Best Universal Remote? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 35 Old 03-30-2007, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
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I am looking to buy a universal remote for between $100-$150. I have been looking at the X10 iconRemote. It has a feature that let's you surf through your favorite channels. Has anyone used it? Any other recommendations?
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post #2 of 35 Old 03-30-2007, 10:55 AM
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Do you have the Icon Remote already or are you still in the process of deciding what to get? What other remotes have you looked at?

Later, Rob

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post #3 of 35 Old 03-30-2007, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't have an iconRemote yet. I have mainly looked at the Sony RMAX4000, the Harmony 550, and the iconRemote. The sony looks like it's not very user-friendly at all. I like the Harmony OK, but I would prefer not to have to hook it to a computer to program it.
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post #4 of 35 Old 03-30-2007, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sven Gaudy View Post

I don't have an iconRemote yet. I have mainly looked at the Sony RMAX4000, the Harmony 550, and the iconRemote. The sony looks like it's not very user-friendly at all. I like the Harmony OK, but I would prefer not to have to hook it to a computer to program it.

You see, now I'm confused. If you don't have the remote yet, why did you say that it's awesome in this other post of yours...

http://www.hifi-remote.com/forums/vi...?p=55643#55643

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sven Gaudy View Post

The iconRemotes are back on sale now. I got one a couple of days ago and it is awesome! The favorite channel feature is pretty cool. I can answer any questions about it.


Later, Rob

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post #5 of 35 Old 03-31-2007, 02:19 PM
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LOL. Cross forum posting FTL!!!

I'd go with the H670
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post #6 of 35 Old 04-01-2007, 06:15 AM
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Harmony 880

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post #7 of 35 Old 04-01-2007, 08:02 AM
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880 is the same thing but with a color screen.

I have an H880.

If I could do it again I'd save the $100 and get the H670
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post #8 of 35 Old 04-01-2007, 11:31 AM
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I have a 880, I really like it for the most part, push a button and things just work
The button placement could be better as most of the number buttons and things are low and your moving fingers all over the place to do things like editing commercials out with my recorder. The factory remote has better button grouping for that function. I can add or delete buttons/functions pretty easily and it can take a ton of commands and learn new ones as well.
I bought another one for my parents for x-mas and after a few teething pains they never call me anymore because they can't figure out how to turn on the av system and play a dvd or something
They now love it and my life is much easier.
They do tend to have a problem with the charging cradle, but you can work at it till it works or get them to send you a updated one if it's a problem for yours.
The icons really do make it easier for most folks to figure out what button to push to make something happen too.
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post #9 of 35 Old 04-01-2007, 12:29 PM
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Just to clarify:

All harmony remotes function the same. I mean they all control your equipment the same when setup.

The only differences are:
The layout
The screen
Rechargeable vs. Non-rechargeable

So if you are simply looking for a remote that will control everything and don't care about "wow factor" then go for the cheapest harmony that feels right in your hand.
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post #10 of 35 Old 04-02-2007, 12:15 PM
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Are there any other remotes out there in this price range where you don't need to hook them to a computer to set them up?
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post #11 of 35 Old 04-02-2007, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Robman View Post

You see, now I'm confused. If you don't have the remote yet, why did you say that it's awesome in this other post of yours...

http://www.hifi-remote.com/forums/v...p?p=55643#55643

- Maybe the Icon remote's back button is really a time travel button.
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post #12 of 35 Old 04-02-2007, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tokerblue View Post

- Maybe the Icon remote's back button is really a time travel button.

Yeah, it's actually one of the only remotes in its class to be designed with a built-in flux capacitor.
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post #13 of 35 Old 04-02-2007, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benny77 View Post

Are there any other remotes out there in this price range where you don't need to hook them to a computer to set them up?

Why would you want this? IT is always more complicated to button program a remote
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post #14 of 35 Old 04-03-2007, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poormanq45 View Post

Just to clarify:

All harmony remotes function the same. I mean they all control your equipment the same when setup.

The only differences are:
The layout
The screen
Rechargeable vs. Non-rechargeable

So if you are simply looking for a remote that will control everything and don't care about "wow factor" then go for the cheapest harmony that feels right in your hand.

Thank you for simplifying the differences in a concise manner.

When viewing in the dark, does a color screen have an advantage over a non color one?
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post #15 of 35 Old 04-03-2007, 01:51 PM
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NOpe.
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post #16 of 35 Old 04-03-2007, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benny77 View Post

Are there any other remotes out there in this price range where you don't need to hook them to a computer to set them up?

After buying a Harmony 676 that couldn't do everything i wanted it to do, i picked up a Universal MX-500 learing remote and within an hour i had it all set up to control all of my A/V equipment. Within a few days i created Macros to do other stuff. It's a full-on learing remote and it worked out flawlessly.

Lots of people love the Harmonys, but i had nothing but trouble with the irritatingly clunky software and in the end it still couldn't control all my stuff. The MX-500 does.

It's about $80 on Amazon and EBay.

Randy
TC-P55ST60, TC-P50GT50, TC-P46G10, TH-42PZ700U, TH-42PX50U, HP LC2600N, TiVo Series3, TWC Cisco 8742HDC DVR, Onkyo TX-SR333, URC R40 Remote.

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post #17 of 35 Old 04-03-2007, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poormanq45 View Post

Why would you want this? IT is always more complicated to button program a remote

I'm sure there are tons of people who would agree with you. But, I've always tended to shy away from things that relied too heavily on computers-- I don't deposit paychecks by way of ATM and I don't buy things over the internet. I may be in the minority here, but I'm sure there are still others who feel similarly. Besides, in regards to the Harmony remotes, it's not just the fact that a computer is needed in order to set the thing up, but from what I understand, you must also setup some sort of online account...? In all honesty, I'd rather just skip that whole process.
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post #18 of 35 Old 04-03-2007, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benny77 View Post

I'm sure there are tons of people who would agree with you. But, I've always tended to shy away from things that relied too heavily on computers-- I don't deposit paychecks by way of ATM and I don't buy things over the internet. I may be in the minority here, but I'm sure there are still others who feel similarly. Besides, in regards to the Harmony remotes, it's not just the fact that a computer is needed in order to set the thing up, but from what I understand, you must also setup some sort of online account...? In all honesty, I'd rather just skip that whole process.

Hey man, I feel ya. I'm not really big on computers either. Someone mentioned the iconremote? That time-travelling back button sounds like it could come in handy. I've never heard of X10 though. Anybody know anything about it?
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post #19 of 35 Old 04-03-2007, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benny77 View Post

I'm sure there are tons of people who would agree with you. But, I've always tended to shy away from things that relied too heavily on computers-- I don't deposit paychecks by way of ATM and I don't buy things over the internet. I may be in the minority here, but I'm sure there are still others who feel similarly. Besides, in regards to the Harmony remotes, it's not just the fact that a computer is needed in order to set the thing up, but from what I understand, you must also setup some sort of online account...? In all honesty, I'd rather just skip that whole process.

What do you do about new codes?

This is the biggest advantage of a computer programmed remote.

Lets say you have a brand new Samsung DLP. You also have had a MX-500 for three years.

You can teach the buttons from the original remote. The problem is that the original remote doesn't have direct input selection buttons! So no discrete input codes.

The New online database does have discretes for the new samsung DLP.

Make sense?

That's the advantage.

-brien
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post #20 of 35 Old 04-03-2007, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benny77 View Post

I'm sure there are tons of people who would agree with you. But, I've always tended to shy away from things that relied too heavily on computers-- I don't deposit paychecks by way of ATM and I don't buy things over the internet.

- I'm not sure why people are so paranoid about purchasing over the internet. It's easier for a waiter or waitress to steal your credit card information. I've been buying things online since 1995 and have never had one problem.

As for the Harmony account, there is nothing to steal. You don't register a credit card and you don't have to enter personal information. You probably entered more personal information settings up an AVS account.
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post #21 of 35 Old 04-03-2007, 08:42 PM
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Quote:


I don't deposit paychecks by way of ATM

There are people in this day and age who don't have direct deposit?
Learn something new every day :-)


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post #22 of 35 Old 04-04-2007, 05:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tokerblue View Post

- I'm not sure why people are so paranoid about purchasing over the internet. It's easier for a waiter or waitress to steal your credit card information. I've been buying things online since 1995 and have never had one problem.

As for the Harmony account, there is nothing to steal. You don't register a credit card and you don't have to enter personal information. You probably entered more personal information settings up an AVS account.

It's just the idea that you have to register to use a product. I personally don't like that.

Ex: I won't use software that requires you to register. That's why I use AVG and ZOnealarm. ANd on two computers Mandrake Linux.

It's just like a call to dell suypport I heard on the radio.

The IT kept asking all these questions: Serial #, Name on the account, phone #, email address, etc...

All the guy calling in wanted to know was how to get his laptop to turn off! It had locked up at the "Windows is shutting down" screen
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post #23 of 35 Old 04-04-2007, 06:30 AM
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You need to register so they can create a user file on their system. This is where your Logitech remote program is stored. Not on your machine. I sure hope they do back-ups.


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post #24 of 35 Old 04-04-2007, 07:38 AM
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I understand that. But there's no reason for that. It's not like they're like URC where you have to buy from an authorized dealer.

They should have desktop software that stands alone. You just run an update every so often to get the new codes.
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post #25 of 35 Old 04-04-2007, 07:59 AM
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You are right. There is no reason at all to have a web based program. Logitech has been heavily criticised for this and with good reason.


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post #26 of 35 Old 04-04-2007, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poormanq45 View Post

It's just the idea that you have to register to use a product. I personally don't like that.

Ex: I won't use software that requires you to register. That's why I use AVG and ZOnealarm. ANd on two computers Mandrake Linux.

It's just like a call to dell suypport I heard on the radio.

The IT kept asking all these questions: Serial #, Name on the account, phone #, email address, etc...

All the guy calling in wanted to know was how to get his laptop to turn off! It had locked up at the "Windows is shutting down" screen

I do tech support for a video software company and while it sounds ridiculous it is NECESSARY info. You may not know that the punchline of the call is that the guy had an HP laptop but decided to call Dell because it was the first number that came up on Google. I've experienced this first hand several times!

In Harmony's case the registration is what allows you store all of your setting for future changes & updates. There's also been many times that I've logged onto the web software from work to tweak something that occurred to me in the middle of the day and download it to the remote when I got home. Very nice feature. I would love it if there was an offline option to complement the online software in case the site is down or slow and if they ever add that I think a lot of objections to the web setup would be resolved.

Jim

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post #27 of 35 Old 04-05-2007, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poormanq45 View Post

What do you do about new codes?

This is the biggest advantage of a computer programmed remote.

Lets say you have a brand new Samsung DLP. You also have had a MX-500 for three years.

You can teach the buttons from the original remote. The problem is that the original remote doesn't have direct input selection buttons! So no discrete input codes.

The New online database does have discretes for the new samsung DLP.

Make sense?

That's the advantage.

-brien

First time in the AVS remote forum, but I've been around a while.
I'm a non-shill that actually has the X10 remote. It has its quirks, but at first blush, might finally be the "end-all" remote for my wife and me.

As for getting new codes into a remote that aren't in the original: JP1
I have two more codes to learn and JP1 + learning into the IconRemote is the only path at this point. (unless someone lets it slip out how to use the USB port in this thing)
The IconRemote had the "input" function mapped instead of commercial advance for ReplayTV. (5504-style, versus my 5040s)
Because I have 2 Replays in the same room, each is on a different unit code and only a computer-programmable remote can handle that. (that I know of)
I had to learn ALL the functions for both so I didn't control one while controlling the other. I will upload the unit-code-specific input functions to one of my JP1 remotes and learn them to a screen button on the IconRemote.

If someone ever does find out how to program via the USB port on this thing, it would be the best of both worlds: computer-programmable AND independently programmable


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post #28 of 35 Old 04-05-2007, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by remoteshoppe View Post

I do tech support for a video software company and while it sounds ridiculous it is NECESSARY info. You may not know that the punchline of the call is that the guy had an HP laptop but decided to call Dell because it was the first number that came up on Google. I've experienced this first hand several times!

In Harmony's case the registration is what allows you store all of your setting for future changes & updates. There's also been many times that I've logged onto the web software from work to tweak something that occurred to me in the middle of the day and download it to the remote when I got home. Very nice feature.

Ditto.
Quote:


I would love it if there was an offline option to complement the online software in case the site is down or slow and if they ever add that I think a lot of objections to the web setup would be resolved.

As techsupport you should know what a nightmare to maintain two versions of a software: server-side and standalone. It would require about 50% more programmers, twice as much QA staff and, probably, thrice tech support. It would require complicated synchronization and, even worse, make sure different versions of software and database being able to talk to each other. That would double their price. Is such bit of convenience worth it? That's a matter of personal preference. We always make some compromises. That's one of them. But I believe Harmony's choice allows them to keep prices affordable. And I like that.
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post #29 of 35 Old 04-07-2007, 08:09 AM
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does anyone here like the pronto's i have had them for years with great luck. i am now going to the universal 3000.

Thanks mike
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post #30 of 35 Old 04-07-2007, 08:08 PM
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Quote:


After buying a Harmony 676 that couldn't do everything i wanted it to do, i picked up a Universal MX-500 learing remote and within an hour i had it all set up to control all of my A/V equipment. Within a few days i created Macros to do other stuff. It's a full-on learing remote and it worked out flawlessly.

Lots of people love the Harmonys, but i had nothing but trouble with the irritatingly clunky software and in the end it still couldn't control all my stuff. The MX-500 does.

It's about $80 on Amazon and EBay.

At least there's a few people who think Harmony remotes leave something to be desired like I do. The clunky web interface, the inability to create pages that look like I want them to look like are two things that turned me off about them.
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