This is the second unit I have purchased. It works very well. There is a long sensor cord that can be placed somewhere convenient to allow your remote controls to “see” it. The sensor is sensitive enough to allow approximately hits. A blue feedback light can also be located to a place of convenience. The two main components can be located a long way from each other and connected using a regular cat 5 or 6 cable. The relays that operate the equipment that is out of sight are small relays with adhesive on one side. You place these in front of the “eye” of the equipment where your remote would normally send its signal. Plug everything in and you’re in business. I have my equipment in closed cabinets, The setup work great!
After researching for quite some time (and trial and error with other products as well), and reading other reviews of the Microsmith Hot Link XL IR repeater, I figured I’d give this one a shot, and I’m certainly glad I did. It works just as advertised and takes a matter of minutes to be up and running. When my personal setup in my new home caused a few hiccups with IR interference coming from the TV and reflecting off of the stone fireplace, their customer support was incredibly quick and helpful to respond to my issue. The creator of the product even offered to troubleshoot with me over the phone on a Friday evening. That’s service!
My setup is as follows: A TV mounted above a stone fireplace, and my fiancé wanted no wires showing at all. No problem for this. We had an HDMI long run wired through the wall to the corner of the room (corner of wall opposite of the TV, where we are sitting on the couches) along with Cat5e and Cat6 as well as some other AV cables running through the tube to where the cable box is sitting. We simply plugged the power source in next to the cable box, pointed the IR transmitters at the IR eye on the cable box, and plugged in the ethernet cable to pass the IR across the cat5e line back to behind the TV. We had plugged in the receiver end of the Hot Link system to the cat5e behind the TV and it was as simple as that! No matter where in the room we pointed the remote, the receiver eye was sensitive enough to pick up the signal, even when it was completely behind the TV – truly a no wire look.
In 2012 I purchased an enclosed media center that was going to contain a home theater receiver (Marantz NR1403), cable box, Apple TV, Xbox360, and DVD player. So everything was going to be neatly tucked away in a nice-looking cabinet (I also installed fans for ventilation), but naturally we didn’t want to have to open up the cabinet doors every time we wanted to use one of the hidden components.
I searched around on various electronics sites and came across this Hot Link unit. Incredible reviews, and it was only $90 at the time – I figured it was a pretty low risk decision, and I couldn’t be happier with it. My only concern, since I have a plasma TV in the living room, was whether that was going to interfere with performance – many poor reviews of other products such as the BAFX and Sewell seemed to indicate that they will not function if the sensor is close to a plasma TV.
Fortunately this is not a problem for the Hot Link. I have the sensor taped behind the top-left corner of my TV and I can point a remote anywhere in the TV’s direction and operate all of the devices mentioned above. Possibly the trickiest part of the installation is determining where the IR sensors are on all of your devices, but you can Google around and find their locations.
I’ve been using this unit since September 2012 and I’ve never had an issue with it. Very happy with the purchase.
Works as advertised. couldn’t be easier to setup, did it in about 5 minutes. Worked perfectly.
Worked exactly as indicated. Was going to get the harmony ultimate home remote with rf hub for $350 retail. Used this with harmony 650 and it worked like a champ. Big money saver.
No surprises or disappointments
I’ve been using this for over three years and am going to buy another for use in my master bedroom so that I can move the equipment to the basement. I figured I’d write a review since I have enough experience with it. It is VERY sensitive. I love that it receives commands flawlessly…even in a large room with several large windows and sunlight pouring in. I crimped connectors onto bulk CAT5 cable to extend the distance between the two boxes.
Works great, exactly as advertised
Works great, exactly as advertised, receiver is located in media room, it is connected to the emitters via a cat5 cable that is 30′ long. It allows me to put all my components in a closet and out of site..just what I needed.
Bought this ir kit 5 years ago, and it works today, just as it did on the first day. Have bought many of these for clients, friends and families. One of the best ir Kits on the market. Comes with everything you need, unless you need a longer cat 5 cable to string from the components to the TV. Cat 5 cable is cheap, and its nice to keep all your components in a closet, and run one cable to the TV for control. Have tested this, and works with DirecTV, Comcast, Time Warner, ATT U Verse, Yamaha, Denon, Altec Lansing, Samsung, Pioneer, Panasonic, Sony, Mac Mini, Flirc, etc.
Over the years, I’ve suffered through pyramid and NextGen IR extenders – with generally frustrating and inconsistent results.
Finally bit the bullet and tried yet another (and more expensive) solution. After three days, I’m really sold on this Hot Link.
Using it over a Cat5 cable. Really like the blue (IR signal received) light at both ends of the system, because it tells me instantly if the extremely sensitive sensor is receiving IR noise (which masks the true remote IR signal). IR noise is everywhere: in front of your LED TV, in front of your iMac desktop computer, under your desktop fluorescent lamp (including such items bouncing off walls and mirrors).
So the blue light tells me immediately where I should not place the IR sensor if I don’t want interference. After several tries, I found an IR dead spot and now the Hot Link system works wonderfully.
In retrospect, the flood of IR noise coming from everywhere was probably affecting my previous pyramid and NextGen hardware – I just wasn’t as obvious as it is with the Hot Link’s blue light.
I debated whether to subtract a star because I wish this was a multi-room solution, i.e., it was easy to control my DirecTv from each of several rooms with a single Hot Link system. I also worry about the thinness (e.g., frailness) of the IR emitter leads. But in the end, I’m giving it five stars because I am so delighted, after years of suffering, to have an IR extender that really works!
This product works way better then expected! Installed it in my living room with my media cabinet about 40′ away with no issues. I original had the IR receiver eye visible over TV but discovered that it is so sensitive that I moved it behind the TV out of view. I can point my remote at any wall other then the back wall and the IR receiver will pick it up.
Love the platform. We have two systems set up controlling three A/V stacks and they work great for both in-cabinet local set ups as well as remote full-fledged Home Theater setups. We have one system controlling a home theater projection system as well as an on-wall exercise room monitor. Just point the remotes at either the big screen in the theater or the monitor in the exercise room and you can control everything! They work well, can be close or remote and are expandable. Great. Oh-and Marcus is VERY easy to work with. He is proud of the company and aims to please. Hopefully they will get a new website up soon as the old one is a bit dated and confusing. If you don’t know what to buy exactly just call. He will help personally.
These IR relays are hands down the best on the market….well worth the price. I have 3 of these in my home…each one sends a signal over 50′ without any detectable delay. It has allowed me to store cable boxes and components far from my TV to give my home an uncluttered appearance. One of the units I bought had a defective component and the customer service was incredible. I just emailed the company (used the email listed on the company’s website)….I sent the email at 11:30pm and got a reply before midnight and the person who replied gave me his personal extension so I could call him directly! Seriously?!?! Who on earth is that responsive?!?! Totally awesome. They replaced the defective component immediately and were very apologetic. These guys rock….not sure which is better, the product or the customer service. Would highly recommend!
The functionality is perfect. The IR receiver is sensitive enough that I can mount it behind the flatscreen TV so it’s not even visible. The blue LED that lights up when it senses the IR signal (both on the receiver and the transmitter end) is very convenient for testing! Using that, I was able to hide the IR receiver quickly without too much trial and error.
I’m a pro and normally use Xantech and similar IR extenders. Never had an issue with these…till now. I burned a week thinking I had an IR communication issue with an AT&T STB (Cisco IPN-330HD box from Haydes) solved and then it would come back and then solved, etc. Just couldn’t get consistent communication through a Xantech IR receiver and block. My distributor suggested another Xantech device but admitted that he had many dealers like me fighting the AT&T battle to no avail. Desperate, I did some digging on Google and it brought me to Amazon where others mentioned problems with U-Verse and solving it with this Microsmith Hot Link. I gave it a whirl. Worked first time. You need a cat or 22-4 to make the RJ45 connection into the ends of the Hot Link (which I liked a lot since I had plenty of extra Cat 5s in the wall and just terminated one of them). Some pros will NOT like the connecting block at the rack. The 6 eyes are permanently attached via a ribbon (similar to an old IDE ribbon in a computer). You have to peel the ribbon back for each eye to get the length you need to reach each piece of equipment. Not as easy as plugging in a mini jack but I’m not complaining. The ribbon was easy to tie to the tie brace and neaten up.
One other important item: the receiving eye is very cool. Microsmith wasn’t kidding when it said hide the eye behind the TV. It is so sensitive that it picks up noise from the TV. I mounted this eye on the back of the TV facing down on a 60″ Samsung LED mounted on a 24″ articulating arm. I could pretty much aim the remote anywhere and it would work. Darn close to using an RF remote. I’d like to be a dealer for these things as they’ll be my new standard for extending IR.
We bought it due to the fact that it continues the IR transmission instead of others that convert to RF. This thing has been flawless for years.
Great solution enabling hiding components while maintains IR connectivity--Mr. M. in Flower Mound TX
This is one of my favorite purchases in the AV category. I bought this a couple of years ago when remodeling and wall mounting a flat screen TV. The plans called for hiding all of the components – meaning I’d have to find a solution for making the remotes “remote”. This sounded good from the description and much more affordable that RF remotes. I’ve held off on a review cause I wasn’t sure of the longevity of the product ( the packaging looks cheap). Now after more than two years I have to say this is a tremendous product, excellent dependability and performance that delivers everything that’s advertised. My components are about 25′ from the TV. My remotes work great even from another room (with approximate line of sight to the Hot Link sensor.
This is without question the best performing remote extender I have ever used. It works flawlessly, with unbelievable speed (zero delay) and a really cool blue LED to indicate the signal has been received. I placed mine on the bottom right of the 60-inch LED TV and it gives a reassuring blink the very second I send any remote command. The DVR, Blu-ray, and receiver respond instantly, despite being more than 40 feet from the transmitter and inside a wooden book case with solid doors. Highly recommended!
This thing kicks a$$! I’ve been suffering with a substandard version of one of these repeaters for years now, and installing this solved my problem completely. I have a large great room and sit about 20 feet from my entertainment center, and for the last 8 years, the unit I had would just not get the signal and process it with enough oomph to my hidden components in my cabinets to make operation of my system enjoyable. I was able to install this thing in less than 15 minutes, and voila – instant full control to all my components at light speed! Strong, accurate, and reliable!
I have tried many others and they ALL failed. I spoke with the inventor of the Hot Link XL prior to purchase. All his assurances were spot on! This unit did what 3 other manufacturers couldn’t do. Using Cable Vision (long island NY) Samsung boxes, it passes IR commands flawlessly over cat5/6 cable at extended lengths (several hundred feet) and without any noticeable delay. In an environment flooded with florescent light and sunlight, with white painted walls. It comes setup with 6 emitters, NOT BLASTERS! you can connect several devices without worry about wayward signals. I do intend to buy again.
I tried several other solutions, including wireless, to remote my Motorola cable TV box. Nothing I tried compares to the superior perfomance of the Microsmith Hot Link XL. Tremendous range, and I really appreciate the bule light feedback that lets you know that you are “hitting” the IR. A bit expensive, but a great product!
This is my first review ever and I buy a lot of stuff on Amazon. If you want a reliable remote extender then buy this. I tried rf extenders and got tired of waving the remote in the air trying to get it to work. I hooked this up yesterday and love it! I’m running it through about 100 feet of cat5e to my media room and it works perfectly. Controls my onkyo receiver and DirecTV receiver with no delay. Saved my from buying one of those remotes that cost 2 or 3 hundred dollars.
This product works as advertised, which is great. But the best part is that while I have been using it for 4 years, when it mysteriously stopped working properly recently, I contacted Microsmith (manufacturer) customer support directly and they replaced it at no cost and with zero hassle, sending a new one immediately via priority mail along with a pre-paid envelope for me to ship the old one back. Amazing! I really didn’t think that customer service like that existed anymore. I would have no reservations in purchasing another product from them, and would recommend any of their products with a high level of confidence, since they clearly stand behind them.
I have installed about 7 of these on jobs for customers looking to hide their A/V gear and they are very reliable. I have never had a call-back. The sensitivity is high and I can often hide the IR receiver behind the tv and it can still pick up the IR signals. So far I have used them with up to about 60 ft. of cat 5. I have also used a few of the non XL, PRO versions which also work well. I like these units and will continue to use them on jobs.
This great little unit sits nicely behind my TV and does a great job. I own the non-extended unit for the TV in our living room but needed a second unit for the home theatre that I built in the basement. The CAT5 link on this unit worked well so that I could keep the entire system hidden in the walls yet control all of the components more than 50′ away. Works like a charm. Great system!
This is my second IR repeater system, works great. Really like the CAT-5 Option, as it provides a lot of flexibility in terms of positioning. You decide how far away the sensor needs to be from your equipment, including in another room in the house entirely.
Mr. B.in The Woodlands TX
Works better than even promised. I have about 8 of these in my house. Love them, some are 10 years old and never an issue.
I had been previously using the Nextgen Remote Extender and it used to work well with a certain set of components. It was a different technology and required a RF transmitter inside the remote which had to be replaced with the spare every few weeks. Also, it required the receiver to be placed in a certain position for it to receive the signal properly. Recently, when I switched to Dish Network, the hopper would not respond to the Nextgen and other components also were a hit and miss. This became a big frustration and I decided to look for another product. One of my colleagues had already installed the Hot Link and swore by it. So I decided to give it a try.
WOW!! You cannot go wrong with this product. It is pricier than the Nextgen but it works right out of the box. My TV is wall mounted and all my components are behind the wall in a crawl space. I installed the system in about 15-20 min and I was off and running. The receiver eye is so sensitive and I have it hidden behind my tv and it still receives the IR signals from my remote flawlessly. Cannot ask for more..Would highly recommend this product. In addition, the company is highly responsive.
I purchased a new panisonic plasma which I mounted over my fireplace. Took my cable box and blue ray player and installed in my guest room 38 feet away. Purchased this ran a 50 ft cat 5 cable in my attic. Mounted box behind tv and connected the cable. Works great first time! No tweaking!!! This is awesome!
Worked perfectly. The most difficult task was finding where to attach the transmitter on my bluray player. Awesome product, breeze to install.
I have all my components located in a closet so that only the TV is on the wall. This product works great with all remotes and was a snap to install.
This product is amazing. Highly recommended. My equipment is all down in my basement, and I can control all of it from upstairs with this product.
I have some video and surveillance equipment located in a closet. I used this to extend my remote control reach from my entertainment center to the inside of the closet. I used Cat-5 cable for the extension. This worked perfectly as soon as I turned it on. I didn’t experience any delay in control operation – which concerned me because I read about problems with this in reviews of other products like this.
I bought 3 of these when we recently remodeled our home, to centralize all of the A/V boxes out of sight in a hidden closet. The product works perfectly, and the support and responsiveness provided by the company has also been great. We just used pre-made CAT5 patch cables (in lenghts from 12′ to 50′), just so we would not have to risk making a crimp. It all works great and I would recommend to others unconditionally.
I have tried several different IR repeaters. This one is by far the best. It does exactly what it claims to do, no complications, no “except for ….” small print. It was easy to install and completely eliminated problems I was having with IR signals being picked up. This allowed me to move my DVRs not just into a cabinet, or below the TV but into an entirely different room leaving the Wall mounted TV install clean and uncluttered.
An excellent product! This IR repeater is the best. It’s receiver box is small enough to mount behind a flush mount flat screen and the eye is sensitive enough to work from across the room. CAT-5 is super cheap to make the long runs you need and setup was a breeze. The price is a bit higher but you definitely get what you pay for here. Five stars!
I moved all of my components into a closet in the back of the room, so I needed an IR repeater for a run of about 40′. After reading a bunch of reviews and posts on avsforum, this is the one I decided on. (It seems like the Hot Link Pro is only good for 31′) After I ran the cat5 through the walls, setup was a breeze. Just plug it in and it works. The “eye” is totally hidden behind my Panasonic plasma, so you can’t see it at all. The emitters are nice since you can put them right over each component’s IR receiver. I have a Directv box, AV receiver, and DVD player and none of them had problems. Only thing that could be a problem is if you had more than 6 components.
Apparently, this is one of the only IR repeaters that works with U-Verse systems, and that is what I have. I called because I am not very technical, and they helped me with everything! I am stoked because I was about to spend over 300 bucks on another brand, I thought maybe it was better, but no way, this is the one, and with old school customer support (real people) can’t beat it!
Great product, set up in 15 minutes and everything worked perfectly. I did have to move the sensor back a little, as indicated in other reviews, it is super sensitive. Worked just as advertised/reviewed – very happy with my purchase. Lead lengths worked perfectly on my entertainment center – just plug/play and enjoy.
This product is the best IR repeater on the market. I have 2 of them and they work without any problems.
Look I don’t do reviews in general… When I saw this product I was taken aback how simple a design it has. Could a little black ugly box do all that?!? Then I read the reviews… Well How surprised I was, thank God I didn’t got the more beautiful pyramids. Look it’s easy, you need a Cat5 Cable, the one they use for internet, (DO NOT USE ON INTERNET, ed.) follow the instructions and you are set. I have a cable box 100 ft away from my TV and the thing works like magic.
Very easy to set up and use. I have my AV equipment in a separate room and used the Hot Link system to extend the range of my remotes. I’m using with an ethernet cable and there is no delay at all and it works seamlessly. Definitely recommend.
Works as it’s advertised. My IR eye is behind the tv at the bottom and all my remotes work well. Now my wife doesn’t complain about the remotes not working. LOL
Wanted to put all of the components (I will list later) in a closet. And have nothing but the monitor showing in the theater area. During construction I had the luxury of being able to run cables to the closet from the (5) monitors. I ran a cat5 e cable for the “hot-link xl”. Once construction was complete and the components were installed I attached the “hot-link xl” easily over the cat 5 found the ir sensor eyes and attached the flashers. Worked perfect the first time and every time.
Here is what was extended
Directv dvr (3 or so years old silver face)
Directv receiver (brand new black face)
2nd gen apple tv
Pioneer Elite vsx-33
Onkyo receiver (about 3 years old)
Easy install works like a charm!
I mounted our flat screen over the fireplace and ran the components 50 feet away in the basement. This item, along with a cheap 50 foot Cat5 cable was by far the easiest part. It actually improved the performance of the remote.
This thing easily works with my DirecTV DVR and Pioneer Audio receiver.
If you need to extend your IR remote range via CAT5 this is the perfect solution. Installation was incredibly easy. The LED lights are a nice touch as they are on both the blaster end and the sensor end, so you immediately know if there is a transmission problem. Hot Link went the extra mile; the blue LED varies in intensity based on the strength of the IR signal. And it is super sensitive, so you can even point the remote perpendicular to the sensor and still change the channel. The hardware is small enough that I could mount it out of sight behind our TV. Documentation is simple and clear. For a 1-zone setup it couldn’t be simpler.
Great IR repeater system. Excellent response time and range. Quality product. A little pricey, but worth the money. I’ve tried other IR repeating systems and this is by far the best unit.
Product works great. Its a great replacement for any of the non working extenders that claim to extend your IR. Well worth the month. Look at the cheaper version, Hot Link Pro, though if you have no need to locate your components somewhere far away from where you want to place the unit.
In my install the equipment is located in a closet about 30 feet away from the TV monitor. The unit is set behind the TV and plugged into a CAT5E wall jack that runs back to my closet. I had some trouble with finding the IR port on my Yamaha receiver but Microsmith’s support was GREAT. One of their support engineers called me back from the L.A. Auto Show while she was walking around and helped me through the steps to find the incredibly small IR port. She was great! This was the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.
Then on Monday after Thanksgiving another support engineer called me back to make sure it was still working. Great Service!
The IR eye on the unit is ridiculously sensitive and requires some care when mounting to make sure you are not getting stray IR from lights or the TV or anything else. They are not joking when they say put it behind the TV. All of my remotes work great with it mounted behind the TV from anywhere in the room.
This is by far… light years better than any repeater I’ve used in the past. It’s completely rock solid. I have it running 50 foot span back to my equipment rack located in a different room. Works just as if the equipment was right in front of my face. Never once had a problem with the signal! Best repeater ever!
I was skeptical at first, but after purchasing the first Hot Link XL unit and having it installed and working within minutes, I bought two more. This is a great product and the customer support is phenomenal.
Used this repeater to transmit my remote signals from my living room to the closet in another room where i put all my electronics. I used a 20 ft Cat 5 cable along with this repeater and it works just as advertised.
Small, easy to setup, works great, no problems with my 50inch plasma, best product for the money. Very happy with it.
Works just like everyone says. The cat5 version is the way to IMO since it gives you more flexibility. The only thing that was a very minor issue was making sure the led didn’t stay lit due to rf interference. I had to play around with it and eventually used double sided tape and taped it to the back of my tv. Works great now.
Before I bought those I was using a URC remote w/a URC rf extender that worked for the most part however it would completely shut down when my ps3 powered up and rendered my remote useless. At one point I was considering getting rid of my ps3 and just getting a regular bluray player. This Hot Link works like a charm no matter what’s near it.
Bottom line, if you want to hide your components this is the way to go.
I installed my TV in one room, but didn’t want the video equipment cluttering the area. So I installed the equipment in the basement. I pulled the cat 5 along with the other needed cable and the hookup was a snap. The install is complete, and the Hot Link IR Booster works great! You just point your remote in the general direction of the IR receiver and it transfers the signal instantly. Great product!
I purchased both the “Microsmith Hot Link XL Cat 5 Extendable IR Booster System ($100 shipped)” and the “Premium White Ethernet LAN Network Cable Cat5e Gold Plated Male to Male Connectors – 100 Feet ($13 shipped)” at the same time from Amazon. I wanted to use this in a slightly different way than shown, so, I decided to get the cat5e version to test, and if it worked as expected, I would split the receiver to another room afterwards. (I had been using a few pyramids, which really are hit or miss, which frustrated me one time too often.)
I have 2 TiVos, 1 DVD player, and 1 component switch, located in my living room. I have 3 100′ component cables running to three bedrooms. All I needed was a dependable IR transmitter/receiver. I installed 1/2 of the Hot Link XL in the living room, ran the 100′ cat5e to one of my bedrooms, and plugged in the other 1/2, the remote receiver, which uses no power on it’s end (another plus). It worked absolutely perfectly. It is extremely sensitive and it transmits correctly 100% of the time. Just what I need.
Since that worked, I went ahead to the next step. I needed to split the ir receiver to another room. Searching here on Amazon, I found an “Additional Receiver Eye for Hot Link Pro”. It does not mention if it will work with the XL, but it looked like it would. I double checked with Microsmith, and they responded that it will work with all of their products. (It might increase sales if the description actually SAID THAT!) So, I bought that for about $35.
What made me balk at the price for the repeater was that they also want to sell you a “High-grade mini-coaxial cable with fully shielded RCA connectors” to extend the repeater for almost $50 for 25 feet!
Once I figured out that it is simply an RCA cable, I looked through all of my audio cables until I came across one that worked without any interference. (You can tell if there is interference because when you plug in the extension, there should be no activity light. If there is an activity light, the cable is no good. Excellent test.) Plus, Microsmith tech support let me know that you can use a regular coax cable with adapters to RCA, which are available here on Amazon, or even your local Radio Shack.
(Prefer RG6, ed.)
So, once I do get the extra remote receiver eye and splitter, I will be all set for two rooms. I really do not need the third room for the time being, but, if I ever do need to add another remote receiver, I will just buy another splitter.
EXCELLENT PRODUCT. It may seem a little steep in price for some people, but, it adds NO ADDITIONAL IR INTERFERENCE, and it is a 100% rock solid performer. If you intend to spend $30-50 on pyramids, or other remote control extenders, do yourself a favor and go all out for $100 and get this. I’ve spent way too many years frustrated over those stupid pyramids, even going so far as isolating them in all metal tissue dispensers to reduce the errant IR emissions. Because, those errant emissions also affect the use of all the devices from your normal remote in the same room. It is really not worth the hassle. I’m just surprised I dealt with this pain for the last 5 plus years.
There are only good things to be said of the Hot Link XL!
The small and modular components, save the blue LED operation indicator, can be installed out of sight and out of mind keeping your components neat and tidy. (I actually installed the LED and IR eye behind the grill of my in-wall center speaker and it works perfectly!).
Range between the receiver and transmitter can be extended with plain Cat-5 networking cable means that there are no special ‘expensive’ cables to buy should you be a few feet short on your run. Just make, buy or extend the current cable and all is well. (My current run is currently 35ft)
Easy to install, no fuss to use and relatively cheap for a remote extender… This easily the best hardwired remote extender available at any price.
First off, I have had this product for over a year now and it has worked flawlessly. I am writing this review as a testament to their customer service.
I had a lightning strike a couple weeks ago that fried some of my equipment. Despite being hooked up to a surge protector, my IR booster was done for. I ordered a replacement, and as a last-ditch effort, emailed Microsmith for any troubleshooting ideas. They got back to me the same day and said a replacement unit was on the way – all I had to do was send back the faulty unit.
Talk about turnaround! It’s not very often you see companies step up like this.
And now on to the product itself – it was so simple to set up, and I was ecstatic to finally ‘hide’ my equipment in another room so the living room looked cleaner and qualified for the WAF (wife approval factor). Instructions are easy to read/understand and straight-forward. I had absolutely no issues with this for the year that I owned it.
I will be recommending Microsmith to everyone I know looking for an IR booster!
This is my second purchase of this item and I’m just as happy as ever.
I originally purchased one almost two years ago. It’s in my basement home theater. The receiver eye sits hidden in crown molding next to a 120″ screen and directs that signal to a component cabinet about twelve feet away via Cat6. I’ve used that one to run a receiver, Xbox360, PS3, Wii and cable box via my Logitech Harmony One.
We remodeled our kitchen and my wife wanted an LCD mounted on the wall. I purchased the LG 26LE5300 26-Inch 720p 60Hz LED LCD HDTV but didn’t want a cable box and dvd player sitting on our kitchen counter top. I had my contractor install a power outlet and open box in the wall behind where the tv would mount and ran a Cat6 and two HDMI cables to the basement below the kitchen.
Now my cable box and a dvd player sit in the (soon to be finished) portion of our basement and I can control everything using the Uverse remote. Just gives it a really clean look.
I’m not a big fan of the IR signal indicator that’s attached to the receiver box. It’s basically a long thin cable with a small blue led at the end that blinks to let you know it’s receiving a remote command. I think it’s really unnecessary as I can tell if it’s working if the channels are changing. I hid the one downstairs but I’m considering cutting this one off. Hoping that doesn’t damage the operation.
Other than that, it’s perfect. The receiving eye is actually attached to the back of the tv, but somehow still receives remote commands. Pick up a cheap Cat5 or Cat6 cable and run this as far as you want. I’ve bought two, love them, and recommend without any hesitation.
I purchased this product because of all the good review on product and service. It worked great when i got it in for a year or more and then a lightning storm came through and it blew the fuse. I changed the fuse but the product still didn’t work. I shot Microsmith and e-mail not expecting a response….most people don’t honor anything past 90 days. I just saw today they will send me a whole new unit free of charge. Now that is service!
When we renovated a new house I took over an entry closet next to the living room and turned it into a media closet. All the electronics are racked and the plasma is ten feet away hanging on the wall. All the wires, cables run through the wall down through the basement and into the closet.
At first I thought I’d use a RF to IR transmitter and all I can say is the Next Generation units never worked for me at all. After seeing positive reviews on the Microsmith Hotlink I decided to give it a try.
I pulled a Cat6 cable from the wall with the tv to the closet, connected the unit ends and bam, worked right out the box, no fuss. Its a great unit. We can sit way back in the adjoining room, point the IR universal remote at the tv and control everything.
My wife is delighted so of course I’m happy. Don’t wait. Buy this unit.
Excellent for long distance hidden components!
Great product! Highly sensitive…. mounted eye behind metal speaker grille with no problem. In my application the receiver eye and hidden components in cabinet are 40 feet apart. Using cat5e to make the extension was sweet!
I was very weary of the claims this product makes, but it actually does work and works well. I used the Microsmith Hotlink so that I can store my home theatre system and Tivo a full 30 feet away in another room and still use the remotes.
Some important things to consider:
— The Hotlink IR receiver is actually much more sensitive than your typical IR that comes with many electronics. So with the Hotline in place, it makes it much easier to just point your remote and have it work. Very nice!
— I’m using the IR receiver with a plasma tv and no problems. Plasmas actually give off interference that can stop many remotes from working well when placed near a plasma (my Tivo has this issue). To solve this, just place the Hotlink IR receiver behind the tv. Seems strange, but it actually solves the problem.
— The customer support is amazing! I actually lost my power supply and called about buying a replacement. A real human answered the phone and sent a new power supply by priority mail AT NO COST with no questions asked. How refreshing!
— Please note that the Hotlink XL does NOT come with the cat 5 cable. At first I was annoyed by this, but it does allow you to buy whatever length you want. I used a 50 foot cable and it works like a charm.
Overall, this product works exactly as promised (and even better than I expected).
I tried the Terk and Radio Shack IR repeaters first. They both worked ok for a while then stopped working all together. This product blows them away. The sensor is very sensitive and I don’t have to have some goofy signal catcher sitting out. I hid the sensor behind the tv and it works great. I had to run about 20 feet of cat 5 cable up the wall into my attic and down to my av closet. Plugged everything in and it worked great.
The bottom line is that the wireless IR repeaters are junk. They have a high failure rate and are sensitive to IR noise. If anything distorts the signal it will not be transmitted and the devices won’t respond. This product eliminates that. I highly recommend this product.
I accidentally checked out with 2 instead of 1. One email to Home Controls fixed the problem.
The Hot Link XL works great. I’m not a DIY type, but I had this working in minutes.
I used a Matrix switch to split my BluRay and STB to feed both of my LCD Televisions in the same area. I am controlling my Samsung BluRay, Motorola STB, Philips Sound Bar, Philips LCD and the Matrix Switch. The Harmony remote only has to be in the same room, you really don’t even need to worry about pointing it at the sensor, it is that sensitive!
Worth every penny, am running 65 feet of Cat5E along with a 65foot amplified HDMI cable.
I did a lot of research on IR forwarding devices. In my opinion, this is the one to buy.
Some other devices work by having you put a single point IR transmitter in the same general area as your electronics, and then blasting IR signals and hoping they hit everything. The “pyramid” devices fall into this category.
Some other devices work by having you put a fake rechargeable AA battery into your remote control, and the fake battery is really a radio transmitter. What if you have more than one remote?
This device is solidly built, works exactly as described, doesn’t need to learn any remote commands, and transmits directly to each individual device. It also works with LCD and plasma TVs, you just have to put the IR receiver eye behind the TV. You simply run a Cat5 line from the TV area to where your A/V equipment is, and position the receiver and emitters on each side of the connection.
Microsmith also has fantastic customer support. I can’t rate this product highly enough.
Excellent Product. I have all of my electronics in my basement, with my TV hanging above my fireplace on my first floor. This product works perfect…its like all of the electronics are sitting right in front of me.
The directions say you can mount the eye directly behind the TV, but I couldn’t get it to work 100% of the time. So, I currently have the eye just above the bottom of the TV (you can’t see it) and it always works!!!!
It just works.
Don’t be discouraged by the box that it’s shipped in. That’s just about the only thing that is bad about this product. The box gives the impression that it’s one of those cheapo gizmos they used to sell in NYC electronics stores circa 1980’s. The inventor really needs to market and distribute such a wonderful product much better.
The receiver is ultra sensitive, so sensitive, in fact, that I hid it behind my plasma, covered it up with a post it, and it’d STILL catch every single remote click. I have tried it with a Scientific Atlanta cable box, and a Samsung DVD player with no problems at all. Every available button on the remotes gets transmitted perfectly. You can literally aim your remote anywhere and the IR will receive the signal bounced off the walls.
I’d highly recommend the XL system which is expandable via a CAT 5 wire. This allows up to 200 ft, the physical limit of CAT5 wires. Trust me, threading a Cat5 cable through sheetrock is a lot easier than doing it with a big cable ribbon. My setup is as follows: I have a single bedroom apartment with the living room and bedroom separated by a dividing wall 4 inches thick. I wanted to mount two plasmas back to back on either side of this dividing wall. However, I wanted to share the cable box, dvd player in the living room with the one in the bedroom. This product allows that perfectly. I am saving $10 a month by not having to rent another cable box and also avoiding the unsightliness of more video equipment in the bedroom.
I have my plasma hanging above my fireplace and I have tried several remote control devices. My components are in my office and being able to pull an HDMI cable and an Ethernet cable to control all the devices is great!!! Highly recommended…
I used this system along with 50′ of CAT 5e cable and I honestly couldn’t ask for a better system. It comes with a blue LED that lets you know that it properly received the remote control signal. I found it to be very bright (a little too bright) so I hid it and found that I don’t need it anyway. I was concerned about interference from the plasma tv and there was none. I have the sensor mounted behind the plasma and it is plenty sensitive. I just point the remote in the general vicinity of the tv and it works perfectly! So glad I didn’t drop hundreds of dollars on a “plasma proof” system.
This is a terrific product that does exactly what it’s supposed to do, and does it very well. Using standard CAT5 wire to connect the two ends of the system together gives you a lot of flexibility since you can use off-the-shelf Ethernet patch cords or, if you have bulk wire and crimp-on connectors and a crimper, you can make your own cable to run within walls, etc.
The detector eye has detachable lead but, for some reason, the indicator light is permanently attached. Both have fairly long leads so it’s easy to route them through cabinets, etc. and tuck their connector box in an out-of-the-way location. Power for them is provided via the CAT5 cable. This made it easy for me to locate the IR detector and indicator LED behind the speaker grill of an in-wall speaker, and tuck the connector box into the wall cavity there, with a length of CAT5 going back to the AV equipment.
My only complaint is that the IR flashers are all permanently attached to the base unit via a single “ribbon” cable. You can peel the strands of the ribbon cable apart, so it’s easy to attach the emitters to various AV devices, but you still end up with all 6 emitters even if, as in my application, you need only 1 of them. It would be nice if each emitter had its own 2-pin connector so you could easily remove the ones you don’t need. But that’s a minor issue.
The detector is very sensitive, as claimed, and the system does a very reliable job of transmitting IR commands to the remote equipment. The indicator LED is invaluable; I thought it would be unnecessary but it’s really nice to see it confirm that the IR commands are being detected and passed along to the remote equipment.
Just installed this product and have it running over 25 feet of Cat5e cable and it works great. No issues. Great solution.
I’ve bought many things online over the years and have never bothered to leave a review, but after purchasing this product I just had to.
The product is really great – it does exactly what it says it’s going to do, it’s easy to set up, and it lives up to all the hype.
But even better than that is the customer service! I accidentally ordered the wrong version – the one that doesn’t extend with Cat5 cable. I shot them an e-mail and asked them what to do, and they sent me the XL without even waiting for my exchange product to get back to them – I had it in two days! They also included a SASE for me to return my incorrect purchase in.
On top of that, when I received it and plugged it in it didn’t seem to work – but after conferring with Microsmith we determined it was a problem with my Cat5 cable, and he helped me troubleshoot the whole issue.
The product is top notch, and the service is even better. Just buy it now!!
Outstanding product, works great, use with Pioneer Plasma on Wall in one room and A/V Equipment in next room (Two HD-DVD Players, Proscan DVD Player, Panasonic DVD/VHS Hi Fi, Pioneer Receiver for Plasma, Yamaha HT A/V Receiver, Dish 622 Receiver and control all using Harmony 880 remote,with Hot-Link Pro XL. I Also feed to a Sony projector on ceiling by splicing cat5E ethernet cable to one emitter to turn on projector and trigger screen to drop down in front of plasma screen for HD movies. All of this was done easily using Micro Smith Hot Link Pro XL.
This product made my installation easier, simpler and cheaper
It is hard to find a product that works as well as the Hot-Link and that can be installed as easily as the Hot-Link.
This device does a great job of extending your remotes. The unit includes a separate LED status indicator and an IR receiver. As opposed to what several other reviewers suggested, having these devices separate makes perfect sense. I placed the LED indicator on the bottom of my TV and the received behind (yes, behind) the top area of the LCD TV. The CAT5e compatibility provides versatility when relocating devices. Quality/build is great and the instructions were sufficient.