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post #1 of 15 Old 10-10-2013, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi! Has anyone compared this Harmony Ultimate to URC MX-780 OR MX-980 with MRF-260 ?

I was planning to go with MX-780 ( as it was advised by Magnolia @ Best Buy), but when I read about Harmony Ultimate, thought that could work too.

Please give me your thoughts on both the remotes and how they compare against each other. Which will be a better buy?

Thanks

-GG
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post #2 of 15 Old 10-10-2013, 09:29 AM
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Do you intend to program it yourself, and if so, are you comfortable obtaining the URC software by whatever means necessary? Are you an expert or novice programmer? Have you factored in your programming budget for the life of the remote, i.e., every time you want to make a change or add/remove a device? Do you prefer hard buttons to touch screen? Do you require iPhone integration? Do you need PS3 or Wii control? Do you have more than 15 devices to control?
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post #3 of 15 Old 10-10-2013, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
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[*] I plan to have Magnolia/BestBuy program my remote for the initial setup.

[*] I plan to obtain the software from Magnolia/BestBuy as a part of the deal. I am not ready to obtain it by any other means. It is free, if it is obtained from an authorised dealer, so why should I even consider piracy?

[*] I can program a bit, not seasoned, but, having looked at a lot of video on youtube and read about the remote over the last 5 days, I feel that I will be able to handle any additions that needs to be done.

[*] I have kids at home, so I think hard buttons might endure better than touch screen.

[*] Do not have iPhone, only Android stuff around the house, so No need of iPhone integration.

[*] Do not have PS3, have a Wii, but I do not want to control it via a remote.

[*] My Setup will have about 8 devices (excluding Wii). I might add couple of other devices in the future.
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post #4 of 15 Old 10-10-2013, 01:15 PM
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Sounds like the URC is the way to go in terms of your requirements. I would be very skeptical about getting the software from Best Buy. That would be highly unusual. Most dealers just flat out aren't allowed to give you the software, hence the reason for so much piracy. I would make absolutely sure they will really give you the software. Could be a bait and switch.
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post #5 of 15 Old 10-10-2013, 02:07 PM
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I don't know of Best Buy/Magnolia giving the software with the MX-780 purchase. Dealers can give you the software if they want, but as far as I know, Best Buy will not give you the software. Surf Remote (Google it) is an authorized dealer and have been told that they will give you the software when you purchase the remote........

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post #6 of 15 Old 10-10-2013, 02:13 PM
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I couldn't imagine the outcome of a Best Buy programmed URC remote. I do know that it would be expensive and I doubt it would work the way you would like.

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post #7 of 15 Old 10-11-2013, 07:01 AM
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Agree with all above. I would recommend surf remote. This way you are guaranteed to get the software and full warranty. There are separate manuals for each model remote and base station that come with the software to get you started. This is not wizard based programming sao you will have to create you own activities and macros. You will have to go through a bit of trial and error but once you understand the methodology a setup like that is not to complex.
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post #8 of 15 Old 10-12-2013, 05:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Best Buy/Magnolia are looking into this whole hand the software deal. If they cannot give me, I will say the deal is off.

They are charging a lot ($400) for just programming the remote.

I bought the cables (monoprice) and speakers (Klipsch HD 600) myself, so I do not have to pay a lot for sub-standard cables from BestBuy. I am planning to do the cabling and TV mounts myself, as BB wanted to charge $1000 for cabling, Speaker and TV mounts.

The only good part about this deal is that they are price matching an online deal I came across for AVR and the Remotes.

If there is a cheaper and better dealer, please advise, so I can get in touch with them.

Thanks

-GG
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post #9 of 15 Old 10-12-2013, 05:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

Sounds like the URC is the way to go in terms of your requirements. I would be very skeptical about getting the software from Best Buy. That would be highly unusual. Most dealers just flat out aren't allowed to give you the software, hence the reason for so much piracy. I would make absolutely sure they will really give you the software. Could be a bait and switch.

Why did you recommend URC and not Logitech? Please tell me the advantages or disadvantages.

Is one of the reasons, need for physical buttons, as I have young kids?
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post #10 of 15 Old 10-12-2013, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggvrsn View Post


Why did you recommend URC and not Logitech? Please tell me the advantages or disadvantages.

Is one of the reasons, need for physical buttons, as I have young kids?
If you get the software, URC is a better fit (no touchscreen, no iPhone integration, no PS3/Wii control), but as I said before, I don't think Best Buy will really give you the software. Logitech no longer makes a remote that fits your requirements (welcome to the club). An older Harmony, like the One or 900 would be a perfect fit, and you could easily do all the programming yourself. This means Best Buy is out of the loop, which is a good thing, IMO.

I personally use neither URC or Harmony but the Xsight Touch. It's hard to find though. Like good Harmony remotes, you can only find used ones these days. When I had small kids, my JP1 remotes were best. You could run over them with a Mac truck and they would still work. On the rare chance one did get lost or broken or covered in apple juice, I could easily take it apart and clean it, or replace it for less than $10 and reload its program in 30 seconds. But it sounds you're not quite hardcore DIY enough to deal with JP1.
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post #11 of 15 Old 10-14-2013, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj View Post

I couldn't imagine the outcome of a Best Buy programmed URC remote. I do know that it would be expensive and I doubt it would work the way you would like.

These remotes are not programmed by the sales associates. They are done by URC trained and certified technicians. Any remote programmed by Best Buy will work exactly as expected and advertised. The base cost of programming is $299.99, adding an RF Base station, favorite channels, and extra zones will increase the cost.

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post #12 of 15 Old 10-17-2013, 07:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

Logitech no longer makes a remote that fits your requirements (welcome to the club).

Have you looked into Harmony Ultimate and its Ultimate Hub? I know that the hub has an 8 device limitation and Ultimate remote has a 15 device limitation.
I wonder if it can work as well as the URC. Looking at URC and its capability, I am leaning more towards URC.

-GG
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post #13 of 15 Old 10-17-2013, 07:40 AM
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That's primarily a touchscreen remote which you said you didn't want. It's a very nice system and easy to configure. It works differently than URC.
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post #14 of 15 Old 10-17-2013, 07:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

That's primarily a touchscreen remote which you said you didn't want. It's a very nice system and easy to configure. It works differently than URC.

If it is easier to program, create macros and use, I would not mind considering Harmony. I will just have to teach my kids not to thrash it around if I go with that one.
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post #15 of 15 Old 10-17-2013, 09:53 AM
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It's much easier than URC. But it can't do more advanced things like variables, conditional branching, feedback, etc. depends on how sophisticated a system you want. Most people are fine with Harmony's simple activity macros.

The main thing I dislike about the Ultimate is the lack of skip buttons. Otherwise it isn't bad.
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