View Full Version : Microsoft eHome : compatible with consumer IR?

December 25th, 2006, 11:46 PM
Hello everyone. I have Girder on my system but this is actually a device question that only a fellow developer could answer. It's a bit off topic so my apologies in advance. I do use Girder when I'm learning infrared commands via my USB UIRT from the electronics gear I use.

I have a piece of free open source software that controls WowWee's robots via a PC infrared transceiver. The WowWee robots use the same consumer IR (not IRDA) that most home electronics do.

One of my users just told me about Microsft eHome, a device that seems to pop up frequently in threads on this forum. He has a Sony VAIO and it appears to be installed on the system.

My question is, do computers like the Sony VAIO which have eHome installed, necessarily have the correct infrared hardware to control consumer electronics gear? Or do they just have the usual IRDA port and require additional hardware to do the transmission like a USB UIRT or other external transceiver? I'm always on the look out for a popular inexpensive infrared transceiver to support for my users. If an eHome capable computer can control consumer IR gear then I would add support for it.

I would appreciate any guidance you can provide here and if you have links, please post them.

December 26th, 2006, 09:39 AM

If this is the MCE remote and receiver, then it can send consumer IR out.

December 26th, 2006, 10:23 AM

What question can I ask the user that will verify if they have the MCE remote and receiver? Is it built into the computer like the Creative labs computers infrared interface, or is it an external device like the USB UIRT?

If you have a link to the API for the interface I'd appreciate it. It sounds like something I will want to add support for.


December 26th, 2006, 10:31 AM
Its an external USB device.

We have a third party plugin in the downloads area that I believe has a link to the api.

December 26th, 2006, 06:33 PM

Thank you for your help. Some general information if you don't mind; I'm grateful to finally run into someone with a broad knowledge of the consumer IR device market. Two questions:

1) I really like the USB UIRT but many people have told me they have trouble obtaining it. There are a lot of other PC/infrared interfaces out there, but none of them seem to dominate the market. I want to make it easier for people to run my free open source software that controls WowWee robots so I would like to add support for at least one other.

If you were going to pick another Windows PC compatible USB infrared device to support, that is reasonably priced and internationally available, what device would you choose? Note, for this application I don't need learning capability at all, just transmission.

(You are one of the few who can imagine how many times I have to answer the question "Why can't I use the IRDA port on my laptop?".) :)

2) On a different note, have you seen a reasonably priced infrared transceiver that is truly full duplex? Most devices I've seen are like the USB UIRT which switch between send and receive modes (learn and transmit) but can't do both at the same time. Have you seen one that can do both simultaneously? If you have, please post a link.

If I don't talk to you sooner, Happy Holidays and thanks to Proximis for making Girder. I use it with the USB UIRT plugin DLL to learn all the infrared codes for the robots I support and it makes life much easier.


December 26th, 2006, 10:48 PM
1. The usbuirt is the best device on the market for performance price. Its widely available. You can get them from us -> we have the best price AFIAK.

Cheaper is the MS Blaster. Non standard (ie not CCF codes). Build your own serial uirt. Or the homeelectro device.

You really cannot go wrong with the usbuirt.

2. I do not aware of a full duplex device. The IRTrans *might* do it. www.itrans.de

December 26th, 2006, 10:49 PM
Oh, and if you want IR over TCP/IP look at www.globalcache.com

December 26th, 2006, 11:04 PM

As I said, love the USB UIRT, but I have over 10 emails now from international folk; some saying they're hard to get with others saying the shipping costs are astronomical to get it there.

Are you sure about that "itrans" link? It brings up a SEDO domain parking page. Are they out of business?

Thanks for all your help. If I don't talk to you sooner, have a Happy New Year.

Rob H
December 27th, 2006, 05:09 AM
That URL should be www.irtrans.de or www.irtrans.de/en if you want it in English