Cheap Dave's Home Theater


Equipment Review: Remote Extender Jensen JDC-IR100A

I love the layout of my new dream home theater. I have a separate projection room with the projector and all of my equipment at the back of my home theater. The only problem with this arrangement is how to get my remotes to work with my gear.

I love the layout of my new dream home theater. I have a separate projection room with the projector and all of my equipment at the back of my home theater. The only problem with this arrangement is how to get my remotes to work with my gear.

There a roughly a gazillion different universal remotes, IR, RF, UNICEF. It can be confusing to say the least. Plus you can spend a lot of money on these things. the last time my wife bought me a mid-priced universal remote control with RF I literally could never get the thing programmed. Now I am not an idiot and I can read directions (as a last resort) but I never got it to work.

So for my new theater I chose a very easy solution. I just bought an IR/RF repeater. These are small units. You put one in the room and the other within line of sight of your components. When you aim you IR remote and the receiver it will convert the signal to RF which can go through walls and then the other unit convert it back to IR and controls you equipment. If this sound complicate don't worry it isn't.

The nicest thing about this approach is it is simple. I had the whole thing up and running in about 5 minutes. I don't have to reprogram any remotes. I use the same remotes I have come to know, love and lose in the seat cushions. I can always add a fancy remote in the future.

So how does the Jensen unit perform. fine is all I can say. It works well. Sometimes there is a little delay so you might have to slow down you channel flipping fingers of death. Because of my arrangement I can't get the unit to control my projector. The IR receiver on that unit is in a completely different area than the other components so I just can't get it to do everything. But that is OK once I get a movie set up for aspect ratio I usually don't touch the projector remote again.

I could get a little hard wired repeater unit that you put directly over the window on the component and that would do the trick.

BTW I only paid about $20 for this thing on EBay. So it was quick, cheap and effective. The Cheap Dave trifecta. So before you find yourself impersonating Ozzie Osborn with an expensive and complicated universal remote give one of these a try.