Which RF (or similar) Remote to buy? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 07-06-2013, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello! I have a Harmony 900 that I really like. However we moved houses and the a/v componets are now in a media closet in the basesment rather than just behind cabinet 15' away. The 900 still works, but the blaster fails to receive the RF signal about 30% of the time. Frustrating.

I'm looking for solution. I haven't be able to determine if the new Harmony Ultimate or Smart Control have a greater RF range than the 900. Here are my thoughts. Please let me know what you think.
  1. Find a way to extend/boost the RF range on the 900 or otherwise make it work
  2. Hope the RF range on the Ultimate or Smart Control is greater than the 900
  3. Confirm the Ultimate or Smart Control actually sends signals over WiFi to the IR blaster. That would easily solve the issue.
  4. Buy a different RF remote with greater range. An old Harmony 890 or UR, maybe? (Reccomendations needed)

The the Ultimate and Smart Control are so new, I may just have to buy one and test it out. I can always return it if it doesn't work I suppose.
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-06-2013, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
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I've continued to read up all the postings on the new Smart Control and Ultimate. I like the Smart Control, but since it doesn't emmit IR and the hub would have to be downstairs in my media rack, there would be no way to turn on the TV. HarmonyIan also confirmed that the remotes talk to the hub via RF, not WiFI, so range may still be an issue.

So that leaves me with two possible solutions. 1. Buy the ultimate and hope the RF reaches, or 2. move the currnet RF unit in range (say behind the TV) and run a cable from it all the way back to the media closet like I do for the cat5 and HDMI. Think that would work? They only pitfall I can see is if I'm outside BBQing and want to listen to music or something the RF would probably not reach again b/c it would be too far UPstairs. can you use 2 RF for the same remote on the same equipments or would that mess it up if the both received commands from the the remote?

Thanks for your help!
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post #3 of 8 Old 07-08-2013, 05:47 AM
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You can put the RF hub upstairs and run the blasters to the basement using CAT5 patch cable. Each IR output is simply two wires that you can splice together. You can even put male and female connections (2.5mm in the case of your 900) on the ends and not even cut the current blaster cables..

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post #4 of 8 Old 07-08-2013, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
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That works for me; I can handle a soldering iron pretty well. smile.gif

One more question: can I have two RF blasters paired to the same 900? I'm thinking I can put one upstairs as mentioned and keep one downstairs for whole-house coverage. Any issues with both blasters sending the same code at not the exact same time? Blasting "On" or something may not matter but channel up might. Thoughts?
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-09-2013, 06:37 AM
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I'm pretty sure the 900 allows that, you just have to buy an additional blaster unit. I don't have a 900 (used to use an 890), but they won't interfere with each other. You would be mapping the device to a particular blaster so the On command would be sent by RF to the blaster mapped to the device you want to turn on. The other blaster would never receive or transmit the On command just sent. This would allow you to also have two identical TVs or cable boxes and control them independently.

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post #6 of 8 Old 08-04-2013, 05:00 PM
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Stick with the Harmony 900 and use a cable from each Blaster to extend the IR signal to your remote devices. I have two Blasters and each of the four ports is dedicated to a component so I have only the IR signal intended for that component reaching its IR receiver and no other signal to confuse it. This is my assessment of the Harmony Ultimate:

The Good - Sleek, compact and attractive design, easier to program than previous Harmony remotes, very powerful RF signal reaches longer distance between remote control and hub than it's RF predecessor the Harmony 900.

The Bad - when compared to the Harmony 900 and Harmony One it has very poor backlit hard buttons that are difficult to read in the dark, not as vivid a display, and some hard buttons are slightly out of reach during one-handed use. Much prefer the ergonomics of the Harmony One and Harmony 900 over the Harmony Ultimate. Also the battery is not replaceable.
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post #7 of 8 Old 01-06-2014, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sr View Post


The Bad - when compared to the Harmony 900 and Harmony One it has very poor backlit hard buttons that are difficult to read in the dark, not as vivid a display, and some hard buttons are slightly out of reach during one-handed use. Much prefer the ergonomics of the Harmony One and Harmony 900 over the Harmony Ultimate. Also the battery is not replaceable.

I tried the Smart Control but no backlighting made it difficult to use. I upgraded to the Ultimate and though setup was a nightmare the remote is pretty neat. I agree with you about button placement and the backlighting issue. My Harmony One is only two years old and works great so I might still return the Ultimate. One very neat thing with the Ultimate is I can assign a tap on the screen to pause/play something and swipes to do whatever. That is really neat. It's the one thing causing me from returning it.

I can't stand using a tablet or smart phone as a remote so that aspect of the Ultimate is unused. The feel and size of the Ultimate is better than the One which is too big .

The One is really nice and the Ultimate is an unnecessary luxury. Really tough decision.

Philip
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post #8 of 8 Old 01-06-2014, 02:03 PM
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Since I use my remote in a completely dark media room, I had no choice but to stick with the Harmony 900. I also could never substitute a hand held remote with a tablet. I am really sorry that Logitech stopped manufacturing the 900.
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Harmony 900 Remote , Logitech 915 000201 Harmony Ultimate Remote , Logitech 915 000194 Harmony Smart Control

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