November 22, 2004
More often than not, I recommend clients not place equipment in the line of sight of the screen in a home theater, for no other reason than flashing red lights and blinking led’s don’t really add anything to the movie experience.
But to accomplish this with many systems an infra-red repeater system has to be installed, these systems allow you to take standard home theater equipment and a IR remote and hide them away out of sight or even out of the room. An IR repeater system isn’t difficult to install. The parts are available from several manufacturers, including Niles, Xantech, or Russound and can be purchased either as a kit or individually.
IR-Repeater kit’s are made up of a target (receiver) that picks up the signal from your remote, an emitter for sending the signals to the component’s, a connection hub, and a power supply. Targets come in many shapes and sizes, including flush mount, in wall, ceiling mount and table top designs. The largest ones are about the size of a deck of cards. Before you select a target, consider how you’re likely to position it. (Most are placed near the TV.) Things like fluorescent lights, plasma TVs, and sunlight can interfere with reception, but some models (Plasma Proof) are designed to reject that kind of interference. Check the packaging to see if the model you’re considering has this feature.
Targets have a cable attached that you run to the hub. If the cable is long enough to reach your gear, setup is just a matter of plug and play. But if your display is too from the rest of the system, or if you want to put a target in a remote location like a bedroom, Cat-5 cable makes an excellent “extension” cord. Most target cables connect to the hub via either bare wire or a 1/8-inch mini-plug. While the mini-plug is the easiest and most foolproof way to go, bare wire isn’t that much more difficult to hook up. You’ll need to connect at least three wires: ground, 12-volt DC, and signal. (Some systems also add a status wire.) Once you’ve hooked up and positioned the target, move on to the emitter’s, which are about the size of a button and adhere to the components you want to control with an adhesive backed strip. Place the emitter directly on top of the components IR sensor so it can send signals directly to the sensor.
Finding the sensor window on a component can be tricky. If it isn’t labeled see if its location is indicated in the owners manual. If not, shine a flashlight through the front panel of the equipment and look on either side for a small dark ‘window’, that’ll be it. If that fails, theres always trial and error, if the repeater isn’t working, you’re in the wrong spot. Single emitters control one piece of gear while dual emitters control two pieces. High output flashers, known as blasters, emit such a powerful burst of infrared that a single one can control several components. Plug the emitters mini-jack into any of the inputs on the hub labeled emitter or flasher. Hubs usually support up to four single or dual-headed emitters, but they can be expanded for larger systems. Next, connect the power supply to the hub, plug it in, and you’re good to go.
IR repeater System’s
are made up of (1) an emitter
(attached to the components),
(2) a IR receiver, (3) a hub and (4)
a power supply.
Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under Home Theater How-to