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IR Receiver / Extender Kit questions and recommendations?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Can anyone out there recommend a solid IR Receiver / Extender Kit? I have looked online and I see it goes from cheap (Monoprice $12 bucks) to expensive (Xantech DL85K $115 bucks) and wanted to know if there was something in between that was still decent?

Explanation of use:

I am planning on putting a plasma/lcd display in a new converted bedroom to nursery and want to “share” the direct tv satellite box that currently resides in my office about 50-70 feet away. I am only controlling one source so the 3 and 4 emitter-out options kind of seem to be a waste. I was planning on putting the main extender console in the office near the direct tv receiver and then extending the IR Receiver “Eye” via Cat5e up to the new nursery. That way my wife can use an existing direct tv remote to control the office satellite box.

Other info:

I have a current setup that consists of URC IR/RF remote with an older (actually ancient) base station (MRF-300). I had an open input on my base station and connected a spare eye sensor to the box via Cat5e extension cable and it did work (using an extra URC remote that I have). Only problem I found is that periodically / sporadically, it would change my main satellite box in my living room. Somehow the interference was being picked up by my living room satellite box. Not sure how since I specifically set my emitter outputs depending on the device (example living room satellite box on emitter 6 / office satellite box on emitter 5) but that’s another story. I know that I will not be happy down the road that it will not be solid installation and will periodically change the channel on another satellite box so figured I should opt for just installing a separate IR Receiver kit for this installation.

Anyway…any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Michael
post #2 of 8
Not clear where all the gear is, but if your office and nursery will share the DirecTV box, if it's an HD-capable sat box, you can use the DirecTV RF remotes with it. The limitation is that setting the box into RF mode will turn off IR, so you can't use another universal remote with it.

Otherwise, the Monoprice kit will work - you can also change the IR remote codes on the two sat boxes if you're getting IR spray from one to the other.

Jeff
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Not clear where all the gear is, but if your office and nursery will share the DirecTV box, if it's an HD-capable sat box, you can use the DirecTV RF remotes with it. The limitation is that setting the box into RF mode will turn off IR, so you can't use another universal remote with it.
Otherwise, the Monoprice kit will work - you can also change the IR remote codes on the two sat boxes if you're getting IR spray from one to the other.
Jeff

I will address your first question....

All my "normal" gear is in my basement (DVR / Receiver / etc). That is control through my URC stuff. I did not want to "share" my DVR with this expansion (nursery) because I did not want to be held to watching the same content. That is why I thought I would share the office HD Sat Box (HR 23 I believe) part of their whole house dvr system, with this project since the office sat box hardly gets used.

Thanks for the info on the monoprice kit.....I saw mixed reviews so that is why I was curious....couldn't really tell from the reviews if it would work with a Directv box or not.

Anyway, your last comment about changing the IR remote codes on the sat boxes? Not sure I quite follow what you mean or how I would do that... Could you elaborate a little more on that?

Thanks Jautor...appreciate the assistance....

Michael
post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by M1chael View Post

That is why I thought I would share the office HD Sat Box (HR 23 I believe) part of their whole house dvr system, with this project since the office sat box hardly gets used.

Ok, good. If you don't mind using *only* the DirecTV remotes for that receiver, in both the office and nursery, getting two DirecTV RF remotes (the HR23 may need an antenna, can't remember - see which model you have for sure - this stuff is readily available), one for each room, would be by far the simplest and most reliable solution.
Quote:
Anyway, your last comment about changing the IR remote codes on the sat boxes? Not sure I quite follow what you mean or how I would do that... Could you elaborate a little more on that?

There's a setting in the IR remote section in the menus about it - I'd have to look it up to get the proper wording, but it allows the selection of an address (1-6, I think) so that each box only responds to a specific remote set. This is a different solution path than the RF way I'm suggesting, though.

Jeff
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Ok, good. If you don't mind using *only* the DirecTV remotes for that receiver, in both the office and nursery, getting two DirecTV RF remotes (the HR23 may need an antenna, can't remember - see which model you have for sure - this stuff is readily available), one for each room, would be by far the simplest and most reliable solution.

There's a setting in the IR remote section in the menus about it - I'd have to look it up to get the proper wording, but it allows the selection of an address (1-6, I think) so that each box only responds to a specific remote set. This is a different solution path than the RF way I'm suggesting, though.
Jeff

I have np at all picking up one more Directv RF remote (I already have one that is not being used that the installer guy gave me since I already use a URC remote for my living room DVR sat box). I did not know the HR23 box was even capable of RF...since they are just reg sat boxes (non DVR)? But I will do a google search and see if they are compatible..becse that would be a good solution. I will also double check when I get home to make sure they are in fact definitely HR23's. The only thing that concerns me a bit about using RF as a solution (if its even possible), is any "RF" conflict that I may have with my main living room / DVR / URC setup? I always heard multiple RF's in the same general area were never a good idea....but maybe I am mistaken.

And in reference to your last statement...I think you are referring to what I had mentioned in my first post about assigning specific emitter numbers to specific devices? If so, I have already done that within my URC remote under the RF / Emitter section. I assigned my main DVR box emitter 6 and this new nursery setup emitter 5 but still does not work completely flawless. I know this will get on my nerves as time goes by so I was just trying to cover my basis now while I am in the "mood" to run wire to this new room:) I was also thinking maybe it would help if I adjustable the "gain" level for both emitters on my IR/RF receiver (MRF-300)...maybe try turning them down to half way or below...not sure if that would help or not just trying to think outside the box.

Thanks for your suggestions and assistance....

Michael
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by M1chael View Post

I have np at all picking up one more Directv RF remote (I already have one that is not being used that the installer guy gave me since I already use a URC remote for my living room (DVR sat box). I did not know the HR23 box was even capable of RF...since they are just reg sat boxes (non DVR)?

Yes, most, if not all of the HD boxes were RF-capable (some required the purchase of an external antenna). Its probably an H23 (HR's are the DVRs, and will work.

[The only thing that concerns me a bit about using RF as a solution (if its even possible), is any "RF" conflict that I may have with my main living room / DVR / URC setup? I always heard multiple RF's in the same general area were never a good idea....but maybe I am mistaken. [/quote]

You won't have any problem.
Quote:
And in reference to your last statement...I think you are referring to what I had mentioned in my first post about assigning specific emitter numbers to specific devices?

No, I'm referring to settings within the set-top box to change the IR codes (address) that each box will respond to. The DirecTV boxes can be set to several unique addresses, so that remote #1 is set to control box #1, #2 to #2, etc. It's there to support multiple boxes in one location. RF avoids this issue, too, by the way, as the RF setup "pairs" the remote to a specific receiver.

Jeff
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Yes, most, if not all of the HD boxes were RF-capable (some required the purchase of an external antenna). Its probably an H23 (HR's are the DVRs, and will work.
[The only thing that concerns me a bit about using RF as a solution (if its even possible), is any "RF" conflict that I may have with my main living room / DVR / URC setup? I always heard multiple RF's in the same general area were never a good idea....but maybe I am mistaken.
You won't have any problem.
No, I'm referring to settings within the set-top box to change the IR codes (address) that each box will respond to. The DirecTV boxes can be set to several unique addresses, so that remote #1 is set to control box #1, #2 to #2, etc. It's there to support multiple boxes in one location. RF avoids this issue, too, by the way, as the RF setup "pairs" the remote to a specific receiver.
Jeff[/quote]

Jeff-

Went home last night and configured the office sat box for rf and everything worked without a hitch. Looks like that may be the front runner at this point for control over that "shared" box from upstairs. I was actually quite surprised the rf signal reached that far!

Thanks for clarifying changing the ir codes within the set top boxes. I was not aware of that.

Looks like we can finally bring this topic to a close:) Thanks a lot for your assistance and explanation!

Michael
post #8 of 8
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