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Device combiner with Panasonic combo device
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RoyGBiv



Joined: 20 Sep 2003
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2003 11:43 am    Post subject: Device combiner with Panasonic combo device Reply with quote

I have a Cinema7 remote. Having just gotten a new TV which does not have a built-in tuner, I would like to use device combiner to make an upgrade which will do the following on the TV device button:

Use the basic TV functions such as on/off, change AR, adjust picture, etc.
Use most of the buttons to tune my DTC-100 HD receiver
Allow switching of my component switcher using the transport buttons.

Mostly, I have been successful, but there is one problem. My TV, a Panasonic, uses the Panasonic combo2 device protocol for some of its buttons. If I just use Panasonic TV code 0250, device 128 which I get from Devices4.xls, I can get this device combiner to work, but there are two important TV buttons which won't because they require a subdevice code as used in the Panasonic combo2 protocol. Learning these buttons to the remote and using IR to decode, they are listed with their EFCs and Hex values as Panasonic device 128, sub device 4. If I make a device upgrade just for the TV using the Panasonic Combo2 protocol, it works for these buttons which have a number 4 in the byte2 subdevice column. I have tried using the Panasonic combo2 protocol ID and fixed data as one of the devices in device combiner, but it prints it in red and says it will be ignored as an invalid entry. If I just use the plain Panasonic protocol and add a number 4 to the subdevice column, these keys don't work, so obviously something more is needed.

Now, since these are just two buttons, one would think I could easily just learn the two of them where I want them. Unfortunately, it seems this just doesn't work. I posted a question about this at remotecentral.com. It seems (at least for a Cinema 7) that if you make an upgrade device out of device combiner, that you are unable to learn any buttons on that device. So that approach is out.

So, how can I add this subdevice in a combination code?

By the way, I do know how to use device combiner in general. I have made a successful upgrade combining my Yamaha receiver and my Sony CD player into one device so I can use the transport buttons to control the CD player while the receiver device is active, and I can successfully do the device combiner above without those two buttons which use the subdevice.

I appreciate any and all advice.

SMK
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The Robman
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2003 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The panasoni ccombo let you combine different panasonic signals, the device combiner lets you combine any signals, reglardless of whether they use the same protocol or not, so all you need to do is mix in TWO panasonic entries, one that replicates TV/0250 and another that replicated the 250.4 signals
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johnsfine
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2003 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rob answered this correctly, but in case it wasn't clear enough:

1) You can't use the learned signals together with the device combiner because the device combiner is an upgrade protocol and the urc7800 has a bug that makes it malfunction when learned sigans are used in the same device mode as an upgrade protocol.

2) You can't mix the Panasonic combo with the device combiner because the Panasonic combo uses two byte hex commands.

3) You CAN find the fixed data for two different Panasonic non-combo upgrades (128.0 and 128.4 if I remember correctly) and use those as two of three "devices" combined by one device combiner upgrade.
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RoyGBiv



Joined: 20 Sep 2003
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2003 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the help and suggestions. I will see what I can do about using two separate devices for 128 and 128.4

BTW, you mentioned that the learning problem with combined codes was a bug for Cinema 7 remotes. I just purchased the 8810 at Walmart (it was too good to pass up), and I wonder if I can do exactly that with this remote.

Thanks again.

SMK
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The Robman
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2003 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to be clear, you don't need to install seperate devices for 128.0 and 128.4, you just need to determine the fixed data, then use that fixed data as another entry being combined in the Device Combiner.

The URC-8810w doesn't have the same bug as the URC-7800, so you can mix learned signals with upgraded protocols.
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jamesgammel
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Joined: 03 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2003 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess we have a little difference of opinion on this one Smile. If I understand his original post, he said that TV_0250 (standard Panny TV setup code) works pretty good for his TV. He also said that 2 functions were missing and they were 128.4. Taking a guess, and knowing Panny's 0250 code pretty good, as well as a half-ass understanding on how they've been setting up their TV's lately, I'd guess those two are the two component inputs, which are 128.4 efc's 004 and 008.
To "watch TV", he probably doesn't even need those two. Likely, his video player and maybe cable box or sat receiver uses a "video 1-4" input. So, what he is planning is using these in macros associated with his dvd player, and maybe some other similar component requiring input. Therefore, pretty much a device combiner may make his life more difficult in the long run.

What I would suggest is leave TV_0250 alone, and simply use it on the TV device. I'd then make a NO BUTTON simple upgrade for Panny 128.4. That would alow simple keymnoves, use in macros, etc. without worrying about two-byte stuff, using hex instead of efc's, etc. Even better would be that unassigned TV upgrade having those two efcs/functions assigned to two phantom keys in his upgrade. OK, that involves two keymoves getting ate up, but in the total scheme, I think it'd eat up less memory. Then he call those two phantom keys in his macros for dvd, and whatever, pretty simply. My guess is they wouldn't be called all that often. That wouldn't kill the learning ability to his TV device, all he needs to remember is simple efc's, and once set up in the macros he wouldn't even have to consider them anymore. I can't see how a big combiner upgrade is efficient in the long run when he only needed to pick up 2 functions, and doesn't really need them when in the TV device, and likely would only use those commands in macros. The only device upgrade he needs is really a tiny one with just maybe 2 keys defined, and doesn't even need to be assigned to a device mode to use. Plus, he wouldn't be adding a protocol upgrade, which uses up some memory as well. Or am I way off base here?

Jim
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The Robman
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2003 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually Jim, if you read the original post, you will see that he's already using the device combiner for this tuner-less TV, his problem was that he didn't know how to include the panasonic combo into the Device Combiner mix. The answer was to split out the device codes in the panny combo and include them seperately into the device combiner.
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sfhub



Joined: 12 Oct 2003
Posts: 287

PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2003 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Out of curiosity I was under the impression the point of Panasonic Combo2
protocol was so you could control devices using panasonic protocol where
the Sub Device needed to vary.

In this case wouldn't the OP just leave the main device as 128 and
enter all the EFCs, using the byte2 to specify sub-device, either '0'
for TV/0250 or '4' for the two missing buttons.

Am I not understanding how Panasonic Combo2 should be used?

Also, to be more memory efficient, would it be better to define two
devices, TV/0250 which is builtin, and another device 128.4 with just
the minimum 2 keys, then use a keymove? That way you can save
the space of the Combiner protocol and save the memory of uploading
a new device with 2-byte commands.
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johnsfine
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2003 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sfhub, you seem to be misunderstanding the same thing Jim misunderstood, despite the fact that Rob just explained that.

SMK wanted to combine a Panasonic protocol with the DTC-100 HD receiver. That requires either a device combiner or a lot of KeyMoves. The device combiner choice is itself complicated by the fact that the Panasonic TV is itself a combo of 128.0 and 128.4. One solution to that problem is setting up the device combiner for three sets of fixed data.

sfhub wrote:
Out of curiosity I was under the impression the point of Panasonic Combo2
protocol was so you could control devices using panasonic protocol where
the Sub Device needed to vary.

In this case wouldn't the OP just leave the main device as 128 and
enter all the EFCs, using the byte2 to specify sub-device, either '0'
for TV/0250 or '4' for the two missing buttons.

Am I not understanding how Panasonic Combo2 should be used?


All that is correct but leaves no decent way to mix in the DTC-100.

sfhub wrote:
Also, to be more memory efficient, would it be better to define two
devices, TV/0250 which is builtin, and another device 128.4 with just
the minimum 2 keys, then use a keymove? That way you can save
the space of the Combiner protocol and save the memory of uploading
a new device with 2-byte commands.


If he didn't need the combiner anyway for the DTC-100, then a seperate upgrade for 128.4 would take less overall memory than either combiner version. (Though it might take more KeyMove memory and less upgrade memory, which might be bad if Keymove fills first). It's possible that a separate upgrade for 128.4 would take less memory even when mixing DTC-100 with Pananonic 128.0. It depends on which functions go on keys that can't be inside the main upgrade.

BTW, the upgrade for 128.4 has no reason to define two keys. It should define no keys. It just provides the protocol choice and fixed data to the KeyMoves. It doesn't provide any button specific data to the keymoves.
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Mark Pierson
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2003 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RoyGBiv wrote:
By the way, I do know how to use device combiner in general. I have made a successful upgrade...

It appears that RoyGBiv is using the Device Combiner for other components, so the overhead for it is already in the EEPROM.

Remember, you can only have one Device Combiner protocol upgrade installed on the remote (and any protocol referenced by it MUST use 1-byte commands). You create a "master" that initially combines two (or more) devices.

In this case, we have "DevComb1" which combines a Yamaha receiver and a Sony CD. When that upgrade was created, RoyGBiv copied both the Device Upgrade Code and the Protocol Code to IR (and hopefully saved the resulting KM file Wink). Now, he wants to create another combined device ("DevComb2") for the Panasonic TV (2 devices) and DTC-100. The PID's and Fixed Data details for this MUST be added to the Device Combiner settings in "DevComb1" as that is the "master". Its Device Combiner entries would look something like this:
Code:
PID Fixed Data     byte2
<Yamaha receiver>    0
<Sony CD>            1 
<Panasonic 128>      2
<Panasonic 128.4>    3
<DTC-100>            4

In the device upgrade for "DevComb2", the byte2 entries would be "2", "3", or "4", depending on the desired device to control. The Protocol Code from "DevComb2" must NOT be copied to IR or it will kill the Yamaha/Sony "DevComb1" code. Instead, the the Protocol Code from "DevComb1" with the added devices gets copied to IR (replacing the previous copy), along with the Device Upgrade Code from "DevComb2". The net result in IR is two Device Upgrades and one Protocol. Of course, given enough buttons, one could argue that it could be done with one Device Upgrade, too.

I'm sure there's a more elegant (and understandable) way to explain this, but I'm just trying to explain one of the intricacies of the Device Combiner protocol. Confused
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RoyGBiv



Joined: 20 Sep 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2003 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I appreciate everybody's help, and I am reading through the posts trying to understand them.

First, the last post is indeed what I want to do. After playing around yesterday afternoon, I realized I couldn't have two device combiner protocols (I suddenly realized that a button was controlling a completely separate device than I expected it to!). But, I do want to try to do something with the TV on the order I originally stated. I could get rid of the device comb1 for the receiver and CD player and just learn those few CD codes to that device and those buttons (as I already was doing -- but when I learned of device combiner I thought it was a much more elegant solution). But, the TV is the more important one as it would be a great number of key moves. The problem seems to be with getting the device 128.4 codes in. Jim Gammel is close to correct about what I want, but one of the buttons is for the aspect ratio of non-HD sources. This is a button that I will use pretty frequently for either DVDs or SD sources like SD DirecTV or my VCRs. I can't use this just in a macro. But, to be truthful, I can't figure out a way to get this button to work without making a device upgrade. If I set the TV to Panasonic device 0250 without using the panasonic combo2 upgrade, and I enter the EFC for this button, nothing happens. I downloaded a file for Panasonic Plasma Displays using the Panasonic Combo2 upgrade from the Yahoo site. On the functions page, the aspect ratio has an EFC value of 238 with a 4 in the byte2 column. If I assign the TV this upgrade code and press the button I have assigned for aspect ratio, it works without problems. If I just use Setup,238, nothing happens. So, I don't know that I understand Rob's recommendation that I just need to use the correct "fixed data" for this EFC. I also don't know how to make a simple device upgrade for a 128.4 device. Could someone explain how to do this since all I can find in Devices.xls is a Panasonic code for 128 with 0 as sub device or one with 2 as sub device. This one clearly is 4 for a sub device. If I could do this, then yes, a simple key move would work.

Again, I appreciate everyone's help, and will continue to work on this. I also have not yet even opened up the 8810w that I bought yesterday. But, if Rob's statement is correct that I can learn onto a device that uses a combiner protocol is true, it may be simplest to learn the two buttons I want to the TV device.

SMK
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Mark Pierson
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2003 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RoyGBiv wrote:
I downloaded a file for Panasonic Plasma Displays using the Panasonic Combo2 upgrade from the Yahoo site. On the functions page, the aspect ratio has an EFC value of 238 with a 4 in the byte2 column. If I assign the TV this upgrade code and press the button I have assigned for aspect ratio, it works without problems. If I just use Setup,238, nothing happens.

The Panasonic Combo2 is a 2-byte protocol (uses 2-byte commands) and you can only use "[Setup] <efc>" from the remote keypad with 1-byte protocols.

Quote:
I also don't know how to make a simple device upgrade for a 128.4 device.

In KM, choose a device type (TV), enter a Setup Code that's different from your TV code (1250?), select the 'Panasonic' protocol and enter Device=128, Sub Device=4. Copy the Device Upgrade Code over to IR's Devices tab.

For the URC-7800, it should look like this:
Upgrade Code 0 = 14 E2 (TV/1250)
C9 00 01 DE BF FB FE DF
End

For the URC-8810w, it would be:
Upgrade Code 0 = 04 E2 (TV/1250)
C9 00 01 DE BF FB FE DF
End

Then you can setup your keymoves in IR on the TV device using TV/1250 and entering the appropriate EFC's.
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Last edited by Mark Pierson on Sun Oct 19, 2003 12:43 pm; edited 2 times in total
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jon_armstrong
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2003 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, I might as well join the fun here not because of any disagreement with the technical advice being given but because I have a DTC-100 and do the same thing only with a Sony projector and I had a couple of years to perfect it for my taste.

For the others here, the DTC-100 has both a DirecTV satellite receiver and an off the air (OTA) TV tuner. hence, the DTC-100 can get high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) satellite AND broadcast signals. In my area as is the case in most cities, the major networks simulcast in HD over UHF channels. The DTC-100 is the best from a discrete command availability perspective of any HD STB around.

RoyGBiv, I assume that your situation is the same where SD looks better using the S-Video input and HD naturally requires component inputs. I have a 15-1994 that is very similar to the C7, but I use an extender but that is incidental to this discussion except that it lets me define a macro to a device button. You can do the same thing without an extender, but I recommend you go to one after you get the concept working.

IIRC, the C7 may have a glitch with the SAT_0392 setup code because I think it uses the old RCA protocol so this next step is probably a good idea to solve that problem as well. I did a device upgrade for the DSS receiver and added the discrete commands for HD, SD, Antenna A, Satellite, Antenna B, and On and the Enter command that is missing from SAT_0392. I purposely removed the power toggle and substituted discrete On because I distribute the DCT-100 S-Video and HD outputs to a direct view TV as well and want it on all the time.

Since I only need a few commands from my Projector, I created a no button device upgrade for Sony15:84 (since there is no setup code with that device in the built in library) and used key moves to add Component 1 and 2, Off, On, and S-Video to shifted and phantom keys on the CBL/SAT device keys. VPT is set for my receiver.

Then I set up a macro on the TV button for Regular TV (this takes an extender) that are:
RCVR, On
DBS input
CBL/SAT
On
Proj-ON
Proj-S-Video Input
Ant A (sets the DTC-100 to OTA on a UHF/VHF antenna)
SD Mode
4
enter

Macro on the shift-TV button for HDTV (this does not take an extender) that are:
RCVR, On
DBS input
CBL/SAT
On
Proj-ON
Proj-Component 1
Ant B (sets the DTC-100 to OTA on a UHF optimized for HD reception) antenna)
HD Mode
3
4
enter

I have similar macros for CBL/SAT and shift-CBL/SAT.

One of the cool things is that you can create in the DCT-100 a unique favorite channel list for both Ant A and Ant B so, SD channels can be selected using Antenna A and HD using Ant B.

The reason I have it enter a channel is that my projector will go blank if either an SD signal is present on component inputs or a HD input to S-Video. It also sets it to the bottom of the favorite channel list in both A and B respectively.

Also at the end of each macro, you as in the CBL/SAT mode for ch+/- channel inputs, etc. and the VPT is controlling the receiver. If any of these commands are missed, you just hit the same TV or shift-TV button again. They are all discrete commands.

I also have a component input switcher for a different reason, but mine has discrete commands and you could add the appropriate component switcher command in your macros.

In your case TV_0250 is built in and you would do a "no button" device upgrade for Panasonic:128.4, and key move TV_250 commands and the 128.4 upgrade for the component inputs as appropriate.

RoyGBiv, I have used essentially this setup for a couple of years and it works great. I didn't calculate the bytes, but I suspect the few key moves you need will be fewer bytes than the device combiner. I am not saying that is wrong, but in my case, I didn't want control of the projector directly on the remote because of bulb life considerations. I didn't want to allow someone to inadvertently turn the projector On or Off.

I'll be glad to help with any of the DTC-100 discrete commands or explain further if you are not asleep yet.
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sfhub



Joined: 12 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2003 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnsfine wrote:
sfhub, you seem to be misunderstanding the same thing Jim misunderstood, despite the fact that Rob just explained that.

Not misunderstanding per se, my mind just completely glossed over
the one line reference to the DCT-100 and fixated on the Panasonic
protocol.

I had just setup a Panasonic tv/vcr combo using the combo codes, device
combiner, then again using builtin device codes, and keymoves, so that
was fresh on my mind. Thanks for being gentle Smile
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The Robman
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2003 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roy,
If I understand the situation correctly, you have already successfully used the Device Combiner for your CD player and receiver. So, you know how to use it. The (apparent) problem is that you now want to use it again for the TV and HD box. As you are aware, you can only install the device combiner protocol once. So, here's what you do (actually, I'll do some of the steps for you, for simplicity). Before we start, I assume you have a list of EFCs for the 128.0 and 128.4 functions that you want to program, along with the HD stuff.

1. Fire up KM, select the Panasonic protocol and enter 128 as the device code, then make a note of the protocol-id and "Fixed Data" (this info will be used to simulate TV/0250)
The protocol-id is "00 C9" and the fixed data is "FE BF FB FE FF"

2. Now enter 4 as the sub-device, and make a note of the fixed data.
The fixed data is "DE BF FB FE DF"

3. Repeat this process for the HD box.
Assuming that SAT/0392 is the right code, the protocol-id is "00 AF" and the fixed data is "7F"

4. Now, use the LOAD button to bring up the file you already created that uses the Device Combiner for your CD and RCVR.

5. I'm assuming that you already have two entries started, one for the CD and another for the RCVR. Well, now you need to add 3 more. Entries #3 and #4 will both have "00 CA" as the protocol id, and #3 will have "FE BF FB FE FF" as the fixed data, and #4 will have "DE BF FB FE DF" as the fixed data. Entry #5 will have the protocol and fixed data for your DTC-100.

6. Now switch over to the Functions sheet. All the functions for your CD and RCVR should be there already, and now you want to add the functions for your TV and HD box. For all the normal 128.0 (ie, TV/0250) functions, put a 2 in the byte2 col. For the special 128.4 functions, put a 3 in byte2. And finally, for all the HD functions, put a 4 in byte2. (The device combiner works with zero based numbers, to the 1st device is 0, the 2nd device is 1, etc)

7. Now go back to the Setup sheet and re-save the file for the CD/RCVR.

8. Now change the device mode and setup code to whatever you would like to use for the new TV/DTC-100 combo.

9. Now switch to the Buttons sheet and clear everything out (ie, all the CD and RCVR button placements. Then, assign all the TV and HD functions to the buttons of your choice.

10. Cut & paste the upgrade from the Setup sheet over to IR.

11. Finally, cut & paste the protocol and use it to REPLACE the version that's already in IR for your remote.

That's it. Not so bad after all, eh?
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Last edited by The Robman on Mon Oct 20, 2003 10:48 am; edited 3 times in total
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