If you are looking to purchase an enclosed cabinet, or if you already have one, something to be aware of is the way that your remote controls operate the equipment you store inside. The enclosed nature of the cabinet means that the doors/drawers are closed, they block the infrared signal that your remote sends out, meaning your devices cannot receive it. Some newer television boxes and other devices now operate through Bluetooth, but many still rely on Infra-red to communicate - so, how can we keep our cabinets closed and our devices operable?
An IR repeater is a device that you can use to operate your gear when it is hidden away.
How does an IR repeater work? The repeater plugs into the back of your hi-fi, DVD player or other equipment and acts as a central hub to send and receive infra-red signals from your remotes. It does this through a small, discreet sensor, commonly called a remote sensor, remote extender, or magic eye when used with a Sky box. The hub sits inside your cabinet with the equipment it controls, and the IR sensor sits on top of your cabinet. the sensor is very small and stays out of the way, but is the common solution to controlling a home entertainment system inside an enclosed cabinet. Now there is no need to sacrifice looks for the sake of practicality. Take a look at our repeater here.
If you are in the market for an enclosed cabinet, but do not wish to contend with an IR repeater, there are a number of workaround solutions you can consider instead:
This is a special type of glass that is used for cabinet fronts, and is a transparent/tinted glass that allows IR signals to pass through the front, rather then reflect them away. If you are looking for a glass-centred design rather than wood or paint, this can be a great option to consider, with no need for an IR Repeater to make your remotes function properly.
This is another fantastic option to explore, especially if you are looking to use audio equipment such as speakers or a sound bar as part of your home entertainment. Like IR-Friendly glass, the mesh-like fabric (the same as commonly used on the front of hi-fi speakers as protection) allows audio to pass through unaffected - perfect if you are looking to keep your speakers or soundbar concealed inside the cabinet. The fabric also lets IR signals pass through, allowing full control of devices inside without compromising the minimalist design. Take a look at our STA-160T to see how this looks on a real cabinet.