Originally Posted by Servicetech571
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.