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Niles RCA-HT2

Infrared repeater system

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  • Niles RCA-HT2

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Our take on the Niles RCA-HT2

by Amanda P.
Niles

The Niles RCA-HT2 kit provides easy control of your audio/video system, even if your gear is placed out of sight in a cabinet or closet. It includes everything you need to set up a complete IR (infrared) repeater system and control up to five A/V components:

  • MS220 IR sensor — Mount this small sensor in a convenient spot, like next to your TV. It sends the IR commands from your remote control to the IR hub.
  • MSU250 IR hub — Accepts incoming IR signals and passes them on to your A/V components.
  • five MF1VF flashers — Infrared light-emitting devices that carry IR commands from the MSU250 to your A/V gear.
  • 50 feet of CAT-5 cable to connect the IR sensor to the IR hub.

Highlights:

  • complete IR repeater system
  • controls up to 5 A/V components
  • LCD- and plasma-proof wall-mountable sensor design — works near flat-panel TVs
  • UL-listed, regulated in-line power supply with universal voltage capability
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
 

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • MSU250 IR main system unit
  • Two 4-Pin "screwless" sensor connectors for category 5 cable
  • MS220 Surface mount IR sensor (black) with attached 10' cable
  • 5 MF1VF IR MicroFlashers (each has an attached 10' cord terminated with a mono minijack connector)
  • AC adapter with an attached 74" DC output cord (DC output: 12V/1250mA)
  • US 2-pronged AC plug insert (for AC power adapter)
  • 50' CAT-5 cable
  • 4 Self-adhesive rubber feet
  • 10 Self-adhesive pads (for mounting the IR MicroFlashers)
  • Installation Guide

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Overview
MSU250 Main System Unit Features
MS220 IR Sensor Features
MF1VF MicroFlasher Features
Dimensions

Overview

IR System Overview: An infrared (IR) extender system enables you to control your IR remote controlled A/V equipment from a remote location. This enables you to place your A/V components out of sight (behind cabinet doors, in the rear of a room, or in a different room) and still conveniently control your equipment.

IR System Components: This infrared extender system includes the following items:

  • IR Main System Unit: The MSU250 IR Main System Unit provides a connection hub for two IR sensors (one included) or keypads and up to five IR flashers, and it is generally located near the A/V components. The Main System Unit, which is the "heart" of an IR extender system, has LED indicators to monitor the IR extender system.
  • IR Sensors: IR Sensors, like the included MS220 surface mount model, are the "eyes" of the system, receiving IR commands from hand-held remote controls and relaying the commands to the Main System Unit via a CAT-5 or a 4-conductor shielded cable. Generally, sensors are placed so that you can easily and naturally point your remote control directly at them. Sensors are also available in wall-mount, ceiling-mount and tabletop models.
  • IR Flashers: These IR MicroFlashers re-transmit the infrared signals from the IR Main System Unit to your A/V components. Flashers are the "voice" of an IR extender system that "speaks" to your components.

MSU250 Main System Unit Features

Universal Compatibility: With the necessary accessories, an IR remote control extender system using the MSU250 is compatible with virtually all brands of A/V equipment and remote controls using carrier frequencies of between 25kHz and 90kHz.

Flasher Hi/Lo Switch: Two of the five IR flasher outputs have switchable high/low output. When switched to High, you can connect a high-output flooding flasher, such as an IRB1 (item 190IRB1). When in the Low position, you can connect low-output micro-flashers, such as MF1, MF1VF (included), MF2 or MF2VF.

LED Indicators: The MSU250 provides a visible indication of system status via a green LED and confirms reception of IR data via a blinking blue LED.

Wiring: From every IR sensor, you must home-run a Category 5 ("Cat 5") cable back to the MSU250, connecting each sensor to the hub with an individual cable. The Cat 5 cable should be terminated with the supplied quick connect sensor plugs. The IR flashers connect to the hub via 3.5mm (1/8") mini-plugs.

Status Input: The MSU250 features a 3-30-volt AC/DC status input jack which provides system status to sensors and keypads when connected to a switched AC or DC output on an audio receiver or preamp. An optional 12-Volt adapter may be necessary.

Optional Expansion Unit: If you need additional IR sensors, you can use the IRH610 Infrared Sensor Expansion Hub (item # 190IRH610). It has inputs for 6 additional IR sensors and a single output to connect the hub to the MSU250.

MS220 IR Sensor Features

Universal Compatibility: When used in a complete system, this IR sensor is compatible with virtually all brands of A/V equipment and remote controls using carrier frequencies of between 25kHz and 90kHz. The MS220 is also compatible with the recently introduced Philips RCMM codes.

Universal Noise Suppression: The sensor has a patent-pending Universal Noise Suppression design that effectively eliminates IR interference from plasma and LCD TVs, CFL (fluorescent) lighting, and direct sunlight. This two-stage technology combines an optical noise filter with a "smart" electronic circuit to provide consistent, reliable control.

IR Receiving Range: You get 20' to 35' of remote control range, depending upon the strength of your handheld remote. The IR pickup angle is 30° off-axis (horizontal and vertical) at 25'.

Bi-colored LED: The LED glows green when the system is on and flashes blue to confirm reception of IR commands.

Mounting: The MS220 is designed to surface-mount almost anywhere using its adhesive back. Convenient mounting locations for the MS220 include: on the front panel of a television set, on the front surface of a wall, a cabinet, an appliance, or a speaker grille.

MF1VF MicroFlasher Features

Universal Compatibility: When used in a complete system, this IR MicroFlasher is compatible with virtually all brands of A/V equipment and remote controls using carrier frequencies between 20kHz and 455 kHz.

Red LED: The MF1VF provides visible feedback of flasher operation via a red LED in the flasher housing.

Mounting: The MF1VF is designed for pin-point relaying of IR commands, so it is typically mounted to the infrared remote sensor window of an audio/video component using the self-adhesive backing.

Dimensions

  Width Height Depth
MSU250 Main System Unit 5.664" 2.039" 0.856"
MS220 IR Sensor 2.047" 0.685" 0.466"
MF1 MicroFlashers 0.330" 0.559" 0.235"
 
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Niles RCA-HT2 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

9 people say:

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2 out of 5

Works, but not with all TVs

Written By JBReds, Glastonbury, CT on Friday, December 27, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I have an older Samsung TV. By older I mean 5 years old. When the TV first starts it emits what I assume is an RF frequency that interferes with the unit. I turn on the TV and the sensor has a steady blue light (this means that it is receiving a signal and sending it to the repeater. I have to wait 3 minutes or so for the blue light to dim and then I can use the remote. Called Niles and they say to move the sensor away from the TV. This does work, but I have my TV on a swivel so I can watch it in the kitchen as well. So now I cannot use the remote in the kitchen.
Pros:
Works well and very easy to set up
Cons:
RF interference with some televisions. The IR sensors pads fall off the components.
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 
5 out of 5

niles flasher kit

Written By rick t, rohnert park ca on Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I have tried two other flasher kits to signal my equipment located behind cabinet doors , but the niles system is the only one that has worked reliably even in bright light and right next to a 60" plasma. worth every penny it cost.
Pros:
works 100% of the time and simple to hook up
Cons:
none
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5 out of 5

Very happy with purchase

Written By Stephen D, Glastonbury, CT on Tuesday, September 04, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I am very happy with this purchase. It allows me to hide most of my components, wires and cables in a closet out of view of my media room.

I am also really happy that I bought it from Crutchfield's. I read the manual and fiddled with the system trying to get it to work for some time. It worked very well with my Apple TV, but I had trouble getting it to work with the receiver and Blu-Ray player. A call to Crutchfield's Tech Support, and a few minutes later, it was working on everything like a charm. I am too embarrassed to publicly disclose what I forgot to do, but was definitely grateful that Crutchfield's Tech Support was there to solve my "easy" problems.

A+ for Crutchfield Tech Support -- seriously. They definitely take the frustration out of DIY electronics if you aren't an engineer.
Pros:
Simple, clean, compact, plenty of wire
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1 out of 5

Disappointed by poor quality and service

Written By DS, New York, NY on Monday, May 21, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
After running the remote sensor through the wall, I was unable to get the unit to work. Eventually, I removed the cover to the remote sensor to find that the four wires were all soldered to the PCB in one mass of solder. Since this could only happen at the time of manufacturing, they clearly do not test all of the components prior to shipping the product. When I contacted their tech support they told me to call Crutchfield who then sent me back to the manufacturer. At first, they wanted me to send the entire unit back to them but finally agreed to replace just the remote sensor. They insisted I send them back this cheap and useless component before they would send a new one, which now means pulling it out from the wall behind a 65" television, shipping it off, waiting, and then running it back through the wall. At this price, it is shocking that the manufacturer would not test their components. Be sure to test all components before installing to ensure they are not DOA.
Pros:
unknown.
Cons:
poor quality, poor technical support & warranty service
3 out of 4 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

it really works !

Written By cindy, woodstock, ga on Friday, February 10, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
this little device really works. i was skeptical about its function. i have a 12 year old sony cd player and a 1 year old marantz receiver. dvd changer, and directv. it works great with all. easy to set up and install. the guide book is fairly clear. i would not hesitate to recommend this little device if all the components will not sit in the same space.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Excellent

Written By JasonS, Mississippi on Thursday, January 26, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Performs just as noted. No delays from time of command to action. Build quality is excellent, but care is needed with the sensor. While installing the sensor unit through a wall the sensor parted from the cable with only moderate forces applied. Replacement sensors are very expensive.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Nice product

Written By amberjax, Suffolk, Va. on Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I installed the smaller version of this piece about 8 yrs. ago and I called him before buying this one. He said his hadn't missed a beat. I installed this one in a closet and it works flawlessly. Easy to connect and set up for each piece of equipment. Even works with my Logitech PS3 adapter for my Logitech remote.
Pros:
Good quality and easy to install and set up.
Cons:
The price good be a bit lower, but it's well worth it.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Niles RCA Repeater

Written By Skip, Arlington, VA on Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Product works great, simple installation. It's a bit touchy about being too far to the side as you're aiming your remote control at it.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

GREAT PRODUCT!

Written By Joseph, Buffalo NY on Sunday, February 07, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
After trying a cheap alternative, I went with Niles. From the first click, it worked perfect...
Wish I went with Niles first....
16 out of 24 people found this helpful
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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Niles RCA-HT2, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_190RCAHT2/Niles-RCA-HT2.html ).

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