Global Cache iTach Flex IP
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- Connects almost any electrical device to a wired Ethernet network instantly
- Access, monitor, automate, and control standalone equipment
- Built in IR learning and access commands to cloud-based IR database
- Web-based control protocol using HTTP
- Four conductor Global Port allows for versatility using Flex Link cables
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Connects almost any electrical device to a wired Ethernet network via RJ45 Access, monitor, automate, and control standalone equipment 4MB flash memory - store web pages and files accessible via URL Web-based control protocol using HTTP Mounting dock for simple installation
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To make this work in a full setup, you will need a way to send IP commands to it that will get converted it IR or serial information. There are a *lot* of apps out there that will run on phones, tablets, iPad's, Kindles, and computers. This gizmo is the link you need between the computer world and the old style remote control world. Some day everything will be IP control. Then you won't need these. For right now - this is what you need to run your home theater.
Why this one and not the older version? This one is a *lot* smaller. It does not have plastic ends to fall off the box like on the old ones. They also are cheaper. It pretty much does the same thing as the old ones did. If you have something really odd you are trying to do (serial at 384K baud, RS-485) then you may need something else. For all the "normal" control needs these seem to do what you need to do.
More practically, this allows me to use my iPad (with Roomie Remote) to control an Xbox and a Projector that normally can only be controlled via the included Infra-red remote controls (they multiply like rabbits around the coffee table), but many of these devices cannot be controlled via an Internet/Intranet connected device like a mobile/tablet/PC (e.g. Ethernet/Wi-Fi). Look on the back of your device for an IR IN plug.
This devices solves that issue and is super easy to set up: connect a 3.5mm male plug to the IR IN port on the device you want to control and plug the other male end into the iTach. On the other end plug an Ethernet cable that comes from your router/switch/hub (this particular device needs to be hardwired via Ethernet, there is another option if Wi-Fi is your only option). Now, any commands you send via your mobile/tablet device are translated into IR commands. Enjoy!
You can add the Tri-port cable (FL-3) to it to control up to 3 devices.
The device takes commands over your local area network and emits IR codes. (It can also emit serial commands -- the "flex" part of the device, but we will not consider it here for sake of simplicity). The commands could be sent from any device that is connected to the your local network. This device should be capable of establishing a telnet session ( or HTTP session ) and sending commands over it. There are apps for smartphones, tablets and other devices enable them to send such commands. Thus you can have your smart phones or tablets control any appliance that has an Infrared Remote. This particular device attaches to your local network via the standard RJ45 ethernet cable. However, if you do not have a convenient way to get an ethernet cable to the device, Global Cache also sells a WiFi capable device that does the same thing.
So what needs to be done? Connect the iTach Flex IP to your local area network. If your router has DHCP enabled (most home networks are) your iTach Flex will join the network with a dynamic address. GlobalCache's website has apps to detect the device's address. You can then configure the device using a Web UI. You then attach the IR emitter cable to iTach Flex and position the emitter LEDs in front of the appliance's IR receiver. This thus allows you to hide your equipment and you no longer require line of sight to control your devices.
IR Codes: GlobalCache allows you to download the IR codes for various common devices from its Control Tower IR database. You will feed these codes to the controlling application that will request iTach Flex to emit the appropriate IR codes.
If you do not find your device in the database, iTach Flex can also learn commands from your original remote control.
I have the iTach Flex IP connected to the GlobalCache IR triport cable. The device itself resides in the basement next to my satellite receiver, HDMI distribution matrix etc. I use OpenRemote as a controller and frontend to control these devices via our smartphones. The triport mode means that each port can be independently controlled to eliminate IR crosstalk. I run a CAT5 extender on the second emitter to control my devices upstairs (TV, AV receiver and BDP) in two different rooms.
This is a professional quality device has been rock solid; it has no flakiness requiring constant reboots etc. The success rate of IR commands is almost 100%. The emitters are pretty powerful and are able to control devices from at least a foot away. Even with the long extension cord, the signals are strong. The command response is instantaneous even with 4 simultaneous tablets/phones connected to the device. The device reliably learns the remote control codes. It has been better in this regard compared to other learning remotes. The device itself comes with very little documentation; GlobalCache's website and your favorite search engine would be your best friend to understand and tame this device.
This device is not for a novice who expects plug and play with pre-packaged apps. But with a little programming savvy, you could wield a lot of control over your appliances at your fingertips. Highly recommended.
The api is fairly simple, we built an application using its on-board JSON webservice from start to finish in few days. The only gotcha we had is there are a few configurations you have to send through the command terminal that were not documented very well and he on board configuration webpage did not give you access to. This was getting Tri Port to work properly you have to post a command to tell each port to work in tri port mode directly. This was tough so I am removing a star from this relay....being as the scale is only 5 stars and I am giving it 10....you wont notice on my rating =)