IR blaster & repeater options - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 06-26-2012, 05:34 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking for a IR blaster to be able to control all my A/V gear from a computer. Gear I want to control:
* 2-3 identical STB's for recording with MythTV
* 2 TV screens (one is Samsung and the other will be too when replaced)
* AVR
* BluRay player
* air conditioner (only non A/V thing)

Since I actually want to control this stuff from a computer (command line, web, mobile app, etc.) I can't just use an IR repeater. Although there can be a place for repeaters in this setup too....

IR blaster
So I need a blaster that is able to send different signals to different devices. Ideal solution would be an USB IR blaster box with 8 outputs. I haven't found one that doesn't cost a fortune. The most promising and well known is CommandIR. The problem is that they don't list options of selling it outside USA&Canada and they don't answer e-mails and no one else is not reselling it. Has someone dealt with them recently? Do they still operate?


Another one that I've found is Global Cache IP2IR iTach Wired TCP/IP to IR, but its description is very confusing:
* 3 Independent selectable IR outputs or sensor inputs
* 3 IR emitters included
* 1 IR blaster included (supported on 3rd IR port)

I cant figure out if I can only control (i call it "blasting") one device or 3?


Then there is Xantech that offers more "enterprise" like IR systems. But they are costly and haven't found a generic PC (Linux) controllable device.


Any other suggestions?


IR repeater
There are a lot of repeaters on the market as this is something that 98% of customers need to hide their gear out of sight. It seems like it is not very realistic to find an affordable 8 port IR blaster so I might have to combine a blaster with couple of repeaters.

The setup would look something like this:
244

Here's a list of some repeaters I've found:
* Cables to Go Impact Acoustics 40430 - 4-12 outputs - 44$
* Sewell Infrared (IR) Remote Control Repeater Kit - 8-12 outputs - 43$
* Sewell IR Repeater Kit, 4 Dual Emitters - cheapest, but reviews not good @amazon - 16$
* Unknow manufacturer - 8 outputs - sold widely on eBay and feedback is not bad - 39$
* Hot Link Pro X12 - up to 12 ourputs. 150$
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-27-2012, 03:48 PM
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You could check into

http://www.commandir.com/

Never used one but it looks pretty cool.

You could also look at X10 stuff, I use them to control the lights and a dehumidifier.
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post #3 of 8 Old 06-27-2012, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djb61230 View Post

You could check into
http://www.commandir.com/
Never used one but it looks pretty cool.
If you read my post then you see that it's the first option that I bring out wink.gif The problem is no one is selling them in/to EU and CommandIR itself doesn't answer to e-mails....
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Originally Posted by djb61230 View Post

You could also look at X10 stuff, I use them to control the lights and a dehumidifier.
If you mean www.x10.com as a company (X10 is also a communication standard) than they seem to offer ready made solutions that are not really meant for custom usage. They offer a solution for controlling lights via remote, but I need a generic part to connect with a PC so that I could control whatever IR device I need.
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-27-2012, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rene18 View Post

If you read my post then you see that it's the first option that I bring out wink.gif The problem is no one is selling them in/to EU and CommandIR itself doesn't answer to e-mails....
If you mean www.x10.com as a company (X10 is also a communication standard) than they seem to offer ready made solutions that are not really meant for custom usage. They offer a solution for controlling lights via remote, but I need a generic part to connect with a PC so that I could control whatever IR device I need.

Yeah apparently I'm blind. Sorry about that. Or this new AVS color theme is just harder to read I guess. I have an X10 serial device that I use to control other X10 connected devices via simple scripts. But that is a lot different than what you are looking for.

Now considering my reading comprehension is poor today, I don't see you mentioning IguanaWorks USB transceiver. One of them can control 4 IR devices and I'm pretty sure you could have 2 at the same time. But maybe they will have the same issue with selling to the EU.

http://iguanaworks.net/

Good luck.
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-28-2012, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
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You are right - I didn't mention IguanaWorks. I did look at it some point, but its description and pictures aren't any good so I discarded it as an IR repeater or a USB blaster to control only one device. Now that I read the pages over a couple of times it seems that it indeed can control 4 separate devices.

What's also good is that they ship to any country in the world and EU shipping is just 5$ cool.gif

So thanks for the tip! If anyone has anything good or bad to say about IguanaWorks or suggest any others then feel free to add it here.

PS. Having their software open source is also a nice touch and I'm always happy to support companies that think this way.
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post #6 of 8 Old 06-29-2012, 04:56 PM
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I do use an iguanaworks in my setup but only as a receiver. I helped a friend setup his system and he uses it to control two cable set top boxes. So I can vouch that they work well. smile.gif You may have to build lirc from source - Ubuntu for example doesn't supply the lirc driver for it. It's easy to do:

http://www.lirc.org/git.html

Got to love little companies that make hardware just for us linux HTPC people.
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post #7 of 8 Old 07-01-2012, 06:11 AM
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I don't know what card(s) you plan to use for the video capture/recording, but many common Hauppauge cards, like the PVR150 and older WinTV analog recording cards (for composite/Svideo recording from set tops) include an IR blaster as part of the IR sensor cable, which plugs into a dedicated 3.5mm or 2.5mm jack on the back of the card.

I was planning to use the IR blaster(s) on the PVR150/500 cards for set top recordings via Myth but haven't futzed with it yet. I assume lirc works with them in a straightforward fashion.
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post #8 of 8 Old 07-02-2012, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
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I plan to use Hauppauge HVR-150, but I brought the barebone card only (no remote, no IR cable etc.). And in the same time I need more IR blasters for ohter gear too plus I don't want to control tehm via the Hauppauge card.

Anyways, I've ordered the IguanaWorks stick and I'll see how it works.
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