I was looking for an IR repeater solution for my Panasonic Plasma TV due to my center channel blocking the IR receiver. I spent a few hours doing research and found Xantech and Niles have the best kits out there, but they where way more money then I wanted to spend, with those kits starting at $150 minimum. Buffalo is also a big name in IR repeater kits but is more geared towards professional installation. Their only receiver eye is for drilling a hole through a cabinet and securing it, and that wouldn't work in my setup as I have glass doors.
I wanted a non-invasive solution, so that meant none of the really cheap options which have large devices that need to sit in front of your intended device. I wanted something that used a small IR emiter and IR receiver eye that could largely be "hidden". This meant a system like what Xantech and Niles offers, but with a smaller price.
I purchased the Cables To Go/Impact Acoustics 40430 IR Repeater Kit $50 and change from Amazon. This kit had overall positive reviews and it is expandable to 6 dual head emitters for a total of 12 devices controlled.
Amazon labels it as Cables To Go but it's branded as Impact Acoustics, which is owned by Cables To Go. The kit includes 2 dual head IR emitters. Additional dual head IR emitters can be purchased for about $7 from Amazon.com. There is also a single head emitter available for about $5. This pricing beats out any other option I could find for a kit with this much expansion. The kit includes an AC power supply but the brain also has hard wire capability.
The IR receiver is on a 9' cable. The receiver has a blue LED that flashes whenever it receives and IR signal. I don't really like this because it's very distracting, so I'm hoping I can tape over the portion of the receiver in which the blue LED is behind, without effecting the IR receiver portion. If that doesn't work, I'll just live with it.
The IR emitters are on 9' cable, of which the last 3' can be split (for the dual emitter cable).
The Impact Acoustics website indicates that you need to be careful when putting the receiver near a Plasma TV, but I did some testing with the receiver in all kinds of positions near my Panny Plasma and it was never effected. I did some test where the IR emitter was right on top of the IR receiver on the Plasma, as well as held within about a foot of the Plasma, and it always worked. So you don't necessarily need to have 1 emitter per device. If your devices are close enough, you can use 1 emitter in the general vicinity of the device and it may reach all the devices. I even did a test where the receiver eye was facing the plasma screen and it worked just fine. I don't know if this results would occur for other brands, or even all Panny Plasma models, but it's a good reference. The IR brain also has a blue LED on it that flashes when IR signals are being received from the IR receiver.
As I only needed to use the kit with my TV, I haven't done any testing with my other components.
Some of the comments on Amazon are valid, and some are not. For example: The double-sided tape on the IR emitters is very thin and I don't know how well it will hold up over time. There are no issues with the receiver/emitter/power supply plugging into the brain. All of the connections are snug.
I have not used the kit with any of my other sources, since I have line-of-site to all of them. Reviews on amazon indicate incompatibility for PVR's due to them using a higher frequency of signal. One commenter links to an inexpensive dual frequency IR receiver from Cmple for $!6, and that about 5% of the time they need to send the command twice. This seems to be common in general with many PVR's from my research, and only the high end IR receivers used in kits from Xantech/Niles don't have this issue, but those kits are 3x-4x more expensive as well.
At the end of the day, I don't think there's really a better option out there for the price, and this is a competitive option to much more expensive kits. If you don't need to control a PVR, then there's no reason to spend money on something more expensive.
Brain mounted to the back of the TV stand
IR Receiver secured with double-sided tape which I supplied. The unit only comes with double-sided tape on the back-side