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Old 06-26-2013, 11:28 PM   #1
NoVa
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Looking for good all-in-one remote?

Looking for good universal all-in-one remote to handle TiVo, AVR, & BluRay.

Prefer RF but will consider IR.

Help please.
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Old 06-27-2013, 05:49 AM   #2
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Good luck in finding one, but I think the Logitech Harmony One is the ticket. I've programmed my two TiVos so that all functions are accessed by physical buttons allowing to to use it by feel.
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:17 AM   #3
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Keep an eye on eBay - there is one seller on eBay with a bunch of refurb Harmony Ones listed for $112. I bought a refurb recently from another seller and it came in what *appeared to be* a factory-sealed retail package, and was in excellent cosmetic condition; works great, too.
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:21 AM   #4
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Yea, the harmony remotes are hell to program with the worlds most annoying setup provided by logitech, but once programmed can be made to work very conveniently.
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:21 AM   #5
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I concur with the Harmony One recommendation. I own one and am very happy with it. If you are looking for RF, the Harmony Ultimate may be a good choice. The ultimate is pricy at $349, and since it was just recently introduced, discounts from list price are nearly impossible to find.
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:29 AM   #6
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Budget? Are the needs in the OP the only concerns? We'd have a better understanding of what you mean by "good" if you can tell us what you've used in the past, what you've liked and what you've found lacking.

Harmony remotes seem to be popular but if you can deal with the learning curve and price tag I highly recommend Universal Remote. Their remotes are typically used by system integrators. Even my older, low-end MX-350 is much more versatile than it would appear to be from just looking at it. It's the first remote I've used that has been able to replace all others. My newer MX-980 is much easier to deal with since it can be programming with their Complete Control application. Complete Control won't be anywhere near as easy to use as Harmony but I didn't find the learning curve all that daunting. As always, YMMV.

Don't overlook prior discussion on remotes as a resource as well.
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:00 AM   #7
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+1 for the Harmony One. Logitech sells refurbs quite often for $99. Just check the deal websites like slickdeals.net or dealnews.com on a daily basis until the deal gets listed.

FWIW, they're not as difficult to program as some have indicated. You just have to understand how the activities are configured to operate. You simply start a new activity to program and then select all of the devices that need to be turned on to perform that activity. You select which devices need to have inputs set and specify what they are.

An activity on a Harmony remote is basically a macro. It will only turn on the components required to perform the selected activity (i.e., Watch TV turns on the TV, A/V receiver, cable box, etc., and selects the input on the TV and the AVR and anything else required to perform the activity). If you select a different activity the remote will just turn on whatever additional components are required and send the necessary switch commands. When you hit the Power button to turn everything off, it remembers which components have been turned on and only issues the OFF command to those devices.
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:17 AM   #8
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+1 for Universal. I love my MX-700. IR though, and no longer made. I went through a couple of MX-850's, which is basically the same thing ( I think it adds RF), but the buttons would go bad. So right now I actually have an MX-700 shell with MX-850 innards. Works great, and I can program it to do anything I want.

Edit: I bought a Harmony One after I had the troubles with the MX-850's, but gave up on it. Doesn't compare to my MX-700. But maybe that's because I was so used to the MX.
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Old 06-27-2013, 09:35 AM   #9
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Look at the URC WR7 -- amazing features for around $21:
http://www.amazon.com/URC-Universal-...=universal+wr7

I retired a perfectly functioning Harmony 880 and have been happily using the WR7 for 3+ months now.

Two advantages of the WR7 over the 880:

1. No rechargeable batteries or charger to fuss with. I had to replace the battery in the 880 once and it cost almost as much as the entire WR7.

2. All programming is self-contained. The 880 required hooking up to a PC and using a Logitech web-based program and was very tedious.

From what I know about the Harmony One, these same two advantages would apply - plus the huge price savings.

Devices I control are:
TV, TiVo, Sound Bar, BluRay player and Logitech Revue

I still use the Tivo remote (because it's nicer) and the Revue Keyboard (because it's a keyboard) but the WR7 will control those devices.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:19 AM   #10
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Look at the URC WR7 -- amazing features for around $21:
http://www.amazon.com/URC-Universal-...=universal+wr7

I retired a perfectly functioning Harmony 880 and have been happily using the WR7 for 3+ months now.

Two advantages of the WR7 over the 880:

1. No rechargeable batteries or charger to fuss with. I had to replace the battery in the 880 once and it cost almost as much as the entire WR7.

2. All programming is self-contained. The 880 required hooking up to a PC and using a Logitech web-based program and was very tedious.

From what I know about the Harmony One, these same two advantages would apply - plus the huge price savings.

Devices I control are:
TV, TiVo, Sound Bar, BluRay player and Logitech Revue

I still use the Tivo remote (because it's nicer) and the Revue Keyboard (because it's a keyboard) but the WR7 will control those devices.
Wow, looks great for the price. They also have some reasonably priced RF models.
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:55 PM   #11
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+1 for Universal. I love my MX-700. IR though, and no longer made. I went through a couple of MX-850's, which is basically the same thing ( I think it adds RF), but the buttons would go bad. So right now I actually have an MX-700 shell with MX-850 innards. Works great, and I can program it to do anything I want.

Edit: I bought a Harmony One after I had the troubles with the MX-850's, but gave up on it. Doesn't compare to my MX-700. But maybe that's because I was so used to the MX.
I had the opposite experience. I had a MX-700 that I reluctantly replaced with a Harmony 880. The MX-700 and every remote I had tried previously lacked sufficient memory to hold all of the commands I needed to operate every single component in my home theater system. That was back in the day when I had separate components for every possible function you could imagine (i.e., A/V component switching, Dolby Digital processing, Dolby Pro Logic processing, preamp, multiple VCRs and Tivos, satellite receivers, tape decks, laserdisc player, CD player, etc.)

I wasn't sure about the Harmony remote initially as the programming and functionality were completely different than what I was used to with the MX-700 and all prior remotes that relied on macros. After using the 880 for a while I started to appreciate it better. Now I can't see going back to any universal remote with standard macros. I eventually bought a Harmony One on sale, but could never seem to bring myself to swapping it out with the 880. What's funny is that I actually had the Harmony One sitting in the charging cradle for a year before trying it out. I'm glad I finally made the switch because it's the best remote I've ever owned (and I've got a box full of old universal remotes to prove it ). It's also the simplest remote to use once you've got the activities configured. This is the one remote I'd hand to my wife and feel confident that she could figure out how to use without her bouncing it off the wall out of frustration. It's got a huge WAF.

FYI - the utility used to program a Harmony remote does require access to the internet and requires you to set up an account online, free of charge. What happens is that the app connects to the internet and will download any firmware updates for the remote. It also stores the remote's configuration online in case the remote needs to be reprogrammed or is replaced. You simply connect the remote to a PC via a USB cable and program it any way you like. You can experiment with the settings before saving the configuration.

I've used several URC remotes in the past and liked them up to a point. I haven't used one recently so I'm hoping that the quirks I experienced have since been ironed out. One of the major issues was the lack of sufficient memory. With memory prices so low these days there's no excuse not to have ample memory for programming commands. The one major caveat with the URC I had (I forget the model but it was their top unit at the time) was that the internal library of remote codes turned out to be somewhat limited. If I needed to control a device that wasn't in the library I had to ship the remote back to the manufacturer along with $10 to have the code programmed into the remote. There was no provision for teaching codes to the remote.

I had used several other URC remotes prior to this one and they all had issues. Mostly they were just inadequate as universal remotes for the setup I had. I'm sure the current models used with a more spartan setup than mine would work just fine for most people. What's ironic is that I'm down to just two major components in my HT system these days, a HTPC and a preamp/processor, so most of the remotes I panned as being inadequate back in the day would probably work fine with my current setup.

Last edited by mr.unnatural : 06-27-2013 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:16 PM   #12
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By the way, if you want so much information on remotes that you'll never be able to make up your mind, then visit: http://www.remotecentral.com/
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:36 PM   #13
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........There was no provision for teaching codes to the remote.
Hmmm, you must have had an early one. My MX-700 has learning capability. In fact the majority of my buttons are learned because I agree that the internal database isn't very good. BTW, I'm controlling 3 Tivos, a TWC DVR, a Denon receiver, an HTPC, 3 DVD players, a Wii, a TV, and I have room for more. So I'm guessing I don't have a memory problem either.

I do agree that the Harmony One can probably be set up for my wifes' use more easily, although I really haven't fooled around with macros on the URC.
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:03 PM   #14
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Hmmm, you must have had an early one. My MX-700 has learning capability. In fact the majority of my buttons are learned because I agree that the internal database isn't very good. BTW, I'm controlling 3 Tivos, a TWC DVR, a Denon receiver, an HTPC, 3 DVD players, a Wii, a TV, and I have room for more. So I'm guessing I don't have a memory problem either.

I do agree that the Harmony One can probably be set up for my wifes' use more easily, although I really haven't fooled around with macros on the URC.
I was referring to the URC remote, not the MX-700.
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Old 06-27-2013, 06:21 PM   #15
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Thanks every1 for chining in.
I should have stated that I do have a Harmony One that was a champ to use.
Still lying around as we are still unpacking from the move.
However, in my new house , all the equipment will be hidden.

But the H1 is an IR remote...what to do except to look for a new remote?
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:16 PM   #16
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Another option is to buy a Powermid unit pair that consist of a transmitter that receives IR and transmits RF and a receiver that receives the RF and converts it back to IR. Put the transmitter near the TV to pick up your remote IR and the receiver in the closet. You may need a mirror or fiber optic links (I think one was included) to drive all your closet units but you can keep using your Harmony IR remote. I ordered one of these to use this approach for a closet for $40 a few years ago. I had a early big screen cabinet TV. With a new flat screen I came out of the closet (much easier to insert DVDs and see what is going on) and now in addition to the tv in the Tivo room, I drive a tv on a different floor via component and set the transmitter next to it and the receiver across the room from my Tivo. You can also use more than one receiver with one transmitter...
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:41 PM   #17
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I was referring to the URC remote, not the MX-700.
The URC WR7 has learning capability -- works fine.
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:53 AM   #18
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The URC WR7 has learning capability -- works fine.
I figured the newer models do. The model I'm referring to is probably about a decade old. I must have sold it on ebay because it's not in my box of old remotes. It was a nice remote except for having to send it in to be reprogrammed every time I got a new piece of A/V equipment. That was the straw that finally broke the camel's back. I must have sent it in at least 3 or 4 times and it was getting old real quick, especially at 10 bucks a pop plus shipping, not to mention the down time while it was in transit.

I've gone through dozens of universal remotes over the years in search of the perfect remote. The result of my quest is that such a beast simply doesn't exist. There is no such thing as the perfect remote for everyone. There is, however, at least one remote out there that will best suit your needs. It's all a matter of deciding what features you want and how much you're willing to pay.

The Harmony One turned out to be the remote that works best for me and it's probably one of the most popular remotes among home theater enthusiasts. The layout is uncluttered and the buttons are large enough to operate it via tactile feel alone, even though it does have backlighting. One huge bonus is that it's rechargeable and never needs the batteries replaced. There's nothing more frustrating than trying to use a remote with weak or dead batteries and then finding that you don't have any replacements on hand.

Last edited by mr.unnatural : 06-28-2013 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:04 AM   #19
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There's nothing more frustrating than trying to use a remote with weak or dead batteries and then finding that you don't have any replacements on hand.
All my remotes are now rechargeable :-). I keep a box of various size rechargeable batteries that are already charged up around (the new ones marked "low self-discharge" actually work well these days, unlike the older generations of rechargeable batteries).

When I need to swap in new batteries, the old ones go in the charger, then back in the box.
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:22 AM   #20
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I used to do the same thing. The upside of the Harmony remotes is that the more advanced remotes come with a charging cradle so the battery is always being charged when the remote is set in the cradle. You never have to swap out the old battery for a fresh one.
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Old 06-30-2013, 02:01 PM   #21
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So I've decided their is no budget for a new RF remote & there is nothing wrong with my Harmony One that an IR extender can't fix.

Luckily the TiVo is under a bench within 5 ft of where all the components are.
But it's the only one that's hidden.

Is there any IR extender that TiVo members prefer to control Tivo's with? specifically for my new P4.

Thanks.
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Old 06-30-2013, 07:28 PM   #22
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So I've decided their is no budget for a new RF remote & there is nothing wrong with my Harmony One that an IR extender can't fix.

Luckily the TiVo is under a bench within 5 ft of where all the components are.
But it's the only one that's hidden.

Is there any IR extender that TiVo members prefer to control Tivo's with? specifically for my new P4.

Thanks.
I use the Logitech Harmony extenders on both my TiVo's, they work fine.
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Old 06-30-2013, 07:45 PM   #23
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I have a URC MX-980, and it is the macdaddy hard-button programmable remote. Be careful buying a programmable URC remote, because many of them are supposed to only be available through authorized dealers and the programming libraries are not available to the general public unless you can get a dealer to give you access.
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:36 AM   #24
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I don't know why some are saying the Harmony remotes are hard to setup. I've been able to setup several without the remotes for Tivos, Bluray players, AppleTV and Roku. The guided setup is very easy. It can take a little work if you want custom functions or buttons but even that is far easier than remotes of old.

I highly recommend spending the money for the harmony units with cradles to save you from messing with batteries.
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Old 07-01-2013, 07:00 AM   #25
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It's not that they're hard to set up. Harmony remotes don't work the same way that most remotes do. Anyone used to programming macros into their remotes initially have a hard time grasping the activity concept that Logitech uses. Once you understand how it works it's actually quite simple to program. Instead of programming a specific sequence of commands into a macro you simply specify which components are used and what inputs or other settings apply to each component. The remote does the rest. It's all a matter of getting your mind in synch with the way they operate.
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:46 AM   #26
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I don't know why some are saying the Harmony remotes are hard to setup. I've been able to setup several without the remotes for Tivos, Bluray players, AppleTV and Roku. The guided setup is very easy. It can take a little work if you want custom functions or buttons but even that is far easier than remotes of old.
http://home.comcast.net/~tomhorsley/...y/harmony.html

OK, things have improved a bit since I wrote that, but there is still enough of the "you are in a maze of twisty passages, all different" in the setup screens to make things irritating and annoying. And, naturally, I have to crank up a Windows system - no linux support.
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:57 AM   #27
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http://home.comcast.net/~tomhorsley/...y/harmony.html

OK, things have improved a bit since I wrote that, but there is still enough of the "you are in a maze of twisty passages, all different" in the setup screens to make things irritating and annoying. And, naturally, I have to crank up a Windows system - no linux support.
I just skimmed over the article in the link and what I read reminded me of my initial impression of the Harmony setup. I thought it sucked, plain and simple. After working with it for a while I realized it wasn't the software but rather my mindset. I was so used to configuring macros with my other remotes that the concept of configuring activities was completely foreign to me. Once I changed my way of thinking, programming the remote was quite simple and straightforward.

One of things I love about the Harmony remotes is that Logitech probably has one of the most extensive component libraries available that I've ever used. I recall purchasing a new high end Marantz DVD player that had just come out 7 or 8 years ago. When the player arrived I immediately wanted to program my Harmony 880 with the codes. When I accessed the online library the player was listed. In fact, I don't recall any device I couldn't program into a Harmony remote because the codes weren't available.
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Old 07-03-2013, 12:55 AM   #28
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Most harmony remotes have an IR receiver so you can capture your own codes. But typically, if it's not available, you can email customer support and they'll do it ASAP
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Old 07-05-2013, 10:07 AM   #29
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Have a Premier 4 hidden but all other components out in the open.
Bought a Sewel IT blaster & it works well with TiVo remote.

Now I want to use my good ole H1 to corral everything up.

How would I do this now that the IR blaster is part of the equation?
Conceptually I can't get my head around how I can control the blaster with the H1 to get the hidden P4 into the mix.
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Old 07-05-2013, 12:35 PM   #30
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You can use an IR extender to send the commands to any hidden device. It's basically a receiver that sits out in the open that has an extension cord with an IR transmitter LED that you place in front of the device you want to control. Point the remote at the receiver and it picks up the signal and transmits it to the repeater to control the device.
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