If you want to keep your entertainment unit streamlined and clutter-free, there's no easier way to clean up your media center than hiding your components. A TV unit with cabinet doors is a great way to keep all your equipment covered up. One drawback is that your remote's IR signal requires a direct line of sight and won't work when those media cabinet doors are closed. Luckily it's a problem that can easily be solved with an IR repeater which extends your remote's range.
I recently moved into a new apartment with my boyfriend. We bought a media center for our living room that we'd had our eyes on for a while. Our favorite feature: cabinet doors that we could close shut in order to cover up our entertainment equipment. It seemed like a great way to conceal clutter and more importantly, block off all the distracting lights from our modem, audio receiver, etc. when we'd watch movies or play video games in the dark. The problem we instantly noticed, however, was that with the cabinet closed we could no longer control the volume on our audio receiver. The cabinet door was now blocking our remote's IR signal, and the remote needed a direct line of sight in order to communicate with the receiver. This is where an IR repeater system came in handy.
IR repeaters are cheap and simple solutions that help you break free from the limitations of your remote. They simply extend the reach of your remote without requiring a line of sight. Most IR repeater systems consist of just 3 parts: an IR Receiver, an IR distributor and a few IR blasters. Setup is relatively easy and works with any remote, with no setup or codes to enter. Logitech has a kit, as does Smarthome and Cables To Go, typically in the $50 range. In our case, using an IR repeater allowed us to hide our entertainment components behind cabinet doors while still allowing us to control our audio receiver. So if you want to keep your equipment neatly covered while still being able to send a signal from your remote, an IR repeater is the way to go.