IR Sensitivity

Let me begin by saying I really like the performance of this tiny little component. It plays everything I’ve thrown at it with ease. I purchased two of them as potential replacements for a number of NanoPCs I run LibreELEC on, which are great, but won’t handle x.265. In this respect the Vero 4k is excellent, good work!

I have mixed feelings about the remote. It’s a nice little unit, well made and with nice tactile key presses. Love RF… but won’t work for me (WAF) as we’re accustomed to a single remote - the remotes that came with the TV’s, as we don’t have them hooked to audio systems etc.

But I have an issue with the IR in that it seems really weak. It rarely picks up on remote keypresses. The unit is in an open stand under the TV, roughly 10 feet away from my seating position. I haven’t tried using the IR extender but I wouldn’t think that would be needed at 10 feet and a clear line of sight…

All OSMC updates have been done. I’m using a fairly common Panasonic TV remote (N2QAYB000704) and I’ve used the Lirc irrecord function as described in another thread here on the forums to generate a config file.

Interestingly, during that process I found that it took several keypresses to register most keys. Most times it said (paraphrasing here) “something went wrong, try again” several times for each key. It was obviously seeing something since it gave me the try again message… Sometimes I had to very specifically point perfectly at the center of the Vero, other times it seemed like I had to point slightly above. It was inconsistent. In any case it seemed to complete ok.

On the NanoPCs I use Flirc USB devices to turn the remote keypresses into keyboard commands since the NanoPCs don’t have built-in IR receivers. These work with the Vero, but with the USB ports on the side they look a little goofy sticking out of the otherwise attractive case. And, although they were flawless in the NanoPCs, they seem ultra-sensitive on the Vero, registering multiple keypresses with each single button press.

Back on topic… Are the Vero 4k units known to be under-sensitive to IR signals? Any suggestions?

Cheers,
Robert

Hello Robert,

The IR receiver should behave reasonably well. IR does however require line of sight, and the included extender will behave better.

I’d take a second recording of the LIRC profile. If the recording with irrecord hasn’t worked very well, then this may explain why you’re having problems.

N2QAYB000704 seems to be a universal remote. What type of remote codes are you using? I couldn’t find much information about this remote controller from a quick search. You will find the best performance with RC6 remote codes. NEC is also good, but RC5 can be sluggish.

Did you make sure you recorded the profile after updating OSMC? Pasting the output of irrecord may also give us some clues.

Sam

Wow, quick response, thank you!

Yes, I have very clear line of sight from seating position to the Vero and only about 10-12 feet for distance.

I suppose the remote is a universal of some kind, although it’s branded as Panasonic and came with our TV. But it’s not a programmable type, it only works the TV.

I don’t understand much of the lirc and remote control customising as it’s all new to me. So I don’t really know what you mean when you ask codes I’m using, RC5, RC6 etc. Is that something I choose at some point or is that defined by the type of remote I’m using?

Yes, I did all the OSMC updating before looking at the IR stuff. I just had a quick look at the config file output by irrecord and it’s quite different from lirc configs I see elsewhere on Internet. But it’s really all Greek to me. I can’t seem to upload a non-image, so here’s a snippet from the file:

# Please make this file available to others
# by sending it to <lirc@bartelmus.de>
#
# this config file was automatically generated
# using lirc-0.9.0(default) on Tue Dec  5 06:37:25 2017
#
# contributed by 
#
# brand:                       Pan_N2QAYB.conf
# model no. of remote control: 
# devices being controlled by this remote:
#

begin remote

  name  Pan_N2QAYB.conf
  flags RAW_CODES
  eps            30
  aeps          100

  gap          75093

      begin raw_codes

          name KEY_UP
             3500    1720     470     410     460    1280
              470     410     470     400     470     400
              470     410     460     410     470     400
              470     410     470     400     470     410
              460     410     470     400     470    1280
              470     410     460     410     470     400
              470     410     470     400     470     400
              470     410     470     400     470     400
              470    1280     470     410     460     410
              470     400     470     410     470     400
              470     410     460     410     470     400
              470     410     470    1270     470     410
              470    1270     470     410     470     400
              470    1280     470     400     470     410
              460    1280     470     410     470    1280
              460     410     470     400     470    1280
              470    1280     460

          name KEY_DOWN
             3500    1710     470     410     470    1280
              460     410     470     400     470     410
              470     400     470     410     460     410
              470     400     470     410     460     410
              470     400     470     410     470    1270
              470     410     470     400     470     410
              470     400     470     400     470     410
              460     410     470     400     470     410
              470    1280     470     400     470     400
              470     410     470     400     470     410
              460     410     470     400     470     410
              460    1280     470    1280     470     400
              470    1280     470     410     470     400
              470    1280     470     400     470    1280
              470    1280     460     410     470    1280
              470     400     470     410     460    1280
              470    1280     470

          name KEY_LEFT
             3500    1720     470     410     460    1280
              470     410     470     400     470     400
              470     410     460     410     470     410
              470     400     470     400     470     410
              470     400     470     400     470    1280
              470     410     460     410     470     400
              470     410     470     400     470     410
              470     400     470     400     470     410
              460    1280     470     410     470     400
              470     400     470     410     470     400
              470     410     470     400     470     400
              470     410     470    1270     470    1280
              470    1280     470     400     470     410
              470    1280     470     400     470     400
              470    1280     470    1280     470    1270
              470     410     470     400     470    1280
              470    1280     470

          name KEY_RIGHT
             3500    1720     470     410     460    1280
              470     410     470     400     470     400
              470     410     470     400     470     410
              470     400     470     400     470     410
              460     410     470     410     460    1280
              470     410     460     410     470     400
              470     410     470     400     470     400
              470     410     470     400     470     410
              470    1270     470     410     470     400
              470     410     460     410     470     400
              470     410     470     400     470     400
              470    1280     470    1280     470    1280
              470    1270     470     410     470     400
              470    1280     470     400     470    1280
              470    1280     470    1280     460    1280
              470     410     470     400     470    1280
              470    1280     460

yada, yada, yada


      end raw_codes

end remote

Cheers,
Robert

Quick follow up… I broke the second Vero 4k I purchased out of its packaging, let it download all updates and plugged in the IR extender. Then ran the same irrecord process, this time using the remote that came with another of our Panasonic TVs, N2QAYB000820. Exactly the same results - learning process had many “something went wrong… try again”, and final result was all but unusable with 1 in perhaps 10 keypresses being seen by the Vero, regardless of whether the IR extender was connected or not.

Note that these TVs are not brand new models but they’re not old CRTs either. The first one (704 remote) is a 5 year old plasma. The second (820 remote) came with both our 2 year old LCD TVs.

Cheers,
Robert

Do the TVs support CEC? If so, try using that. That’s what I use, and it’s great.

1 Like

That’s what I’d expect. If the codes aren’t being recorded properly; then they will work sporadically at best. The spaces are probably not being captured correctly. Having a longer range or operating the remote from a closer range won’t help with that either

Have you tried using the LIRC configuration recommended here: lirc-remotes / [Lirc-remotes-users] Fwd: lircd.conf for Panasonic N2QAYB000820

If you had another remote, like an Xbox remote lying around, I’d try that profile in My OSMC, as it has been reported to work well (and would make for good testing)

Sam

@sam_nazarko
I mean I could try different remotes, I’ve got a box of clunkers kicking around in the utility room, most of them unused… But the whole “point” for me (us) is familiarity of always using the same stock remotes that came with our TVs to do anything we need in an evening of viewing pleasure… No “select with this remote, change volume with that remote…” etc. We have exactly one remote on the coffee table, one on the nightstand etc. And I have a Kodi custom key map that assignes a very few special commands to the colour buttons to minimize the mid-movie menu fussing too… Things like search for subtitles and adjust subtitle or audio offset. I would have thought bog-standard Panasonic remotes would be pretty mainstream and easy to implement in Lirc given a supported IR sensor. Huh!

@bmillham
That’s a good thought. I played with CEC a few years ago and was unimpressed, but it’s worth revisiting with the Vero. I wonder how to remap some keys using CEC to utilize some otherwise unused one for specific Kodi commands. Guess I’ll start a new line of research!

Cheers,
Robert

I’d try the configuration suggested in the previous post.
They seem to suggest the remote supports space encoding, but your recording didn’t capture this. This would explain problems with presses; particularly repeat presses.

Sam

Thanks Sam. I actually did find that same config file you linked to earlier and plan on trying that. I assume just copy/paste that into a plain text file called whatever.conf then move it to the same directory as the others and use the symlink command? Or can I just use the remote config UI in the My OSMC addon instead of the symlink command (I’m barely functional at a Linux command prompt)?

On a somewhat related topic, I reverted to using the flirc device I had been using in my NanoPC with the Vero. It was working well, then suddenly started acting like double key presses. Then bmillham mentioned CEC and I recalled that I had enabled this already based on some reading I had done about turning off the TV triggered by CEC via screensaver. Bingo! So CEC and the flirc were each doing their thing and double key presses ensued. Yanked the flirc and CEC is working well. The only thing flirc does better is allow me to utilize a couple remote buttons for non-typical commands, for example bring up the subtitle offset scroller, with the red button on the remote. Sadly, CEC uses that to tell Kodi to record a program and since I have no PVR backend, Kodi pops up a dialog to remind so.

Anyway, more testing will ensue…

Cheers,
Robert

My OSMC will set up the symlink and you can just point to it from the GUI.

This is what I have in my .kodi/userdata/keymaps/gen.xml:

<keymap>
 <global>
  <remote>
   <yellow>Info</yellow>
   <blue>ContextMenu</blue>
   <green>AudioNextLanguage</green>
   <red>ActivateWindow(weather)</red>
  </remote>
 </global>
</keymap>

So with my setup, red is weather, green switches audio, blue is context menu and yellow is info menu.

You can adjust this to your preferences.

@sam_nazarko
Thanks Sam. The less I have to type the less likely bad things happen… By the way, I note in the My OSMC remote section that RC6 enable/disable seems to be a toggle option. I have no idea what that is but what should I be setting this at? From an usability standpoint the remote section is a little non-obvious. Scroll to the remote you want, select it and save. Ok, next time going into this section it’s not obvious to to me which one is currently in use. And is the RC6 option global or per remote? I’m generally somewhat tech savvy, but maybe its just me who finds that screen doesn’t give me much selection feedback!

@bmillham
Thanks! I’ll be diving into this tomorrow. It seems like there are a lot of different names for keymap files. Mine is keymap, yours is Gen and other people reference remote etc… Am I correct in understanding that back in Xbmc days there were differences between keyboard and remote but now all the mapping is just in one file with sections for respective devices? And that the name of the file is mostly irrelevant as long as it’s in the users Keymap directory and ends in .xml?

You’re both very generous with your time and assistance, thank you!

Robert

Yes, I think that’s correct. that the filename doesn’t really matter since it’s sections in the file.

If you look on the kodi.tv site you will see more info about this, like the keys can be different depending on what Kodi is currently doing. My xml is a simple fix that could be expanded, like Weather would not work if a video is playing…

Leave it. It’s impossible to tell the default configuration reliably.

Sam

@bmillham

I played around a bit with remote button remapping while utilizing CEC and I have mostly duplicated what I had previously with the FLIRC and keyboard mapping. The following remote.xml does what I need:

<keymap>
  <global>
    <remote>
      <red>noop</red>
      <green>noop</green>
      <blue>Info</blue>
      <yellow>ToggleWatched</yellow>
    </remote>
  </global>
  <FullscreenVideo>
    <remote>
      <red>ActivateWindow(subtitlesearch)</red>
      <green>subtitledelay</green>
    </remote>
  </FullscreenVideo>
</keymap>

Thanks for reminding me about CEC, as I had dismissed it as inflexible when I mucked with it a few years back. I think this is the route I will take as it allows me to locate the Vero anywhere and not need line of sight for IR control.

@sam_nazarko
Although I’ve pretty much decided to go the CEC route, I will test that lirc config file for the 820 remote just to close the loop on this IR thread. Bad form for me to call the Vero 4K IR sensitivity into question and then not follow through on testing.

Cheers guys…
Robert

Although you have actually followed the correct procedure, namely recording the remote that you intend to use on the device itself, sometimes configs have to be manually configured as LIRC cannot properly catch the remote’s operation correctly.

Sam

Thanks again.

Using that custom conf file worked just fine with the 820 remote. I would say the Vero’s IR receiver works reasonably well, although it is somewhat picky about pointing the remote directly at it, even at 10 feet and direct line of sight. With the IR extender it’s much more sensitive. Although I don’t plan on going the IR route anymore, it’s nice to know it’s a reasonable option.

Cheers,
Robert

Thanks for confirming.

Sam