Most popular beyond IR home entertainment remote c

  • Detail

Beyond IR: Home Entertainment remote control technology

is there a TV in your bedroom? Do you need to find a suitable angle on the bed to ensure that you can operate the TV with the infrared remote control within your line of sight? Although we have entered the 21st century, it is strange that we still have to rely on the one-way, limited viewing distance technology almost 30 years ago to control extremely advanced consumer electronics products such as plasma large screen TVs or other entertainment systems worth thousands of dollars. I don't think I'm the only one who raised such a question. You must feel the same, so please look down

in addition to infrared remote control technology, we can also choose RF remote control technology. Radio frequency remote control technology can break through the three limitations of infrared remote control technology: first, line of sight and distance; 2、 One way communication; 3、 High power consumption. We might as well analyze the above three limitations one by one in order to better understand why the remote control technology, as the main control interface of home entertainment, has remained at the level of the 1980s, and what changes will happen to this technology driven by the RF4CE alliance and relevant standards

line of sight and distance

the most common and obvious limitation of infrared remote control technology is the need to connect within the line of sight. This kind of connection is very fragile. If you accidentally touch the equipment and just block the optical infrared receiver, the infrared remote control will be affected. In this case, if we want to turn off the TV, we even have to go directly to the front of the TV and operate accordingly. How wonderful it would be if the remote control operation was no longer limited by the line of sight in these similar scenes! Then we don't have to care about where the receiver is or the location relationship between the remote control and the receiver anymore

remote control based on RF technology is different from infrared remote control. Its physical characteristics enable the control signal to penetrate the walls, carpets, home entertainment centers and other objects that block the line of sight. For example, the advantage of WiFi network connection is that user control is no longer limited to the specific location of the desk, but can maintain a connection with the network anytime and anywhere at home. The working principle of RF remote control is similar. In addition, the remote control distance of RF technology is also far, and the overall process is not good, it is particularly easy to produce vibration at the general infrared remote control distance (1 to 5 meters). Under the same control conditions, RF technology can easily reach a connection distance of 20 to 50 meters. According to different applications, the remote control distance can be further extended by slightly increasing the power

one-way communication

RF technology can also easily break through the second limitation of infrared remote control technology, that is, one-way communication. Because RF remote control is not particularly common in home entertainment systems, most people have not even realized that the one-way communication of infrared remote control is a limitation. Once the sight and distance limitations are solved, users may soon find that they really need the remote control to feed back the relevant information of the controlled system. For example, we want to find a song stored in the audio system. If we use the one-way control system, we must either clearly remember how many times we press the next button from the current track to find the required song, or we must listen to and identify the beginning of each song before pressing one song each time. Ideally, users obviously want to be able to select the songs they want to listen to directly from the thumbnail track list scrolled on the remote control. In addition, two-way communication also supports a feature that every family needs, that is, the pager function to find the location of the remote control. With this function, users no longer need to spend time looking for where to put the remote control or operate the receiver manually. Instead, they can immediately find out where it is by making the remote control sound. Here we only list some new technologies and innovative features that can be achieved by the two-way communication connection that controls the home entertainment system

in addition to the home entertainment system, we may now consider other situations that also benefit from the RF remote control function, such as the garage remote control function. Do you often drive out of the garage, thinking about where to go, what is the first meeting after work, or whether you will be late for work today, etc., but then suddenly remember whether you forgot to lock the garage door. Because of anxiety, some of us who are prone to delusion will immediately turn around and go home to check. In fact, locking the door immediately after driving out of the garage is a habitual action we have to do every day, but when we get home, we find that we have made another trip in vain. However, if the remote control has two-way communication function, we can directly check the switch state of the garage. This is very easy to achieve by using the two-way communication function. In addition, this is also a feature that many consumers are willing to upgrade

power consumption

ordinary infrared remote controllers need to replace the battery at least once a year. If we multiply the number of batteries in each remote control (usually two No. 5 or No. 7 batteries) by the number of remote controls in the home entertainment system, we will find that the number of batteries consumed each year is as high as millions. In addition, due to the high power consumption of using infrared technology, the infrared remote control requires multiple large batteries, which is not conducive to the miniaturization of products. However, small batteries such as CR2032 button batteries can be used for RF remote controllers with low power consumption. Because small batteries can be used, the appearance design of the remote control can no longer be limited by the battery, so that the remote control with a more comfortable hand feel and a more fashionable and beautiful appearance can be designed. The following table shows that the power consumption of ordinary infrared remote controllers decreased by 25.1% year-on-year; The gross profit margin decreased from 24.5% to about 15.5%; Comparison of power consumption between leading RF technologies. In the table, we can clearly see that low-power RF technology can easily greatly extend the battery life of the remote control in the home entertainment system. In addition, the extended battery working time also means that the number of support service calls and RMA received by home entertainment system manufacturers can be reduced, because many so-called system problems are ultimately found to be caused by power supply (such as battery power exhaustion). For example, RF remote control and other systems that can extend the working time of the battery will bring a win-win result to both consumers and manufacturers

rf4ce: an alliance to promote remote control technology into the 21st century

since RF has so many advantages over infrared remote control, why hasn't it been developed? It is generally believed that there are two main reasons: first, cost (including higher design complexity), and second, IR has always been the prevailing standard. From the perspective of consumer electronics manufacturers in the product market of large power battery enterprises, price is king. When the production volume of products reaches the level of one million, the lower the manufacturer can reduce the cost, the lower the price of products will be, and the more it will help to ensure sustainable profits

in order to solve the above problems, RF4CE alliance is actively committed to establishing RF interface standards for consumer electronic products, and then promote electronic components to meet the new standards. In other words, compliance with standards is more important than specific characteristics. If manufacturers can more effectively comply with standards, they can really promote the development of RF products, and then promote the final determinant of this technology - price

the second and probably the most reasonable reason why RF technology has not developed in the consumer electronics market is that the actual remote control communication standard in this market has been occupied by infrared technology. Infrared remote control is very simple and relatively cheap. Except for a few consumer electronics manufacturers, all other manufacturers use infrared remote control technology. The entire consumer electronics market has evolved on the basis of this general remote control standard, and many companies of the same kind have also designed relevant equipment for this general remote control standard. The spiral effect caused by this alone makes it difficult for RF technology to enter the remote control market. However, with the strengthening of the alliance between major consumer electronics manufacturers and their suppliers, the formation of RF4CE alliance, and the complete upgrading of the main interface of the global home entertainment center - remote control technology, the above situation has finally changed

200 inspect the test piece. In March of September, ZigBee alliance and RF4CE alliance jointly announced that they would jointly launch the standardized specification protocol ZigBee RF4CE for radio frequency remote control. This shows that major consumer electronics manufacturers have clearly recognized the necessity of RF remote control technology, will promote RF remote control technology to achieve relevant functions at reasonable cost and benefit, and will jointly promote technology standardization to minimize the number of remote controllers required by users to operate electronic products. It should be noted that some companies in the ZigBee alliance also provide proprietary short-range wireless solutions. For example, Cypress Semiconductor has launched CyFi low-power RF solutions. The above companies are in a favorable position to support the development of RF remote control technology, and can provide standard or proprietary solutions according to the requirements of specific applications. Obviously, proprietary and standard solutions have a place in the entire wireless market. However, for the mainstream remote control market, standardized RF technology is indispensable. With the continuous development of ZigBee RF4CE standard and the active promotion of its supporting manufacturers, RF remote control will quickly become a common add-on. (end)

Copyright © 2011 JIN SHI