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How to Hide Your Cable Box

by on January 14, 2020
in Music and Video, TVs & Video Players, Tips & How-Tos, Tech 101 :: 2 comments

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Tired of looking at that ugly cable box? The obvious solution is to hide it behind behind closed doors. Unfortunately, many of today's cable boxes and other componenets use IR (infrared) remotes, which require line of sight to work. So if you put your cable box behind doors, you'll have to open them whenever you want to change channels. Not an ideal solution.

However, there are a few easy ways around this IR problem that don't require drilling, running more wires or hiring a home theater installer. Find out which of the following solutions is right for you. 

Sewell BlastIR Wireless Pro IR Repeater

Relay commands behind closed doors 

Sewell has two easy ways to relay commands to a cable box that you've hidden behind closed door. If you already have everything hooked up, Sewell has a discreet battery powered IR repeater, called BlastIR Wireless Pro IR Repeater, that you can easily retrofit into a cabinet. Stick the emitter on the inside of the cabinet in line with your components. Then put the the receiver on the outside. It's as simple as that. If you don't like the look of the receiver, you can plug a very discreet IR receiver into the main receiver and stick it near your TV. The main receiver and emitter communicate over radio frequency, so they don't require line of sight. 

BlastIR Wireless Pro setup

The receiver and emitter can work with multiple receivers and emitters. You can purchase additional emitters and receivers separately to meet your needs. And, you can purchase a combination receiver and emitter, or transceiver, in one to extend the reach of the signal. The RF signal travels up to 30 feet. 
Price: $49.95 for one receiver and one emitter on Sewell (check price on Amazon), $29.95 for additional Emitters and Receivers, $34.95 for a Transceiver

BAFX All-in-One Infrared IR Repeater Kit

If you don't mind running cords, a more economical solution is the BAFX All-in-One Infrared IR Repeater Kit. The the BAFX repeater, you place the receiver near your TV and then run individual IR emitters to each component you want to control. Prices start at $10 for one component (check price on Amazon).

Sewell Dual Band InjectIR

If you have easy access to the HDMI port on the back of your TV and cable box, you can use the Sewell Direct Dual Band InjectIR. An IR receiver plugs into the end of the HDMI cable that you plug into the back of your TV. On the other end of your HDMI cable (the one that goes into your cable box) you plug in the transmitter. 
Price: $54.95 for 2 on Sewell or Amazon


IOGEAR Wireless HD TV Connection Kit

Send video from across the room

If there's nowhere to hide your cable box, you can choose to put it in a nearby cabinet or closet and send the video signal and IR commands with a wireless HDMI kit. A basic kit, like the IOGEAR Wireless 4K @ 30Hz Video Extender with Local Pass-through, is easy to install and works at a distance of up to 150 feet. If you need even further range, the Ultra Long-Range Wireless 4K @ 60Hz Video Extender Kit works at distances up to 600 feet. 
Price: $164.99 on IOGEAR, (check price on Amazon), pre-order for the Ultra Long Range 4K Kit for $599.95 on BHPhoto

 IOGEAR Wireless 5x2 Matrix Pro

If you need more range, the IOGEAR Wireless 5x2 Matrix Pro will do the trick. It's capable of sending Full HD 1080p video to a receiver up to 200 feet away. And, you can add more than one receiver, so you could use the cable box in your living room to watch TV in your bedroom.
Price: $899.95 for 2 receiver kit on IOGEAR, check price on Amazon

[Image credits: man watching TV via BigStockPhoto, Sewell, IOGEAR]



Discussion loading

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Downsides?

From Khürt Louis Williams on January 15, 2020 :: 1:56 pm

There was no mention in the article of any downsides from using IR blasters and wireless HDMI devices.

Reply

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As long as you set

From Suzanne Kantra on January 15, 2020 :: 5:24 pm

As long as you set up your IR blaster correctly—meaning that the components have a clear line of sight to the emitter—you shouldn’t expect any lag. The products I recommend have individual emitters that you can stick on top of where the component receives IR signals, so you shouldn’t have any problems.

The wireless HDMI devices will work well if you don’t have interference issues. They work best with a clear line of sight between the transmitter and receiver. If you have concrete walls, mirrors, and other objects between the transmitter and receiver, you may have issues with range and dropout.

Reply

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