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iRule and Itach / Global Cache devices

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
All-

I know this has probably been rehashed a thousand times, but I am looking for help as far as using iRule to control my home theater / home automation. I have planned to have the following devices in my Home Theater:

- Optoma HD33 Projector
- Denon AVR2809CI
- Popcorn Hour A-400 Media Streamer
- Insteon Dual-Band Dimmers (controlled by an ISY994IR device)

I am trying to find the easiest solution to integrate the IR/Control UI in the room. Neither the Denon nor the Optoma has network capability, so is it easiest to buy two iTach IP2SLs and connect each one separately? If so, does anyone have any suggestions as to where to install the IP2SL that controls the projector? I already have the electrician adding an outlet over the room (in the attic) so I have somewhere to plug it in. Do you just install it in the attic and leave it? Are there better ways to do this rather than using the iTachs?

Another question:

I have an installer prewiring the house for network and video, and he has quoted me for several Proficient Mini IR kits, one for each room with a TV. If I am planning on using Baluns with IR support, or leaving cable boxes in the same room as the TVs, is there any need for these kits? I can buy the Baluns for cheaper than the kits, and they seem kind of old-school anyway. Any thoughts? I am not even sure I need them at all...
post #2 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by drunkwithpower View Post

Neither the Denon nor the Optoma has network capability, so is it easiest to buy two iTach IP2SLs and connect each one separately? If so, does anyone have any suggestions as to where to install the IP2SL that controls the projector?

You can either run Ethernet to the projector and just sit the IP2SL on top of the projector (it's tiny), or use the same Cat5e wire to run RS232 back to the rack, and place the IP2SL there. If you're going to use two RS232 devices, you might look at the GC-100 instead of the iTach, as you'll get a bunch of IR and contact closure ports for the same money as two iTachs...

Quote:
I already have the electrician adding an outlet over the room (in the attic) so I have somewhere to plug it in. Do you just install it in the attic and leave it?

Ummm - you don't install the outlet(s) in the attic, because the power cords that come with all the equipment are NOT rated to be used in the walls or ceiling. Don't risk code violations or other issues when it comes to line voltage. Install a recessed outlet in the ceiling, next to where the projector mount, to plug in the PJ and anything else that's there.
Quote:
I have an installer prewiring the house for network and video, and he has quoted me for several Proficient Mini IR kits, one for each room with a TV. If I am planning on using Baluns with IR support, or leaving cable boxes in the same room as the TVs, is there any need for these kits? I can buy the Baluns for cheaper than the kits, and they seem kind of old-school anyway. Any thoughts? I am not even sure I need them at all...

If you're planning to just use regular remotes (not the iPod / iPad) in those rooms, and have baluns / extenders with IR repeating, then no, you don't need those kits, as it's just duplicating the IR repeating function.'

Jeff
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the quick response Jeff! Question - if I use a GC-100-xx, wouldn't I then need to run a long serial cable directly to the projector? The other device, the Denon AVR, will be in the same cabinet as the GC-100-xx, so the serial cable would make sense there anyway. Would you consider the iTach or the GC-100 the better/more stable solution (throw money out of the equation since they are about equal).
post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by drunkwithpower View Post

Thanks for the quick response Jeff! Question - if I use a GC-100-xx, wouldn't I then need to run a long serial cable directly to the projector?

You can do this with a cat5e cable from your rack to the projector. Which you should be running of few of those, regardless. smile.gif
Quote:
The other device, the Denon AVR, will be in the same cabinet as the GC-100-xx, so the serial cable would make sense there anyway.

Does your Denon AVR have Ethernet? If so, it should have direct IP control, so you wouldn't need anything to talk to it besides iRule. And that is by far the best way to go, in general. (looking at that model, no such luck...)
Quote:
Would you consider the iTach or the GC-100 the better/more stable solution (throw money out of the equation since they are about equal).

One device easier than two, although the iTach gets a bit of an edge for field-upgradable firmware (although the GC-100 has been stable). And since you'd get 3-6 IR ports on the GC-100, those may come in handy "for free"...

Jeff
post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by drunkwithpower View Post

............Would you consider the iTach or the GC-100 the better/more stable solution (throw money out of the equation since they are about equal

My GC-100 has been rock solid. One point of differentiation between the two models is that the iTach can handle multiple simultaneous connections (such as multiple iPads/iPods and/or multiple devices simultaneously being monitored for feedback). This wasn't a factor for me, but it may be a consideration.

FWIW, there are some great deals for GC-100s on eBay at the moment - I literally paid 5x what some of the "Buy It Now" prices for used units are currently - you may have to pay for a factory firmware update, but it's still at a pretty sweet price point.

Dave
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