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NOT a Radar: Missing IR Remote Settings

I was about to file a second Radar from out latest AirPlay Experiments. When I was remote-controlling the AppleTV my colleague complained that stray radiation was also changing his speaker volume. When we looked at his Security Settings we couldn’t find the settings to disable IR.

But the solution was not to file a Radar and proceed to sulking. The problem lay in my own ballpark.

Turns out that it was not Apple’s fault, but mine. I apparently had experimented with a third party driver for the Apple Remote. You would have used that – at least in the past – if apps like Plex wouldn’t play nicely with the normal Apple Remote we used to be getting bundled with iMacs.

IOSpirit offers a fully fledged “remote control solution” via their Remote Buddy app, available for purchase on their website. If all you want is the driver this app uses you can also use Candelair. Both use the same driver, but the latter is only the driver plus a prefpane.

Even though I don’t remember ever installing Candelair on my iMac it was there. In /System/Library/Extensions the kernel extension for it was RBIOKitHelper.kext. Mine as old as October 2011, of course no longer compatible with Mountain Lion.

There are three methods to fix this:

  1. Remove the kext, reboot
  2. Download the Candelair installer, install the prefpane. Then uninstall it via the Uninstall option there.
  3. Install Candelair, update the driver via the prefpane. Keep using it.

Since the two iMacs are only used in our office we have no need for the IR anyway, so I performed option 1 and 2 on those and just disabled the port.

Strangely it seems that somehow this kernel extension had been spreading like a virus onto even a brand new 13″ MacBook Air. This computer’s user data had been transferred from previous Macs of mine. I wasn’t aware that kexts also get moved, but apparently they do. Though this computer didn’t have the settings appear even after removing the kext, for the simple reason of newer Airs not having an IR port.

For comparison, my mid 2011 iMac still has a port as you can see in the System Report USB section.

Apple decided some time ago that certain classes of laptops have no use for an IR Receiver. A support document about the Apple Remote control mentions the free Remote app as the alternative of choice for people who still require it. It’s a little bit funny: this way Apple manages to even migrate people’s remote controls onto iOS.

Categories: Apple

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