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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am creating a media room with the components in a room behind the plasma screen. I am not sure if I should install a jbox IR receiver/block/blaster and run wires to the components or just utilize a universal RF remote e.g MX 450...Pros and cons would be greatly appreciated...

Thanks!!!
 

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How big is the room? And will you be using it for only viewing, or for general entertainment as well (bar, foosball, etc.)? If solely for viewing, ir distribution may be ok, but if you're going to be walking around, you don't want to be "searching" for the ir receiver.


I switched to rf in our living room and would never go back; the remote works even if someone walks in front of it, a great plus if you run a lot of macros (never want to lose signal halfway through switching activities). I can even play my itunes library from the kitchen, & so on.


Cons: even rf is succeptible to interference, and every once in a while will drop signal, but my remote is intelligent about it and will not send "partial" commands if communication is lost.
 

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Looks like a thread that I need to follow.


I'm considering a setup where my receiver is 25 feet away from the TV, concealed in a cabinet, and off to the side from the normal viewing direction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thebar, you make a good point about macros losing a step with a dropped ir..I have always hated universal remotes for precisely this reason....but you say RF is less vunerable to this? If I lgot a logitech/harmony with both RF and IR capability would this send out both siganls simultaneously so that my plasma tv IR receiver would pick up the signal while the RF gets my concealed components?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmatej /forum/post/19554573


If I go the RF route would there be any point in running an ir receiver distributer line through the back wall or should I be all set?

This depends on the exact setup.


First, the RF signal is not directly received by most (if not all) of your equipment. The RF signal is transmitted from your remote to (in the case of the Harmony system) a "blaster" (RF extender + IR emitter) which sends IR signals to anything close. Two mini-blasters may also be attached to the main blaster, these only send IR (which they receive via cable from the main blaster.)


If you have music playing throughout your house and plan on using the receiver (and accessories) for that purpose, you would place (if using a Harmony 900/1100) the "blaster" (extender + IR emitter) in that room, and possibly use "mini-blasters" (IR emitters, they receive their signal from the extender) depending on how the "equipment room" is set up.


If the only other piece of (controlled) equipment in your TV room is the TV, you wouldn't need a blaster for that--the remote will send IR directly to the TV. However, if you have a PS3 (non-IR compatible--need an adapter to allow it to run over RF) or want your TV to be controlled via RF (so someone walking in front of you doesn't interrupt the signal), you would need to have an additional blaster in the main room (or run a mini-blaster cable through the wall.) A blaster "kit" (blaster, two mini-blasters) runs ~$60, one "kit" is included with the Harmony 900.


The remote does NOT send both RF and IR signals for each individual device--you choose to send IR OR RF.


Hope that helps.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmatej /forum/post/19552426


thebar, you make a good point about macros losing a step with a dropped ir..I have always hated universal remotes for precisely this reason....but you say RF is less vunerable to this? If I lgot a logitech/harmony with both RF and IR capability would this send out both siganls simultaneously so that my plasma tv IR receiver would pick up the signal while the RF gets my concealed components?

In general, yes, but different remotes will vary in how they handle it.


With my Pronto, I can assign individual emitters for specific pieces of equipment, or assign the blaster, or tell the remote to handle it directly. And if a command string to the rf extender is interrupted, it won't send a partial string, instead it issues a "command failed" message. This can be annoying, but less so than getting equipment out of sync or an activity half started... just means another button press.
 

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RF wins hands down assuming you are willing to pay the price for a good RF setup (e.g. for a URC setup, getting an MRF-350 RF base station). The only pro to an IR distribution setup is cost. The cons are mainly interference and having to hold the remote in view of the IR receiver for your macros to work (I gave up trying to get my non-techno friends and family members to do that). The latter is the biggest con to IR considering that home theater 'on' macros can easily be 10+ seconds long.


I'd never go back to an IR setup except for simple setups that don't require macros. Remember, you get what you pay for when going RF. Cheap RF can be worse than IR.


Put the RF base station near all your equipment and run individual IR emitters to each component, even things in plain sight of your remote like a TV.


Neither RF nor IR is 100% reliable. To help with the rare missed command in a macro, always use discrete power and input codes. Never use a single power code for on/off. Also, never use a single input code that cycle through all the inputs. That way, if a macro step misses, all you have to do is hit "Watch Movie" again and it works without anything getting out of sync.
 
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