View Full Version : HP media centre remote

January 9th, 2006, 07:37 PM
Help PLEASE!!!

I have a HTPC that is (now) running MCE and I have been using Girder 3.2.9 with a home-made serial port (COM) reciever with a generic remote and the Igor plugin.

This has been working fine for years, but recently I picked up a HP Media Centre remote (p/n 5187-4401) and after experiencing some odd behaviour with the new remote, I noticed that it was sending the same signal for many buttons.

After some research, I see that it's an RC6 remote which I believe means that it uses toggle bits but I have no idea what I need to do in Girder to allow for this. I see there is an MCE plugin but it seems to be for USB recievers.

Can anyone help at all...???


January 11th, 2006, 01:33 AM
Anyone got any ideas?

Will upgrading the version of Girder help?

January 11th, 2006, 07:13 AM
the igor hardware can be unreliable given the way it works. i would consider a new ir receiver or if the hardware works, use a different remote.

January 12th, 2006, 06:55 PM
Thanks for the reply Mike.

I really wanted to use the MCE remote so I might look at a new reciever. I see that there is a new "sensitive" version of the reciever, but picking up a cheap USB one may be the way to go.

I had concerns that Girder didn't really support RC6 (given that my hardware has worked fine so far), but I can appreciate that it's likely just the hardware.

September 12th, 2006, 02:32 PM
Hi. Sorry for resurrecting this thread, but google led me to it. :)

I have a question that seems kinda related to some things you said. Basically, I'm trying to use an RS232 port on my HP MD5880N TV to control it. I have been given a spreadsheet from HP with various hex codes on it, and it states that it uses RC-6 timing. HP has told me several times that the RS232 port CAN be used to control the TV, using the codes they sent me.

I am well versed in home automation, and in serial port programming...but I don't understand this transformation from RC-6 and hex codes to serial codes. Can anyone shed some light on this? I can post a pic of the spreadsheet if that would help.

Thanks for any help.

Rob H
September 12th, 2006, 04:43 PM
It sounds as though they don't know what they're talking about. Some devices do support IR codes over the serial port (LG TVs for example), but they require additional codes to be sent as well.

It might be worth trying to talk to the TV at various different port speeds starting at 9600 which is often the default, and seeing if you get any feedback from the set when you operate it from the remote control.

September 12th, 2006, 04:52 PM
It sounds as though they don't know what they're talking about.

That is VERY POSSIBLE. I will say, to their credit, that if they're wrong about doing this, they're very very adamant about it. Repeatedly they have told me in emails that these codes can be used to control the TV through the RS232 port.

Here is the spreadsheet they sent me:


I've tried sending tons of data through the RS232 port (and guessing at baud, parity, etc, since that information is not on this sheet). I can't remember if I tried hooking up the port monitor and then using the remote. I THINK I did, and I didn't get anything.

However, there's nothing to indicate that the TV outputs data on the port...it's quite possible it's a one-way connection.

Thanks for the reply, though. If I can get even 1-way control of the TV, I'll be quite happy.

October 4th, 2006, 04:42 PM
Well, I finally got the chance to hook up the laptop via serial cable to the TV and try putting it through it's paces. The serial cable was a null-modem cable, which is what I'd expect to be needed (based on other devices I've used so far)

I tried many different combinations of baud and flow control. I'd then hit the mute button on the remote, and nothing ever came across the line.

So, there seem to be three possibilities:
1) I need to use a straight-thru cable instead of null modem
2) The TV uses some fairly non-standard port settings
3) The TV does not do any status reporting when external controls are used.

I can check #1 fairly easily, just have to make the cable. Anyone else have any suggestions on how to try and get this TV under serial control?

Rob H
October 4th, 2006, 05:05 PM
I'd definitely try #1 first - of the 3 devices I have with serial control 2 of them use a straight-through cable and one uses a null modem cable (an LG TV as it happens).

Most devices seem to use 9600 bps 8N1 with no flow control - probably because that's the Crestron default I assume.

October 4th, 2006, 05:20 PM
Ok, will do. Forgive me for asking the obvious, but basically in straight-through serial, pin1 on one end of the cable is connected to pin1 on the other end of the cable, right? I'm wiring my own cables using DB9-RJ45 connectors, so I want to be able to continuity-check them when I'm done to make sure I did 'em right.

Rob H
October 4th, 2006, 05:43 PM
Yes, that's correct as I understand it.

November 2nd, 2006, 11:28 AM

Ok, no feedback messages with a straight-thru cable either. I'm pretty much resigned to the idea that this will be a 1-way protocol. the RS232 protocol seems to be a mimic of the remote control, which is of course 1 way.

But I'll take 1way over nothing. Does anyone else have any ideas how I convert the spreadsheet values on page 1 to a valid RS232 command??

Edit: I also contacted HP (AGAIN) and asked them if the TV set echo's commands, or sends outgoing messages. Their patented helpless reply message is that the RS232 protocol spreadsheet is ALL the information they have.

Rob H
November 2nd, 2006, 01:27 PM
That probably means that design and manufacture of the TV is actually outsourced to someone else. It may be worth trying the websites of other manufacturers to see if the RC6 codes happen to be the same.

November 2nd, 2006, 01:38 PM
Heh....that's probably very true, since HP kind of just burst on the scene with a TV. I seriously doubt they decided to jump right into TV manufacturing.

To make the hunt a little easier, I don't suppose there is any easier way to figure out who manufacturer's it for them, is there? do you think they'll answer that question directly? I'll look on the back of the TV for some identifying mark.

Rob H
November 2nd, 2006, 05:44 PM
Well, you could check for reviews of the TV - they often reveal that sort of information.

Other than that, it would probably require dismantling it, or at least taking the back off the set :(

November 2nd, 2006, 06:10 PM
Hehe...I'm constantly faced with the question of "How bad do I really want this capability."

I helped my Mom buy an LG LCD tv for my Dad, and in the manual itself it had all the info on controlling the TV through the serial port. Grrrrr...I was actually JEALOUS...of a measly 40" TV!! :(

Thanks for the help. You've given me some more areas to pursue.