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Infrared (IR) distribution with HC-250?


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Background: I have an HC-250 and am planning to do some of my own AV rack customization. I need to distribute IR from a TV location to various IR controlled devices in my AV rack (including Roku, Apple TV, HDMI matrix, etc.)

Question: Can the HC-250 act as a IR repeater like this product?

BAFX Products IR Repeater - Remote control extender Kit https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009ZGK6QS/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_ehwZxbB5DRHH0

So - take an IR signal in via a 3.5mm input and distribute it out to multiple 3.5mm outputs

or does the HC-250 only issue IR commands from programmed functions (no pass through)?


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You can use any pair of wires to send the IR - such as CAT-5 or even telephone cable if you only have one fixed phone line in your house as that leaves an unused pair.  That is assuming that you are using some sort of an IR blaster today and that the signal goes over wire.  Or you can use the drivers described above.

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I wanted to see if I could pass IR through the C4 because that doesn't require programming and $$$. What is the experience like with the C4 drivers for Apple TV, Roku and FireTV compared to just using IR distributed through wires and blasters?

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can you explain what the actual benefits are to using the Roku or Apple TV driver vs IR wires? 


for Apple TV driver - the music listening experience:

does this mean that when I am airplaying a song to the Apple TV I can see the song metadata on the C4 touchpad?

can I skip, replay songs? 

can I see the playlist the song is on?

can I navigate an iTunes library connected to the Apple TV via HomeSharing and select a song, album or playlist?


For Apple TV driver - video experience

what does it do?


for Roku, is it simply a copy of the buttons on the Roku remote?

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No you won't get meta data on an apple TV, Apple doesn't allow it AFAIK. But why are you using the AppleTV for music? Use shairbridge airplay and off you go for almost all of it.

If it's iTunes library you want, there's a different solution for that altogether in the form of an iTunes driver you may want to look at.


There are far more commands available over IP then there are IR commands for these devices, allowing for a far more user friendly experience, and more buttons mapping on the remotes/apps. So no they are not 'just a copy of the factory remote'

Not to mention it's far more responsive.

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True - Either an EA controller or HC800 is required as the MAIN controller.

Like I said though, are you looking to integrate airplay, or 'just' some ability to use your existing iTunes library for music. Because there are alternatives that may fit your need (and budget).

The iTunes driver i free, and basically allows you lo browse your music and playlist in full - but it requires a computer to be on. If that is not an issue, then you can keep using the ATV as your 'playing' device, use the driver to select everything but no need to use the ATV interface (in other words, to have a TV on or nearby).

Airplay can be cheaply added in the form of an airport express as well - just an alternative.


But that's going beyond the original scope of the thread - and your question on IP vs IR.

I'm not one to say that IP is better by default, but for devices proven to work well, it's an easy way to not require more IR connections and wires.

In the case of ATV (or Roku and many others) it's simply just that these are more capable drivers, although arguable the ATV driver less than others (in part due to Apple restrictions, in part due to the fact that the C4 IR drivers is actually very well done as well using 'secrete' discrete codes for a lot of functions that aren't included on the Apple remote but are on the box itself - discrete play/pause, one menu back and home to name some).

They're also simply far more responsive, both in terms of speed and not 'doing' commands (ie quick three times right, on IR, you may 'lose' one, or the device may see 4 pushes)

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