requency remote control) A handheld, wireless device used to operate audio, video and other electronic equipment using radio frequency (RF) transmission. Unlike the common infrared (IR) remotes, RF remotes do not have to be aimed at the equipment.
RF Receivers (Base Stations) Are Required
Most A/V equipment is IR based and has an IR sensor on the front panel. Because RF remote control signals must wind up as IR signals at the IR sensors, an RF receiver (base station and antenna) accepts RF and converts it to IR. Receivers are wired to an "IR emitter" (flasher) pasted onto the sensor of each device or to an "IR blaster" located inside the home theater cabinet. The blaster reflects off the closed cabinet door, showering IR signals to all the devices at the same time. See IR remote control
, Wi-Fi remote control
RF and IR
The MX-980 from Universal Remote Control (www.universalremote.com) can operate every piece of A/V equipment in a home theater. Programmed on screen (bottom) and downloaded via USB, this versatile unit transmits RF and IR signals simultaneously, and the user can even be in the next room.
An IR Emitter
An IR emitter (left) is pasted onto the IR sensor on this DVD/VHS player. The wire traces back to a Home Theater Master RF base station that picks up the RF and converts it to infrared (IR). No matter whether the remote control is RF or IR, the signal winds up as IR at the equipment.