IR distribution - confused about jacks, cables, direct input vs. emitters - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 3 Old 03-27-2012, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I have got the audio and video on my AV distribution network DIY upgrade up and running but am having problems figuring our what to do with IR controls.

I am distributing HDMI from four sources (Oppo BDP, DirecTV HMC, DirecTV HDDVR, Security DVR) through an Octava 4x4 HDMI matrix to four zones (3 over CAT5e using Altona HDMI Extenders and 1 wireless using Iogear Kit).

Two of the sources (Oppo, DTV HMC) and the Octava have direct IR input ports which I would like to use in lieu of stick on emitters. The Altonas have bidirectional IR and the Iogear has unidirectional IR. I also have Universal Remote RF/IR remotes communicating with a base station from the original installation.

I bought a bunch of 2.5 and 3.5 mm stereo cables and have tried a couple of obvious setups and they have given me erratic results. I have tried using the UR's and outputting from the the UR base station to the sources direct and through emitters. I have also disconnected the UR's and gone strictly with IR through the extenders. I also have tried a high power IR blaster in lieu of multiple emitters. Only a fraction of the signals seem to get to the DirecTV boxes and not in any consistent way. The Oppo responds consistently. The Security DVR not at all.

I thought maybe the problem was incompatible cables (2 vs 3 conducter, mono vs stereo) but the device manuals have no specific info on this and could not find much helpful in searching this site.

My eventual plan is to use a Xantech 4 zone IR distribution block to consolidate and distribute IR signals in the rack and a Globalcache GC-100 IP-IR network adapter so I can switch from RF/IR remotes to Iphone/Ipads over IP. I have these two devices but don't want to dive into connecting them until I figure out the compatibility issues....

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated...
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post #2 of 3 Old 04-01-2012, 08:43 AM
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I don't have many answers, but I've struggled with this as well. Just a few comments about my experience. You might have problems going between mono and stereo connections when using adapters. It's not about the mono or stereo; I think the connection just ends up on a "dead end" leg sometimes and may require a reversal of the wiring. I needed to run IR over a coax cable and did that successfully with 3.5mm to RCA to F-Connector on one end and reversed that on the other. Using a continuity tester will help prevent some frustration. I've also run a cable from my IR blaster (Monster/Logitech) to receiver (Pioneer) and it works well. I would avoid testing with DirecTV since those receivers lag so badly, it's hard to tell if it's the receiver or the control signals that are the problem.
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post #3 of 3 Old 04-01-2012, 12:40 PM
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For the DirecTV boxes if you're going the iPod/iPad route, ditch IR altogether and just use network/IP control. Works great, and yes, the D* boxes are very sensitive about their IR...

Similar answer for the Oppo - it's got full RS232 control that you can use with the Global Cache product. I've got all of the above working very reliably in my setup...

On the IR emitter / input wiring - you'll have to get the wiring diagrams to figure these out for sure. And yes, its very frustrating trying to use those inputs.


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