Harmony (the company) to be sold - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Edmund View Post

Logitech lost patent suit to UEI last year, so they are paying UEI anyways, seems like a good suitor.
Very interesting. I found details of a similar suit HERE against URC for what I'm guessing are probably the same patents. UEI was indeed first in just about all these areas since they've been around since the 80's, so I think their claims are valid. I imagine they will ultimately end up suing everyone in the remote business who isn't paying them royalties already, and probably winning. Whether such things should be patentable in the first place is up for debate.

In short, UEI patented learning, macros, favorites, device selection (IR command sets) and backlighting.
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Old 01-31-2013, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

Very interesting. I found details of a similar suit HERE against URC for what I'm guessing are probably the same patents. UEI was indeed first in just about all these areas since they've been around since the 80's, so I think their claims are valid. I imagine they will ultimately end up suing everyone in the remote business who isn't paying them royalties already, and probably winning. Whether such things should be patentable in the first place is up for debate.

In short, UEI patented learning, macros, favorites, device selection (IR command sets) and backlighting.

The first UEI remotes that hit the marketplace in 80's were all strictly preprogrammed remotes, that accepted advanced codes from the beginning, but no learning or macros. They were the first with preprogrammed codes, all the other universal remotes before were strictly learning remotes. My first UEI remote was the urc-5000, not the 12in1 sold separately, my urc-5000 came in set with ofa version of the ir543 x10 controller they called it the urc-3000, along with appliance and lamp modules. That urc-5000 was 15in1 remote. The codebook had plenty of codes listed, most weren't in the remote. frown.gif
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:24 AM
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I used Harmony remotes for what seems like forever. Finally about 2 years ago I got fed up with the limited programming capability and shoddy customer service. Moved to MX980 and 1200 remotes and have never looked back. All I can say is good riddance.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by soundwhat View Post

I have no idea how I should proceed then. I tried a URC40 but programming it seemed to be a pain.

Should I pull the trigger on a harmony or just do not buy any at all and deal with 3-4 remotes?

I've had 2 urc remotes and 4 harmony's over the years. Theres a learning curve programming the urc, but its worth it. Best thing is you can make changes from your couch, not connecting to your computer and going online like with the harmony.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by kevreh View Post

I've had 2 urc remotes and 4 harmony's over the years. Theres a learning curve programming the urc, but its worth it. Best thing is you can make changes from your couch, not connecting to your computer and going online like with the harmony.

How did you get software for the URC, I thought it needed to be professionally done? Note I have not looked into it for years, appoligize if I missed something
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by MikeCandler View Post

How did you get software for the URC, I thought it needed to be professionally done? Note I have not looked into it for years, appoligize if I missed something

You need the software for the higher end URC remotes (which, btw, let you do some very cool logic and programming). But not so for the R50 and R40. Everything is done in the remote. I really loath how the Harmony remotes require you to get up and go plug it into the usb, go online, make changes, update, then go back to where you were. rolleyes.gif

The "programming" done with the R40 and 50 is right there in the remote. Its sooo much faster than programming with the Harmonys.

And while I'm at it! You know, the funny thing with Harmony is that it seems like they keep on trying to re-invent the wheel with their remote designs. Different buttons, shapes, textures, layouts, etc... This tells me that Harmony keeps on messing with the design because they can't seem to get it right and keep on trying different things.

OTOH, the URC remotes are more similar than different....and all feel very solid.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeCandler View Post

How did you get software for the URC, I thought it needed to be professionally done? Note I have not looked into it for years, appoligize if I missed something

You buy it from a dealer that agrees to provide the software to you. URC leaves the software distribution to the dealer. If the dealer refuses to supply the software then it was the dealer's choice.

Plus there are the unofficial ways to obtain the software. Most of the complaints about the URC software are from people who bought the remote from eBay/Amazon/Craigslist and then realized they needed the software. Simply make sure you have the software issue solved prior to obtaining a URC pro-series remote.

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Old 02-06-2013, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by kevreh View Post

You need the software for the higher end URC remotes (which, btw, let you do some very cool logic and programming). But not so for the R50 and R40. Everything is done in the remote. I really loath how the Harmony remotes require you to get up and go plug it into the usb, go online, make changes, update, then go back to where you were. rolleyes.gif

The "programming" done with the R40 and 50 is right there in the remote. Its sooo much faster than programming with the Harmonys.

And while I'm at it! You know, the funny thing with Harmony is that it seems like they keep on trying to re-invent the wheel with their remote designs. Different buttons, shapes, textures, layouts, etc... This tells me that Harmony keeps on messing with the design because they can't seem to get it right and keep on trying different things.

OTOH, the URC remotes are more similar than different....and all feel very solid.

Thanks for the info both of you guys...been years since I looked into it and my Harmony One is on its way out so figure start looking into other options sooner than later.
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by MikeCandler View Post

Thanks for the info both of you guys...been years since I looked into it and my Harmony One is on its way out so figure start looking into other options sooner than later.

No problem. My Harmony remotes have come and gone with all their idiosyncrasies, but the two URC remotes I've had have really held up and served their purposes.
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:09 AM
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Do you have to make sure you get the software with the URC WR7 remote? The WR7 seems like a good remote for me as I dont have a lot going on with my audio, just BD Player, Apple TV, Cable Box, Receiver and TV. I was thinking about the Harmony 650, then started to look at the R40 and R50, but I dont want to pay over $100 for a remote control. I stumbled on the WR7, and advice on that?
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:02 AM
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The WR7, R40 and R50 are consumer remotes. Plus they aren't PC programmable.

You only need the professional software for the pro line of remotes, typically the MX series.

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Old 02-07-2013, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by jrh1010 View Post

Do you have to make sure you get the software with the URC WR7 remote? The WR7 seems like a good remote for me as I dont have a lot going on with my audio, just BD Player, Apple TV, Cable Box, Receiver and TV. I was thinking about the Harmony 650, then started to look at the R40 and R50, but I dont want to pay over $100 for a remote control. I stumbled on the WR7, and advice on that?

That looks like a nice solid remote (WR7). Only thing it *looks* like its missing is macros and mapping volume to other devices. Macro means you program one button to do multiple things with 1 button. Mapping volume means no matter what device your in the volume buttons operate the receiver, for example. Also not sure if this remote lets you learn ir from other remotes.
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevreh View Post

That looks like a nice solid remote (WR7). Only thing it *looks* like its missing is macros and mapping volume to other devices. Macro means you program one button to do multiple things with 1 button. Mapping volume means no matter what device your in the volume buttons operate the receiver, for example. Also not sure if this remote lets you learn ir from other remotes.

Yes, it has some macro capabilities - the power button(s) can do multiple actions as can another dozen of the buttons. Volume 'punch through' is supported as is mapping of a few other butons, and it's certainly one of the cheapest learning remotes around. I use them all over my house...

http://www.universalremote.com/resources/pdfs/wr7_manual.pdf

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Old 02-07-2013, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Yes, it has some macro capabilities - the power button(s) can do multiple actions as can another dozen of the buttons. Volume 'punch through' is supported as is mapping of a few other butons, and it's certainly one of the cheapest learning remotes around. I use them all over my house...

http://www.universalremote.com/resources/pdfs/wr7_manual.pdf

Jeff

Nice! Found more info on it on the Amazon page for it;

http://www.amazon.com/URC-Universal-Control-Components-Favorite/dp/B001KC08A4/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1360266608&sr=1-1&keywords=URC+WR7
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Old 02-16-2013, 05:37 PM
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So, given that the Harmony family is arguably one of the best universal's out there (excluding the complaints about macros on the 900 and 1100), does it make sense to buy a 900 right now or would it be a better move to make-do with remote control clutter and wait for the merger dust to settle?

My basement media room will be finished in about 2 weeks and the folks that did all the speaker wiring and installed the projector are really pushing a lower end URC remote. I don't like the idea of buying a remote I can't program myself, and the 900 looks like it will do everything I need, since I won't likely use the added functionality you can do with macros. My gear is rack mounted in a closet, therefore RF is required. I really just want a remote the wife and kids can use without frustration and/or blowing my speakers.

I'm thinking I should go ahead and buy a 900 now, but was curious what the grey beards here think about that logic considering the merger announcement. Thanks in advance for your replies!
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:05 PM
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A weird thing happened to me today while trying to re program my Harmony 1. They made me create a new account. Once I did that, all my previous data was lost. Had to start all over.

(LCD - Sony KDL - XBR4) (Receiver - Sony STR-DA4ES)(Blu Ray - Oppo BDP-83) (PS3)( Dish Hopper DVR With Sling) Speakers (L & R - Paradigm Studio 20) (Center -Paradigm CC-470) (Surrounds & Back Surrounds - Paradigm SA-15R in walls) (Subwoofer 1 - Sunfire HRS-12) (Subwoofer 2 - Paradigm PW-2100)
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by adz68 View Post

So, given that the Harmony family is arguably one of the best universal's out there (excluding the complaints about macros on the 900 and 1100), does it make sense to buy a 900 right now or would it be a better move to make-do with remote control clutter and wait for the merger dust to settle?

My basement media room will be finished in about 2 weeks and the folks that did all the speaker wiring and installed the projector are really pushing a lower end URC remote. I don't like the idea of buying a remote I can't program myself, and the 900 looks like it will do everything I need, since I won't likely use the added functionality you can do with macros. My gear is rack mounted in a closet, therefore RF is required. I really just want a remote the wife and kids can use without frustration and/or blowing my speakers.

I'm thinking I should go ahead and buy a 900 now, but was curious what the grey beards here think about that logic considering the merger announcement. Thanks in advance for your replies!
I wouldnt pay it any attention. Get the 900. What difference does it make if they go out of business? Will you ever really need them for support? The only thing I see that might be an issue is 2 years down the road or something if you buy something new you may not be able to use the website to program the remote because they are no longer updating the database.As far as warranty goes chances are if something is wrong with it you will know within a week.

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Old 02-16-2013, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Skytrooper View Post

A weird thing happened to me today while trying to re program my Harmony 1. They made me create a new account. Once I did that, all my previous data was lost. Had to start all over.
Were you using the website or the software?

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Old 02-16-2013, 07:20 PM
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Skytrooper,

New account = new configuration

They should have given you the procedure to recover your original login instead. The good news is if you do recover your old login, your old config will still be there. Use the help in the software and there should be recovery steps. I don't remember the details myself.

adz68,

I'm with Bond. Biggest risk is the web site going down in a couple of years. I say go for it.
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:28 PM
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Bond007, mdavej,
I was using the website. Yep, I should of known better. In the long run, things turned out for the better. Thanks, Guys. Everything is good again.

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