I am looking to connect a single IR receiver to multiple mac mini computers to advance a slideshow played through front row in sync. I was reading this post below from superuser.com and one of the replies suggested that I post the question here. Currently we use a single IR receiver for each Mac computer and advance the slideshow with an apple remote. Our current method works but IR interference sometimes causes a Mac to not advance. I was thinking that if I could connect a single IR Receiver to multiple macs I could advance the slideshow in each mini from a single receiver without any misfires.

User: Chris Stratton suggests building a "number of usb-slave-enabled micro-controllers (one per PC) to a usb-host-enabled one (for the keyboard) using their serial ports."

I am new to electronics and would like to know if this is a viable solution and if so could you give me some direction as to how I could build this.

IR Receiver: http://twistedmelon.com/mira/hardware.html Similar Post from: https://superuser.com/questions/367276/would-a-usb-hub-work-in-reverse

  • \$\begingroup\$ Are all of these displays showing the same thing? If so, might be easier to split the output as opposed to trying to have a multi-remote. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 7, 2012 at 23:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ No. Each display has a different image. Essentially what we have done is created the same slideshow effect as connecting multiple slide projectors and advancing slides in synch. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 7, 2012 at 23:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ What about just using IR repeaters? Alternatively, if the machines are networked you could use one machine to send an advance command to the others - AppleScript should let you do that. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 8, 2012 at 12:24

1 Answer 1


Yes, this could be a viable solution. This is commercially known as a IR Repeater system. It would not require any usb, as a microcontroller can read the IR signal, and repeat it to multiple IR transmitters/leds. A google search for "microcontroller IR Repeater" will provide a multitude of projects that you can build off of.

Alternatively, as @MathewHall suggested, if you are on the same network, one of the macs could act as a server to control the other ones. There are applications that can use the same IR remote to launch or control a custom application or script. (from the Apple Stack Exchange). With some basic coding, you can have it done in software, no hardware to make or replace if broken. And easier to expand if needed.


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