Mixing IP & IR remotes - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-20-2013, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm finishing my basement and have a closet set aside to put all of my AV gear in.   Now, I am trying to figure out how to distribute everything correctly, and I am hitting a snag on how to handle the remotes.


My initial thought was to use Android devices along with some of the Global Cache gear to control the devices that can't be controlled over IP.   However, I would also like to be able to use a traditional IR remote in some locations as I have a 3 year old that I am not ready to turn her loose with tablets and phones.

 

From what I have read, getting things going with Android & the Global Cache gear is doable with a little bit of work.   However, I have not seen anyone doing anything with a mixture of that and IR remotes.   If someone out there is doing it, I'd love to hear what you are doing.

 

(This part is going to get in to the home automation area, but my question seemed primarily remote based so I put it here.)   My thought to handle the IR remotes was to use Insteon IR receiver units in the room and have my ISY handle issuing the commands over IP.   For those that have IP based control, have you tried something like this?   Or is there a better choice?

 

 

Finally, I need to figure out how to control the TVs that are going to be spread through the house.  My thought was to use a Global Cache unit in each room.   However, it is unclear if any of the remote apps available can handle sending commands to different units.  For example, if I am in the master bedroom, I need the remote to send the on/off commands to the Global Cache unit that feeds the TV in that room, but send the commands to control the source to a different Global Cache unit in the basement.   Is anybody doing something like this?

 

Thanks!

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post #2 of 7 Old 11-20-2013, 09:27 AM
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I can answer the last part. With Irule at least and I am pretty sure with Roommie and other android/ios remote apps you can have as many global cache devices as needed. I have gc-100, 2 ip2ir and 2 ip2sl units in my system. Most on a rack in the basement but 1 is at a tv location.

Commands are defined in irule builder and then assigned to a gateway (the gc unit). My AVR is on port 1 of an ip2ir and TV is on port 2 etc. Commands are routed to the specific port and fire only that connected IR bud.

I have used cat5 cable to extend the IR bud cable length to reach 3 remote TVs and then connect to the gc boxes on the rack.

Irule can connect to all the gateways that have commands on a given panel at the same time with no problem. My DTV panel in the living room connects to an ip2sl gateway for controlling the TV and an ip2ir for my hdmi matrix and an IP gateway for my DTV box. No problem.

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post #3 of 7 Old 11-20-2013, 09:46 AM
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Ditto to what SS31 just posted. I use Roomie and, like iRule, you configure your device by associating a specific GC unit with it (and port # if it has multiples) - so if you want to control the TV in the study, for example, the app knows how to communicate with it automatically (this is also why using static IP addresses is preferred) - you just hit the control buttons and don't have to worry about the "plumbing". [Note: iRule handles Android & iOS, but Roomie is iOS only]

I wasn't 100% sure on what you were asking about using additional IR remotes - I presume your 3 year old won't be overly interested in controlling equipment outside of her immediate field of vision, so using the supplied individual remotes will be fine - using an app doesn't preclude 'normal' IR control. I'd actually look at giving her a simple five-buck learning remote.

Everything you are proposing is very mainstream, so you're on solid ground!
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post #4 of 7 Old 11-20-2013, 02:08 PM - Thread Starter
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I think my comment on the 3 year old probably confused the issue a bit, so let me clarify what I was really getting at.

 

In addition to using Android devices as remotes, I may also have rooms where I will want to have the same type of control using an actual IR remote such as the Logitech Harmony.   So, is there some kind of device that does IR to IP that I could use?  Or will I need to hack something together using devices like the Insteon IR receiver and a home automation controller?   And, if there is such a thing as IR to IP, can someone recommend a good one?

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post #5 of 7 Old 11-20-2013, 03:03 PM
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If I understand your question correctly, other IR remotes will continue to work fine and coexist with your GC so long as you don't completely cover the IR windows of your devices. If your Insteon stuff doesn't work via IR today, you'll need some sort of IR gateway device of course. Same goes for other devices with no IR capability like PS3, Wii, etc. Harmony state tracking will get out of sync of course when you use iRule or whatever. So you'll be using help or blocking the front of the remote a lot.
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-20-2014, 08:46 PM
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I have been doing this for ~4 years in a single location...

I use Global Cache devices to translate IP to IR Output and 2 way RS232.
I use IRTrans devices to translate IR to IP and to translate IP To IR.

I just wired the remaining extenders for my matrix switch and centralized all the equipment by adding an IRTrans device for each TV. The IRTrans devices allow us to keep using the same remotes as always (TiVo and Comcast) and I still have the option to use any iOS device or browser. For me, the IR remote is very hard to beat for channel surfing...

The server issues equipment commands based on what is being distributed (hit pause on the TiVo remote and the BD player pauses if that is what you are watching). If you are using the iPad (or whatever) and do something that controls the 'local' TV (normally something like volume or power) the server sends an IP command to the IRTrans which sends the IR to the TV.

If you didn't want a server, you can use IRTrans in the equipment rack instead of global cache. They echo commands to one another to act like a IR repeater over IP with the added ability to work just like global cache devices...
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-26-2014, 07:46 AM
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One small thought...you may get annoyed after awhile using a tablet or smartphone as your main remote. I have a URC setup at home and have a stand alone remote, an Android phone, and Android tablet that all control the system and lights around my home. I rarely use the Android phone and tablet because it just takes too long......unlocking the screen, waiting for the app to open up, its a little slower to switch screens, etc. I may suggest going with a URC WiFi remote with one of their network base stations. You can then choose IP, IR, and RF control from the remote to any equipment you may have...then compliment the remote with your tablet / phone for that last little bit of convenience.


Edit: after re-reading your op I see that you want IR as well...good. Also I say URC because I know it will do exactly what you want it to do, and can be found on Ebay (new/used) at good prices.
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