Logitech Harmony IR Extender System Controls Hidden A/V Components

The use of infrared (IR) to operate devices with a remote control has always had a few drawbacks, one of which is the requirement for line-of-sight between the remote and the device. However, an open cabinet full of devices and exposed cords and cables doesn’t quite fit into the uncluttered living room that many people prefer these days.

Today, Logitech is pleased to announce the Logitech Harmony IR Extender System. It allows anyone with an existing IR-only remote operate A/V devices hidden inside a cabinet. Now you can finally get the streamlined look you want without having to buy a new remote.

The Logitech Harmony team had three primary objectives when developing the Harmony IR Extender System:

Great IR reception

The biggest challenge in creating an IR Extender is ensuring the IR receiver is sensitive enough to detect a broad range of IR signal frequencies at a useful distance and angle – without detecting outside interference that would compromise performance. The Harmony IR Extender System’s receiver is finely tuned to recognize genuine IR commands while filtering out unwanted ”noise” from lights, windows, TVs, etc.

Great device control

The IR blaster and mini blaster design for the IR Extender System, similar to that used in the Logitech Harmony 900 RF System, is a great solution for getting IR commands to hidden devices. By blasting IR signals to multiple devices rather than sticking emitters on individual devices, you can have a lot of flexibility in how you set up your system. When combined with the activity-based control of a Harmony remote, great device control is closer than ever!

Simple setup

As A/V products and experiences go, it’s one of the simplest you’re likely to come across. Three simple steps (2 if you’re lucky) are all it takes:

1. Place the Harmony IR Receiver in a convenient, visible location. It’s pretty small so that shouldn’t be a problem. (If you want, you can even mount it right on your TV.)

2. Place the Harmony IR blaster inside the cabinet, plug it in and connect the Harmony IR Receiver to the back of it.

3. Connect the Harmony IR mini blasters to the IR blaster and place them on other shelves in your cabinet. Depending on your cabinet, you may not even need step 3, making the whole thing that much simpler.

The Harmony IR Extender System doesn’t require any programming, so you’ll be up and running in no time.

The Logitech Harmony IR Extender System is available in the U.S. at www.logitech.com for a suggested retail price of $59.99 (U.S.).

Author

Product Manager, Harmony Remotes Business Unit

33 comments

  • Great timing!

    I’ve been looking for a device like this. This one will match my Harmony One and Ps3 adapter perfectly, now I can have an all Logitech solution :D

  • Wondering what’s the maximum range at which a Harmony One remote could reach the IR receiver, and in turn, the maximum range at which the blaster could successfully blast my components.

    I have my HT kit in a loft, which overlooks the living room. I would like to place the IR receiver in line-of-sight from the downstairs area (a distance of about 20 feet, maximum).

    The blaster would be adjacent to the IR Receiver (would placing receiver/blaster back to back be enough to prevent the feedback problem?). The blaster would have to reach my components, which would be about 8 feet from it.

    Does this sound like a doable arrangement?

    Thanks for any insights!

    BTW, deeply loving the Harmony Remote (http://noocyte.blogspot.com/2009/05/logitech-harmony-one-universal-remote.html). Also, blissfully typing this on my new Illuminated Keyboard. Kinda turning into a bit of a Logitech fanboy here…

  • It’s great, but I would like to buy it in Europe.
    Do you have any idea when it will be available ?

    Thank’s

    • Hi Pierre,

      Unfortunately, this product will not be available in Europe. We will let you know if this changes in the future.

      Best,
      Ian

  • Can this be used with components which are out in the open? For example, will using this with a hidden cable box but a TV in the open cause any issues when trying to control the TV (i.e. IR commands received twice by the TV)?

  • I am looking for the logitech product that hides the device (such as the cable box). You put a sensor on the cable box and then stick something on the tv (like an “eye) that senses your remote. Is this it? If not what is it?

  • What is the max distance a wire can be strung between the receiver and the blaster?

    I have a Niles system, and it uses cat 5 wire with no ends. You cut the wire to the length desired. Does this system work like that? I can’t seem to find the manual online…a link to that would be appreciated as well…thanks, Kirk

  • I have 880 and seems like RF extender won’t work with it. Where do I buy IR extender from?

    Thanks
    Sandeep

  • Hi Ian:

    Any thoughts about my question regarding using a long wire between the sensor and the blaster? In looking at the quick start online, it doesn’t appear that the Logitech system works this way. My guess is that the wire has the ends installed and the length is not adjustable. By the way, how long is the wire between the sensor and the blasters? I don’t see that in the specs anywhere. Thanks again, Kirk

  • I also would like to know the length of wire between the IR receiver and the blaster. I am considering moving my components to the basement, right below my TV haning on the wall. I would like the IR receiver to mount on the bottom of the TV, run inside the wall, through the floor into the closet in the basement that will house my components and the blaster.

    • Hi Todd,

      The cord on the IR blaster is 8ft long and the cord on the mini blaster is 6ft long.

      Best,
      Ian

  • Hi Ian,

    i would like to know if it would be available in Canada soon because it would be very amazing for the price compare to other product like this one.

    What the lenght of the cable between the receiver and the blaster?

    thanks

    • Hi Mathieu,

      I’m sorry but this product is only available in the U.S. currently. (FYI, the length of the cord on the mini blaster is 6ft.)

      Best,
      Ian

  • I have a tv that has wires running behind a wall which is between my component closet and the tv. I want to splice my blaster through a cat 5 wire. I did this on my 890 Pro Blaster. The wire is confusing to me. Inside the plastic sheath, there is an exposed copper wire which surrounds a white wire which is in a sheath. Can i spice these two wires to my cat 5??

    • Hi Scott,

      We can’t guarantee the performance of products once they have been cut or physically altered in other ways. For this and other reasons, I can’t recommend splicing wires on our products.

      Best,
      Ian

  • I have recently bought Harmony One and am trying to control my Monoprice IR Extender and Evolution TC105B motorized TV Wall mount, but there is no option to add these devices on my Logitech Harmony One. Can you please help me in setting it up.

    Thanks

  • How does this connect with the Logitech Harmony PS3 extender kit? Do the 2 devices combine so that I would only need 1 IR receiver on display?

    • Hi Matt,

      Unfortunately, the Harmony PS3 Adapter is a Bluetooth converter while the Harmony IR Extender is an IR to RF converter. You would need both receivers to control devices behind closed cabinets and a PS3.

      Best,
      Ian

  • Can you have multiple units? I have 2 cable boxes and I’m wondering if I’d end up controlling the wrong device or the 2 of the same device at once? Are there any addressable options via frequency or something?

    • Hi Chris,

      You can have more that one Harmony IR Extender System; however, both Harmony IR Extender systems would acknowledge the command from the cable box remote and then relay the command both cable boxes. This means that both cable boxes would be controlled at the same time. The Harmony IR Extender System does not provide the option of assigning specific ports to devices. This feature is available on other Harmony products such as the Harmony 900, Harmony 1100 (RF extender sold separately), Harmony 1000 (RF extender sold separately) and Harmony 890.

      Best,
      Ian

  • Ian,

    I just want to make sure that I got this right…. The PS3 adapter cannot connect to the IR extender receiver? If it doesn’t, does the PS3 adapter connect to the RF receiver that comes with the Harmony 900? I’m trying to plan this out right, so I would appreciate any info that you can give me.

    • Hi Alfonso,

      The Logitech Harmony Adapter for PS3 works by reading in IR (Infrared) signals and sending out the appropriate Bluetooth command that the Sony PlayStation 3 will accept. The Logitech Harmony IR Extender System, and the Logitech Harmony 900 will both control the PS3 Adapter. Either the IR Extender System, or the Blaster that comes with the Harmony 900 will need to be placed in line-of-sight to the PS3 Adapter. They will then send out the IR command which the PS3 Adapter will pick up and then control your Sony game console.

      The Logitech Harmony IR Extender System was created to provide a solution to current Harmony users who wish to hide their equipment in an enclosed cabinet. If you already have a Harmony One or other remote you can purchase the IR Extender System to allow you to hide all the clutter of your devices out of sight, while still giving you control over your home theater equipment. However, if you are new to the Harmony line and wish to control your equipment from another room or a cabinet, then the Logitech Harmony 900 would be the better solution. The Harmony 900 has the added benefit of not having to point the remote at any fixed location as you would with a Harmony One & IR Extender System since the Harmony 900 operates on a RF frequency to its Blaster which allows it to go through walls and obstructions.

      Hope that helps!

      Best,
      Ian

  • I have a Logitech IR extender and it sometimes works. The status light comes on all the time with I press the remote but it does not always do the functions I want. i.e. turn on t.v. or AV receiver. The line of sight is correct but I think I might have a defective product but not sure.

    Also, can you tell me why I can not function my components with my remote directly with the IR Extender powered on?

    For some reason it the IR extender cancel out the IR port on my components, but it will somtimes function with my Harmony One remote directily to the receiver of the IR extender.

    • Hi Christopher,

      Please contact customer support (you can find the Harmony support options available to you by logging into your Harmony software). They can help determine if there is an issue with your remote.

      Best,
      Ian

    • Hello Joanne,

      The Harmony IR Extender System can work with almost any IR (Infrared) remote currently used to control your home theater equipment. As I am unsure if the Time Warner remote you have is an IR rather than a RF (Radio Frequency) remote, I’ve give you an easy way to find out.

      To test if your remote is an IR or RF go into another room that is not in line-of-sight of the device in question and press buttons on the original remote. If that device responds from the other room or through a wall, then you can be quite confident that it’s an RF remote and will not work with the Harmony IR Extender System. If the device does not respond then it needs line-of-sight and can then be used with the Harmony IR Extender System.

      Hope that helps.

      Best,
      Ian

  • Would it be a problem if I have the IR extender positioned to control components in the cabinet, but left the cabinet door open so it also has directly line of sight from the remote?

    It seems like the command from the remote would be sent twice, one directly from the remote, and the the second from the extender’s blaster. Is that right?

    • Hi DP,

      Harmony remotes have what is called ‘Smart State Technology.’ The Harmony remote control tracks the state of each individual component, from the time an entertainment system is turned on, to when it is completely turned off. Each infrared signal that the Harmony remote sends changes the state of a component in the system; Smart State Technology keeps a record of these changes. All this information is stored in the remote’s onboard flash memory. This tracking capability allows the Harmony remote to send a combination of commands associated with the current state of a system.

      Hope that helps.

      Best,
      Ian

    • Hi Mary,

      This is the only IR extender system that Logitech offers. It is compatible with the Harmony 610.

      Best,
      Ian

  • I think its discriminating to only supply this piece of equipment in the states, there are enough owners of harmony`s in europe, or doesn`t logitech realise this.
    Disappointed customer who owns a harmony one and would love an IR extender.

  • SOME INFO FOR PREVIOUS POSTS:

    RE: Exending the IR sensor cable – I have installed a 25ft extension on my setup and it had no discernable effect on how the extender operated. I used a standard 3.5mm female to male headphone extension cable to accomplish this–plug and play! I definitely DO NOT recommend splicing the cable into cat 5 unless it is shielded, or you will have problems!

    RE: Remote range to IR sensor – I can use any remote successfully up to 25 feet away from the sensor. I would test further, but there is an exterior wall in the way!

    RE: Components in a cabinet and still in open, line-of-sight view – This almost always will not work. The devices will be getting the same signal twice just ever-so-slightly out of phase with eachother. If you have some components in open view, and some out of sight, the IR repeater should be isolated from the open view components to prevent a double command from being received.

  • Alex,

    I like your idea of using 3.5 mm extension cable to extend the range of IR blaster. Could you please let me know if you used mono connector or stereo?

    How is your set up working so far?

    Thanks for your help.

  • Dear Sir,

    Can you tell me if (yes>when) the IR extender will be available outside the US. I am living in Europe/the Netherlands and I am looking for such device. I think
    a lot of Europe customers wants a reliable unit, so hopefully it will be available soon.
    If not, is it possible to order/deliver the US version, then I will change the power source myself.

    Best Regards, Ronald

  • If it does work with the Time Warner Remotes, what about the DVR capabilities? Will I still be able t pause live TV, Record, etc & so on?

  • Hi,

    This is really a great product. Several months ago you mentioned that the product is not available in Europe, is this still the case?
    Is the accompagnied adapter suited for 110V or 220V? Is it an option to order the US version and have it sent to Europe?

    Kind regards,
    Dave

    • Hi Dave,

      Unfortunately, this product is still not available in Europe at this time and there is not an option to purchase from Europe. Sorry – I know that’s not the answer you want to hear.

      Best,
      Ian

  • Hi,

    This seems to be a fantastic product. I am quite sorry that you don’t seem to be planning to sell it in other countries outside the US. Is it because of regulatory issues or liability concerns?

    In any case, to my question:

    If I have a Harmony 885 Remote, which currently works perfectly with all me devices when it is used directly in line-of-sight, will everything work just as well if I put the devices behind closed doors and use the IR Extender? What I am after is if you can say with a high degree of certainty that just adding the IR Extender solution to an already working setup will not fail anything. I have assumed that just adding the IR Extender would not do anything else than just pass on the same signals, which are already working, but I would like to hear your comments on the topic.

    BR

    Mattias

    • Hi Mattias,

      For this usage scenario, you would need more than the Harmony IR Extender. The Harmony 885 lacks the physical hardware to send the RF. The reason it won’t work is that the remotes that work with the extender (890, 890Pro, 1000, 1100) send RF to the extender, which converts it back to IR and sends it to the devices.

      What you will essentially need is a 3rd party IR extender or repeater. You would need something that is within sight to see the IR from the remote, and then converts it to RF, sends it to a second unit near the devices, and then that second unit would send out IR to the devices.

      Hope that helps.

      Best,
      Ian

  • Hi Ian, come on do you best and ship a hole bunch of this Blaster to Europe.
    We on our forum getting crazy, with all the problems, from people buying the terrible Marmitek.

    I am having a set from the Beta test and it works great, you only have to change the adapter for a European one.

    Now you got a good product, why not selling it.

    Cheers Henk from Holland.

  • I agree with Henk and the other Europeans.
    Sell this gadget in Europe/Holland and make many people happy !!

  • I have a niles audio system that I would like to control w/ my Harmony 890. I looked for the devices..which the database has the ZR-6 receiver…but all the control comes from the keypad which I can’t find on the device menu? Do you have any suggestions of how I can add the TS-PRO and Solo6-MD keypads to get the control I need?

    • Hello Aaron,

      In general, with these type of technical questions, it is best to contact our support team so they can assess your setup and help you out. That said, after looking into your issue with the Niles equipment it seems you should only have to add the Niles ZR-6 to your Harmony 890. The keypads you mentioned are there to accept IR signals and also provide some extra display and control. The Harmony 890 can provide what the original remote is capable of sending to these keypads. If there are commands that are missing you could always teach them into your Harmony 890 by following the directions in our FAQ:
      http://logitech-en-amr.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/logitech_en_amr.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=9603

      Best,
      Ian

  • Hi Ian,

    I asked a question above regarding the IR Extender. You wrote that there was a problem, since the Harmony 885 doesn’t have the capability for RF. But I actually meant to ask about the new “all-through-IR” product that you have launched in the US. See the quote about it below:

    Today, Logitech is pleased to announce the Logitech Harmony IR Extender System. It allows anyone with an existing IR-only remote operate A/V devices hidden inside a cabinet. Now you can finally get the streamlined look you want without having to buy a new remote.

    As far as I can understand the quote, this piece of equipment will take an “all-IR” control and pass on the IR beams through itself out to the IR blasters that are standing inside an equipment cabinet, for instance. If this is the case, I was simply wondering if my “all-IR” setup would work, when I add the IR-only Extender (or whatever you call it) as a “middleman” to the setup, between the remote and the stuff I have inside the cabinet.

    Is it more clear what I mean?

    BR

    Mattias

    • Hi Mattias,

      Yes. You should be able to use the Logitech IR Extender System in your “all-IR” setup to control the devices in the cabinet.

      Best,
      Ian

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