RF or IP remote options - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-03-2012, 08:31 AM - Thread Starter
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I need some help determining options for my next remote. I currently have an MX800 that was meeting my needs but it is now going flaky and need a replacement. I've done a bunch of research before asking and can't believe how hard it is to find a remote that has what I'm looking for. Budget is not a big concern as I can spend a few hundred buck to get what I need but I just can't seem to find ANYTHING so I'm hoping someone can point me in the direction of some options that meet the criteria below.

RF (or possibly IP) control with real range of 70ft (real world range not marketing numbers) for zone2 and 3 coverage
Able to program via computer preferably with database of commands accessible via the web
As many hard buttons as possible with some soft buttons as well
Solid macro support for as many devices as possible

I can't believe that I can't find a remote with all of the options above. Can someone please point me in the right direction? I've heard that Logitech is expected to put out some new models that may be able to do all of the above but the current models don't have everything listed above in one unit. Does anyone know if any of their newer modes will work for all of the criteria above?

Thanks,
Chris Brown
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-03-2012, 08:55 AM
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Check out the MX-900.

I highly doubt any new logitech models will have macro capability. They've spent the past couple of years designing it out of all their current models and software, so it's very unlikely to come back IMO.

iOS/Android remote apps are the best IP options IMO, but they lack hard buttons of course. You can spend a fortune on RTI or Crestron, but that's a huge jump from an MX-800 and probably a lot more than you want to spend.


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post #3 of 7 Old 08-03-2012, 09:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

Check out the MX-900.
I highly doubt any new logitech models will have macro capability. They've spent the past couple of years designing it out of all their current models and software, so it's very unlikely to come back IMO.
iOS/Android remote apps are the best IP options IMO, but they lack hard buttons of course. You can spend a fortune on RTI or Crestron, but that's a huge jump from an MX-800 and probably a lot more than you want to spend.

Thanks Dave but I think I'm done with URC. The software was very clunky and I had to use a ton of workarounds to finally get my MX800 where it needed to be. Then I couldn't get software updates which frustrated me. I promised myself I would never get another one so any other options?
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-03-2012, 10:39 AM
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I feel the clunky software is gone with the latest version Complete Control. This is only available for remotes at the MX-780 model and above. The big issue is getting a dealer that you can buy from and have them give you the software. To my knowledge there is not a non-update version of this as there was with the old remote software.

With the MX-780 and a MRF-350 base station you will get what you are asking. Also the MRF-350 base station has an outboard RF sensor (RFX-250) and you can attach up to three of these to get very wide coverage. I use the MSC-400 base station and have 2 RFX-250's and it covers my house, garage and outside zones. This give way more than 70ft but have not calculated actual distances.

I would not give up on URC completely but do understand your comments about the past products and software.
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-03-2012, 11:53 AM
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Problem is Logitech software is worse, and I don't think you'll get the range you're after either. I think URC is still your best option. Your RF base will probably work with a new URC (and probably with Xsight (my personal favorite) as well if it's 433MHz), but won't work with a harmony.

If you want to give harmony a try anyway, aside from macros and durability, it will probably work ok for you. They're very easy to program and use and very popular, but definitely not made for the user who wants full control of the programming. I program them all the time for family and friends, but can't see using one in my own system since the macros are so limited or non-existent. And the buttons on mine always start flaking out after a year or two. I'm not willing to spend a couple of hundred bucks on new remotes every few years.

EDIT: Just to clarify, since you're coming from URC, you may not realize that harmony has two types of macros that they call activities and sequences. The macros which are missing in current harmony remotes are sequences, which consist of up to 5 commands run from a single button press. All harmony models still have activity macros, which handle power and input sequences and key mapping. Those are built by answering questions in a wizard. And if you use the old harmony software, you can add more commands and tweak some of the delays. So the macro situation isn't quite as bad as it sounds. However, if you want to put a simple sequence of your own on a button, you can't do that on most new harmony remotes. The ONE is the exception. If you use the old software, some of the lower models can do them too, like the 600, 650 and 700.


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post #6 of 7 Old 08-03-2012, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

Problem is Logitech software is worse, and I don't think you'll get the range you're after either. I think URC is still your best option. Your RF base will probably work with a new URC (and probably with Xsight (my personal favorite) as well if it's 433MHz), but won't work with a harmony.
If you want to give harmony a try anyway, aside from macros and durability, it will probably work ok for you. They're very easy to program and use and very popular, but definitely not made for the user who wants full control of the programming. I program them all the time for family and friends, but can't see using one in my own system since the macros are so limited or non-existent. And the buttons on mine always start flaking out after a year or two. I'm not willing to spend a couple of hundred bucks on new remotes every few years.
EDIT: Just to clarify, since you're coming from URC, you may not realize that harmony has two types of macros that they call activities and sequences. The macros which are missing in current harmony remotes are sequences, which consist of up to 5 commands run from a single button press. All harmony models still have activity macros, which handle power and input sequences and key mapping. Those are built by answering questions in a wizard. And if you use the old harmony software, you can add more commands and tweak some of the delays. So the macro situation isn't quite as bad as it sounds. However, if you want to put a simple sequence of your own on a button, you can't do that on most new harmony remotes. The ONE is the exception. If you use the old software, some of the lower models can do them too, like the 600, 650 and 700.

Hmmm... I did a brief search on the Xsight and at first glance this seems to do what I need. I did notice the reviews on Amazon were not the best (http://www.amazon.com/Acoustic-Research-ARRX18G-18-Device-Touchscreen/product-reviews/B002N1J7DU/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1) but if it does what I need and nothing else does (other than a URC) then this may the one. Working with my existing base would be a great bonus. Since it does seem to have the features I need I guess my biggest question at this point is range. I know there are lots of variables here but what kind of averages could I expect going through a wall or two? Any downsides to the ARRX18G that I should be aware of? I appreciate the help!
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-03-2012, 02:37 PM
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The main reason I didn't recommend Xsight was because the RF range on mine isn't very good, nowhere close to 70ft. Maybe it will work with your base or better with a different antenna (one model was posted recently in the Xsight thread here). The software is clunky (like logitech), and you can't import pronto hex. On the up side, the database is fairly extensive and macro capability is very good, as is the speed and battery life. If you're willing to take a chance, I'd say it's worth a try. I use the 18G and 12G on a regular basis and am happy with them. I teach it from a JP1 remote if I need to add any discrete codes, which I do from time to time. If it won't work with your base (not sure if it will or not), you'll need to get a Nevo REX-433 base for it or a Next Generation 433MHz base.

EDIT: I thought I'd read in the past that it would work with a URC base, but can't find any evidence of it now. So do your homework, or be prepared to buy a base.

Good luck


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