How does a hand control work for a telly?
Modern remote controls for televisions send infrared light to a sensor
on the television set. The light is chopped into pulses, kind of like
Morse code, with the light on for longer or shorter periods of time.
The pulse sequence depends on the specific button on the remote that was
pressed and a computer on the receiver interprets the pulse sequence to
identify which button was pressed and how to respond to it.
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Update: June 2012