Cmple IR Repeaters, Dual Band For Home Theater And A/V Use
If you’re a do-it-yourselfer and are building a new home theater or redoing your audio/video setup, you’ve probably made a list of all the equipment you’ll need: HDTV (or monitor), A/V receiver, speakers, Blu-ray player and so on. You may even have listed all of the cabling you’ll need to hook everything up. Once you’ve purchased all the components and cables, all that’s left is the unboxing, moving, lifting and connecting, right?
Not necessarily. It’s only after setting everything up, getting comfortable and turning the system on for a test drive that many people realize they left one crucial item off their lists: IR repeaters. There are two ways the oversight can become apparent. Either the installation looks unprofessional because the room is overwhelmed by all of the equipment and interconnecting cables – or the equipment has been neatly tucked away out of sight, but the remote controls won’t work.
Science can easily explain the latter problem. Most remote controls work by transmitting infrared light signals to the equipment being controlled. But infrared light won’t pass through doors or cabinets; you need “line of sight” between the remote and the equipment. That means you have no choice: the equipment (and all of its messy wiring) has to be out in the open for remote controls to work.
Unless you use infrared repeaters.
What You Need To Know About IR Repeaters
You’ve probably gathered that IR repeaters (often called IR extenders) can take the infrared signal from a remote control and send it to audio and video components which are installed somewhere that’s not in a straight line of sight.
The way that happens, though, is more complicated than just boosting the IR signal. A repeater first takes the infrared signal and converts it to an electrical one, which can pass through any obstacles to reach the area where your equipment is installed. The electrical signal is then converted back to an infrared one that your components will recognize.
The electrical version of your signal can be transmitted in three different ways: a wired system, a wireless system, or through HDMI or Ethernet cables. Cmple offers equipment that lets you set up any of those types of IR repeaters in your home theater.
There are a few technical terms you’ll need to know. The IR receiver, sometimes called the target, is what receives the infrared signal from your remote controls and converts them into electrical signals. The IR emitters, sometimes called blink emitters, blasters or bugs, reconvert the electrical signals so they can be understood and obeyed by the components. Bugs are attached directly onto the infrared receiver of a component, while blasters are placed further away and can send IR signals to multiple components. Connection blocks are used in most repeater systems to interconnect all of the components and allow for expansion.
One final set of terms you may encounter are “single band” and “dual band.” There are two bands of infrared frequencies commonly used for remote control signals; most Blu-ray and DVD players, for example, operate on the frequencies used by single band repeaters. However, there are some components (like cable or satellite boxes from some providers) that operate on the second band of frequencies, which is when a dual band IR repeater can become a necessity. Your equipment manuals will tell you which IR band the remotes work on, so you can be sure you’re purchasing the right repeater.
Cmple’s IR Repeaters
Cmple offers a number of different IR repeater systems designed to work with any size of home theater or A/V setup, whether you need to simply control an HDTV and Blu-ray player or have a large number of components in locations throughout a room or home. These systems can also allow you to share component outputs to be watched in several different rooms. Most have an effective range of 40 feet between remote control and component, but you can opt for an IR extender system that will extend the range to 80 feet. These systems also have LED indicators to show you that the infrared signal is being received and transmitted properly.
Our smallest system, for example, can handle as many as six audio or video components; it comes with a compact dual band IR receiver, a dual-head emitter whose two bugs can be attached directly to two different components, and a connecting block which lets you expand the system to add another multiple-head emitter.
Have a much more extensive home theater with hidden components? Our Cmple premium IR extender can control 18 different components (with six emitter output jacks), again with a dual band receiver and a connecting block which can be mounted directly to a wall or the underside of a shelf with the included hardware. Space at a premium? We carry the Xantech Dinky Link IR receiver, with an extremely small, low profile dual band receiver that can even be mounted behind a speaker grill and perform perfectly while controlling multiple components over distances as great as 80 feet.
It’s sometimes more convenient to use HDMI or Ethernet cables to extend infrared signals so they can be received by hidden components. Cmple offers IR over HDMI and IR over Cat5a/Cat 6 extender kits, which allow the remote control signals to be transmitted via the CEC channel of HDMI cables or directly through the Ethernet cable in conjunction with the normal signals being transferred. They’re an easy way to get full IR remote control functionality.
For those who already have IR repeaters, Cmple carries a full range of add-ons and accessories. They include blink emitters, in-wall receivers that mount to a standard electrical box, emitter shield covers and wire dressings, and dual band receivers that can be added to an existing single band installation.
All of our Cmple IR repeaters and add-ons are manufactured to our exacting specifications, with noise-suppression technology to allow the infrared signals to be faithfully transmitted without interference from compact or standard fluorescent lighting that can cause problems with lesser systems. And as always, we make sure to offer the best products at the prices lower than you’ll find in your local big box store or anywhere else online.