Controlling multiple identical cable boxes - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 11-09-2013, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
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I have 2 Motorola cable boxes and 1 Pace cable box  in my Media room attached to 3 TV's - .all the TV's are different brands. All the units are on one wide wall furniture unit and face the same direction in a 15'X20' area.

I need to have all 3 operating at the same time and be able to control each cable box independently and remotely (sports bar setup). They are not in any hidden cabinets and all carry identical remotes which means trying to change cable channels and other functions will affect all 3 boxes.

 

I have heard about addressable IR's, IR blasters, IR extenders etc. In simple language, what setup is required to achieve the independent operations above?

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post #2 of 11 Old 11-14-2013, 05:55 AM
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I have the same exact question except I will be putting two boxes into a closet hoping to control both via ir extender as the tv's are at the opposite end of the room.

Anyone have ideas??
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post #3 of 11 Old 11-14-2013, 06:56 AM
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simply solution, get an ir repeater or rf base station and use ir hoods.... something like this...

 

https://www.google.com/shopping/product/15001085157171085678?q=covered+ir+emitter&biw=1304&bih=712&ei=U-SEUpmhM5L64APfh4GgDQ&ved=0CPkEEKYrMAQ4KA

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post #4 of 11 Old 11-14-2013, 08:44 AM
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How would an IR repeater help? He needs addressable ports which means RF or IP. An IR repeater would still send the same cable box code to all the IR outputs which would then cause both boxes to respond. The question is answered in the FAQ sticky.

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post #5 of 11 Old 11-14-2013, 03:36 PM
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Google "URC MRF-260".

Installers use RF base stations that have addressable IR outputs to send the IR signal to a specific cable box.

Also most satellite and cable boxes have at least two separate sets of IR codes that you can set the box to use. That way you can have individual control of multiple units in an equipment rack.

The better programmable remotes allow you to use the alternate IR codes to control multiple boxes. The remotes that I program for my customers all have this capability. I'm not sure what options you have, in this area, for consumer programmed remotes.

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post #6 of 11 Old 11-14-2013, 06:04 PM
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I think you mean most satellite boxes are addressable. I've never seen an addressable cable box.

Lots of consumer programmed remotes have alternate codes sets, from $3 JP1 remotes, to $300 Harmonys. I can easily load any of Dish's 32 code sets or DirecTV's 8 code sets into my JP1 remotes. I typically only have to change one byte in the header to change addresses.
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post #7 of 11 Old 11-15-2013, 07:46 AM
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This is a simple to do with iRule and a global cache IP2IR. Three sets of commands are imported in the irule builder and renamed Box 1 Box 2 and Box 3. Those commands are assigned to the appropriate buttons for control and then Box 1 is assigned to output 1 of the IP2IR Box 2 to output 2 and Box 3 to output 3. When a given command is pressed only the appropriate IR bud is flashed which is stuck the correct box.

I've done exactly this but with the IP version of the DTV commands and easily control 4 DTV boxes. The correct commands are routed based on the assigned IP address of each box so there is no confusion.

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post #8 of 11 Old 11-19-2013, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
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This is exactly what I was afraid of - a bunch of techie answers spouting out their knowledge, contradicting themselves without giving any specific and clear step by step directions.

Surely you techies can do better than this?

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post #9 of 11 Old 11-19-2013, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by technical View Post

This is exactly what I was afraid of - a bunch of techie answers spouting out their knowledge, contradicting themselves without giving any specific and clear step by step directions.
Surely you techies can do better than this?

That's one way to get your questions answered... rolleyes.gif

Read the FAQ sticky and figure it out yourself. Or you can use the search feature since your question has been asked and answered over and over again. The answer is even in this thread.

Hint: You need an addressable IR emitter! That means you need a RF or IP remote with an IR base station.

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post #10 of 11 Old 11-19-2013, 02:49 PM
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Wow.

How about asking some follow up questions or asking for more clarification.

Demanding hand holding and demeaning those who've tried to help is not how this forum works. It is a discussion not a training manual.

I would be happy to add to my suggestion if asked something specific. Or you could move to the irule thread here that has scores of active posters.

Other option: buy a helper monkey. Train it to push the buttons on the boxes when instructed. Wow your friends with your new all biological remote.

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post #11 of 11 Old 11-21-2013, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by technical View Post

This is exactly what I was afraid of - a bunch of techie answers spouting out their knowledge, contradicting themselves without giving any specific and clear step by step directions.
Surely you techies can do better than this?

Get a URC MX remote (i.e. mx780, 880, 890, 900, 980, etc...) with a MRF350 radio frequency base station (not a mrf260 wrong piece for the job). The rf base station and remote programming will allow you to assign different ir ports to different devices. For example, port one to the first cable box and port two to the second cable box. All of the remotes I mentioned require programming software to set them up, which is not available with the purchase of the remote. If you have a local URC dealer and you asked nicely and don't best him up on the price too much you just might find someone to give you the software with your purchase. Or if you value your time and you want it done the right way hire a pro, but make sure you find a good one.

You will also need to cover the ir receivers/emitters on the front of each piece of gear so that the signals aren't leaked to other TV's or cable boxes with the same remote codes.

And yes you could also use iRule and save some money, but it depends on how technical you are and how much you value your time.

And by the way I am a full time programmer with 17 yrs of experience so I know what I am talking about.
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