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Philips Pronto NG / ProntoPro NG FAQ
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Section B5: Software Questions
Working with IR Codes

B5-01   How can I tell whether my learned codes are "clean" or not?

    “Unclean” infrared commands not only take up more of the Pronto NG’s memory than is necessary, but will often not work correctly. The device may sense the command twice, a button may not repeat when held, or the code may simply not work at all. By viewing the hex display of a particular signal in ProntoEdit, one can determine whether the signal is clean or not.

    First, the easiest way to identify a poorly learned code is if it is much longer than other codes learned for the same device. Though some devices can actually use two different formats for different groups of commands (some long, some short), the general rule of thumb is that an abnormally long code is a bad code.

    For this example we will use Sony codes. Although the format of other brands will be different, the same principles apply. To view the hex of a particular code, double-click on the button in ProntoEdit, then double-click on the command (often labeled “Learned”). If a particular set of four digits (usually at the end) are duplicated elsewhere in the code, it is most likely an unclean learn.

    For instance, this is a very dirty code. Notice the repetition of “0452” (the lead out) and how the code seems to just cut off. This was probably learned by just “pressing” the button rather than holding it until the remote beeped:

    0000 0067 0034 0000 0060 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0452 0060 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0452 0060 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0452 0060 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018

    Now here’s a somewhat dirty code. Notice the repetition of “0452”:

    0000 0067 000b 000d 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0452 0060 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0452

    And, finally, here’s a clean code. Notice how “0452” only appears once, at the end:

    0000 0067 0000 000d 0060 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0030 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0018 0452

    Generally, the shorter the code the better. But there are exceptions. ProntoEdit is known to improperly learn a number of specific brands, resulting in exceptionally short codes that don’t work at all. In this and most other cases, it is best to learn with the base Pronto itself and not through ProntoEdit.


B5-02   Why won’t my codes repeat when held down?
    When teaching your commands, you should hold the original button down until the Pronto finishes learning. Do not simply press the button. If you do, the code will learn and will seem to work, but as it was not seen as a repeating code it will not continue to transmit when held down.

    Even if your commands don’t need to be repeating, you should still hold the button down when learning as this ensures that a clean hex code is captured (see above).


B5-03   What does 0000, 8000, etc. mean in a hex code?
    The first four digits of a hex code reference the type of code that is to follow:

    0000 - Raw oscilated learned code (also sometimes RC6A codes).
    0100 - Raw unmodulated learned code.
    5000 - RC5 codes.
    5001 - RC5x codes.
    6000 - RC6 codes.
    7000 - Non-standard format database codes (all models).
    8000 - Internal database codes (some models).
    9000 - Automatically detected database codes (some models).
    9001 - Yamaha code format (RAV-2000 only).
    900A - Automatically reformated database-style codes (some models).
    900B - Automatically reformated database-style codes (some models).


B5-04   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 NG 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.


B5-05   How do I find or create discrete codes?
    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 area 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.


B5-06   How do I use a discrete code?
    The most important step is to enable “Advanced Mode”, an option available under the “File” menu. Without this it is impossible to open the “View/Edit IR” window to paste in a hex code.

    First, find the code you need – if is on a website, highlight the entire number sequence with your mouse, then press CTRL-C on your keyboard. This copies the code to the Windows clipboard. Next, if you need a new button create one via the “Insert – Button” option. Double-click the button to open the “Button Properties” screen. Click the “Add IR Code” button on the right side, then click on the “View/Edit IR” button near the bottom. Paste the hex code into the open window by pressing CTRL-V. Click “OK” to close the hex window. You may now re-label the IR code if desired in the “Name” box. Finally, press “OK” to save your new code!


B5-07   How can I directly enter RC5, RC5x or RC6 codes in ProntoEdit NG?
    Currently, you cannot enter RC5, RC5x or RC6 system and command numbers in PENG like you could in ProntoEdit “classic”. However, the hex codes created when you enter this information in ProntoEdit will still work when pasted in PENG.

B5-08   Why don’t some of my imported IR codes work?
    ProntoEdit NG is unable to import certain database codes or dirty learned codes. Some discrete infrared hex codes available in the Pronto file archives are actually quite dirty and will not work correctly on the Pronto NG remote control. If an imported file contains non-functional buttons, re-learn them from your factory original remotes through the Pronto NG remote control. If a particular desired hex code does not work and you have no other means of obtaining that function, post a request in the Pronto NG forum and someone may be able to help you.

B5-09   Why won’t my buttons work twice in a row?
    This is actually caused by the design of your equipment. Your original remote sends a “parity” or “toggle bit”, which changes from “0” to “1” between each press. This means there are essentially two codes attached to each button – and a learning remote can only capture one of them.

    The Pronto NG can learn and operate some toggle-bit IR code formats automatically, however there is no way to access this function manually. To work around this on other devices you will need to tack on a “do nothing” code to the end of each real code to clear your device’s buffer. What can that code be? Anything that doesn’t affect regular operation. It may be hard to find such a command.

    You could also try creating two pages for every one you have now, each one with a different toggle code. Then, at the end of each code add a jump to the other panel.


B5-10   Why are my pasted hex codes being changed?
    When pasting hex codes, you may notice that a few of the numbers are changed. If it’s the last four digits, do not worry about it – your code should continue to work fine.

    If your whole code is changed to a short one beginning with “900A”, then that is also normal. The Pronto NG has detected a certain code format and saves a database reference instead of the raw hex code.

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