IR distribution - what do you think


Active Member
I was reading past posts where some of the simpler niles/zantech stuff was recommended, but i have volume controls with IR and status. So three wire is no good - i need(want) 4 with the status. I also plan on housing all my equipment in one spot. I would have three zones, but i am not sure i really need/want multi-zone in the IR. I will eventually use a Denon A/V with multi-room capability for audio source selection - so on the audio side, i say clearly not. That leaves video - short term, this will still be locally located, not in the central closet.... Long term, i will likely want to use CQC/mainlobby for all control via serial, but figured i'd put the IR in now until then (and just in case).

1) So the only thing that might desire multi-zone would be the cable STBs... If brighthouse gives me two of the same model and i'm want to watch two different shows in two rooms, guess i would want it. Don't plan on having same brand DVD players/changes.... But i could also buy a second ir hub for this purpose if need ?. Could i branch a single keypad into two hubs for this purpose (i.e. send ir signal and ground to two seperate hubs - or would that degrade the IR signal too much to be amplified by the hubs)? Since video is down the road (as would cqc/mainlobby control) i don't want to pay a ton of money for the niles multi-zone if i won't need it...

2) I'm verifying power requirements on my volume controls with the MFG, but assuming i can get all 9 of them and the emitters under the current rating of a power supply, am i going to have any problems wiring all 9 to the single port in parallel on say Zantech's 791-44 (1 zone / 10 emitters)? the manual shows it that way, but do i need to worry about interferance on the signal wire or diagnosis or anything if i ever need to trouble shoot? I don't think so but just checking...

anyway, leaning towards this unit as its pretty cheap

thx in advance
Another question....

I am assuming that the "signal" line on any IR solution is the same regardless of brand right?

I can combine niles IR receivers with xantech blocks and emitters?

Cinemar sells a 6 IR zone USBIR6 product that allows lots of flexibility with an IR LAN. Best is to home run all IR cables to a central wiring closet. Within the supporting software of the USBIR6 plugin, you can learn IR codes, assign macro events to each. This allows you to use your current IR remote controls to now do pretty much anything you want them to do that is controlled by MainLobby Server (lights / blinds/ AV equipment / security / toggle devices, whatever). Because it has 6 independent zones, you can have the identical equipment on two different zones and control each individually. This would be used for example in sports bars etc to control large numbers of same LCDs.

Since you haven't made the step towards PC based automation yet, you can always run the IR wire network now and then add the control later.
Thanks to both of you....

Well i had already purchased the xantech amplified module off ebay last night before i saw this... Until i make the jump to PC automation - a ways off due to the cost and priorities, i definately am approaching this as David suggested. I want the IR there and had already run the cat5 with the speaker drops for it. I didn't know whether i'd go abus or something else at the time, but i'm glad i did it.

FYI: my initial setup for IR will be single zone:
(7) Niles MVC100IR muting/ir/volume controls + (for pool: (1) weather muting VC + one sensor )
(1) xantech 791-44 - amplified ir block (single zone)
(1) xantech 782-00 - 1 amp power supply
(2) xantech 283M - emitters, more later

for the status , xantech's model above does accept a power supply directly for status , so i'll wire it in directly as per manual
I'll run all the ir lines to a cat5 patch panel and then tie them together into the unit.