Monday, March 31, 2008

IR2BT (Playstation 3)





- $55 from ir2bt.com. It takes IR signals from your universal remote (or the original ps2 remote if you have one), converts it to bluetooth (RF) and sends those commands to the ps3 mimicking the official sony bluetooth remote perfectly. As far as the ps3 is concerned it thinks you are using the actual official sony bluetooth remote control.
- I went ahead and picked up a usb cable and usb power supply. You can power it with 2XAA or mini usb to usb cable and connect it to almost anything that supplies usb power (dedicated usb power supply, powered usb hub, most cable/satellite set top boxes).
- Setup was quick and painless. Here is a nice youtube video that walks you through it.
Basically you have to first pair it with your ps3. You only need to do this step once. Turn on your ps3 and navigate to settings, accessories settings, register BD remote control.
You have to disconnect all power from the ir2bt since it only goes into pairing mode on the first 15 seconds of powering up. Power up the IR2BT then press and hold the #2 button on the remote. Which means it's probably a good idea to setup your harmony remote first.

- Setting up my harmony 676 was really easy. I removed my existing PS3 device (nyko blu-wave) and then added IR2BT which is already in the harmony database (add device, game console with dvd, mfg: IR2BT, model: IR2BT). I then proceeded to map the keys the way I wanted to for my activity. Everything is there including all 4 color buttons (red,blue,green,yellow) and "powerToggle" is the PS button. Power on/off macros (here is the 6 button power off sequence used if you are curious) are already part of the IR2BT harmony device database so I didn't have to do a single thing to get ps3 power on/off to work with my harmony. It worked PERFECTLY the very first time after updating my harmony remote.
- There is ZERO lag (unlike the horribly laggy nyko blu-wave). You can hold down buttons, press buttons as fast as you want, and it's all very quick and responsive. I repeat there is NO LAG!!!!
- Nice that you can just put this little box anywhere IR can get to. It doesn't need to be near your ps3 since since it's all bluetooth (RF) between ir2bt and the ps3. Here you can see the ir2bt is located more centrally in my cabinet near my usbuirt (for my htpc) and the ps3 is on the far right:


Anybody using a PS3 as their primary home theater blu-ray player NEEDS this device (especially if there is a WAF consideration). It is well worth the $55. This product has far exceeded my expectations in performance and ease of setup. I think I'm going to need to buy a second one for my other ps3.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!!!!!!!

UPDATE: 7/2/08
Looks like the 2.40 firmware update kind of breaks the IR2BT:
http://www.ir2bt.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=185&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0
Basically don't turn on the ps3 with the ir2bt. If you do, it won't accept any more commands until you power cycle the ps3. So for now either don't upgrade the firmware or turn on the ps3 by some other means (insert a disc, power button on the console, or a ps3 controller). Bruce is looking into the issue.

UPDATE: 7/7/08
Luckily I didn't apply the update before 2.40 was pulled. Either way I'll probably be sending both my units in to Bruce for the update when it is available.

UPDATE: 7/21/08
I went ahead and shipped both of mine back for the free update to work with ps3 firmware 2.41. Just follow the instructions here:
http://ir2bt.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=205

UPDATE: 7/26/08
Just received my updated ir2bt's back (both of them). They work great now with 2.41. That's just 6 days since I shipped them out so Bruce is doing a great job turning them around quick. Note: I did have to go through the paring process again.

UPDATE: 10/29/08
Both of my updated IR2BT's work fine with ps3 firmware 2.50.

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