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What is the best remote control application / solution ???? (for both Mediabrowser and XMBC ? ) - Page 2

post #31 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj View Post

URC isn't selling off their remote division, but Logitech is.

In another thread you said you had hundreds to spend on a remote so I was trying to help you spend it all.

If you like buyer's remorse then get a Harmony...

That doesn't mean support for Harmony's is ending anytime soon, although I could understand wanting to lean towards a company with better prospects. Considering you can get a Harmony 650 for $50-60, it's not like it's a huge investment.

Harmony bashing is just this odd thing on AVS. People will bash them all the time without ever giving a specific reason why.
post #32 of 107
Thread Starter 
I'm reading between the lines in your thinking the Harmony is a bad choice ?

Yes ?
post #33 of 107
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

Is running an IR blaster like this one out of the question? I know you said you have to go through a wall. There's also nothing wrong with Harmony remotes.

Also, Mfusick, do you really need to indent after every single sentence? It makes your. paragraphs. sound. like. this. It's a bit annoying to read IMO.

No it is not. But it seems clunky. I have a HTPC on the floor in the AV closet. I have a receiver on the top shelf. A cable box below. A Projector mounted on the ceiling (that does not need blaster since I in same room)
We use the cable box and HTPC in another room. I would need to control those and also the Denon AVR. (It has dual HDMI outs and so I just run another HDMI out to the plasma in another room)
But I need the Denon AVR menu to change the audio from HD audio to pass thru to TV for the second display. It's my cheapskate way of watching in two rooms without paying for a second cable box rental. It's just wife and I so we don't need simulatenous shows in the two rooms. But controlling has always been an issue.

SHe also watches the HTPC on that plasma while doing stuff around the house. That HTPC is in theater.

That link shows a complicated mess of wires. Seems excessive for $40
I would still need a IR for the HTPC (dongle or whatever). I also lack a good IR universal remote. I'm assuming at least $50 for that. Perhaps another $20 for the HTPC IR control kit. Plus $50 for IR blaster. I'd rather just spend $100 on a single solution. IR sucks IMO. It's point at what you want is annoying. It's often slow.

I want a high performance powerful remote that will do it all easy and seemless. I'm ready to invest in the "ultimate" remote control option. OK- perhaps I am overstating things. I just want a good solution that will work and set up easy.
I don't have an unlimited budget but I am begining to realize I might have to spend a little $ and get something good.

I just don't know the first questions: IR vs WIFI vs RF. If I could decide that I think I could narrow down a couple products.
post #34 of 107
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

Is running an IR blaster like this one out of the question? I know you said you have to go through a wall. There's also nothing wrong with Harmony remotes.

Also, Mfusick, do you really need to indent after every single sentence? It makes your. paragraphs. sound. like. this. It's a bit annoying to read IMO.

No it is not. But it seems clunky. I have a HTPC on the floor in the AV closet. I have a receiver on the top shelf. A cable box below. A Projector mounted on the ceiling (that does not need blaster since I in same room)
We use the cable box and HTPC in another room. I would need to control those and also the Denon AVR. (It has dual HDMI outs and so I just run another HDMI out to the plasma in another room)
But I need the Denon AVR menu to change the audio from HD audio to pass thru to TV for the second display. It's my cheapskate way of watching in two rooms without paying for a second cable box rental. It's just wife and I so we don't need simulatenous shows in the two rooms. But controlling has always been an issue.

SHe also watches the HTPC on that plasma while doing stuff around the house. That HTPC is in theater.

That link shows a complicated mess of wires. Seems excessive for $40
I would still need a IR for the HTPC (dongle or whatever). I also lack a good IR universal remote. I'm assuming at least $50 for that. Perhaps another $20 for the HTPC IR control kit. Plus $50 for IR blaster. I'd rather just spend $100 on a single solution. IR sucks IMO. It's point at what you want is annoying. It's often slow.

I want a high performance powerful remote that will do it all easy and seemless. I'm ready to invest in the "ultimate" remote control option. OK- perhaps I am overstating things. I just want a good solution that will work and set up easy.
I don't have an unlimited budget but I am begining to realize I might have to spend a little $ and get something good.

I just don't know the first questions: IR vs WIFI vs RF. If I could decide that I think I could narrow down a couple products.
post #35 of 107
Well, I would say go for an RF remote, but it's just really hard to know how far the signal is going to reach.

Assuming you have wifi signal, you could certainly use iRule with iTach IR emitters (you can also use Roomie if you use iOS). I just really hate the lack of tactile feedback when using a tablet as a remote.

I would say try a Universal RF remote. If the signal isn't strong enough, you can always send it back. Maybe there are RF boosters?
post #36 of 107
Assuming some of your components can only be controlled with IR, you are likely going to need an IR blaster like the one I linked regardless.
post #37 of 107
Thread Starter 
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004FJV8EE/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B0039BYJ4A&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=15RNG0GC570Q9TPFYBDS
Also


On this link you gave do I need to run a wire from the signal reciever to the repeaters ??? Or is it wireless ???

I am confused.

I could run a wire (and would happily do so under floor if it created faster higher performance)

I'm not looking for the easy way out. I am looking for the "best" solution. I want something that controls my whole system, and is easy to update. I want to hit the button and the signal do instantly and consistently. I'll run wires or take a weekend to set up for bettter off in the long run. But I would hate to do all that and have the remote be obsolete soon in the future.

WIFI I understand to work and then hit a base station that converts to IR. I just don't know the performance difference of that vs IR repeaters vs RF solutions
post #38 of 107
Thread Starter 
the distance is not great between the viewing area and the equiptment.... 15 feet about.

Irule seems complicated to set up. Is it ? I quickly played with the web interface.
post #39 of 107
The IR repeater shouldn't be that intimidating. Those 8 emitters in the picture just stick on to your components' IR ports. The other part is just a receiver, which would go in the room where you use your IR remotes. If you are using RF instead of the IR receiver, then it would send the signal through the IR repeater, which would send IR signals to all of your components.

Maybe it would help if you listed every component that needs to be controlled.
post #40 of 107
You may also get some additional help in the Remote Control Area.
post #41 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

That doesn't mean support for Harmony's is ending anytime soon, although I could understand wanting to lean towards a company with better prospects. Considering you can get a Harmony 650 for $50-60, it's not like it's a huge investment.

Harmony bashing is just this odd thing on AVS. People will bash them all the time without ever giving a specific reason why.

After five failed Harmony remotes I think I can bash a little. Sort of hard to recommend one after getting burnt too many times and have seen the light with a URC remote.

I do have a Harmony 650 for my bedroom TV, but wouldn't want it for my daily driver.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

You may also get some additional help in the Remote Control Area.

Especially the FAQ, Buyer's Guide sticky.
post #42 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj View Post

After five failed Harmony remotes I think I can bash a little. Sort of hard to recommend one after getting burnt too many times and have seen the light with a URC remote.

I do have a Harmony 650 for my bedroom TV, but wouldn't want it for my daily driver.
Especially the FAQ, Buyer's Guide sticky.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is, if someone has had an issue with Harmony remotes, why don't they say why. If someone said, "oh hey, I bought 5 harmony 700s and all of them stop working after a year". That's someone myself and others would really like to know.

I would definitely say Harmony remotes are less than perfect. Having to go through a wizard to change every setting is really annoying. I've used both URC remotes and Harmony remotes though, and while I like both, I still prefer Harmony's. My parents also have a URC, and when they bought a second TV I got them a Harmony 650 and they much prefer it over the URC.

Keep in mind the only URC remotes I've used are 5+ years old. I always preferred the 'activities' oriented focus of the Harmony's. Newer URC's might be different than the ones I've used though.
Edited by lockdown571 - 2/11/13 at 12:17pm
post #43 of 107
My URC MX-980 is Activity based and has a Device mode (it even comes with interchangeable button covers where you replace the default Listen and Watch buttons with Activities and Devices if you wish). I'm talking the MX series here and not the consumer ones. I hit Watch TV and it turns on my TV, AVR, switches inputs and starts up WMC. I'm left with the typical setup where volume controls my AVR and the transport keys are WMC. I did it all myself without having to battle the Harmony wizard.

My Harmony remotes died by volume button failure twice, LCD screen failure, some other button failure that I can't remember which, and charging dock failure. All were replaced within either one year with RMA or within two years with Visa warranty protection. In the end I was out little money since my last 890 was recently discontinued and was replaced with a 900 that was sold to buy my URC MX-980.
post #44 of 107
I use a Harmony 900 and think it is the best solution for me.

Picked up used on ebay.

Most annoying thing is using their software.

I do too wish there was a good app for mediabrowser...I used the ceton app but I use MPC as an external player and it won't control that. I am hopeful though with MB3 we will get something nice.
post #45 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj View Post

My URC MX-980 is Activity based and has a Device mode (it even comes with interchangeable button covers where you replace the default Listen and Watch buttons with Activities and Devices if you wish). I'm talking the MX series here and not the consumer ones. I hit Watch TV and it turns on my TV, AVR, switches inputs and starts up WMC. I'm left with the typical setup where volume controls my AVR and the transport keys are WMC. I did it all myself without having to battle the Harmony wizard.

My Harmony remotes died by volume button failure twice, LCD screen failure, some other button failure that I can't remember which, and charging dock failure. All were replaced within either one year with RMA or within two years with Visa warranty protection. In the end I was out little money since my last 890 was recently discontinued and was replaced with a 900 that was sold to buy my URC MX-980.

Thanks for the info! I'll take a closer look at URC remotes if I ever replace my Harmony's, although I'm definitely not spending $400!
post #46 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004FJV8EE/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B0039BYJ4A&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=15RNG0GC570Q9TPFYBDS
Also


On this link you gave do I need to run a wire from the signal reciever to the repeaters ??? Or is it wireless ???

I am confused.

I could run a wire (and would happily do so under floor if it created faster higher performance)

I'm not looking for the easy way out. I am looking for the "best" solution. I want something that controls my whole system, and is easy to update. I want to hit the button and the signal do instantly and consistently. I'll run wires or take a weekend to set up for bettter off in the long run. But I would hate to do all that and have the remote be obsolete soon in the future.

WIFI I understand to work and then hit a base station that converts to IR. I just don't know the performance difference of that vs IR repeaters vs RF solutions

The one rectangular bar on the far left of the first picture, that is what receives all the IR codes from pressing your remote. That would go underneath your TV or wherever you want to put it. Somewhere you would point your remote regularly.

The piece in the middle receives and re-transmits the IR info to the small circular pieces you see to the far left. Those things you stick onto your devices (htpc) where the IR normally is receiver.

The main reason people buy these kits, I believe, is to hide all their equipment for a clean looking install and still be able to control everything.

EDIT Whoops! someone already explained.
post #47 of 107
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

The IR repeater shouldn't be that intimidating. Those 8 emitters in the picture just stick on to your components' IR ports. The other part is just a receiver, which would go in the room where you use your IR remotes. If you are using RF instead of the IR receiver, then it would send the signal through the IR repeater, which would send IR signals to all of your components.

Maybe it would help if you listed every component that needs to be controlled.

Currently I have:

Living room: (has feed of HDMI output from Theater Denon AVR3312)
Hitachi 55" Plasma
HK AVR525 AMP

That's it. The AVR powers a Polk Audio 5.1 Soundbar and Small Polk 10" SUB.

Theater:

Denon AVR3312
OPTOMA Projector
Samsung Bluray (have not turned this on in a year)
Xbox 360 ( Not used much at all)
Comcast DVR Cable Box
HTPC (Asrock Z77/8GB/3570k/Vertex3/AntecNeo 400watt/Antec300 Case)

Everthing runs HDMI to Denon- Then two feeds out. One to projector and one to Plasma TV. Plasma TV runs optical audio output to second HK AVR that power soundbar.

I can run wires from each location easily- under floor with drop ceiling basement. Both locations have CAT6 ethernet on a gigabit switch feeds BTW.

I'm not noob at all at installing, or snaking wires- or electronics in general. I'm just uncertain of the best remote set up I should purchase.

leaning towards the professional level RF remote only because it seems like it has fewest drawbacks but it's a bit more expensive than I want to spend. My original budget was $50-$100 (LOL)

Not a cheap hobby for sure.
post #48 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

Thanks for the info! I'll take a closer look at URC remotes if I ever replace my Harmony's, although I'm definitely not spending $400!

Since none of those sellers on Amazon are authorized you might as well get one from eBay for $100 to $300 instead.
post #49 of 107
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FantaXP7 View Post

The one rectangular bar on the far left of the first picture, that is what receives all the IR codes from pressing your remote. That would go underneath your TV or wherever you want to put it. Somewhere you would point your remote regularly.

The piece in the middle receives and re-transmits the IR info to the small circular pieces you see to the far left. Those things you stick onto your devices (htpc) where the IR normally is receiver.

The main reason people buy these kits, I believe, is to hide all their equipment for a clean looking install and still be able to control everything.

EDIT Whoops! someone already explained.




I guess my question was does the Box in the middle have to have the right cables plugged into it ???

Or does it transmit wireless ??

The IR sensor would be in one room and the repeaters would be in another. I don't just have an AV closet with the component in it. I have another room I view from. Running cables is possible but hard...

Is it 2.5" audio stereo jacks ? Or 1.5" ?? Looks like mini headphone looking things... I could also mono price a long cable and run it... But that might not be the right solution for me.

I would still need to buy an IR remote ???? Right ????
post #50 of 107
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj View Post

Since none of those sellers on Amazon are authorized you might as well get one from eBay for $100 to $300 instead.

My neighbor is a dealer. He owns a Theater Installation company. I know another installer I could purchase from as well (another friend)

I can obtain at discount from a licensed reseller but even at discount they are still expensive. (about ebay prices)
post #51 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post



I guess my question was does the Box in the middle have to have the right cables plugged into it ???

Or does it transmit wireless ??

The IR sensor would be in one room and the repeaters would be in another. I don't just have an AV closet with the component in it. I have another room I view from. Running cables is possible but hard...

Is it 2.5" audio stereo jacks ? Or 1.5" ?? Looks like mini headphone looking things... I could also mono price a long cable and run it... But that might not be the right solution for me.

I would still need to buy an IR remote ???? Right ????

You would need two IR receivers (this package comes with one), for each room. I'm not sure how you connect two IR receivers to this repeater. I suppose you could just use a Y splitter? Not positive though.

The cables are just standard 3.5 mm cables (the same ones you use for headphones). I can't remember if they need to be mono or stereo.
post #52 of 107
The side you can view in the pic is where those pieces to the right plug into. It is not picky when setting up because the correct IR command will get picked up by the correct device just as it does now when pointing your remote(s) to your devices.

On the other side there will be 1 or 2 plugs like the headphone jack style you see now. So that is easy 50/50 on that one. tongue.gif

Also there is nothing wireless about this kit.

It is 3.5" I believe but with mono...so like if you have an AV receiver with a setup mic, I believe that is the same style.

Something like this:

You would probably want to buy a remote...I would assume.

Also this could work as an extension...don't think it is sensitive to mono/stereo style in fact I believe I bought something like this for an extension:

http://www.amazon.com/Xantech-Emitter-Sensor-Extension-Cable/dp/B0058QP54M/ref=pd_sim_e_3

EDIT I lied, there is two power connections, one for the transmitter. So the IR receiver has one plug input on the other side, not two as I mentioned above. So the power is 50/50.
Edited by FantaXP7 - 2/11/13 at 12:47pm
post #53 of 107
Thread Starter 
Ok. So my understanding is correct.

I guess I could wire a long run under the floor. But after all the cost and fuss of that kit plus extra wires and a universal IR remote I might as well buy a Professional RF remote solution and just do it right the first time.
Just thinking out loud.

I am going to go grab my fathers MX-980 I set him up with. My friend programmed it for him but he does not use it anymore. I will reprogram that and set the system up and try it out in my house. If I like I might buy.

He would rather use his DirecTV remote and just manually turn on his AVR and projector. Don't ask me why... haha.
post #54 of 107
Thread Starter 
BTW- has anyone successfully set up Irule ??/

It looks harder. I tried the web portal and download. It's harder than my harmony software based set up program or the URC CCP installation set up program.

Not that I can't master it, but why would I want to try. Irule intrigues me but it needs to be a bit easier or intuitive to set up. Or a guide that is step by step and graphical.
post #55 of 107
If you look at the back of that unit it looks like the IR receiver input has screw-down terminals. You would just strip the wires and put the data, gnd, and +5v wires in and tighten it down. To add another you would just double them up (or tin the ends first for a cleaner job). To extend this all you need is some CAT cable.

Most of the IR type cables use 3.5mm 1/8" mono connectors. I had a spare Gigabit port at each location so I cut a CAT patch cable in half and attached a female 3.5mm on each end. Plug that into each Ethernet jack and you've got a nice clean patch. I've made a splitter using a two mono female to one male stereo on each end of my CAT cable (using a stereo 3.5mm female).
post #56 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

BTW- has anyone successfully set up Irule ??/

It looks harder. I tried the web portal and download. It's harder than my harmony software based set up program or the URC CCP installation set up program.

Not that I can't master it, but why would I want to try. Irule intrigues me but it needs to be a bit easier or intuitive to set up. Or a guide that is step by step and graphical.

Yes, I have. It's a huge pain IMO. There was a lot of trial and error.
post #57 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

BTW- has anyone successfully set up Irule ??/

It looks harder. I tried the web portal and download. It's harder than my harmony software based set up program or the URC CCP installation set up program.

Not that I can't master it, but why would I want to try. Irule intrigues me but it needs to be a bit easier or intuitive to set up. Or a guide that is step by step and graphical.

I did. Just have to drag the commands from the devices on the right to the pictures of the buttons in the middle. Then can tweak and reorder multiple commands per button using the menu on the left.

Then on the remote/smartphone you have to assign and manage the IP gateways.
post #58 of 107
Thread Starter 
OK- so I went and fetched this pig from the closet. It was lost for a while.



Looks like it might fit the bill. But I need a couple things to make it work.

First- I need an IR blaster. I had one from a Rosewill remote but I gave it to my brother with the remote. It was clunky with dual wires.
I would prefer something neater that just plugs into USB.

What is a good way to get remote control signal to my HTPC using URC MX-900 above ???

I have Asrock Motherboard. I thought Asrock made a MFG solution ? Otherwise I would need a dongle type IR thing for the HTPC and applicable software. I would like something that can work with both XBMC and Mediabrowser.

Advice on getting the signal from the remote to my HTPC ????


Second,

I appear to have all the parts except for one.







I am missing the RF part.

and all I have is a cut wire that feeds it.




So... I think I am screwed. Otherwise this might work for me at least to see if I want to spend up on an MX980 or MX1200

If I don't like this MX900 then I can probably go another route.

I just need to get it working.

I have the software. That won't be a problem. But obtaining a RF base station might be.

Thoughts? Advice ?
post #59 of 107
Thread Starter 
http://www.universalremote.com/resources/pdfs/MX-900OwnerManual.pdf

This is the owners manual I think.

I wonder if I can buy the missing piece? I know it's going to be costly
post #60 of 107
If you are running a long cable, just run a long USB extension

Then tuck the IR -> USB dongle somewhere to keep it from being unsightly but in the remote's line of sight

FLIRC!!!!!!!
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