The 7 Best IR Remote Extenders

Updated December 01, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

7 Best IR Remote Extenders
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Infrared remote controls need a clear line of sight to operate, so if you want to manage devices that are stored in cabinets or even in another room, you'll need one of these handy IR remote extenders. Some of the models on our list create a wired connection from a carefully placed receiver, while others work on radio frequencies capable of reaching through walls and across hundreds of feet. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best ir remote extender on Amazon.

7. X10 Powermid PM5900

The transmitter and receiver of the X10 Powermid PM5900 sport a cool pyramid design that looks nice enough to add to your decor rather than detract from it. They are also highly sensitive and work any time you click a button.
  • simple five-minute installation
  • includes an infrared extender cable
  • short 100-foot range
Brand X10
Model PM5900
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

6. HDTV HookUp

The HDTV HookUp is designed for in-wall installation and fits into any standard J-box, so you don't wind up with unsightly repeater boxes hanging around anywhere. It gives your entertainment area a polished and professional finish.
  • led confirmation
  • frequency range of 34 to 60khz
  • responsiveness deteriorates quickly
Model HdtvHookup IRS6A
Weight pending
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Inteset Technologies Repeater

If your entertainment center relies on some slightly older hardware -- like first and second generation Roku or Apple TV devices -- then the Inteset Technologies Repeater will work for those as well as it does for much of your other A/V equipment.
  • comes with a 1-year warranty
  • repeater is well-built
  • incompatible with some cable boxes
Brand Inteset
Model INT-IR3856EM
Weight 12 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

4. Sewell BlastIR SW-29311

The Sewell BlastIR SW-29311 comes with dual emitter Y cables to control up to four devices, but is expandable to a total of 12 devices with the purchase of additional materials. It has a 9-foot repeater cable, so you shouldn't have a problem placing it.
  • comes with mounting hardware
  • illuminates to confirm operation
  • led can be distracting
Brand Sewell Direct
Model SW-29311
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. StarTech IREXT2

The StarTech IREXT2 is a wireless model that can pick up and extend transmissions up to 300 feet using a powerful radio frequency that goes through walls and other objects. The whole package has a sleek look to it, so you shouldn't feel the need to hide it.
  • can add multiple transmitters
  • very quick response time
  • 2-year warranty
Brand StarTech
Model IREXT2
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Gefone Kit GIRE0108

The Gefone Kit GIRE0108 is ideal for those who have large entertainment systems with a lot of devices to control. It includes eight long-range emitters, so you can hide all of your hardware in a cabinet or even another room for a more mysterious presentation.
  • usb or ac power
  • convenient confirmation led
  • budget-friendly price point
Brand Gefone
Model GIRE0108
Weight 10.4 ounces
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

1. BAFX 54-5EXN Repeater

The BAFX 54-5EXN Repeater comes with plenty of nodes to control an entire entertainment system, as well as a five-foot-long cable, so you can hide it away wherever you like. It also allows for both AC and USB power options.
  • detailed setup video
  • receivers look discreet
  • triple-zone model available
Brand BAFX Products
Model 54-5EXN-SYMF
Weight 13.6 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

Keeping Your Line Of Sight

Imagine yourself in an amazing entertainment room. You've got your large, flat screen television, surround sound speaker system, and high-definition Blu-ray player. Much of your equipment is installed inside a heavy-duty console cabinet for storage underneath your television, preventing the room from looking overly cluttered. Add to this a comfortable couch, popcorn at the ready, and several infrared remotes on that side table right next to you. You may think you're all set, but what if you have trouble controlling your other connected devices with your remotes through the cabinet? What if you have additional speakers or perhaps an additional monitor in an adjacent room and your infrared signals just aren't strong enough to reach that far? Just the same, what if that console cabinet supporting your television and housing your Blu-ray player is made from heavy wood and fully encloses your equipment, making it difficult for the remote signals to reach everything? For any and all of these reasons, an infrared remote extender can help solve this problem for you.

An infrared remote (IR) extender, also referred to as a repeater, has a receiver designed to pick up the infrared signal from your remote control and relay it via radio waves to the device being controlled. Considering our large-doored cabinet, a potential difficulty arises with the infrared signal's ability to reach your Blu-ray player when it's tucked away and out of sight. While it certainly makes the room look neat and tidy, your remote's infrared signal may not reach the player as well as it would if its line of sight to the device was more direct. As an answer to this signal obstruction between the remote and Blu-ray player, the infrared remote extender introduces a radio relay between the remote control and the device. An infrared transmitter on the destination device will mimic the original infrared signal so that your Blu-ray player can interpret the remote command as it normally would without the use of an extender. As mentioned earlier, this is particularly useful in situations where a remote's line of sight is obstructed or if you plan to control equipment from another room and require an extended signal range.

An IR repeater system has several components, including a target, connection block, and emitter. The target is a fancy way of referring to an infrared receiver, which converts those infrared light waves transmitted from your remote control to electrical signals for distribution. The emitter (or IR blaster) converts these electrical signals back to modulated infrared band signals where they are retransmitted by light waves to the device you're attempting to control (i.e. our Blu-ray player inside the cabinet). The IR blaster is typically attached to the destination device over its receiver port. As its name suggests, the connection block is the main hub keeping all parts of the receiver system wired together and interconnected. The connection block makes such systems easy to expand and reconfigure, depending on your entertainment setup.

Extend Your Range

Like many products related to your particular entertainment setup, what you plan to use it for and the layout of your equipment will determine what type of infrared remote extender system is best. For example, if you own a large home with multiple monitors installed in adjacent rooms, then finding an IR extender with as long an infrared range as possible will be key, particularly if the signal coming from your remote's light emitting diode (LED) has to travel through walls and into cabinets where your equipment is stored. Some extenders offer a signal range of up to five or six hundred feet.

Simple installation is also key. Because you'll be working with a few different pieces and several cables, ensuring that the setup instructions are straightforward will get you up and running as quickly as possible.

If you have a lot of equipment in your home, then one or two emitters may not do the trick, since each piece of equipment needs its own dedicated emitter to receive infrared remote signals properly. Some extenders offer LED confirmation lights to let you know that the signal has been properly distributed. This comes in handy when dealing with several independent pieces of equipment located in different rooms.

Quick response time is another integral piece of the extender puzzle. If it takes forever for your extender to interpret and transmit signals to your equipment, then there's little point to using the extender in the first place. Response times should be seamless and barely noticeable.

The Evolution Of Infrared Remote Technology

The first remote control intended to control a television was developed by Zenith Electronics in 1950 and was called Lazy Bone. While the remote could turn a television on or off and change channels, it was attached to the television with a thick cable, making it a tripping hazard. By 1955, Zenith engineer Eugene Polley created the first wireless television remote called the Flash-matic, which used a directional flashlight to activate four control functions on a television. This design was problematic due to the interference from natural sunlight.

By 1956, Robert Adler invented the Zenith Space Command remote, which was based on the concept of using ultrasonic technology to change channels. Infrared devices eventually replaced the ultrasonic remotes by the early 1980s, ushering in a growing need and popularity for the IR remote extender. Both IR remotes and extenders are still in use today.

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Last updated on December 01, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.

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