RF Remote for Dummies - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 08-06-2014, 07:20 AM - Thread Starter
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RF Remote for Dummies

I am installing a wall mount tv with on wall speakers. All of my components (FIOS cable box, blu ray, Denon AVR) will be hidden in the closet under the stairs, right next to the tv room. I want to use a RF remote to control everything.

I have the walls open so I am still running speaker wire and HDMI etc.



How does the RF remote work, what do I need in the closet to make it talk to my components? Do I need to wire anything in my condiut from my TV to my closet for the RF remote to work? Do I need to convert to IR?

Please help.

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post #2 of 16 Old 08-06-2014, 08:41 AM
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Cool

RF is much better than IR in my opinion....

However, typically you still have to convert back to IR because just about every component has IR but few have RF remote control.

Why not go with network IP control?... Most everything today can use it. Everything I have uses it. No more aiming... no more sending the same code over and over... Components feedback status ... EVERY thing I have is IP controlled.

(well.. except the upstairs plasma TV ... I don't really use that but it's a simple affair without even outboard speakers... I use the remote that came with that one...but we aren't talking about stuff like that.)

Edit - Love the pic... Good Luck with the new HT.

-Brian
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post #3 of 16 Old 08-06-2014, 08:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Hampton View Post
RF is much better than IR in my opinion....

However, typically you still have to convert back to IR because just about every component has IR but few have RF remote control.

Why not go with network IP control?... Most everything today can use it. Everything I have uses it. No more aiming... no more sending the same code over and over... Components feedback status ... EVERY thing I have is IP controlled.

(well.. except the upstairs plasma TV ... I don't really use that but it's a simple affair without even outboard speakers... I use the remote that came with that one...but we aren't talking about stuff like that.)

Edit - Love the pic... Good Luck with the new HT.

-Brian
Problem with network is, I won't have a wired connection to my network. And my wireless router is two floors away upstairs so I don't want to rely on wireless network either.

That's why Im leaning towards RF. Can you link me to an explanation of how I would setup a RF system that converts back to IR, that's the part I don't understand yet. Or in a pinch, I could just use IR repeaters, I have this setup in my bedroom but the components are much closer. Do they make IR recievers with wires longer than 6' that would run from my TV to my AV closet?
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post #4 of 16 Old 08-06-2014, 01:11 PM
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Hi,

Honestly, I love IP (Network) control so much that in your position I would make a small network just for the remote. Plug in a router ... instant network. Some models will mirror your upstairs network and bring Internet downstairs for you. I hate "streaming" but there is a lot of great stuff online and I would seriously make an effort to bring the capability to any new HT.

But,... I don't want to be pushy... you want what you want naturally. Like you my gear sits outside the "HT" (or at least that's what I gather from you image you posted). I used an IR Repeater ... in fact you can have it if you want it but it's Radio Shack and it's likely just as cheap to buy a new one than to ship this one...Anyways,.. can't stand the flaky-ness of it at all...Also the remote doesn't know what the status of the gear is sometimes. I can't have that anymore ... I wouldn't be able to deal with my kids coming to me not knowing how to use the system.

So,... I actually don't know all that much about RF to IR except what I've seen over at Roomie Remote's ... web site. That's the remote I use and love. I used to use Harmony though and I believe there are models that transmit RF (and IR) and that have a little box that receives the RF and transmits IR ... (that could eliminate the need for the repeater if you're lucky.)

Hopefully, others will chime in ... Because ,.. I'll just keep nagging you to go with Network control... ha ha.
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post #5 of 16 Old 08-06-2014, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by landmarke View Post
Problem with network is, I won't have a wired connection to my network. And my wireless router is two floors away upstairs so I don't want to rely on wireless network either.
As Brian has already alluded to, once you go IP-based control you'll wonder how you ever got along without. Is it at all possible to run a single CAT5e or CAT6 cable from your router's current location to the basement? If so, an additional wireless AP (access point) can be placed in the basement to extend your wireless network range.

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Originally Posted by landmarke
Or in a pinch, I could just use IR repeaters, I have this setup in my bedroom but the components are much closer. Do they make IR recievers with wires longer than 6' that would run from my TV to my AV closet?
You can extend the receiver's cable with a stereo extension cable available anywhere. I added a 30' 3.5mm M -> 3.5mm F to my IR receiver, no problems. I have Xantech gear, but have heard good things about the Monoprice dual band system:
http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_i...seq=1&format=2
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post #6 of 16 Old 08-06-2014, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by smcmillan2 View Post
As Brian has already alluded to, once you go IP-based control you'll wonder how you ever got along without. Is it at all possible to run a single CAT5e or CAT6 cable from your router's current location to the basement? If so, an additional wireless AP (access point) can be placed in the basement to extend your wireless network range.

You can extend the receiver's cable with a stereo extension cable available anywhere. I added a 30' 3.5mm M -> 3.5mm F to my IR receiver, no problems. I have Xantech gear, but have heard good things about the Monoprice dual band system:
http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_i...seq=1&format=2
I believe new routers can connect wirelessly now to the other network upstairs. This is called wireless repeater. I know my years old linksys can now that I flashed it with custom firmware. (DD-WRT)
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post #7 of 16 Old 08-06-2014, 02:02 PM
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RF is cheap and simple. Put the base in your AV closet with blasters within sight of your devices. The TV will still work by IR if you aim the remote at it. If you don't want to aim at the TV, you'll have to run a cable from the base to the TV. I personally wouldn't bother with that.

IP control usually means you have to use a tablet. I personally despise using tablets as remotes. Give me RF and a real remote with real buttons any day.

You can put together an Xsight Touch RF system for about $45. That's what I use, and it works beautifully.
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post #8 of 16 Old 08-06-2014, 02:34 PM
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I believe new routers can connect wirelessly now to the other network upstairs. This is called wireless repeater. I know my years old linksys can now that I flashed it with custom firmware. (DD-WRT)
True. But if the OP's issue is with the wireless signal not currently being consistent enough in the basement from the router 2 floors up, then a repeater setup will likely cause dropouts as well.

After going through many wireless APs I have finally switched to the Ubiquiti Unifi LR: http://www.amazon.com/Ubiquiti-UniFi.../dp/B005H4CDF4. No trouble covering the whole house, nor the back deck. Might be another option for the OP.

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Originally Posted by mdavej
IP control usually means you have to use a tablet. I personally despise using tablets as remotes. Give me RF and a real remote with real buttons any day.
Yup, it's a different mindset that's for sure, and may not be for everyone. On the other hand it really opens up new opportunities, I was able to build web pages to drive the music in the house via a browser on any device, as well as 3 WMC extenders in the "HT" room. But for just watching regular TV I use the IR repeater system with a Harmony remote (know you're a JP1 guy from your posts on TGB).

Sorry to drag this a bit off topic, as you were...
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post #9 of 16 Old 08-07-2014, 05:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post
RF is cheap and simple. Put the base in your AV closet with blasters within sight of your devices. The TV will still work by IR if you aim the remote at it. If you don't want to aim at the TV, you'll have to run a cable from the base to the TV. I personally wouldn't bother with that.

IP control usually means you have to use a tablet. I personally despise using tablets as remotes. Give me RF and a real remote with real buttons any day.

You can put together an Xsight Touch RF system for about $45. That's what I use, and it works beautifully.
What cable would I run?
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post #10 of 16 Old 08-07-2014, 06:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, I just read up on this thread I and I'm getting the jist:
How to control equipment with remote when it is hidden?

What cable would I need to run to the TV? If the blaster communicates with everything in my closet, I still need a way for the remote to talk to the TV first to power it on?

Unfortunately, I have no way of easily running ethernet from my top floor to my basement. I could try a wireless access point or repeater. That will have to wait as Im currently finishing the basment and more concerned with getting whatever wiring I need in my conduit now while easily accessible. I will have cat6 in there just in case. I will also run 3.5mm M -> 3.5mm F just in case I ever decide to run IR. The Ubiquiti Unifi looks like a good option except it looks like its only PoE, which in my case doesn't work. And if I had ethernet already ran to my AV closet, I wouldn't need to convert to wireless or a AP.

I think a RF remote is ideal for my situation. This way, the wife and kids can also pick up the remote and use everything when I'm not there.
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post #11 of 16 Old 08-07-2014, 06:51 AM
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What cable would I run?
Any 2 conductor cable works fine for a blaster. Take your pick.
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post #12 of 16 Old 08-07-2014, 07:11 AM
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Run a CAT5e or CAT6 cable to the TV. You can use it for IP control or splice into two of the eight wires inside for an IR emitter if using RF. You can splice by either cutting the cables or add 3.5mm Male/Female to each end to make it an extension cable.

The FAQ sticky should explain most of this to you.

If a device uses RF then your universal RF remote will not control it (with very few exceptions such as Xsight and DirecTV). RF Universal remotes require a RF to IR base station.

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post #13 of 16 Old 08-07-2014, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Understood, thanks!
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post #14 of 16 Old 08-11-2014, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Revisiting this, now looking at the Harmony Ultimate with hub. The hub sits in the closet with my components. Do I need blasters to talk to my IR components, or does the hub somehow communicate with them without the use of blasters. Since the hub only accepts two blasters, I wouldn't be able to communicate to more that two IR components. That doesn't make sense.

http://cdn-www.myharmony.com/files/h...rtguide-en.pdf
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post #15 of 16 Old 08-11-2014, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by landmarke View Post
Revisiting this, now looking at the Harmony Ultimate with hub. The hub sits in the closet with my components. Do I need blasters to talk to my IR components, or does the hub somehow communicate with them without the use of blasters. Since the hub only accepts two blasters, I wouldn't be able to communicate to more that two IR components. That doesn't make sense.

http://cdn-www.myharmony.com/files/h...rtguide-en.pdf
After more research, its seems like the blasters can control more that one device, I just need to experiment with their placement etc.
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post #16 of 16 Old 08-11-2014, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by landmarke View Post
After more research, its seems like the blasters can control more that one device, I just need to experiment with their placement etc.
I believe the Ultimate's hub emits IR (don't have one, but most hubs do) and then you can also use the additional blasters for more components. You can also use stick-on emitters, but that is only required when you are controlling two of the same component near each other.

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