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Topic: Such thing as a wifi projector or AV receiver?
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Joined: Apr 7, 2015
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My biggest gripe about any home theater system is you have to find 3 remote controls, point it at 3 different peripherals, and then turn it on. In an age where everything is connected via WiFi, it seems that much of the A/V equipment is still lacking the ability to be controlled via WiFi.

I use WiFi to control my TV box (WD TV Live or Chromecast), by selecting the media I want to play via my phone, and it just works. But before any of this is possible, I have to pick up one remote to turn on my projector, and another remote to turn on the A/V receiver.

It's a hassle! I want everything to be controlled via my phone, which is the perfect remote control!

The next nightmare is the A/V receiver. It seems the A/V receiver UI hasn't progressed much in the last 25+ years. It's still an ugly old LCD screen, with ~10 characters of text, and you basically have to fiddle with it for hours to set it up. Sure, you may argue that this has to be done only once, but it should still be easy!

Why can't these be connected to some kind of web page to setup?

I digress, do these things actually exist? If so, what projectors and A/V receivers are out there with these capabilities? If none of these exist, can someone kick-starter something like that?
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Joined: Mar 28, 2005
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I'm of the opinion that a phone is a terrible way to control things.

You want to turn the volume up, you have to dig around in the dark, find your phone, realize that you put it on the charger in a different room, get up, go get it, hope it's charged enough to control anything, turn it on, swipe, put in password, find the right app out of the now half dozen different 'virtual' remotes which are on your phone. Find the right section to control the volume, then realize that the movie is actually over because it took so long to find and do everything.

Solution?

There are RF universal remotes which are always on, always ready to go that are designed for always-ready access to your entire setup. You use the TV (or projector) to browse your movies, to select what you want to watch from any source. If you pick cable, then the buttons run the cable box. If you pick WDTV, it runs the WDTV. Pick your gaming console, and it turns on the projector and the A/V receiver, switches everything to the right input, and is ready to go for gaming.

A good remote is not your phone. It won't make it so your wife, your kids, your parents, or anyone else can use the system. A good remote is worth the money spent on it and can operate a basic system to a very advanced system if a decent remote is purchased.

Harmony remotes are end-user programmable, while other remotes such as URC, or even more advanced systems, require outside programming.
AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology consultation during the build and installation process in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
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I'll start out by saying that I do have a few Logitech universal remotes. I have some of the simpler ones, but I also have the Harmony 880 (which I still use), and the Harmony One. Remotes are just as easily lost (if not more easily than my phone). I pretty much always have my phone in my pocket, but I often have to spend 5 minutes digging around trying to find where I, or someone else set the remote last.

The app I'm envisioning would control all your devices, kind of like how a Logitech universal remote can be programmed to control a large set of devices. Why can't an app do it too? That way you don't have to dig around for a remote, and anyone with that same app, and maybe a password, can get onto your network and control your AV devices when they are over.

The current problem with my setup, is let's say someone wants to play the wii. They have to turn on the projector, the a/v receiver, the wii, make sure that the projector is on the right input (old style wii only does RCA or component cable), and they have to make sure the correct input is selected on the A/V receiver. THAT is a hassle. Especially for anyone who wants to come over and use my setup.

What I want is for anyone who wants to come over, they can download an app, log in to my system, and press 'Play Wii'. This would then automatically turn everything on and have it on the right inputs, no fuss.

My biggest gripe with the harmony remotes is that if I don't have it pointed at the correct peripheral at the right time, then it won't turn on/off. I then have to go through a slew of buttons to figure out how to turn that one thing on. It's a pain! I want to control it via wifi. Fine, make a wifi standalone remote. But if I am sitting in bed, or at an awkward angle RF is just not going to cut it.
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You are confusing IR with RF.

IR is infrared - It is a line of sight communications sequence. This is the 'awkward' that you are dealing with.

RF means Radio Frequency - It's not line of site dependent.
So, you wire things up so that the universal remote doesn't need to be pointed at anything. You press a button and the RF receiver gets those commands and spits them back out to the devices you have.

We exclusively use RF remotes throughout our home. They sometimes take 30 seconds to find, but the kids, adults, parents, friends, etc. have access to it. The problem with your idea, is that phones aren't 'standard', and not everyone will have a smart phone which can connect to your equipment.

There certainly are smart phone all-in-one solutions, that work with both IP and IR repeater systems which allow for people to do what you want, but it's NEVER that simple. If it actually worked that way, then I would be out of a job... That's why I can definitely tell you that it does NOT work that way. Because Sony won't ever want to do it the exact same way LG, or Samsung, or Sharp does things. Denon and Yamaha will always want to be different from each other. So, things will never be as simple as you imaging without a good remote control.

I do have iPhone control of my home from a single app. Along with iPad control, and my RF remotes that are in each room, and my 12-button keypads that locally control audio in each room. But, I set it all up myself using Crestron, and it took a fairly extensive time period to get it setup correctly.

Pick up a remote in a room, press one button, and that room comes on to that device and the remote controls that device. 99%+ reliable.
AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology consultation during the build and installation process in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.