Using an IR remote on a device in a different room

I’ve been setting up a new TV + Tivo combo in my basement.

The problem is, there’s not a really good, convenient location for the Tivo near the TV.

The TV is right next to a wall (drywall) separating the finished part of the basement from the unfinished part. I could, in theory, cut a small hole in the wall to run cables through, and put the Tivo in the unfinished part. I’ve got plenty of shelves back there that would work well.

The problem is that I’m pretty sure the Tivo works by IR (infrared) remote, which, I think, needs line of sight more or less to work. I think maybe you can sometimes get away with minor 'round the corner stuff due to bouncing, but other than any holes I’d cut (hopefully small), the Tivo would be separated by drywall and a few studs from where I’d be trying to operate the remote.

In theory, if I could run a little IR receiver, by wire, back to the Tivo, that would be ideal, but I don’t think the Tivo (series 3) natively supports this kind of thing. I’ve seen mention of IR boosters before, but wonder if anyone has any experience with this kind of thing.

Another possibility is to cut a bigger hole in the wall and face the Tivo IR receiver towards that hole. I’m not sure I’d want a hole as big as the entire Tivo deck, but perhaps a 1-2" hole might be aesthetically ok. I don’t know how well that would work though, and again, I’m reluctant to dive into something like that without some confidence that it would work.

So, to summarize - is there a good way to use a standard IR remote to control a device in an adjacent room, separated by drywall?

there are devices that will do what you need. Do a google search for Ir remote range extender. There are devices that convert the ir to rf.

Scroll down to “extender”.

Note this uses your existing remote and only works for a single device (the TiVo); if you need something more elaborate that’s available too, but it won’t cost fifty bucks.

Thanks to both of you.

Stusser - do you have that device? Does it work well? Does it make the remote heavier or ungainly to any significant extent?

This is an example of what I meant

I’ve seen them at radio shack as well if you wanted to try one out locally.

A real man would set up an array of mirrors throughout the dwelling.

I’m a little late to the party here, but I wanted to put my equipment in a cabinet with opaque wood doors, so there was no good way to get IR in there.

After doing some research, I ended up with the Hot Link Pro (

Really easy to set up (almost brain-dead, actually) - the only tricky part was finding a place for the IR receptor that didn’t get washed out by all the IR the TV puts off. Worked really well for me, and I had it all setup in like 10 minutes.

Just figured I’d share since this is probably a common issue for folks…

That’s just the ticket for installations where you’ve got components positioned on opposite sides of an entertainment center or different components in separate areas of adjacent rooms.

Awesome find, man. Thanks for the heads-up!

This sounds like a challenge.