Another wild idea: Out-of-network IR blaster control

This one may sound crazy at first, but hear me out...

I purchased an inexpensive 720p/60hz HDMI-to-IPTV adapter that can be configured for unicast or multicast/RTP mode. I plan to create a custom M3U and attach a TiVo cable card dvr to the adapter. And Boom! Channels now can receive the TiVo video output. This will be most interesting when traveling and away from home, and there are probably other cool use cases here that others can think of outside of a TiVo box.

Problem: How to send the IR codes? This control can be achieved while at home by using the TiVo app, but that won't work over WAN. I haven't yet done much research yet into possible solutions, but with all of the great minds here I am sure that there is something fairly simple and inexpensive available. I'll go do my homework now and reply as I come up with ideas. Thanks all for the assist in the mean time. :relaxed:

Edit 1: I just realized that utilizing the network remote protocols would likely be preferred for a TiVo device instead of an IR repeater. Will start to investigate this for a bit...

1 Like

Set up a VPN at home, connect to VPN from remote location, use the tivo app to control your tivo.

Don't know if you're familiar with kmttg.

It has both local

and web_remote remote control

LIRC can be used to send IR codes. Couple a Pi with the gpio-ir overlay and a cheap IR emitter, and you have a remote remote.

Slingbox can handle this too... sadly, recently discontinued. I wonder if basic IR control from old hardware would still work?

With TiVo, network remote protocols are the way to go, though! Back when I had TiVo I used this app on my laptop to control it:

Thanks for all of the replies, they have provided some good places to start. I'm still all ears if there may be others.

Will a HDMI-to-IPTV adapter work with the DRM channels. I like your idea it would be nice to use my tivo as a 4 tuner source for channels.

I haven't had any problems with my Comcast feed, but one of those cheap HDMI splitters that strip the HDCP would be all that is required.

I also have comcast. I still use my tivo for those few channels I pay for but can't use with channels dvr.

Might I present you with another alternative?

Home Assistant with a Nabu Casa subscription (for remote access) and a Broadlink RM mini or RM Pro 4 for RF/IR control.

1 Like

Thanks for that idea. I (very lightly) use a SmartThings hub, so I wondered if there was an easy way to add an IR bridge to it. That led me to find this:

Broadlink would be a non-starter since it would need an Android device as a proxy, but the SwitchBot hub looks promising.

If I decide to go the IR route instead of network remote that seems to be the easiest way to get this working in my case.

I have a Harmony Hub set up to do all IR Blasts.

Then, on my Raspberry Pi I have the "Harmony API" installed. There's this guy you may have heard of named Jon Maddox who has it on his GitHub. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Every device you set up in your Harmony Hub becomes a slug that you can call over HTTP. So for instance, you could have a TV turn on/off or change HDMI inputs.

Next up, with my SmartThings hub, using the web interface I installed a Device Handler and SmartApp called "HTTP Button". Using that, I created virtual button that I can launch from SmartThings. Because SmartThings is also tied into my virtual assistance, I can ask her to do the actions, too.

You could stop there, or you could also go one step further with something like WebCore to do more automation or multi-step functions. You could also do basic automation in SmartThings and some of the add-ons, but it depends upon how detailed you'd need to get.

So, not going to lie, this is a long, complicated, and mildly expensive setup, but it does work perfectly once everything is in place!

1 Like

I like where this thread is going :grinning:

It would be really awesome if there were a way to "wrap" this setup inside an HDHR emulator so you wouldn't have to do anything special inside Channels. And the emulator would take care of sending IR commands to the tuner.

A quick Google search turns up some open-source projects out there that more-or-less do this sort of thing.

Another great idea, but IMHO one best suited for the product devs to incorporate natively into Channels. I'm imagining a new official wifi IR Blaster product offering that offers native customizable IR controls. In reality though, I know my use case is probably pretty limited so if I were the Channels guys I wouldn't want to do it :slight_smile:, knowing that I wouldn't be making any money on the effort.

I decided to give the SwitchBot Hub a try, and it was incredibly easy to set up a working virtual IR remote using their Android app. The combo of a Chromecast w/ Google TV running Channels and my phone sending the remote commands will work out well.

I'm not super keen on the idea that I am relying on SwitchBot to continue to exist for this to work, but for now it was a cheap and super easy solution to set up.

Which HDMI-IPTV device did you buy? Did it work with Channels?

The Lenkeng v3 transmitter discussed here.

The LKV373a v3 is no longer available, but you can still find the v3 version of LKV383a on eBay (avoid all of the v2 or v4 models). Works very well with Channels, but I did need to strip DHCP using a HDMI splitter in order for it to be reliable.

1 Like

Here's another model

Nice, thanks.

What's the issue with the v4? Did you find any links of people trying it and problems they ran into?