Latest on iPad and Android based HT control solutions? - AVS Forum
Ultra Hi-End HT Gear ($20,000+) > Latest on iPad and Android based HT control solutions?
Health Nut's Avatar Health Nut 08:01 PM 03-21-2012
Any thoughts on the latest HT control solutions for iPad and Android tablets?

The resolution on the new iPAD seems amazing at 2048 x 1536 in a 9.7" diagonal screen.

I know there are plenty of android tablets hitting the market as well. I tend to favor Android since it is open, and not all locked down like Apple's products. I can't even use J Rivers media center on the new ipods due to the way apple locked the database on the new ipods.

However, since the iPAD would be used for HT control, I was wondering how many people are using an iPAD for their HT currently. I imagine you would upgrade to the iPAD 3 asap due to the amazing resolution.

I'm not really thrilled with my phillips control solution, and it often seems disconnected even with a dedicated router. Besides, the screen is small and limited. This new iPAD screen must make for the ultimate HT control solution. I was just wondering what all would be needed to make this happen?

230-SEAN's Avatar 230-SEAN 08:17 PM 03-21-2012
I am currently using iRule on my iPad to control my HT equipment and lighting. It isn't just an app, but a building software that allows you to customize your control to you specific equipment. However, you do have to purchase external hardware. Global Cache makes the hardware that converts the iPad's WiFi signal of control codes into IR, Serial, Relay, etc. to control your equipment. I haven't updated or checked out the site in a long time, as I got in at the beginning and have been happy with my setup since, but I'm sure it has expanded well beyond what I know it to be. Extremely cool and, as I said, you'll have one of a kind control. If you end up using it, I would suggest getting photoshop to assist you in creating your layout. Totally worth looking at.

-Sean
oztech's Avatar oztech 08:31 PM 03-21-2012
This has worked well for our clients. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/rtipa...454328684?mt=8
Health Nut's Avatar Health Nut 05:36 PM 03-23-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by 230-SEAN View Post

I am currently using iRule on my iPad to control my HT equipment and lighting. It isn't just an app, but a building software that allows you to customize your control to you specific equipment. However, you do have to purchase external hardware. Global Cache makes the hardware that converts the iPad's WiFi signal of control codes into IR, Serial, Relay, etc. to control your equipment. I haven't updated or checked out the site in a long time, as I got in at the beginning and have been happy with my setup since, but I'm sure it has expanded well beyond what I know it to be. Extremely cool and, as I said, you'll have one of a kind control. If you end up using it, I would suggest getting photoshop to assist you in creating your layout. Totally worth looking at.

-Sean

I imagine you would be upgrading to the new iPad? You must be excited about the high resolution... You could put so much on one page now...
JonFo's Avatar JonFo 08:15 AM 03-24-2012
Check out Roomie as well. Much simpler to set up, features direct IP interfaces to A/V gear and also leverages the Global Cache interface boxes.

I've used a GC-100-12 for eight or more years and it's bullet-proof.
thebland's Avatar thebland 09:26 AM 03-24-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonFo View Post

Check out Roomie as well. Much simpler to set up, features direct IP interfaces to A/V gear and also leverages the Global Cache interface boxes.

I've used a GC-100-12 for eight or more years and it's bullet-proof.

Irule has direct IP interfacing with AV equipment as well. And it directly interfaces with iTunes.
thxman's Avatar thxman 10:18 AM 03-24-2012
There is still a big gap in the market here. That is for a tablet device with hard buttons. I love the custom controls that touch screens allow, but I also desire the ability to control simple tasks without looking at the remote. I also like the smaller 7 inch screens for remote use as it is easier for one hand operation.
Chrisx510's Avatar Chrisx510 01:06 PM 03-24-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by thxman View Post

There is still a big gap in the market here. That is for a tablet device with hard buttons. I love the custom controls that touch screens allow, but I also desire the ability to control simple tasks without looking at the remote. I also like the smaller 7 inch screens for remote use as it is easier for one hand operation.

Yes I agree! I hope someone makes a hard button attachment. Something similar to the Crestron panel for the iPad would be really nice.
230-SEAN's Avatar 230-SEAN 04:27 PM 03-24-2012
You can also use an iPhone with iRule, it allows you to add vibration when a button is pushed, kind of a version of feeling the button pressed down. And with the smaller screen it is easier to work one handed and can be memorized much easier than the iPad layout, allowing you to make selections without looking. Just throwing out some other options.

-Sean
Art Sonneborn's Avatar Art Sonneborn 04:46 PM 03-24-2012
I'm using the i Rule as well with the i phone. I love the feedback on volume and the one hand use with the device.

Cloud based makes remote changes from varoius updates and changes etc a great advantage.

Art
sebberry's Avatar sebberry 05:24 PM 03-24-2012
I'd love to see some PlayBook solutions. The 7" size is perfect.
edorr's Avatar edorr 11:48 AM 03-26-2012
I am ready to jump on the iRule bandwagon as well and have a very basic questrion. I want to control a few devices via IR and one via RS 232.

I want to place the iTach behind my rack and connect to the RS 232 device. Would I need the Dual IR Emitter to attach to the iTach and place the emitters somewhere in the front of my IR controlled devices so they will actually pick up the IR signal? If so, do these emitters send out a signal in 360 degrees, giving some placement flexibility?
jjwinterberg's Avatar jjwinterberg 01:26 PM 03-26-2012
Do your IR devices have an external IR input?
edorr's Avatar edorr 02:15 PM 03-26-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjwinterberg View Post

Do your IR devices have an external IR input?

Good question. Not sure. Would your typical Satellite receiver and universal player have this? I'm completely ignorant on the subject.
jjwinterberg's Avatar jjwinterberg 02:23 PM 03-26-2012
My Oppo 83 has one. My Motorolo 6400 STB doesn't but the new ones do have the external IR input. Good luck, it looks better when you can keep everything in back of the gear.
mani's Avatar mani 02:32 PM 03-26-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

I am ready to jump on the iRule bandwagon as well and have a very basic questrion. I want to control a few devices via IR and one via RS 232.

I want to place the iTach behind my rack and connect to the RS 232 device. Would I need the Dual IR Emitter to attach to the iTach and place the emitters somewhere in the front of my IR controlled devices so they will actually pick up the IR signal? If so, do these emitters send out a signal in 360 degrees, giving some placement flexibility?

iTach has separate modules for RS232 and IR. So you can keep RS232 module and IR module separately (independent of each other), if that is your concern.
I use itach IR, RS232 and contact relays in differen combinations to control my theater. The best and most foolprrof way to use IR will be to have emitters be stuck on the IR receivers of the devices. Here are the specs on iTach IP2IR:
http://www.globalcache.com/products/itach/ip2irspecs/

It has three independently controllable IR outputs. If you have three devices you can use IR emitter from each output for each device . They also have dual emitter cables, so you can use them in all three ports to get six IR emitters to control 6 devices, but obviously two devices will get same IR signals from that particular port. So if you program a sequence where you are sending signal to two devices attached to the same port at same time , make sure to put few hundred millisecond delay so that two different signals for two different devices are not being programmed to output at same time from that particular port- not a big deal, I have used dual emitters without any problem
There is an option for signal blaster ( that will work on the the third port, and from what I remeber it came with the IP2IR), which will have broader range of signal emmission I believe and can be used to keep iin front of the rack to blast several devices from one port. But as I said before most stable and fool proof way will be to use stick-on emitters individually for each device.

Mani
mani's Avatar mani 02:36 PM 03-26-2012
I have attached the image of IR emitter attached to my dish network receiver
LL
edorr's Avatar edorr 03:02 PM 03-26-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by mani View Post

iTach has separate modules for RS232 and IR. So you can keep RS232 module and IR module separately (independent of each other), if that is your concern.
I use itach IR, RS232 and contact relays in differen combinations to control my theater. The best and most foolprrof way to use IR will be to have emitters be stuck on the IR receivers of the devices. Here are the specs on iTach IP2IR:
http://www.globalcache.com/products/itach/ip2irspecs/

It has three independently controllable IR outputs. If you have three devices you can use IR emitter from each output for each device . They also have dual emitter cables, so you can use them in all three ports to get six IR emitters to control 6 devices, but obviously two devices will get same IR signals from that particular port. So if you program a sequence where you are sending signal to two devices attached to the same port at same time , make sure to put few hundred millisecond delay so that two different signals for two different devices are not being programmed to output at same time from that particular port- not a big deal, I have used dual emitters without any problem
There is an option for signal blaster ( that will work on the the third port, and from what I remeber it came with the IP2IR), which will have broader range of signal emmission I believe and can be used to keep iin front of the rack to blast several devices from one port. But as I said before most stable and fool proof way will be to use stick-on emitters individually for each device.

Mani

Thanks. If I wanted RS 232 and IR on the same device could I use the Global Cache GC-100-6

http://www.globalcache.com/products/gc-100/models1/

Do these devices have an IR code "learn" function?
mani's Avatar mani 03:07 PM 03-26-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

Thanks. If I wanted RS 232 and IR on the same device could I use the Global Cache GC-100-6

http://www.globalcache.com/products/gc-100/models1/

Do these devices have an IR code "learn" function?

Yes you can. I didnt have a good experience with GC100 , thats why I moved to iTACH. I dont know if it was defective unit, but I had inconsistencies in device response . And you cant upgrade the firmware in the field with GC100, you have to physically ship the unit back to GlobalCache. Moreover , only one control device can be attached to GC100 at a given time. So you cant have an IPAD and iphone controlling the GC 100 at any given time. With iTach you conquer all those hurdles. And updating the firmware is a piece of cake from any desktop or laptop, without taking them out of the system. itach will be more expensive to begin with as you wil need extra iTACH(s) , but having done this twice , I will choose iTach for sure over GC100 , if money is not a problem.

There is a learning module , I believe for $75, you can see it on irule website in products .

Mani
edorr's Avatar edorr 03:17 PM 03-26-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by mani View Post

Yes you can. I didnt have good experience with GC100 , thats why I moved to iTACH. I dont know if it was defective unit, but I had inconsistencies in device response . And you cant upgrade the firmware in the field with GC100, you have to physically ship the unit back to GlobalCache. Moreover , only one control device can be attached to GC100 at a given time. So you cant have an IPAD and iphone controlling the GC 100 at any given time. With iTach you conquer all those hurdles. And updating the firmware is a piece of cake from any desktop or laptop, without taking them out of the system. itach will be more expensive to begin with as you wil need extra iTACH(s) , but having done this twice , I will choose iTach for sure over GC100 , if money is not a problem.

There is a learning module , I believe for $75, you can see it on irule website in products .

Mani

Thanks. That is good advice. I'll get separate iTach's for RS 232 and IR devices.
amirm's Avatar amirm 03:34 PM 03-26-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisx510 View Post

Yes I agree! I hope someone makes a hard button attachment. Something similar to the Crestron panel for the iPad would be really nice.

The closest thing right now is the Savant remote which embeds an iTouch in there: http://www.savantsystems.com/savant_select.aspx



It actually has a nice feel to it (I thought it would be top heavy but it is not). For me, I wouldn't want a bigger screen than this in this application as I like to hold it in one button and be able to put it on the arm rest and such.
Glimmie's Avatar Glimmie 04:41 PM 03-26-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by mani View Post

Yes you can. I didnt have a good experience with GC100 , thats why I moved to iTACH. I dont know if it was defective unit, but I had inconsistencies in device response . And you cant upgrade the firmware in the field with GC100, you have to physically ship the unit back to GlobalCache. Moreover , only one control device can be attached to GC100 at a given time. So you cant have an IPAD and iphone controlling the GC 100 at any given time. With iTach you conquer all those hurdles. And updating the firmware is a piece of cake from any desktop or laptop, without taking them out of the system. itach will be more expensive to begin with as you wil need extra iTACH(s) , but having done this twice , I will choose iTach for sure over GC100 , if money is not a problem.

There is a learning module , I believe for $75, you can see it on irule website in products .

Mani

I wish they, Global Cache, would make a rack mount modular product where you could stuff in the modules you want including the ability to expand to additional frames. The problem with the Itach is these little boxes stacked about each with a wall wort for power. Makes for a sloppy install!
thxman's Avatar thxman 04:43 PM 03-26-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

I wish they, Global Cache, would make a rack mount modular product where you could stuff in the modules you want including the ability to expand to additional frames. The problem with the Itach is these little boxes stacked about each with a wall wort for power. Makes for a sloppy install!

Nice, find. Thank you. What is the MSRP on this?
thxman's Avatar thxman 04:46 PM 03-26-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

I wish they, Global Cache, would make a rack mount modular product where you could stuff in the modules you want including the ability to expand to additional frames. The problem with the Itach is these little boxes stacked about each with a wall wort for power. Makes for a sloppy install!

If I go this route, I plan on using one of the RS-232 servers on ebay. I don't have anything that is not RS-232 and won't by anything new that is not IP or RS-232. I have never been a fan of IR even with senors.
mani's Avatar mani 06:22 PM 03-26-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

The closest thing right now is the Savant remote which embeds an iTouch in there: http://www.savantsystems.com/savant_select.aspx



It actually has a nice feel to it (I thought it would be top heavy but it is not). For me, I wouldn't want a bigger screen than this in this application as I like to hold it in one button and be able to put it on the arm rest and such.

I have not felt the need for hard buttons. But you could program gestures and motions for simple commands like volume, rewind forward etc on a blank/black background in irule. Then you dont even have to look for hard buttons. I will try it one of these days when I have time to tinker with irule again...
bigbrother52's Avatar bigbrother52 07:51 PM 03-26-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by thxman View Post

If I go this route, I plan on using one of the RS-232 servers on ebay. I don't have anything that is not RS-232 and won't by anything new that is not IP or RS-232. I have never been a fan of IR even with senors.

You must be referring to the Digi PortServer.

There are usually 2 types around on e-bay.
An 8 port unit powered by a single wall wart and a 16 port unit which has an internal power supply and makes for a very neat install.

The 8 port unit seems harder to find and often goes for more money then the 16 port unit.

I picked up a TS-16 on e-bay which I though was much harder to set-up then iTach gear but once it's set-up you shouldn't need to bother with it again.
I though it was a great deal!

As a total novice with this stuff, I can tell you that iTach is the way to go if your not into spending time fooling around with gear you are unfamiliar with.

On the other hand, with absolutely no clue what to do with the Digi-PortServer, I still managed to follow the screenshots of the set-up screens other Digi/iRule users around here supplied and it turned out just fine!
Glimmie's Avatar Glimmie 11:21 PM 03-26-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by thxman View Post


Nice, find. Thank you. What is the MSRP on this?

Www.Smarthome.com is a distributor. Good vendor. I have used them for years for my home automation needs.
amirm's Avatar amirm 11:25 PM 03-26-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by mani View Post

I have not felt the need for hard buttons.

I don't either if I am in the theater and starting a movie and that is it. But for living room viewing of TV, changing channels, volume, etc. hard buttons are quite handy. As is grabbing and operating with one hand.
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