Control Your Home Theater From Anywhere In The World


Using IR repeaters for larger home theater setups is not uncommon, but they usually are quite simple. A series of IR receivers are placed throughout a home, all wired to repeat the signals in a central closet where all of the AV equipment is located. [Bill] constructed a solution that works much like a standard IR repeater setup, however his requires no receivers, and it can be used anywhere in the world, provided you have Internet access.

His project, called Ether IR, is an Internet-enabled IR repeater. It consists of an Ethernet-connected module with an IR LED mounted on it, capable of controlling your AV equipment. The board is hooked up to your LAN, and relays commands to your home theater via a simple web page. The equipment can then be controlled from any Internet-connected device, such as a mobile phone or tablet PC.

The entire project is open-source, so [Bill] has included schematics, instructions, and a bill of materials so that you can construct your own. The only issue at this point is the software portion of the project. The software is free, but the distribution method is in question – once things are sorted out, he will ensure that you can obtain the software for your Either-IR from him or directly from the Ethernet chip’s manufacturer.

21 thoughts on “Control Your Home Theater From Anywhere In The World

  1. This seems horribly roundabout. Many media centers accept commands via a webserver port. At least xbmc and decedents (eg plex and boxee) accept it.

    Either way how is one able to see what is on the screen? Vnc?

  2. I have to agree with SelfSilent on this one. It’s a cool project but I can’t see myself ever needing something like this. Heck, I don’t even need to control my home theater from another room, let alone another entire location. The only thing I could see this being used for is turning off equipment if you are gone and forgot to turn something off, but even that’s a stretch. Maybe if your whole house was wired for sound you could control where music is playing and the volume, but I doubt most people have that.

  3. Cool!! but if I’m not in front of my home theater system then there’s really no need for control, unless I plan to turn it on randomly and have it entertain my furniture.

  4. I think you guys are missing the point by a mile. It’s not really to control your home theatre from across the globe – I think that was an exaggeration to demonstrate the potential range of the device.

    If any of you actually had whole-home entertainment system where there is a single DVR/Stereo/etc wired to play throughout the entire house with built-in wall speakers, this can be useful. Why shell out for an expensive remote and (sometimes) custom programming of said remote when you can just use your phone or iPad?

    With something like this, I can sit on my back patio and change the channel on my TV, which is wired to my stereo, which provides music to my outdoor speaker system. No extra remote needed.

  5. So you are putting your gear below the TV? You have separate remote for every device you have and you kind of like it? Then this project is not for you.

    People who have separate rack for AV gear in the living room or even in the basement will find it usuful.

  6. Is it just me, or are y’all missing the point? The goal isn’t to control one’s AV equipment from anywhere in the world, but to control the equipment with any Internet enabled device.

  7. This might be just what I’m looking for. Not for controlling my system from around the world, or even from a different room, but from a wifi device like a smartphone or tablet. With this device translating wifi to IR, combined with the right software on the smartphone, you could control all the components in your home theater much like a Logitech Harmony remote – but better and cheaper!

    I have a Logitech Harmony remote and it is cool, but is clumsy for controlling my Logitech Squeezebox (arrow keys only). I have an iPad and a nifty app that can control my Logitech Squeezebox music player with a full GUI, but it can not turn on my receiver. This board with the right software could allow me to control everything from the one device (iPad).

  8. I agree with Thor, I’d love to use my Android smartphone as a universal remote except it has no IR capabilities. I always have my phone with me and it could be way more powerful than a clumsy universal remote (that costs as much as my phone).

  9. *I* don’t need to move large quanties of stuff from place to place. Why the hell would someone build a truck?

    Seriously. This project would be useful to a number of people for various solutions. A number of commercial systems already do this. Just because it is not immediately useful to you does not make useless in general.

  10. PS. Pretty sure they won’t get release of the microchip stack.

    Other projects simply link to where you can get it and instructions on integrating it into the project. Distribution of a pre-compiled .hex is fine too.

  11. If you guys read my previous post I covered the idea of controlling audio from different rooms, and I also said it’s unrealistic that people have their whole house wired for audio. But I suppose if you are one of the select enthusiasts that do have your house wired, this hack might be applicable to you.

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