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Basic universal remote for parents

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello,

I am looking for a basic universal remote control for my parents (in their early 70s).

They have 3 devices:
1. Plasma TV
2. Cable set-top box
3. Apple TV

I want something which will be as easy as possible to use with as few button presses as possible. For example the volume buttons should always control the TV volume.

I was looking at the Harmony 200 and 300i, but I am not sure if they can do things such as the volume thing I talked above.

Any suggestions?

Thanks
post #2 of 9
The Harmony 300. You can assign the volume for the TV as the only volume controlled when say the Apple TV, catv box, or a dvd/blu-ray is connected. I have my Harmony 300 set up, that it controls the Vizio Soundbar that we use, when the AVRS is not running. Works great for what it does, and you would be the one setting it up for how it will control the devices, through the web interface.
post #3 of 9
I'd go another step up to the 600 since the 300 can only do one activity, not the 2 you need.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

I'd go another step up to the 600 since the 300 can only do one activity, not the 2 you need.

What are the 2 activities that I need?
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom123 View Post

What are the 2 activities that I need?

1) Watch cable TV
2) Watch Apple TV
post #6 of 9
You got it, Vin.

But on second thought, none of the low end harmony's are very good for older folks because the buttons are so small. Zoom, you should try the URC WR7. It will do all that you asked. It's only $20 and has large, backlit buttons. It does require a little more effort to set up though.

A word of warning though. If your parents are like mine, old habits are really hard to break, so that new harmony or whatever will likely remain unused, no matter how much easier it is to use.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vin View Post

1) Watch cable TV
2) Watch Apple TV

I see. I thought the "TV", "Cable", "DVD" device buttons were supposed to do that. You need to turn on the devices and select the right inputs manually?
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

You got it, Vin.
But on second thought, none of the low end harmony's are very good for older folks because the buttons are so small. Zoom, you should try the URC WR7. It will do all that you asked. It's only $20 and has large, backlit buttons. It does require a little more effort to set up though.

A word of warning though. If your parents are like mine, old habits are really hard to break, so that new harmony or whatever will likely remain unused, no matter how much easier it is to use.

The set-top box and the Apple TV are new, so they didn't get used of their remotes yet.

Regarding URC WR7, I can't find it in such a good price from any of the online shops (in Europe) I usually shop from (e.g. Amazon.co.uk) any ideas where I can find it, or any alternatives?
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom123 View Post

I see. I thought the "TV", "Cable", "DVD" device buttons were supposed to do that. You need to turn on the devices and select the right inputs manually?

Harmony remotes are 'activity based' so rather than manually selecting inputs on the TV and then having to manually select the device button on the remote, you would just press a button on the remote that would turn on the TV, select the right input, turn on the device (for example, the Apple TV box) and leave the remote in 'control Apple TV' mode.

Macro capable remotes like the URC WR7 essentially do the same thing but they don't require a PC connection for the initial set up.
post #9 of 9
I think I assumed too much from your initial post. From your other comments, it appears that all you really care about is control of 3 devices and a volume punch thru feature. It doesn't sound like you want macros at all. If so, then nearly any learning remote will work fine, probably even the cable remote they already have. In the UK, I'd look at the One-For-All Smart Control rather than the URC I suggested earlier (only £15 with free shipping). Any harmony will work fine as well since you don't want macros. I warned you against the 200/300 because those can only do one macro (i.e., WatchTV or Watch ATV, but not both). You can still use all the devices without macros, but it's much simpler if you use macros instead. The Smart Control can do several macros quite easily.
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