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post #1 of 25 Old 08-18-2013, 07:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay...so beyond having the normal in the living room surround sound flat screen tv, I am fairly new to the world of HT. Until now that is. Since February, a buddy of mine and I have been building, from the scratch up, a home theater in my basement. It has been a long process mainly due to time (we can only do it one day a week since we work) and money. We are officially about 3 weeks out from having an operational theater.

Final plans have been put in place but one factor I am not sure of, is the remote control. I have a Harmony 1000 for what I use in the living room but am probably going to go the tablet route in the basement theater. My general equipment is an Epson projector...an Oppo bluray and Emotiva for the rest of it. I want to be able to control all of that along with my lights (dimming).

Suggestions? For I don't have a clue as to what to get
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post #2 of 25 Old 08-18-2013, 09:05 AM
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I personally dislike tablet and touch screen remotes for several reasons: can't be used without looking, expensive, delicate, need to be charged often, large programming effort required, no state tracking. They do look great though and are very extensible, not to mention IP and RS-232 capable. If you go that route, iRule is the way to go.

If I were buying today, I'd stick with harmony or URC. My personal preference is JP1 of course.

If configuration effort is important, consider this. I moved some inputs around on my system the other day and had to change about 5 activity macros accordingly on harmony and JP1. It took me 10 minutes on harmony, but less than 30 seconds on JP1. This is because on JP1, I can put the input selection part of those macros in one common subroutine, hence only one thing to change. Plus I can download the changes in 3 seconds on JP1, whereas harmony takes a couple of minutes.
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post #3 of 25 Old 08-18-2013, 10:47 AM
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Another vote for a non-tablet remote. Tablet/touch screen still seem gimmicky (in my experience) and trying to "find" a button on a touchscreen without looking is not easy.

I personally use URC remotes and am really happy with them.
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post #4 of 25 Old 08-18-2013, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

I personally dislike tablet and touch screen remotes for several reasons: can't be used without looking, expensive, delicate, need to be charged often, large programming effort required, no state tracking. They do look great though and are very extensible, not to mention IP and RS-232 capable. If you go that route, iRule is the way to go.

If I were buying today, I'd stick with harmony or URC. My personal preference is JP1 of course.

If configuration effort is important, consider this. I moved some inputs around on my system the other day and had to change about 5 activity macros accordingly on harmony and JP1. It took me 10 minutes on harmony, but less than 30 seconds on JP1. This is because on JP1, I can put the input selection part of those macros in one common subroutine, hence only one thing to change. Plus I can download the changes in 3 seconds on JP1, whereas harmony takes a couple of minutes.

I have never heard of the JP1. I don't necessarily need a tablet. I have my Harmony 1000 and though not customizable, its been very reliable of the last 3 yrs or so.

I also did forget to say, I have no desire fore the Ipad, just due to cost.
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post #5 of 25 Old 08-18-2013, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
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I think I take back my 'no ipad' statement. I have been looking at IRule...and it appears to be exactely what I want. Though, it looks a bit overwhelming
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post #6 of 25 Old 08-18-2013, 03:38 PM
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If you like the concept of iRule, but find it a little too much, check out Roomie - nowhere near as customizable, but it has a much faster learning curve.
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post #7 of 25 Old 08-18-2013, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DGF View Post

If you like the concept of iRule, but find it a little too much, check out Roomie - nowhere near as customizable, but it has a much faster learning curve.

This go around I think I want a bit more customizable. I used to own Pronto's, which were fairly customizable but they were the old b/w ones so I lost a bit of interest. With my Harmony 1000....works great but the same ole same ole looking. With the HT almost done, I am trying to go as much all out as I can afford and want to do it right. IRule looks great but still looks a bit intimidating.
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post #8 of 25 Old 08-19-2013, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borninusa View Post

This go around I think I want a bit more customizable. I used to own Pronto's, which were fairly customizable but they were the old b/w ones so I lost a bit of interest. With my Harmony 1000....works great but the same ole same ole looking. With the HT almost done, I am trying to go as much all out as I can afford and want to do it right. IRule looks great but still looks a bit intimidating.

I hear you. One thing you might consider is that as the "plumbing" for both iRule and Roomie is identical - if you are now thinking about an iOS-based solution, the low entry cost of the Roomie app would allow you to get up & running really quickly at a pretty reasonable price point, and then you could migrate to iRule at your leisure, leveraging the same hardware setup.
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post #9 of 25 Old 08-19-2013, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DGF View Post

I hear you. One thing you might consider is that as the "plumbing" for both iRule and Roomie is identical - if you are now thinking about an iOS-based solution, the low entry cost of the Roomie app would allow you to get up & running really quickly at a pretty reasonable price point, and then you could migrate to iRule at your leisure, leveraging the same hardware setup.


I havent delved into this a whole lot in the past day or two. Correct me if I am wrong. With IRule you need the gateway...a wireless transmitter...software and a hardware device? Is that correct?

What is needed with Roomie?
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post #10 of 25 Old 08-19-2013, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borninusa View Post

I havent delved into this a whole lot in the past day or two. Correct me if I am wrong. With IRule you need the gateway...a wireless transmitter...software and a hardware device? Is that correct?

What is needed with Roomie?

The hardware requirements for Roomie and iRule are the same: an iOS device (iPad/iPod/iTouch), a regular wifi-enabled home network, and a way to connect your AV equipment to this network (can be either IP, IR or serial). Many new devices are already IP-enabled, so you can hardwire the unit to an existing hub/router without the need for additional components. If IP isn't an option, you need a device that sits on your network (either hardwired or wireless) to convert the control commands into either IR or serial - the Global Cache range seems to be the favored route to achieve this. IP and serial give you the possibility of displaying feedback on your control device, IR doesn't, but the variety of devices it can control is vast.

On top of the above infrastructure, you need to purchase a control app - as mentioned, iRule and Roomie are two strong contenders, but there are others too - each have different strengths/weaknesses, so choice depends on your own particular circumstances & preferences. Roomie doesn't support Android, but iRule can work with both Android and iOS.
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post #11 of 25 Old 08-19-2013, 12:43 PM
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Is it just me or is iRule's website absolutely terrible in communicating to a new user that they would have to purchase some hardware (gateway) to go along with their software? Besides having the items available on the store, the site seems to make zero mention of what you need, why you need it, and what's the difference between the different hardware items.

Almost seems as if they're trying to get a new user to think that all they need to buy is an app....
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post #12 of 25 Old 08-19-2013, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DGF View Post

The hardware requirements for Roomie and iRule are the same: an iOS device (iPad/iPod/iTouch), a regular wifi-enabled home network, and a way to connect your AV equipment to this network (can be either IP, IR or serial). Many new devices are already IP-enabled, so you can hardwire the unit to an existing hub/router without the need for additional components. If IP isn't an option, you need a device that sits on your network (either hardwired or wireless) to convert the control commands into either IR or serial - the Global Cache range seems to be the favored route to achieve this. IP and serial give you the possibility of displaying feedback on your control device, IR doesn't, but the variety of devices it can control is vast.

On top of the above infrastructure, you need to purchase a control app - as mentioned, iRule and Roomie are two strong contenders, but there are others too - each have different strengths/weaknesses, so choice depends on your own particular circumstances & preferences. Roomie doesn't support Android, but iRule can work with both Android and iOS.

So if I had an Ipad Mini...and home wifi...and bought the ap....nothing more is needed?
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post #13 of 25 Old 08-19-2013, 12:53 PM
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You can also try touchsquid app on a samsung tablet (for basically, $250 total) which works in the IR domain because the samsung tab has a built in IR sender.

On your question, IF you have any IR only devices, then you need some sort of IR sender (converter from IP... ie global cache, etc) to "message" / control those devices.
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post #14 of 25 Old 08-19-2013, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
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You can also try touchsquid app on a samsung tablet (for basically, $250 total) which works in the IR domain because the samsung tab has a built in IR sender.

On your question, IF you have any IR only devices, then you need some sort of IR sender (converter from IP... ie global cache, etc) to "message" / control those devices.

Got ya

Man....I don't know why I am just not sure what to get. I love the idea of IRule but I am not feeling the cost right now. I could just go the Harmony route and be done, but I actually think I would like to have a tablet
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post #15 of 25 Old 08-19-2013, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by borninusa View Post

So if I had an Ipad Mini...and home wifi...and bought the ap....nothing more is needed?

.....it depends smile.gif

if all your AV equipment is IP controllable AND you can hardwire it to your existing network, then you're correct, you just need the App (and an extra Cat5 cable or two....).
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post #16 of 25 Old 08-19-2013, 01:02 PM
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I would be shocked if every device you had was IP controllable. You pretty much have to get a Global Cache for iRule and an iPad.
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post #17 of 25 Old 08-19-2013, 01:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DGF View Post

.....it depends smile.gif

if all your AV equipment is IP controllable AND you can hardwire it to your existing network, then you're correct, you just need the App (and an extra Cat5 cable or two....).

Oh man....this sounds like a bit to deal with. I remember getting a Pronto for the first time. It took a bit but I finally was able to *somewhat* master that and have it functional.

I may be going the Harmony route...but I hate to do that for I would like to have a bit of flexibility on making whatever unit customizable
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post #18 of 25 Old 08-19-2013, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by borninusa View Post

Oh man....this sounds like a bit to deal with. I remember getting a Pronto for the first time. It took a bit but I finally was able to *somewhat* master that and have it functional.

I may be going the Harmony route...but I hate to do that for I would like to have a bit of flexibility on making whatever unit customizable
Can you be more specific about flexibility. Harmony has improved a lot since the 1000. It now does 10 step macros, gestures, etc.
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post #19 of 25 Old 08-19-2013, 01:15 PM
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At risk of sounding like a Roomie fanboy - I was able to get my whole HT configured into Roomie in about an hour (with the exception of an IR-controlled home-built screen masking system that took a little longer to incorporate) - I have equipment from Lexicon, Bryston, Oppo, Epson, B&K, Makita (drapes), etc.... and once I had the Global Cache installed, everything just fired up first time.
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post #20 of 25 Old 08-19-2013, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Can you be more specific about flexibility. Harmony has improved a lot since the 1000. It now does 10 step macros, gestures, etc.

Well...mainly 'the looks' of it...the interface. My Harmony works great. It does what its supposed to do so I have no complaints on it.

I know with Prontos there was a lot of flexibility as to how the interface looked...how you could make it look.

So I guess as far as flexibility...I would want something you could do a bit more with with what you see on the screen.

With the risk of sounding like a broken record......if I go the Roomie route...what do I need?
I have an Epson 3010 projector...an Emotiva UPA700 amp....an Emotiva UMC 200 processor...an Oppo Bluray..and the ole ATT cable box.

Fairly basic setup
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post #21 of 25 Old 08-19-2013, 02:32 PM
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With those devices, you'll need a Global Cache. That's it, besides the software.

I understand the desire to have a remote that looks good, but I'll still take hard buttons any day. That way I can focus my attention on what I'm watching rather than on operating my remote. I can't imagine having to wake up a screen and look down every time I wanted to change the volume or do the least little thing. That would drive me nuts. And something else you lose by ditching harmony is state tracking. AFAIK, that cable box has no discrete on/off. So you'll have to do some creative programming or make some compromises for it to go on and off when you want it to. I don't know if Roomie does state tracking or has variables, but I doubt it. Something to think about.
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post #22 of 25 Old 08-19-2013, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borninusa View Post

...
With the risk of sounding like a broken record......if I go the Roomie route...what do I need?
I have an Epson 3010 projector...an Emotiva UPA700 amp....an Emotiva UMC 200 processor...an Oppo Bluray..and the ole ATT cable box.

Fairly basic setup

That broken record is likely going to cost you between $600-700 to go, one tablet, one global cache and one app.... I probably underestimate by $200-300... :-)
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post #23 of 25 Old 08-19-2013, 05:18 PM - Thread Starter
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That broken record is likely going to cost you between $600-700 to go, one tablet, one global cache and one app.... I probably underestimate by $200-300... :-)


You are probably right. Part of it is just the 'cool factor' of having a tablet sort of ignoring the functionality and cost but going by solely by looks. I probably shouldn't do that.

I have also put a bunch of money down the last 5 months or so on this whole HT endeavor. I probably shouldn't ignore what has been working all along with no issues..my Harmony.

So...sidetracking a bit from tablet to Harmony....the best one out there? I don't mean the most expensive either.
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post #24 of 25 Old 08-19-2013, 10:39 PM
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In terms of "wow" factor, if you want to stay with a Harmony, I don't know if there's anything out there that looks cooler than the 1000 that you already have.

But if you want to go to something with more features/customization than a Harmony and still want all the benefits of having a real remote with hard buttons, look at the URC MX-890. It's a wand style remote, with hard-buttons, a nice graphics display and a ton of customization available. Not sure what your budget is though but it might be a compromise between the Harmony line of remotes and the tablet remotes. I'm with mdavej in that the tablet remotes look cool but having to find a button every time or do a gesture every time just to change a single setting would be distracting and not an optimal experience. Also, the fact that you're just pushing on a flat glass screen with no tactile feedback would make it annoying to use (personally).
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post #25 of 25 Old 08-20-2013, 07:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Is it just me or is iRule's website absolutely terrible in communicating to a new user that they would have to purchase some hardware (gateway) to go along with their software? Besides having the items available on the store, the site seems to make zero mention of what you need, why you need it, and what's the difference between the different hardware items.

Almost seems as if they're trying to get a new user to think that all they need to buy is an app....

I agree. That is how I took it....that you just need to buy the app for it
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