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Can someone help me understand Global Cache's products...

2121 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  andyd2k
I've been thinking about using an ipod touch to control my devices and noticed talk about their products when looking at some of the apps on here. Things I'm trying to understand...

1. What are the relay / serial options for? I've never seen devices that are controlled in such a way. And would those devices need to be plugged into the itach?

2. I'm thinking about purchasing the WF2IR device - I see it has 3 IR outputs. Does that mean I can only control 3 devices with it?

3. Do I have to worry about line of sight?

4. Does Global Cache have a database of codes similar to Harmony or is it based off numbered codes for each manufacturer which requires learning a command? Or is this on the software (like irule) to know? I have a USB-UIRT that I use to control my PC and I wonder if it's similar in that both my remote and usb-uirt need to be configured in order for me to control anything

I may have more questions but I think this is it for now
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Relays are generally used for things like, Shades, voltage inputs for sensing or anything that requires a contact closure. Most AV equipment doesnt use this type of control unless you have a dedicated amp, some have triggers so they can turn on with a preamp.

Serial, some devices support serial control, it is a better way to control devices because it can support feedback. For example with serial control you can get Volume level feedback from a receiver. This is harder to program and wire than IR is and if you dont know what you are doing this is not the way to go.

The WF2IR device has 3 IR outputs, you can get dual emitters so you can handle 6 devices. Also you can wire emitters in series to control up to 4 devices per output usually, for up to 12 devices.

As for how Global Cache works, I have no clue and honestly I dont want to learn. If you just want a good Remote Control system I'd stay with URC. They have all the codes you'll want and work very well. They also have RF which is a non-line of sight way of communication to your system.

Good Luck!
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What is URC? Or did you mean my USB-UIRT?
He meant URC as in Universal Remote Control, a VERY popular remote manufacturer. I have two of their professional remotes - one hard button, one touchscreen - and they are very powerful.

To further answer some of your questions:

3. No, the device you mentioned is Wifi to IR, meaning it receives the signals from your itouch over wifi and converts it to IR to be sent to control the tv, avr, whatever it is you have connected.

4. To the best of my understanding, the Global Cache products are "dumb" products. There are not built-in codesets. That is why you need a software app on your itouch, such as the irule you mention (I make no claims as to it being good or bad, I have not used it). THOSE apps contain the codes to control your devices and will send the appropriate signal to the Global Cache unit, which will simply translate the Wifi signal received into an IR signal to be sent out.

With that said, based on your questions, it appears you'll be controlling all your gear using IR, not serial or IP (these are equipment-dependent as stated above). It's really all personal choice, but for me (based on personal experience), using a TOUCH screen for only IR without getting any feedback is overkill and not practical. Do you watch a lot of discs and dvr material? Do you rewind/ffwd a lot? I do, and for me personally, having a hard button remote with buttons I can feel to stop, play, pause, etc. is so much easier from an everyday use perspective. Touchscreens have a great use, especially if you are looking for feedback (what is the volume level, what channel am I on, etc.). Having to look down at the remote to find the right on-screen button to ffwd or pause is a pain though. I'd also recommend you consider a hard-key master remote control, but to each his own.
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Well I use my iPhone to control my HTPC so I was thinking a device that could control everything would be ideal. No doubt it would be overkill but I like overkill
I'm not sure though because it seems like the cost of entry (ipod touch + itach + irule) will be just as much as me potentially upgrading my HTPC and maybe expanding storage on my Server. I'll have to think about it

At the end of the day, I do use my Harmony more than my iPhone to control my HTPC but I like being able to control apps other than WMC if necessary. I do have a mini keyboard too

I guess I'm really just looking for something to work on
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