I had a lot of fun setting up my 433Mhz transmitter/receiver and configuring control of a bunch of Etekcity RF outlets via Node-Red. Now I'm starting to look into doing something similar with infrared signals. I know very little about the topic and so I'm looking for advice on which path to take in setting something up.
First, what hardware can be controlled via node-red without having to code up a node or interface and has the flexibility to learn IR signals from existing remotes? Do people typically do this with a chip attached to a breadboard or some device connected to the network (like an iTach IP2IR device)? Is there a node that can communicate with an IP2IR device like that and instruct it to transmit signals?
Second, I know this is a bit off-topic here, but I ask it in terms of compatibility with existing node-red nodes and being able to set up a node to control a device. From what I've read, there are 2 types of IR devices: an IR emitter and an IR blaster and I've heard different explanations as to the difference between them. Does there exist a node that can control either/both? And what's the difference between them?
With my RF setup, all I needed was an antenna attached to a transmitter chip on the breadboard to be able to control outlets all over the house. I used the exec node to issue pilight-send commands using the raw protocol and an RF transmitter on the breadboard. With IR, it seems like a different type of configuration. I've seen that there are wired emitters that you attach directly over an IR receiver, but is there a similar piece of hardware that sends a stronger signal like a chip on the breadboard? Like, is an "IR blaster" something that would send IR through walls to control IR devices all over the house like with RF or would I need an emitter running via wire to every device I want to control?
Has anyone here setup IR control of a bunch of devices?
My initial goals are to control a large 220V window-unit air conditioner, but ideally, I'd be able to control a bunch of stuff like my TV (what I cannot do via CEC, like volume, channel, etc), an LED projector, EyeTV, an IR-controlled AV switch, possibly my thermostat (if it can receive IR commands), maybe some other things in my AV cabinet, - stuff like that.