Hi George, see my answers to your questions below.
Originally Posted by GJVT60
My goal is to have a TV in the family room controlled by one remote and no wires exposed anywhere. everything will be in the walls. The cable box, PS3/BlueRay player and Apple TV will sit in a "media box" directly one floor below in the basement - directly below where the tv is in the ground floor. I'll also have Netflix - which I can get to directly through my TV and a HTPC which'll stream directly to my TV from my Mac using PLEX and with a DLNA/PLEX client on the TV or on my PS3.
If everything works right, I'd like to control the TV using IR and have everything else control via RF and the hub. All the media sources will be connected to my TV by Wi-Fi or Cat 6 cable to the TV.
I have a few questions for Ian ("HarmonyIan
") or anyone else who's already done the same.
1. What is the RF range between the remote and the hub?
RF range is very dependent on the operating environment, and is affected by other RF interference as well as wall and cabinet materials, furniture, etc.
2. With 3 devices will the two ir repeaters be enough or do i need one per device?
if your media box is open, you should be able to control all 3 of your devices just using the Hub, without the need for any mini blasters. If each of your 3 devices is in its own enclosed space, the Hub and each mini blaster can operate one of the devices. Either way, you should be good.
3. Will the RF work when the TV and cable and other devices are on two different floors?
See #1. Unless your home and media cabinet have very unusual construction, I would expect this to work.
4. If the distance is too much is there a RF range extender I can buy for this remote? I think I saw one by Harmony.
There are no options to extend the RF range between the remote and the Hub.
5. can I buy just an extra physical remote if i wanted to?
Do you mean to have two Harmony Ultimate remotes controlling a single Hub? That is not currently in our plans. Later this summer though, after we launch Harmony Smart Control, you will be able to have an Ultimate remote and a Smart Control remote (the little one with no screen) both paired with a single Hub. If on the other hand you just want another remote and aren't concerned about connecting to the Hub, Harmony Touch is a great option.
6. Will the app version on my smart phone have the same full functionality as the remote? the big question can I entirely not use the physical remote if i want to and instead just use the app version?
The app currently doesn't quite do everything the remote does, but it will. All of the basics are there including activity and device control, gesture controls, etc but many of the settings adjustments aren't there yet. Some will arrive in an app update later this month coinciding with the launch of Harmony Smart Control, others will come in future updates beyond that.
7. (nice-to-have) Can I use the physical remote on one tv and use the iOS app for another tv in another part of the house? That way my wife can use the physical remote in the family room always while i'll can just use the app for the other tv in the house. - this will mean the remote less likely wander off.
Not sure I follow you. Is this related to #5? For each TV, where are the other devices connected to it (DVR, Bluray, etc)? If each 'system' is in a different room, a single Harmony Hub won't control both of them. You would potentially need two Harmony Ultimates if you want all the features available for both entertainment systems. Or, if for one of the systems, all the devices are in the same room and you don't need RF control, Bluetooth control and smartphone control, you could use a Harmony Touch in that room. Or, in a few weeks, Harmony Smart Control will be available which is kind of like Harmony Ultimate (remote+app+hub) but the remote is more basic, without the touch screen, favorite channels, gestures, etc. This might make a nice second remote for another room.
If you can describe your goals a bit more, I and others can offer some suggestions.
8. (nice-to-have) Can I control multiple TVs with one instance of the app on one phone?
Yes, depending on your setup. With a single phone, you can easily swap between different Hubs, where each Hub controls a different entertainment system. Or, if your two entertainment systems can be controlled with a single Hub even better. You can just set up different activities for each entertainment system. This would be a little unusual, but it would totally work.
9. (double-bonus-points) is there any way to be able to locate the remote if its lost from the app version, or by logging into Harmony? It'd be cool if you can send a repeating beep like the "find my phone" function for IOS devices.
Are you my boss in disguise? He's been on me for this for a while ;-). Seriously, it's a cool feature, but not currently available. There's no 'beeper' on the Ultimate remote. We could enable the feature using the haptic buzzing which might get your attention if you were close enough to it, but an actual audio beep would work much better.
Looking forward to the answers, since I really think this is the solution for me.
Thanks in advance,
Hope the answers help.