While you thought it was interesting that brand X of toothpaste is preferred over brand Y by nine out of 10 dentists the first time you heard it, once you hear it a few hundred more times, you may find it annoying. If you’d prefer to have a button that mutes the volume, only to be restored a set amount of time later when your program should be back, then this hack from “LittleTern” may be just the thing.
Instead of hooking up a microcontroller with an IR emitter as yet another remote, LittleTern’s device instead uses a clever setup where an Arduino Pro Mini intercepts an existing remote’s normally unused button signals via its own IR detector. Based on the signals it receives, it can then relay a signal to mute the TV, and send another signal to turn it on again after a predefined amount of time.
While this particular hack is configured especially for a Sony Bravia TV remote, it could certainly be adapted for other systems. One could even imagine this type of setup expanded to other applications, such as an automatic TV shutoff after a certain amount of time, or even macro or scripting functions where one press does multiple actions.