I define "Home Theater Nirvana" as the ability to use one remote to do everything you need.
In order to control a complex home theater system, you need to turn on components, switch the video input on the TV, and switch the amplifier to the correct audio input.
How do you turn on a component with a remote? Press the "power" button, right? Wrong! What if the component is already on...the power button will turn it off. When you program a remote to setup your system to watch a DVD, you don't know what state any of the equipment is in. To program a remote, you need to use commands that work as advertised.
That is where "discrete codes" come in. Instead of a power button that will toggle between on and off, there are separate codes for "on" and "off."
Finding discrete codes is a bit tricky. I've used a few techniques.
The first way was to buy a cheap One For All remote and use codes from this website. Then my home theater remote learned the discrete codes from the One For All remote. It worked for simple stuff (like on/off), but as my equipment got more complex, I needed more discrete codes than I could get from the One For All remote.
I currently use a Home Theater Master MX-700 remote (which I love). I found a place on remotecentral.com that lists tons of discrete codes in hex format. The hex format is used by the Philips Pronto line of remotes. My remote won't read hex codes directly, but it will read a .ccf file via a feature in the MX-700 Editor called the "Universal Browser." A .ccf file is a configuration file used to store IR codes for Pronto remotes.
To convert hex codes into a .ccf file, I used ProntoEdit.
- File->New Configuration.
- Create a configuration for the TSU2000.
- Right click on "HOME" and select "Add Panel."
- Double-click on one of the panel buttons.
- Select "Set IR."
- Click "View IR."
- Paste the hex code into IR Code area at the bottom.
- File->Save Configuration to create a .ccf file
This worked for most discrete codes I needed. However, it did not work for direct access to Video 7 (HDMI) and Video 9 (VGA) on my TV. Since I now need access to VGA, I had to find a way to get the correct discreet codes for Video 9.
I found another good way to get discreet codes. I followed these instructions and downloaded MakeHex. I placed the discrete codes I wanted from this list into a .irp file. MakeHex converts this .irp file into a .hex file which contains the hex codes. I then followed the above procedure to convert a hex code into a .ccf file.
And guess what? It worked! I now have discrete codes for all the inputs on my TV: Video 1-Video 9.
This is certainly convoluted and required a lot of digging to get it working...but once you experience Home Theater Nirvana there is no substitute!