Connecting IR devices to our Smart Home
While we are in the 21st century, some companies like Samsung still do not know how to turn their televisions on via internet protocol (IP) and still stick to the old ways of using infrared (IR). In your smart home entertainment set up, you may have older devices that can only be controlled by IR. Enter Global Cache and their IP to IR repeater, the iTach Flex.
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This cool little device works over wifi, connecting to your favorite app, in our case, Roomie Remote on our iPhones and iPads. The device has infrared emitters attached that you can program to send the original commands your TV would normally request. This allows you to hide your devices inside a cabinet or on a wall yet still turn on your tv or other equipment. The only catch is that you need an app to use it. While we use Roomie Remote, Global Cache partners with a wide number of other iOS and Android control apps.
The biggest problem this has solved for us is our Samsung TV. For some reason, even the latest generation, can be totally controlled by IP except for turning it on. By using the IR blaster, we are able to position one of the IR emitters behind the TV so it is hidden, we can turn on the TV via the app. We can then control the rest of the TV commands over IP.
You can also use the IR blaster for multiple devices, for instance, if you have a Samsung TV on the wall, and a blue-ray player that only use IR inside a cabinet below, you can fully control both by hiding one of these emitters behind each one. Using the blaster means You don’t need to have line of sight to the device you are controlling, only the iTach Flex emitter does. And if you have a TVs in multiple rooms, you just need to get another Blaster as an app like Roomie Remote will handle that with ease.
Set up for the iTach Flex was very simple through their web interface and our local router. Even firmware updates are delivered over the air. The device supports control from both the PC and the Mac. For the Mac, we had to download a special software application in order to install the device and update the firmware.
Early on we contacted support and they were very quick and helpful with our issue. Since then though we’ve been self sufficient.
While we are only using the iTach Flex for our IR TV, Global Cache also offers products that enable wifi and serial connections as well. Overall we have been very pleased with Global Cache and this device that allows us to control our TV and legacy devices, completing our home entertainment setup.