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So many remotes, need suggestions and new ideas !!!! :)

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hey guys!

Heres one that isnt life threatening, but its gotten a bit annoying and ugly so I'd like to ask what you would do? Please be kind and only post suggestions. We've worked hard on this room and this is the final part that we just cant seem to figure out how to fix without spending thousands...

Our theater was created by my husband and feels & works great, but due to money and building options and restraints, we didnt have access to the "normal" way of automating a room. He did the best he could, but its gotten ugly and gawdy so Im looking for a way to reset it a little. Our room has multiple remotes for multiple things, as Im sure everyone does, so where else to ask for direction than here, right?

Anyway, my major problem is that we have no drawers or shelves to sit remotes on, so my husband had been adding them to the wall by the light switch....yes, he adds remotes to the wall using velcro tape. When something needs activated, he takes the remote off the wall and uses it. Please, I hope someone can give me some ideas of new ways to hang, combine or whatever for these remotes.


When you walk into the room, heres what we have:

1 - Open the door and flip on the wall light switch that controls track lighting. Obviously, that switch stays put (for now).

2 - Next to the wall switch, there is a remote that turns on the sconce lights. My husband wanted the sconces and track lighting turned on seperately, not sure why, but should they be?

3 - Next to that remote, there is another remote to control the a/c.


Now that the room is running, we'd move into the movie watching remotes.


4 - We have a remote to turn on the projector. (If anyone can teach me how to program the projector to turn on & off using the HTPC, I'd love that!)

5 - We have a wireless keyboard that needs to be put somewhere. I've often wondered if there was something to attach the back of the keyboard and have it stand up out of a cup holder in the chairs. But what do I know?

6 - We have an air mouse that needs to be plugged in to charge.

7 - We have a candyboard remote when my husband doesnt want to use the keyboard.

8 - Audio reciever has a remote, but we just push the on button, its easier.


As you can imagine, its a cluster of ... well ... just ugly, hahaha. My brain often wonders why we wouldnt be able to control alot of this thru either the htpc or maybe one dedicated "something", ya know? Maybe there is something I can buy to help with this?

Thanks for any suggestions, and remember, please be kind
post #2 of 13
There are a ton of options out there. It all depends on what your budget is for a remote solution.

On the low end of the cost spectrum would be a universal remote. While cheap, these won't replace every one of your devices you mentioned. You would still have the keyboard and mouse to deal with. But the lighting/projector/reciever and possibly the a/c could all be controlled from one source depending on how each of those remotes work (IR/RF).

To pair with that there are remote programs that can be installed on your pc and (in my case Android) phone. They have the remote mouse functionality. Keyboard would still be an issue.

Stepping up past there your could look into a Pronto remote. Steep learning curve on programming but would be able to handle almost everything with it's ability for both RF/IR

You can also look into a variety of solutions for the iPhone/iPad/iPod that will allow control of devices through the network and other hardware to convert it to IR/RF

As for turning on your projector, you could get a wireless 12v trigger and hook it to your reciever. so that when the reciever turns on the PJ does the same. I don't do it that way only becasue I sometimes just turn on the reciever for music and don't want the screen/pj running.

Hope that helps. I went from 7 remotes to a single one by going with the Phillips Pronto. I am currently working on replacing that with an iPad for control.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much. This is the kind of feedback I was hoping for, very helpful!! I will definitely get researching on these options...
post #4 of 13
Unless I am mistaken you can use a Harmony ONE remote for everything except the mouse/keyboard. Its best 200 I ever spent. I can control your projector, receiver, lights, ect. I hear they are on sale right now in preparation for fathers day.
post #5 of 13
+1 Harmony ONE

Add an IR543 and Insteon switches, and you've got cheap lighting control also...

http://www.smarthome.com/2476D/Switc...r-White/p.aspx
post #6 of 13
There are many options available. You'll need to decide if you want to program it all yourself, or pay someone else to do it. Doing it yourself allows customization and changes to be made at any time, but is labor intensive. Having a pro set it up ensures a seamless experience, but costs much more up front and will cost you a service fee every time you change a piece of equipment. Based on the current state of affairs, I think you know the best option if you have the "financial wherewithal." I liked the URC remotes when I was initially looking, particularly the MX-980. Very easy and intuitive, and can control some lighting systems.

My family is moving into a new home from many years of apartment dwelling. For years I've been fed up with having up to 6 remotes laid out just to watch a movie. We had an Elan g! automation system put in (definitely overkill for your needs), and it is just a dream to be able to hit "Theater" on the remote or an iDevice and have the lights come on, AV equipment turn on, ventilation turn on. Then when I hit play, the lights all dim or go off as well.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
WOWWWWWWWWWWW, sadly, what you describe is my dream, but Im sure we couldnt afford it. My husband will have to program things himself but at least now I can give him some ideas and suggestions. Thanks and enjoy your room!
post #8 of 13
I use the harmony 1 and find it very good for what it does. Easy to program, and the activity based buttons (i.e. Watch a BluRay) are family friendly.

The iPad may be a bit harder to get programmed, but when it is all correct, it would be able to replace the keyboard and mouse as well. It would also give you the option of browsing while watching the movie that you don't get now. I often bring my iPad down to do imdb type stuff, although I haven't set up any remote control with it.
post #9 of 13
As long as you are willing to take the time to program a remote that is the way to go.

With my pronto I could sit down, press a button and the ssytem would turn on, I had a changer with most of my movies in it so once I selected the movie we wanted from pictures on the remote another button press would put the system into action; lights would go to a movie preview level (ie room lights to 25%, sconces to 50%, rope lighting to full) and my preview disc would load and play. once that was done the main feature would start and lights would go completly off except for the rope lights. When the movie was over, another press and the lights would slowly come up. One last press and entire system would shut off.

So 5-6 button presses on one remote would control the entire room. Programming wise it was fairly time intensive. I think I had close to 200 hours of programming time logged and the remote wasn't finished. This of course was with a Pronto remote where you have to design the entire layout (graphics and all)

So with a more universal remote I could see a much shorter time spent programming.

I'm still up in the air with my ipad. I have the remote on it designed for my AVR, and one for the Dune. I have been looking at solutions like iRule to do what my pronto did but havn't had the time to start programming yet. (I actually havn't even got everything hooked back up yet.)
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by RestlessRealm View Post

WOWWWWWWWWWWW, sadly, what you describe is my dream, but Im sure we couldnt afford it. My husband will have to program things himself but at least now I can give him some ideas and suggestions. Thanks and enjoy your room!

Given what you said, I'd say go with some Harmony model. The programming is mostly selecting your equipment from a web page and then setting up activities using their web based guide. It walks you through the process and helps you make the decisions. It then downloads to the remote over usb. Total time was about 1/2 hour for a system with a TV, Amplifier, Blu Ray and HD-DVD player.
post #11 of 13
This is RestlessRealm's husband.

I'm getting things figured out on using the Harmony 1 to automate things. One detail I have trouble with is our system is PC based, and I'm trying to figure out a way to power-on the PC from a remote. Any suggestions there would be a huge help in the process.
post #12 of 13
Typo, Harmony 1100 is what I meant to type.rolleyes.gif
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by f4klift View Post

This is RestlessRealm's husband.
I'm getting things figured out on using the Harmony 1 to automate things. One detail I have trouble with is our system is PC based, and I'm trying to figure out a way to power-on the PC from a remote. Any suggestions there would be a huge help in the process.

These folks sell what you need for about $30. It requires some tech savvy and PC knowlege, but your posts seem to say there would be no problem there.

http://www.simerec.com/
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