Why do you think the iPad does not have an IR transmitter?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Piggie, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    Would the iPad be THE most awesome luxury remote control ever?

    For you to control your:

    TV, HiFi, DVD Player, Video Player, Cable Box etc etc?

    The price of stand alone colour screen remote controls is so high I would have thought fitting an IR transmitter in the iPad would be such a no brainer.

    Even more so, given the fact so many people are going to be using their iPad at home on the Sofa often with the TV in front of them.

    Probably sitting near their HiFi and of course cable box also.

    It seems so obvious, I can't quite understand why it was not fitted.

    Especially as an IR transmitter must cost something like 1 Dollar.

    Logitech must have sighed a breath of relief, seeing as their colour screen remote control is about the same price as an iPad: http://www.logitech.com/en-gb/remotes/universal-remotes/devices/4708

    And an iPad as a remote with it's full screen would be even more impressive than that.
  2. Zcott macrumors 68020

    Oct 18, 2009
    Belfast, Ireland
    I'm going to say it's because IR is ancient, unreliable and stupidly slow. Anyone who has ever tried to send files over IR will understand this. It's been replaced in many instances with bluetooth, which works for input devices such as Apple remotes and games controllers.

    How long before your remotes are all Bluetooth?
  3. Piggie thread starter macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    But my all my TV's, HiFi's (which I have more than one in different rooms) My Video recorder, my Cable TV Box etc all use Infra Red controllers.

    It may be Ancient, but as it's cheap and does the job I've no doubt it will be around for years to come.
    Don't virtually all flat screen TV's and HiFi systems being sold now still come with Infra Red Remote controls?

    I'm not talking about file Transfers !!!

    Just the signal to change a channel/volume/settings etc.
  4. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    I think you are having it backwards.

    Why do devices still use infrared (which requires line of sight) as their primary way of communicating with their controllers?

    If they had Wi-Fi (or at least Bluetooth) you could actually make cool user interfaces and make the iPhone or iPad a better device for your living room.

    iPad doesn't have an infrared for the same reasons Apple ditched the floppy disk. It is obsolete garbage.
  5. Piggie thread starter macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    Again, let me try to explain to those apparently who are living in the future and have travelled back in time to respond to my post.

    Unlike you, I'd afraid I'm still living in the year 2010, soon to be 2011

    I'm happy that the year you live in, which make be somewhere between 2015 and 2020 that in your era all the TV's, HiFi's, Cable Box's etc are indeed Blue Tooth or Wifi.

    That's fantastic, I'm happy for you and if you have time, I'd appreciate you sending me a PM with next weeks lottery numbers if you have time.

    Also, in your years, you are also using the iPad5 to iPad10 which I bet is a fantastic machine, ant info on which we'd love to hear I'm sure.

    Unfortunately, as I say, for the rest of us, we are living in a time when the equipment we own now does not work via Blue Tooth or Wifi, so it would be handy if an iPad of Today talked to the other items we owned Today.

    We're worry about the items we own tomorrow in a few years time, by which time new iPads will be out anyway.

  6. tekchic macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2010
    Phoenix, AZ
    While it would be nice to have the IR built in, I don't see it happening either, unfortunately. Despite most of the planet having probably at least 3 IR gadgets hehe. I believe there are some hack-ish products already out there, though.



    My Cox DVR is old & decrepit, it probably wouldn't work w/any of these anyway, but it would be slick though. We're actually moving over to our Mac Mini as a media server now with a 2TB Iomega drive that sits under it. For that, we just use the Apple remote via Boxee to change Netflix movies, etc. Can also VNC in w/the iPad. Then hopefully replace overpriced cable w/the Mac Mini & streaming.
  7. dejo Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
    Then that equipment was probably not manufactured in 2010.

    No, most use RF remotes now; no line-of-sight needed.
  8. Roadking macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2008

    Because the iPad is not a remote
  9. MrWillie macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2010
    Starlite Starbrite Trailer Court
    TiVo. Dudette, lose the Cox DVR and get a TiVo. Quickly. TiVo is less expensive and does more, including putting the recordings on mobile devices. (Its free to transfer and view on the computer, but you have to spend $30 (?) for the software to unlock the files for use elsewhere.

    Its whatever you want it to be. There are remote apps that rival $1000 stand alone remotes.

    And another poster was correct, MOST devices operate on rf, not ir
  10. Reddkryten macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2009
    I could be misreading the thread, but it seems to me that it is going off on a tangent about bluetooth, wifi etc.

    I think the OP was just asking, is there any way to remotely control an ipad, for example using the apple remote control?

    I honestly don't care if the remote uses ir, rf, wifi, Bluetooth or tachyons, I'd just love a way to pause videos on my iPad without getting up. I know iPod docks can do that, but as far as I know there is no iPad dock which can handle remote control, but I'd love to be wrong.
  11. jtara macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2009
    Tivo doesn't work on Cox (yet). They say they are "working with Cox" on providing future compatibility. The issue seems to be On-Demand programming.

    It's debatable that it's cheaper. Cox gets $7.50/month for the box, and $10/month for DVR service. Tivo is $15/mo plus you have to buy the equipment. Yea, I know there are deals.

    Just the same, I WOULD rather have Tivo. But I have Cox.
  12. jtara macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2009
    No, you got it backwards. He wants to USE the iPad as a remote control.

    There are several products that add an IR transmitter that you plug into the headphone jack of either the iPhone or iPad, and quite a number of "universal remote" apps. The problem, though, is that you often have to point remotes rather precisely. You're going to feel pretty silly twisting the iPad around to hit a particular angle-sensitive receiver.

    A better solution, though, is an IR interface (Global Cache' makes some popular products) that connects to your home network (wired or wireless). You then attach IR emitters to your equipment or use a high-powered "blaster". The emitters plug into the interface box.

    Your Cox DVR, by the way, should have a mini-jack in the back marked "IR". You can just plug a standard audio mini-jack cable between the IR interface and the DVR, without having to use an actual IR emitter in that case.

    TVs and other equipment are starting to come out that can be controlled over IP - most are hard-wire with in some cases the option of a plug-in WiFi dongle. But many of these (Samsung comes to mind) are proprietary rather than open, so you can only use THEIR PC or iPhone apps.

    I haven't heard of much equipment that uses RF remotes, however. That's just about as obsolete as IR. IP is the way forward. Everything needs to be on your home network, but the manufacturers need to open up their protocols.
  13. ruralguy macrumors newbie

    Jun 10, 2010
    Check out the Gear4 Unity Remote.

    I really like the look of it, and like the original poster, would love to be able to fully control everything via my iPhone/ iPad.

    I'd get one of these today if it didn't need line of sight to all devices - my amp is hidden away in a cupboard :rolleyes:
  14. Amazing Iceman macrumors 68040

    Amazing Iceman

    Nov 8, 2008
    Florida, U.S.A.
    Apple always wants to move forward. For example, you can control your AppleTV with your iOS device, and as new TVs are networkable, I'm sure there's going to be some way to manage them.

    The two new choices for remote control are WiFi or Bluetooth. I would bet WiFi is the top choice to connect and manage your equipment.

    Also, IR is a one-way communication (you send the command and hopefully your device was able to get it), while WiFi is two-way (you send the command and you can get feedback for success or failure).

    People who have their whole Home Theater System controlled by an "intelligent" IR remote can tell you how frustrating it is when they push the "TURN ON ALL" and one of the components doesn't turn on.

    Just a little patience while all the product manufacturers agree upon a universal remote control protocol over WiFi, and we all be happy and never think again about IR.

    In the meantime, we should be able to survive with the choices mentioned above. The iPad is already loaded with components to add IR to it. I would rather have a camera or two and SD Card reader instead.
  15. Amazing Iceman macrumors 68040

    Amazing Iceman

    Nov 8, 2008
    Florida, U.S.A.
    I remember years ago Crestron had some RF to IR converters that were able to verify whether the command succeeded or failed. But the price was way too expensive back then. IP is going to be the way, as you mentioned.
  16. Amazing Iceman macrumors 68040

    Amazing Iceman

    Nov 8, 2008
    Florida, U.S.A.
    At least I can control my cable box (change the channels, order a movie, etc.) using the Comcast XFinity App. It works great, over WiFi. But if you don't have Comcast and internet service, it won't work.
  17. Dumbledorelives macrumors 6502


    Oct 24, 2010
    It also only works with some Comcast boxes. For example, the box on the TV I actually USE, not compatible. The box for the tv in the room that I'm in once a week, of course, does work :rolleyes:

    It's also pretty slow. Slower than I like. You're not as much flipping through channnels - you have to have something preselected and then stick with it.
  18. MrWillie macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2010
    Starlite Starbrite Trailer Court
    I have Cox. TiVo works great. I got rid of the digital gateway and all that other crap. If you really need on demand, I believe TiVo has it. (I have NEVER used any on demand service so I don't know anything about it. I would rather goto the video rental store).

    I pay a $120 or so a year for TiVo service. When I get a HD TiVo, I'll do the lifetime. You can pick up refurb SD TiVo for $50-$100 bucks.
  19. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    Given the size of it I would have expected IR in the iPod, not an iPad.

    My midrange iMac and macbook, high end TV, CD system, high end DVR. They weren't cheap products and the oldest is 3 years old (newest 5 months) and they all use IR... it's not a dead system at all. Terrible for file transfers. Back in college I had to transfer photos off a camera phone (one of the first too) to my laptop via IR. Took hours.
  20. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    It's only slow if you're trying to move files of any size. For sending commands to a TV or other electronic unit, it's the same speed as Bluetooth, WiFi, or any other RF method.

    Bluetooth is already a fading technology. Not only does it have several critical security flaws, it's just not as good at doing what it does compared to WiFi or a hard link.
  21. TomCondon macrumors regular

    Nov 26, 2010
    Why doesn't it? because people don't buy the ipad to use as a luxury remote....

    because it would mean packing even more into the slim case that's already there.

    to be honest I cant see a reason why they would even consider it... only like 2 or 3 types of good use IR and many need specific remotes, or certain functions wont work, etc...
  22. matusov macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2007
    NJ Phila area
    Don't know if the original poster found the product or not but he was looking for one of these:

    iTach $115
    Sqblaster $199
    Redeye mini $49
    UnityRemote $99

    Let me know if you do/did get one of these and your experience.

    PS to the people from the future any hows iPhone 5?
  23. xraytech macrumors 68030

    Mar 24, 2010
    I've used the older version of the remote that you mention and I hated it. Mainly because you had to use both hands to use it. And that's the reason, at least for me, that the iPad would be the worst universal remote.
  24. Blakjack macrumors 68000


    Jun 23, 2009
    Your IR arguement is no different from the Flash arguement. Apple feels Flash is outdated and have moved on to something new.

    Many here feel IR is out dated and that Bluetooth or WiFi is the "NOW" technology.

    I too agree IR is outdated. I would hate to have to make sure my iPad as big as it is is pointed towards a sensore on my tv. that would be a hastle. Maybe for the ipod and iphone...MAYBE.
  25. ani23, May 6, 2011
    Last edited: May 6, 2011

    ani23 macrumors 6502

    Dec 22, 2008
    Yeah people dont. but people wouldnt mind being able to use it as one. Same way people dont buy iphones just to get a gps or a compass or whatever else you can think of.

    i seriously doubt IR transmitter would add any bulk to the case.

    found it http://www.peel.com/

    as for the OP i remember seeing a nice wifi device which has wifi and tethers to ipad/iphone apps. cant find the name.

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