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Remotely Locating Roku Ultra in AV Cabinet - Controller Range

Hello, I am working on an AV project setup for a home theater. Everything will be remotely located in a 26U rack with rack PC/Server, AV receiver, Sub Amp, Ubiquiti DM Pro, 48 Port Switch & Playstation 5. There is a lot going on in this cabinet and basically a faraday cage around the Roku Ultra. Also, this will be through a few walls and I have to assume this will be beyond the range of the Roku Ultra remote. I know they do not need line of sight anymore (since 2020 update), but I wanted to find out what the solution is to this type of setup. 

  • Remotely located Roku Ultra in faraday cage...lol
  • No line of sight
  • distance is about 40 feet from tv and through several walls

Behind the home theater TV there will be 4 ethernet ports (2 used for IR Repeater and HDMI over CAT6, 1 for Data, 1 spare), 4 USB extension ports (1 to rack mount gaming PC, 1 to the AV receiver, 2 spare), two bluetooth antenna extensions (One from the PC, one from Playstation 4). Also, I can bring whatever else I need behind the TV to make this happen as far as connection types go. Also, I am fairly tech savvy, so if cracking this thing open and extending an antenna wire is an option, I can do that. 

  • Is there a way to extend the range of the Roku remote through the usb port or some other means (antenna extension)?
  • I assume the remote communicated via Bluetooth possibly?
  • Or, is there a way to use IR on the Ultra with a different remote? I don't believe the new Ultra's have IR on the actual device. 

Maybe Roku support can answer this or maybe someone here has done it. 

Also, this is in a rental house, so they will not have access to the PC in the AV rack, so running a browser/pc roku app is not an option either, nor is mounting the Ultra behind the TV. 

 

Thanks!

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1 REPLY 1
atc98092
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Remotely Locating Roku Ultra in AV Cabinet - Controller Range

The Ultra has three methods of remote control. The remote included uses WiFi Direct, so a Faraday Cage would block the signal. The second is IR, which would potentially work with the Ultra within a cage, but requires a visual line of sight between the Ultra and the remote (or an IR blaster from a third party). Of course, the IR remote doesn't have as many features (such as listening via a headset) as the WiFi Direct remote.

The third option is to use the Roku app on a phone or tablet. The app works through the network, so it uses the Ethernet connection. The app provides the same sort of control the WiFi Direct remote provides, including private listening. 

No Roku uses Bluetooth for the remote. They did have one model many years ago (the 2 XS). I would guess the case could be cracked open and the WiFi module could be connected to an external antenna, but doing that pretty much eliminates any benefit of the Roku being inside a Faraday Cage. 

For a rental I can understand the desire to place the hardware somewhere the guests cannot access it, to eliminate the chance of theft. But if you could instead just place it within a locked room/cabinet that isn't too far away from the Roku, you can just stick with the included remote. Since it uses WiFi, it should work fine if they are within say 100' of each other. I've never tested the distance my remote will work, so I can't speak from experience there. Roku has used WiFi Direct remotes on various players all the way back to 2012, so it's not something that was added to the Ultra in an update. 

Dan

Roku Community Streaming Expert

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