Remote control extenders FAQ

By Martin Durham

This article is part 1 of my buyers’ guide to remote control extenders. In it I’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about remote control extenders.

What is a remote control extender?

A remote control extender (sometimes called – among other things – an infrared extender, IR extender, or infrared remote control extender) is a simple device which allows you to control equipment using its existing remote control (or a universal remote control) when the equipment is beyond the range of the remote control or even hidden away from sight.

Why might you need a remote control extender?

If you’ve hidden your audio-visual equipment away somewhere out of sight, maybe by putting it in a tasteful cabinet or even in a completely different room, then the chances are you’re going to have a problem controlling it. This problem is caused by the fact that most audio-visual equipment uses infra-red light to receive instructions from its remote control. If you think of your remote control as a torch then you need to be able to shine the torch at your audio-visual equipment in order to get it to work. Obviously you can’t do that if there is a cabinet door, wall or ceiling in the way!

How does a remote control extender work?

A remote control extender receives the infrared signal from your remote control and converts it into a form that can be transmitted using a cable or radio signal. The received signal is then converted back into infrared so that the equipment you want to control can receive and process it.

How do you set up a remote control extender?

A remote control extender set generally consists of an IR receiver, some electronics, and an IR transmitter.

Place the IR receiver in range of your remote control and the IR transmitter range of the equipment that you wish to operate.

Simply operate your remote control whilst pointed at the IR receiver and the IR transmitter will relay the control signal to your equipment.

What brands make remote control extenders?

  • Ebode
  • Elegiant
  • Lindy
  • Marmitek
  • Neet
  • Neoteck
  • One For All

How much does a remote control extender cost?

You can buy a basic remote control extender for under £10, but most sets are priced between £20 and £40. The most sophisticated sets can cost up to £150.

What next?

You’ve reached the end of part 1 of my buyers’ guide to remote control extenders. Here are links to the other parts: