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I have a setup with two viewing areas and all sources and HDMI switching, etc in a centralized closet. The matrix switcher I'm using is a Gefen GTB-MHDMI1.3-442 4x2 matrix. I am using Xantech DL85 receivers wired in parallel back to a Xantech 789-44 connecting block in the central closet with emitters out to all the various other pieces of equipment.


Over the last year, I have found the Xantech relay stuff to be... uh... less than completely reliable. The cables carrying the IR from the receivers to the connecting blocks are Cat6 STP (i.e. shielded - shield tied to ground at the connecting block) and I have already done the trick with the resistor between the IR signal and ground at the connecting block. The cable runs in question are not excessive, either. One is ~10ft (to a Sharp Aquos LCD TV) and the other is ~50ft (Panasonic Projector).


Some components in the system seem to do *much* better than others having their IR signals sent over the Xantech relay. The AppleTV is almost flawless -- i.e. almost never misses a button press. The TiVo is mostly good, but not perfect (and seems to fail most often at time-sensitive tasks like stopping a fast-forward, etc). Unfortunately, the Gefen HDMI Matrix is far and away the WORST -- i.e. can take a dozen or more presses of the button for the signal to register -- which has made using our Logitech Harmony remotes effectively impossible. We program the Harmony to set all the components, but not all of the signals actually get received properly, then the Harmony's world view is out of sync with reality, and it's all downhill from there. (I got the "clean" Pronto codes from Gefen, so it's not a learning problem, I don't think)


I guess in an ideal world, what I would like would be 2 RF remotes talking to a central unit that triggers emitters to emit clean IR codes and RS232 commands in response to RF signals. Is there a product out there that does this and I'm just missing it? Alternately, does anyone have any suggestions on improving the reliability of Xantech IR relays?


Thanks,

Ian
 

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I use a URC MSC400 with a few different remotes (from URC). They need to be programmed by a dealer. The MSC400 will handle RS232 and IR with level adjustments. The unit comes with a separate RF antenna that can be positioned for best reception and you can add an additional antenna as needed for improved reliability over long distances.


A note...the MSC400 stores the commands for macros so you don't have to rely on multiple IR signals coming from the remote itself. If the command gets to the MSC then it executes correctly every time.


B.
 

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As far as IR distribution goes, Xantech *is* the gold standard. Many components react differently to third party IR. Many things can be tweaked in the system to improve reliability. For example, try messing with the placement of the emitter as it could be placed in such a way that is too sensitive for the receiving eye. My Directv box refused to work with an emitter attached. I was able to improve reliability by using a blaster and completely covering the receiving eye with electrical tape.
 
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