This page last changed on Jul 07, 2009 by kurrazyman.

One of the key requirements of a sound home automation solution (from the A/V side of things) is an adaptable and flexible IR bus which will allow for the identification of the IR source. This seems to be lacking in all but the high end A/V controllers at present; the problem of source control becomes more apparent when you have multiple sources of the same device.

For example:

You have two identical PVRs, user A wishes to watch something on PVR1 and user B wishes to watch something on PVR2. To achieve this user A has to use a different set of remote codes to user B which the controller then converts back to the correct code and routes to the appropriate source. This is the only way of differentiating between the two users.

The ideal solution is to have an IR Bus which utilises a simple protocol that in effect wraps the IR signal in a message packet that identifies the originating device; this way user A and user B can use identical off the shelf remotes to control identical devices and still differentiate between which one they wish to control.

The IR-Trans devices seem to meet this requirement but are rather on the expensive side (esp. when you start looking at 5+ rooms), many of the A-BUS systems use a system like this to route IR signals to the selected source and also all of the high end media controllers have similar functionality. What is really needed is an open source modular solution that is cheap and simple to implement and upgrade.

This to me seems like one of the big limitations in any home automation solution as we are stuck with this very limited means of communicating with A/V devices.

Hello Richard,

Sounds like this would be solvable with multiple channels on the IR unit. For example, the CommandIR II unit has four outgoing IR channels. They can be programmed individually with lircd.

Our iPhone panel is using HTTP so there's no IR signal from the remote there. Currently though we blast any incoming command to all IR channels. This would have to be made configurable in the controller so that fine-grained channel control of IR is possible.

It should not be too difficult to do for someone familiar with LIRC and little Java.


– Juha

Posted by juha at Jul 08, 2009 21:41
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