Another Universal Remote question

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by rahnbo, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. rahnbo

    rahnbo Well-Known Member

    1,263
    37
    Sep 12, 2010
    Greenville, SC
    I know there are plenty of threads on Universal Remotes. Problem is the tech changes so fast that by the time I need one the model doesn't exist any longer. Now that I really really need one because either the dogs thought they are chew toys or the recliner crunched them I'm left with no remote for the downstairs entertainment center. Using an old S2 remote for the Premiere just stinks (but I do like the softer rubber buttons on the S2). I've tried several universals but none of them could do everything. The main problem was the powering on/off the Vizo sound bar. Here is was I need to control:

    Tivo Premiere XL, all functions.
    Vizio E550VL TV all functions especially settings menu.
    Vizio Sound Bar on/off and volume control. Ideally the sound to the TV and sound bar could be linked. Even though the TV outputs to the Sound Bar via fiber optic I still need another remote to control its volume. The sound bar also has 3 inputs of which I use all 3 so need to be able to toggle those.
    Remote should be back-light/glow.
    Should use standard batteries (AA, AAA) although I'll consider a rechargeable it it gets really high reviews.
    Programming can't require the original remotes since I don't have them.
    For the TV I use 2 inputs mainly and would rather not have to shuffle through all 8 so some sort of easy toggle between HDMI1 (for Tivo) and AV (for Wii) would be nice. Something cool would be 2 modes by pushing 1 of 2 buttons:

    Mode 1 would be for Tivo with TV input set to HDMI1(Tivo), volume set at 40, Sound bar turned on, set to input 3 at %50 volume.

    Mode 2 would be for Nintendo Wii with TV input set to AV and volume at %10. Sound bar turned on with input 1 at %20 volume. I use input one to hook up an MP3 player or PC sound output While using the Wii.

    The remote should currently be on the market
    Nice Bonuses but not required:
    Control VIZIO VBR220 BLU-RAY PLAYER
    Turn Nintendo Wii off
    Replace Brighthouse STB HD Remote
    Control a Hunter Standup fan (on/off and speed 1,2, and 3)
    The remote should be sold by Amazon (have gift cards to burn) but not 3rd party Amazon vendors unless fulfilled by Amazon. Would also consider buy.com and newegg.

    I won't mention price but of course its a factor. I just want to see what people are using in similar setups and have proved as a success for them.

    Thank for any suggestions, warnings, etc!
     
  2. curiousgeorge

    curiousgeorge Member

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    Nov 28, 2002
    How much are you wanting to spend?

    The volume percentages would depend on the capabilities of the sound bar more than the remote. It's Vizio, so I'm sure the remote code feature set is spartan.
     
  3. rahnbo

    rahnbo Well-Known Member

    1,263
    37
    Sep 12, 2010
    Greenville, SC
    No more than $150. I researched the best I could and ordered the Logitech Harmony 650 which falls well within that budget. Should be here by Tuesday. It'll either work or not. If not she gets shipped back.
     
  4. rahnbo

    rahnbo Well-Known Member

    1,263
    37
    Sep 12, 2010
    Greenville, SC
    The Logitech Harmony 650 arrived today. I really like it and I think its going to be a keeper even if I can't work out a few Premiere problems. I've checked these forums, Logitech's forums, and did a regular Google search and so far haven't turned up an answer to the Tivo Premiere problems with the Harmony 650. If all else fails I'll call their tech support later.

    The setup of the remote went mostly well including adding some activity macros. It works with all my Vizio stuff just fine. It was kinda spooky having everything including my floor fan turn on and off all at the same time but spooky cool. When I was doing the internet based setup for the remote it asked for the model of Tivo which I gave it. It then wanted to do a remote to remote learn mode which I tried to do. When I pressed the buttons requested of me on the Tivo for the Harmony 650 to learn the setup program just responded it couldn't understand the command. I tried doing the learn mode from the suggest distance and also very close and perhaps about 2 feet away. It never could figure it out. I also tried a Series 2 remote with no luck.

    Despite all that most of the functions from the Harmony remote to Tivo Premiere work well except for the following:

    1. Tivo Button, can't figure out which one it should be. Tried them all but the only way to get to the menu was by pressing Left.

    2. Can't find a button for Tuner Switch/Live TV

    3. Can't find a 30 Second skip button or even skip to tick button.

    4. Can't find an instant replay button

    Everything else works. I can play recordings, FF, rewind, navigate menus, etc. Any suggestions on the above issues appreciated.
     
  5. rahnbo

    rahnbo Well-Known Member

    1,263
    37
    Sep 12, 2010
    Greenville, SC
    OK, I have #2, 3, 4 fixed by just telling the setup program I have a series 2. The only issue left is #1, the Tivo Button.
     
  6. TivoInNY

    TivoInNY Tivo Addict

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    0
    Dec 19, 2002
    New York
    I might be misunderstanding, but I've got a 650 and a Harmony One and use a soft key for the Tivo (and Live TV) functions on both remotes. You can map the Tivo button to a soft key (one of the ones shown in the screen) in the Harmony software.

    Are you saying that the Tivo button is mapped to a soft key but it just doesn't work when you press the button?

    For what it's worth, I know there's a strange Tivo profile out there in the Harmony database, but I have the 650 setup with a Series 3 and the One setup with a Premiere (using those profiles from the Harmony database), and it all works. One thing the Premiere profile adds that the S2, S3, and HD profiles don't have are the color buttons. Not heavily used by me, but others might find this info useful.

    Good luck! Harmonys are great remotes. One thing to watch with the 650 is the limit in number of devices. Can't remember what it is, but you run out more quickly than you expect.
     
  7. rahnbo

    rahnbo Well-Known Member

    1,263
    37
    Sep 12, 2010
    Greenville, SC
    There is a softkey or "Function and favorites" the guide calls it where I can go through the menu in the following manner: Devices>Tivo>Right Arrow then you get a box with 4 options: Live TV, Tivo, Thumbs Up, and Thumb Down. This all does work just fine and if I want to get to the Tivo menu that way I can but its like 5 keystrokes and is still easier to just use the physical left button repeatedly until you eventually get there. I would like one physical button to be mapped to do the same thing the Tivo "Function" does which is go to the Tivo Menu directly from anywhere. There are actually 4 physical buttons on the 650 near the display as I have it programmed now that do what I would expect: Info (brings up the Tivo info screen on the TV), Guide, brings up the guide data, Exit, and then Menu. Menu doesn't seem to do anything at all and would be the ideal key to become the Tivo button. Otherwise I'm not really sure what purpose that button serves as it relates to Tivo.

    On your 650, do you have a single physical button that performs the same function as pressing the Tivo button on the Tivo Peanut remote or do you always have to go through the function menus?

    I don't use the color buttons either. It's pretty much set and forget for the things they control. Thanks!
     
  8. Worf

    Worf Well-Known Member

    2,417
    129
    Sep 15, 2000
    I map the "Menu" button to TiVo on my Harmony.

    But in the Harmony web inteface, go to the activity that your "Watch TiVo" activity is set to. Under the Buttons section I think there's a tab for soft keys. Add TiVo there so it becomes a softkey. You can customize everything shown on the LCD, including the location of label (so you don't have to look at the screen).

    There are two sets of button mappings for Harmony - one per device itself (all the buttons map to the device), and one per activity (all the buttons can be for any device involved in the activity, so it can include buttons controlling your AV receiver, your TV, your TiVo, your DVD player, etc, depending on how complex your arrangement is). You can map softkeys for the same thing as well - perhaps you use some odd feature of your receiver often while watching TiVo, add it to the activity and it's right there. whenever you watch TiVo.
     
  9. rahnbo

    rahnbo Well-Known Member

    1,263
    37
    Sep 12, 2010
    Greenville, SC
    Excellent, it's all ironed out now, thanks for the help. Also changed Exit to be a tuner swapper/live TV button. I wonder why they chose to map all the other appropriate Tivo buttons but not that one.
     

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