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What is an Infrared Relay System?

To better understand how our Infrared Relay System works, it best to first explain the difference between Radio Frequency (RF) and Infrared (IR) commands.  Radio frequency commands can go through wood.  A garage door opener uses RF commands to open the garage door.  Infrared commands cannot go through wood.  IR commands must have direct line of sight with IR sensor lights.   In order to change channels on a cable box, the remote has to be pointed directly at the cable box sensor light.

With most AV electronics operating on IR commands, how is one supposed to operate AV components if hidden within a TV lift cabinet?  The answer to that question is to use the Infrared Relay System.

The Infrared Relay System consists of a receiver eye, output flasher lights (known to us as emitters), hub, and transformer power cord.  In each of our storage TV lift consoles, we install a barely visible receiver eye at the front of the cabinet.  Behind the cabinet doors, emitters are already built into the cabinet side walls next to shelves.  Both the emitters and receiver eye all get plugged into the little hub.  The transformer power cord feeds power to the hub which in turn feeds power to connected emitters and receiver eye.

How does it work?

The receiver eye relays IR commands from TV remote down to the flashing emitters, which in term ping the command to the correct electronic device.  For instance, if user wishes to change channel to station 10, all the user needs to do is point the remote at cabinet.  The receiver eye located in front will relay the command to emitter and the emitter will bounce the command signal to cable box.  The cable box receives command and channel is changed to station 10.

The IR Relay System allows console owners the ability to watch television without seeing their electronics.  Electronics can remain hidden at all times.  Simply plug and play!


Build Your Own Cabinet Using our TV Lift Mechanism with 12-Volt Trigger

Are you a “Do-it-Yourself” person?  Then perhaps building your own TV Lift Cabinet and installing our lift mechanism is the best solution for you.

One of our customers, who purchased our Uplift 3700 Lift mechanism, recently shared his project results with us.   He was able to convert a birch dresser cabinet into his own TV Lift Cabinet.  He removed the dresser drawers and installed a center compartment for his speakers.  In the back of the cabinet he installed our Uplift lift Mechanism directly behind the speaker compartment.  The end result is one impressive home-made TV Lift Cabinet!










This customer did, however, have a question regarding our 12-Volt Trigger feature.

Customer Question:

How does one use the 12-volt power outlet located on the lift mechanism?  I am trying to devise a way to get IR commands into the cabinet to activate a receiver, the lift mechanism and a 42-inch plasma TV.

Our Answer:

To use the 12 volt trigger you will need a 1/8” stereo jack.  Simply apply 12 volts for the lift to move up and remove 12 volts for the lift to move down.

Since you are also trying to activate a receiver and your TV, a better option may be to purchase our infrared relay system. The infrared system has a receiver eye that must be installed in the front of the unit to receive commands from your remote control. You would need to drill a hole in the front of the cabinet and screw in the receiver eye. The rest of the components are installed on the inside of the cabinet. The IR system (receiver eye, hub, power cord and 4 emitters) sells for $200.

Built-In Infrared Relay System

Once you have the IR system installed, you can plug your TV into the “IR Current Sensing” outlet on the lift. When you turn your TV on, the lift will automatically raise. When you turn your TV off, the lift will automatically lower. Please feel free to call or write with any questions.

How Remote Controls Work

No one can deny the convenience of a television remote control these days. And now they seem to be able to do most anything – from changing channels to initiating recordings. But what is the technology behind these little devices that make them magically bring up the TV guide or raise and lower your flat screen television in your TV lift cabinet?

Remote controls were first used in WWI by German naval vessels to direct them into Allied boats. Then in WWII, remote controls were used for detonating bombs. Now over sixty years later, remote controls have a much more peaceful use.

For at-home use, most remote controls are powered by infrared (IR) technology. Infrared light is also referred to as “heat,” and remote controls rely on the use of light to carry its signal from the control to the device it directs. On the electromagnetic spectrum, infrared light falls on the invisible portion, between “visible” and “microwave.”

The signal sent out by the remote control is in binary code; that’s how the media player or TV knows whether you are telling it to turn up the volume or switch the channel to your favorite show. Binary codes are built by ones and zeroes, and they leave the remote control via transmitting LEDs. They are received by the media device or TV’s microprocessor. However, if you own a TV lift cabinet, the remote control’s signal is first captured and resent to the media player through the Infrared Relay System, standard on all ImportAdvantage’s pop-up TV cabinets.

Different TV manufacturers use slightly different binary codes for basic functioning, and this is why universal remote controls have to be “programmed” to your specific TV brand before they work. An example binary code for a Sony TV to make the channel go up is “001 0000”.

Even though infrared remote controls have been the industry standard for the last 25 years, they are limited by their range, first and foremost, which is only about 30 feet. While it is not necessary to “aim” your remote control directly at your device, you do have to point the LEDs on the remote control in the general vicinity of your media player or TV in order to get the signal across. If you are in a highly sunlit room, it could cause some interference with your remote’s signal.

To advance the technology behind remote controls for home theater use, some niche manufacturers are moving toward radio frequency (RF) remote controls, which are what directs a home garage door opener. The major advantage of a RF remote signal is that the exact signal for the function you powering (channel up, channel down, etc.) is emitted directly from the remote, so there is no need to point an LED to a microprocessor. However, the downside is that there are a lot of competing RF signals around the home (cell phone, Wi-Fi, cordless phones, etc.). But their range goes as far as 100 feet.

So hopefully you now have a deeper appreciation for your remote control; we just can’t help you find it between the couch cushions!

How a TV Lift Protects Your TV and Media Players

In today’s economy, everyone is looking to protect what they already own, and a TV, DVD player, stereo system and gaming console are investments that are 1) expensive and 2) need to be protected from damage. Thankfully, keeping them tucked away and yet always accessible in a TV lift cabinet is the wisest one-stop solution.

Instead of keeping your TV resting on a low coffee table or behind breakable glass doors, a pop-up TV cabinet quietly lowers it into a hand-crafted and solid hardwood cabinet. The TV is secured to the TV lift mechanism, so there are no fears of accidental tipping.

And when you store your media players in a traditional entertainment center in plain sight, which is where they would normally need to be in order for your remote control to work properly, they are at risk for dust damage and small fingers inserting objects for which they are not meant. These expensive media players are also susceptible to spilled drinks. However, in a TV lift cabinet these media players are kept safely behind closed doors, and their remote controls still work due to the standard Infrared Relay System.

As added bonus, when you protect your electronics in a pop-up TV cabinet, you are adding a stylish centerpiece to your décor. As all ImportAdvantage TV lift cabinets are hand-crafted, and there are many different styles to choose from, you will be confident that you have made a wise decision to protect your investments in a pop-up TV lift cabinet.

The Advantages of Owning a Pop-Up TV Lift Cabinet

A pop-up TV lift cabinet provides its owner many fine advantages. Many of them have been noted in all the positive reviews ImportAdvantage receives for its TV lift cabinets, but here is a list of why you should own a pop-up TV cabinet.

A TV lift cabinet can save you much-needed space in any room. Much less bulky than a clunky entertainment center, a pop-up TV cabinet can easily store your TV, media players and all the media you watch or play. And when not in use, each of your electronics is stored behind hand-crafted hardwoods.

It keeps your devices safe. Do you have dogs that like to chew or kids that like to draw? Keeping your TV and DVD player out of sight when not in use makes it virtually inaccessible for those curious kids or dogs running around the room. Media players remain behind closed doors, but are still ready for use 24/7 thanks to the Infrared Relay System, standard on every model.

Another advantage that comes from an ImportAdvantage TV lift cabinet is that your TV is always lifted and lowered in near silence. The powerful Heavy Duty Lift Mechanism in all pop-up TV cabinets is among the quietest in the industry, so you’ll never think twice about displaying your TV when you’re ready for a good movie or your favorite show.

Take a moment to check out the full line of TV lift cabinets available at the lowest prices direct from ImportAdvantage.

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