Remote Control Help (IR, RF or IP?) - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 14 Old 03-26-2013, 06:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Recently, I've completed setting up my 5.1 home theater system in my main zone (family room) which includes the following:

Has direct line of sight (mounted on wall):
Panasonic GT50

Does NOT have direct line of sight (hidden in media cabinet):
Panasonic BTD-220 Blu-Ray Player
Apple TV
Time Warner Cable Box
Denon 3313 A/V Receiver

In addition, I have installed a TV on my 2nd zone (rear porch) that is being controlled via the 2nd HDMI output (video) on the Denon 3313. The audio is being outputted utilizing the 6th and 7th speaker outputs (assignable) as I'm only run 5.1 in my main zone.

The Denon app (on my iPhone) is great when it comes to changing the source or changing the volume on either of the zones. However, when I want to change channels on my Time Warner cable, I have to switch over to the My TWC app. Or if I want to use my Apple TV, I have to switch over to the remote (by Apple) app. As you can imagine, there is alot of lag time going from app to app. Or alternatively, I use a Harmony 600 remote (IR only) and I can control all the devices from it which is great. However, at the moment, I have to keep the media cabinet open as the Harmony remote is IR only.

BTW, all the devices except the Time Warner cable box is hardwired to my network.


My goals are as follows:

1) Have one device or app that can control all my devices
2) Do not want any additional hardware that has to be placed in a visible location (in the media cabinet is fine)
3) Want to keep the media cabinet closed at all times


So my questions to you guys are as follows:

1) Should I go RF to IR (like the Next Gen Remote), or RF (like the Harmony 900) or IP (like Redeye or Roomie)?
2) If Next Gen, plus or Genius?
3) If RF, Harmony 900 or something else?
4) If IP, which app and what hardward would I need to purchase?

Thanks in advance for the help!
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post #2 of 14 Old 03-26-2013, 09:24 AM
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Some claim Next Gen works fine with the 600. I would try that first since it's the simplest, cheapest solution. You don't need the multi frequency version of Next Gen since you don't have duplicate devices (i.e., a rack of several identical cable boxes). Failing that, I'd go for a 900.

If you prefer to do it all with your phone, I would get iRule plus the required IP gateway device.
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post #3 of 14 Old 03-26-2013, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
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mdavej, thanks for the prompt reply!

Can anyone confirm that the Next Gen remote indeed works with the Harmony 600?

Also, I have the following questions:

1) Should I purchase the 418 mhz or 433 mhz frequency remote? (I have wi-fi, and numerous z-wave devices in the house)
2) How many devices will the Next Gen control? Is this a function of Next Gen or my current Harmony 600 (which limits control to 5 devices)?
3) Do I need to buy additional emitters or any other hardware?
4) Will my Harmony 600 still be able to work for my TV which is in line of sight after I install the transmitter in the remote?

Thanks!
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post #4 of 14 Old 03-26-2013, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HAdiy View Post

mdavej, thanks for the prompt reply!

Can anyone confirm that the Next Gen remote indeed works with the Harmony 600?

Also, I have the following questions:

1) Should I purchase the 418 mhz or 433 mhz frequency remote? (I have wi-fi, and numerous z-wave devices in the house)
2) How many devices will the Next Gen control? Is this a function of Next Gen or my current Harmony 600 (which limits control to 5 devices)?
3) Do I need to buy additional emitters or any other hardware?
4) Will my Harmony 600 still be able to work for my TV which is in line of sight after I install the transmitter in the remote?

Thanks!
1) Doesn't matter unless you have DirecTV, which 433 can interfere with. Otherwise the main reason for different frequencies is if you have more than one Next Gen systems and don't want them the interfere with each other. Their frequency is nowhere near wi-fi or z-wave.
2) Doesn't work that way. All Next Gen does is send an RF modulated version of what it picks up from the remote. It doesn't care if you have 1 device or a million. This is not an addressable repeater system like Xantech.
3) Depends on the physical layout. The base can reach anything LOS with it and each blaster can as well. If it were me, I'd spread the 3 blasters across the door so each could hit a couple of devices.
4) Next Gen does not affect the original function of your remote in any way. If it works today, it will still work the same when you install the Next Gen Xmitter/Battery.

I've read conflicting reports on how well Next Gen works with the 600. Good luck getting a straight answer.

Lastly, since you do have z-wave, I highly recommend you get an old harmony 890 instead. It does RF as well as z-wave.
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post #5 of 14 Old 03-26-2013, 12:06 PM
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I'm using the 433 MHz kit to control my DirecTV HD DVRS, a Roku box and and an HDMI switch. I have the NextGen receiver sitting at the front edge of the bottom glass shelf of an audio rack in my basement, no emitters and have no problem with any of the components sitting on the shelves directly above it receiving a signal.....I'm controlling the system from my bedroom one floor above with an RCA RCRN06GR.

I've successfully used the NextGen in the past with the Harmony 550 and the 670...never got it to work with the 650 though which is very similar to the 600. Like mdavej, I've heard some people say they've gotten it to work with the 600 but NextGen says it won't > http://www.nextgen.us/Articles.asp?ID=136

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post #6 of 14 Old 03-26-2013, 12:21 PM
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Just to clarify, the deal with 433 and DirecTV is they're the same RF frequency. So using a DirecTV RF remote and Next Gen could cause problems. But since you can't use IR and RF at the same time anyway with DirecTV, this is usually no problem. A lot of other RF bases also use 433, so different makes of RF systems could interfere as well. Nothing to worry about in your case.

The base itself is very strong, and the IR can usually bounce around in a cabinet and reach most everything, as Vin said.

I had an exchange with someone recently who claimed it worked on a 700 (very similar to the 600 and 650), but in the very next paragraph contradicted himself, and never responded to my follow up questions. So I have yet to find any definitive proof. If you try it, please let us know if it works.
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post #7 of 14 Old 03-27-2013, 06:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys...you've been a great help!

When I got home last night, I confirmed my remote model # and I actually have a Harmony 650 not a 600. Either way, based on Vin's post above (and the link to Next Gen's FAQ), it seems that the Next Gen will not work with the either the 650 or 600.

I know I could purchase the 900 or 890 (for the Z-wave as mdavej pointed out), however, I don't want to purchase a $250 remote if I can help it at all. Therefore, if I was to purchase the Next Gen for ~$50, what IR universal remote would you guys recommend that will be able to control the following devices.

Panasonic GT50
Panasonic BTD-220 Blu-Ray Player
Apple TV
Time Warner Cable Box
Denon 3313 A/V Receiver

Having capacity to add more devices in the future would also be great. Also, a Harmony remote would be idea as I like how easy it is to program. I think $100 or less would be the ideal budget. Thanks.
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post #8 of 14 Old 03-27-2013, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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I just called Harmony and they are running a special on both the 900 and 1100 for $199. Between the two, which one do you guys recommend? Once again, I want to control the following devices:

Panasonic GT50
Panasonic BTD-220 Blu-Ray Player
Apple TV
Time Warner Cable Box
Denon 3313 A/V Receiver
3rd party z-wave lighting (by GE)

By the way is it possible to use either to control by 2gig alarm system?

Lastly, if I go the route of the 1100, what would I need to purchase to take advantage of the RF capabilities (I read RF isn't included out of the box).

Thanks!
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post #9 of 14 Old 03-27-2013, 12:45 PM
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It depends on if you like touchscreens better than buttons and don't mind spending another $100 on the RF Extender. I personally don't care for touchscreens, but many people like them. All harmonys have the same device database, so a $20 300 will work the same as a $200 900 in that regard.

I don't know what a 2gig alarm system is or why I would want to control it with my tv remote. Seems like it would be insecure if any yahoo with a universal remote could control it.
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post #10 of 14 Old 03-27-2013, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, I've ruled the 1100 out as I don't want to buy a $100 extender.

For the 900, can you explain how the RF blaster works? Would I place it in my media cabinet? What do I connect the blaster to (other than power)? I don't want to place anything where it is visible?

Also, will the 900 control my z-wave lighting (by GE)?

Thanks again!
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post #11 of 14 Old 03-27-2013, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HAdiy View Post

For the 900, can you explain how the RF blaster works? Would I place it in my media cabinet?
That's probably the best spot for it. Doesn't really matter where it is.
Quote:
What do I connect the blaster to (other than power)?
Connect the 3 (I think) mini blasters to the base and put them on/near your devices.
Quote:
Also, will the 900 control my z-wave lighting (by GE)?
No. That's precisely why I recommended the 890 which does z-wave and RF.
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post #12 of 14 Old 03-28-2013, 04:56 AM
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I'm surprised Logitech is selling the 900 and 1100 since they are both discontinued. They are now down to only two remotes listed on their site, the Touch and the 650. I wouldn't worry too much about missing out on the $200 900 deal since that is basically the Amazon price any day.

The 900's RF blaster only has two IR out ports for mini-blasters and the main unit itself is an IR blaster. These use 2.5mm connections.

I have a solution that allows any remote to control Z-wave devices via IR, but it will exceed your budget.

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post #13 of 14 Old 03-28-2013, 07:16 AM
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Actually, I just checked out the logitech site, and those $200 900's and 1100's are "refurbished". So they're just trying to liquidate all their old returns/repairs. If you're willing to get a refurb, you can do a lot better elsewhere. Geeks.com, for example, has 900 refurbs for $149. I can't vouch for that vendor, just offering an example.
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post #14 of 14 Old 04-15-2013, 09:19 AM - Thread Starter
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I ended up buying a Harmony 890 from eBay, unfortunately, it didn't end up working even though the seller claimed it was new (it wasn't BTW). Anyways, I'm keen to the 890 due to it's z-wave capabilities in addition to IR and RF.

I can't seem to find another 890 for a decent price. Do you guys having any suggestions on where to purchase?

Also, are there any other remotes with the same capabilities that you would recommend?

Thanks in advance!
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