Ability to drive multiple IR transmitters independantly from PC


Standard Member
Hey guys,

I've got a situation where there's a number of identical displays in the same area, and need to be able to switch them on and off individually from a PC.

Currently there are 10 identical displays, which accept commands from a remote control to switch on and off (discrete commands). I want something that I can connect up to a PC and will allow me to switch on and off each display individually.

Obviously this means that there has to be ten IR transmitters, each placed next to the sensor of the relevant display, and each of which can be driven independantly (i.e. sending the same signal to all 10 will result in all ten displays switching on/off - not the desired functionality).

Whats more, the solution needs to be expandable to deal with up to twenty such identical displays, all of which need to be individually controlled.

I had considered using single USB IR transmitters, plugged into a USB hub and then into the PC, but I doubt a single PC would be able to drive 20 such devices concurrently, not least of all because it would run out of COM ports. So I'm looking for something which is designed to allow control of multiple transmitters independantly.

Is there anything like this on the market? Ideally I'd like it to have an API so that I can interface into it from my own code, but that's not an essential requirement.


Google on the R2DI PCI card. I *believe* it can control 4 zones or xmitters. For 20, you'd need 5, and that's too many for a given PC, but perhaps 2 PCs that each control 10?


Standard Member
Thanks IVB - that looks like a potential solution. I have concerns about whether their drivers and control software will correctly support multiple cards in the same PC though - but the best way to find out the answer to that is to e-mail them, so I shall!

Out of interest, I see that it's possible to get a Linksys NSLU-2 to support LIRC (a Linux IR hardware and software solution) with hacked firmware and some minor hardware modifications. Is anyone on here using this solution? Obviously I would need one NSLU-2 per display, but the ability to issue IR commands effectively over Ethernet is appealing.

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