Rf4ce puts the control of your smart home in the palm of your hand.


Why rf4ce?

The Zigbee rf4ce specification offers an immediate, low-cost, easy-to-implement networking solution for Zigbee Remote Control and Zigbee Input Devices. Rf4ce is designed to provide low-power, low-latency control for a wide range of products including home entertainment devices, garage door openers, keyless entry systems and more. In combination with the Zigbee Remote Control and Input Device profiles, rf4ce results in remote controls without line-of-sight restrictions that also deliver two-way communication, longer range of use, and extended battery life.

Benefits of rf4ce

It is easy

  • Standardized commands mean manufacturers no longer have to develop or license expensive universal IR command databases, and consumers will no longer need multiple remotes since all devices will understand the same commands
  • Eliminates line-of-sight vision barriers and extends control to longer distances
  • Bi-directional high-speed communications enable more manufacturer control on speed of data delivery and implementation of new user features
  • Features interference avoidance capabilities, allowing consumers to place products almost anywhere
  • Enables fast implementations and updates, meaning manufacturers can reduce development time of applications and consumers will not have to be re-trained to understand new technology
  • Features remote locator, various transmission options, and faster and more reliable communications for a simpler consumer experience
  • Over-the-air upgrades mean manufacturers can upgrade firmware to add new features after products have shipped

It is reliable and robust

  • Works in any country around the world
  • Operates in the 2.4GHz frequency band according to IEEE 802.15.4
  • Agile frequency solution operates over three channels
  • Will transmit commands until they are received, and features a faster response time than IR
  • Enables enhanced user interfaces, including touchoar or pointing capabilities

It is interoperable

  • Supports Alliance-developed standards or manufacturer specific profiles
  • Allows standard or vendor-specific profiles to be added, enabling true interoperability between vendors’ products

It is green

  • Incorporates power saving mechanisms for all device classes
  • Increases battery life, reducing environmental waste
  • Consumes less power than IR solutions

Example Device Types

  • Television
  • Projector
  • Player
  • Recorder
  • Video player/recorder (VCR, DVR, DVD, Blu-ray, portable)
  • Audio player/recorder (CD, portable)
  • Audio video recorder
  • Set top box
  • Home theater system
  • Media center/PC
  • Game console
  • Satellite radio receiver
  • IR extender
  • Monitor
  • Remote control

Use Scenarios

Home Theater Experience

  • Simply insert a DVD into player
  • TV automatically selects correct input for viewing DVD
  • Surround sound system automatically switches to DVD listening mode
  • Remote control automatically switches modes to control DVD
  • Set-top box and other components not needed to switch off
  • Lights dim to the desired setting
  • Curtains/shades close

Media Center Control

  • Hardware typically in different room from entertainment center
  • Contains content like music, photos, and movies that is streamed to or from entertainment center
  • Advanced remote control with LCD or DTV/STB GUI overlay capability allows for remote navigation of content
In-System Remote Control Programming

  • Remotes can ship without code and learn supported product features on initial power up
  • OEM can send firmware updates that add features or fixes bugs after product ships
 Frequently Asked Questions

What is Zigbee rf4ce?

The Zigbee rf4ce specification provides multi-vendor, interoperable home entertainment solution for consumer electronics featuring a simple, robust and low-cost communication network for two-way wireless connectivity.

Why use Zigbee rf4ce?

Zigbee rf4ce was specifically designed for applications requiring simple device-to-device control communication that do not need the full-featured mesh networking capabilities offered by Zigbee. Zigbee rf4ce offers lower memory size requirements and as such enable lower cost implementations. The simple device-to-device topology provides easy development and testing, resulting in faster time to market.

Why do we need RF remotes?

RF remotes provide new levels of interactivity and convenience for today’s digital home when compared to IR remotes. RF remotes overcome the problems seen with IR remotes today that are interfered with by large screen TVs as well as removing the line-of-sight and field-of-vision limitations. As more devices add Internet connectivity and other features, the need for two-way communication grows. RF remotes are faster, more reliable and provide more freedom to operate devices from greater distances.

Does the market need a standard for RF remote controls?

There are currently many proprietary low-cost 2.4GHz solutions. Offering a standards-based solution, meeting the aggressive cost targets for a myriad of RF consumer applications, will accelerate the transition of IR to RF and from proprietary RF to standardized RF, and has been an ongoing Alliance objective. Standardizing RF control allows for multiple vendors products to remain interoperable which consumers expect and demand. Zigbee rf4ce meets these targets and provides a path toward communication with other Zigbee solutions.

How does Zigbee rf4ce prevent interference from other radio-based technologies, like Wi-Fi?

Zigbee rf4ce incorporates superb interference protection through its method of frequency agility that rapidly moves the Zigbee rf4ce network to an interference-free channel when interference from Wi-Fi or another source is detected. This interference mitigation technology allows Zigbee rf4ce to select one of three channels in the 2.4GHz band, including Channel 25 (which is located above the highest possible Wi-Fi channel.)

But are there interference problems with Bluetooth signals?

That’s not likely because Bluetooth is a frequency hopping technology which occasionally might collide with Zigbee rf4ce packets. Zigbee rf4ce sends very few bits infrequently between Zigbee rf4ce devices. In the very unlikely case of a collision with Bluetooth, the Zigbee rf4ce information packet will be resent quickly without the user noticing a delay.

Are there uses for Zigbee rf4ce beyond remote controls?

Yes, Zigbee rf4ce will be the engine that powers many different devices that only requires simple device-to-device technology. Entertainment devices, lighting, fan control, garage door openers, keyless entry systems are just a few possible uses for Zigbee rf4ce.

How do consumers benefit?

It eliminates the limitations of today’s IR capabilities. RF allows for fast, reliable and non-line-of-sight two-way communication between devices, bringing enhanced user interfaces, better interaction and new control techniques. Plus, Zigbee rf4ce-based products are more energy efficient, reducing the number of batteries used during a product’s lifetime and reducing battery waste.

What will be the battery life of a remote control using Zigbee rf4ce, when compared to an IR remote control?

Zigbee rf4ce provides significantly better battery life over an equivalent IR remote control product.

Can Zigbee rf4ce remote controls accidentally operate your neighbor’s equipment?

Since each remote control is uniquely paired with the devices it controls, this is virtually impossible.

When can consumers expect to buy products featuring this technology?

Products using Zigbee rf4ce are available on the market today.

Will Zigbee rf4ce interoperate with other Zigbee devices?

Zigbee and Zigbee rf4ce devices share a common communication foundation and can easily be bridged for interoperability.

Will devices running on Zigbee rf4ce interoperate?

The Zigbee rf4ce supports interoperability via standards such as Zigbee Remote Control or Zigbee Input Device.

Can my organization participate in the development of Zigbee rf4ce?

Work activity is open to all Zigbee Promoter and Participant members. If you wish to participate, join the Alliance.

Is the specification available to the public?

The Zigbee rf4ce specification and Zigbee Remote Control standard are currently open to the public and can be downloaded below.

Is Zigbee Certified testing be offered?

All Zigbee rf4ce platforms are tested before being made available to product developers. There are now many Zigbee rf4ce Compliant Platforms for equipment manufacturers to select from when designing a Zigbee product. A Zigbee Certified product test program for Zigbee Remote Control is now available. This program allows product manufacturers to create products compliant with the Zigbee Remote Control standard and demonstrate that their products are interoperable with products made by other manufacturers using the same standard.

Downloads and Resources

Click Here to Download Zigbee rf4ce Specification

Click Here to Download the Zigbee Remote Control 2.0 Standard

Download the Energy Efficient Remote Controls whitepaper:


Download the 2012 Zigbee rf4ce webinar presentation:

Download the Zigbee Remote Control 2.0 webinar presentation:

Watch the Zigbee Remote Control 2.0 Webinar:

The Zigbee Alliance is the foundation and future of the IoT. Established in 2002, our wide-ranging global membership collaborates to create and evolve universal open standards for the products transforming the way we live, work, and play. With our members’ deep and diverse expertise, robust certification programs, and a full suite of open IoT solutions, we are leading the movement toward a more intuitive, imaginative, and useful world.