Using a Foxtel Remote as a Universal Remote Controller - Learning Feature
Control Everything with one Remote
It is a not widely known that the Foxtel remote (and probably many other Satellite and cable tv remotes as well) can be used as a universal remote controller.
It can be used to Control other pieces of audio/visual equipment connected to your FOXTEL box. This is because the remote has a Learning Feature like many of the universal remotes you can buy.
Essentially this means that when you switch the Foxtel remote to AV mode you can program any of the keys on your remote to send out the signal for anything else you want to control - your heater, your DVD player etc. The Foxtel Remote can be taught the remote signal and when pressed it sends it out to the other device. You do this by quite literally getting the external remote and the Foxtel Remote talking to each other. You can do this with any of the Universal remotes - but why go to the extra expense when you can use your existing Foxtel Remote to do the job.
The first thing you need to do is to get a copy of the instruction manual for your version of the remote. You can download it from -
Go through the manual and find the section on:
FOXTEL Digital Remote Functions in AV mode
This tells you which buttons and functions change when in AV mode
Setting the Code for your Television
This tells you how to program your FOXTEL Digital Remote to control your Television set. You need to enter a code for your television or search for one that will work for your brand.
The FOXTEL Digital Remote offers a Learning Feature that allows you to copy almost any function from your original remote control onto the FOXTEL Digital Remote. Note that the Learning Feature is not possible when the FOXTEL Digital Remote is in FOXTEL mode. The av, FOXTEL, tv guide, box office, active and planner buttons can not have a function learnt onto them.
In may case I had bought a digital set top box to convert my existing analog TV to receive free-to-air digital TV after the Digital Switchover that is happening in Australia. The other option was to buy a new TV capable of receiving digital signals.
To program my Foxtel remote to operate the TV required the following steps:
- I installed a Scart dual plug cable to connect the desktop box AV socket to the socket on the back of the Foxtel box.
- I positioned the two remotes so that they were facing each other
- Then I followed the instructions in the manual to program the up-arrow and down-arrow for the station select function on the Digital set top box remote. I also programmed the left-arrow and right-arrow for the volume control.
- I used the original TV remote and programmed in the controls to turn the TV off an on and to switch to AV on the TV (which is required as all functions now as input as AV signals)
- While I was at it I programmed other buttons to control my gas heater.
Viola! Success I can use my Foxtel Remote for everything - If you replace the batteries in the remote one at a time, the codes will be retained when you have to change batteries.
I am interested in other ideas about how to use your remote to control everything.
Perhaps this is the 'Theory of Everything' that Steven Hawkings and everyone else is looking for? Well almost!
© 2010 Dr. John Anderson
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