Section B5: Working With ProntoEdit:
B5-01 What are discrete codes?
Discrete codes are versions of toggle codes that only perform one function. For
instance, a "POWER" button on a remote would be a toggle in that when it is used the
current power state is reversed. If your device is on, it turns off. If it's off, it
turns on. A "discrete" code would be a signal that ONLY turns the device on or off. If
it is already on it remains so. These are most often used to ensure your home theater
components stay completely in sync for powering on and off and changing device inputs.
Such specialized and otherwise hidden codes may also be available for direct access to
other "toggled" or "rotating" functions such as television inputs, receiver soundfield
settings and on-screen display modes.
Unfortunately, many devices or entire brands do not have discrete on/off codes.
To control such devices discretely with the Pronto you could look into the popular SmartLinc
and HouseLinc systems, as they often provide proprietary methods of accomplishing this. If you
have a device that does not have a remote controllable power switch, you could plug it into
your receiver's switched outlets (if it has them) so that when the receiver is off, it is off.
Or invest in X-10, which are power control modules with have specific on and off commands.
B5-02 How do I find or create them?
Mostly by a lot of hard work. Often a remote that came with a single model of a component
may have a few discrete codes that could be used on other similar models. Or, as with many
of the ones on this site, the actual structure of an IR code is analyzed and then changed
to see what the resulting code does. There are utilities in the
Pronto File Area that can assist
with this, such as IR Tool and ProntoUtil.
But first, you should check the File Archives at Remote
Central to determine if your device -- or even if your brand -- has discrete functionality
available. By now, discrete codes for most common devices -- if they exist -- have been found.
Finally, there's a forum on
Remote Central designed to specifically help users locate discrete codes.
B5-03 How can I use them?
In ProntoEdit, discrete codes are stored as hex. This means that a "power on" command for
a Sony receiver would look like:
0000 0066 0000 000d 005f 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0017 0018 0018 0018 0017 0018 0018 002f 0429
To use them the entire string must be copied. For complete help on how to use discrete codes
with buttons that do not have an existing IR code or those that already do, plus a quick list of
devices that are known to lack discrete codes, please see this
page on Remote Central.
The most common places discrete codes are employed are in automatic input switch macros assigned
to devices or system power macros. For instance, if you have discrete codes each time you
change the Pronto from "VCR 1" to "DVD" you can have the remote automatically set the inputs
on both the television and receiver. This is great for other family members who may
have difficulty keeping both the television and receiver in sync.