Help me pick a remote, please! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 10-25-2011, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking for some advice on what would be a good remote for my situation.

The equipment the remote must control:
Samsung LN52A650 TV
Integra DHC-80.2 Preprocessor
Oppo BDP-83 Blu Ray player
Home Theater PC for Windows Media Center use

There are other parts of my home theater, of course, but nothing that needs controlled via remote. Also, this setup uses only over-the-air HD, so cable and satellite are not involved.

The candidate remote needs to control all of these devices and do light duty with MCE after it has been started up. It would be nice, though not mandatory, if the remote could also control lights. The remote will be used in a device orientation, rather than macros that (sometimes) turn on all equipment for a particular operation. Also, the Harmony product line is not of interest. My budget is under $500.

So, what's the problem? There should be lots of remotes that fit these requirements, yes? Not that I can find! The latest candidate was a URC R-40, and unless I've missed something, it's not worth a darn with MCE.

The best potential candidate I've read about is the URC MX-980, but the idea of paying someone to do programming that I can do is a non-starter. Perhaps if a vendor would include software with the remote, that could work. But whether it can control MCE is unknown. (Does anyone know?)

Are there other remotes that should be considered? I'd sure welcome some insight. Up to this point, it's been a pretty frustrating search. Should I simply accept that there will be one remote just for MCE and another for everything else?
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post #2 of 7 Old 10-25-2011, 05:54 PM
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If you have an ipad, iphone or itouch you should really look at irule. Fits your budget nicely and does what you want. I use it with my ipad and iphone.
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post #3 of 7 Old 10-26-2011, 03:19 AM - Thread Starter
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tclinch,

Thanks for the idea. I hadn't considered an iTouch, iPad or iPhone. A question about the all touch interface devices... Do you find that having to look at the screen to do everything takes you out of the show? With a hard button remote, hitting mute or tweaking volume without looking at the remote is usually easy. It seems like the "i" solutions, or any touch screen solution, would mean being less engaged with the content. What has been your experience?
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post #4 of 7 Old 10-26-2011, 07:08 AM
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Well for me, I like the overall experience so much that I am fine with not being able to quickly hit a button. I mostly use mine for watching football and I'm always actively on my ipad doing something. All my devices are out of sight and things work nicely. Is it as convenient as just picking up a remote and hitting a button? No, but for me I am very happy with a low cost solution (assuming you already have an IOS device laying around) that has so much power and flexibility.

I would spend a little time in the iRule forum. Another one is demopad which I am now looking into.
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-23-2012, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill-99 View Post

I'm looking for some advice on what would be a good remote for my situation.


The equipment the remote must control:

Samsung LN52A650 TV

Integra DHC-80.2 Preprocessor

Oppo BDP-83 Blu Ray player

Home Theater PC for Windows Media Center use


There are other parts of my home theater, of course, but nothing that needs controlled via remote. Also, this setup uses only over-the-air HD, so cable and satellite are not involved.


The candidate remote needs to control all of these devices and do light duty with MCE after it has been started up. It would be nice, though not mandatory, if the remote could also control lights. The remote will be used in a device orientation, rather than macros that (sometimes) turn on all equipment for a particular operation. Also, the Harmony product line is not of interest. My budget is under $500.


So, what's the problem? There should be lots of remotes that fit these requirements, yes? Not that I can find! The latest candidate was a URC R-40, and unless I've missed something, it's not worth a darn with MCE.


The best potential candidate I've read about is the URC MX-980, but the idea of paying someone to do programming that I can do is a non-starter. Perhaps if a vendor would include software with the remote, that could work. But whether it can control MCE is unknown. (Does anyone know?)


Are there other remotes that should be considered? I'd sure welcome some insight. Up to this point, it's been a pretty frustrating search. Should I simply accept that there will be one remote just for MCE and another for everything else?

Did you ever find a good solution for WMC/MCE? I also primarily use WMC for TV recording and watching, similar to how others use TIVO or any other DVR. Even live TV comes through the HTPC. I currently use a URC learning remote for the Audio/TV while an HP HTPC remote controls the WMC (green button and all). My URC is a bottom of the line model, no LCD screen or otherwise, and works great learning from the original device remote. Problem is I constantly find myself swapping remotes back and forth since I can't control my volume from the HTPC remote (has no affect on volume level with-in WMC for some reason even though display says otherwise).

Anyway, the other night I decided to try adding my HTPC controls to the URC via learning mode. It worked well (not perfect by any means) until I ran out of memory in the URC. Problem is I have to remember what each button does as some are labeled oddly for HTPC control. I also don't have full capability since I ran out of memory. Finally, the transport functions work, but not 100% of the time. For some reason the Skip buttons are flaky. Same with the Play button. Everything else seems to be fine.

This proved that if I found the right learning remote, I could learn everything HTPC related to it. I'm currently considering the R40 and MX-780. The LCD screen would help in adding more functionality, along with the bigger memory. The button labels are still not 1:1 with the HP HTPC remote, but they should be okay and usable. Maybe you found a better solution though? I'd love to have an R40 style remote with DEDICATED HTPC WMC hard buttons. Doesn't seem like anyone makes a remote like that though. Heck, a service that offered custom button layouts (replaceable rubber pads) for an existing remote would be a great solution too.
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-24-2012, 12:30 PM
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Hmm... WMC/MCE has worked perfectly fine with every universal I've ever used, including JP1, Harmony, Xsight, URC and iPhone/iPad based solutions. Not sure why MCE has to be treated differently from any other device. If you have to resort to learning, anything but those super-cheap generic MCE remotes are easily learnable, but you do risk running out of memory on a low end remote. I've never had to resort to learning myself for MCE aside from just a few commands, nor have I ever even used the any of my MCE remotes outside of the initial setup. All my remotes had most MCE commands built in.
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-24-2012, 01:15 PM
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Well, maybe I've been approaching this wrong, which is entirely possible. Is there a code that everyone is using for WMC? I haven't looked for one assuming that I had to use the Learn feature to get the controls into the remote. It might be better to entire a code and get the basic functionality in, and learn from there. When I say code, I mean a device code that can be entered into the remote directly, not via a JP1 cable or online software. Any help is greatly appreciated!
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