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Use a RF Anywhere remote, and a regular IR remote, interchangeably with a single U-verse receiver?

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Use a RF Anywhere remote, and a regular IR remote, interchangeably with a single U-verse receiver?

Can you use a RF Anywhere remote, and a regular IR remote, interchangeably with a single U-verse receiver?

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Message 1 of 15
Anonymous
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Accepted by hamilt14
‎09-30-2015 1:39 AM

Re: Use a RF Anywhere remote, and a regular IR remote, interchangeably with a single U-verse receive

Sure.  All the RF remote has is a USB dongle that plugs into the receiver and replicates the IR remote signal to the reciever.

 

Instead of getting an RF remote you can use one of the AT&T Uverse apps to control your receiver thru a tablet or smart phone.  Just FYI.....

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Message 2 of 15
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Accepted by topic author
Accepted by hamilt14
‎09-30-2015 1:39 AM

Re: Use a RF Anywhere remote, and a regular IR remote, interchangeably with a single U-verse receive

hamilt14 - As BB says you can do both. But, they do work differently with different problems -

The IR & RF remote are both susceptible to light corruption. To prevent this, the RF STB should be hidden from ambient light. Of course, you cannot hide it to use it IR , as well.

The RF remote is subject to a weak RF signal.

If you want to use the RF remote just because you have one & you do not have any IR problems, you might want to turn off the RF feature & not plug-in the dongle in order to circumvent problems caused by the weak RF and, perhaps, extending battery life. Or, you could get a regular remote. Unless you need the learning feature of the RF remote.

Programming to turn off RF is att/ok (simultaneously) - 916. 915 turns it back on.

 

Another cosideration is - Are you also using the RF remote with another TV? IR remotes can be swapped between STBs and TVs that have the same IR, but can cause confusion if the TVs are different. But, it seems impractical to move an RF remote, because you would have to move the dongle, as well & the original dongle STB is probably hidden. Maybe the easiest way to handle this example would be to reprogram the RF feature each time it is moved - RF for the original and IR for the new location.

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Message 3 of 15
Contributor

Re: Use a RF Anywhere remote, and a regular IR remote, interchangeably with a single U-verse receive

OK. Thanks.  My mother currently has a single U-verse receiver and regular IR remote.  I was thinking I would simply use a coax splitter to feed a new second TV in an adjacent room.  And I would purchase the RF remote to control the existing receiver thru the wall for viewing the second TV.  Both TVs would not be viewed at the same time.

 

I just want to make sure the new RF Anywhere remote does not disable the original IR remote operation for the existing TV. Bottom line, I need the regular IR remote to continue to work in the room with the existing TV and receiver...AND I need the new RF remote to work about 8 feet away from the adjacent room for the second TV.

 

Unfortunately, my elderly mother does not have a smart phone or tablet.  And the wireless receiver solution requires a monthly rental fee she cannot afford.  But thanks for the tip.

Message 4 of 15
Contributor

Re: Use a RF Anywhere remote, and a regular IR remote, interchangeably with a single U-verse receive

Knowing all of these limitations are very helpful for what I want to do. See my response to BeeBee. Thanks much.
Message 5 of 15
ACE - Expert

Re: Use a RF Anywhere remote, and a regular IR remote, interchangeably with a single U-verse receive

I think the RF may work for you, or it may not, depending on the composition of your walls, ambient RF noise, etc.

 

If you have an iPhone or iPad, then you could use the U-verse connected App to control the STB in the other room, while the IR remote would still work for your monther while in that room.  It does require that you have AT&T U-verse High Speed Internet, though.

 

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*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 6 of 15
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Accepted by topic author
Accepted by hamilt14
‎09-30-2015 1:39 AM

Re: Use a RF Anywhere remote, and a regular IR remote, interchangeably with a single U-verse receive

hamilt14 - If your mother is able to leave the bedroom door open , the IR remote may well work when pointed at the open doorway. Also, the RF remote would work in the TV room. But, maybe you are trying to avoid carrying a remote from room to room.

If you want to buy a second remote for the bedroom and you find the IR works room to room, I believe people are selling them on e-bay. Or, consider a logitech Harmony. I believe these are more powerful IR. Unfortunately, the inexpensive ones are no longer offered.

If you get an RF remote & find it to not have enough power to go through the wall, you can get a USB extension cable and place the dongle such that it is visible through the bedroom door and transmits IR across the room to the STB. Or, you can improver the antenna at each end as described below. I am attaching all the detail available on the remote functions.


I have previously reported some ways to improve function of both IR and RF remotes.

One of the things that bothers me is the proliferation of RF devices (STB, WAP, RG and remote) that do not have the capability to add an external antenna. Based on posts, all of these devices are seriously inadequate & could be significantly improved by a better antenna.

I have always felt that the RF remote does not generate an adequate RF signal. I found that I could improve operation by -

Holding the remote under & touching my chin.
Adding the printed circuit card that is offered to help cell phone reception to the battery compartment,
Touching the remote to a reading lamp bar.

Adding these “make do antennae” to the remote provide improvement. But, response was still sporadic. It definitely does not live up to it’s “point anywhere” name.

I always wanted to put an antenna on the dongle. I finally did it. I cut the base wire and one leg of a wire coat hanger. Held the short leg vertical & wrapped a few turns of the longer segment around the dongle until the two vertical ends were about the same - about three inches & cut the longer one so that they are even.

Since I have the dongle connected by a short USB jumper to the rear USB port and the STB IR sensor taped over and the whole front of the STB blocked out with tape & holding the dongle in position, everything comes together to bring the RF remote up to in-room expectations. Every button push works correctly regardless of how the remote is held.

When leaving the room intermittent failure returns. Probably needs a wired antenna on both ends to get that to work.

I will be interested to see how long this performs as the battery deteriorates. i previously notice that rechargeable batteries do not last as long as I would like. I am trying a CVS MAX battery advertised as their longest lasting alkaline ( currently buy one get one free)

IR Issues

Going back 5-6 years there are many posts about IR interference. Remedies included taping over the IR sensor, hiding the STB, turning off auto brightness on the TV.

A common fault was the info button press corrupting to an STB mute action. The number of reports of this have totally fallen away. My personal initial primary problem was getting the zero to register. But, one day long ago that just went away.

Niles Audio Corp. makes IR repeaters & has a video on their web site showing the fragility of the IR coding that is used for U-verse & other boxes. They said their new line of repeaters could handle it. Oddly, a U-verse customer posted in this community that they had a NIles install that was not working & after they contacted Niles they did not get any satisfactory resolution.

I came to believe that the IR sensor is too sensitive, That the DVR is worse than other STBs. That command type buttons are worse than the number buttons. That, somehow software updates can make it better or worse, So, it is a moving target. Hard to pin down.

I noticed that the U-verse remote does work better than my Logitech Harmony model 700. I looked at the IR signal through a digital camera. It appeared to me that the Harmony IR signal is stronger than the U-verse remote. This reinforces my theory that the IR sensor is too sensitive.

Recently, my most common problem was FF and Play Buttons often corrupted to chan up and chan down more than six times a night while watching recorded shows, exclusively.

I happened to notice that I had a specific kind of "duct tape" covering the blue light on the STB. Actually, it just looks like duct tape, but is electrical tape available at the Home Depot in the electrical dept. - http://www.homedepot.com/p/Commercial-Electric-2-in-x-150-ft-Vinyl-Electrical-Bundling-Tape-Silver-3...

This tape has a degree of transparency. I thought I would use it to cover the IR sensor. The remote has never worked better. In over 100 evenings since I applied the tape - watching recordings while FF through the ads - I have not had one chan up - chan down corruption . Previously, there would have been at least 6x100=600 occurrences.

Almost all button presses are accepted & none are changed to a different action.


RF Issues

It should not be a surprise, but it is, that half the problems with the RF remote are IR. I run an STB well hidden for a second TV. I had the IR sensor covered with black tape. I replaced the black tape with the "duct tape" & saw an immediate improvement in response to menu buttons. The number buttons were already good - see below for that solution.

The STB using RF must be hidden due to the dongle conversion of RF to IR. If it is not hidden it is subject to the following problems:

IR corruption - Ironically, the RF remote was often offered as a resolution for IR problems. But, if the STB is not hidden nothing has changed to eliminate theI IR corruption problem. If the corrupting light can be seen by the STB IR sensor it will continue to corrupt the IR signal.

If the STB IR sensor can see IR from another remote, it will respond to it.

If another STB can see the IR generated by the dongle, it will respond to it.

Note that hidden means the IR does not see outside light - If you have an optical repeater(like the Niles mentioned above) it is IR subject to corruption. If you have an IR receiver that produces RF to go through a wall, it is still IR subject to corruption. Any optical link open to the room is still open to IR corruption.

Only if the remote is RF (like the point anywhere remote) transmitted to a well hidden device will it ward off IR corruption. The ultimate solution is a wireless remote app. These are available, but incomplete & other devices do not yet support wireless remote. But, the Buddy TV remote can be used for a u-verse STB.

Previously, I found the RF remote lacking in RF power - in the same room, twelve feet away, hidden only by a thin sheet of cardboard. One method to increase RF power is to hold the remote under your chin while pressing a button - using your head as an antenna.

A better way is this antenna placed in the battery compartment - http://www.amazon.com/Cellular-Innovations-A-BOOSTER-Universal-Antenna/dp/B00009WCAP/ref=sr_1_8?ie=U...

With this antenna, the channel numbers are almost always accepted. With the "duct tape" in place, the other buttons work almost every time. The remote now works better than ever.

But, recently, I discovered that weakened batteries triggers poor results due to low power. If the remote starts acting up go for fresh batteries. Before I realized the batteries were low I was getting better RF by holding it against a metal arm of a reading light.

STB Issues

Once IR and RF issues are resolved, there are timing issues with the STB to contend with. Numbers process fast and Menu items process slow. You need quick, light touch on some numbers to avoid duplicates and a slow, strong press on menu activities. Effort is required to suppress the urge to press again while waiting for a response. It takes concentration to get effective results. Frequently a second press immediately cancels a slow responding first press. Current IR and RF issues amplify the effect of the timing issue.
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Message 7 of 15
Expert

Re: Use a RF Anywhere remote, and a regular IR remote, interchangeably with a single U-verse receive

hamilt14 - I was thinking about using the same COAX that feeds the second TV as the path for the Remote signal in order to not depend on a weak RF signal. COAX based systems are available, but there are even more using different (supplied) wires.

Of course, the unknown is do they work with the complex U-verse IR signal?? You can call and ask or buy from a place you can return. These would be used with the regular u-verse remote. Either carry one from room to room or come up with another one (either free or very inexpensive).

Here is a list from Amazon. I would look closely at the Sewell device - http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=wireless+ir+repeater&tag=googhydr-20&index=electronics&hva...

You are in a tough position because it will not accepted if you have to try more than two attempts & it will (rightly so) not be accepted if it does not work 100%.
Message 8 of 15
Expert

Re: Use a RF Anywhere remote, and a regular IR remote, interchangeably with a single U-verse receive

hamilt14 -
I found this wired IR extender for another poster that has hidden components. Ir would probably be more reliable than the RF remote. You can run the wire connection along the COAX.
http://infrared-resources.com/IRP6U-Dual-3856kHz-Frequency-Operates-all/M/B007HHLXO6.htm
Message 9 of 15
Expert

Re: Use a RF Anywhere remote, and a regular IR remote, interchangeably with a single U-verse receive

@ hamilt14 - Thanks for marking this thread positively. The thing is there are a number of different suggestions. I am interested in which one was the solution for your case. The details might be of value to others in similar situation.

BTW - There was another thread about using two TVs - Actually synching sound on two STBs & I recommended an HDMI splitter. I mention it here in case your second TV is HD, you may want to go for connecting HDMI instead of COAX.
@aviewer

http://sewelldirect.com/Sewell-HDMI-1x2-Splitter-v13b.asp?ad_source=GoogleAdWords&ad_medium=PPC&ad_t...

Message 10 of 15
Teacher

Re: Use a RF Anywhere remote, and a regular IR remote, interchangeably with a single U-verse receive

This seems to be an old post but I figured I'd add my experience. I recently got Uverse and have the equipment in a separate room. My receiver is a VIP 2250. I have the att rf remote because of the location of the equipment. The tv is located in the living room and the receiver is in the next room with a very thin wall in-between. The RF remote works intermittently. I have done the tape trick but no luck. It is not hidden but that was never my plan. I just wanted to stack it in another room. Now for the strangest thing I have ever run into. Aviewer suggested placing the remote under your chin. Holy smokes Batman - it freakin works! I almost fell of my Ikea Poang. I also found that if I hold it against the palm of my hand - I can see the buttons better - it works - so it seems to me to be more of a antenna issue than IR for me.  I ordered http://www.amazon.com/Cellular-Innovations-A-BOOSTER-Universal-Antenna/dp/B00009WCAP/ref=sr_1_8?ie=U... and it should arrive Monday. I'll post again after testing. If it does not work I was thinking of getting an http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Harmony-Ultimate-Customizable-Cabinet/dp/B00BQ5RY1G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF...

 

 

i am not sure how that will work but I do like the universals and I have an IR harmony which I like. There is a cheaper version too. 

 

For or now I hope the antEdna works. 

Message 11 of 15
Expert

Re: Use a RF Anywhere remote, and a regular IR remote, interchangeably with a single U-verse receive

Rcondo - I would consider the STB hidden by the wall - i.e. It cannot see any light from the room.

Did you see my post on making a coat hanger antenna for the dongle? (see below) Another antenna would be - get a stick antenna (latest version of TV rabbit ears. Extend the wire stub about three feet & wrap it around the dongle.

I am glad you posted. Mine has not been working very well lately & I forgot about the battery. The least deterioration in battery voltage shows up big time in the response. Time for me to replace the batteries.

If you have a portable device (tablet or phone) consider an app. Easyremote is the best.
If you cannot get good function consider a URC RF10 or RF20 It is supposed to be very powerful. -

With the loss of the Logitech Harmony Model 300 & the general malaise surrounding the Harmony Line of remotes, I started poking around the URC line of remotes to handle cases beyond the U-verse standard remote capabilities.. Here is what I found.

They have a couple of really inexpensive ones. But the reviews seem to indicate that they do NOT support U-verse. (looks like the RCA RCRP05BR is still first choice in the low price category).They, also, have very expensive models, that I would not consider.

The sweet spot is RF10 or RF20 - They have similar functionality and learning capability and price and RF capability and do support U-verse (per a reviewer).

The RF10 has a “shift “ button that nearly doubles the button availability as well as eight extra physical buttons. A button supports one function without pressing shift & another function immediately after the shift button is pressed.

The RF20 adds buttons with a screen (same as my Harmony 700) I find I only want to use the first screen, which is similar to the ”shift button” concept.

Maybe, you select the RF10 or RF20 based on whether you prefer the shift button or the LCD screen for added buttons.

The programming uses only the remote button pushing via codes or searching, similar to the U-verse remote or learning from the original remote (which is only available on the U-verse point anywhere remote). Some find it difficult to program, some do not.

A big adder is RF capability. It is probably a better choice (when the RF receiver is also purchased) than the U-verse point anywhere remote, in most cases.

It does NOT have pairing, (like the U-verse remote) so, you cannot have two separate RF systems for two u-verse STBs. If you happen to have a very close neighbor that has the same remote with U-verse, each would control both STBs.

Reviews seem to indicate both the RF and IR are very powerful. Some expressed concern about two remotes controlling two devices (due to both devices being “in range”). This limits it to one U-verse STB. The limit includes IR and RF because the remote always sends both RF and IR. If RF and IR could be turned off by device, it could control two STBs (one IR {visible} and one RF {hidden}).

The RF/IR converter does have a single large IR blaster and individual, paste-on blasters. But, the individual ones are NOT assignable to specific devices. If they were, it could control multiple u-verse STBs.

If it had either of these capabilities to control more than one of the same device (specifically - U-verse STBs), I would probably get one. If I could choose IR/RF by device, I could control a visible STB (via IR) and a hidden STB (via RF). If I could assign a tape-on blaster to a device button, then I could control two or more hidden STBs.

The eight extra buttons at the bottom are labeled as surround system. It always seems a struggle with the U-verse remote on how to handle the volume button. This allows for flexibility in having a button for TV volume & another for surround sound volume.

The remote is device oriented. It introduces the concept of “activity” by allowing controlling features on one device while another device is active. Similar to the U-verse remote, but I believe it is more specific/flexible. It , also, can turn on multiple devices with a single button press.

If you have a device with separate on/off IR (not toggle), the RF10 has the separate buttons to allow selection, based on that detail. This is powerful for when two devices get out of synch on start-up (Like the U-verse OK button).

If this writeup piques your interest in the URC RF remotes, be sure to read the reviews and questions in Amazon, as well as the user manual at the URC site to see if there are any speed bumps in the way of your needs. - http://www.universalremote.com/pdf/Manual_RF10.pdf

Note that this info was derived from Amazon postings and the URC user manuals. NOT personal experience with using a RF10 or RF20 remote.

IR Issues

Going back 5-6 years there are many posts about IR interference. Remedies included taping over the IR sensor, hiding the STB, turning off auto brightness on the TV.

A common fault was the info button press corrupting to an STB mute action. The number of reports of this have totally fallen away. My personal initial primary problem was getting the zero to register. But, one day long ago that just went away.

Niles Audio Corp. makes IR repeaters & has a video on their web site showing the fragility of the IR coding that is used for U-verse & other boxes. They said their new line of repeaters could handle it. Oddly, a U-verse customer posted in this community that they had a NIles install that was not working & after they contacted Niles they did not get any satisfactory resolution.

I came to believe that the IR sensor is too sensitive, That the DVR is worse than other STBs. That command type buttons are worse than the number buttons. That, somehow software updates can make it better or worse, So, it is a moving target. Hard to pin down.

I noticed that the U-verse remote does work better than my Logitech Harmony model 700. I looked at the IR signal through a digital camera. It appeared to me that the Harmony IR signal is stronger than the U-verse remote. This reinforces my theory that the IR sensor is too sensitive.

Recently, my most common problem was FF and Play Buttons often corrupted to chan up and chan down more than six times a night while watching recorded shows, exclusively.

I happened to notice that I had a specific kind of "duct tape" covering the blue light on the STB. Actually, it just looks like duct tape, but is electrical tape available at the Home Depot in the electrical dept. - http://www.homedepot.com/p/Commercial-Electric-2-in-x-150-ft-Vinyl-Electrical-Bundling-Tape-Silver-3...

This tape has a degree of transparency. I thought I would use it to cover the IR sensor. The remote has never worked better. In over 100 evenings since I applied the tape - watching recordings while FF through the ads - I have not had one chan up - chan down corruption . Previously, there would have been at least 6x100=600 occurrences.

Almost all button presses are accepted & none are changed to a different action.


RF Issues

It should not be a surprise, but it is, that half the problems with the RF remote are IR. I run an STB well hidden for a second TV. I had the IR sensor covered with black tape. I replaced the black tape with the "duct tape" & saw an immediate improvement in response to menu buttons. The number buttons were already good - see below for that solution.

The STB using RF must be hidden due to the dongle conversion of RF to IR. If it is not hidden it is subject to the following problems:

IR corruption - Ironically, the RF remote was often offered as a resolution for IR problems. But, if the STB is not hidden nothing has changed to eliminate theI IR corruption problem. If the corrupting light can be seen by the STB IR sensor it will continue to corrupt the IR signal.

If the STB IR sensor can see IR from another remote, it will respond to it.

If another STB can see the IR generated by the dongle, it will respond to it.

Note that hidden means the IR does not see outside light - If you have an optical repeater(like the Niles mentioned above) it is IR subject to corruption. If you have an IR receiver that produces RF to go through a wall, it is still IR subject to corruption. Any optical link open to the room is still open to IR corruption.

Only if the remote is RF (like the point anywhere remote) transmitted to a well hidden device will it ward off IR corruption. The ultimate solution is a wireless remote app. These are available, but incomplete & other devices do not yet support wireless remote. But, the Buddy TV remote can be used for a u-verse STB.

Previously, I found the RF remote lacking in RF power - in the same room, twelve feet away, hidden only by a thin sheet of cardboard. One method to increase RF power is to hold the remote under your chin while pressing a button - using your head as an antenna.

A better way is this antenna placed in the battery compartment - http://www.amazon.com/Cellular-Innovations-A-BOOSTER-Universal-Antenna/dp/B00009WCAP/ref=sr_1_8?ie=U...

With this antenna, the channel numbers are almost always accepted. With the "duct tape" in place, the other buttons work almost every time. The remote now works better than ever.

But, recently, I discovered that weakened batteries triggers poor results due to low power. If the remote starts acting up go for fresh batteries. Before I realized the batteries were low I was getting better RF by holding it against a metal arm of a reading light.

To increase RF sensitivity - Cut off the base and one leg of a wire coat hanger (one piece). Hold the short leg perpendicular to the dongle and wrap the longer end around the dongle a few turns until the two perpendicular ends are about the same length (about 3”). Cut the longer one to the same length as the shorter one.

STB Issues

Once IR and RF issues are resolved, there are timing issues with the STB to contend with. Numbers process fast and Menu items process slow. You need quick, light touch on some numbers to avoid duplicates and a slow, strong press on menu activities. Effort is required to suppress the urge to press again while waiting for a response. It takes concentration to get effective results. Frequently a second press immediately cancels a slow responding first press. Current IR and RF issues amplify the effect of the timing issue.
Message 12 of 15
Teacher

Re: Use a RF Anywhere remote, and a regular IR remote, interchangeably with a single U-verse receive

Aviewer,

 

i have posted in multiple locations but I will concentrate my posts here from no on. I will look at the URC remotes. In the past I have had good success with Harmony and I like the screens on them. My wife is not technology inclined so the easier and prettier it looks the simpler my life becomes. I tried the cell antenna but it failed. i placed it in multiple locations on the remote. I'd press guide a few times with success think to myself 'Self - eureka' and than it fails. I than say 'Self, %#}^*' and sigh. I did not replace batteries yet. So, that is the next step. Right now I look pretty funny placing this thing in the palm of my raised hand to change channels but it works. I know i. Is not IR related. I'll post here again once I try a few more combinations. 

Message 13 of 15
Teacher

Re: Use a RF Anywhere remote, and a regular IR remote, interchangeably with a single U-verse receive

 
Message 14 of 15
Teacher

Re: Use a RF Anywhere remote, and a regular IR remote, interchangeably with a single U-verse receive

Ok, plain and simple - I went out and dropped a few coins on a Harmony Ultimate. I am still running it through its paces but - it actually works. I don't have to look like I am a wack job when I put it under my chin to change channels. My wallet is lighter but I am much happier.
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