I am working on finishing my basement and am just planning my list of toys to get. In the process of roughing in the electrical. My next thing to decide on is what to use for and IR repeater.
I have looked at both the Smarthome Hidded IR Repeater System, a Sewell IR repeater and the Hot Link XL. I would like some insight on what may make one better than the other. The smarthome and sewell are in the $50-60 range and use a special cable for extending the lead cable. The Hot Link is $130 and looks like it uses Cat5 to extend the cable.
If all things are basically equal would prefer to spend less and put that towards other components. I would appreciate if you could share your opinion and experience with either product.
I have a Hot Link in my master bedroom, on top of a plasma, haven't had any problems with it as far as interference. I also have the Hot Link XL in my dedicated HT, using cat5 to extend from the sensor above the screen to the repeater in the adjacent closet, also has been trouble free. You can get the latter for about $90 on Amazon.
I don't have any personal experience with any other IR extenders. The Xantech stuff is nice and very flexible, fancier than the Hot Link - but more expensive, and the Hot Link stuff met my needs well.
Like Brad says, the Hot Link XL is way cheaper on Amazon. The nice thing about this unit is it uses IR over Cat5/6 which you should be running plenty of. Its very reliable too (sensitive eye, powerful blasters etc). However, it may not be the best option depending on your setup. What are you trying to accomplish? How many zones, is everything centralised in a media closet for all zones etc?
Basically I will have a media room in half of the family room in my basement. I will have all components in a in-wall AV rack that will be behind my seating location. I am building my first true home theater set up. Here is the list of planned items at this point:
1. Denon 2112CI AVR
2. Panasonic DMP BDT220 Blu-ray
3. xbox 360 with kinect
4. Channel Master OTA DVR
5. Visual Apex 106" standard motorized screen
6. Panasonic PT-AR100u projector
I am also in the future planning a flat panel to be also mounted on projector wall for viewing when large projection screen is not needed.
That Next Generation Remote Extender looks interesting.
If you're considering a wireless solution, the NexGen is the way to go, IMO. I've been using it for a few years now to control several components in my basement from my bedroom 1 floor above....has worked flawlessly.