Controlling Hidden Equipment with IR/RF

In this age of minimalism and clutter free living, it’s very much the fashion to have all your AV gear hidden out of sight in your media room, or even removed complete to your Node Zero. Electronic House have a nice article on controlling your system remotely using Niles IR / RF equipment…

“Once the fundamentals of IR are established, even the average home electronics hobbyist can install a comprehensive setup, says Dallas Simon, sales adviser for Crutchfield, a home electronics retailer. “The majority of our customers are do-it-yourselfers,” says Simon. “We can usually teach them how to use it themselves right on the phone.

First, a quick recap of basic IR technology. When you punch a button on a remote control, the command-channel up, channel down, volume mute, etc.-is encoded in the infrared light, and the receiving home theater device then reads the command piggybacking on the back of the light signal. If all goes well, the device follows through on the command. Infrared light is just a small sliver of the electromagnetic spectrum, and it’s very effective for remotely controlling home electronics due to its low energy requirements and absence of harmful radiation. But there’s one drawback: Infrared can’t penetrate opaque or solid obstacles.

So then, how do you get that light signal around a solid piece of wood cabinetry or through home walls? Actually, it’s pretty easy…”

Read the full article on

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