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Newbie help needed for Remote Control!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Apologies but I am a newbie on the site. I am in the process of setting up a home theater in a dedicated room in my basement. I will have a ceiling mounted projector (likely Panasonic AE8000) and all other components (principally receiver and BluRay) in an adjacent closet. I would like to have universal control over the components in the closet and the projector. Ideally I would also like to control the light level via a lutron IR dimmer or such device.

What is the best remote control option for self installation? Budget is $500 - $1000. What cables (other than HDMI and power) do I need to make sure I feed to the projector to facilitate remote control?

Many thanks for your help.
post #2 of 4
There are two companies that would be fairly easy to setup what you are asking.

First is URC which is what I use. You could go with one of their pro remotes (MX-780,890,980) and an RF base station (mrf-350). In this configuration the remote emits RF to the base station which then uses flashers to send IR signals to each component. It will also run either IR based Lutron dimmers or the RF URC model Lutron dimmers. Many projectors have an IR input which you would just run a 3.5mm mono cable from the base station to the projector.

A step up from this would be to use the MSC-400 base station which would bring in RS-232 control and the ability to run much more complex macro's. If you want iPad control then use an MRX-1 which will also give you RS-232 and add's IP control. For this setup you obviously need the iPad and the app is $200. All of these are programmed with CCP (complete control program) which is only available from an authorized dealer at time of purchase. If you buy from ebay or amazon which are NOT authorized dealers of the pro line you will not get software from them and may have to go through an ordeal to get access to it. The software is not wizard based and if this is your first time programming it will take time to get it working correctly.

The second product line that I have used would be the Logitech Harmoney remotes. These are also programmed via your computer and offer many models of remotes with RF base stations. These will be a bit cheaper than URC but the quality is also matched by the price. The wizard software makes initial setup quite easy but does not offer the same flexibility as URC.

There are a ton of other solutions out there but my experience with them is limited so I will let others speak on them.
post #3 of 4
Why not try an affordable option first... if it doesn't give you full control the way you want as you try it, move that remote to another room, then get a more expensive option. Harmony remotes are great, but they are geared so everyone out there can use them and sometimes it takes multiple steps to get something done unless you want to set up macros
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the reponses so far. I think I will try a Logitech solution first since I can install without resorting to the professionals.

I read somewhere that the Harmony system with RF is not as reliable / responsive as the system with IR. Something about the RF system having more lag since it needs to receive the signal in RF and then convert it into IR to control the actual components.

Does anyone have a point of view on this? What Logitech setup is the best and most responsive/reliable? Many thanks.
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