Support

Product Questions

Can Roomie control my infrared devices?

Roomie supports some devices via direct network IP control meaning the connection goes directly from your iOS device over your Wi-Fi network to the target device. This requires absolutely no other hardware aside from your wireless router and a compatible device from the IP Compatibility list.

Roomie also supports many devices, essentially all home theater components, via infrared control. Infrared is the technology used by the vast majority of consumer electronics components for the last few decades. It is the beam projecting from standard remote controls that you can’t actually see and is interpreted by your components.

iOS devices do not have the hardware to transmit infrared signals so an adapter is required in order to enable support for infrared devices. These adapters are available in the Roomie Store. For Roomie versions prior to 3.0 or if you’re not using a Roomie Blaster adapter, the Roomie Service purchased inside Roomie then activates infrared control along with an extensive library of supported infrared devices shown here along with ongoing updates for the latest devices. A single Roomie Blaster Complete can control many devices. Emitter Cables control exactly one device, and the Roomie Dual Emitter Blaster Cable or Roomie Blaster Cable controls any number of devices in line of sight with a ~20 foot range. Using the Roomie Triport Cable included with every Roomie Blaster, connect separate Emitter and Blaster Cables including Extension Cables if needed to reach far away devices.

Roomie also supports serial (RS-232) devices via the same Roomie Blaster adapters. Serial is a wired standard that allows live feedback such as the volume and other displays provided by Roomie shown throughout our website. Such feedback is not possible via infrared as it is a one way technology. The list of supported serial devices shows which devices can be controlled with Roomie using its built-in commands. Serial adapters control exactly one device.

Can I use Roomie on more than one iOS device?

Yes. Roomie is just like any other iOS application. It is linked to your Apple ID. Your Apple ID can be bound to up to 10 iOS devices per Apple. Your iPhone, your iPad, your child’s iPod Touch might all have apps bound to your Apple ID and thus be able to run any app you have purchased.

Meanwhile, Roomie’s in app purchases (10 Device Pack and Roomie Service) work much the same way. In app purchases are also linked to your Apple ID. You may restore them on any of the devices with your Apple ID by tapping the ‘Restore Purchases’ button in the Roomie Store inside the Roomie application. As long as it’s using your Apple ID and thus subject to Apple’s limits, we do not place a limit on the number of devices on which you run Roomie.

The Apple ID associated with a device is configured in the Settings application under the Store tab. If you need to place your Roomie app on a family member’s device, you may change the device’s Apple ID temporarily and install Roomie from the App Store. Note that you do need to enter your Apple ID password as usual whenever the app is updated, so this is only viable in a typical family co-location scenario. The App Store also places additional limits on this so that it can only be performed a limited number of times. Here also is a link to Apple’s support article on this topic.

Roomie is also enabled for iOS 8 Family Sharing. Note however that Family Sharing does not share in-app purchases, so the above method may still work better for you.

Will there be an Android version of Roomie?

We do not produce an Android version at this time. This has allowed for a much faster development process and a higher quality product. We hope to release an Android version in 2015.

Which remotes are provided via the Original Remote feature?

Roomie Original Remotes provide the exact image of an Original Remote for popular devices. In general, selection of these remotes is based either on popularity or the fact it is a common “source” remote. In other words, you use the remote while you watch content, it isn’t used briefly to turn on your system or switch an input.

In some cases, the remotes shown to you as options by Roomie may not perfectly match the commands supported by your device, but Roomie automatically translates all commands between similar devices. For instance, you can use a Panasonic Blu-ray remote to control a Sony player or vice versa. In some cases, commands may be missing the more different the device is and Roomie will stop offering the remote as an option when the difference is too great to be useful.

Note of course that Roomie also offers all remotes via the Virtual Remote and Gesture Remote features that provide a more iOS-friendly user experience matching all commands exactly if familiarity is not a primary concern. The following is the list of Original Remotes included in the current release of Roomie:

  • Apple TV 2 Remote
  • Comcast Xfinity X1
  • DirecTV HD DVR Remote
  • Dish Satellite Remote
  • Microsoft Xbox 360 Remote
  • Motorola/Comcast HD DVR Remote
  • Panasonic Blu-ray Player Remote 2011 (IR6)
  • Roku Media Player Digital Remote
  • Samsung Blu-ray Player Remote 2010 (AK59-00104R)
  • Samsung TV Remote 2011 (AA59-00463A)
  • Samsung TV Remote 2013 (AA59-00559A)
  • Sony Blu-ray Player Remote 2011 (RMT-B109A)
  • Sony PlayStation 3 Blu-ray Player Remote
  • TiVo Slide Remote 2010

While most Remote Design editing is built right into Roomie, it is also possible to add completely customized Original Remotes to Roomie using the DDK. See this FAQ item for more information on adding custom Remote Designs. From within Roomie, all commands on Original Remotes are also editable.

Which countries are supported by the Personalized TV Guide?

Roomie supports the following 34 countries for all major satellite, antenna, cable TV listings. Each service provides 2 weeks of guide data that is constantly updated. The Roomie Service activates both TV Guides and Media Guides.

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Chile
  • Columbia
  • Costa Rica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Ireland
  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Venezuela

Guide information is generally provided in multiple languages including the primary languages of the target country.

What’s the difference between the Roomie Blaster and original iTach?

The original iTach WF2IR/IP2IR models were great products, and the Roomie Blaster represents the next generation of that product line. This is not a complete list of improvements.

  • Wi-Fi has been significantly upgraded from 802.11b on the WF2IR to 802.11g with WPS on the Roomie Blaster Wi-Fi model.
  • Roomie Blaster does not require the Roomie Service for infrared control as of Roomie 3.0 though you will want the Roomie Service for its many other features.
  • Roomie Blaster’s connector is entirely new. It allows the Roomie Blaster to serve as either an infrared, serial, or relay adapter just by swapping the cable.
  • Roomie Serial Cable is a great advancement for serial connectivity. The Roomie Blaster can be switched in software from a null-modem cable to a straight through cable type. It also includes a gender changer. This cable eliminates 90%+ of user confusion over serial control.
  • The form factor of the Roomie Blaster is significantly smaller and includes a mounting dock perfect for mounting even behind a flat screen TV.
  • The Roomie Blaster uses a USB power connector allowing new options for powering the device. The original iTach also includes a USB power cable with each device, but the actual connector on the device is not USB.

All new purchases should use Roomie Blasters.

Does Roomie support the GC100 series of IR/Serial adapters?

Roomie supports all of the infrared, serial, and relay adapters from Global Caché including the GC100-6, GC100-12, and GC100-18. The GC100 series had the advantage of both infrared and serial connections in one device, but these models are also based on a very old architecture that only supported one connection at a time and had numerous deficiencies compared to the current products. In practice, this caused problems if you had more than one iOS device on your configuration. For this and other reasons, we deprecated the GC100 series. While they do still exist in the field and we have no definite plans to remove the ability to use them from Roomie, we do not provide technical support for any new deployments with those products and cannot guarantee they will continue working in the long term.

Note that if you do try to use a GC100 with Roomie, it must be using at least firmware version 3.0. Unlike the Roomie Blasters in the Roomie Store, the GC100 units must be returned to the factory in order to upgrade their firmware. This is another of many reasons we recommend switching to a Roomie Blaster even if you already have a GC100. Use of infrared control with a GC100 requires the Roomie Service. The following tech note covers the firmware upgrade process for the GC100:

Global Caché GC100 Firmware Upgrade Instructions

What is the cost of a complete Roomie solution?

Prices are listed here in USD. Actual prices may vary by currency in your country’s App Store. There is no additional charge for each iOS device on which you use Roomie assuming they all use the same Apple ID. iOS 8 Family Sharing support is enabled for Roomie products.

Purchase Price
Roomie Remote

Base app. Supports up to 3 controlled devices from as many iPad/iPhone/iPods as needed bound to your Apple ID.

$9.99
10 Device Pack

In App Purchase. Adds support for 10 additional devices. This pack may be purchased up to 4 times after which the device limit is disabled. The first purchase enables a complimentary month of Roomie Service for new subscribers to the 6 month subscription plan.

$19.99
Roomie Blaster Adapter

Roomie Web Store. Typically, one Roomie Blaster Complete is needed per room for any room with infrared devices.

~$85-$110
Roomie Service Subscription

In App Purchase.

  • TV Guides: Personalized TV guide with two weeks of updated schedules for 34 countries, photos for shows and cast members, credits, biographies, TV season browser, episode lookup, and more.
  • Infrared Control: Continuously updated control of your infrared devices with a library of over 190,000 commands, provides compatibility even for 3rd party infrared adapters like Global Caché iTach products.
  • Media Guides: Activate deep integration with Sonos, iTunes, VLC, XBMC, Plex, and Kaleidescape with content control directly from Roomie.
  • DVR Guides: For supported set top boxes including DISH Hopper/Joey, TiVo Roamio/Premiere, and DirecTV DVRs, a DVR Guide is provided to browse and play recorded programs as well as DISH PrimeTime AnyTime.
  • Proximity Automation: Execute commands based on physical proximity of an iOS device, or switch active rooms based on location using iBeacon technology. Enable compatibility with Estimote and other iBeacons.
  • Clocks and Alarms: Execute timed commands and alarms at designated times including audible alarms and snooze control, and add clock displays to your Virtual Remotes.
  • Triggers: Create external reactive feedback actions such as “run the Watch TV Activity when my Lutron keypad button is pressed”.
  • Agent Management: Control Roomie Agent issuing commands to OS X systems for launching apps, mouse, keyboard control, and more. Turn your Mac into an HTPC using Agent’s remote control over OS X including wake, sleep, and restart.
  • Backup and Restore: One button backup and restore of your configurations from the Roomie Service. Recovery Links provide the ability to swap easily between entire configurations.
$16.99/yr
or
$9.99/6mos
or
$1.99/mo
Roomie Agent for OS X

Roomie Web Store. Roomie Agent for OS X provides synchronization and configuration management for Roomie Remote for iOS.

$29.99

Setup

DHCP and Static IP Addresses

Roomie automatically recognizes when many devices it controls change IP address on your network via for instance a DHCP expiration. Opening the device editor (tap “Edit” on the Activities page and then tap any device) forces the automatic update and Roomie will notify you when devices it controls have been updated. By default, Roomie’s “Always Scan” option is turned on which allows it to recognize these changes without requiring any action from you.

For the smoothest control, we recommend reserving Static IP Addresses on your network router for all devices, but this is often not necessary for proper operation with one exception: if you have added a device via the ‘Manual IP’ option, you will need to update the device if it does not have a static IP and its IP Address is changed by your router. Automatically discovered devices are automatically updated. Some routers rotate IP Addresses as often as every 24 hours, thus in some cases static IPs are quite necessary for proper operation. To update a Manual IP device, just open the Edit Device panel for the device and tap the top row with the address.

Some devices that are automatically discovered are special exceptions: the Boxee Box and the Insteon SmartLinc 2412 are not automatically updated and should therefore always be given static IPs or DHCP reservations on your router. See your router’s instructions for details on how to reserve a static IP or if your router supports it just make a DHCP Reservation.

Roomie Blaster Setup Guides

These Setup Guides are included with every Roomie Blaster. Note that prior to Roomie 3.0, use of infrared control requires the Roomie Service with all adapters. Also, prior to 3.0, the settings web page must be opened with a web browser rather than from the button inside the app.

Click to download a PDF of the Roomie Blaster (Ethernet) Setup Guide.

Click to download a PDF of the Roomie Blaster (WiFi) Setup Guide.

Click to download a PDF of the Roomie Serial Cable Setup Guide.

iTach Wi-Fi to Infrared (WF2IR) Quick Start

  1. Connect Power to included power adapter.
  2. Insert metal pin (thin paper clip, thumbtack) into the Reset Switch 1/8″ (3mm) and hold until all LEDs start blinking in unison. This begins the setup process. Do not insert too far or use force. The objective is not pushing a button inside the unit but simply to make metal contact between the two sides.
  3. Configure a device with a web browser to connect to the Ad Hoc Wi-Fi network named “GlobalCache…” or “iTach…” where the ellipsis is the network address of the iTach.
  4. Open the address “http://169.254.1.70″ using the web browser and select the Network tab to enter the appropriate settings for your Wi-Fi network such as changing the Network Type to Infrastructure and entering the name of your network (SSID). For the IP address setting, note that it is generally safer to reserve a DHCP address on your router for the iTach, or to use a static IP address.
  5. Click ‘Apply’ to save settings. Wait a minute for the unit to restart.
  6. Using Roomie, tap Edit on the room and then Add Device. Wait up to 60 seconds and Roomie will display the unit in the list to confirm proper setup. If the device does not show up, you may return to step 2 to restart the setup process.
  7. Connect included blaster cable to Port 3 if needed. Blaster cables are used when you want to address multiple devices in the same area or cabinet that can all be reached via one infrared beam. The blaster cable will only work on Port 3. Make sure that Port 3 is set to “IR Blaster” in the web interface of the iTach if you are using a blaster.
  8. Connect emitter cables as needed to ports 1 and 2. Cables are included with 1 emitter per port. The iTach is compatible with standard emitter cables which can be purchased with multiple emitters per port. If you did not use a blaster cable in step 7, you may connect another emitter cable to port 3 as well.
  9. Use the Add Device command in Roomie as in step 6 to add each device controlled via the iTach to the appropriate room making sure to specify the correct port.

Click to download a PDF of the Roomie IR QuickStart

iTach Ethernet to Infrared (IP2IR) Quick Start

  1. Connect Ethernet port to the same network as your iOS device.
  2. Connect Power to included power adapter.
  3. Using Roomie, tap Edit on the room and then Add Device. Wait up to 60 seconds and Roomie will display the unit and its IP address in the list.
  4. If you need to make any changes to the network configuration of your iTach which will have auto-configured itself with DHCP, enter the IP address of your iTach found via Roomie into a web browser and select the Network tab to enter the appropriate settings for your network. For the IP address setting, note that it is generally safer to reserve a DHCP address on your router for the iTach, or to use a static IP address. Click ‘Apply’ to save settings. Wait a minute for the unit to restart. Most users should skip this step which makes the next step unnecessary.
  5. Using Roomie, tap Edit on the room and then Add Device. Wait up to 60 seconds and Roomie will display the unit in the list to confirm proper setup. If the device does not show up, you may reset the unit and return to step 3 to restart the setup process.
  6. Connect included blaster cable to Port 3 if needed. Blaster cables are used when you want to address multiple devices in the same area or cabinet that can all be reached via one infrared beam. The blaster cable will only work on Port 3. Make sure that Port 3 is set to “IR Blaster” in the web interface of the iTach if you are using a blaster.
  7. Connect emitter cables as needed to ports 1 and 2. Cables are included with 1 emitter per port. The iTach is compatible with standard emitter cables which can be purchased with multiple emitters per port. If you did not use a blaster cable above, you may connect another emitter cable to port 3 as well.
  8. Use the Add Device command in Roomie as in step 6 to add each device controlled via the iTach to the appropriate room making sure to specify the correct iTach port.

Click to download a PDF of the Roomie IR QuickStart

iTach Flex Wi-Fi Quick Start

  1. Connect the USB Power. Allow a minute for the device to startup and initialize. If you are returning to this step to re-configure the device, hold down the Reset button on the side of the unit until it resets. Resetting the Flex is performed by holding down the reset button on the side of the unit for about 13 seconds. After 3 seconds, the LED will blink quickly to confirm WPS mode, and after 13 seconds it will begin blinking much faster to signify that a full settings reset will occur when you release the button.
  2. Using your operating system’s Wi-Fi settings, connect to the Ad Hoc Wi-Fi network named “ITACHFLEX…” where the ellipsis is the network address of the iTach.
  3. Open the address “http://192.168.1.70″ using your web browser. If you want to join your iTach to your router using WPS, click the Join WPS button. Otherwise, enter the network information for your Wi-Fi network.
  4. Make sure to Save the settings and then wait a minute for the unit to restart as a member of your local Wi-Fi network.
  5. Using Roomie, tap Edit on the room and then Add Device. Within a short time, Roomie will display the unit in the list to confirm proper setup. If the device does not show up, first try simply unplugging the iTach, wait 10 seconds, and plug it back in. If it does not show in Roomie’s Add Device list after 30 seconds, power cycle your iOS device. Finally, if the issue continues, return to step 1 to restart the setup process with a reset of the iTach.
  6. Now connect the appropriate cables for your iTach Flex and tell your Flex how it is configured. The Global Port can connect directly to an Emitter or Blaster (including an original iTach Blaster). It can also connect to a Flex Link Triport Cable or Flex Link Serial Cable. Using a web browser, connect to the IP address of your iTach Flex as shown in Roomie. Make sure that the web interface on your iTach Flex shows the proper cable configuration that you are connecting. If you are using serial, you will additionally need to set the parameters for your serial connection here. Make sure to click Save after changing settings in the iTach web interface.
  7. If using infrared, use the Add Device command in Roomie to add each device controlled via the iTach to the appropriate room making sure to specify the correct port if you have a Flex Link Triport Cable connected. The port numbers are labelled by color on the Flex Link Triport cable – the card included with the iTach Flex identifies which port number corresponds to each color. If you are not using a Triport cable, specify the port as 1.
  8. If using serial, use the Add Device command in Roomie and select ‘Serial’ instead of an infrared port. Then select the type of serial device you are controlling. Make sure your cable and baud rate settings are properly set on the iTach web interface as well.

iTach Flex IP Quick Start

  1. Connect the USB Power and Ethernet ports. Allow the device to startup and initialize for a moment. It will automatically configure itself for your network using DHCP.
  2. Using Roomie, tap Edit on the room and then Add Device. Within a short time, Roomie will display the unit in the list to confirm proper setup. If the device does not show up, you may return to step 1 to restart the setup process.
  3. Now connect the appropriate cables for your iTach Flex and tell your Flex how it is configured. The Global Port can connect directly to an Emitter or Blaster (including an original iTach Blaster). It can also connect to a Flex Link Triport Cable or Flex Link Serial Cable. Using a web browser, connect to the IP address of your iTach Flex as shown in Roomie. Make sure that the web interface on your iTach Flex shows the proper cable configuration that you are connecting. If you are using serial, you will additionally need to set the parameters for your serial connection here. Make sure to click Save after changing settings in the iTach web interface.
  4. If using infrared, use the Add Device command in Roomie to add each device controlled via the iTach to the appropriate room making sure to specify the correct port if you have a Flex Link Triport Cable connected. The port numbers are labelled by color on the Flex Link Triport cable – the card included with the iTach Flex identifies which port number corresponds to each color. If you are not using a Triport cable, specify the port as 1.
  5. If using serial, use the Add Device command in Roomie and select ‘Serial’ instead of an infrared port. Then select the type of serial device you are controlling. Make sure your cable and baud rate settings are properly set on the iTach web interface as well.

Will a single Roomie Blaster adapter control my whole system?

Roomie Blaster adapters include 3 ports for infrared Emitter Cables or a Blaster Cable. The third port of the Roomie Triport Cable supports a Roomie Blaster Cable, or you may use the Roomie Dual Emitter Blaster Cable connected directly – included with Roomie Blaster Complete. A Blaster Cable is like a very high power emitter. You may place it anywhere in line of sight of the devices you want to control and it will control as many devices as it can see with a ~20 foot range. Typically, you might put a Blaster Cable’s output at the bottom or top of your equipment cabinet depending on the design.

Individual Emitter Cables can be connected to the other two ports. Extension Cables can also be used to extend emitters to great distances past 100 feet. Third parties also manufacture cables with multiple emitter heads on one cable. That is not the same as a Roomie Three Emitter Cable which uses discrete ports each of which are properly powered. Third-party multi-head emitters divide the power sent to the emitter in two and thus quickly become underpowered. We recommend no more than 2 emitters per cable to make sure output levels are high.

Emitter output eyes are then affixed directly to the infrared receiver window of the target device using the included self-adhesive pad. This direct contact ensures that nothing interferes with the signal.

Emitter Cables are the same as mono headphone cables. They are available in many lengths and variations and used by countless home theater products. They can also be wired to a standard CAT5 cable for long runs. There is for instance no reason why you couldn’t use a single central Roomie Blaster adapter to control 3 separate rooms if new wiring in your walls is in your plans. You may need a lot of different cables, infrared distribution blocks, and other supplies and of course, in such cases, we’d recommend finding someone local skilled in audio/video installations to help make sure all the wiring is done properly, but again there’s no reason a single Roomie Blaster can’t handle that. Of course, it may simply be a lot more convenient to get one per room. There is no limit to the number of Roomie Blaster units that Roomie can address simultaneously.

Roomie Blaster adapters are available from the Roomie Store. Additional less frequently needed items have been collected on this page as well in the Accessory Store.iTach Setup Diagram

Synchronization and Backup Methods

First, it is important to understand the difference between Synchronization and Backup. Synchronization keeps multiple copies of Roomie locked to the exact same configuration. Everything that changes in one Roomie is reflected immediately on every other running instance of Roomie. Backup doesn’t care about any other Roomie, it simply takes the local configuration and copies it somewhere else for safe keeping or for later transfer to another Roomie via a Restore or Polling.

Roomie features real-time Synchronization and three Backup methods. We will review all of them here. The Synchronization method in Roomie is Wi-Fi Synchronization.

Roomie’s Wi-Fi Synchronization is recommended for all users and on by default, but can be turned off in Settings. It is quite significantly faster than synchronizing to a cloud server, and because it is designed specifically for Roomie, a great amount of overhead is skipped allowing for a lightweight synchronization that quickly keeps all local copies of Roomie on the same Wi-Fi network in sync. An example of this is that small changes to a configuration such as the power status of a device can be sent to other local Roomie instances using a very simple change notification designed for exactly that whereas any sync with iCloud for instance would require a complete configuration transfer and depending on various factors such as server load and timing, might take up to a minute or so to sync. It is much more desirable for Roomie Synchronization to occur in real-time like a game which is exactly what Roomie’s Wi-Fi Synchronization provides.

The caveat with Wi-Fi Synchronization is that something has to be live on your network to sync with in order to work. You may have numerous Roomie devices on your network and so for many users this isn’t an issue as any other Roomie running on your network serves as a way to keep the mesh alive. However, if you typically have zero or just 1 device online running Roomie at a given time, you will need additional structure.

The best way to provide that is to use Roomie Agent for OS X. Roomie Agent provides an equivalent function to another Roomie on your network synchronizing all other Roomie instances. It also provides additional management functionality, backup of configurations in addition to synchronization, and control over the underlying OS X system. Roomie Agent requires the Agent Management Pack in-app purchase for Roomie itself.

Despite the fact that it seems like storing a copy of your configuration on all 6 of your Roomie devices in your home would be a safe backup mechanism, it really is not. Synchronization is a two way street. If your 5 year old decides to delete your Living Room from one device on which you didn’t use Prevent Editing, it’s deleted from all devices. Instantly. While Roomie Agent offers an additional solution to that as well by providing PIN number lockdown, it’s always going to be best to use a real Backup mechanism in addition to Synchronization.

The Backup methods in Roomie are:

  • Roomie Service
  • Roomie Agent
  • Dropbox

For almost every Roomie backup scenario, the Roomie Service is a no-brainer. Roomie Service Backup is available to all users with the Roomie Service. Roomie Service Backup covers the complete Roomie configuration including custom images. To use the Roomie Service Backup mechanism, just tap “Backup to Roomie Service” or “Restore from Roomie Service” in Roomie’s Settings. Roomie Service backups are linked to your “home ID” which is a long unique value generated randomly when you first install Roomie. They are not associated with any personally identifying information. If you have more than one home, multiple backups can be created if necessary. Treat your home ID like a password and keep it private.

When you backup to the Roomie Service, Roomie offers to email you a Recovery Link. This URL provided to you via email allows complete restoration if you need to install Roomie on a new device for instance. Using Recovery Links is also a good way to switch between configurations. For instance, if you have two homes with separate configurations, you can just click the Recovery Link for the other location whenever you move between them and Roomie will then switch to the other location. Roomie Service Backup and Recovery Links both require the Roomie Service.

Users without the Roomie Service may backup a single Roomie configuration to a free account on Dropbox. Roomie configurations are small, and Dropbox provides lots of free cloud storage. A free account can be established at the Dropbox website.

Once you have a Dropbox account, tap ‘Link Dropbox’ in Roomie’s Settings and enter your login information. From there, just ‘Backup to Dropbox’ and ‘Restore from Dropbox’ as needed from any of your devices. Note that there is only one backup per Dropbox account. A good strategy is to turn on Poll Dropbox in Settings on at least one of your devices so that any change to your Dropbox configuration is quickly downloaded to all of your Roomie clients. This makes it safer to upload configurations when you make important changes by making sure you started with the most up to date copy.

Roomie Agent for OS X provides a more powerful and more explicit backup and restore method. Built into Agent are commands to backup the active configuration and restore any selected configuration to all of your Roomie devices instantly, thus providing the simplest way to manage both multiple backups of the same configuration as well as backups of different configurations.

Finally, it’s important to understand how Synchronization and Backup interact. When you Restore a configuration from one of the Backup mechanisms, it becomes the new live configuration that all other local copies of Roomie will Synchronize. Even if you backed it up months ago, if you Restore it now, it is now the new version of your configuration for all Roomie instances.

Tips for Serial (RS-232) Connections

Using Serial/RS-232 can be a very reliable way to communicate with home theater equipment that hasn’t been modernized to support direct IP control. Some users even prefer Serial connections regardless. Roomie comes with Serial codes for a rapidly expanding set of tested devices listed here. Of course, you will find sets of Serial commands for many devices on the Internet, but we haven’t certified a library of such commands as we have with our infrared library in the Roomie Service. All supported Serial device commands are included with every copy of Roomie.

It is possible for advanced users to add additional commands manually to Roomie. See this FAQ item for more information on adding device code sets to Roomie.

For Serial support, the Roomie Blaster adapters with the Roomie Serial Cable should be used available from the Roomie Store.

One issue to watch for in buying the appropriate items for a Serial connection is the gender of the cable. Most home theater devices require female cable ends, but every so often an oddball device will come along that requires the opposite. Denon receivers are a good example of that. The Roomie Serial Cable includes a gender changer to handle that.

A very important issue with Serial connections is the wiring of the cable. There are generally two major ways to wire a Serial cable: straight through and null modem. These cables are not compatible with each other and you must check your target device to make sure it is setup correctly. This is configured on the Roomie Blaster under the “Crossover” setting.

These are some additional links to products you may find useful in connecting to the EX-Link port of Samsung TVs:

DB9 Male to 3.5mm Male Adapter Cable 1.5 Feet
DB9 Female to 3.5mm Adapter Cable 6 Feet

Serial cables should be limited to 10 feet based on the electrical design of RS-232. Using a Roomie Blaster is a great way to send a serial connection to distant locations by placing the Roomie Blaster at the location rather than trying to create a longer serial cable.

Roomie control from outside the home network

Using Roomie outside your home network simply requires IP connectivity to the devices on your home network. Generally, a home router is used to block inbound access to anything on your network for security purposes so that random people on the Internet can’t print to your printer or turn your Windows systems into bots. It is possible to configure a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to access your network from the Internet securely.

This FAQ will review an example way to setup a VPN. There are many possible ways to setup a VPN, this just happens to be a specific method that we have tested and can recommend. This method requires the use of an OS X system. There are equivalent methods available for Windows, Linux, and even some routers contain built-in VPN functionality. They’re all essentially the same, use the exact same protocols, and accomplish the same goal.

OS X comes with a built-in VPN, but does not have any way to configure it easily. We use a simple app called iVPN to configure the built-in VPN. It does have a small fee and in principle you could try to figure out how to do it yourself, but from a simplicity perspective, that is the way to go. We recommend selecting PPTP as the VPN protocol. You will also need to forward port 1723 (PPTP) on your router to the Mac OS system running the VPN.

Setup iVPN on your Mac OS system according to the iVPN instructions. Then, the built-in VPN functionality of iOS can be activated from Settings > VPN. Just turning that on and entering the username and password configured in iVPN will connect you securely to your home network from external networks. VPNs are generally very reliable, used widely by virtually every Enterprise, and secure. Once connected to your home VPN, Roomie can be used just as if it were on your home network.

One caveat is that in general multicast packets are not transmitted over VPNs. This means most automatic discovery of devices will not work via VPN. Given a system that has already been configured, that wont be an issue. Roomie’s Wi-Fi Synchronization also will not work over the VPN.

Proximity Automation Setup

Proximity Automation first requires the Roomie Service. It also requires iOS devices capable of Bluetooth 4.0 BLE. That means it requires at least an iPhone 4S, iPad 3, or iPod Touch 5 (2012). Alternatively for room beacons, you may use dedicated hardware iBeacons such as those from Estimote.

Proximity Automation
The two concepts to understand about Proximity Automation are Beacons and Monitors. A Monitor is always an iOS device. It is looking for nearby Beacons and constantly measuring the power of their signal to estimate their range. A Beacon simply broadcasts an identification to the nearby area via Bluetooth Low Energy.

There are two primary use cases for Proximity Automation today: automatic room switching and proximity detection. In the case of Room Switching, the beacon can be either an iOS device configured with Advertise Room set to the room of its vicinity, or a hardware iBeacon such as those from Estimote. The device that wants to switch rooms automatically based on the nearest room iBeacon then turns on Automatic Room Detection.

For Proximity Detection, the Monitor as usual must be an iOS device as it is the one that will be executing commands based on the target beacon’s proximity, and the Beacon is also typically an iOS device because the general use case is that you’re detecting people carrying their phones. The target beacon (your iPhone typically) must turn on Advertise Device. The Proximity Detection section in Roomie enables rule creation based on whether a beacon is entering or leaving the nearby vicinity. For instance, you might turn on lights when a device enters the vicinity and turn them off when a device departs. Devices must share your configuration and be considered a Synchronization Peer via Wi-Fi Synchronization in order to be selected in the Proximity Detection rules list.

The Proximity Detection rules list is specific to the iOS device on which it is configured, it is not part of your broader Roomie configuration as it is specific both to the room and the device on which the Monitor runs.

Under the Monitor section of Proximity Automation, all nearby advertised Rooms and Devices are listed with an estimated range. iBeacons typically get more accurate range estimates the longer they are at the same distance. Room names listed in white represent the currently selected room. Distances listed in gray represent nearby devices while those in red are considered far away and will not be evaluated as within the nearby vicinity. Any device considered over 4 meters away will never be considered for any room switch or proximity detection.

Estimote iBeaconsEstimote Configuration: To use Estimotes as room beacons, turn on the Use Estimote Beacon option on all of your other Roomie devices. Alternatively, you may program your Estimotes with your private Roomie beacon ID, but that is a complex process so we recommend just switching to the Estimote beacon.

Next, use the Estimote iOS app to configure the “Major” value for the beacon to your room number plus 1 and keep Minor set to 0 or 1. If you look at your list of rooms in Roomie, the room number to use is the index of the room you want to advertise reading left to right top to bottom, and then add 1. So your first room is simply 1 and that is what you enter as the Major value in the Estimote configuration app.

Devices and Commands

What’s the best way to integrate a PlayStation 3 with Roomie?

The PlayStation 3 (PS3) is not designed to be home-theater friendly. It has spawned an entire cottage industry of devices to help integrate it and compensate for its lack of direct IP control and even the lack of an infrared control interface. Despite the fact it is black and shiny, there’s no hidden infrared receiver under there.

First, let’s review why anyone would use a PS3 in a home theater. When Blu-ray was introduced many years ago, the players for it were almost non-functional. They were not only very expensive, but they worked poorly because the manufacturers were far from ready to adopt the huge, CPU-intensive Blu-ray Java infrastructure on top of their previously simple DVD firmware. Because of the many flaws in these early Blu-ray players that simply were not ready for market, Sony’s PS3 became the only viable Blu-ray player despite its total lack of ability to integrate into home theater environments. This was primarily because running Java for a mini-computer like a PS3 was a simple downgrade whereas for consumer electronics devices based on pure firmware like Blu-ray players, it required a complete redesign and most such devices didn’t even have firmware update procedures. Since almost every disc that was released used some untested feature, the firmware update craze seemed never ending and the only player rolling with the punches was the PS3.

Fast forward to today. The PS3 hardware hasn’t changed in any relevant way over all these years. Yet home theaters have moved on, and most importantly Blu-ray players finally caught up and passed the PS3 in functionality, speed, and price. The PS3 still has no IR control. It still has no IP control. What it does have is a Bluetooth interface and a USB interface, and various manufacturers have tried to integrate devices with those for home theater purposes. Built into Roomie are codes for many of these devices.

A device that does work at a low price point is the Logitech Harmony PS3 Adapter. Roomie supports the appropriate codes for that. The complexity with that device is that turning the system off requires adding a series of commands to Roomie’s System Off command as shown in the screenshot. These commands are not necessary with some of the higher end solutions.

A search for “PS3″ on the Infrared Compatibility page will show a list of supported third-party PS3 infrared adapters.

Apple TV Control Tips

Roomie 3.0 introduces direct network control of all generations of the Apple TV. Adding Apple TV is now as simple as navigating to Settings > General > Remotes on your Apple TV, selecting the same Apple TV from the Add Device panel in Roomie, selecting your Roomie instance from the Remotes screen of your Apple TV, and then entering the 4 digit pairing code displayed on your Apple TV into the Roomie pairing screen. If you experience any issues during the pairing process, restarting the Apple TV and/or iOS device should resolve it.

The content below refers only to the legacy infrared method of controlling Apple TV.

All Apple TV models can also be well controlled using infrared via Roomie Blaster adapters from the Roomie Store. Apple TV’s remote is also provided as an Original Remote.

Some rare Apple TVs in the third generation may have trouble waking from sleep (this is a hardware issue and can also be seen with Apple’s Remote app). In such cases it may be useful to send an infrared command to wake the box. Performing a full restore of the Apple TV via USB from iTunes may also help if you encounter that. A common cause of this is the recall of 3rd generation Apple TV units. If you see this issue and it is not resolved by a re-image from iTunes, compare your serial number to the recalled models to replace it.

Roomie’s Airplay support that is part of the iTunes Control feature can be used with an infrared Apple TV device in Roomie to enable a pseudo-IP method of control for Apple TV. As iTunes can play any of its media on an Apple TV via Airplay, Roomie’s iTunes Control with Airplay allows Roomie to send your music or video content from iTunes to any Apple TV. Assuming you have access to your content on a local iTunes installation on your network though, Roomie’s Airplay support via iTunes enables playing all of that on your infrared Apple TV device controlled from Roomie.

Special notes for infrared with Apple TV:

  1. Make sure to unpair your Apple TV from any existing physical remote when configuring an Apple TV for infrared control. Unpairing is accomplished via the menus on the Apple TV.
  2. Some special commands are possible on the Apple TV via long-press commands. For instance in some cases holding down the Menu button or another button causes a special action. By default, Roomie does not enable long-press commands with every command as it can cause problems with some devices. However, you may find it useful with Apple TV. To enable a long-press behavior for any Apple TV button, just edit the appropriate button on the Remote Design for your Apple TV to Repeat the command with the ‘While Touched’ setting. You will see Roomie has already configured your volume buttons and a few others that same way, but by default some Apple TV buttons that in theory could be configured as such are not.

Finally, for users feeling exceptionally adventurous, we do also offer command sets for other solutions such as FireCore that involve jailbreaking the Apple TV. While we don’t recommend this, it is an option.

iTunes Control Tips

  1. First, make sure you are using the latest version of iTunes on your Mac OS X or Windows system (version 11.4 at the time of this writing), and is configured for your media. Make sure your version of Roomie is up to date.
  2. For older versions of iTunes, make sure the option labelled ‘Allow iTunes audio control from remote speakers’ is turned on in iTunes Preferences as shown in this screenshot:
    This option is not needed in newer iTunes versions.
  3. If this is your first time adding a device or you’re trying to start fresh, click Forget All Remotes in iTunes as well so it removes any prior associations. Make sure you don’t have any existing iTunes device in Roomie.
  4. Using Roomie on the same Wi-Fi network as your iTunes system, tap Add Device.
  5. A device will now appear in Roomie’s Add Device panel for iTunes. Select this device.
  6. Roomie will now display a PIN number that must be entered into iTunes. Go back to your iTunes system and select the new item in the upper left corner menu displayed with the name of your iOS device that will appear the moment you select the iTunes device in Roomie. Enter the PIN number displayed in Roomie into iTunes on this screen.
  7. Roomie will immediately advance to the Review screen when the PIN number has been properly entered into iTunes. Note that not all features of iTunes Control are available via the Test Remote feature on this panel, so we recommend skipping that.
  8. Now save the device and create an Activity associated with it as instructed on screen. Make sure to set the Volume Control for the Activity as always to your Receiver or to iTunes itself depending on how you’re wanting to control it.
  9. Open the Activity to test the system. If you have Airplay devices such as an Apple TV, they can be accessed using the Airplay icon on the Virtual Remote.
  10. If you also have a separate Activity that controls your Apple TV via infrared, open that Apple TV Activity and set the ‘iTunes Device’ to your iTunes device so that your iTunes media can be browsed while controlling Apple TV.

VLC Control Tips

These instructions apply to both the Windows and Mac OS versions of VLC 2.0.5 and up.

    1. Open VLC’s Preferences and click ‘Show All’ to show all settings.
    2. Select Interface > Main interfaces from the left column. For Windows, enable the Web and Remote Control interfaces from this panel. For Mac OS, set the ‘Extra interface modules’ text field to “rc:http” without the quotes and do not check any other options. For Windows, check the “Web” and “Remote Control Interface” boxes to auto-populate the field with the correct values. Do not change them.

    1. Select Interface > Main Interfaces > RC from the left column. Set the ‘TCP command input’ field to the IP address of your VLC system on port 8081. For example, enter “192.168.1.100:8081″ without the quotes if your VLC system is running on 192.168.1.100.

    1. (VLC 2.1+ only) Select Interface > Main Interfaces > Lua from the left column. Enter a password in the password field. This password should match the password entered into the VLC device panel in Roomie.
    2. Save the Preferences and close VLC.
    3. (VLC 2.0.X only) Edit the VLC hosts file to allow incoming connections. These edits must be made as an Administrator user on your system. For Mac OS, the hosts file is located at:
      /Applications/VLC.app/Contents/MacOS/share/lua/http/.hosts

      For Windows, the hosts file is located at:

      C:\Program Files\VideoLAN\VLC\lua\http\.hosts

      Remove the ‘#’ sign in front of the appropriate network in the hosts file and then save the file. If your network addresses begin with 192.168, uncomment (remove the ‘#’) from the line “#192.168.0.0/16″ so that it looks like “192.168.0.0/16″ without the quotes. The following shell commands, executed within a superuser shell using ‘sudo bash’, perform this step from Terminal on Mac OS:

  1. Open VLC.
  2. Add VLC as a device to Roomie via Manual IP using the IP Address of the VLC system and port 8081, type Media Player, brand VLC. If you are using VLC 2.1+, enter the same password at the bottom of the VLC device panel in Roomie as you entered for the Lua password above.

Why does Windows Media Center only accept every other command?

Windows Media Center first started life with a system that was intended to improve upon infrared code handling called Toggle Codes. Over the various versions of Windows, and over time in the industry, Toggle Codes never caught on and were abandoned by virtually all vendors. Even Windows Media Center eventually abandoned the idea and now ships by default with it turned off.

Roomie is capable of sending Toggle Codes, but in the case of Windows Media Center does not as Windows 7 has disabled it and it can be disabled in the older versions as well. The following Windows Registry keys can be found using RegEdit on Windows (accessible via the Start menu Run command, and then typing ‘regedit’).

  • Media Center 2004
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\idIr\Remotes\745a17a0-74d3-11d0-b6fe-00a0c90f57da
  • Media Center 2005
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\HidIr\Remotes\745a17a0-74d3-11d0-b6fe-00a0c90f57da
  • Media Center Vista
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\HidIr\Remotes\745a17a0-74d3-11d0-b6fe-00a0c90f57da

Under the key for your version of Windows Media Center, find the key named EnableDebounce and set it to 0 to disable it. Restart Windows to make the change take effect.

Note that Roomie also supports IP control of Windows Media Center without any infrared. A third-party application called MCE Controller must be installed on the Media Center PC to enable this option. The MCE Controller application does not offer automatic discovery. It can be added via the Manual IP option under Media Players using port 5150.

Does Roomie support loading web pages, URLs or HTTP commands?

Yes. There are many different areas to differentiate on this question.

Any Activity can load a web page right inside Roomie. For instance, one could make an Activity called “Netflix Guide” and then have it load http://movies.netflix.com/. Roomie also supports loading web pages by launching Safari with a specified URL.

Another class of URLs that one might want to load using Roomie are app scheme URLs for other iOS applications. For instance, you might want to launch the Pandora iOS app from Roomie after sending the appropriate commands to your receiver to configure it for playing from your iPhone via AirPlay. Various websites collate information on how to construct such URLs for many applications. These include handleopenurl.com.

Roomie can also be launched back if the launched app supports it via the Roomie URL scheme which is simply “roomie://”.

From a command perspective, Roomie can load URLs silently with no visual presentation of the resulting page. If you have a URL that performs an action, just enter that and mark it as silent in Roomie.

Roomie supports both GET and POST HTTP-controlled devices such as Sony Blu-ray players, Panasonic Blu-ray players, older Yamaha receivers, DirecTV, and others. See the IP compatibility list for up to date information on supported devices. The Roomie DDK also provides detailed information on constructing custom command sets for IP control.

Learning new infrared commands from your remote

In the event you have an infrared device that Roomie does not already support in our library, it is easy to learn the commands using Roomie Blaster’s built-in learner. Roomie integrates learning functionality directly into the app.

There are two ways to begin the learning process.
Either tap ‘Custom Devices’ in Roomie’s Settings, or use the Add Device command and add a device to your Roomie Blaster as usual then on the final model panel tap ‘Add New’ instead of the model. Either way, you’ll get to the same Infrared Learning panel. Once you have learned the commands you need, the command set you named and learned will then be available whenever you choose Add Device for your Roomie Blaster. That’s it! You may either learn an entire command set for a new device, or you might just want to learn a few supplemental commands to a command set already in Roomie. In that case, it is also possible to edit the Remote Design to use buttons from both the original device and your custom supplemental commands at the same time.

Infrared Learning Built-inWe receive numerous support requests from users who thought their device was not supported in our library, assume they need to learn codes, but then find out that it is already supported. We strongly encourage you to check your device carefully against the infrared compatibility list to make sure it or similar models are not there as well as trying the infrared diagnosis steps prior to learning codes. Subtle naming differences such as a model name changing from YSP to YST or other numberings can sometimes be unclear causing confusion as to whether a device is supported. Trying similar command sets can often be a solution to what was initially assumed to require learning codes. Sony products are a particularly common cause of this because they generally always need an increased Retransmit Count. Often even vaguely similar devices use the same codes and greater than 90% of support requests for missing codes actually turn out to be a simple matter resolved by increasing the Retransmit Count, adjusting the emitter, or the other suggestions already in the FAQ above.

Remote Central provides this page that offers many additional tips on learning infrared codes.

Advanced Infrared Learning

For some complex Infrared Learning with support infrared adapters, or if perhaps you want to edit the codes themselves at a low level, you may also find the following links useful. Please note this is completely irrelevant for any normal infrared learning task. These third-party applications allow control of infrared learning from a desktop system and allow visual inspection of the codes for highly technical users.

After learning the infrared commands using iLearn for a given remote, the commands must be formatted for Roomie using the instructions in the FAQ on adding Custom Devices. Note that none of these steps are necessary if learning codes from inside Roomie.

How can I add my favorite device added to the list of supported IP devices?

Many factors go into determining which devices we support natively. Depending on the device, most are fairly easy to add and we add new devices very regularly. First, it is important to note that essentially all home theater equipment is supported with a Roomie Blaster adapter available in the Roomie Store. Yet, the industry is very slowly moving away from infrared so you may want to evaluate whether is possible to configure your A/V equipment in a way that can be controlled entirely via your network without any adapters.

The advantages of direct IP support for some or all of your devices include:

  • More reliable command handling than is sometimes possible especially compared to the classically hopeless infrared often used by hardbutton remote solutions. The infrared adapters sold in the Roomie Store do not require line of sight to your devices.
  • Two-way communication in many cases allowing feedback on screen from Receivers, Blu-ray players, Roku, and other devices like TiVo DVRs.
  • Direct IP support often reveals commands that simply were not made available via infrared by the manuacturer. The list of such special commands is very long.

Back to the original question, the primary decision for us is based on the expected user experience. If a device appears on our IP compatibility list, you can assume that exact device or one from the same family is physically tested on a regular basis with Roomie.

The existence of an Ethernet port on a piece of home theater equipment does not mean it can be controlled via direct IP. Some out there are literally not even connected. The manufacturer must explicitly enable IP control. Some manufacturers have been exceptional at doing so. Some companies are just beginning to get the message now and their implementations are at best beta quality.

The secondary major issue is simply whether we have access to the device or have strong contact with a beta tester who can verify functionality regularly on supported hardware. If we haven’t verified device compatibility, we can’t release it. It also usually requires brief testing against the device itself in order to add Auto Discovery, and we try to make sure every direct IP device we support has Auto Discovery.

Meanwhile, it is also possible to add support for virtually any IP or Serial device to Roomie without going through Roomie Support, but that requires of course a much higher level of technical skill. See this FAQ item for more information.

Is it possible to add support for a specific infrared, direct IP, or Serial device?

Yes for Serial and direct IP, and assuming you are using a Roomie Blaster or have upgraded Roomie via In App Purchase with the Roomie Service then yes for infrared as well; however, you should be aware that it can be a somewhat technical process. In some cases especially for newer devices that we intend to add to Roomie’s main library, contacting Support may be helpful as we may already be working on a particular device. We often add commands on the fly without requiring a new version to be released as our device library automatically updates so it’s possible for us to add necessary commands without long delays if we can verify them.

If you have infrared codes for your device in either ‘Pronto’ flat format (each code usually begins with ‘0000’), or in Global Caché format (each code begins with a frequency number usually close to “38000”), you may add them to Roomie via a “RoomieCodes.plist” file. Including such a file in the Roomie folder of your Dropbox account or Roomie Agent before using the Restore Configuration command in Roomie will cause Roomie to import any enclosed commands. It is even possible to override the commands in Roomie’s internal database with your own commands by matching the brand, model, and make of the device you want to update.

Device Development Kit

The Roomie DDK shows how to construct custom command additions. The format is identical to Apple’s plist format derivative of XML thus allowing you to use many widely available tools to edit such files.

It is also possible to add support for direct IP or Serial devices. This uses the exact same process as the infrared codes above and examples for this are also provided in the DDK. If you are adding devices that Roomie doesn’t know how to Auto Discover, you will also need to add the device via Manual IP in Roomie’s device editor.

Adding custom images

Custom images must be in PNG format. Transparency is recommended for best appearance. Images will automatically be reduced in size to fit whatever button or location is used. Images will also take advantage of Retina display resolution if they are double-size and named with a suffix of “@2x”. For instance, if an image area is 100 pixels wide, providing a 100 pixel wide image named “myimage.png” and then a 200 pixel wide image named “myimage@2x.png” will show all 200 pixels on a device with Retina resolution. If you move your configuration between say a Retina iPad (3rd Generation) and an iPad 2, this means your image will automatically adapt its resolution. In Roomie, make sure to select the “myimage.png” version of the image to enable that behavior. If you only include the standard image version, that version will always be displayed. Do not use “@2x” in your filename unless you have both Retina (image@2x.png) and non-Retina (image.png) versions of your image.

Once you have the images you need in the proper format and size, first backup your configuration from Roomie’s Settings. Locate the ‘Roomie’ folder you saved from Roomie Agent or in your Dropbox and then simply create a folder named ‘images’ inside the ‘Roomie’ folder. Place any images you’d like to use in that folder and then Restore Configuration from Roomie Agent or Restore from Dropbox. You are now able to select any images you placed there from the Choose Image panel throughout Roomie. As of Roomie 2.1, room images may also use custom images. All buttons in Remote Designs, and Activity graphics are able to select the custom images, and even Virtual Remote backgrounds can be modified.

Manufacturer logos can be overridden as well. To override for instance the Samsung logo, name your image “logo-samsung.png”. Similarly, logo-sony, logo-pioneer, and on down the line will override the brand name for that logo. Make sure to use all lower case for those.

Denon Receiver control from multiple devices

Roomie offers multiple control methods for Denon receivers. By default, Roomie uses Denon’s traditional “TCP” control method which is on port 23. If you simply use Roomie’s automatic discovery, your Denon is setup this way. This is generally considered the more powerful solution as the control method Denon provides there contains the full set of commands offered by Denon. However, it has one potentially serious limitation: only one device can connect to it at a time. So if you have two iOS devices in two rooms and use a multizone Denon receiver, it can be a real problem. One solution to that is to use a Roomie Blaster with the Roomie Serial cable as it intrinsically provides support for Multiple Connections.

Roomie also provides a second method of Denon control compatible with the 2011 and newer models. This is an unpublished method only used by Denon’s own mobile apps, and Roomie has engineered support for it. This method allows unlimited connections at the same time. It also provides album art integration. However, some commands are not available in this new mode. If you need advanced commands like the ability to set the volume level of your left front height speaker, you will want the default method assigned from auto-discovery. For many people though, the newer method is often a better choice.

To add your 2011+ Denon receiver using the newer control method that supports multiple connections and album art, add your receiver via the Manual IP option using port 80. Then select Receiver, brand Denon, and “AVR Series IP Zone 1″. The older, TCP method is known as “AVR Series Zone 1″ to distinguish the two. Note that adding via Manual IP means that you should also assign the receiver a static IP or DHCP reservation per the DHCP FAQ. The FAQ about Network Standby below is also relevant to Denon receivers.

Turning on Wake on LAN components

Roomie has the ability to turn on many devices purely via IP control using special Ethernet signals. The first requirement for this is that the target device must support Wake on LAN signaling. Most Mac OS X and PC desktops and laptops, many Panasonic 2012+ TV models including the GT50 and VT50, some Sony Blu-ray Players, most Sony television models 2013 and up, and a variety of other hardware support this (specific model information is in the IP compatibility list). Note that many components support being able to turn on via IP without using Wake on LAN. For instance, most receivers and some Blu-ray Players simply listen for commands regardless of whether they’re on or off. Wake on LAN is generally considered the most official or at least efficient method for turning on via IP control.

Roomie needs to know the raw MAC address (not to be confused with “Mac OS X”) of a device in order to send this special Wake on LAN signal. For most auto-discovered devices, Roomie already has this information. For other devices such as an HTPC or any device created via the Manual IP option, the MAC Address must be entered as part of the +WAKE ON LAN command added to any command sequence.

Given a compatible device that has been auto discovered or otherwise has a MAC address set, adding the Wake on LAN command is very simple. Open the Activity or Button to which you’d like to add a command to power on the device, select the target Device from the list, and then select the special “+WAKE ON LAN” command as the command to send. For most devices, you would want to add this to the Start Commands section of an Activity that uses the device. It’s harmless to send the command multiple times, so adding it to multiple activities is fine. If your device is a Manual IP device, the actual MAC Address must be entered manually on this screen as well where indicated.

Setting up Triggers for Lutron

Version 3.0 introduces the ability to configure Triggers for Lutron Radio RA 2 and SmartBridge Pro. Triggers watch the status of the device and take an action when the status changes to something you’ve specified. For instance, if a keypad button press should initiate the Watch TV activity, you can set that up with a Trigger. Triggers require the Roomie Service.

Triggers are always active as long as Roomie is running. You may also specify that the Trigger Agent should be Roomie Agent for OS X instead of Roomie itself. Using Roomie Agent to watch Triggers allow you to close all of your Roomie devices and have any Roomie command initiated directly from Roomie Agent on OS X.

Currently supported Trigger devices include Lutron Radio RA 2 and SmartBridge Pro. We will be enlarging this initial set of devices in the future. Target actions can involve any device to run any Activity that can be configured in Roomie. Only the Trigger itself is specific to certain devices at this time.

First, make sure your Lutron hub is configured with a username and password. The default password of lutron/integration will not work. You will need the Integration ID of the device you want to watch. Roomie provides these integration IDs whenever you use the Add Command feature. Examples of usage:

  • To watch the brightness level of a light, enter the Integration ID of the light and the brightness level that should invoke the trigger action. (See screenshot)
  • To watch for a keypad button press, enter the Integration ID of the keypad and the button number to watch.

Troubleshooting

My device wont turn on via IP after being powered off, how do I turn it on?

Many devices ship by default with their Network Standby feature turned off. As a power saving measure, the network interface of the device is shut down when the device is turned off.

This feature can often be turned on in the setup menus of the device, and is necessary to operate devices entirely via IP.

A very small number of low-end devices do not have a Network Standby feature and thus cannot be turned on via IP even though they can be otherwise controlled via IP. The IP compatibility list denotes such models when we become aware of them.

My infrared device isn’t responding to a command, how do I diagnose it?

Infrared devices are controlled via Roomie Blaster adapters from the Roomie store. If you are attempting to diagnose why a device might not be responding via infrared through a supported adapter, please follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the emitter is properly placed directly over the infrared receiver on your device. Hold the emitter in front of the infrared receiver of the target device and send a test command to make sure you’re placing the emitter correctly before attaching it. Some devices such as Samsung TVs can be especially obfuscated with regards to the location of their receiver. A flashlight aimed at an angle around the corners can be helpful in revealing the location. Then, use the physical remote for the device held just an inch or so away from where you believe the IR receiver is and that should tell you the general location when it works.
  2. Make sure the port on your Roomie Blaster is connected to the correct Emitter Cable. Roomie does distinguish between the 3 ports and must be told the correct one (this note does not apply if you are not using a Roomie Triport Cable, Roomie Dual Emitter Blaster Cable, or Roomie Three Emitter Cable). The numbers of the ports are shown in the image on screen in Roomie based on what kind of adapter you’re using. The emitter itself will visually blink when a command is sent from it. This should be used to confirm commands are being sent to the proper port. (Note that only the emitters blink, the blaster does not blink or make any visible change when transmitting as infrared light is outside human visual range.)
  3. If you are using a Blaster Cable on port 3 with a Triport Cable or a Roomie Dual Emitter Blaster Cable, or directly connected to the Roomie Blaster, make sure the web configuration page of your Roomie Blaster is set to “IR Blaster” for port 3. Not setting that and then using the Blaster Cable will cause it not to receive enough power. If you have trouble with an emitter, make sure to try switching between the emitter and a blaster cable or vice versa to rule out any issues with either. A blaster cable is very useful in ruling out emitter location issues as the blaster cable’s output only needs to be in line of sight whereas an emitter must be placed exactly in the correct location.
  4. Make sure you have selected the correct device in Roomie. Some devices have multiple similar types. Use the Test Remote button when adding a device to make sure you have selected the right type. In particular, some devices have multiple applicable categories such as Lighting or Auxiliary, or Media Players and Set Top Boxes. A very common issue is not trying all the command sets for the same device. For instance Sony receivers have two common sets labelled Code Group 1 and Code Group 2. Group 2 is used on more recent devices, but make sure to try both if you’re having trouble. Another common issue is selecting the incorrect brand name of a Set Top Box between Motorola, Cisco, and Scientific Atlanta. Due to acquisitions, you may want to try similar model numbers listed under a different brand.
  5. Some devices require multiple infrared transmissions for every command. Roomie defaults to sending only one. Even very popular devices sometimes require more than one. Sony products are a common cause of this. The Retransmit Count option on the device configuration in Roomie corrects this problem. Simply increase by one until the device responds. Always use the minimum count necessary. 2-3 should be enough for Sony devices. If raising this count does not correct the issue, set it back down to 1. Note that this item is by far the most common cause of infrared reception issues. Some devices are simply designed to require multiple transmissions of the same command.
  6. If your device is still not responding after checking these items, make sure the display in Roomie showing each command as it is sent is showing the command in blue. Any commands shown in red mean that Roomie was unable to contact the Controller for that device. In this case, the problem may be related to your local network. Make sure you can connect to your iTach via your web browser using its IP address.
  7. Verify that your Roomie Blaster is using the latest firmware. The Global Caché website provides instructions on updating the firmware. The firmware version of your Roomie Blaster is displayed in the Roomie Blaster Settings available by editing any device controlled by it.
  8. If the commands are showing in blue, your emitter is blinking visually as commands are sent, you have tried swapping between the emitter and blaster cable, you have tried increasing the Retransmit Count, you have selected the most appropriate device type and tried similar devices, your device is on the infrared supported device list, and the device is still not responding, you may wish to look in our User Forums for any similar issues, or use the in-app Contact Support button to send a description of the problem to support@roomieremote.com.
  9. If your device is simply not listed in the infrared supported device list, it is possible to learn the commands for new infrared devices using Roomie’s built-in infrared learning feature. The Infrared Learning FAQ covers that topic.

My Serial (RS-232) device isn’t responding to a command, how do I diagnose it?

Serial devices are controlled via the Roomie Blaster with Roomie Serial Cable in the Roomie store. If you are attempting to diagnose why a device might not be responding via Serial, please follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the Serial RS-232 cable is connected properly on both ends using the proper wiring and gender. The two most common cable types for Serial devices are null modem cables and straight through cables. Make sure you have the correct cable type as the wrong cable will not work at all. Roomie Blaster users don’t need to be concerned about this because the Roomie Serial Cable can be easily switched between the two types of cable purely in software using the Crossover setting in Roomie Blaster Settings.
  2. Ensure the settings of your Roomie Blaster are properly configured for the target device. This is accomplished via the Roomie Blaster Settings. While the vast majority of equipment uses the default settings, there are exceptions. The most common difference is in the baud rate. Home theater devices generally use 9600 baud. Check with the manufacturer of your device for exact information. Our serial supported device list provides information for select devices.
  3. Make sure you have selected the correct device type in Roomie. Some devices have multiple similar types based on the various models. Use the Test Remote feature when adding a device to make sure you have selected the right type.
  4. If your device is still not responding after checking these items, make sure the display in Roomie showing each command as it is sent is showing the command in blue. Any commands shown in red mean that Roomie was unable to contact the iTach. In this case, the problem may be related to your local network. Make sure you can connect to your iTach via your web browser using its IP address.
  5. Verify that your Roomie Blaster is using the latest firmware. The Global Caché website provides instructions on updating the firmware.
  6. If the commands are showing in blue, you have selected the most appropriate device type, your device is on the supported serial device list, and the device is still not responding, you may wish to look on our User Forums for any similar issues, or use in the in-app Contact Support button to email your configuration and a description of the problem to support@roomieremote.com.

My direct IP device isn’t responding to a command, how do I diagnose it?

These steps assume your device can be found via Roomie’s Auto-Discovery. Some supported devices cannot be found via Auto-Discovery but may be added using the Manual IP option with the port listed on the IP Compatibility page. Auto-Discovered devices automatically update when an IP address change occurs via DHCP on your local network (with the exception of the SmartLinc 2412 and Boxee Box). Devices added manually without Auto-Discovery may not contain the information necessary to update automatically on an address change. We strongly recommend using a Static IP Address for any device added via Manual IP, and it is also generally a good idea for any device that connects via direct IP even if found via Auto-Discovery. To diagnose connection issues with direct IP devices added via Auto-Discovery:

  1. First make sure target device is properly configured. This includes if applicable using its menu system to make sure any IP control options are turned on. Also enable the Network Standby option per the FAQ above. Make sure the device is properly configured for your network for instance by verifying a good DHCP address is shown in its menus. If your device requires Wake on LAN support to turn on, make sure to review the FAQ on that and add the appropriate commands to Roomie.
  2. Many Sony devices require registration via the free Sony apps. After registering with the appropriate app, Roomie will then also work on the same iOS device. Current versions of Roomie no longer require this for 2013+ Sony Televisions.
  3. Use the Test Remote feature when adding a device to make sure the command set is correct for your device.
  4. In many cases especially with receivers, you may need to try a few command sets to find a perfect match.
  5. Make sure the display in Roomie showing each command as it is sent is showing the command in blue. Any commands shown in red mean that Roomie was unable to contact the Controller for that device. In this case, the problem may be related to your local network – your device may not be turned on or configured to receive connections or perhaps the IP Address or port are incorrect. Check the settings on the target device. Some receivers for instance require you to permit connections via IP. Other devices such as Samsung TVs require you to approve any control device manually on your TV. If your device is turned off, turn it on before testing basic control as some devices require special commands to be turned on via IP. Check the IP Compatibility list for whether your device requires special Wake on LAN commands to turn on, or in some cases such as Samsung TVs simply are not built with support for turning on via IP.
  6. Verify that your device is using the latest firmware or software. Most of the devices supported via direct IP use their own update mechanisms.
  7. If your device is on the direct IP supported device list, you have checked the steps above, and the device is still not responding, you may wish to look on our User Forums for any similar issues, or use in the in-app Contact Support button to email your configuration and a description of the problem to support@roomieremote.com.

Auto-discovery does not find devices on my network

Roomie’s automatic discovery relies on various fundamental networking technologies collectively known as ‘multicast’. This has been used since the dawn of networking for simple things like finding printers and is now useful even for discovering your A/V equipment.

Some network routers are not configured correctly to handle multicast. In particular, any option labelled “Enable Multicast” or “Enable UPnP” should be turned on. Those are the most common causes of automatic discovery problems.

Some routers just have bugs as well and don’t handle basic networking tasks properly. These may vary from time to time with firmware updates. One in particular that is a known problem is the Actiontec series of routers often used with FiOS. The solution with that router is to disable the IGMP Proxy setting. If you are using a revision 1 Actiontec with the latest firmware and do not have the IGMP Proxy link, log in to your router then go to http://192.168.1.1/index.cgi?active_page=6059. If you have changed the IP address of your router, make sure to adjust the URL accordingly.

If you’re still having discovery issues after checking those settings, try doing a search in our User Forums as users may have posted tips for other routers.

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