Unfortunately, though, at this point you’ve just scratched the surface of what you really need to know about the RedEye Mini. For if you really want to use it to its fullest, you’re going to have do deal with the extra level of complication added by the RedEye’s Activity and Room ‘layers’.
While these do ultimately streamline using the RedEye with macro and device-switching shortcuts, we found the process of setting them up such a mammoth chore that were we not reviewing a RedEye Mini for our jobs, we would have just given up.
The provided instructions pamphlet has practically nothing to help you out, so the only way forward is to try and work through your issues in conjunction with ThinkFlood’s website.
Maybe you’re thinking you can muddle through with the RedEye without bothering with the Activity and Room stuff. Well, at a push we guess you could. But if you do, you really wouldn’t be getting nearly the maximum use out of the RedEye system. And, in any case, if you’re wanting to use the RedEye with your TV, as most people probably would want to, there’s a major problem with not figuring out the Activity and Room mechanisms. Namely that when you select a programme from the RedEye’s TV listings, you will get an error message saying ‘No Activity Selected. In order to change channels, you need to choose a guide activity for this RedEye room. This setting is available from the Room Setup page’.
These might appear to be pretty innocuous words in themselves, but believe us when we say they open the door to a whole world of pain that it’s hard to imagine any normal person bothering with.
What’s particularly frustrating about this is that once you’ve (hopefully) finally got your RedEye Mini running to its fullest capability, it really is impressive. The finished control mechanisms work well, and the visualisations of your fully optimised control sets are both easy on the eye and elegantly organised. And yes, ultimately the Room and Activity sections make the RedEye Mini more usable.
In fact, the only post-set up issue we have with the RedEye concerns the coverage of the IR dongle, for we found that it only seemed to work comfortably over ranges of around 10 feet rather than the 30 feet claimed by Thinkflood, unless we pointed the dongle directly at the device we were trying to control.
In its ‘finished’ state - as in, with all of its control systems up and running and optimised for your AV system - the RedEye Mini is a remarkable achievement. It genuinely offers the sort of functionality you might get with a professionally installed AV control system for a tiny fraction of a professional system’s price.
However, our experience suggests that the chances of many folk figuring out how to get their RedEye Mini set up fully are extremely slim - unless they’ve got bags of time and the patience of the patron saint of patience.
Most users, we suspect, will fare better by downloading the separate free control apps now appearing from more and more AV brands and switching between those instead of trying to run everything through the single RedEye engine.