Problems with IR Repeater / AV closet - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 09-06-2013, 09:29 PM - Thread Starter
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I had the not so bright idea (in retrospect) to ditch my 7.1 AV receiver / media console set up in favor of an AV closet with HDMI switcher and IR repeater. $1500 later (hardware and installation) it's yet to worked correctly.

The IR repeater response is either delayed or non-existent. Additionally my cable box and Bluray have issues. When I point my remotes at them from a foot away they don't work at all with the emitters attached. With the emitters removed they are intermittent. But, when I turn the light on in the closet, everything works better -- even the repeater is more reliable, but not perfect.

Obviously this points to either a flaky IR repeater (Russound 857 in my case) or interference from something. But from what? The closet is blocked off from natural light, the incandescent blub shouldn't effect it. The only electronics in the closet are the IR extender and emitters, HDMI switch, cable/dvr box, wireless router and a surge protector. My plasma TV is 15' - 20' removed. I have a soundbar with wireless sub but the AV guys I used deploy the same set up regularly with no issues.

Is there any way to detect and or block interference sources that could be messing me up?
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post #2 of 4 Old 09-10-2013, 05:32 AM
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You can usually see IR through a digital camera (it looks blue or white). That's helped me find IR noise sources before. But it sounds like it's simply too weak.

Also keep in mine noise on the source end will get picked up too. So look there as well.

Given what you've spent already, an RF remote wouldn't be that much more and will work much better than a repeater.
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post #3 of 4 Old 09-13-2013, 09:40 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm posting my findings and my solution (hack) to this issue with the hope that someone else finds it useful. I had professional AV guys (from a very highly rated local AV installation company) here 3 hours today and they were stumped, so I feel vindicated.

After reading this and other forums I had a hunch that my IR interference problems were possibly being caused by my Panasonic plasma TV (c. 2007 vintage) emitting an inordinate amount of IR radiation that was reaching into my media closet. I tested this theory and sure enough, when I turned the TV off, the IR repeater communicated perfectly with the components in the closet. However, turns out the excess IR was actually interfering with the Russound receiver on top of my TV which sent signals to the closet continuously. The receiver's blue light that indicated signal reception was on almost continuously indicating it was constantly receiving IR signals. (I didn't realize this was not a normal state since this is my first IR repeater).

The AV guys essentially shrugged their shoulders, all but telling me that I needed a new TV. I looked into IR alternatives and I almost pulled the trigger on an RF unit.

Refusing to give in, I stumbled upon a post on another forum where a similar problem with a Panasonic plasma was reported. (Supposedly some Samsung sets have the same issue.) A reply to the post suggested turning down the brightness on the TV. I tried this and it actually worked -- when the picture was almost black! Then a solution occurred to me that I've seen around this place -- the good old masking tape / Post-It note solution! I took my small, bright yellow Post-It notes -- exactly the same width as the IR receiver, and layered them one by one over the front of the receiver. After note 3 I could see around the edge into the unit that the blue light indeed was off. I held my breath, picked up the remote, pressed a button, and BINGO! Everything's responding! The remote beams through the notes!

I've attached a photo of my "solution". I'm still annoyed that I paid so much for this deal. I don't find yellow Post-Its on top of my TV particularly attractive. I may go ahead and try an RF unit or maybe even start over with a new TV. But at least it works, as inelegant as it looks. I do intend to try some less noticeable post-it colors or perhaps a semi-opaque tape. But there it is. I hope someone else sees this and can use the information. It has been a time waste and a beating of a problem.
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post #4 of 4 Old 08-15-2014, 03:17 AM
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Problem with IR repeater

I have a niles system with several receivers and flashers. I recently began having reliability issues, looking at this article I realized I must have caused the problem. I have a surveillance system in my home and placed one of my spare cameras with Inferred lights directly pointed to my rack. I don't remember if this is when my problem began and still do not have a properly working system. However with all the rewiring does anyone have advice on best practices if you can overload with too many flashers in one confined area. Is there a better solution than using niles.
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