Q: What components are needed for a control project?
: At minimum, you would need an iPad/iPod/iPhone for control, WiFi WAP, and the LiivController. Each of these components are labeled on the left hand side of the diagram.
Q: What do the individual components above do?
: Each component plays the following roles:
iPad/iPod/iPhone (The touch screen):
- This is the main control interface between the user and our system
- Here, users can select zones, choose your sources, and a remote control of their devices.
WiFi Wireless access point / WAP:
- The WAP communicates with your iOS device over WiFi.
- It is the "bridge" between your wireless device and the LiivController.
- We recommend using a 802.11b/g/n WAP for widest compatibility, and a separate Gigabit switch for other equipment.
LiivController (The brains):
- This is the center of the entire setup, and handles a variety of tasks.
- Interface / Control server : Receives the commands made by the iOS device, and processes the requests
- IR blaster and voltage/video/contact sensor : The system has (7) 3.5mm ports, which can be configured for IR controls or sense for voltage, composite video, or contact closures.
. This is extremely useful for both macro- and event-based controls
- RS-232 and IP control server : The system has (2) RS-232 ports which sends out serial commands, or it can also send commands via IP.
. RS-232 / IP controls are useful for newer devices like networked receivers, or commercial-grade TVs for reliable, discrete controls
Q: How do these components get connected to each other?
: See the diagram of how this all works above. Read through this FAQ for descriptions on each feature/section, or review our previous FAQs on specific topics
Q: Is there a limit to the number of zones I can control?
: No, there is no pre-programmed hard limit on the number of controllable zones/rooms.
Q: Is there a limit to the number of devices I can control per zone?
: No, there is no pre-programmed hard limit on the number of devices per zone can have. However, we recommend a top limit of 100 network-controlled devices per subnet.
Q: Do you have a 2-way driver for [insert my brand here]?
: The only 2-way drivers we have plans for at the moment are for SqueezeBox and the iPort iPod dock.
Other devices and sub-systems can be controlled via 1-way IP/RS-232 commands.
More brands/products will be added as the platform is further developed.
Q: What if I need more than the (7) IR/sensor ports onboard the LiivController?
: You can expand indefinitely using Global Cache devices (GC-100-XX series), which gives you up to (6) additional IR/sensor ports to work with. The RS-232 ports and relays are also compatible as well. Alternatively, you can also expand using our upcoming ZoneXpander units, available Q1 of 2012.
Q: I need to control a device via IR, but it's too far away to pull a continuous wire before the signal attenuates (or it's just inconvenient). What can I do?
: Consider adding a single CAT5 wire for Ethernet connectivity, and adding a Global Cache device or ZoneXpander
(available Q1'12) for local control in that area.
Q: Is there an IR database included with the LiivController?
: Absolutely! A comprehensive IR database is embedded with the LiivController's vAutomation software, and is also updated constantly for new devices!
Q: What if there's a code that's not in the database? How do I learn IR codes into the system?
: The LiivController comes with an embedded IR learner on the front of the unit so you can easily program new IR codes right into the system!
You can use the embedded vAutomation software to attach these new codes to your control interfaces.
Q: Do I need to design my own remote control templates from scratch?
: No - the system includes a number of predefined templates for popular remotes, minimizing the programming time needed and allows for a much quicker installation.
Q: Can I customize these remote control templates?
: To a limited extent - yes - you can hide/remove buttons, add new buttons at pre-defined locations, and attach new macros, IR codes, or other serial/IP commands to these buttons.
You cannot create a completely new remote interface from scratch.
Q: What if I need a custom remote page, and none of the templates seem suitable?
: Most remotes can be fully emulated with some clever configuration from any of our standard templates, but custom interfaces may be available as an engineering service. Please contact us for further details.
Two (2) comprehensive multi-room audio FAQs can be found here:
FAQ # 2 - LiivController: Multi-zone Audio Server w. Integrated Sources & Switching - How does it work?
FAQ # 3 - LiivController: Multi-zone Audio - iPad, iPod, iPhone Controls, Syncing / "Party Mode"
Q: Why are there 1x2 audio splitters for the multiroom audio?
: The LC-200 is limited to (4) independent / synchronizable streams at the same time, but they can be split if you wish to have a large number of speakers cover a given area. In this example, the hallways can be set to have a single "zone" output split, since they can play the same music at all given times. The same can apply for areas like a Master Bedroom & its connected Master Bathroom, or a Kitchen + Dining Area - as shown in the wiring diagram.
By using splitters, you can make the most out of the (4) audio outputs on the LiivController. In the future, if independent outputs are truly needed, you can add a ZoneXpander to separate these cloned or conjoined rooms into playing separate streams of audio (available Q1 of 2012).
Q: Why is there an RS-232 cable going into the iPort iPod dock?
: The LC-200 communicate with iPort docks w. 2-way feedback for browsing of music stored on an iPod. Alternatively, you may wish to add an Apple AirPort device with Airplay, which further simplifies your installation.
Q: Why is there an IR port connected to the ZoneAmplifier?
: For efficiency, we can turn off the ZoneAmplifier when the multi-room audio outputs are not in use. With energy management and conservation becoming more important in projects, this allows optimal long term, green
performance balanced with careful power usage.
Media Center Integration
A comprehensive Media Center, Server, and Extender integration FAQ can be found here:
FAQ #4 - LiivController + Media Center : Full 2-way integration + Browse movies/music by cover art
Sensors & Automation
A general FAQ on this topic can be found here:
FAQ #5 - LiivController : IR Controls, Contact, Voltage, Video sensors
Q: Why is there a video sensor connected to the Wii in the Theater?
: For convenience, you may wish to add a video sensor to the Wii, so that when it turns on, the system detects this change and will automatically: (1) Power on the receiver, (2) Power on the Projector, (3) Set the receiver and projector to the proper settings.
Bonus: If there's a retractable projector screen, you can also upgrade the Global Cache to a GC-100-12, and use the relay contacts to lower the screen.
Q: Do I have to connect the Sensors to the LiivController only? What if I run out of ports on the LC-200?
: No, you can connect it to the GC devices instead if you wish. You can expand upon the number of sensor ports by adding as many GC devices as you wish.
Q: Are there other sensors available, other than the (3) GC sensors?
: Yes, our LiivControllers will be compatible with the Xantech series of sensors in Q1 of 2012 with an external sensor add-on. (More details to come).