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Alternative software for Xsight Touch / Colour?

 
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HZ



Joined: 26 May 2008
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:10 am    Post subject: Alternative software for Xsight Touch / Colour? Reply with quote

Hi,

is anybody working on software support for the Xsight Touch / Colour remotes?

Right now I'm trying to replace an older OFA URC7556 JP1-remote with an Xsight Colour and the bundled cloud-based software is limited in its possibilities. E.g. I can't find a place to create the custom magic code for my TV's hotel menu (*), which is an undocumented IR code that I could easily transmit using the old OFA-remote.

So, is there any progress on hacking the Xsight's protocol?

Thanks!

(*) needed to access some internal settings and to edit the channel listing via USB.
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mdavej
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Joined: 08 Oct 2003
Posts: 3605

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There has been a lot of progress on the Xsight Plus, but not the Color/Touch yet. You'll have to learn those codes from another OFA remote.
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HZ



Joined: 26 May 2008
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:46 am    Post subject: A message to UEBV support regarding the Xsight protocol Reply with quote

Quote:

Dear [UEBV support],

> Unfortunately we will not allow this.
> The software used to communicate between the website and the remote is
> actually the .NET framework, which is owned by Microsoft. As for open
> source software, this will not be allowed, as our database can be
> communicated by this software, and there is heavy protection around this.

I respectfully disagree.

The following is not meant to annoy you, but please hear me out.

Let me first say that I am a fan of your products and have been loyal to your brand for several years. All through these years, I have bought six remotes for myself, bought three for family and recommended them widely to others.

There are several reasons why I liked your products so much in the past.

The great build of the hardware, the durability. The fact that there are hidden power features like the magic key codes that allow me to try any IR code for a device even if it's not on your database.

And the JP1 connector. There can be no doubt that your company knows that there is a community of avid fans of your products who build their own JP1 cables and write open source software to access it.

While I'm aware that your company does not officially support this, it's been a great thing for someone who likes to tinker.

So when asking for developer information for the Xsight Colour, I don't try to harm you. I'm a fan. I love your product and want to tinker with it, like with your older products.


The EZ-RC website really is a great idea, but it leaves several features to be desired. There is no way to save/restore a working setup, neither on the site nor to a local file. The advanced function of adding custom magic codes is missing completely.

The EZ-RC connector control requires me to manually lower the Internet Explorer security protections. And it crashed my computer twice (on a freshly installed Windows 7 machine).

The site's user interface is clunky and confusing. It is incompletely translated: I stumbled over English messages and partly translated sentences in the German version of the EZ-RC website. The are translation bugs in the remote's firmware as well: German screen messages are cut off mid-sentence just because nobody bothered to check if they fit on the screen.

This is not a fresh-out-of-beta product where one can easily forgive bugs. You're selling the Xsight product line for years now.

I did not ask for the software, but only for the USB protocol to configure the remote control. The protocol, as far as I can tell, is unencrypted and not as heavily protected as you suggest.

Of course, your remote code database is copyright protected and rightfully so. You can sue anyone who distributes it without your consent. But reverse-engineering the communication protocol of the remote and writing open source software for it is a legal thing to do and your click-through-license regarding this is invalid in my country (and as far as I know, it is also invalid in yours).


Again, I ask you to see the possibilities in this. In home automation and home theater setups some folks enjoy having a highly customizable product. And by documenting the USB protocol and allowing unofficial 3rd party software, you may even end up with better software than the one you have right now.


Regards,

Hanno
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xnappo
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Joined: 30 Dec 2003
Posts: 848

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hrm.

Do you not know the first rule of Fight Club?

Seriously, you are poking a bear. UEI has left us alone for a long time. You efforts are better spent in reverse engineering the protocol..

xnappo
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The Robman
Site Owner


Joined: 01 Aug 2003
Posts: 18131
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with xnappo, harassing a customer service rep isn't going to get you anywhere. I'm friends with folks much higher up the food chain over at UEI and while the tolerate our existance, and even help us out with upgrade codes once in a while, they're not going to give us any proprietary information. They never gave us the key to the JP1.x protocol, we had to figure that out on our own too.
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Rob
www.hifi-remote.com
Please don't PM me with remote questions, post them in the forums so all the experts can help!
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paoleela



Joined: 22 Nov 2012
Posts: 33
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the Xsight Touch, we should concentrate the discussion in this thread.
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HZ



Joined: 26 May 2008
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, didn't want to harass the guy and true, I went a bit over the top with that mail, sorry about that. Instead of "we don't allow that" a simpler answer would have been "sorry, you're on your own, we don't support that".

Anyway, yes, I do purchase hardware based on its hackability (but am aware that this is a minority) and I don't think that it's much of a business problem to allow 3rd party software.

Well, we'll see. I don't expect much but just wanted to let them know that there are people who purchase their hardware because of the JP1 3rd party software.
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The Robman
Site Owner


Joined: 01 Aug 2003
Posts: 18131
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know about the customer service reps, but the powers that be behind the scenes at UEI are well aware of JP1, in fact they even considered getting their lawyers to try shutting us down at one point but fortunately thought better of it.

And yeah, I think there are one or two other people here that appreciate the benefits of hacking a device like a remote control! Wink
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Rob
www.hifi-remote.com
Please don't PM me with remote questions, post them in the forums so all the experts can help!
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Vyrolan



Joined: 24 Aug 2012
Posts: 167
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HZ wrote:
Instead of "we don't allow that" a simpler answer would have been "sorry, you're on your own, we don't support that".

That's pure semantics...you're seeing malice where none is present because you disagree. If they had said the latter, you would have just seen it as a blow off just the same and you would have emailed back "I understand we're on our own and we don't want your support".
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