Trying to figure out this whole IR repeater thing... - AVS Forum
Dedicated Theater Design & Construction > Trying to figure out this whole IR repeater thing...
jeremytodd1's Avatar jeremytodd1 10:45 PM 02-05-2012
I haven't used anything like this before.

I plan to put all my electronics behind the couch so I'm going to need an IR repeater.

I have a question though... The receiver itself (the part you put at the front of the room) is about maybe 20 feet or so away from where the electronics are. But every IR repeater kit the cord is only 9 feet or so.

Here is the one I'm looking at getting:

Do they make some kind of extension cord for the part that goes in the front of the room? If so can I get a suggestion or two?

TeeCue's Avatar TeeCue 11:16 PM 02-05-2012

You need an extension cable to connect the reciever to the control module;

Brad Horstkotte's Avatar Brad Horstkotte 11:37 PM 02-05-2012
Use one that is extensible via cat5, like:
jeremytodd1's Avatar jeremytodd1 11:54 PM 02-05-2012
Originally Posted by Brad Horstkotte View Post

Use one that is extensible via cat5, like:

I don't get how Cat 5 works... I'm new to all wiring stuff too...

I'd have to splice (or whatever it's called) the right ends to use cat 5 with the ir repeater, right?

How do you use Cat 5 to do wiring? I see a lot of posts on this site that use SO much Cat5 when I can only think to use it for like 2 things tops... Networking to my PS3 and my HTPC. Other than that I can think of no other uses for Cat5 cable. Am I missing something?
jautor's Avatar jautor 12:43 AM 02-06-2012
Originally Posted by jeremytodd1 View Post

I don't get how Cat 5 works... I'm new to all wiring stuff too...

It's the Swiss Army Knife of wire... Perhaps the Chuck Norris of wire...

I'd have to splice (or whatever it's called) the right ends to use cat 5 with the ir repeater, right?

The Hot Link system linked by Brad has RJ45 connectors on it, so no, just patch cables...

How do you use Cat 5 to do wiring? I see a lot of posts on this site that use SO much Cat5 when I can only think to use it for like 2 things tops... Networking to my PS3 and my HTPC. Other than that I can think of no other uses for Cat5 cable. Am I missing something?

Yes, you're missing something.

Cat5 is commonly called "Ethernet cable", but it can be used for a wide variety of non-networking uses, especially in the A/V distribution area. There are a mountain of products that utilize Cat5 cables in ways different from Ethernet - and don't connect to your Ethernet network.

Why Cat5? Because it's everywhere, and its inexpensive if it's not.

So in the case of the Hot Link, an "unused" cat5 cable already in the wall could be used to carry the IR signal from the receiver module to the emitter module. (Doesn't go through Ethernet switches or anything else)

Hope that makes sense,

jeremytodd1's Avatar jeremytodd1 12:48 AM 02-06-2012
So what things exactly for my AV equipment? Like would it work for HDMI and such too and all that? What would be the process for that?

I've never done any wire cutting or anything like that so I have pretty much no knowledge in this area.
SCHNEEDOO's Avatar SCHNEEDOO 06:14 AM 02-06-2012
A couple of these might help as well if you start running things through the walls
Dennis Erskine's Avatar Dennis Erskine 06:45 AM 02-06-2012

There are four primary pieces to an IR repeater system:

1. An IR flasher or emitter ( Usually with an adhesive face. The flasher is installed on the face of the component (receiver, BluRay Player, Sat/Cable receiver, etc) over the IR receiver in that component. The flasher connects to....

2. An IR Amplified Connecting Block. ( The third piece of the puzzle is an...

3. IR Receiver ( The IR receiver is placed in a convenient location so you can aim your IR remote control at the receiver. These items are ...

4. Connected to each other by wire. CAT5 wire is generally used ... it is low cost, works with the IR system very nicely and is easy to splice; however, the CAT5 wire is ONLY used when the wires on the IR Receiver or IR emitters are too short to reach from the connecting block to where you want to place the emitter/receivers.

Note: Virtually all, if not all, IR recievers/connecting blocks/flashers are made by Xantech regardless of the brand name on the box.
kromkamp's Avatar kromkamp 12:08 PM 02-06-2012
I use this Xantech product:

What I like about it:

1)Its cheap
2)It uses RG6 cabling
3)You can easily add multiple receivers using simple coaxial splitters (as long as they pass frequencies down to 0Hz)

The only limitation is it only offers 2 transmitter outputs, each of which can support dual-flashers. So you can control max 4 devices.
HDvids4all's Avatar HDvids4all 12:16 PM 02-06-2012
I use the same Xantech connecting block and flashers that Dennis linked to above, and they work great.

To the OP, if you're not comfortable using CAT5 to extend the length of your IR Receiver, you can just buy a simple 3.5mm extension cable and connect it between the block and receiver. No splicing required.
HDTV Maniac's Avatar HDTV Maniac 07:26 PM 01-04-2013
Quick question here as I am in a similar situation and trying to make things work (without success). I have a C2G IR distribution block that I am using and because my Pioneer Elite plasma has a IR output port, I was planning not to use the IR receiver module provided in the package. This was partly due to the fact that the block would be located roughly 50ft away (which I would connect to with a 50ft 3.5mm stereo cable) and I would avoid having to stick the receiver module on my nice plasma monitor.

So I hooked everything up, placed the emitters son the sources and fired it all up. What I realized is that I was not able to control certain equipment (notable HD DVR and Blu-Ray player). Everything else seemed to work just fine. I then tested the system but placed the receiver instead of the 3.5mm cable (obviously closer to the AV cabinet) and all worked perfectly. Is this just a problem with my 3.5mm stereo cable or something else? I cut the cable and I was expecting 3 conductors but I only saw 2 of them that were sleeved (red and white) and there was also another strand without a sleeve. Is this the possible issue?

I need some help on this to figure out a solution since I do not want to have to stick that awful looking receiver on my Elite monitor and then run a 3.5mm extender cable to the distribution block. Anyone's input on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

jautor's Avatar jautor 08:53 PM 01-04-2013
The IR receiver built into your TV is probably a narrower receive spectrum than the IR repeating products (which is why the IR receivers in general are expensive - they're "better"). Odds are the remotes in question aren't in the same narrow range that the TV accepts.

You don't have to necessarily stick the receiver on the TV - anywhere closeby, on a speaker (behind a grill may work), etc. If no other option, you could get a better looking (expensive) Xantech receiver...

Or move to an RF universal remote, or install the "Next Generation Remote Control Extenders" into your remotes.

HDTV Maniac's Avatar HDTV Maniac 08:21 PM 01-06-2013
Hi Jautor, thanks for the info once again. I have found a simpler solution right now and that is to use the Nextgen remote control extender and have the saucer blast the IR signal to the receiver (all inside the AV cabinet) which in turn is connected to the receiving block for distribution to the components via eye emitters. This seemed to work very well except for the fact that by doing this, I can control all devices except the HDMI matrix/switch (Monoprice PID 5704). I don't know why this is the case, if I leave the 3.5mm cable from my plasma TV IR out port directly into the IR distribution block, I can control the matrix without problems. Once I try to use the supplied receiver (whether directly or with through the NextGen workaround described above), the signal will not be carried out by the matrix. This is confusing me because I don't know exactly what the reason for this could be. Without the receiver, I could not control the Sony Blu-Ray player and SA 8300HD DVR. Now with the receiver in place, I can control everything except the HDMI matrix. Please help on this one, I am at a loss.
jautor's Avatar jautor 09:23 PM 01-06-2013
Why are you feeding an IR repeater into another IR repeater? Use the emitter outputs on the NextGen saucer directly and disconnect all other IR repeating...

Are you using a universal remote, or were you trying to use the Monoprice matrix's own remote through the "other" IR repeater? There may be enough low-level IR noise being blasted by the saucer that may be interfering with the other system.
HDTV Maniac's Avatar HDTV Maniac 08:37 AM 01-07-2013
I am using the IR repeater from the NextGen saucer to the IR receiver because when I plugged in a 3.5mm cable from the NextGen output directly to the block, all was not working perfectly. Now that I am using the saucer blaster to the receiver unit and form there into the block, all works fine except for the HDMI matrix.

The remote I am using is a URC R50. However, whatever I tried would not work for the matrix. If I had the receiver plugged into the block and used the Monoprice remote directly to the receiver, this was not working either. I don't know what can be the problem here.
jautor's Avatar jautor 10:03 AM 01-07-2013
Can you just take the connecting block out of the equation? Plug your existing emitters into the saucer.
HDTV Maniac's Avatar HDTV Maniac 10:47 AM 01-07-2013
The NextGen saucer only has 1 output (3.5mm jack) for emitting the IR signal and the emitters I have connected to the distribution block are 5 in total (2 dual heads and 1 single head). How can I make sure that all of them can go on 1 output of the saucer? Furthermore, the equipment is spread out on the different AV cabinet shelves so they are not all next to each other so I can use the NextGen 6 emitter output cable.
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