Harmony 900 or URC MX-780 or URC MX-890 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 02-08-2013, 03:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

I am looking for an RF remote to control my Home Cinema.

The devices I need controlling are:
Panasonic TX-P65VT30E
Denon AVR-4520
HTPC using XBMC & TMT5 (via an HP USB IR Receiver)
Dreambox DM800 HD SE
PS3

I was looking at the H900 or the MX-780 or the MX-890.
The MX-1200 is very nice, however I need a remote with the RGYB hard buttons, so while this looks good, I am favoring the above remotes more.

Which do you reckon would be the best to control everything I need?

The URC remotes I know are of better build quality, but for my needs is the price justified?
Also if I go with URC, what else would I need for RF control?

Thanks

Panasonic 65VT30E // Monitor Audio RX6 AV12 // Denon AVR-4520 // Dreambox DM 800HD // PS3 500GB
HTPC - XBMC // TMT5
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post #2 of 28 Old 02-08-2013, 06:28 AM
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For the URC you would need the MRF-260 or MRF-350 for RF to IR control.

I never need hard color buttons so my choice would be different than your requirement. I'd go with the MX-1200 as an upgrade from my MX-980 (with MRF-350).

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post #3 of 28 Old 02-08-2013, 07:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj View Post

For the URC you would need the MRF-260 or MRF-350 for RF to IR control.

I never need hard color buttons so my choice would be different than your requirement. I'd go with the MX-1200 as an upgrade from my MX-980 (with MRF-350).

Even me I like the MX-1200 A LOT, however the lack of colored hard buttons is a pain because my Dreambox (satellite and DVR) which I use on a daily basis uses them all the time. So having hard buttons would help.

I am trying to justify spending something like $800 on a complete universal remote as opposed to $300 for a Harmony.

I know build quality is much better as well as customization. I have agreed with the agent and he said that he will give me whatever remote I want for a week trial. So maybe that's the next step, however I need to know which remote to get first.

Am I right in assuming the MX-780 is more on par with the Harmony 900? I like the MX-890 more than the MX-780 because it has a charging dock (I hate using AA batteries) and similar programming to the high end remotes (such as the 1200 and 980)

Any suggestions are welcome!

Thanks

Panasonic 65VT30E // Monitor Audio RX6 AV12 // Denon AVR-4520 // Dreambox DM 800HD // PS3 500GB
HTPC - XBMC // TMT5
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post #4 of 28 Old 02-08-2013, 08:22 AM
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In five years your URC remote will more than likely still function. If the Harmony still functions (not even considering the programming servers going dark) then you would be very very lucky.
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post #5 of 28 Old 02-10-2013, 02:01 AM - Thread Starter
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What's the difference between MRF-260 or MRF-350?

I have 5 devices to control in all, including the PS3... what do I need for the PS3 as it's bluetooth not IR?

Also, I need the remote to work with XBMC and TMT5. Is there someone with a similar setup? Is an MCE Remote already in the database or do I have to use the learning functionality for everything on the HTPC?

Panasonic 65VT30E // Monitor Audio RX6 AV12 // Denon AVR-4520 // Dreambox DM 800HD // PS3 500GB
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post #6 of 28 Old 02-11-2013, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
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anyone?

Panasonic 65VT30E // Monitor Audio RX6 AV12 // Denon AVR-4520 // Dreambox DM 800HD // PS3 500GB
HTPC - XBMC // TMT5
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post #7 of 28 Old 02-11-2013, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nameless_87 View Post

What's the difference between MRF-260 or MRF-350?

I have 5 devices to control in all, including the PS3... what do I need for the PS3 as it's bluetooth not IR?

Also, I need the remote to work with XBMC and TMT5. Is there someone with a similar setup? Is an MCE Remote already in the database or do I have to use the learning functionality for everything on the HTPC?

Number of ports, separate RF receiver unit (RFX-250), and IR strength control per port are features of the MRF-350 over the MRF-260.

You need either an IR to BT device which allows all remote commands to work or an IR to USB device that limits you to game controller input (you end up having to hit Triangle a lot to bring up commands instead of going straight to the commands like with a remote).

Just need a MCE IR receiver such as the HP Media Center IR receiver from eBay.

Two out of these three questions were answered in the FAQ sticky...

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post #8 of 28 Old 02-11-2013, 12:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj View Post

Number of ports, separate RF receiver unit (RFX-250), and IR strength control per port are features of the MRF-350 over the MRF-260.

You need either an IR to BT device which allows all remote commands to work or an IR to USB device that limits you to game controller input (you end up having to hit Triangle a lot to bring up commands instead of going straight to the commands like with a remote).

Just need a MCE IR receiver such as the HP Media Center IR receiver from eBay.

Two out of these three questions were answered in the FAQ sticky...

Hi,

I did read the FAQ sticky, but some things are still unclear!

Regarding the MCE IR REceiver, that is the exact same one I have which I am waiting for to be delivered... my question was more related to setup... I know for example that with the Harmony you just choose media center and enter MCE keyboard, however I do not know if this is possible with the URC remote... If it's in the database I mean... that's what I need to know cause information on URC and HTPC seems to be limited.

Regarding the PS3, I definately want a IR to BT ... I just don't know what to go for... any suggestions?

Regarding the RF Receiver... I don't think I need the RXF-250 that comes with the bundle as I have just one room, but I think I do need the extra number of ports.

This is how my cabinet is set up:
To get an idea this is my cabinet.
Panasonic VT30 - On Top obviously
PS3 (will use an IR to BT device) - Left Door; Top Shelf
HTPC (with usb HP IR receiver) - Left Door; Bottom Shelf
Dreambox - Right Door; Top Shelf
Denon 4520 - Right Door; Bottom Shelf

The middle compartments, the top one contains the center speaker (removed the drawer) and the bottom one is used for accessories such as ps3 controllers, 3D glasses etc, so nothing to be controlled in the middle compartment.

So will the MRF-260 be good for me or do I need the MRF-350? (I want everything controlled by RF)

Thanks

Panasonic 65VT30E // Monitor Audio RX6 AV12 // Denon AVR-4520 // Dreambox DM 800HD // PS3 500GB
HTPC - XBMC // TMT5
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post #9 of 28 Old 02-12-2013, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
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anyone?

Sorry for all the questions but I need to make a decision on what to get!

Panasonic 65VT30E // Monitor Audio RX6 AV12 // Denon AVR-4520 // Dreambox DM 800HD // PS3 500GB
HTPC - XBMC // TMT5
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post #10 of 28 Old 02-12-2013, 01:08 PM
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980 would be my choice....

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post #11 of 28 Old 02-12-2013, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
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I really like the 980... The only problem is that it doesn't have the RGYB hard buttons

Panasonic 65VT30E // Monitor Audio RX6 AV12 // Denon AVR-4520 // Dreambox DM 800HD // PS3 500GB
HTPC - XBMC // TMT5
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post #12 of 28 Old 02-12-2013, 05:04 PM
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Actually the 980 has hard buttons on the sides of the screen, so technically you can have hard buttons.
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post #13 of 28 Old 02-14-2013, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks.

To be honest i'd rather have the buttons on their own and not on screen so i dont look at the remote as i use them quite often.

Any idea regarding the RF base station? Which one would be good for my needs and my devices?

Panasonic 65VT30E // Monitor Audio RX6 AV12 // Denon AVR-4520 // Dreambox DM 800HD // PS3 500GB
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post #14 of 28 Old 02-14-2013, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nameless_87 View Post

Thanks.

To be honest i'd rather have the buttons on their own and not on screen so i dont look at the remote as i use them quite often.

Any idea regarding the RF base station? Which one would be good for my needs and my devices?

What I was getting at is the color buttons have hard buttons. With the 980 the screen isn't a touchscreen. You use those eight buttons located on the left and right of the screen. In my picture for Red you would just feel for the button that is second from the bottom left of the screen.
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post #15 of 28 Old 02-14-2013, 11:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes I know that, I just don't know if I'll get used to 4 buttons not in a line wink.gif

Regarding the RF Base Stations... any ideas?

Also, how would they connect to my devices? The IR flashers are attached to the infrared sensor on front of the devices... will then the original remote stop working this way cause the sensor is covered?
Or can the IR flashers just be in front of the device (working like a blaster)?

I am really confused on this and it's the last thing I need to clarify before I buy. (My devices and cabinet picture are in my previous posts, if that helps)

Thanks

Panasonic 65VT30E // Monitor Audio RX6 AV12 // Denon AVR-4520 // Dreambox DM 800HD // PS3 500GB
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post #16 of 28 Old 02-15-2013, 04:36 AM
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You will indeed be sticking the ir emitter on the ir port on whatever equipment you have but it won't block things completely. You'll still be able to use your factory remotes.

Also if it means anything I have a Logitech 650 now and pulled the trigger on a used MX 900 and MRF 350 to replace the Logitech. I've programmed dozens of URC remotes and the Logitech just doesn't come close to the customization of the URC. Good luck!

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
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post #17 of 28 Old 03-03-2013, 04:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

I decided to go for the URC MX-890 with MRF-350.

However I have a question.
My main concern is the HTPC.

I bought an HP MCE Remote (so I can use the USB IR Receiver), but I have no idea how to turn the PC on from shutdown state (S5).

I know my motherboard (Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z) bios has WOL, so my question is, can the URC MX-890 send a magic packet so that the PC turns on using Wake on LAN?

Thanks

Panasonic 65VT30E // Monitor Audio RX6 AV12 // Denon AVR-4520 // Dreambox DM 800HD // PS3 500GB
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post #18 of 28 Old 03-03-2013, 05:11 AM
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You need a different type of IR device to turn on the PC from the off state. The MX-890 or MRF-350 don't have a direct way to interact with your LAN to even begin to send a magic packet.

Most just set their HTPC to S3 sleep which the HP receiver can wake from.

To turn the PC completely on and off you'll need a Soundgraph/iMon based unit usually branded as Antec. However, they suck for general IR control due to their custom (buggy) software.

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post #19 of 28 Old 03-03-2013, 05:25 AM - Thread Starter
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I may use sleep instead of shut down and this works as i checked. The thing is that i use my htpc during the weekend. I rarely use it during the week hence why i use shutdown. I am mostly worried about power consumption. How can i check the power consumtion in sleep mode and shutdown mode?

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post #20 of 28 Old 03-04-2013, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nameless_87 View Post

anyone?[/quote


I have a MX-700 that I use with a 4520 and a Panasonic VT 50. I believe it and a 65 inch are identical other than size.I also have a OPPO103 and Cisco Cable Box. It does not have hard buttons for your RBGY( it has them but they are beside the LCD screen and labeled in the screen itself) so I have them in the LCD Screen as the bottom 4 (of 10). These are available on E- Bay @ many times for about 100. If you get your hands on one ,I'll send you the programming through e-mail. It has all the macros and works just splendid.... you will just have to delete out the devices you do not own and build (learn) your current devices.But at least this way 2 of them are already done ....... Just a thought
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post #21 of 28 Old 03-20-2013, 06:31 PM
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To answer your question about controlling the PS3 with your new URC MX-890 you need to get this piece: http://www.amazon.com/PS3IR-1000-Wireless-Infra-red-Adapter-PlayStation/dp/B0028S7BZY/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1363829273&sr=8-4&keywords=PS3+ir+adapter. It is one of the few adapters that will work with the URC and allow you to have discreet on and off for the PS3.

You made a fine choice going with URC instead of the H900. In my professional opinion, as I am a custom installer, the Harmony remote controls are garbage and do not give anyone the control over their system that they need. Good luck with your programming and I hope you enjoy your new remote. I am confident you will not be disappointed.
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post #22 of 28 Old 03-21-2013, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies!

I am now the owner of a urc mx-890 and mrf350.

I programmed the dreambox, denon avr and pamasonic tv as standalone devices and created a watch dreambox activity. Now i am looking into controlling the htpc using eventghost.

Regarding ps3 i am undecided between the ps3-ir1000 or the audio authority one... Any ideas?

Also anyone has any graphics and themes for the mx890?

Thanks

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post #23 of 28 Old 03-23-2013, 05:19 AM
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Thanks for creating this thread, Nameless! Hard color buttons are also a "must have" for me (my family) and I was just debating the MX-780 over the MX-890.
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post #24 of 28 Old 04-18-2013, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nameless_87 View Post

I am now the owner of a urc mx-890 and mrf350.

How is the MX-890 working for you, Nameless?


Just when I'm ready to pick a remote for hidden electronics there's a late contender! How might the MX-890 measure up against the recently announced Harmony Ultimate and Hub?
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post #25 of 28 Old 04-20-2013, 06:40 AM
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If it matters any... I have a 5 year old PS3IR-Pro (discontinued model by same vendor as ps3-ir1000).

It works like a charm, I have it plugged into my XBMC box so the USB has power 24/7 (the PS3 doesn't power its usb ports sadly, at least last I heard).

Looks like both solutions are expensive at $100, but what can you do? Personally I prefer my PS3IR-Pro, cause it is usb powered and can be plugged in anywhere (that has powered usb ports on standby).
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post #26 of 28 Old 04-26-2013, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivatech View Post

How is the MX-890 working for you, Nameless?


Just when I'm ready to pick a remote for hidden electronics there's a late contender! How might the MX-890 measure up against the recently announced Harmony Ultimate and Hub?

glad I found this thread. what else do I need with the MX-890? sounds like i still need the RF /IR repeater?

I'm pre-wiring the house right now. do I need to wire IR? or there RF repeaters I just need to plugin?
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post #27 of 28 Old 04-28-2013, 06:30 PM
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You can connect RF or IR with CAT5 wire runs. The only difference is the RF needs three wires where IR only needs two, but CAT5 has eight. The RFX-250 is what I'm referring to with RF.

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post #28 of 28 Old 04-30-2013, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj View Post

You can connect RF or IR with CAT5 wire runs. The only difference is the RF needs three wires where IR only needs two, but CAT5 has eight. The RFX-250 is what I'm referring to with RF.

I did this. Just left the extra wires unused

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