Best Home Theater Remote? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 09-22-2013, 06:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi All,

Setting up my Home Theater and looking for a remote control to handle all of my devices in one. I currently use a Logitech Harmony 550 in my living room and love it. I am not tied to Logitech but wanted to get an idea for what others recommend.

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post #2 of 13 Old 09-22-2013, 08:46 PM
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What is the price range you want to stay in?
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post #3 of 13 Old 09-23-2013, 05:35 PM - Thread Starter
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well not sure exactly to be honest... I am fine with around $100-500 range I guess.

Thanks,
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post #4 of 13 Old 09-23-2013, 11:12 PM
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I would take a look at URC. Also you could consider one of the smart phone/tablet based remotes such as iRule.
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post #5 of 13 Old 09-24-2013, 06:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheYoshi View Post

I would take a look at URC. Also you could consider one of the smart phone/tablet based remotes such as iRule.

I am not against URC although I do not see anyway of obtaining the programming software? If this is true its a waste and I wouldn't consider it. As far as iRule I like the offering but I am a windows user and have requested they provide a Windows Modern application or Windows Phone app and I would go down that road.

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post #6 of 13 Old 09-24-2013, 06:59 AM
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If you are seriously interested in URC and cannot work with a local dealer then check out surfremotecontrol.com. He offers very fair pricing and will include the software for the CCP line of products. You will have to call for prices as they cannot show anything below MSRP on the website They are authorized dealers so full warranty.
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post #7 of 13 Old 09-24-2013, 07:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adk highlander View Post

If you are seriously interested in URC and cannot work with a local dealer then check out surfremotecontrol.com. He offers very fair pricing and will include the software for the CCP line of products. You will have to call for prices as they cannot show anything below MSRP on the website They are authorized dealers so full warranty.

I am personally not familiar with these remotes how do they stack up? Coming from a Logitech Harmony remote are they more advanced, reliable etc...

If a local dealer will not provide the software I would rather purchase from someone who will as I don't want to have someone out to my house to do something I am very capable of doing myself.

Thank you for the link I appreciate it.

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post #8 of 13 Old 09-24-2013, 11:07 AM
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They are leagues above the Harmony line in both functionality and quality. I have owned URC remotes that lasted 10 years and were still going strong but were not compatible when the new software (CCP) was released.

The software is not wizard based and will take more time to learn than Harmony. Any activities and macros must be created by the programmer and to do a complex system will take time and a couple of tries to get it working like you want.

There are guides that come with the software but they spend as much time explaining how to manipulate the interface as they do on programming. I've been to URC training and it is helpful especially if you are getting into IP, RS-232 and higher levels of control.

How do you want the remote to run IR (line of site) or RF? Ir will require no other hardware. RF will require a base station to convert the RF to IR and output to flashers. They also have more robust base stations that will do IP control, RS-232 and include sensors for power, video and 12v triggers.

The base model would be the MX-780. It has a color non-touch LCD and uses regular AA batteries. This one has MSRP of 299 but can be had for $225 (dealer not ebay) or so. As you move up in the line the screens get bigger, the remotes have motion sensing to turn them on when moved and rechargeable batteries. The higher end will also allow full graphic control to make your own graphics and customize until your heart is content.

Let me know how many pieces of gear you need to control and if you need a base station and I can give my opinion on what URC products would be best.
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post #9 of 13 Old 09-24-2013, 12:55 PM
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I went the URC route before moving to Harmony remotes. Harmony was much quicker and easier to set up. Unfortunately the newer MyHarmony site was flawed at introduction, and continues to be today. You can not enter discrete codes (or any custom code for that matter), and the new hub is limited to 8 devices. Moreover, there are just too many things you can't find a way to do.

Earlier this month I decided to try a Global Cache iTach. Initially with an inexpensive standalone mobile app. It worked marvelously. Not only with the mobile app, but I was finally able to control my IR gear via my home automation server through the use of scripts.

I have now moved on to iRule, and while not perfect with its clunky authoring interface, I have been able to accomplish everything that I set out to do, and more. And it will only get better.

Gone are the annoying activity based out of sync issues you had with harmony if you manually controlled devices, and my layouts are exactly the way I like them. I was initially concerned about not having hard button remotes, but since I have the freedom to set them up exactly as I use them, there is really only one concern (watching the TiVo and needing to skip commercials every 5-8 minutes). And I solved this by getting my unused TiVo remotes out of the old boxes.

So now I have two remotes on my end table. The TiVo, and either my phone, or tablet, or iPod. All of which serve to control lighting, 3 A/V systems, alarm and HVAC, all over wifi or cell data, from anywhere I have access to them. I couldn't be happier. The new iTach stuff is cheap, nicely made, and works incredibly well. I know iRule has no Windows Phone runtime at this point, but are you sure no one else has an IP remote solution. Also, might something like a dedicated Nexus 7 be a solution you would consider. Nice thing about the iTachs is they don't care what talks to them. I even wrote a little remote control program for my MacBook to control my office system. Anything that can open a socket and send a string over TCP will work.

Just my 2¢, but good luck with whatever you decide on!
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post #10 of 13 Old 09-24-2013, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adk highlander View Post

They are leagues above the Harmony line in both functionality and quality. I have owned URC remotes that lasted 10 years and were still going strong but were not compatible when the new software (CCP) was released.

The software is not wizard based and will take more time to learn than Harmony. Any activities and macros must be created by the programmer and to do a complex system will take time and a couple of tries to get it working like you want.

There are guides that come with the software but they spend as much time explaining how to manipulate the interface as they do on programming. I've been to URC training and it is helpful especially if you are getting into IP, RS-232 and higher levels of control.

How do you want the remote to run IR (line of site) or RF? Ir will require no other hardware. RF will require a base station to convert the RF to IR and output to flashers. They also have more robust base stations that will do IP control, RS-232 and include sensors for power, video and 12v triggers.

The base model would be the MX-780. It has a color non-touch LCD and uses regular AA batteries. This one has MSRP of 299 but can be had for $225 (dealer not ebay) or so. As you move up in the line the screens get bigger, the remotes have motion sensing to turn them on when moved and rechargeable batteries. The higher end will also allow full graphic control to make your own graphics and customize until your heart is content.

Let me know how many pieces of gear you need to control and if you need a base station and I can give my opinion on what URC products would be best.

That is good to hear as I like my harmony and I am pretty tech savvy so I am not concerned about the programming side. I plan on using IR I don't have any RF needs in my theater and I will be controlling lights, projector, screen, receiver, sat/cable box, Xbox One, Amps and possibly a DVD player and a few other gadgets down the road so I want to have plenty of expansion. I like the motion sensing but its not a must have. Is the MX 1200 overkill http://www.universalremote.com/products/residential/remotes/mx-1200 ? I can get a R40 for nothing with points and I have been able to obtain the software now...

Thanks,
Brandon Linton
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post #11 of 13 Old 09-24-2013, 04:36 PM
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I'm sure I know where you got the software and that is an illegal website distributing the software. If you had to use a torrent to download it I would clean that machine up or you will have left yourself open to other issues.

The R-40 is not a pro remote and is programmed internally and not with CCP. I personally have not programmed one but have not heard bad things about them.

The MX-1200 is the top of the line model and will run you at least $500 and retail is close to $800. I would say that is overkill for a IR only system. It will do much better graphics and has a nice charging station, auto on etc. I would say the sweet spot for you would be the MX-890. Many similar features to the 1200 but around a hundred less. I also think that with the savings get a base station so you can use the RF functionaity and not have to use the line of site. Many folks just don't point the dam remote at the components and will like the lack of directionality of RF.

I appreciate s.bradford's post and I am glad that solution works for him. In practice for many it can be a real pain. I like app based control and presently use them for my WHA setup but when it comes to daily TV viewing or other times when you just want to turn the channel or adjust the volume; having to grab your device, turn it on, go to the app, then adjust make the adjustment can be frustrating. I know you may be able to use a kiosk mode which speeds up some of that I like the speed and convenience of a hard button remote. Truth be told I will be adding some gear to have the URC android app. Partially for the cool factor and some for needing to know the gear.
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post #12 of 13 Old 09-25-2013, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adk highlander View Post

If you had to use a torrent to download it I would clean that machine up or you will have left yourself open to other issues.

What an amateurish statement full of ignorance! You sound like my 80 year old grandma who thinks any website besides Google will give her a virus.

If you don't know how to use torrents safely, that's your lack of computer skills showing more than anything else.

No need to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt to others just because you don't know what you're doing.

For the record, the software torrent file matches bit for bit with the official URC download. It's an exact copy and a two second MD5 hash of both files would have confirmed that for you...if you had bothered to check before making claims.

I have the official version from a URC dealer and also downloaded the torrent and they are EXACTLY THE SAME.
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post #13 of 13 Old 09-26-2013, 12:10 PM
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Got to say I am very happy with the harmony smart control. Doesn't look like it would do much but it does. They also have the harmony ultimate with even more features but the smart control seems to do everything in one small simple remote.

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