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post #1 of 42 Old 11-17-2012, 06:49 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm having some trouble with my Logitech 650 remote and am ready for an upgrade. It's been awhile since I bought my 650, and wanted to see what the latest is for HTPC remotes. I want a single remote that can work media center, turn on the TV, turn on the AVR and adjust volume. It must be easy for the family to use, as we have "cut the cord" and are 100% HTPC. I have a Logitech mini keyboard/mouse for youtube/hulu, so the new remote I get won't need to do those functions. Is Logitech still king of universal remotes?
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post #2 of 42 Old 11-17-2012, 07:52 AM
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Out of curiosity, how old is your remote? I'm asking because I've been having trouble with my Logitech trackballs. One I bought was defective almost immediately (they replaced it), but they seem to have a lifespan of under two years. Is Logitech quality going downhill?

I'm still using a couple of original Gyration mice (with AAA batteries), which I think are over 10 years old. And they've taken their share of falls, which is something that doesn't happen to my trackballs.
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post #3 of 42 Old 11-17-2012, 08:24 AM
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I would just get another 650. What sort of problems are you having?
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post #4 of 42 Old 11-17-2012, 08:31 AM
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The Harmony remotes are still very popular despite some drawbacks (the lag issue is the most notable and yet to be fixed by Logitech).
Many hardcore remote-techies use the URC remotes and models such as the URC-R40 compete with the Logitech 650. I have not tried the URC remotes myself.
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post #5 of 42 Old 11-17-2012, 08:35 AM
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Take a look at the RCA model RCRP05B (or RCRP05BR). It retails for $20 & appears to frequently go an sale. I picked one up for $8 at a home improvement center. Here's one thread.
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1430252/rca-rcrp05b-and-mc7

Here's another explaining all the things that it and other JP1 remotes can do.
http://www.hifi-remote.com/forums/

It controls up to 5 devices & has built in codes for over 100 devices including WMC. You can program most of the buttons with other codes & I set up the volume to control the A/V receiver volume even though the remote is in the WMC mode. You can also program some macros. I already had an IR receiver from another MCE remote & the RCA works perfectly with it. I have yet to setup any of the exotic JP1 functions. For a lot less than $20 this remote seems hard to beat.
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post #6 of 42 Old 11-17-2012, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike99 View Post

Take a look at the RCA model RCRP05B (or RCRP05BR). It retails for $20 & appears to frequently go an sale. I picked one up for $8 at a home improvement center. Here's one thread.
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1430252/rca-rcrp05b-and-mc7
Here's another explaining all the things that it and other JP1 remotes can do.
http://www.hifi-remote.com/forums/
It controls up to 5 devices & has built in codes for over 100 devices including WMC. You can program most of the buttons with other codes & I set up the volume to control the A/V receiver volume even though the remote is in the WMC mode. You can also program some macros. I already had an IR receiver from another MCE remote & the RCA works perfectly with it. I have yet to setup any of the exotic JP1 functions. For a lot less than $20 this remote seems hard to beat.

How exactly do you 'program' this remote? Does it involve JP1 programming cables? Complicated?
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post #7 of 42 Old 11-17-2012, 09:31 AM
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I use this:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00224ZDFY/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00

comes with an IR to plug in via USB. It works well.

I haven't tried to program my TV to it, but you could research it.
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post #8 of 42 Old 11-17-2012, 09:57 AM
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Some don't come with USB dongle

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post #9 of 42 Old 11-17-2012, 10:16 AM
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Why do all remotes suck unless they are like $300? I don't get it.

I use a universal wr7....its great for the price.

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post #10 of 42 Old 11-17-2012, 10:37 AM
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I love my Logitech Harmony One. I think it was $199 when I bought it about a year and a half ago. I've never had an issue and I really don't experience any "lag" with it unless I'm using it with my PS3, and the only reason I think there is lag is because the signal is being converted from IR to bluetooth (stupid PS3).

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post #11 of 42 Old 11-17-2012, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Servicetech571 View Post

I'm having some trouble with my Logitech 650 remote and am ready for an upgrade. It's been awhile since I bought my 650, and wanted to see what the latest is for HTPC remotes. I want a single remote that can work media center, turn on the TV, turn on the AVR and adjust volume. It must be easy for the family to use, as we have "cut the cord" and are 100% HTPC. I have a Logitech mini keyboard/mouse for youtube/hulu, so the new remote I get won't need to do those functions. Is Logitech still king of universal remotes?
Are you sure you have a 650? It's only been out a couple of years. And, no, the remote landscape hasn't really changed since then. Logitech has one new model, the Touch, which you may or may not care for. It has some nice new features like 10 step macros and gestures. But it's missing some essential hard buttons that I personally can't live without. And it's very expensive.

What kind of trouble are you having? I really doubt you'll find anything easier to program and use. That's what I usually recommend for friends and family. Unfortunately harmony is far too limited for my own system (zero to 5 step macros, no nesting, no variables, difficult to add codes, very expensive if you use RF, etc.). So first, I'd try to resolve any programming issues you have with the 650 because you aren't really going to find anything better, simpler or cheaper at this point.

I agree with others who've posted cheap solutions like JP1 and the WR7. While the WR7 is cheap, simple and works well, it's far less configurable and more expensive than JP1. I personally think JP1 is extremely simple, but not as simple to set up as harmony. Just drag and drop functions to buttons on a picture of the remote in the software. Build macros by picking commands from lists. With extender software, you can take it far beyond anything harmony can do, like having sub-routines, nested macros, conditional branching, variables, unlimited devices, 5 functions per key per device (long press, double press, short press, shifted and double shifted). And most JP1 remotes are only $3-$15. If you've ever had cable or bought a one-for-all or radio shack remote, you probably already own one and don't know it.

Of course I use the same MCE remotes as others have posted, but I only use the IR dongles, not the remotes themselves because they aren't universal. There's really no reason to get another MCE remote if you're happy with the current functionality of the IR receiver.
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post #12 of 42 Old 11-17-2012, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chappy16775 View Post

How exactly do you 'program' this remote? Does it involve JP1 programming cables? Complicated?

The RCA has built in codes for many, many HDTVs, A/V receivers, etc. You look up the codes in the supplied instruction sheet & enter them into the remote by just pressing its buttons. IOW easy to do & no JP1 programming, cables, or computer needed to do this.

So far I have not needed to do any fancy JP1 programming & will have to refer you to the JP1 website for that information.
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post #13 of 42 Old 11-18-2012, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
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My 650 seems to "reboot" a lot. When in use it will all of a sudden act like the batteries lost power and I have to reselect the activity. It started doing this about 3 months after I bought it, and the issue is getting worse. I've only had the remote for about 2 years. My 688 it replaced lasted for 5 years. Yeah, I do think their quality isn't what it used to be.

I'll have to do some research and see what the best replacement will be. Can' anybody just make a HTPC remote with a keyboard that can also control your IR components such as TV, AVR?
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post #14 of 42 Old 11-18-2012, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncochran01 View Post

I use this:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00224ZDFY/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00
comes with an IR to plug in via USB. It works well.
I haven't tried to program my TV to it, but you could research it.

I have similar remotes, but won't program TV or AVR.
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post #15 of 42 Old 11-18-2012, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by ser_renely View Post

Why do all remotes suck unless they are like $300? I don't get it.
I use a universal wr7....its great for the price.

I got a Harmony 900 RF/IR model refurbished from the Logitech store a year ago for $150. It works fantastic and it looked like new when it arrived.

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post #16 of 42 Old 11-18-2012, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Servicetech571 View Post

My 650 seems to "reboot" a lot. When in use it will all of a sudden act like the batteries lost power and I have to reselect the activity. It started doing this about 3 months after I bought it, and the issue is getting worse. I've only had the remote for about 2 years. My 688 it replaced lasted for 5 years. Yeah, I do think their quality isn't what it used to be.
I'll have to do some research and see what the best replacement will be. Can' anybody just make a HTPC remote with a keyboard that can also control your IR components such as TV, AVR?

Here, let me google that for you.

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post #17 of 42 Old 11-18-2012, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Servicetech571 View Post

My 650 seems to "reboot" a lot. When in use it will all of a sudden act like the batteries lost power and I have to reselect the activity. It started doing this about 3 months after I bought it, and the issue is getting worse. I've only had the remote for about 2 years. My 688 it replaced lasted for 5 years. Yeah, I do think their quality isn't what it used to be.
I'll have to do some research and see what the best replacement will be. Can' anybody just make a HTPC remote with a keyboard that can also control your IR components such as TV, AVR?
My 650 has done that since new. At first I just thought that it was very hard on batteries. I didnt realize that it was a fault until after the return period. It acts like the batteries are weak but they arent. Sometimes if I just slap it gently on my hand it will work ok for a while. I think it is a loose wire or bad connection somewhere.

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post #18 of 42 Old 11-18-2012, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm liking the WR7. Seems simple to setup and will do all the functions of a WMC remote plus TV/AVR. How difficult is it to set up macros? Having 1 button on the 650 to turn everything on was nice.
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post #19 of 42 Old 11-18-2012, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Servicetech571 View Post

My 650 seems to "reboot" a lot. When in use it will all of a sudden act like the batteries lost power and I have to reselect the activity. It started doing this about 3 months after I bought it, and the issue is getting worse. I've only had the remote for about 2 years. My 688 it replaced lasted for 5 years. Yeah, I do think their quality isn't what it used to be.
I'll have to do some research and see what the best replacement will be. Can' anybody just make a HTPC remote with a keyboard that can also control your IR components such as TV, AVR?
Very common manufacturing defect on the 650. Logitech should replace it for free, or you can just tighten the battery springs by stretching them yourself. If you can't get them to do it under warranty, they should at least give you a replacement half price.

Macros on the WR7 are very easy, but you don't have any discrete input or discrete power commands like you do with harmony or JP1, so it will take a little more creativity to make the macros bullet proof. If you get the WR7, I suggest you use the pause trick to make your device buttons do double duty as device selection and activity macro buttons.
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post #20 of 42 Old 11-18-2012, 05:53 PM
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I just ordered the WR7 to replace the Harmony 650 (got fed up with input lag).
I'll simply "learn" discrete power commands from my Harmony.
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post #21 of 42 Old 11-18-2012, 06:16 PM
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I'm currently using a Logitech DiNovo Mini bluetooth device for the HTPC and a logitech harmony 620 for universal control of all devices. The 620's seem to do a reasonably good job, but it has it's quirks. The diNovo mini's are the main control devices. They're not universal (they only control the PC's), but they work very well.

At some point, I'm going to start experimenting with pulse-eight's CEC adapters, which allow your TV remote to control anything connected to the HDMI bus (http://www.pulse-eight.com/store/products/104-usb-hdmi-cec-adapter.aspx). Ideally, I'd like to see something with the form factor of the mini that offers universal controls like logitech's remote lineup (along with everything else it does for PC control). That, in my opinion, would allow for true "one remote to rule them all" functionality that would end all such discussions in a hurry.
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post #22 of 42 Old 11-18-2012, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

I got a Harmony 900 RF/IR model refurbished from the Logitech store a year ago for $150. It works fantastic and it looked like new when it arrived.

Still a $150 for a remote is insane to me....but then again what I spend a lot of money on is insane to others smile.gif

Don't get me wrong, I understand why people pay for them, but I see spending 150+ on other parts of my HT way before I get to this. Now if I truly thought the remote was worth it, I would not hesitate, but I just don't think those remotes really warrant their price. A friend just gave me his Harmony 1100 or 1000 can't remember. I have a learning curve with setting it up, but I can see myself preferring my WR7.

150 for that is a good deal, mind you.

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post #23 of 42 Old 11-19-2012, 05:41 AM
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Harmony One. Refurbs go on sale for $99 all the time from Logitech. I also use the Lenovo 5902 as a wireless keyboard, but it can also be used as a WMC remote. The only drawback to the Lenovo is the lack of function keys. I tried the DiNovo mini but found the keys too small for my tastes. I also didn't like the clamshell cover because it just seemed like something that was destined to break off.
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post #24 of 42 Old 11-19-2012, 06:33 AM
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Harmony One. Refurbs go on sale for $99 all the time from Logitech. I also use the Lenovo 5902 as a wireless keyboard, but it can also be used as a WMC remote. The only drawback to the Lenovo is the lack of function keys. I tried the DiNovo mini but found the keys too small for my tastes. I also didn't like the clamshell cover because it just seemed like something that was destined to break off.
I wonder if they put new battery packs in those H1 refurbs?

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post #25 of 42 Old 11-19-2012, 09:51 AM
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My refurbished H900 came with a battery that was wrapped in plastic. I've been using it for nearly a year now with no issues.

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post #26 of 42 Old 11-19-2012, 10:20 AM
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Here, let me google that for you.

I laughed.biggrin.gif

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post #27 of 42 Old 11-19-2012, 10:54 AM
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Harmony One is running $100 to $110 at Costco right now in stores if you have one and a membership. I'm loving it myself. When they are gone they are gone as Logitech released new versions of an INCREDIBLY stupid redesign, IMHO. The new ones moved the touchscreen down, but the play / skip buttons clear at the top, and lost a lot of the physical buttons. Bad ergonomic design choice and I hate having to stare at a remote to do anything which the new one really makes necessary. Did I also mention the increased the MSRP on the new one as well? Foot, meet bullet....
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post #28 of 42 Old 11-19-2012, 11:50 AM
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I've been using my Harmony One for a good while now and love it. Prior to that I was using a Harmony 880. I actually had the Harmony One for about a year before I got around to programming it for use with my HTPC. I was so used to the way the 880 worked that I didn't feel like taking the time to program the One. As it turned out, I wish I had programmed it as soon as I got it because it's so much better than the 880. Logitech has got it down with the activity-based macros. This is a remote my wife can actually use, and that's saying quite a lot.

I've gone through more universal remotes than I can count. In fact, I've got a box full of old universal remotes if anyone wants a great deal on one.wink.gif I've used RatShack remotes, Marantz RC2000 MK II (formerly known as "the remote of the Gods"), Home Theater Master MX-700, several URC models, and other nameless remotes I can't remember offhand. The One is by far the best and easiest remote I've used to date. Of course, remotes tend to be a personal thing for most people so YMMV. OTOH, I think most people here would agree that the Harmony One is a perfect fit for a WMC PC based on the huge number of pro responses it gets whenever one of these "best remote" threads is posted.
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post #29 of 42 Old 11-19-2012, 12:13 PM
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All harmonys are programmed the same (not sure why your 880 was different). Newer models can also use the myharmony.com website for very basic programming. If the OP is expecting the One to be vastly better than his 650, this simply isn't the case. The One looks a little nicer, has a rechargeable battery and is missing a row of colored buttons. That's about it. While I agree harmony is a great fit for an HTPC and is probably the easiest to set up and use, if the OP doesn't like the 650, he probably won't like the One, which is also known to have a few battery problems.
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post #30 of 42 Old 11-19-2012, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

All harmonys are programmed the same (not sure why your 880 was different). Newer models can also use the myharmony.com website for very basic programming. If the OP is expecting the One to be vastly better than his 650, this simply isn't the case. The One looks a little nicer, has a rechargeable battery and is missing a row of colored buttons. That's about it. While I agree harmony is a great fit for an HTPC and is probably the easiest to set up and use, if the OP doesn't like the 650, he probably won't like the One, which is also known to have a few battery problems.
No colored (R,G,Y,B) buttons? What kind of battery problems?

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