SchmartStuff.com PS3IR-PRO - IR to Bluetooth remote control adapter review: SchmartStuff.com PS3IR-PRO - IR to Bluetooth remote control adapter

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.4
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 8.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Allows a standard universal remote to control the PS3; gives access to the full 51 remote buttons; zero lag between remote and console; powers the PS3 off using a built-in macro; upgradeable firmware.

The Bad Expensive for what it does; no user-adjustable settings.

The Bottom Line The Schmartz PS3IR-PRO is an expensive IR-to-Bluetooth converter for the PS3, but it works great and puts your universal remote back in charge of your home theater.

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While the Sony PlayStation 3 is one of the best values for high-definition movie buffs, it's always been somewhat of a pain to integrate in a standard home theater because it lacks an IR receptor. That means popular universal remotes, such a Logitech Harmony, can't control the PS3 and you're forced to break out either the PS3 controller or buy the Sony PlayStation 3 Blu-ray DVD Remote. For those who can't live without an activity-based remote, like us, it's a considerable drawback.

The only mainstream product to address this issue has been the Nyko Blu-Wave, which is a cheap fix, but can't turn the PS3 on or off, which means you'll need to do power the PS3 on and off manually or use a controller. To address this problem, a small group of basically homemade products have popped up on independent Web sites, offering the capability to convert standard IR commands to Bluetooth and use some clever macros to get around the PS3's peculiarities. The Schmartz PS3IR-PRO ($90, only available on the Schmartz Web site) is one of these devices, and it delivers on the essential functionality you'd want on an IR-to-Bluetooth converter.

Design
The design of IR-to-Bluetooth converters is pretty much uniform, as they all consist of a small black box about the size of a pack of cards, with one side featuring IR receptors. Unlike the other converters we tested, there are no lights on the front of the PS3IR-PRO. That's a plus for home theater buffs looking to limit light sources, but, on the other hand, you don't get any feedback confirming that the device has received an IR signal. We prefer the option of choosing whether we want the lights or not, which is available on the ps3toothfairy.

Setup on the PS3IR-PRO is relatively simple. The first thing you need to do is "pair" the PS3IR-PROi with your PS3, which lets your PS3 know that it will be controlled by a remote. To do so, you navigate to the appropriate screen on the PS3, plug in the PS3IR-PRO, and then press "0" on the remote. One slight annoyance during setup is that after we added the PS3IR-PRO to a Harmony activity (Play PS3), we had to manually associate all the PS3IR-PRO functions with that activity. It's tedious, but you only have to do it once. It's worth noting that we had to do the same thing with all the IR to Bluetooth converters that we tested.

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Where to Buy

Schmartz PS3IR-PRO

Part Number: PS3IR-PRO Released: May 1, 2008
Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date May 1, 2008
  • CE Product Type IR to Bluetooth remote control adapter