2 separate "cabinet" issues + automation - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 1 Old 11-11-2013, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
C Josh Doll's Avatar
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So I have 2 similar issues I am looking for some suggestions on, and trying to decide between the "make it work now on the cheap" v "its going to take some time and money but work better in the end"


Room 1 (Living room)


Wall mounted LCD TV over fireplace.  Comcast Cisco / SciAtl Explorer HD DVR.  B&O [older] beosound "receiver" w 2 beoloab wall mounted speakers.  Also have apple tv in this room.


Due to the config of the room, housing the cable box in the room just doesn't work.  I have a "false" wall (giant caveity) behind the tv / fireplace due to it being a gas fireplace in the corner....all my wiring already runs back there, and the cable box is going back there (heat isn't an issue).  The remote is the issue.  From what I can find, while the explorer DOES have an IR IN, it is "unused" by Comcast / xfinity devices [read: disabled].  Can anyone confirm that?  A single IR Eye wired to the box would be simple, and cheap.


Short of that, I am looking at some sort of repeater / base w RF and blasters, etc.  I really wanted to get this done quick and easy and cheap, and get this crap out of the way before the wife kills me.  I have been "out of the game" for home theater for about 7 years, so I don't know / understand all the options out there (although I work in IT, so I am technically competent w the right info.)


So, if I go with something fancier than a $50 IR extender, here are the challenges (I see)


Cable box {IR) in another room

TV (IR) wont be able to be reached by a blaster (so needs a solution where the remote can send IR in the viewing room for TV and transmit the signal to the other room for the cable via whatever method)

Controlling the apple tv (nice to have but not a requirement.  Apple TV can go in viewing room or "cabinet"

Controlling the B&O audio, which is an RF remote.


If I am going to spend the money to get into something fancy enough to do it all, then I would like to add the ability to do light control, at least adding dimmer / remote to 1 light (wall switched overhead light), ideally be able to do the overhead w dimmer, another overhead light w dimmer, and between 4-5 other lights, all wall switched, none of which I would care about a dimmer, or individual control.  Essentially individual on/off/dim control for overhead light A, individual on/off/dim control for overhead light B, and all on / all off control for C, D, E, F (G, H, I) where I wouldn't need even on/off for just C-I, just single on/off for all of C-I at once.


I can live without the ability to control the B&O if needed and use the native remote, but if possible it would be great to control it, which BTW will reside in the viewing room most likely, although I might move it to the "cabinet" so no biggie.


The key in this solution (vs wired eye or cheap repeater) is something that I can get into for a reasonable cost now, to control at least the TV/Cable/AppleTV/Possibly B&O, and be able to add the automation pieces at reasonable rates down the road.  Ie, spend a couple hundred at a time over a few months, vs having to drop all the coin upfront.  A REAL BONUS would be the ability to add HVAC control to the remote, down the road, via swapping the thermostat.


Note for automation: I don't have the walls, or $ to wire for rs232, so they have to be able to be at a minimum controlled via IR/RF/Etc, or be WiFi enabled (in which case I have the computer hardware to dedicate to a master control "brain" for this automation as well as future automation (id LOVE to really start adding a LOT of automation across the entire house, including being able to access the automation system remotely via iPhone or computer.)



Room 2 (Bedroom):


Pi0oneer Plasma

Integra Receiver

Cisco RNG100 Comcast Cable

[Future] AppleTV


Issue: all the equip is at floor level (about 4" off floor) in the furniture.  TV is at about 5'.  Bed is at 4.5' (yes its that high).  This poses a real challenge for the remote.  You have to hang your arm off one side of the bed to get the IR to hit the devices.  Not to mention that the Comcast remote isn't capable of multifunction control on Integra, you can get on/off OR you can get vol control, not both with the same code (however, that might be livable).


Both the Integra and the TV have IR in, the integra also has IR out.  That said, I don't quite get how that works.  Do you plug an eye into the in on the integra and then patch from the integra out to the tv in?  that single eye will operate both, or do you need a "smart" device that can interpret what device you are trying to control and then handle sending the appropriate signals down the wire?


Controlling the power of the Integra would be nice, but if I am looking at a $20 solution for an eye and a mono 3.5 patch, vs $150 solution with a new remote and all I really gain is power control over the integra, im leaning to the cheaper.  That said, im interested in the same options as discussed above.  Dimmer/on/off for one overhead light.  on/off for a second over head light, and all on / all off for an additional 4 overhead light circuits.



If you made it this far reading, I certainly appreciate it!!  Now, you don't want to feel your time has been wasted reading, right?  You want to turn that into time well used, and share some thoughts and ideas!!  ;)

C Josh Doll is offline  
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