Remote controls?

I'm trying to plan on the next steps in my HA/TV/alarm setup. Considering replacing my remotes, but really want a kind of homogenized and robust system. I currently have a similar entertainment setup in 6 locations in the house...TV, AppleTV, and WMC extender. The only room that varies has a bluray player and surround receiver. I also have an Elk M1 and plan on adding a z-wave ISY in the next month or so.

What I would really like to do is control the ISY and all rooms from each remote. Kind of like when the kiddo leaves the everything on upstairs...I just want to snag the remote in our downstairs living room to shut everything off upstairs.

I've been looking at URC...thinking of an RF base station and remote for each room, and another RF base station at the ISY. Problem is this is an expensive solution even at the 'low-end' of the URC product line and I'm not sure how the ISY would send signals to the entertainment equipment. I'm

Also, thinking of a bunch of Global Cache Itachs, and adding to my harmony collection. I just can't quiet wrap my head around how I would tie all the remotes together.

I have a free coax line in each room that all home run to the master closet...thinking of IR over coax.

There are just a ton of options and I don't know what will work best for the best price. Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated.



Senior Member
What you're looking for doesn't seem cheap - but totally doable... you'll need a remote solution that has a central controller that can talk to the ISY.  There are a lot of options that claim to do this, but I'd be inclined to go with RTI.  
That said, a scene switch would be way cheaper to turn off all the kids' lights... I do that too - with UPB scene switches and it works great... even better is the "downstairs off" button we live by.
Thanks for the response W2P.  
I did a little more perusing on the RTI website and again on the URC...looks like i need to save up for a while to do this.  From what i can tell the best route to go is a central controller that receives RF signals from the remotes and then distributes accordingly to each rooms A/V equipment via wifi/lan. 
An RTI system will be around $450 per room (ESC-2 @ $150, GPB-1 @ $150, and a Surfir companion remote @ $150) + a $500 XP-3 central controller, and require that we use apple/android devices for more advanced features....not sure if thats good or bad...kind of hated the Harmony Touch until the misses washed it with the sheets...miss it now...
A URC system will be +$300 per room (TRC-780 @ $300 ea. and MRX-4IR @ $??) + a $700 MRX-10 central controller.  
Either way its a few grand if I go all in...unless I find a cheaper method.  


Senior Member
nicholass817 said:
Either way its a few grand if I go all in...unless I find a cheaper method.  
Cheaper solution: When the kids leave the TV on in another room, just make them go back and turn it off.  Eventually, they learn! ;)


Senior Member
A few grand? It isn't RF but you could set up a LIRC network with a PI and USB MCE remote receiver/blaster at each location. About $50/node. A bit more if you want to go wifi.


Active Member
I use a couple of the global cache itach wf2ir devices. I like them. I use them with an app called touchsquid on various android tablets or phones. I have also been playing around with the harmony hub and find it a wonderful gadget, as well.

I have made no attempt to integrate either of these two devices with my ISY. Using android devices, I already have control of my lighting system via mobilinc and tasker. I cannot imagine, however, why the IRLinc could not be used to allow the ISY to learn commands from the itach or hub, and program responses to them. Alternatively, the ISY network module could allow network communication betweeen the ISY and hub or wf2ir if one has the skills and time to execute.

To me, the most interesting challenge to this is not the physical integration of the ISY and TV is in how to display the control options on the remote such that they are properly identified and that anyone could pick up the remote and know how to use it without a lengthy period of instruction..
Ya the price of the pro systems is a killer...but maybe someday when I trip on a gold brick.  
Most times we are in a rush to get out the door and getting a couple of sleepy kids to run up stairs and turn all their sh!+ off is a huge hassle...and we often don't notice until they're gone.
Looks like I have to research a little more and then start to experiment...was just hoping to skip the experimental portion of this process and lean on some collective knowledge...think i'm going to start with adding some itachs and irule app.  

Does anyone know of a hardware remote that will work with itachs?


Active Member
I integrate everything with tablets, EventGhost on my server and a USB-UIRT.
For A/V I use OpenRemote on tablets to send UDP broadcasts to EventGhost, which then runs the task - whether changing a channel on the TV, controlling a PC in the bedroom, dimming the lights, or sending a command for the Elk to run. What I didn't do was take the time to make my remote screens "pretty"... just don't have time for that anymore. I also didn't do a lot of integration between systems either. I do have basic home automation tasks within my A/V screens, but for more control I'd rather just bring up a program designed to control my Z-Wave or Elk systems (though I could even have tasker do it for me...)
It's simple, it works, and it barely costs anything. My young kids have no problems controlling the system - they like to turn on the lights in their rooms before going in there at night.  :ph34r:
For the leaving the house in a rush scenario... that's what the Elk is for.
When arm away > turn off these lights and receptacles.


Senior Member
video321 said:
For the leaving the house in a rush scenario... that's what the Elk is for.
When arm away > turn off these lights and receptacles.
I love that part.  When we leave the lights all turn off by themselves.  
When TV's come into play, I'll likely add motion sensor + itach to kill the TV.  My TV's are plugged into smart strips that automatically cut power to the receiver and bluray and aux devices (except DVR).  DVR has 4-hour auto standby.  This seems to work pretty well for us.
Well that is just too simple...killing power at the receptacle vs turning of each device via IR...brilliant!
2-way IR control would be really nice, but can wait until a less expensive solution comes along...still going to play with the itachs though...
Thanks guys!!!


Active Member
You know.... I'm glad this thread came up.
I wasn't controlling A/V devices with my alarm rules, but I think I have to!
My son has a way of "forgetting" to turn off the system when he is done playing his games and we're running out the door for school. He will remember to turn off the game console though! Since all of my equipment has discrete codes I'll have EventGhost act on it whenever I arm away.


New Member
The NEEO remote has been getting a lot of press and has a big campaign on kickstarter. 
Just search for NEEO remote.  I had been looking at alot of the solutions you mention, but this looks like what I want...IF it delivers, which seems possible, but they are promising a whole lot for the $$.  
That looks to be exactly what I'm looking for and then some. As soon as I can convince the wife/CFO to approve the purchase I will be a NEEO backer.


Active Member
I've tackled a similar situation using the following equipment:
- Harmony 650 remotes in each room
- Xantech IR receiver in each room
- Xantech hub in basement receiving IR commands from each room
- GlobalCache GC-IRE with Xantech converter cable (essentially, IR to RS-232)
- Home automation PC
I programmed arbitrary IR commands to my Harmony 650 remotes to perform various tasks.  The IR commands are received by the receiver in each room, sent to the IR hub in the basement, and then transmitted to the GC-IRE which is attached to the serial port on my home automation PC.  I have some basic (homebrew) software running on the home automation PC that looks at the incoming command, compares it to a set of known commands, and then issues the appropriate command (all of my commands are IP commands).  I use this to control my Vera (lighting), audio receivers (using the appropriate IP protocols), HDMI matrix, Audio Matrix, and some TVs (again, using the appropriate IP protocols).
It's a pretty custom system and requires the ability to homerun everything to a central location, but it has been very stable and reliable.