If you’ve hidden your audio-visual equipment away somewhere out of sight (in a tasteful cabinet, for example, or even in a completely different room) then the chances are you’re going to have a problem controlling it. This article tells you what your options are.
If you’ve hidden your audio-visual equipment away somewhere out of sight (in a tasteful cabinet, for example, or even in a completely different room) then the chances are you’re going to have a problem controlling it. This problem is caused by the fact that most audio-visual equipment uses infra-red light to receive instructions from its remote control. If you think of your remote control as a torch then you need to be able to shine the torch at your audio-visual equipment in order to get it to work. Obviously you can’t do that if there is a cabinet door, or a wall, or a ceiling in the way!
For the purposes of this article I’m going to assume that you don’t want to [permalink id=”246″ text=”ditch your existing remote control(s) and use your smartphone or tablet instead”]. In which case, the solution to your problem is a bit of kit which I generally refer to as a remote control extender but which you may sometimes find referred to as an infra-red extender.
What is a remote control extender?
A remote control extender is a relatively simple device. It receives an infra-red signal from a remote control and then transmits that signal somewhere else. It generally has three main elements:
- An infra-red receiver – which receives the signal from your remote control.
- An infra-red emitter – which transmits the signal received by the infra-red receiver to the audio-visual equipment you want to control.
- An electronics module – which processes the signal received by infra-red receiver and transmits it to the infra-red emitter.
How to set up a remote control extender
A remote control extender is more-or-less ‘plug-and-play’. The basic installation and setup steps for a basic remote control extender are typically as follows:
- Place the infra-red receiver somewhere where you can point your remote control remote control at it.
- Place the infra-red emitter in front of the audio-visual device you want to control.
- Connect the infra-red receiver and the infra-red transmitter to the electronics module.
- Provide electrical power.
- Operate your remote control whilst pointed at the infra-red receiver. (The infra-red emitter will relay the control signal to your equipment.)