Noob looking for remote suggestions. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 12-26-2012, 10:31 AM - Thread Starter
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My HT is coming together nicely and I am at the point where I am close to having all of my equipment other than the remote control. This is one area I really don't have any experience with for advanced remotes.

My current remote that I used for my TV was an old Harmony 659 I believe. While it is cool, I want something much nicer than the remote I had.

When I went to demo a projector before I bought mine, the guy had an iPad with Roomie installed on it and that thing seemed pretty damn badass. That is about the only exposure I have right now. I've seen the website for it since but that is about my extent.

So basically here are my needs.

1. I definitely like the big tablet display that I saw with the roomie so I'm leaning towards a tablet type of remote. Possibly an iPad Mini or just a good old iPad, or even an Android tablet if there are some good with that.

2. I want to be able to control all of my equipment without having a direct line of sight to it. It's going to be in a closet behind the seating area.

3. I definitely want it to be able to have macro-type commands, where I can just push a button like "Play Xbox" and it will turn the 360 on, right AVR input, etc. I know the Roomie has something like this.

4. I have the following pieces of equipment and would ideally like to be able to control all of them with the remote
- Panasonic 8000AE projector
- Denon 4311ci AVR
- Verizon Fios set top box
- Xbox 360
- PS3 (I know this has issues with universal remotes due to the IR stuff)
- EP4000 amp (don't really know if I need to control this at all other than turning it on and off)
- Possibly a Wii
- Eventually some type of media device like a Sidewinder 3, Micca EP600, etc.

So I'm looking for recommendations. Again the 5 minutes or so I saw with the Roomie was very impressive, however I don't fully understand exactly what all is necessary to get it working with an iPad, or if it would even control all of the equipment I have. I'm pretty sure it will control the receiver, projector, and 360, since I'm pretty sure the guy who demo'd me the Roomie had those 3 pieces too.

But I'm also looking for other suggestions, thanks!
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post #2 of 7 Old 01-08-2013, 06:14 AM
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Purbeast, I wish I could help you but I'm in exactly the same spot, I just posted a very similar request and figured I'd bump yours and ask if you settled on a remote? and if you like it?

sadly the posts in this forum are often unanswered. I'll check out the "Roomie" ......I'm thinking I may need a WiFi or Bluetooth to IR gateway....any suggestions?
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post #3 of 7 Old 01-08-2013, 06:56 AM
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Roomie would be ideal and is very easy to get up running and it just works. Roomie out of the box if you will, controls all devices that are IP network controllable. They have an IP compatibility chart on their website that they support natively. They also have what they call a DDK if you want to create your own IP drivers. After that you have to decide how your others devices can be controlled, either IR or serial db-9 port. For IR and serial you will need to add hardware, such as the Global Cache IP2IR if you have a hardwire networked connection at the source and if you don't the WF2IR which uses wifi instead. I have experience with both products and they work perfectly. For serial devices you will need another Global Cache piece, IP2SL or WF2SL again depending on wired versus wireless. This will allow you to control all your devices that Roomie supports and there is a very extensive IR library.

When you add a device in to Room in Roomie, it asks you to create an Activity that turns everything on for you and selects the proper inputs, ie macros. You can also add commands to these macros that Roomie doesn't automatically create, for example if you want to dim your lights if you have a support for a controller and lighting.
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post #4 of 7 Old 01-08-2013, 06:56 AM
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Roomie and IRule both have extensive threads and active communities in this forum and will both do what you are looking for.

I am an iRule user myself.

Both apps run on iDevices like ipod touch, iphone and ipad and ipad mini. I am not sure if Roomie is available for android but iRule is, I use it on my Kindle Fire and love the size of the remote I have created.

Both apps use a device from Global Cache, either an itach or gc-100 to convert the IP/wifi signal sent from your remote and send it on as an IR command to your AV equipment.

Both apps can also control IP controllable equipment, such as that Denon receiver mentioned above, Directv boxes and many more things directly. No need for a Global Cache gateway.

The PS3 will need a bluetooth to IR converter to be able to be controlled. There are many on the market from logitech, schmartz etc. Be sure to get one that can both power on and power off the PS3.

From my limited understanding of Roomie and my several year experience with iRule where the 2 apps differ is in customization. Both apps can get you up and running fairly quickly with standard templates. iRule allows you to design a remote custom remote from the ground up. You can use their standard buttons or upload your own custom buttons. You can take their standard buttons and add graphics to them. See the iRule pictures thread here for some examples of what the user community has come up with. I will say that the design and creation of a remote from scratch can be time consuming. The iRule builder interface has a learning curver. I am not a technically gifted individual. I came in to this knowing how to hook up your basic AV setup. iRule has spurred me to build my own PC, run 15 runs of cat6 wiring in my house and self terminate them, learn some basic rs232 command protocol, learn the basics of GIMP/photoshop for modifying the icons/buttons in the iRule builder.

Again, I have no experience using Roomie. I've been with irule basically since they launched the app. I use it daily to control 4 zones in my home via self created remotes running on 2 ipod touches, 2 Kindle Fires, an EVO 4G and a Photo Q phone. I control 4 TVs, Dune Player, 3 DTV boxes, a monoprice 4x4 HDMI, Denon AVR, PS3, Pioneer AVR, jRiver mediacenter on my PC, 3 IP cameras and a Sonos Connect and as soon as my last dimmer switch arrives, the insteon lights in my basement theater as well.

I believe both apps offer a trial. With your IP controllable receiver you could play around with both without having to buy anything. The Global Cache devices needed for IR and RS232 control (similar to IP, allows feedback with iRule at least) start at around $100.

Again, both apps have active threads here. Check them out.

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post #5 of 7 Old 01-08-2013, 08:49 AM
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I'm leaning toward iRule - would I need to "buy" the iRule app for each iphone/iPad that I would to use?

Would a single iTach IP2IR device control each room? assuming line of sight from the mounting location? or would I need several of those?
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post #6 of 7 Old 01-08-2013, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dabagboy View Post

I'm leaning toward iRule - would I need to "buy" the iRule app for each iphone/iPad that I would to use?
Would a single iTach IP2IR device control each room? assuming line of sight from the mounting location? or would I need several of those?

I believe the standard iRule license allows one handset design, this can be added to as many like devices that you have. I have 2 ipod touches and they both have the same remote template loaded on them, that counts as just one handset. The Pro license that enables 2 way feedback comes with 5 devices, so you could have a unique remote set up on an iphone, ipad, ipad mini, android 7" tablet and an android 10" tablet if you wish. You can also purchase additional handsets as needed.

The itach ip2ir has 3 IR outputs. One can be configured to power the included IR blaster. You can use dual IR emitters as well that have 1 3.5mm jack and then split in to 2 IR emitters. The itach comes with 3 single emitters and 1 blaster. You can extend the length of the 6ft emitters with cat5/6 cable. I have done this to control TVs in my family room and kitchen from an itach located in my basement equipment rack. Just snip the emitter, there are 2 wires inside, use a length of cat5 cable and a twisted pair inside it to lengthen the emitter. I have runs of 75ft working just fine with this method.

So, for simplicity, an itach in each room would make the need to running extra wires less, but add to cost. A single unit can control several devices including those in other rooms as described above.

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post #7 of 7 Old 01-09-2013, 10:54 AM - Thread Starter
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I still haven't decided what I'm going to use just yet, but I probably won't be getting my remote setup for some time. I do plan on using a tablet so I will be purchasing a serial and infrared adapter to IP for my items that are necessary. It seems like any app running from a tablet will need those so I should be set with those. But once I decide what I want I am going to decide.

I currently do not own a tablet so the factor that I need an iPad for Roomie and the fact I can use a Kindle for the iRule could help with a decision since the Kindle is much cheaper.
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