Harmony One w/ IR extender, Harmony 900 RF, or other RF? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-05-2012, 08:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello all,

I am designing a basement with a media closet. My media closet is next to my bar and behind closed doors. There is a mirror behind the bar (I have heard this can affect RF transmission). The TV I am going to control with my media closet components is 25' away from the media closet. The couch is probably going to be ~15' away from the media closet. There's going to be a Dish Hopper, Xbox 360, Wii, blu ray player, and A/V receiver in the media closet. I bought a long active usb extender cable for the Kinect and a sensor bar extension wire for the wii. I've read that the xbox controller range is 30' and wii's is very long, so hopefully distance won't be a problem with these.

I have a Harmony One currently that I like a lot. The wife has even gotten used to pointing the remote at the components for the entire time needed for all components to get turned on (gasp!). She has figured out how to run the "help" system when something doesn't turn on as planned. I have thought about using my existing Harmony One and running an IR repeater through the wall with IR blasters in the media closet. My fear with this is that if something doesn't get turned on appropriately, navigating through the help menu may be a pain b/c I'll have to go to the media closet to see which component didn't turn on properly. Are there any other downsides to running this setup that you can think of?

Other thoughts I have had include buying a new RF remote to run my system. The Harmony 900 seems like it would fit all my needs, but I keep reading about its range being the main issue. I fear that with my setup, the RF signal would often not pass completely with this remote and commands will get lost. Is this a legit concern with this remote?

If the Harmony 900 isn't a good option due to its somewhat limited RF range, can anyone recommend another good RF universal programmable remote with a better range. I've tried to read about all the other fancy brands (URC, Crestron, etc) but I can't really get a grasp on which is right for me.

Any advice would be much appreciated!
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-05-2012, 02:57 PM
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The extender would be the lowest cost solution and should work as your family is already comfortable using the Help button. You can usually tell what did not turn on so using the help would be not be a problem. Slightly different story is a power off is missed and the device could be left on until it is next used and turned off.

The 900 would be a medium cost alternative, so continue your research on the range concerns.

URC and Crestron are higher end options and you may need a custom installer to set them up and maintain them for you as getting assess to the software could be a challenge.
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-06-2012, 05:40 PM
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You won't have an issue with the 900 at those distances. I had it working at 40ft through walls. After that it would drop out. The Xbox 360 controllers go even farther.

On the other hand, I run IR distribution now. The reason for that is unrelated to the 900's peformance though. How often do you have to use the Help option? Once you get everything dialed in properly, you should rarely if ever have a misfire.
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-07-2012, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your replies. Is there any downside to running IR repeaters?

I hardly ever have to push the help button. Only when line of sight gets obscured for some reason.
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-09-2012, 08:47 AM
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The only downsides I experience is having to deal with routing/hiding the extra wires and having an IR receiver visible. My IR receivers are black and blend right in though. You wouldn't know they were there until I pointed them out. Other than that there really isn't much of a difference.
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-14-2012, 11:50 AM
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MUPPP:

I recently had to replace a Harmony 890 and had survived on the RF capabilities. I was not happy with Harmony's "replacements" that had RF.

At the end of the day, I went with an IR repeater and -- so far -- would absolutely recommend it if you can run a wire to make it work. The upside is that the repeater works with any remote -- not just the Harmony. So you are free to pull out one of your original remotes (if needed), or if you jump ship to a different brand you're covered.

I ended up using some wires out of an existing Cat5 run that went from where my TV sits to the inside of the cabinet; the receiver is well hidden over the fireplace.

A Harmony One and the IR repeater were about the same, if not a little less expensive, than the higher end Harmonys (Harmonies?).
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post #7 of 9 Old 08-19-2012, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Great, that eases my fears as far as an IR repeater. The guy doing my work says he recommends using a Xantech IR repeater system. Hopefully that'll work.
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-20-2012, 05:39 PM
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I ended up with a Xantech kit as well, the Xantech DL85K LCD Proof kit.

I was able to mount the eye so that it faces through a clear trim piece on my Sony, so it's pretty much invisible.
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post #9 of 9 Old 12-25-2012, 07:57 PM
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going to give the Xantec a try, thanks for the recommendation

I have a panasonic LED mounted on a brick fireplace with component (really just Cisco cable box for ATT Uverse) in a closet 40 feet away.
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Harmony 900 Remote , Microsoft Xbox , Xantech Dl85k Lcd Proof Designer Dinky Link Ir Receiver Kit , Xbox 360 250gb Console With Kinect
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