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Electrical Engineering/Increasing Remote Control Range of a Television set


Dear Prof Cleggsan‎

Case Study

Father is in the Hall, while son is in another room which is quite far from the Hall and is with the remote control device. Father instructs son to power on the Television set, change Different channels by using push buttons on the remote control device.  

Can we use RFID Technology as an alternative to Infrared technology for increasing the remote control
range to access TV Programs channels , TV on/off switch etc ?.

I Feel Modification in the Television receiver set - Installing RFID Chip, Modifications in the Remote control device may allow us to achieve this functionality.

Awaiting your Reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Theory of operation is not problem.  In the early days of consumer electronics rf transmission was used but cost and durability and high power consumption in the hand held unit were problems.  The IR solution won out due to its robust performance, low battery drain and low cost of manufacturing. Whilst the IR based remote is line-of-sight only there has not been much of a demand for remotes that will go around the corner and through the walls.  

There are aftermarket rf remotes in the marketplace now and seem to be aimed at specialty applications. They are easily found with a simple google search.

RFID chips can be used but for the range needed it is likely to need battery power.  They may work well but become unreliable for longer distance, I think, though not much testing has been done for RFID long range applications such as you would need for room to room use that you mentioned.

Your assumption that a modification of the hand held remote would be necessary; and that is true of course. But, also, the tv set must be altered as well - OR - a receiver pod next to the tv that will convert the rfid signal into an IR device that would relay the request to the tv.

Not a good idea, in my humble opinion.

A couple of companies have made announcements these last couple of years about an RFID remote but nothing has come into the marketplace that I am aware of.

But, there are a number of RFID remotes for specialized applications that can be found with a google or bing search....  

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