No matter what kind of sophisticated or simple Home Entertainment equipment that you buy these days you will be controlling it with an Infra Red remote control. That’s one thing that can be counted on in the ever more complicated world for Home Technology.

If you have a home theater with the equipment hidden away in a cabinet or perhaps a home network with the ability to watch a movie from a single DVD player in several rooms of the house … you need to be able to control the equipment without a direct line of site to it. Obviously a standard IR remote won’t be enough because it won’t work through walls or cabinet doors.

Xantech manufactures all the bits and pieces required to build an IR network to allow you to do this. We are using the system in the Home Technology Demonstration Project as the backbone to control most of the systems and equipment.

The way it works is quite simple really … and very reliable to boot. An IR receiver is located in each room where you need to control from. These come in many forms from a shelf mounted variety like the 291-10 HIDDEN LINK (photo below) to the recently released 490-90 Plasma / Sunlight / Fluorescent Tube Light-Friendly Micro Link™ Receiver (photo on the right) which is designed to be mounted in a wall or cabinet location. There are also receivers that mount in standard wall switch boxes.

These receivers plug into a connecting block which is simply a black box that has plugs for recievers, emitters and wiring. Typically when you buy a receiver it will come with a connecting block.

At the equipment end of the network you need another connecting block with the “Emitters” plugged into it. The emitters have a sticky surface on one side to attach to the IR window on your DVD Player, Receiver etc. They “Emit” the IR signal into the window to control the equipment. They come in 2 main types … one blinks red light when it is emitting a signal and the other doesn’t. The blinking one is handy if you can see it … it let’s you know that your remote is sending a signal and the equipment is receiving it.

So now you have a bunch of receivers and emitters located around the house … all plugged into connecting blocks. All you need to do is connect them all together with wire (3 conductors required) and into one of the connecting blocks you plug a power supply. The configuration is simple too. They can all be daisy chained together or home run to a central equipment room … your choice. That’s about it. Point your remote to any one of the receivers … in any room … and the IR signal will be sent to the equipment controlled by that remote … voila. And it all happens at the speed of light … or near that … so there is no delay. Now you can lay in bed and watch TV by controlling the TIVO or DVD player located in the family room … nice!

Xantech has been in this business for years and their products are high quality and reliable. If you have any wiring skills at all there is no problem setting this stuff up. If you’re not comfortable with that … just call in a home systems dealer / installer and get them to do it for you. Of course you can build up a complicated system with different IR zones etc. … and Xantech has all the equipment to do that too.

Here are some descriptions and specs for the equipment discussed here. Have fun with it!

490-90 Plasma / Sunlight / Fluorescent Tube Light-Friendly
Micro Link™ Receiver


* Rejects interference from plasma displays, direct sunlight and fluorescent tube lights for accurate IR signal reception
* Small size – only 2.5″ deep (64mm)
* Quick connect 3.5mm stereo mini-plug on 7 foot cable (2.1mm) for direct connection to Xantech connecting blocks
* Works in normal three-wire mode
* RF grid included for RMI interference reduction
* Includes a CB12 Connecting Block
* Requires a 781RG Power Supply (up to seven 490-90’s may be powered on the same power supply
* Patent pending


The 291 series are small, shelf-top IR receivers with a multitude of applications. Use them as an inexpensive method of repeating IR commands when wall-mounting an IR receiver is not practical. As with all Xantech IR receivers, the 291 can tie into multiroom IR extension systems.


* Attractive case for shelf-top locations.
* Red talkback LED tests system for correct wiring as well as indicating infrared reception.
* Nominal reception angle: 45 degrees off axis.
* Attached 7′ cable and 3.5 mm stereo mini plug permits direct plug-in to Xantech Connecting Blocks that have an “IR RCVR” or “AUX” jack, such as the CB12, CB20, CB60, 789-44, 791-44, etc.
* Cable requirements for long lengths: Three-conductor/24 gauge up to 200′, 22 gauge up to 600′, 20 gauge up to 2000′ and 18 gauge up to 5000′ (unshielded OK).
* Maximum cable length: One mile with 18 gauge.
* Maximum current output: 100 milliamps.
* Maximum number of directly driven IR emitters:
Up to four connected in series. (Use Xantech Connecting Blocks for emitter expansion).
* Power: 12 volts DC @ 10 milliamps.
781RG Power Supply required.
* Dimensions: 3 1/4″ x 1″ x 2″ (83mm x 26mm x 51mm)
* Includes a CB12 Connecting Block.


This series of mini emitters contain a tiny infrared light emitting diode housed in a miniature, almost black, injection molded plastic shell. These versatile units can be used in a number of innovative ways.

They are designed to be installed directly on the IR control window of the controlled equipment. The almost black shell passes infrared (IR) leaving access to the original remote controller while at the same time making the most unobtrusive installation possible.

The new mouse emitters are made of a deep purple Lexan® for improved infrared pass-through, allowing a greater range of direct control of components from hand-held controllers. The “M” series emitters also now use a new and improved adhesive that keeps emitters attached to components in even the most harsh conditions.