Fighting Over The Frat’s TV Remote

[Colin Bookman] lives in a Fraternity house and apparently the remote for the cable box has a way of walking off. He figured out a method to give everyone control of the TV channel in one form or another.

The cable box can be seen perched on that shelf, and [Colin’s] addition is the wooden box sitting on the floor. Inside is an Arduino board, and the cable snaking out of the enclosure is an IR LED. This give the Arduino the ability to send remote control commands to the TV box. The two arcade buttons on the front will switch the channel up or down.

But this is hardly a remote control replacement since you have to get up to use it, so he went a few steps further. The Arduino board was paired with an Ethernet shield. It serves up a web page that has a virtual keypad. So anyone with a smart phone or laptop can log into the server and start changing the channels. We’re not sure if this provides relief from a missing remote, or promotes impromptu fist fights when brothers can’t agree on what to watch. It certainly opens up the possibility of long-distance trolling as you could be sitting in class and decide to change the channel to Lifetime every ten minutes or so.

If you don’t have an Ethernet shield handy we’ve seen a similar setup that uses Bluetooth instead the network.

11 thoughts on “Fighting Over The Frat’s TV Remote

  1. great idea, and im sure _you_ enjoy having to fire up a webbrowser to change channel. heck it’s probably cool with the ladies as it does not involve ANY wires on the user’s side(smartphone ect)

    but personally i would have built a remote into a coffee table or something like that. make that part wireless via a cheap radio module NOT purchased online. i’d have hacked into a MUCH cheaper device for it’s analog radio part and designed an appropriate modem code(arduino) to go with it. as the built in modem of soemthing like a RC car is not worth modding and can be reused elsewhere (one wire DUAL “h bridge”)

    PS: you can NOT convert IR from one protocol to another at the _same_ time _IF_ both fall onto the same sensor at the cable box, can be done with a delay, but i’d rather just use:

    1. …OR…
      use the existing WEBinterface and make a computer table! not tabLET, but tabLE! :) have an internet shortcut icon on the desktop or even make active desktop and just click the desktop to change channels!!! hehehe sweeeeet

  2. Comcast gave me this ability on iOS/Android devices. It’s nice to know that you can hack your own if you don’t want to shell out for a DVR box though.

    P.S: You can troll with Comcast’s own implementation too. One of my roommates rewinds the DVR stream if she misses a single word of dialogue, and started rewinding with her trollface on.

    She also leaves the TV on a channel with consistent volume on all night to sleep by. As soon as her head hit the pillow, and I heard a gentle snoring, BAM! INFOMERCIAL WITH LOUD YELLING GUY!

    Begun, the prank war has.

  3. 2 dollar solution: Pack of velcro. both my stream box remote and my DTV tuner remote which also controls the tv have been velcroed to the side of my bedside table. The actual tv remote hasnt been velcroed and i usually have to search when i need it.

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