IR Emitter: An IR emitter generates infrared (IR) light beams that transmit information and commands from one device to another. Typically Device one receives the signal, then passes the IR signal through the Emitter to a second device.
IR Transmitter: I believe this is just a generic way of saying a 'remote control'. Anything that emits a IR signal is an ir transmitter.
I would say they are not the same, since an emitter is just basically carrying the repeated signal from the transmitter to a second IR receiver.
An emitter is something which propagates some type of signal.
A transmitter usually refers to a device emitting radio waves, though by definition a transmitter is something which emits electromagnetic signals (and light is an EM signal). I think in this case an IR transmitter would be more likely referring to an IR re-transmitter or more appropriately an IR repeater or extender.
I agree that some context may help but I can say that most specs I've seen refer to IR Blasters with the more generic "transmitter" term. For example... Radio Shack sells some inexpensive IR extender solutions that include a wireless receiver and transmitter. Place the tranbsmitter near your equipment and it will blast an IR signal that's strong enough (hopefully) to control all the equipment even when the remote is much further away.
A system with IR emitters usually includes the transmitter with several, focused wires that go over the IR eye of your individual components. The advantage of these systems is that not only do they extend your remotes signal, they may also be used to "route" commands (for example... emitters on each component may allow you to control 2 identical cable boxes independently from the same universal remote.)
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