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HELP -> single manufacturer home theater with great CEC integration

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
HELP please! My home theater needs are somewhat different. Rather than integrating a wide variety of components from disparate manufacturers, I need simple. My parents are 80 and I want to set up a home theater for them. They like to watch DVDs, satellite TV, and Netflix. They need a good surround system. I am going to purchase all-new components for them.

A third party remote control solution is not practical in my experience, since they do not adequately control the state of the equipment (on/off, which input, etc).

I want to find a SINGLE manufacturer which does a great job of integrating
--flat screen (LED or LCD) with built-in Netflix app
--integrated surround system with DVD/Blu-ray OR separate DVD/Blu-ray player

such that a single remote from manufacturer does it all:
>Push the "play satellite" button, the TV turns on, the surround system turns on, the inputs are all set correctly for satellite input. (Note: the satellite receiver has no CEC control, so it will simply stay on.)
>Similarly, for the "play TV" button, the "play DVD/Blu-Ray" button, and (it would be nice) the "play Netflix" button.

It seems obvious that the ideal setup will have HDMI 1.4a throughout (TV, surround, and (if separate) DVD/Blu-ray player, with CEC and Audio Return Channel HDMI ports.

Top quality of picture and sound is a far lower consideration than superb CEC integration across all components.

SO, does anyone have experience with such a well integrated system from a single manufacturer, and ideally, a specific set of (ideally lower end) components that will satisfy my parents' needs?

IF NOT, can anyone suggest resources to shed light on this issue? I've scoured the web for hours, and there are bazillions of reviews of separate components, but only one 2008 article which assessed CEC integration within different manufacturers.

post #2 of 5
CEC probably doesn't get you to that level of simplicity - IMO it's still immature, and you certainly won't get buttons properly/clearly labeled for your specific setup using the 'stock' remote.

I think you need to reconsider a universal remote. Harmony units are very easy to use, and as long as you select equipment that has discrete IR codes available, you won't have the "out of sync" issue. Harmony remotes also have a HELP button to get folks out of trouble. And since you can name things "correctly", it makes it the most obvious (hint: name the sources what your parents call them - aka the BD player may still be called "DVD").

You might browse the Remote Control forum for other opinions, but I don't think you'll find a "superior" CEC implementation yet...

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for thoughtful reply, jautor. So if good HDMI-CEC implementations are not available, the question becomes "how to identify components with discrete IR codes", so the state of each component can be precisely controlled.

Are you aware of a resource that lists manufacturers or at least models (tv, Blu-ray, surround) with a thorough set of discrete IR controls? ...I would expect researching it on my own would be an impossibly time consuming task.

Again my thanks for your reply.
post #4 of 5
Most of the large, name-brand vendors, especially if they sell higher-end product into the custom installer channel, have full discrete codes these days. You usually run into the problem on older equipment or "2nd tier" vendors.

Modern AVR should be fine with any of the major brands. TV would be the one to check, but I'd pick out the set, and verify in the Remote Control forum (or check on RemoteCentral) that it has discrete codes. Odds are new products will have them, and in general, if a vendor has codes for one set, all of them in the product line (same model year) will be good to go.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Jeff -- exactly the info I needed. I didn't realize things had gotten so much better with discrete IR codes. Truly, my experience with a Harmony One and older AV equipment without discrete codes had me tearing my hair out and I eventually returned the remote.

I'm sure I'll find what I need especially with the help of those remote control oriented web sites.

Again lots of thanks -- I see you are a frequent contributor to AVS -- much obliged for your generous sharing of info.

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