Once in a while, somebody is asking in this forum or others on how to get IR codes that can be used by HomeVision and/or the Pronto remote to activate macro’s. I like to share with you how I have approached this, in the hope that it may help those with this question, and maybe to stimulate some discussion. I am working with HomeVision and the Pronto as the remote control to command my home theater system and lighting system. This explanation will therefore only be helpful for those using both HomeVision and the Pronto remote.
I was looking for IR codes to “learn” into the Pronto that would be recognized by HomeVision. The HomeVision macros activated by my Pronto IR signals could then beam single or multiple IR codes to my home theater system or X10 commands to my lighting system. However, I wanted to save some time and effort in the future by avoiding to have HomeVision and the Pronto having to learn all IR signals (especially since my computer is connected to my HomeVision unit in another room, and therefore learning codes makes me running around a lot). One can produce IR codes for the Pronto in a hexadecimal format that can be copied into the Pronto with a program, ProntoUtil.exe. The hexadecimal format can also be analyzed with another program, IRTool.exe. Both programs are available in the Philips Pronto forum ([Link: remotecentral.com]
HomeVision has build in codes that can be utilized. These are the so-called “standard format signals” defined by the Device Code and the Function Code. If I knew the Pronto hex format of these codes, I could generate them with ProntoUtil, and copied them into the Pronto macros without leaning. And in HomeVision, I only needed to specify the Device and Function codes, without learning codes. However, nowhere in the manual or elsewhere could I find the format of these standard codes in HomeVision. I needed to do some analysis of these standard IR signals first. Therefore, I learned some of the standard codes from HomeVision into the Pronto, and then copied the Pronto hex text string for these codes into IRTool.exe. However, they weren’t always recognized as a certain format, but rather as “Raw/Unknown” in IRTool, so I couldn’t automatically produce series of similar codes in ProntoUntil. And the repeat sequence (part of the IR code that’s send when the button is kept pressed) was missing, or very long. I therefore converted to another strategy, as explained below.
I used a “One For All” remote (the a/v Producer 8, but any other “One For All” should work), and put some of the remote code numbers into it as explained in Chapter 14, Infrared Control, of the HomeVision manual. I then “learned” some of these codes from the “One For All” remote into the Pronto remote, and tested if HomeVision recognized the IR signal from the Pronto as a “standard format” IR signal. I also tested whether the signal could be analyzed in IRTool as something other than “Raw/Unknown”. I also avoided codes for device brands that I owned. The first “One For All” remote code number that I found that adhered to my criteria was 037 (VCR: Goldstar, Pilot, LXI,… see Chapter 14 of the HomeVision manual, and the documentation of “One For All” remotes). These IR signals were recognized by HomeVision as standard, and were structured (not Raw/Unknown) when converted into the hex Pronto format and analyzed by IRTool.
I then replaced the Lead In and Lead Out sequence in the “One For All” 0.37 signal with HomeVision’s Lead In and Lead Out from standard signals that could be decoded (not Raw/Unknown), used HomeVision’s standard frequency (006a, according to some of my tests), and added the “One For All” 0.37 signal’s repeat code (0154 0054 0016 0e2d). I am not sure if this is all necessary, but I wanted to stay as close as possible to what HomeVision needs. An the repeat sequence was definitely needed, for obvious reasons. Now, I could try to produce these and similar codes (IR signals with any number for Device Code and Function Code) in ProntoUtil. In order to do this, there was a minor problem since the “One For All” 037 code format didn’t follow any of the predefined formats in ProntoUtil (although it was very similar to some). This was solved by defining my own format in the ProntoUtil.ini file, as follows:
When you add a format to ProntoUtil, the format counter also needed to be changed in ProntoUtil.ini, as follows:
Now I could generate countless numbers of hex codes to be put into the Pronto. For any Device Code (I tried 118 for example), ProntoUtil can generate 256 IR codes (corresponding with Key Code 0 to 255). As an example:
Device Code: 118 Function: 32
0000 006a 0022 0002 015f 00b0 0016 0016 0016 0042 0016 0042 0016 0016 0016 0042 0016 0042 0016 0042 0016 0016 0016 0042 0016 0016 0016 0016 0016 0042 0016 0016 0016 0016 0016 0016 0016 0042 0016 0016 0016 0016 0016 0016 0016 0016 0016 0016 0016 0042 0016 0016 0016 0016 0016 0042 0016 0042 0016 0042 0016 0042 0016 0042 0016 0016 0016 0042 0016 0042 0016 11df 0154 0054 0016 0e2d
And HomeVision recognizes each of these IR signals as “standard”, as defined with the Device and Key code. So far, none of the generated IR signals interfere with my AV equipment. This format has also the advantage of a very fast repeat sequence when the button is hold down.
This description may be difficult to understand without knowing more about the Pronto hex format of IR codes. If interested, please read Barry Gordon’s excellent explanation in “ProntoEdit's IR Display Format” at [Link: remotecentral.com]