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Tip of the Month (October 2010) : Changing the TV Channel or TV Volume with your device (Using IR commands)

The Dynavox V and Vmax devices have the ability to learn IR (infrared) codes to send signals to any appliances that can be used with an infrared remote control (ie. television).  To make use of the DynaVox IR capabilities, you must teach your device the IR commands you want to use and then assign those commands to a button for easy access.  You may also need to create a specific “controls” page or similar to store your buttons.  Below is an example of a page that has IR commands assigned to buttons.

Note:    There are a number of useful predesigned pages on your device to suit a variety of ages and situations.  This could save you time in setting up a new page and then you can just edit the relevant buttons.  To find a page that may suit your needs go to into Page Browser and search for “TV”.  Below shows the results of the search.

To teach your IR command (changing the TV channel, or changing the volume) to your device, follow these steps:

1.       Select the Main Menu button in the title bar.

2.       Select Setup.

3.       Select Tools Menu.

4.       Select the IR Browser button.

5.       Select the New button.

6.       Use the system keyboard to enter a name for the new Infrared command and select OK (ie. playroom TV volume up).

Note:    A number of pre-existing IR command names are available and you can re-use or delete these if appropriate.

7.       The new command will be displayed and highlighted in the IR Browser viewport.

8.       Select the Learn button.

9.       Aim the remote control at the dark plastic panel on the front edge of the V/Vmax device.

10.   Select the Start IR Learning button on the device and then press the appropriate button on the remote control.

11.   Select the Stop IR Learning button when finished.

  • If the V/Vmax device did not receive a signal from the remote control, a window will inform you that no signal was detected. Select the Try again button to send the signal again, or select the Cancel button to cancel the IR learning process.
  • The IR command has a maximum time interval of 20 seconds. If you do not select the Stop IR Learning button before that time runs out, you will receive an error. Select the Try again button to send the signal again, or select the Cancel button to cancel the IR learning process.
  • When programming operations in the IR Browser, you are attempting to replicate the functions on that remote.  When programming the number buttons, you can add each number 0-9 as a separate operation (i.e. 0, 1, 2, 3, etc).  You can use Enqueue IR Command behaviour to access multiple digit channels. Or, you can teach the device multi-digit channels (i.e. 22, 144, etc)

12.   Select the OK button once the command learning is complete.

13.   To test the new command, aim the front edge of the V/Vmax at the appropriate appliance and select the Test button.

14.   If the appliance did not perform the desired function, repeat steps 7-11. If it did perform the desired function, proceed to step 13.

15.   Select the OK button to close the IR Browser menu.

16.   Select the OK button to close the Tools menu.

Assigning your IR command to a Button:

Once an infrared remote control command has been learned by your V/Vmax device, you can use the Perform IR Command behaviour to assign the new command to a button on a page or popup. When the button with this behaviour is selected, your V/Vmax device will automatically send the infrared command to the appropriate appliance.

1.       Select the green Modify button in the title bar.

2.       Select the button that you want to modify.

3.       Select the Label text box and enter a label that will remind you of the remote control behaviour that you are assigning to this button. Select the OK button to close the system keyboard when finished.

4.       Select the Behaviours button.

5.       Select the Behaviours’ drop-down menu. The menu will expand to display all the behaviour categories.

6.       Select the Environmental Control option.

7.       Select Perform IR Command in the Behaviours viewport.

8.       Select the Add button.

9.       Select the name of the command you want to add to the button.

10.   Select the OK button to close the Select IR Command menu.

11.   Select the OK button to close the Behaviour Editor menu.

Note: Use the Modify button to customize any of the button’s other attributes (its label, symbol or colour, for example), if desired.

12.   Select the OK button to close the Modify Button menu.

To test the new IR button, aim the front edge of the V/Vmax at the appropriate appliance and then select the button that you just modified. When the button is selected, the remote control command will be sent to the appliance.

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Having been associated with TalkLink for over 7 years through my daughter who uses an AAC device I have always been passionate about encouraging and supporting other people to use their devices to their maximum potential.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.talklink.org.nz/index.php/2010/10/11/tip-of-the-month-october-2010-changing-the-tv-channel-or-tv-volume-with-your-device-using-ir-commands/


  1. Joan Bandy

    Is there no way to just add fields to be able to enter channel numbers. My uncle with ALS wanted to do this by eye command yesterday, but all we could get was channel up or channel down. The poor guy would go crazy getting from 3 to 352. LOL

  2. Joan Bandy

    PS: I think his is a Tobii device, if that makes any different. All this is new to me. I looked on the internet for an hour and couldn’t figure it out, I don’t know how they expect handicapped people to have the patience for it. Whew. I admire him.

    1. TalkLink

      Hi Joan,

      you are welcome to contact Techsupport if you are needing help and or advice with the Tobii system, please send an email to techsupport@talklink.org.nz with your Uncle’s details and setup.

      Kind Regards

      The Talklink Team

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