How to Install an IR repeater system

November 22, 2004

mx800_smallMore 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_kit
IR repeater System’s
iconare 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


Comments

  • Danilo Gurovich

    Really great article but it’s tough to read because you are using apostrophes incorrectly. Use spell check or something.

  • B-Rod

    They will work for infrared based gaming systems. Xbox 360 will work, but it won’t work for a PS3 (as its RF) unless you get a USB/IR adapter. (search for NYKO remote)

  • B-Rod

    They will work for infrared based gaming systems. Xbox 360 will work, but it won’t work for a PS3 (as its RF) unless you get a USB/IR adapter. (search for NYKO remote)

  • Nigel

    I have this all setup and my problem is that unless my remote is 3 ft or less from the IR reciever the unit in the other room doesnt do what its told to do. I even used a night vision camera on the emitter when the remote was used more than 3 ft away from the reciever and there is a signal making it to the unit but nothing happens??? New batteries in the remote never helped either. Any help would be appreciated.

  • Nigel

    I have this all setup and my problem is that unless my remote is 3 ft or less from the IR reciever the unit in the other room doesnt do what its told to do. I even used a night vision camera on the emitter when the remote was used more than 3 ft away from the reciever and there is a signal making it to the unit but nothing happens??? New batteries in the remote never helped either. Any help would be appreciated.

  • P. Leung

    Monster AVL300 supports multiple remote with multiple RF – IR bridges and you can assign devices to be controlled via a particular bridge (or a specific port on the selected bridge) (ie dedicate one shared RF – IR bridge to DVR and all others device can be control by other RF – IR bridges)

    This will also work with Xbox360 and PS2, PS3 and Wii are bluetooth RF and therefore will not work with any IR based remote. Although there are third party controllers for PS3.

  • P. Leung

    Monster AVL300 supports multiple remote with multiple RF – IR bridges and you can assign devices to be controlled via a particular bridge (or a specific port on the selected bridge) (ie dedicate one shared RF – IR bridge to DVR and all others device can be control by other RF – IR bridges)

    This will also work with Xbox360 and PS2, PS3 and Wii are bluetooth RF and therefore will not work with any IR based remote. Although there are third party controllers for PS3.

  • S. Mangum

    Will these systems support control of gaming consoles; i.e. Xbox360, Wii, Playstation, allowing the consoles to be out of sight?

  • S. Mangum

    Will these systems support control of gaming consoles; i.e. Xbox360, Wii, Playstation, allowing the consoles to be out of sight?

  • B.Greenway

    WestSeattleMan, Xantech makes an addressable IR repeater system, might be worth looking into.

  • B.Greenway

    WestSeattleMan, Xantech makes an addressable IR repeater system, might be worth looking into.

  • WestSeattleMan

    Trying to control 3 identical cable boxs on IR repeater system. 1 stand alone box in living room. 1 stand alone box in bedroom and 1 box with DVR in system rack and distribuiting composite video to all other monitors and audio system. How can I set these up to control the DVR from anywhere but only the box in the living room from the living room and the box in the bedroom only from the bedroom. Arghhhhh!

  • WestSeattleMan

    Trying to control 3 identical cable boxs on IR repeater system. 1 stand alone box in living room. 1 stand alone box in bedroom and 1 box with DVR in system rack and distribuiting composite video to all other monitors and audio system. How can I set these up to control the DVR from anywhere but only the box in the living room from the living room and the box in the bedroom only from the bedroom. Arghhhhh!