Wandmaker Richard Blakesley commented on Virgin Cable Remote problems of a forum user:
There are a few different types of Virgin Media remote controls, and some of them use alternating infra-red (IR) codes which are different with each button press – these are sometimes known as “toggle codes”, and are intended to avoid multiple commands being executed accidentally if the IR beam is broken during transmission (by the cat or your wife walking between the remote control and the Virgin box).
So, the first time you press the “channel up” button (for example, though this also applies to most of the buttons), it will send one IR code (let’s call it “code A”, which will repeat for as long as you hold the button down), but the next time you press the same button, it will send a second IR code (B). On the third press, you’ll be back to the first code A again, and so on. The Virgin box will action a channel change when it sees code A, but it won’t change the channel again if another code A is received consecutively, but is instead waiting to receive code B before it’ll change channel in the same direction.
The wand can only learn the IR code it sees when the button is pressed once during learning mode, which will be either code A or code B. So, repeated gestures will send the same IR code each time, and that causes the problem you’re experiencing.
Fortunately, there is a work-around:
- Whilst the set-top box is expecting to see A,B,A,B for repeated channel up (and, say, C,D,C,D for channel down), putting any other IR code in between the repeated A’s will also work OK (e.g. A,X,A,X for two channel up changes, or C,X,C,X for two channel down changes).
- An undocumented feature of the wand is that you can actually learn more than one remote control button onto each gesture (as a kind of macro) if you press two buttons in quick succession whilst the wand is doing the fast pulsing during learning mode.
- Therefore if you first press the button that you want to use (e.g. channel up) and then quickly press another button which has no effect (e.g. the yellow button on the Virgin remote does nothing most of the time), then the wand will learn two IR codes (e.g A,X) onto that gesture.
Now when you perform repeated gestures for channel up (e.g. flick upwards), the Virgin box will receive code A (to change the channel up), then code X (which will do nothing but make it forget that it had just received code A), then the next code A (on the next flick upwards) should cause the channel to change again as expected. We’ve tested the wand with two different Virgin boxes – on the first one it didn’t use these “toggle” codes so there was no issue, but for the second box we had to do this workaround, then everything worked fine. It might take you a couple of attempts to get the timing right for learning the “macro” of two buttons onto each gesture, but it’s not too difficult once you get the hang of it.
Sorry for such a long-winded explanation – I hope it all makes sense, but please let us know if not.
The Wand Company Ltd