Aton HDR44 HD over Cat5 - A Quick Review - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 108 Old 08-29-2010, 11:57 AM
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More headache than I care to share, but in the end Aton did me right. I really like this unit, though I wish they sold an 8 in 8 out...
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post #32 of 108 Old 09-07-2010, 02:19 PM
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This may be a stupid question, but I'm new to distribution.


I may use iPhone/iPads with the upcoming RedEye rackmount unit for universal remote of my whole-house A/V. The gist of how RedEye works is that the rackmount unit receives WiFi signals, and then outputs IR over wire to the different zones you need. In my case, a zone will compromise of local and centralized devices - which RedEye supports.

Now obviously to get the IR from the rackmount unit to each zones' local components, I'm going to have to wire transmitters. My question is, would it seem possible to piggy-back onto the Aton IR wiring to accomplish this (for RedEye IR would be output from a centralized location to each Aton wall unit, which is then hooked up to IR trasmitters)?

The goal is to not have to modify the actual standard wiring for Aton in the walls. That way when I sell the house, the purchasers have the capability to do something similar to what I'm considering, or go the more traditional IR remote route. I'm trying to find solutions the leave lots of options - I figure that will lead to the best resale value.
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post #33 of 108 Old 09-07-2010, 06:50 PM - Thread Starter
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If you mean 'transmit IR from the Aton box to the zone receivers', then no, can't do that. You might be able to steal the IR wire and splice it yourself - ick!

How many zones have local components? If you're going to spend $$ on iPod/iPads for each zone, why not another RedEye for each zone? (I assume that system can handle multiple receivers). Probably don't need the rack mount version for the zones. If RedEye can't do that, look at the iRule solution coupled with some Global Cache iTach units in each zone, and maybe the GC-100 in the rack...

Jeff

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post #34 of 108 Old 09-07-2010, 07:42 PM
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Thanks for getting back to me!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

If you mean 'transmit IR from the Aton box to the zone receivers', then no, can't do that. You might be able to steal the IR wire and splice it yourself - ick!

I guess I don't really understand the IR in and out that's on the zone receivers. Could you explain what they do and how they work ... or is it pretty self explanatory from the instructions (I'm sure I can find them online)?

Quote:


How many zones have local components? If you're going to spend $$ on iPod/iPads for each zone, why not another RedEye for each zone? (I assume that system can handle multiple receivers). Probably don't need the rack mount version for the zones. If RedEye can't do that, look at the iRule solution coupled with some Global Cache iTach units in each zone, and maybe the GC-100 in the rack...

Jeff

In reality, every zone would have local components. How else can you turn the volume up on a TV? The standard RedEye for each zone however cannot work, because I need to also access content from a centralized location.

I'll look into the iRule and Global Cache stuff to see how that might fit into my setup.
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post #35 of 108 Old 09-07-2010, 09:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raistlin_HT View Post

I guess I don't really understand the IR in and out that's on the zone receivers. Could you explain what they do and how they work ... or is it pretty self explanatory from the instructions (I'm sure I can find them online)?

On the zone receiver plate, the "IR in" is for the IR receiver you'd place in line of sight to repeat IR back to the central components hooked to the Aton unit. The "IR out" is a local emitter output - it repeats whatever is seen by the IR receiver. This works great for local components (I have all mine in cabinetry below the TV in the main room - this makes it really simple).

Quote:
In reality, every zone would have local components. How else can you turn the volume up on a TV? The standard RedEye for each zone however cannot work, because I need to also access content from a centralized location.

I'll look into the iRule and Global Cache stuff to see how that might fit into my setup.

The difficult part of using the iPod/iPad for A/V control is for the TV. The pro's would use RS232, but that's a whole other ballgame... You'll have to have a local IR repeater, and run an emitter up onto the front of the TV - wherever the IR sensor is. There are some emitter brands that claim you can place them even behind a TV and there will be enough reflection for the TV to catch it - YMMV...

I'm barely into the GC / iRule solution at the moment (have it all here, barely played with it yet), so my suggestion was mostly because I know the iRule software works with multiple receiver targets. RedEye may support that, too... (someone else will have to chime in on that one)

Jeff

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post #36 of 108 Old 09-07-2010, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

On the zone receiver plate, the "IR in" is for the IR receiver you'd place in line of sight to repeat IR back to the central components hooked to the Aton unit. The "IR out" is a local emitter output - it repeats whatever is seen by the IR receiver. This works great for local components (I have all mine in cabinetry below the TV in the main room - this makes it really simple).

Ah, I getcha.

What I'm curious about - what forces the IR in to go in one direction (from the receiver plate to the Aton unit)? Are the Tx and Rx actually directly built in, or is it simply a wire?

Quote:
The difficult part of using the iPod/iPad for A/V control is for the TV. The pro's would use RS232, but that's a whole other ballgame... You'll have to have a local IR repeater, and run an emitter up onto the front of the TV - wherever the IR sensor is. There are some emitter brands that claim you can place them even behind a TV and there will be enough reflection for the TV to catch it - YMMV...

I believe that's how the RedEye rackmount is intended to be used? Isn't the Aton using RS232 as the interface for passing IR? That's why I'm wondering if I can piggyback?

Quote:
I'm barely into the GC / iRule solution at the moment (have it all here, barely played with it yet), so my suggestion was mostly because I know the iRule software works with multiple receiver targets. RedEye may support that, too... (someone else will have to chime in on that one)

Jeff

No problem. As for the RedEye rackmount, it will support multiple targets. It has 8 IR emitters.
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post #37 of 108 Old 09-07-2010, 10:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raistlin_HT View Post

What I'm curious about - what forces the IR in to go in one direction (from the receiver plate to the Aton unit)? Are the Tx and Rx actually directly built in, or is it simply a wire?

Yes, there are receiver/transmitters involved. Transmission at the remote/wallplate side and receiving at the Aton matrix switch.

Quote:
Isn't the Aton using RS232 as the interface for passing IR?

No, the Aton has no RS232 support (the IR is just encoded as voltage on the wire)

Quote:
No problem. As for the RedEye rackmount, it will support multiple targets. It has 8 IR emitters.

What I meant by targets is - can you have multiple RedEye units around the house and send commands to any of them from any iPhone/iPad? The iRule software allows that - and yes, each RedEye/GC device has multiple emitters (sorry for the 'target' confusion - difficult to describe when there's multiple network layers).

Jeff

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post #38 of 108 Old 09-08-2010, 05:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

What I meant by targets is - can you have multiple RedEye units around the house and send commands to any of them from any iPhone/iPad? The iRule software allows that - and yes, each RedEye/GC device has multiple emitters (sorry for the 'target' confusion - difficult to describe when there's multiple network layers).

Jeff

You can have more than one RedEye - they would show up as different devices on the iPhone/iPad.

The issue with the regular RedEye is that it is specifically for one room. So if you have centralized and local devices, it wouldn't be an option. The rackmount unit can communicate with up to 8 rooms (I'll have to verify whether it is using RC232 or sending voltage like the Aton) - and multiple devices can access it at once.
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post #39 of 108 Old 10-04-2010, 08:02 PM
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Finally made a decision on the AA Avatrix vs Aton HDR44. Based on reading the Avatrix thread, I was concerned with some people having trouble getting the IR routing to work with Direct TV receivers (which will be 3 of my 4 sources). Also, the fact that the IR receivers weren't included with the Avatrix was a negative for me. One the other hand, the 4 input of the Aton vs 8 on the Avatrix is really a bare minimum, but I think I can make it work.

So, finally pulled the trigger on the Aton HDR44KT and ordered it tonight. Will start with one, and it all goes well, will buy a second kit for a 4x8 matrix. Fingers crossed!
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post #40 of 108 Old 10-23-2010, 02:17 PM
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Here is my update:

This device is amazing! Jautor is right on - I got it up and running with no problems... Well, I should clarify that the main issue was retro wiring the Cat 5 wires to the outlets. Once that was done, installation was easy. I have Cat 5 runs up to 125 feet, and the HD picture is perfect. I am using three HR24 Direct TV DVRs as the sources, and will add a Bluray player with netflix streaming soon. The IR switching on the device seems almost instantaneous and everything works as advertised. My wife figured out to use everything in about 5 minutes.

One (minor) gripe. The Direct TV remotes can now control everything (TV, Satellite, etc) except the Aton source itself. The Direct TV remotes have no learning capability. Aton only supplies 1 remote with the kit and my wife likes the direct TV remote. She doesn't want a separate large learning remote. So it seems the only choice is to buy more of the Aton remotes for each of the sets. I know it's a minor thing, but it really would have been nice to be down to one remote...

All in all, extremely pleased with this purchase and will now be buying a second kit to make a 4x8 system.
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post #41 of 108 Old 10-23-2010, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tds1 View Post

One (minor) gripe. The Direct TV remotes can now control everything (TV, Satellite, etc) except the Aton source itself. The Direct TV remotes have no learning capability. Aton only supplies 1 remote with the kit and my wife likes the direct TV remote. She doesn't want a separate large learning remote. So it seems the only choice is to buy more of the Aton remotes for each of the sets. I know it's a minor thing, but it really would have been nice to be down to one remote...

Yeah, this is the problem with non-learning remotes. There have been a few switching devices that can masquerade as a "known" device by learning a new code set from another remote... I use the URC WR7 learning remote (now only $20 at NewEgg) in most of my zones, it's not too different from the DirecTV remote and isn't much larger, either.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...120015&Tpk=wr7

Glad you got it working without any trouble, and yes, getting the wiring in place is always the hard part...

Jeff

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post #42 of 108 Old 10-24-2010, 03:00 PM
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Thank you jautor for the fine review on the Aton matrix switcher. It is nice you spent the time to provide your direct experience with the product. I too am looking for a matrix devise for my audio video. I had been looking at a matrix devise from Wyre Storm (www.wyrestorm.com). I googled the Aton and got to Smarthouse.com. They had another product
http://www.smarthome.com/77814/CE-la...-CAT5-Output/p.
made by CE labs that had hdmi inputs for the sources. Is there reason why you when with composite instead of hdmi? I am new to the forum and hope I am not out line with my question or addressing other products on your thread. I have started thread on my home theater build which I feel will be very exciting and hope you will check it out. It is called marks from the ground up theater build. I am not sure how to add a link to my build on my replys. Thanks!!
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post #43 of 108 Old 10-24-2010, 07:29 PM
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So two units can be combined to form a 4x8?
Any quirks with wiring or control? Does Aton have any information on this?

Thanks
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post #44 of 108 Old 10-25-2010, 08:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IGO2XS View Post

Thank you jautor for the fine review on the Aton matrix switcher. It is nice you spent the time to provide your direct experience with the product. I too am looking for a matrix devise for my audio video. I had been looking at a matrix devise from Wyre Storm (www.wyrestorm.com). I googled the Aton and got to Smarthouse.com. They had another product
http://www.smarthome.com/77814/CE-la...-CAT5-Output/p.
made by CE labs that had hdmi inputs for the sources. Is there reason why you when with composite instead of hdmi? I am new to the forum and hope I am not out line with my question or addressing other products on your thread. I have started thread on my home theater build which I feel will be very exciting and hope you will check it out. It is called marks from the ground up theater build. I am not sure how to add a link to my build on my replys. Thanks!!

You're welcome, glad you found it helpful. I went with Component (not composite, component is 1080i/720p capable) video switching because it was cheaper, has none of the issues of HDMI, and I see no noticeable picture quality differences (even though you are going through extra digital-analog conversions).

No experience with that particular CE Labs switch, but I do have some of their other products, and they're good and solid. There are a number of HDMI-over-cat5 switches (many more now than when I bought my Aton 18 months ago), and with the HDBaseT specification release, I expect we'll see new models soon that are cheaper and more functional, and only use 1 cat5 cable.


Jef

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post #45 of 108 Old 10-25-2010, 08:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BradKas View Post

So two units can be combined to form a 4x8?
Any quirks with wiring or control? Does Aton have any information on this?

Thanks

Yes, 2 Aton units can easily be joined to create a 4x8 matrix. There are instructions in the manual on how to do this, but it's very simple. There are loop outputs for component video and digital audio that you chain to the second unit. Add an RJ45 patch cable between the two for control, and eight RCA Y-splitters for analog audio and you're done.

The analog audio splitters are the only unexpected piece you'll need. They didn't put analog audio-loop-outputs on the unit - I assume because (1) its simple to do with cables, and (2) there's absolutely no space in that 1U chassis for another connector!

Jeff

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post #46 of 108 Old 10-26-2010, 10:31 PM
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Thanks Jeff, I'll check out that manual.
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post #47 of 108 Old 11-09-2010, 06:52 AM
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I know this is a older post, hopefully Jeff is still listening.....I was wondering with a system such as the ATON HDR, how does one fit video/audio files stored on a media server PC or YouTube videos into the mix?
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post #48 of 108 Old 11-09-2010, 08:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chobe View Post

I know this is a older post, hopefully Jeff is still listening.....I was wondering with a system such as the ATON HDR, how does one fit video/audio files stored on a media server PC or YouTube videos into the mix?

Zzzzz.. Hmmm, huh, what? I'm awake!

As long as you can get the device or HTPC to output component video and audio, it'll work fine with any of these types of switches. Just hook it up as a source, use a compatible resolution, run the IR blaster from the switch to the streamer, and you're done...

Now, the more general question is does your HTPC support component video output? Some video adapters can do this such that you only need a passive adapter cable (from VGA port to component video). But that's a question for a different forum...

(oh, woo hoo! Post #1000! What do I win?)

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post #49 of 108 Old 11-22-2010, 09:09 PM
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Are the outputs from the Component and Audio Loop Outs just normal signals? If I want my audio receiver that is tied to Output 1 to be next to the HDR44, it seems like I have 2 options:

1) Run coax audio from the wall plate all the way back to the receiver
2) Put the receiver right next to the HDR44 and just output the audio that would be tied to Output 1 directly to a receiver.

The use case is that I have a wall mount TV and don't have anywhere to put a receiver that is convenient, near the TV, so it is just easier to put it by the HDR44. In theory, I could see myself putting a few receivers, one for each room, next to the HDR44. You might ask then, why am I transmitting audio and video to each room, but the video + IR is pretty convenient over a system that just does video, plus another system that would do IR.
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post #50 of 108 Old 11-22-2010, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EBeatles View Post

Are the outputs from the Component and Audio Loop Outs just normal signals? If I want my audio receiver that is tied to Output 1 to be next to the HDR44, it seems like I have 2 options:

1) Run coax audio from the wall plate all the way back to the receiver
2) Put the receiver right next to the HDR44 and just output the audio that would be tied to Output 1 directly to a receiver.

The loop outputs are 'normal', but note that there is only component video and digital (coax) audio - there are no analog L/R audio loops. If you need L/R analog audio, a y-cable can be used to split the signal (which is also what you do to expand the system to a 4x8).

The loop outputs are not 'zone' outputs, however, they are source outputs. So if you place your receiver next to the Aton, you'd likely need to run 4 digital coax connections to the receiver (one for each source, assuming you're using all 4). If you have the cabling available to return the signal from the zone, it may be easier to operate, since the zone output obviously switches with the source. Otherwise you'll need to account for switching the AVR's inputs in your remote control scheme...

Jeff

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post #51 of 108 Old 11-23-2010, 10:35 AM
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So if I wanted to do this with 4 zones, by having 4 receivers, would I be able to achieve that? I guess I need to split each of the 4 coax outputs 4 ways and then incorporate the audio piece into to the remote control system?
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post #52 of 108 Old 12-03-2010, 01:29 PM
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I finally started to hook up my HDR44 last weekend. I started with one zone in the breakfast room, got the audio and video working but couldn't seem to get the IR to change sources. Checked my CAT wires and all 8 pins looked good with a tester. Decided to swap the wall plate and now it works with the Aton remote. Anyone see that before?

I ran out of time to play around (will pick up again this weekend), but I seemed to also be having problems controlling the sources (HR24 and BD player) with their remotes. Is there any other things I need to be aware of to get IR working correctly?
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post #53 of 108 Old 12-03-2010, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jparry View Post

I finally started to hook up my HDR44 last weekend. I started with one zone in the breakfast room, got the audio and video working but couldn't seem to get the IR to change sources. Checked my CAT wires and all 8 pins looked good with a tester. Decided to swap the wall plate and now it works with the Aton remote. Anyone see that before?

Have not seen anything like that. Any time I have an issue with IR not working, it has always been user error... The few times I've used the Aton remote I also made the mistake of hitting the zone buttons instead of the source buttons, which obviously doesn't produce useful results.

And as a reminder, there's no IR receiver on the front of the Aton unit itself, you have to be in one of the zones to control the unit.

Quote:


I ran out of time to play around (will pick up again this weekend), but I seemed to also be having problems controlling the sources (HR24 and BD player) with their remotes. Is there any other things I need to be aware of to get IR working correctly?

On my DirecTV HR20-700, the IR receiver is much more sensitive than my other DirecTV receiver. Placing the emitter directly on top of the IR window is too much for it. I moved it an inch or so away and it works much better.

Also, be aware that the IR receivers that come with the Aton are not LCD/Plasma-proof - if the talkback light is constantly lit, you're getting interference from a CFL/backlight which will blind the IR receiver (at least for a few minutes, in my experience).

Jeff

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post #54 of 108 Old 12-03-2010, 01:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Oh, I should also mention that I finally broke down this week and purchased a second Aton unit to expand my system to a full 4x8 matrix. The breaking point was needing a solution for my theater under construction, and since the theater has its own dedicated BD player, expanding the matrix for the whole-house sources was the best choice. It also cleaned up my collection of old parts (CE Labs CAT5RX and a Monoprice component switcher) I was using to feed a few TVs not on the original matrix.

So now I'm a very happy double-Aton owner...

Jeff

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post #55 of 108 Old 12-03-2010, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by EBeatles View Post

So if I wanted to do this with 4 zones, by having 4 receivers, would I be able to achieve that? I guess I need to split each of the 4 coax outputs 4 ways and then incorporate the audio piece into to the remote control system?

(sorry, didn't see this message earlier)

Yes, if you split the digital audio 4 ways to feed each receiver, that would work.

But I wonder if in your situation you'd be better off with a regular (not a cat5-output) component matrix switch, take the zone output (audio and video) to the A/V receiver, then take the video output from the receiver to a component+IR balun to run to the physical zone location. Kind of building the solution from a bunch of parts (which I don't normally recommend), but in your case it may be the right answer.

Jeff

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
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post #56 of 108 Old 12-03-2010, 02:09 PM
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When you mention the "talkback" light...do you mean the blue light on the IR receiver? That seems to be responding noramlly in my case. It also looks like there might be another light (green maybe) that I have not seen light up.
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post #57 of 108 Old 12-03-2010, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jparry View Post

When you mention the "talkback" light...do you mean the blue light on the IR receiver? That seems to be responding noramlly in my case. It also looks like there might be another light (green maybe) that I have not seen light up.

Yes, the Blue light is the talkback, which should light up when you're tranmitting an IR signal (only). There isn't any other light on the receiver.

Is it just one source not working, or all of them? Does it work at all?

Jeff

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
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post #58 of 108 Old 12-03-2010, 02:16 PM
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Really ony took time to try and get the HR24 working (got the, "you've been messing with that too long from my wife" so had to put away for awhile. I know signal is getting to the Aton unit since the Aton remote does switch sources.
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post #59 of 108 Old 12-03-2010, 02:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jparry View Post

Really ony took time to try and get the HR24 working (got the, "you've been messing with that too long from my wife" so had to put away for awhile. I know signal is getting to the Aton unit since the Aton remote does switch sources.

Also make sure you have the IR emitter plugged into the correct source-specific IR output - the first jack on the back of the unit is the global output, which caused me to get some of them wrong as I was plugging them in blind from the front and counting jacks with my finger :-) ...

Jeff

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post #60 of 108 Old 12-07-2010, 10:46 AM
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I recently purchased an HDR44 router, but have been having difficulty with using a Harmony 900 remote with it.

Setup:
1) Sony Bravia
2) Onkyo Receiver
3) Directv DVR
4) HDR44

Pressing the Watch TV activity runs through the following tasks:
1) Turn on TV
2) Turn on Receiver
3) Turn on DVR
4) Set HDR44 to Zone 1
5) Set HDR44 to Source 1

If I haven't used a Zone/Source in some time, the activity fails to display the Zone1-Source1 combination. About half the time, I can manually press Source 1 three or four times to get the source to display. The other half, it seems I have to alternate pressing Source 1 and Source 2 before one of them will activate.

Do you have any tips on how to fix this? Recommend input/interkey delay settings on the remote?

An earlier post mentioned that the IR receivers are not LCD proof. I thought this might be the problem, so I moved the receiver about a foot away from the tv...no luck.

Any tips?
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