part of the code.

That DILA OFF command was a macro consisting of one A followed by eleven Bs. The remote was a TS-1000, but I believe all the remotes in that family would work the same way.

The NG remotes were smarter and inserted a pause between commands, so if you tried this with them, the controlled device did not see one long command. It saw several short commands and would not give the desired response.

On December 28, 2016 at 12:07, Impaqt said...
And sell your client a new remote.

Or sell him a better sound bar. The control scenario you describe sounds to me like it's for low end systems. A passive sound bar that uses your AVR's amp outputs would not have this problem. I recently installed a KILLER sound bar from Triad, custom cut to match the width of the TV (but priced well over a grand) that does everything you want to do, since it doesn't have remote commands to get in the way of the audio path.
A good answer is easier with a clear question giving the make and model of everything.
"The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- G. “Bernie” Shaw
OP | Post 6 made on Wednesday December 28, 2016 at 17:08
Chris Frost
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On December 28, 2016 at 12:07, Impaqt said...
The Soundbars dont have all the inputs the receivers do. I seem to recall finding discreet swithes for all the inputs with the ZA3000 Codeset. I dont have a Sony SB on display right now to verify though.

SOny TV's should work with these codes
[Link: files.remotecentral.com]

If the dont, see Above CH_ anchor recommendation.

And sell your client a new remote.

Admittedly most soundbars are quite limited, but this one isn't and it does have multiple inputs: 3xHDMI (one supporting ARC and another which is 4K pass-thru compatible). 1xanalogue. 1xoptical. BT and a USB input as well. It also supports DTS-MA and DD True-HD audio, so the configuration is sources to the soundbar first and then HDMI out to the TV.

Thanks for the suggestion, but selling the client a new remote needs to come after resolving the issue of dealing with input cycling. If that nut can't be cracked then a shiny new remote is still going to have the same problem surely?
Post 7 made on Wednesday December 28, 2016 at 17:25
Impaqt
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On December 28, 2016 at 17:08, Chris Frost said...
Admittedly most soundbars are quite limited, but this one isn't and it does have multiple inputs: 3xHDMI (one supporting ARC and another which is 4K pass-thru compatible). 1xanalogue. 1xoptical. BT and a USB input as well. It also supports DTS-MA and DD True-HD audio, so the configuration is sources to the soundbar first and then HDMI out to the TV.

Thanks for the suggestion, but selling the client a new remote needs to come after resolving the issue of dealing with input cycling. If that nut can't be cracked then a shiny new remote is still going to have the same problem surely?

I'm not debating the fact that its a good soundbar.
I'm telling you it uses Current AVR Codes and does support discretes. If you had a modern remote like a URC MX series or Control4 System, you would have all the codes already in the database.

Same thing with the sony. Looks like thats a UK specific model number, but I would assume it uses the same IR codes that we here in the states use. and again. the URC database includes discretes for all 4 HDMI inputs.
I'm no engineer, but I did stay at a Motel 6 last night!
OP | Post 8 made on Wednesday December 28, 2016 at 17:29
Chris Frost
Long Time Member
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On December 28, 2016 at 13:26, Ernie Gilman said...
If you generate the regular codes and install them in the Marantz remotes, you can mimic a long button push by using a long button push. There won't be many of them. For instance, a DILA I installed about fifteen years ago used a long push, but only for Power Off.

The difficulty is getting a long button push itself into the remote.

The original Pronto (for sure) and Marantz (I think) remotes, which would include the 9200, issued commands in such a way that a long push macro could be constructed. The 5400 and its family won't do this.

The method was to learn the IR command two different ways.
A.Learn it the normal way.
B.Learn only the repeating part of the command, and not the initial part of the command:
Put the remote into Learn;
push the Marantz's button that you want to learn onto;
cover the face of the remote you want to learn from;
push the button you want to learn from;
after a short time, remove your hand from the front of the remote you're learning from.
Let it learn.

A learns the standard code.
B does not learn the initial part of the code. It only learns the repeating part of the code.

That DILA OFF command was a macro consisting of one A followed by eleven Bs. The remote was a TS-1000, but I believe all the remotes in that family would work the same way.

The NG remotes were smarter and inserted a pause between commands, so if you tried this with them, the controlled device did not see one long command. It saw several short commands and would not give the desired response.

Thanks for the tip on dealing with long button pushes. I can actually rewrite the Hex code directly to emulate a long button push. If I change the part of the preamble sequence that deals with defining how many pairs of codes are issued, and then add a duplicate of the relevant codes then TSS sees it as a valid IR sequence. That should help keep the macro strings shorter and reduce the wait time as the macro is executed, but it's always useful to have a back-up plan so I really do appreciate your input on this. Thanks


Or sell him a better sound bar. The control scenario you describe sounds to me like it's for low end systems. A passive sound bar that uses your AVR's amp outputs would not have this problem. I recently installed a KILLER sound bar from Triad, custom cut to match the width of the TV (but priced well over a grand) that does everything you want to do, since it doesn't have remote commands to get in the way of the audio path.

That's the really frustrating thing. The Sony HT-ST9 soundbar is £1,299 rrp (UK Sterling) which is roughly equivalent to $1,580 USD!! It's not a cheap piece of kit at all. Ditto the 4K Sony TV @ £1,999 rrp (UK Sterling) [approx $2,400 USD]. These are items the client bought independently on a bit of a whim when out shopping with his wife. If he'd have asked my advice before buying then I'd have installed a 4K AVR and something along the lines of the Monitor Audio SB3 passive soundbar with an active sub. That would have solved the control issues instantly and given them much better sound too. Ho hum.
OP | Post 9 made on Wednesday December 28, 2016 at 17:43
Chris Frost
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On December 28, 2016 at 17:25, Impaqt said...
I'm not debating the fact that its a good soundbar.
I'm telling you it uses Current AVR Codes and does support discretes. If you had a modern remote like a URC MX series or Control4 System, you would have all the codes already in the database.

Same thing with the sony. Looks like thats a UK specific model number, but I would assume it uses the same IR codes that we here in the states use. and again. the URC database includes discretes for all 4 HDMI inputs.

I'm not arguing for the soundbar either. In fact my view is that is overpriced junk both in terms of its control features and its audio performance. I'm simply making the point that it does have a reasonable array of inputs (as it should do given the exorbitant price) but that the control aspect of it is garbage.

Whether a newer remote already has the codes in the software database is irrelevant to the question at hand. Yes, it's nice to have those codes sitting there ready, but it doesn't change the fact that the behaviour of the soundbar is a bit odd i.e. non responsive to short codes, and that it requires long button pushes. I could be in exactly the same position vis-a-vis unresponsiveness with database codes for a URC or C4 remote.

Knowing that the US version of the HT-ST9 responds to Sony Receiver commands is useful information. I can go to site an try that and then look for other causes if the device isn't responding, so thanks for your input on that.
OP | Post 10 made on Wednesday December 28, 2016 at 17:49
Chris Frost
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On December 28, 2016 at 12:07, Impaqt said...
SOny TV's should work with these codes
[Link: files.remotecentral.com]

If the dont, see Above CH_ anchor recommendation.

And sell your client a new remote.

What does "Above CH_ anchor" mean, please?

Edit: Skip that, I see now you were referring to the channel anchor method.
Post 11 made on Wednesday December 28, 2016 at 22:17
Dave in Balto
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Dude, are you billing for all of this time you are spending in 10 year old remotes?

I know I would be and it would be cheaper for the client to buy new equipment with discrete codes and a current remote. Be a pro on this.
Hey, careful man, there's a beverage here!

The Dude
Post 12 made on Thursday December 29, 2016 at 01:18
Ernie Gilman
Yes, That Ernie!
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Dave,
I always bill for time spent on old remotes. People seem more willing to stick with the old remote, as long as it's working, and pay a couple hundred every couple of years, instead of going more than a thousand right now.


On December 28, 2016 at 17:29, Chris Frost said...
Thanks for the tip on dealing with long button pushes. I can actually rewrite the Hex code directly to emulate a long button push. If I change the part of the preamble sequence that deals with defining how many pairs of codes are issued, and then add a duplicate of the relevant codes then TSS sees it as a valid IR sequence.

To me you are an IR god.

...reduce the wait time as the macro is executed,

The one I cite took about a second. See, there are no pauses.

That's the really frustrating thing. The Sony HT-ST9 soundbar is £1,299 rrp (UK Sterling) which is roughly equivalent to $1,580 USD!! It's not a cheap piece of kit at all. Ditto the 4K Sony TV @ £1,999 rrp (UK Sterling) [approx $2,400 USD].

I didn't want to push the price up, so I didn't tell you straight out: the custom-made Triad was $1500. Not so overpriced, as it turns out.

These are items the client bought independently on a bit of a whim when out shopping with his wife. If he'd have asked my advice before buying then I'd have installed a 4K AVR and something along the lines of the Monitor Audio SB3 passive soundbar with an active sub. That would have solved the control issues instantly and given them much better sound too. Ho hum.

I hope you were able to discuss with him, before starting, the possible pitfalls of equipment not bought after considering how the parts will work together. Or use this as a reason to write such a speech for use later if needed. If a client is told his selections might cost him over a thousand dollars in research and reinventing the football, maybe he'd be willing to trade it back and come out of the experience with a commitment to having a great system.
A good answer is easier with a clear question giving the make and model of everything.
"The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- G. “Bernie” Shaw
Post 13 made on Thursday December 29, 2016 at 10:52
highfigh
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On December 28, 2016 at 17:29, Chris Frost said...
These are items the client bought independently on a bit of a whim when out shopping with his wife. If he'd have asked my advice before buying then I'd have installed a 4K AVR and something along the lines of the Monitor Audio SB3 passive soundbar with an active sub. That would have solved the control issues instantly and given them much better sound too. Ho hum.

I think the best thing to do is explain that a SYSTEM that works well isn't pieced together "on a bit of a whim". It takes a lot more time to gt it to work together, it may not work that way for long and it will surely require more learning in order for them to be able to use it and that means there will be more to forget. They need to be told, sometimes several times.

Some people seem to think that we know how to set up and operate all brands and models. While we can probably grasp what's required faster than most, it takes us out of our comfort zone of dealing with equipment that we sold because we're familiar with it, we know how to get it to do what we want/need and for other reasons. Hearing "I want to use this" when we already had a plan sucks and it often doesn't work.
My mechanic told me, "I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder."
Post 14 made on Thursday December 29, 2016 at 12:34
Ernie Gilman
Yes, That Ernie!
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Yes.
While we have broad experience and will understand squirrely things much faster than the average person, and we already have strategies for solving new problems, new pieces of equipment always require some learning. That means time. If the client chooses the product, he chooses to pay me to learn. As someone here says, I support products that support me. I don't give away my time on a client's whim.
A good answer is easier with a clear question giving the make and model of everything.
"The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- G. “Bernie” Shaw


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