Wednesday, November 25, 2009

USB Infrared Receiver

I was bored on Sunday, so I ordered an HP 5070-2584 USB Infrared receiver for $12.95 on eBay, just to see what it was capable of. Its USB device ID is 0471:060c. The box itself is nice and compact, and the cable is 2.3 meters long.

I was able to get it working right away with LIRC and the "mceusb" driver. My initial concern was that it might only be compatible with Windows Media Center remotes, but that thankfully turned out not to be the case.

Using LIRC's "irrecord" utility, I've been able to create keymaps for my Samsung TV, my FusionHDTV5 remote, and even the 6-button remote that came with my air conditioner.

I had previously been using my FusionHDTV5's IR dongle to control MythTV, but:
  • It only supports one IR protocol (RC-5, I think)
  • Instead of using LIRC, it shows up as a keyboard, so I need to patch my kernel to change the keymap.
  • It's got an annoying bug where the I2C bus freezes up, and I need to completely power off the computer to get it working again.
Anyway, this new receiver looks like it will be much more flexible. I assume that all of the mceusb-compatible receivers have similar capabilities, but I haven't tested any others.