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Old 09-20-2011, 03:52 PM   #1
chrispitude
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Best learning remote for a TiVo (Premiere)?

Hi everyone,

I recently bought a 46" Westinghouse LCD-LED TV (LD-4655VX). It was on sale for $599 from $799. What a deal! Well, it wasn't really a deal, because it's likely going to cause me to spend more money.

I have the TiVo Glo premium remote, which is the learning Premiere remote. However, I can't get this remote to turn my Westinghouse TV on and off. It will control the volume, but it refuses to control power - either by entering the Westinghouse code, or by using the learning function. It's as if the Glo remote is simply incapable of understanding or sending this remote signal. I used a digital camera's viewfinder as an IR detector and I can confirm that the Glo is indeed sending some IR code when I hit the TV power button, but nothing happens.

So, I may need to buy a third-party learning remote. What is considered to be the most TiVo-friendly learning remote these days? Harmony has a number of remote options - is there one that is more TiVo-ish than the others?

I have a Denon AVR-2112CI receiver with its own remote... that one doesn't even have a code for a Westinghouse, nor does its remote have a learning function! So, whatever learning remote I get would be replacing three remotes (TiVo, TV, receiver).

The irony in all this is, would my cheapest and easiest solution be to sell this TV and buy another brand? Ah, the joys of technology.
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Old 09-20-2011, 05:08 PM   #2
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I use a Harmony One remote. With it I control a Toshiba tv Yamaha receiver amp and 2 tivo's and a x10 light controller.
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Old 09-20-2011, 05:25 PM   #3
chrispitude
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I use a Harmony One remote. With it I control a Toshiba tv Yamaha receiver amp and 2 tivo's and a x10 light controller.
Thanks Caddy! Wow, that's a nice looking remote. Did you find that it offered complete coverage of all TiVo remote buttons, or were you left with any missing functions (skip backwards, jump to end, slo-mo, etc.)?

- Chris
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:25 PM   #4
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Thanks Caddy! Wow, that's a nice looking remote. Did you find that it offered complete coverage of all TiVo remote buttons, or were you left with any missing functions (skip backwards, jump to end, slo-mo, etc.)?

- Chris
I have not notice any thing but I do not use every command button.
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Old 09-21-2011, 01:28 AM   #5
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Harmony remotes (all of them) come with practically all the buttons in. However, if there's one you can't find, you can always teach it to the Harmony. I think for TiVo they have all - they get the Pronto control codes and add it to their database. (the database often has discrete codes for many devices).

It's quite a slick system they have - it beats all the other universal remotes I've seen quite handily. The downside is it requires a computer with internet to configure, but the upside is well, it's always up to date with the latest remote codes (and discretes, too!), and clicking through the program is far simpler than putting the remote into setup mode, pressing a few code keys, then testing to see if it works before trying another, etc.
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Old 09-21-2011, 05:00 AM   #6
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I have the Harmony One for two rooms but recently purchased a Harmony 650 with Logitech 50% off coupon and if only 5 devices or less are needed, I think it is a good and far less expensive option.
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:27 AM   #7
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I use a Sony RM-VL600. It's not fancy and has no touchscreen or display of any kind, but it supports 8 functions, is a learning remote, lets you remap every button if you so desire, the batteries last forever, and you can buy it for somewhere around $25.
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:38 AM   #8
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I use a Hamony 1, before that a Harmony 670. It controls my Sony TV, Yamaha reciever, BRP, HDDVD, TiVo and FiOS DVR also my ceiling fan and old PS2.
They are programable and customizable. They can be found on sale at Best Buy, Amazon and also at eBay. They tend to be pricey. The 670 didnt have the bells a whistles the Harmony 1 does but the H-1 works great and is reachargable.
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:24 PM   #9
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I'm also using a Harmony One. Before that I used a Harmony 880. The Logitech Harmony remotes seem to be the favorite among A/V enthusiasts as they are easy to set up and use and have a huge library of remote codes for just about any device you'd want to control.

The downside of the Harmony One is that it can be a bit pricey (about $250 retail but typically on sale for about $150 with refurbished uints selling for as low as $100).

Logitech just announced the Harmony Link, which uses Wi-Fi and an app that lets your smart phone or iPad work just like a universal remote. Here's a link to the Logitech website for the Link:

http://www.logitech.com/en-us/tablet...s/harmony-link
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Old 09-26-2011, 06:11 PM   #10
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I'm also using a Harmony One. Before that I used a Harmony 880. The Logitech Harmony remotes seem to be the favorite among A/V enthusiasts as they are easy to set up and use and have a huge library of remote codes for just about any device you'd want to control.

The downside of the Harmony One is that it can be a bit pricey (about $250 retail but typically on sale for about $150 with refurbished uints selling for as low as $100).

Logitech just announced the Harmony Link, which uses Wi-Fi and an app that lets your smart phone or iPad work just like a universal remote. Here's a link to the Logitech website for the Link:

http://www.logitech.com/en-us/tablet...s/harmony-link
yea right, $100 for an Android app, cant blame a guy for trying
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:06 PM   #11
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yea right, $100 for an Android app, cant blame a guy for trying
The app is free. The $100 is for the Harmony Link Wi-Fi interface. Next time try reading the info posted in the link.
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:16 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by chrispitude View Post
.... I may need to buy a third-party learning remote. What is considered to be the most TiVo-friendly learning remote these days? Harmony has a number of remote options - is there one that is more TiVo-ish than the others?
I use an old-school URC MX-500 which is a full-on learning remote (learns every function from the original remote). Mine controls every function on all ten of my components. I have also set up several of my friends with this remote when they didn't want to program their remote from the PC (like the Harmony).

It may be discontinued, but it still exists in the form of the NXG NX-RM505 which i found on EBay last year and it's basically a re-badged MX-500. I was able to clone it from my MX-500 and aside from the name on a few keys it's identical and works just as perfectly. I have since bought a spare for another room, and a few spares to stash away for the future, one of which is a "B-stock" unit with a blemish in the LCD screen light (which i never use anyway) - currently on EBay as item # 230553138199.
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:37 AM   #13
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Harmony remotes are way expensive and way too complex for what you do 99% of the time which is Tivo menu navigation, volume control, power on/off, channel change, tuner change etc.

The One-For-All 8-in-1 learning remote was $14 the last time I bought it on Amazon. It's highly configurable. It can learn. It is super-duper tough. It's been knocked of the arm of the couch a bazillion times on to hardwood. My daughter knocks hers out of bed every night on to a hardwood floor. I own 3 and one is a replacement because somebody spilled sticky on the previous.

Pair this with the NextGeneration IR-to-RF system and you have (IMHO) an unbeatable remote that the whole (read wife) can use.
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:59 AM   #14
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I use an old-school URC MX-500 which is a full-on learning remote (learns every function from the original remote).
Personally I prefer the URC remotes. Started with an MX-350 and I now have an MX-980 as well. They definitely have a bit of a learning curve to them as the models I've used are intended for system integrators to set up/customize for their clients. However, they're very feature packed remotes and I'd highly recommend them to anyone that can deal with their learning curve and is interested in their features.

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Harmony remotes are way expensive and way too complex for what you do 99% of the time which is Tivo menu navigation, volume control, power on/off, channel change, tuner change etc.
Be careful using "you" where you mean "I". Expensive is highly subjective and my URC remotes were not way too expensive for me. I can't speak for you but if you find Harmony remotes expensive then URC remotes are going to seem even worse. What I do 99% of the time isn't necessarily what you do 99% of the time. Even if they were the same I have other concerns and priorities that factor into my decision making (macros, programming, interface, etc). Don't project your preferences on others or assume that your preferences are universal.

If your concerns were mine then I'd just use the peanut as it handles the 99% you describe above at no additional cost.

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Pair this with the NextGeneration IR-to-RF system and you have (IMHO) an unbeatable remote that the whole (read wife) can use.
My wife uses our URC remotes just fine. It's all a matter of proper programming. She's definitely not an AV or tech geek.

Last edited by takeshi : 09-27-2011 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:11 AM   #15
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The app is free. The $100 is for the Harmony Link Wi-Fi interface. Next time try reading the info posted in the link.
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Originally Posted by mr.unnatural View Post
Logitech just announced the Harmony Link, which uses Wi-Fi and an app that lets your smart phone or iPad work just like a universal remote. Here's a link to the Logitech website for the Link:

http://www.logitech.com/en-us/tablet...s/harmony-link.
I did read it, maybe didnt understand it. The way it reads what good is one without the other? If you need the app to use the Harmony Link and the Harmony Link cost $99..the app does too
What good is it to someone that owns a Hamony remote? Is it intended to replace a Harmony remote in favor of using your smart phone? Is it anything more then a IR blaster?
It looks to be as much use as the Revue to someone with a smart TV
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:39 AM   #16
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I did read it, maybe didnt understand it. The way it reads what good is one without the other? If you need the app to use the Harmony Link and the Harmony Link cost $99..the app does too
What good is it to someone that owns a Hamony remote? Is it intended to replace a Harmony remote in favor of using your smart phone? Is it anything more then a IR blaster?
It looks to be as much use as the Revue to someonw with a smart TV
That is like saying if a laptop costs $500 but won't run without an operating system, the operating system costs $500, pretty silly way to look at things in my opinion. I don't know if the Harmony Link is worth $100 or not. I use the Revue, I own two of them, and a couple Harmony remotes in my house and those products are definitely worth the price to me. I don't have a smart TV but the Revue with that keyboard and Google TV sure beat any smart TV products for my needs and the way I wanted to use the product.

I don't own a smart phone so Harmony Link isn't of interest to me and I have to admit, I don't know why anybody would use a phone as a remote control but I do know smart phones are popular and used by many for a lot of different things, it isn't for me to judge how useful this product is.
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:57 AM   #17
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Lots of people use smart phones to do all sorts of things. I'd wager more people own smart phones vs. Harmony remotes so this product is likely targeted at them. I can see how the idea of getting rid of extraneous remotes when you already own a smart phone would be an attractive choice. You can use the Harmony Link with an iPad and I would assume it also works with Android tablets as well.

Well it is a true statement that the Android app is not of much use without the Harmony Link, the fact remains that the app can be downloaded for free, just like you can with any other Harmony remote software. The upside of this is that you can download the software and configure it for your remote or Link prior to actually having the remote in your possession.

FWIW, I'm not trying to sell anyone on the Harmony Link. I merely proposed it as an alternative to a standard learning remote in case anyone was interested. Personally, I prefer the Harmony One.

The best thing about Harmony remotes is that you configure them to perform an activity rather than control a single device. You set up the activity and press a single button. The remote turns on all devices involved in the activity and selects the proper inputs on your TV and A/V receiver or preamp. It controls the volume and channel changing functions on the devices you specify. You can switch between an activity and an individual device at any time if you want to change any setup functions on a specific device that is not part of the current activity.

If you switch to another activity, it will turn on additional units and change inputs, as required. The remote remembers which units have been turned on (it assumes every device is in an off state prior to starting the first activity) so when you press the OFF button it shuts down only the units it previously turned on. In the case of a Tivo it knows that the device is always on so it does not transmit an on/off code for that device. These are probably the most user friendly remotes on the market.
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:17 PM   #18
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Be careful using "you" where you mean "I". Expensive is highly subjective and my URC remotes were not way too expensive for me.
I had a Harmony remote and I paid $149 for it: more than 10x what I paid for the One-For-All. Expensive in this case is relative. To add, Harmony remotes are overpriced and overrated...in my opinion.
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What I do 99% of the time isn't necessarily what you do 99% of the time.
So please elaborate. What more do you do a significant amount of time other than volume control, channel change, Tivo control when it comes to using your remote for Tivo?
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Even if they were the same I have other concerns and priorities that factor into my decision making (macros, programming, interface, etc). If your concerns were mine then I'd just use the peanut as it handles the 99% you describe above at no additional cost.
My $14 remote can do everything you state. Like I said I had a Harmony remote and it was nothing more. Well I do other things with my remote to control blu-ray, television, receiver, dvd and CD player as well, so it does a lot more than the peanut.
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Don't project your preferences on others or assume that your preferences are universal.
Did the OP ask for opinions? Yes, I think so. The only way to provide an opinion is though communicating your preferences. Who made you moderator? Perhaps you don't need to tell others what to do or not do.
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My wife uses our URC remotes just fine. It's all a matter of proper programming. She's definitely not an AV or tech geek.
My wife uses our One-For_All remotes just fine. It's all a matter of proper programming. She's definitely not an AV or tech geek.
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Old 09-27-2011, 03:20 PM   #19
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I would suggest trying again to program the glo remote. Try placing the remotes further apart, 12" or so and in a darkened room away from sunlight. Also, when pressing the button on the OEM remote, press and release, do not hold the button.

Programming can be fickle but I have yet to find a tv I could not control basic functions with the Glo Remote. Including one Westinghouse.
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:44 PM   #20
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I used to own a URC MX-700. I prefer both the Harmony 880 and the One much more than the URC. I liked the URC but it was far more limited by comparison to either Harmony remote. URC's are great remotes. Just not as flexible or as easy to set up and use as the Harmonys.
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Old 09-27-2011, 07:26 PM   #21
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Ok, You made me do it because my TiVo-UVerse setup is driving me nuts playing remote juggle. The worst is switching the TV inputs.

I ordered a Harmony 700.
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Old 09-28-2011, 10:12 AM   #22
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I
So please elaborate. What more do you do a significant amount of time other than volume control, channel change, Tivo control when it comes to using your remote for Tivo?
I've been pondering getting one of these for a while.
What I would do with it? Program it so that I have 1 touch switching of TV input, receiver input.

The ability to have full control over my TV, Tivo, Receiver, and my toslink unit all in 1 remote would be nice. (hell I would even consider getting an RF adapter for my PS3 box if I got a harmony/or similar remote)

I have program the tivo remote with the basic functions like controling TV power, TV input, AV audio/mute; as well as the tivo box itself. But outside of that nothing else.

I believe my setup isn't that complex either, but when the grandparents come over good luck seeing if they can just figure out how to switch from watching a Tivo recording to the PS3 to watch a Bob the Builder...
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Old 09-28-2011, 12:30 PM   #23
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What I would do with it? Program it so that I have 1 touch switching of TV input, receiver input.
Yep. That's exactly what I do with my One-For-All. You simply program the device keys with a macro which will playback when you press and hold the key for 2 seconds. It can actually do many steps in the macro. Mine simply puts the remote in that control mode and switches the receiver input. If your device had a separate power on/off signal, then you could power the device on when the switch occurs. Since most devices have the same power on/off signal. You run the risk of getting out of sync. That is, if your PS3 were already on and you switch to it with a macro that has the power signal included, it would switch it off when you wanted to leave it on.
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Old 09-28-2011, 12:39 PM   #24
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Harmony One for me. Activities such as "Watch Tivo", "Watch Blu-ray" are accompanied by "Listen to Net Radio" and even "Listen Net Radio/Watch Tivo"...try watching NFL while listening to "Flight of the Valkyries". TV, AVR, Blu-ray, Tivo, and even some dated electronics (vcr, cd player) are all controlled and integrated together for 1 button operation. Yes, the Harmony One is not the least expensive but, IMHO, it is certainly worth the extra cost considering its power and flexibility.

Now, as for the Harmony Link, I'm certainly intrigued even though I own a Harmony One. The guide data on a tablet sounds interesting. Controlling the system from anywhere within wifi range with an Android phone sounds neat. I can currently control my Denon 3808CI with my Droid X over wifi using the "Remote-AVR" app which makes listening to music quite convenient...Denon/Marantz owners check it out.
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Old 09-28-2011, 12:58 PM   #25
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Yep. That's exactly what I do with my One-For-All. You simply program the device keys with a macro which will playback when you press and hold the key for 2 seconds. It can actually do many steps in the macro. Mine simply puts the remote in that control mode and switches the receiver input. If your device had a separate power on/off signal, then you could power the device on when the switch occurs. Since most devices have the same power on/off signal. You run the risk of getting out of sync. That is, if your PS3 were already on and you switch to it with a macro that has the power signal included, it would switch it off when you wanted to leave it on.
That's the beauty of the Harmony remotes. You don't have to program any macros. It's done automatically when you set up an activity. There are also no conflicts with regards to which units get turned on or off as the remote is smart enough to know what state they're in.

I used to think the URC remotes were the best available. That is, until I got my Harmony 880. I had my Harmony One for about 18 months before I ever got around to setting it up, mainly because I was hesitant to give up the 880. Now that I'm finally using the One, I'm kicking myself for not setting it up sooner. The buttons are larger and the screen is much easier to read. I love the fact that these remotes are rechargeable and never need battery replacements. They sit in a charging cradle when not in use and can be out of the cradle and used for days on end.

I also like the fact that every component in my Home Theater system is in the Harmony code list. I've bought new components shortly after they hit the market and Logitech already had the codes in their inventory, ready for downloading to my remote. Aside from some pretty obscure devices I've owned, I've never had to use the learning function to teach any of my Harmony remotes. I can't say that for any URC or One For All remote I've ever owned.
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:25 PM   #26
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I love the fact that these remotes are rechargeable and never need battery replacements. They sit in a charging cradle when not in use and can be out of the cradle and used for days on end.

I also like the fact that every component in my Home Theater system is in the Harmony code list. I've bought new components shortly after they hit the market and Logitech already had the codes in their inventory, ready for downloading to my remote. Aside from some pretty obscure devices I've owned, I've never had to use the learning function to teach any of my Harmony remotes. I can't say that for any URC or One For All remote I've ever owned.
I think never is a tad optimistic regarding battery replacement. I will say I have two Harmony One remotes going on three years now and no battery replacement has been necessary. I did buy two batteries thinking 2 years is all I could expect based on history of using rechargeable batteries.

The One For All remotes with JP1 programming can keep up with added components but it is clunky and I had a terrible time programming using JP1. For those that are adept at that sort of thing, those remotes are very powerful and very affordable. I made the switch to Harmony and haven't looked back.
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:09 PM   #27
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OK. You Harmony guys are passionate about your remotes. I owned one; spent hours on the PC figuring out their software and programming the remote. I keep all, but TV and receiver, behind closed (opaque) doors. The harmony I had, came with the RF receiver which is a great thing in concept. It would, more than I cared for, not always receive every command or repeat the command via IR. This resulted in things getting out of sync power wise. It was frustrating. Also, I don't always want my blu-ray turning off if I (or the family) want to switch back to TV/Tivo during a PeePee break while watching a blu-ray together. Yes. Programming is critical, but when it comes down to it, too much smart in the remote without 2-way communication between remote and components can be frustrating. I still get mis-transmitted commands with my One-For-All and the NextGeneration RF converter, but it doesn't result in having to get up, open doors, manually power things on/off and make me repeat button presses to get things resync'd. That is just my experience. YMMV.
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:14 AM   #28
mr.unnatural
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Gerhard View Post
I think never is a tad optimistic regarding battery replacement. I will say I have two Harmony One remotes going on three years now and no battery replacement has been necessary. I did buy two batteries thinking 2 years is all I could expect based on history of using rechargeable batteries.
True. I meant to imply that you didn't have to keep feeding it a steady diet of alkaline batteries with a short lifespan. I used to have a Marantz RC2000 MKII universal remote that required a new set of 4 batteries every three weeks or so. The URC was much more frugal than the Marantz, but it still needed battery replacements every 2 or 3 months. I've been using Harmony remotes for about three years now and neither have required new batteries. There's nothing more frustrating than using a remote that won't function due to low battery power and discovering you don't have any spare batteries on hand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtreid View Post
OK. You Harmony guys are passionate about your remotes. I owned one; spent hours on the PC figuring out their software and programming the remote. I keep all, but TV and receiver, behind closed (opaque) doors. The harmony I had, came with the RF receiver which is a great thing in concept. It would, more than I cared for, not always receive every command or repeat the command via IR. This resulted in things getting out of sync power wise. It was frustrating. Also, I don't always want my blu-ray turning off if I (or the family) want to switch back to TV/Tivo during a PeePee break while watching a blu-ray together. Yes. Programming is critical, but when it comes down to it, too much smart in the remote without 2-way communication between remote and components can be frustrating. I still get mis-transmitted commands with my One-For-All and the NextGeneration RF converter, but it doesn't result in having to get up, open doors, manually power things on/off and make me repeat button presses to get things resync'd. That is just my experience. YMMV.
When I first got my Harmony 880 after using the URC MX-700, I have to admit I didn't care for it all that much. The problem was that I needed to adjust my mindset about the way it worked and the method used to program it. I was so used to setting up complex macros that I wasn't prepared for the ease and simplicity of setting up the Harmony. Once I understood the philosophy behind it, programming was a snap.

It's not a question of being passionate about the Harmony remotes. It's a matter of what works and requires the least amount of effort to set it up and use it. I've lost count of how many universal learning remotes I've tried over the years, but it's been more than I can recall offhand. This is the first remote that I would ever consider handing over to my wife and letting her control anything in my Home Theater system. Attempts at doing this in the past usually wound up with the remote bouncing off the wall from sheer frustration on her part. It's hard to screw up when you simply press a function icon on the touch screen that says "Watch TV."

Last edited by mr.unnatural : 09-29-2011 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:27 PM   #29
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I got my Harmony 700 and set it up quickly - because I had a 680. I was pretty happy how much stuff worked.

I had to hack and hack to get it to control the inputs on my Mitsubishi WD7373 TV.

The first load worked for one input but not the other. Now I have to dig into Device to switch it. I have the right input selected because if I hit it manually it works. I think it needs a delay to be reliable.

I also fought to update the TV device (where it told me I couldn't have any more devices. Only 6 when I was promised it could control 7 devices.) The updated device driver worked worse.

More hacking to come. I guess I'll need to call Logitech or vist the Harmony or AV forums.
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Old 09-29-2011, 01:46 PM   #30
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Unfortunately, I have yet to run across what I would consider to be the perfect remote for every situation. There will always be exceptions to the rule. For now, the Harmony One suits my needs better than any other remote I've owned. It's all going to depend on your setup and how you've got your components configured.
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