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Remote recommendations?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Here's my setup:

Denon AVR-591
Comcast DVR(Motorola)
Sony Bravia LCD TV, can't remember model, but it's about 3 years old
Toshiba HD-DVD player, can't remember model (I know, I know. I haven't updated to Blu-Ray yet because I only own standard DVDs, but I will probably swap this out for a blu-ray sometime in the next 6-12 months)

Budget: Would like to stay under $100, which from what I've seen, with only receiver/comcast/dvd(or blu-ray), I should be able to do so. I would maybe go as high as $150 if I need to to get a remote that is VERY easy to use(more on that below)

I have no line of sight issues, everything is in a BDI entertainment center.

I don't really have any other requirements, but I will say in looking at the Harmony remotes, I've noticed a lot of them have "action" buttons(not sure if that's the right term) where hitting one button basically does everything to get set up to watch a DVD/Blu-Ray, or watch TV, etc. My girlfriend is not very tech savy, so 2-3 "one button" thing like that that she knows she has to press to watch a DVD or whatever would be very helpful.

I also like the idea of a rechargable remote, one that can be put in it's cradle overnight(or every couple nights) and be fully charged, but not if I'll need to replace the rechargable battery often.

I suppose I'm leaning towards a Harmony remote(also love their setup, just connect to a PC, enter components, and go), but am definitely open to other alternatives. I've read that some Harmonys don't last very long?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
post #2 of 8
Just so you know, many comcast remotes can be programmed from a PC and do macros (activities) like harmony and control all your devices if you get a $30 JP1 cable (all your devices are in the JP1 database). Otherwise, the harmony 700 would be a good fit.

If you are interested in going the JP1 route, post your remote model (in the battery bay) or description of the remote (red OK button?) and check out the Wiki link in my sig.
post #3 of 8
The URC R50 is <$100 (at least on Amazon).
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the recommendation on the URC R50, and the JP1 info.

I looked at the JP1 stuff, it's interesting, I forgot to check my comcast remote though, I'll do that when I get home.

Does anyone have anything that jumps out as far as comparing/contrasting the R50 with the Harmony 700? Looks like a lot of similarities with macros and such. From what I could tell the R50 didn't have the setup capability that the 700 did, as far as just connecting to a PC, entering components, and you're off. Price is pretty much the same, is there anything else I should be aware of as far as differences between these two remotes?

Thanks.
post #5 of 8
HERE's a great in-depth review of the R50. Very nice remote, but no PC setup, like you said. IMO, PC based remotes are more future proof code-wise. But it's also nice not to be tied to a web site to make any changes. Also the build quality of URC is generally better than harmony. Decisions, decisions ...

I've had all 3. JP1 is very fast (even my most complex macros run in under a second), incredibly flexible and always gets the job done. I use those primarily. My kids prefer to use the 700. I played with the R50 for a while and liked it very much. But tinkering options were too limited, so I deemed it no longer fun to play with and sold it.
post #6 of 8
As always, you guys rule. =]

I've been fighting with a (@!&(*!&@( Harmony 880 remote for ages.

Just got a new Denon AVR with HDMI switching, etc to make my system easier.

I thought finally I'd be able to use the Harmony, but it was just a nightmare. The codes were wrong for my Panny BD-210, I tried reprogramming those codes, no luck.

I gave up and started looking for a new remote (here).

Come to find out my Sherwood Newcastle 965 on the main HT system downstairs came with a URC MX-500, and that thing is incredible!!!

Whew! Totally easy to program, I had my devices in there in a few minutes, punch through done, a little customization and it's a done deal.

No more 4 bloody remotes on the bedroom system.

Thanks! =]
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Well, I've eliminted the JP1 option, mostly because I might switch from Comcast to DirecTV and would have to do the programming over again(if that's even an option on DirectTV remotes?), so I'd rather keep it simple.

Unfortunately, I'm very torn now, between the Harmony 700 and the URC R-50. Both seem like great remotes, but both have pros and cons. Price is the same, but I'm struggling to choose.

Anyone have a strong opinion either way?

Otherwise, thanks for the help here, I appreciate it. Might end up flipping a coin, I can't really go wrong either way I don't think.
post #8 of 8
FWIW, I've never had Comcast service and couldn't even get it if I wanted to, but I have a lifetime supply of Comcast remotes in my closet I got for $1 each. They work great with DirecTV and Dish and everything else for that matter. I use several in my house and have given several to friends and family. You are correct that DirecTV remotes themselves aren't JP1-able for all practical purposes (it's possible but not worth the effort).

Otherwise, you can't go wrong with the 700 IMO. They're super easy to program and use, although advanced programming can be frustrating at times. If you want to save some money, even the 600 or 650 would work fine for you to. Just slap some rechargeable batteries in them. The 700 uses regular old AA rechargeables too. The only difference is you don't have to take them out of the 700 to charge them.

Another poster mentioned a problem with the Panasonic 210 on harmony. I also have the 210 and simply used the BD65 profile and learned a few commands. It works perfectly. Sometimes the harmony codes are complete crap, so you have to be prepared to experiment with different profiles and learn a few codes now and then.
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