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RF-capable universal remote debuts

Posted: 20 Aug 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share


Audivo has launched what it described as the world's first mainstream universal remote with RF as well as IR capability and a color display. The M-Remote uses Nordic Semiconductor's nRF24LE1 2.4GHz SoCs and Gazell RF software protocol to control the latest video and audio wireless streaming devices using bi-directional RF. Older TVs, set-top boxes, and A/V amps with the traditional IR may also be controlled by the remote.

Audivo said RF can better control advanced user interface mechanisms such as scroll wheels, touch-screens and track-balls used in the latest networked A/V devices, including streaming music servers, Internet radios and wireless multimedia centers. The M-Remote can show the "live" playing status info or album art broadcast by the devices on its display. RF also improves the remote's usability as it does not need the "line of sight" that IR needs to function. The remote saves energy by entering a user-programmable sleep mode.

The system needs two Nordic nRF24LE1, which has an nRF24L01+ transceiver core and features an up to 2Mbps on-air data rate combined with ultra low power operation and advanced power management. While one of the Nordic nRF24LE1 is in the remote, the other is embedded into the A/V networked streaming device. The two communicate using the Nordic Gazell software protocol, which can handle up to five devices at a time and is not affected by other 2.4GHz radio sources such as Bluetooth wireless technology and Wi-Fi.

The M-Remote system features an integrated rechargeable Li-ion battery, charging cradle, host A/V device RF module, IR transmitter for standard devices (optional), API source codes, product design support, development kit, automatic pairing, and an optional touch scroll wheel. Audivo can also customize the system with the addition of a full touchscreen and multi-room (zone) control.

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