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How to control equipment with remote when it is hidden?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I want to setup a room with a TV at the front of the room and an equipment cabinet hidden behind a sofa on the opposite side of the room. The cabinet will contain the following pieces:

- DirecTV box
- AppleTV
- Blu Ray player
- receiver

How do I set everything up so my remote will control all of these pieces even though they will be sitting in an equipment box behind me? What do I need to do?

Thanks.
post #2 of 8
RF remote, or if they are connected via ethernet, some equipment can be controlled through smartphone apps.
post #3 of 8
As gregzoll said, RF remote (Harmony has several models), or an IR repeating system using cabling you have available between the TV and the equipment. There are IR repeaters that will work over HDMI, and lots of choices for cat5 or other wiring. If you don't already have a universal remote to control the whole stack, and RF universal remote would be the best choice.

Jeff
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
So with an RF remote, do different signal devices connect to each piece of my equipment, and those signal devices talk to a main device that will go somewhere near my TV so that when I point the remote at the TV it is able to access all of my equipment behind me? Is that how it works?

Thanks.
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanwelks View Post

So with an RF remote, do different signal devices connect to each piece of my equipment, and those signal devices talk to a main device that will go somewhere near my TV so that when I point the remote at the TV it is able to access all of my equipment behind me? Is that how it works?
Thanks.

Kinda the opposite... There's a RF "base station" that you place next to the equipment being controlled, and a set of IR emitters connected to the base station are placed in front of the IR receivers on each component.

You don't have to point the remote at anything with RF, which is one of the big benefits over an IR repeating system.

Jeff
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanwelks View Post

So with an RF remote, do different signal devices connect to each piece of my equipment, and those signal devices talk to a main device that will go somewhere near my TV so that when I point the remote at the TV it is able to access all of my equipment behind me? Is that how it works?
Thanks.

Go take look at the "rf extender" that logitech makes for their harmony remotes. Basically, the RF extender plugs in somewhere inside of your cabinet. Since it works off of RF, it can communicate directly with the remote control through walls. In order for the signal to continue from the extender to your individual pieces of equipment, the signal must be converted to IR. Since IR requires a line of sight to work properly, the RF extender has several plugs in the back that you plug IR emitters into. These have a standard 1/8" headphone jack on one end and an emitter about the size of a tic-tac on the other. Typically these products come with some kind of adhesive hood that holds the emitter to the equipment. You place the emitter over the IR sensor on each piece of equipment and the adhesive holds it in place.

I have this setup in my family room and will gladly post some pictures if it's easier to understand that way.

Hope that helps!
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mn_hokie View Post

Go take look at the "rf extender" that logitech makes for their harmony remotes. Basically, the RF extender plugs in somewhere inside of your cabinet. Since it works off of RF, it can communicate directly with the remote control through walls. In order for the signal to continue from the extender to your individual pieces of equipment, the signal must be converted to IR. Since IR requires a line of sight to work properly, the RF extender has several plugs in the back that you plug IR emitters into. These have a standard 1/8" headphone jack on one end and an emitter about the size of a tic-tac on the other. Typically these products come with some kind of adhesive hood that holds the emitter to the equipment. You place the emitter over the IR sensor on each piece of equipment and the adhesive holds it in place.
I have this setup in my family room and will gladly post some pictures if it's easier to understand that way.
Hope that helps!

I would greatly appreciate it if you are willing to post pictures!

Thanks.
post #8 of 8
As requested, here are some pictures.

An RF-IR remote system contains several components. First, is the actual RF remote control. The RF remote communicates with the RF extender seen here:



This RF extender is hidden in a cabinet and out of sight. It has a power cord to keep it turned on, as well as several ports in the back for IR emitters. Each cord typically has 2-3 emitters on it, so you can hook up several pieces of equipment.

The next step is to plug in an extender and work the cable through your cabinet to the piece of equipment you wish to control. Keep in mind that RF and IR do not talk to one another, so the sole purpose of the extender is convert the RF signal to IR (line of sight). You must locate the IR sensor on each piece of equipment you own. This can typically be found in the owner's manual, or by shining a flashlight across the front panel and looking for the sensor there. Once located, you simply attach the end of the emitter to that location as I've done on my receiver below:



The plastic square around the emitter allows it to stick to the equipment, while also blocking any external light so that it's a very secure transmission. Repeat this step for each piece of equipment.

You may have to run emitters to equipment that is visible. In most situations, your TV will be the only thing that applies. Follow the same steps and route the cable up through your cabinet and to the sensor on the TV. Again, here's a quick pic of mine:



Once the remote is programmed to include all of your equipment, you can now simply press the button marked "watch TV" and everything will turn on as it should. Close the cabinet doors and the problem is solved.

Keep in mind that the only visible cable at this point is the one connected to the television. If that bothers you, you can always omit this step and simpy point your remote at the television directly to turn it on via IR. All of the equipment in your cabinet will still work over RF. The benefit of having the television added to this scheme is that you can turn everything on (tv included) from pretty much anywhere.


Hope that helps!
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