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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Programming Comcast XFINITY Remote to Logitech Z-5500 Sound System

Straight up BOSS sound system
Let's paint the scenario. You have a sound system that is straight up BOSS. It even boasts an optical cable for even more crisp sound. Your TV is this pristine flat screen that can play high definition media like nobody's business. Not to mention, this TV of yours also has plenty of HDMI ports so you can hook up just about anything: XBOX, PlayStation, ROKU, and more! And you just got Comcast XFINITY and all of its HD offerings. Sweet.

Exhibit "A"
But... you now have a plethora of controllers with which to contend. And if you have housemates... fahgettaboudit. They will be so confused and frustrated, you will have no hope of survival. There will be no end to the grief they give you. And who wants house drama? So, you opt to consolidate all functions into a single controller. However, you are too cheap to buy an awesome universal remote... because the Comcast XFINITY remote IS a universal remote (see Exhibit "A").

Great. Now you get to the business of setting up the controller. TV gets programmed easy; no issues there. Then you get to your Logitech Z-5500 Sound System. Aaaaaand that Comcast remote can't recognize it. Not only is there no manufacturer code printed on the controller's user guide, but using the controller to search for your code comes to no avail. Now what?

Enter secret codes. You'll have to manually program XFINITY remote and map the buttons to the functions you want. Here is the play by play:

  1. Do you have patience?
  2. Does your controller look somewhat like exhibit "A"?
If you answered yes to those questions, you might just be in luck.

Test Case: Program the Power button

We are going to try to program the power button. If we can do that, then you have carte blanche.

Set the controller's AUX mode to accept programming
  1. Press and release AUX
  2. Press and hold SETUP until the AUX button blinks twice
  3. Enter code 11523
  4. The AUX button should blink twice in confirmation
  5. Repeat if step 4 did not happen
Program the Power button to toggle the Logitech Z-5500 system's power

Make sure the logitech system is powered on prior to completing these steps. Also make sure that you point the Comcast controller at the Logitech infrared receiver when entering commands.
  1. Press and release the AUX button
  2. Press and hold SETUP until the AUX button blinks twice
  3. Enter code 9 9 4
  4. Press and release SETUP
  5. Enter code 44485
  6. Press and release the POWER button
  7. The AUX button should blink twice in confirmation
Now, attempt to toggle power on the Logitech sound system. If you can't manipulate power with the controller, attempt to program it again with the above steps. If after a few tries there is no dice, sorry to say but you are SOL. But if it DOES work, read on friend!

Heavy Lifting: Program the rest of the functions

Assign controller buttons to desired functions for the Logitech system

To map functions to buttons, you have to repeat the steps written in the previous section for each function you want to map (this is where the patience part kicks in). Step 5 is where you will substitute the code for the function you want. And step 6 is where you will press the button to which you want that function mapped. Below is a table of all the codes, associated functions, and the mapping that I decided to utilize. Feel free to use my mapping or devise your own.

Logitech functions mapped to XFINITY Remote
Vol +
Vol -
Center +
Center -
Surround +  
Surround -
Sub +
Sub -
Vol +
Vol -
Up Arrow
Down Arrow
Left Arrow
Right Arrow
Ch +
Ch -

Final Tweaks

To limit further confusion with the main volume button... you wan to program the controller so that no matter what mode it is in (CABLE, TV, or AUX), the main volume button will raise or lower volume on the Logitech system, not the TV itself. Trust me, this goes a LONG way to mitigate against confusion from users.

Lock volume control to AUX mode
  1. Press and hold SETUP until a red light flashes twice
  2. Enter code 9 9 3 (red light will flash twice)
  3. Press and release AUX (red light for selected device will flash twice)
Now, if you wanted to lock volume control to the TV, you would substitute TV for AUX in the above steps.


And that's that! If you made it through, tap yourself on the back. While you're at it, get yourself a Klondike bar. You deserve it. Your housemates and family will be happy too! To some degree, heh heh. And bookmark this page! You never know when your cable box will go kaput, Comcast will come replace it, and give you a whole new controller... be ready!!!


Original post
Codes that almost worked
Setting the 11523 code
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