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Teardown Tuesday: TV Remotes!

TV remotes have been around for nearly 50 years. Today most TV remotes use IR emitters to transmit data. This method of data transmission was pioneered in the 1980s by Viewstar.
In this Teardown Tuesday, we are going to take a look at the insides of some remotes!

IR and 2.4ghz tv remotes
An IR and 2.4GHz TV remote

In this teardown, we are going to take a look at the insides of four TV remotes: two general universal TV remotes, an LG AKB74475401 TV remote, and an Amazon Fire TV 2.4GHz remote.

Circuit Boards

Traditional IR TV Remotes


TV Remote PCB's
The PCBs found in traditional TV remotes

The circuit boards inside of the traditional TV remotes are fairly basic. They are single-sided boards with green solder mask. All three of the PCBs have white silkscreen on the non-copper side. The genuine LG remote control also has white silkscreen on the copper side. The traces on these circuit boards are relatively wide at around 25 mils (0.635mm).

Amazon Fire TV Remote


Amazon Remote PCB
The PCB inside of the Amazon Fire TV remote

The PCB in the Amazon remote is a bit more complex. The PCB is a two-layer PCB with blue solder mask and white silkscreen on both sides. Nearly all of the components are surface mount and are located on one side of the PCB. This board contains many small surface mount components, small traces, and vias— a big departure from the other remotes!

SOC’s

Traditional IR TV Remotes


The IR Remote SOC
The 16-pin SOC in an IR TV remote

The three traditional TV remotes use a single chip SOC that contains a built-in oscillator, a transistor for the IR LED, and a microprocessor. All three of these chips are in a 16-SOP package.
The genuine LG remote uses an ADAM27P16 manufactured by ABOV Semiconductor. The generic remotes use a “6W008-01C” SOC and an “AD009-01T” SOC.

Amazon Fire Stick Remote


amazon fire remote soc bluetooth
The Broadcom SOC in the Amazon Fire TV remote

The Amazon remote uses a Broadcom BCM20730 SOC. This SOC contains a Bluetooth 3.0 transceiver and an ARM cortex-M3 core. This SOC is intended for low power applications such as keyboards, mice, and remote controls.

Transmitters

Traditional IR TV Remotes


IR LEDs 808nm
The 808nm IR LEDs

Tradition TV remotes use IR LED to transmit data. The three traditional remotes featured in this article use T-1 ¾ sized 808nm LEDs.

Amazon Fire TV Remote


Bluetooth SOC and Trace antenna
The Bluetooth SOC and trace antenna

Some TV remotes, such as those used in smart TVs and the Amazon Fire TV, use an RF transmitter/transceiver to broadcast data. The Amazon remote relies on a Bluetooth connection and transmits the data out of a trace antenna.

Power Supply


Capacitors in the TV Remotes
Capacitors in the remotes

These remotes don’t have discrete voltage regulators. The SOCs used in these remotes have a wide voltage input range. In all four of these remotes, there is a capacitor, 47uF to 100uF, connected in parallel with the battery to smooth the voltage.

Turning it Off


Remote Control Teardown
TV remote parts!


As you can see from this teardown, ‘traditional’ TV remotes are fairly simple devices. With remote controls becoming more complicated and more data being transmitted from the remote control, a more robust data link is needed. Bluetooth, WiFi, and proprietary RF links are becoming a growing choice for data transmission in remote controls.

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Hi, I`m Sostenes, Electrical Technician and PLC`S Programmer.
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