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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Guide information is generally provided in multiple languages including the primary languages of the target country.
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.
All new purchases should use Roomie Blasters.
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:
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.
Base app. Supports up to 3 controlled devices from as many iPad/iPhone/iPods as needed bound to your Apple ID.
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.
Roomie Web Store. Typically, one Roomie Blaster Complete is needed per room for any room with infrared devices.
In App Purchase.
Roomie Web Store. Roomie Agent for OS X provides synchronization and configuration management for Roomie Remote for iOS. Also provides Triggers, SmartThings Integration, and many other features.
These Setup Guides are included with the appropriate Roomie Blaster products.
Click to download a PDF of the Roomie Triport Cable Setup Guide.
Click to download a PDF of the Roomie Serial Cable Setup Guide.
Click to download a PDF of the Roomie Three Emitter Cable Setup Guide.
Click to download a PDF of the Roomie Dual Emitter Blaster Cable Setup Guide.
Click to download a PDF of the Roomie Blaster Cable Setup Guide.
Click to download a PDF of the Roomie Emitter Cable Setup Guide.
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 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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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 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 sold by many third parties.
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.
Addendum Prior to 3.1 for Use of Third-Party iBeacons:
The PlayStation 3 (PS3) was not designed to be home-theater friendly. It 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 at right. 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.
Roomie 3.0 introduced 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:
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.
These instructions apply to both the Windows and Mac OS versions of VLC 2.0.5 and up.
For Windows, the hosts file is located at:
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:
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’).
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.
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.
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.
We 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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 “email@example.com” 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.
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.
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.
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. 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 if you are using Radio RA 2 that your Lutron hub is configured with a username and password. The default password of lutron/integration will not work – note that SmartBridge Pro does not allow changing from the default authentication so if you are using that then just leave it as is. 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:
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.
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:
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:
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:
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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