Remote Control Advice Needed - Separate Equipment Room - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 08-05-2010, 09:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I am moving much faster than I expected in this stage of my build. I need some advice. I have a separate equipment room where all of the equipment for the room will be stored. The projector is the only piece of equipment that will be in the room. I have not done any research into how to control the equipment from within the room.

Can anyone offer any advice as to the specific equipment that will work for this application? I will be purchasing a new remote as well, so recommendations are appreciated.

Thank you.

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post #2 of 14 Old 08-05-2010, 09:21 PM
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If you really want to go RF instead of IR, which means that you don't have to wire up any IR relays, then get the Flying Saucer from Next Generation (through Amazon).

Check out these reviews. Massively positive:

http://www.amazon.com/Next-Generatio...ews/B000C1Z0HA


I have one and I love it. I was using it to control my satellite receiver that was in the other room. The transmitter is a battery-sized device with its own tiny battery. You just take one of hte batteries out of your remote and install the transmitter. Then put the receiver in the equipment closet (in the other room) and the transmitter sends duplicate IR functions to the receiver, then there's an IR transmitter on the receiver that signals your equipment. It's very slick and works perfectly.

I went the cheap route with the Sony 610 remote:

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-RMVL610N-...1068459&sr=1-1


I haven't used it yet, but I'm hoping it's easy to program. Once again, the reviews for the 610 and the earlier 600 model are stellar.

--Drew


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post #3 of 14 Old 08-05-2010, 10:13 PM
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Ive been looking at this as well (in the same position as you re gear v room). Budget?

RF is clearly better but also costs more, further have you thought about rs-232 or not?

If I had lots of coin for it, I'd get a grafik eye, an rs-232 RTI controller and one of their remotes. This is a good, reliable option.

Another option is crestron prodigy, which even has it's own lighting now and is rock solid from all accounts.

Then there is control 4 (no good in this country as the support stinks), pronto and marantz.....plus android etc etc etc

Basically you need to decide IR or RF and RS-232.

You need a controller and a remote.

You want it to be simple, stable and easy to operate (easy enough for kids and wives)

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post #4 of 14 Old 08-06-2010, 04:17 AM
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I have used Crestron, Pronto, and RTI and all are excellect provided they are properly programmed and suit your ergonomic needs...as far as these three are concerned I would note the following:

1. Crestron: You will need an installer to do this as Crestron software is very difficult to get and, even were yo to get it, not the most intuitive to use.

2. RTI: You may be able to get the software (i.e. I did) and witha little patience this is very easy to program (i.e. I am self taught). I designed my own interface to suit my way of thinking / working and it is bullet proof...the CI who is programming my Crestron system did not make one change / improvement to it when he used elsewhere.

3. Pronto: Software is easy to get, programming is easy and lots of help / support available from end users.

I have been using universal remotes for years and for me the best bang for the buck are the RTI offerings and, were it in your price range or even a stretch, I would go for the RTI-XP8 and one of their 2 way RS-232 remotes...

I would also add that onc eyou have gone RF you will never go back to IR and, once you have gone RF + 2-way RS-232 you will never go back to simple RF again...

The key is spending the time to get the right ergonomics / functionality becuase without this you will be frustrated...teh fancy icons, colours, etc. come last / next...

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post #5 of 14 Old 08-06-2010, 10:11 AM
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Among the home automation companies, in my opinion Control4 is the most cost effective. You would need to buy a rack mountable Control4 HC-300 control unit and SR-250 remote. The remote communicates through RF back to the control unit, which can then control your components on your rack through serial, IP, or IR control.

MSRP for the control unit and remote is $699, and you would have an installation/programming fee. It needs to be dealer installed and programmed, but control4 is one of the most DIY friendly automation companies. The possiblities of control are almost endless, for example, I have lighting automation (when you hit pause, lights turn on, hit play, they turn off), etc.

http://www.control4.com/products/

there is also a forum where the C4 users can answer any question you might have.

http://www.c4forums.com/index.php

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post #6 of 14 Old 08-06-2010, 10:26 AM
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I just usually use Xantech. One eye in the room connected via Cat 5 to the connecting block in the equipment room for the emitters to work with. Will work with pretty much any remote you want to use and fairly priced.

For the PJ, check and see where the eye is. In many cases, it's on the front by the lens and you can literally just bounce the IR off the screen to the PJ. I've never had an emitter on any of my PJ's.

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post #7 of 14 Old 08-06-2010, 10:30 AM
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I used a very simple and cheap X10 Powermid unit (under $50 total).

You put one unit at the front of the theater (where you aim the remote) and the second unit facing your equipment. It converts your IR signal to RF and then back to IR.

http://www.amazon.com/X10-POWERMID-C.../dp/B00023KG40
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post #8 of 14 Old 08-06-2010, 10:38 AM
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+1 RTI. Easy to program, bullet proof RF and RS-232. Cheap on the used market.

There are more than a handful of [op amps] that sound so good that most designers want to be using them as opposed to discreet transistors. Dave Reich, Theta 2009
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post #9 of 14 Old 08-06-2010, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpape View Post

I just usually use Xantech. One eye in the room connected via Cat 5 to the connecting block in the equipment room for the emitters to work with. Will work with pretty much any remote you want to use and fairly priced.

For the PJ, check and see where the eye is. In many cases, it's on the front by the lens and you can literally just bounce the IR off the screen to the PJ. I've never had an emitter on any of my PJ's.

Bryan

Thanks Bryan. That's sort of what I was thinking. I'll check out the Xantech stuff. The PJ IR remote works well when aiming it at the screen. I prewired with CAT5 for this very purpose, so maybe I'm good with that for now.

CJ

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post #10 of 14 Old 08-06-2010, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks folks. I really like the idea of Control4 and Crestron, but both require dealer servicing (programming and upgrades). There is no way that I'm going to be held hostage by some installer when I want to make a change. That's enough to take both of these off the table for me. I like the geaar, but I'm no fan of the hand holding required.

CJ

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post #11 of 14 Old 08-06-2010, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carboranadum View Post

Thanks folks. I really like the idea of Control4 and Crestron, but both require dealer servicing (programming and upgrades). There is no way that I'm going to be held hostage by some installer when I want to make a change. That's enough to take both of these off the table for me. I like the geaar, but I'm no fan of the hand holding required.

CJ

Look at Complete Control by URC then. The dealer should be willing to give you the software and you can make any programming changes on your own.

http://www.universalremote.com/pro/products.php
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post #12 of 14 Old 08-06-2010, 02:11 PM
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+1 for Control4

Once you have it setup you dont need updates unless they come out with something new you want. In the research I have done it is the cheapest home automation that I could find.

Adam

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post #13 of 14 Old 08-06-2010, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carboranadum View Post

Thanks folks. I really like the idea of Control4 and Crestron, but both require dealer servicing (programming and upgrades). There is no way that I'm going to be held hostage by some installer when I want to make a change. That's enough to take both of these off the table for me. I like the geaar, but I'm no fan of the hand holding required.

CJ

I think the choice of approaches, among other things, depends upon the complexity of your system. If you have a simpler setup, the Xantech approach is very practical and cost effective, but things can get challenging as complexity increases. For example, if your system does not have discrete IR commands for every selection, the system can get out of sequence when one part of an IR macro command is not received properly...it happens. The RS-232 approach would normally prevent this sort of problem, assuming the equipment has this capability.
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post #14 of 14 Old 08-06-2010, 10:01 PM
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I just use Logitech's 890 remotes (RF) with a Xantech repeater block. You can find them selling refurbished for around $110 every few months on Amazon. I use the same remote both for our main room and the basement. It's one of the few Logitech remotes that still allows for macros which is something I definitely wanted. Easy enough to program.

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