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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to decide what sort of remote extender kit I need. I have, in the same room, on the same rack, a:

- Panasonic TC-P65VT60 TV
- Denon AVR-X4000 receiver
- Sony BDP-5100 Blu-Ray player
- Motorola DCX-3510M cable box
- Toshiba A3 HD-DVD player
- Roku 3
- Harmony Smart Control

The Harmony Smart Control works fine for basic functions, but does not map all the functions I use on the native remotes. The Android remote control apps for the Denon and Panasonic are okay, but I still like to use the native remotes.

I have read much about RF remotes, IR extenders, etc., but cannot determine what is the best and/or cheapest way to control all these devices with native remotes without line of sight between the remote and the given device.

It seems <posible> that just plugging an IR Blaster into the Denon's rear remote jack <might> work for that one device, or that a kit like the Xantech Plasma Proof Kit <would> work, and the Next Generation Remote Extender Plus <might> work for two devices of the same brand (which is not my case), the Monoprice Dual Band Repeater <might> work with a big plasma around, and so forth.

Can anyone give me the For Dummies 5,000 Feet View of what I need to be looking for. My end goal is to be able to use the native remote for each device without line of sight, in the same room, on the same subnet (if IP becomes a possible solution)?

Thanks. I hate to display my ignorance, but the more I read about this the less I seem to know, and Denon support was, as usual, not much help.
 

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As an IR Extender, this one from Sewell has worked well:

http://www.amazon.com/Sewell-BlastI...F8&qid=1380950503&sr=8-2&keywords=IR+extender

You'll have to remember that is is still IR - which for the most part is line-of-sight or close to it. It's not IP or RF controlled. For IP you would have to make sure all of your equipment is capable of being controlled through IP and that they all are hooked up to your network (and you would need a remote such as RTI or the like that can do IP control). There are a lot of Android Apps that can control through IP, but not down to every button as you suggested.

Logitech did have the 900 that converted to RF then back to IR on the sensors next to the equipment which would suite your needs a the lowest price, but not sure if that's available anymore. It could control your equipment through walls.

Sorry, not much help. You can easily through more $ at it with a controller such as RTI or the like (there are many) but the cost really goes up. Maybe someone else can chime in on this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, cavchameleon, that was indeed helpful.

I see from reviews at Amazon that the Sewell does not work well around a plasma, and mine is a 65" plasma, although some say it works fine if placed carefully. Given the variation in opinion/experience as to what works with which, I think I will start with the Monoprice version, then work my way up the price chain to Xantec if needed.

Further comments are welcome from anyone.
 

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Most IR extenders do not work well around plasmas or even LCD. The problem is that the TVs emit IR light in the same frequencies that the extenders work. I tried several brands, including LCD "friendly" Xantecs - the ones that are well over $100. None worked reliably.

By far the best solution is a RF remote. Put the IR blaster part close to your equipment rack and the RF remote can be anywhere in the room, or even a couple of rooms away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
hjones, I had several MX-500s, but grew weary of the manual programming. I am aware of the URC MX-800/850/900 etc., but URC seems to have begun limiting the software to installers. Are there and computer-programmable RF remotes you'd recommend for which software updates are available for non-pros?
 

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ProControl remotes are the best I have installed and work flawlessly. But they are only available from ht installers.
www.procontrol.com

Or the URC MF20 with ir blaster power pal is great and u can do the macros without a PC.

Last Updated on 09/12/2013
Setup: How To Connect The Wired IR Emitter To Your LED TV

PC. Very reliable and long range rf.
 

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I'm using a harmony 900 and it comes with the rf blasters. Works very well and reasonably priced at newegg
 

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I always had battery life issues with harmony remotes after about 18 months. They don't seem that reliable and not very easy to mimic all the buttons on native remote
 

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I always had battery life issues with harmony remotes after about 18 months. They don't seem that reliable and not very easy to mimic all the buttons on native remote
Did you put the remote in the cradle every day? that would be the reason why if you did. I still have an old Harmony 880 thats on the original battery (5 years old) and still it lasts over a week on one charge. My 1100 and 900 are still as good as new also.
The batteries like to be run down and then fully charged but never leave a dead battery for more than a few days.
 

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cwsanfor,

I have a 65" plasma and have not had any problems. My equipment rack is just to the right of it, but does not interfere with the extenders. Just make sure your extenders are set up so that the IR emitter is close to the IR receiver on each piece of equipment.
 

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hjones, I had several MX-500s, but grew weary of the manual programming. I am aware of the URC MX-800/850/900 etc., but URC seems to have begun limiting the software to installers. Are there and computer-programmable RF remotes you'd recommend for which software updates are available for non-pros?
As Tony suggested, check Newegg for refurbished Harmony 900s. They are often available for about $140 and use a web based programming that is easy to learn. They are discontinued, but I am confident that Logitech will keep the web programming alive.

I have bought 4 refurb 900s from Newegg as a spare for my HT remote and for use in other rooms. 3 were like new, 1 had minor marks on the extender. All of the remotes themselves were flawless.

Once you go RF, you will be hooked on not having to aim the remote. That is why I have them in several rooms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
As much as I appreciate the advice, I'd have the same issues with a Harmony 900/etc as I do with my Harmony Smart Control, i.e., less granular control than the native remotes.

I installed the Monoprice Dual-Band IR Extender today, and so far, so good. I was able to place it under a shielded center speaker so that the plasma does not, so far, seem to flood it, find the IR sensors on the various devices, and use 3.5 mm mono cables for the Denon AVR-X4000 and Motorola DCZ3510-M cable box.

It seems to coexist with the Harmony, and all is well.

Thanks for the tips: if this goes horribly awry, I will be back asking for advice about RF.
 
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