IR Help for Home Automation - AVS Forum
Remote Control Area > IR Help for Home Automation
a12en 02:36 PM 06-17-2014
We have a home small office that we would like to automate through Wifi. It’s 2 separate rooms, total size of space is 20x25; one room is 20x15 and the other 20x10.



Current devices we want to automate are:
- Samsung LED TV BN68-02543F-02 – Room 1 --- IR
- Sharp LCD TV (IR) – Room 2 --- IR
- Harman/kardon AVR247 – Room 1 (rests in Media Center Hub in Room 1) --- IR
- JVC RX-8030V – Room 2 (rests in Media Center Hub in Room 1) --- IR
- Motorola QIP7232 – Room 1 and 2 (rests in Media Center Hub in Room 1) --- IR
- Etekcity 6x2 HDMI Matrix Switch/Splitter – Room 1 and 2 (rests in Media Center Hub in Room 1) --- IR
- Samsung BD-D6500 Blu-ray --- IR
- Apple TV --- IR
- Smartlabs RemoteLinc #2440 Lighting System – Room 1 and 2 --- IP



We want to use an iPad to control all these devices. Debating between using iRule or Roomie Remote. We want to be able to do everything the remotes can- is this possible with either remote or are there certain limitations such as maybe using the DVR function?

The Sharp LCD TV is in room 2 behind plexiglass, away from the media center. If we can’t run an IR emitter to it, what should we do to make the IR be on the Wifi? Same goes for the JVC receiver, but that's in room 1.



Underneath the TV is a fireplace and beside it is the media center, so if need be, we can have an emitter run through the wall into the room to get the IR working with the Sharp LCD.



We have 8 devices with IR and 1 device with IP. Do we need to buy both a Global Cache WF2IR iTach and a Global Cache IP2IR iTach or can the WF2IR handle IP as well? If both devices are needed, is there a cheap IP to IR converter to could buy?



In this scenario, should we do with individual IR emitters or get an IR blaster since all the devices are located in a single area?

mdavej's Avatar mdavej 03:46 PM 06-17-2014
Others can address the iRule versus Roomie in greater detail. But I'm pretty certain your Insteon system is not IP. You'll probably want to look into some other gateway device for that, possibly something like MiCasaVerde.

Pick the GC depending on how you want connect it to your LAN. IP if hard-wired, WF if wireless. Both do essentially the same thing, which is receive commands from your iPad via IP and blast them via IR. Your IP devices are controlled directly from iRule (or Roomie, I assume). A few of your devices are probably IP controllable, like your HK, Samsung BD, AppleTV and maybe even your Samsung TV. See iRule's website to confirm. One blaster can probably reach everything in your main rack.

If there is going to be more than one person operating the system at the same time, you'll be much better off with more than one remote (iPad, whatever). If, on the other hand, only one person uses the system at a time and moves from one room to the other, one remote is fine.
a12en 05:59 PM 06-17-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post
Others can address the iRule versus Roomie in greater detail. But I'm pretty certain your Insteon system is not IP. You'll probably want to look into some other gateway device for that, possibly something like MiCasaVerde.

Pick the GC depending on how you want connect it to your LAN. IP if hard-wired, WF if wireless. Both do essentially the same thing, which is receive commands from your iPad via IP and blast them via IR. Your IP devices are controlled directly from iRule (or Roomie, I assume). A few of your devices are probably IP controllable, like your HK, Samsung BD, AppleTV and maybe even your Samsung TV. See iRule's website to confirm. One blaster can probably reach everything in your main rack.

If there is going to be more than one person operating the system at the same time, you'll be much better off with more than one remote (iPad, whatever). If, on the other hand, only one person uses the system at a time and moves from one room to the other, one remote is fine.
We want to be able to connect the lighting system to the iRule or Roomie Remote so that we can have an all-in-one remote to use. Would that be possible using just a GC?

We definitely prefer WiFi, don't want to deal with too many wires. I'm also kinda confused. When you say our devices are IP controllable, does that mean without a GC? My understanding is that a GC WF2IR would be necessary if we want to control the devices from anywhere in the home office.

Only one person at a time will be using the remote.
mdavej's Avatar mdavej 09:27 PM 06-17-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by a12en View Post
We want to be able to connect the lighting system to the iRule or Roomie Remote so that we can have an all-in-one remote to use. Would that be possible using just a GC?
All I'm seeing in the spec of the Insteon is proprietary RF, no possibility of a GC alone being able to interface with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by a12en View Post
We definitely prefer WiFi, don't want to deal with too many wires. I'm also kinda confused. When you say our devices are IP controllable, does that mean without a GC? My understanding is that a GC WF2IR would be necessary if we want to control the devices from anywhere in the home office.
The WF/IP designation is how the GC connects to your LAN, not your devices or your iPad. The question you need to answer is will you plug the GC into your router (or some other switch) or just set it in some remote location and connect over wifi. The connection to your other devices doesn't change.

Yes, anything IP controllable can be controlled without a GC. But the GC is the only way to get commands from your iPad to your IR devices. The GC is an IP to IR gateway. So even though more devices than you thought may be directly IP controllable, as long as you use iRule and want to control at least one IR device, you need a GC.

This iRule and GC stuff is way out of my area, so it would be best to get advice from others, perhaps in the iRule thread or iRule forums. All I can tell you for sure is that you're going to need more stuff to control Insteon.
a12en 05:08 PM 06-19-2014
Where do I find the IP info for my devices? I've searched on Google and through various forums but have not found info.

Also, is there an advantage to having a device hooked up through IP vs WiFi? We have one remote and want to use it anywhere in our home office (20x25 sq ft).
mdavej's Avatar mdavej 08:00 AM 06-20-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by a12en View Post
Where do I find the IP info for my devices? I've searched on Google and through various forums but have not found info.

Also, is there an advantage to having a device hooked up through IP vs WiFi? We have one remote and want to use it anywhere in our home office (20x25 sq ft).
http://www.iruleathome.com/devices/i...-devices#view4

Contrary to my initial guesses, looks like none of your devices are directly IP controllable by iRule. You'll have to use IR and blasters from your IP gateway device (GC or similar. I think there are newer models now that have replaced GC).

Or if you're open to using a normal RF remote instead of an iPad, it will accomplish the same thing.

I'm not sure what you mean by IP vs WiFi. Everything on your network uses IP, whether it's physically connected by wires or not. As I said before, what you need to decide is whether you can conveniently plug in your GC to your network or not and still be able to run blasters from it to your rack. Your iPad will still connect over wifi, regardless of what GC model you get.

Bottom line is to get all of this working on an iPad, you need iRule software, an IP to IR gateway (GC model of your choice) and a gateway of some kind for Insteon (MiCasaVerde for example). I don't know much about MiCasa, so you'll have to do your homework there. I'm sure there are other devices that perform a similar function.
a12en 02:07 PM 06-20-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post
http://www.iruleathome.com/devices/i...-devices#view4

Contrary to my initial guesses, looks like none of your devices are directly IP controllable by iRule. You'll have to use IR and blasters from your IP gateway device (GC or similar. I think there are newer models now that have replaced GC).

Or if you're open to using a normal RF remote instead of an iPad, it will accomplish the same thing.

I'm not sure what you mean by IP vs WiFi. Everything on your network uses IP, whether it's physically connected by wires or not. As I said before, what you need to decide is whether you can conveniently plug in your GC to your network or not and still be able to run blasters from it to your rack. Your iPad will still connect over wifi, regardless of what GC model you get.

Bottom line is to get all of this working on an iPad, you need iRule software, an IP to IR gateway (GC model of your choice) and a gateway of some kind for Insteon (MiCasaVerde for example). I don't know much about MiCasa, so you'll have to do your homework there. I'm sure there are other devices that perform a similar function.
Thanks for the help so far. Much appreciated. A few more questions if you don't mind:

Let's hold off on the Insteon for now. Most likely going to with iTach Flex for our setup. With all the IR devices (8), all but one of the televisions are located together (as seen in the pictures, but we do have component wires and a Cat5 running from that TV to the media center). How many emitters and/or blasters should we get? Each device needs it's own emitter? How many devices does a blaster cover?

We also plan on building a cabinet (either with a wooden or glass front). My research has lead to Hot Link Pro. Would we need this, along with the iTach Flex, ALONG with more emitters and blasters OR is would the Hot Link Pro with the iTach Flex suffice?
mdavej's Avatar mdavej 02:43 PM 06-20-2014
Emitter and blaster means the same thing to me. It's essentially an LED that has the same properties as visible light, just a different frequency. So imagine if you shined a small flashlight at your devices, would the light reach them (does the blaster have line of sight)? IR light also bounces off mirrors and other shiny things and even windows and walls. So you can't really tell until you try. One well placed blaster can reach everything in your rack and the TV on that adjacent wall. Another blaster would be needed for your other TV. Wood is going to block IR of course, but glass will not.

Grab the remote for each device you use today, walk around to your desired blaster location and see if it works. If it does, any blaster you put there will also work, for multiple devices. You can put a blaster on every device if you want, but it's not necessary. People usually do that because of space restrictions, aesthetics or interference with other identical devices. All yours are unique, so you don't have to worry about interference (i.e., each your current remotes only operates one device today).

Looking at your room, and the fact that you don't need addressable blasters, I see no need for a Hot Link Pro at this point. You can always add one later if the iTach can't reach everything. You can also add a cheap repeater or two for far less than the cost of a Hot Link Pro or even wire up your own blasters (a second blaster in parallel is usually ok).

An RF remote would actually be a much cleaner solution since it can also send IR. So you wouldn't need any blasters for either TV, just the one for your rack. You could even get by with just a standard IR universal remote and a simple repeater. But that's the cheapskate in me talking. I could control those two rooms with a $15 JP1 remote and a $15 repeater from ebay.
a12en 03:36 PM 06-20-2014
If it was up to me, I'd consider alternatives but my boss wants to control all the devices through the iPad using iRule connected through WiFi. He wants to freely move around the home office and use the iPad to control the devices. Would line-of-sight still be an issue?

Would the blaster in the other room need to be connected to the iTach Flex device or would it survive by itself? Because that will be lying in the media center with the other devices.
mdavej's Avatar mdavej 08:16 PM 06-20-2014
I can't explain any better than I already have.
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