What high-end remote are you using? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 64 Old 03-17-2019, 07:13 AM - Thread Starter
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What high-end remote are you using?

I've been using URC for years, I have an MX-3000 in my mediaroom still, and several other versions of IR/RF components through my home. Now that we're in the world of Alexa and more TCP/IP devices, I'm thinking it may be time to get rid of some of these dinosaurs and move to something never and more intuative. I see a lot of Logitec. Are people still using URC or RTI? What are the high end solutions people are moving to?
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post #2 of 64 Old 03-17-2019, 12:33 PM
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I have quite a few URC Complete Control remotes still, I don't see a better option. If I could get the software I would switch to the newer URC Total Control line, unfortunately as a D.I.Y. user it is not available to me. I don't see the point of hiring someone to program my remotes, it is one of my hobbies, I do it for fun.
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post #3 of 64 Old 03-17-2019, 12:37 PM
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I'm using the MX990, just don't like the cost to pay someone to program it, if I need it done down the line.

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post #4 of 64 Old 03-18-2019, 09:42 AM
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I have 2 MX 980's. If they die I'll go with the MX 990. The software works for both but with the 990 the PITA Windows Device Control Center isn't needed. I also bought 2 used MX3000's that I haven't programmed yet.
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post #5 of 64 Old 03-18-2019, 02:07 PM
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I have 2 URC 980s, too. But one is a back up. I bought them at different times and they work slightly differently. For instance, I set up the little spinner screen (Please wait...") at start up and it only works on one of them. I have the software and progam it myself. THe OP metioned wanting something more intuitive, but when you can program it yourself, I can't think of anything MORE intuitive when I'm done....it's eactly the way I want it.

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post #6 of 64 Old 03-18-2019, 02:58 PM
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3 URC MX-980's here. Have several mobile remotes and interface (iRule, Roomie, Cinema Squid, GC-100-12, etc.) but I find the button remotes much easier to use, lights up when moved and easier to program. Just my 2¢.
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post #7 of 64 Old 03-19-2019, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell R. Breland View Post
, lights up when moved

That reminds me, I need to take one of my MX-980 remotes apart to see if I can fix the pick up sensor. I also have an MX-980 that locks up after a few minutes, the first one I bought back in 2008 still works great but I like my MX-990 better. I have an MX-890 also but the screen is too small for my old man eyes.
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post #8 of 64 Old 04-11-2019, 10:46 AM
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I used Philips Pronto remotes for years, until they discontinued the product line.

Then I used URC's Home Theater Master remotes (MX-800, MX-950) until those units died and the company decided to hose its existing DIY users by withholding the programming software. I refuse to buy anything more from them on principle.

I've got a Neeo remote, which is nice hardware, but the software is still a work-in-progress without any more progress because the company got acquired by Control4 which has stopped further Neeo development.

Reluctantly, I've now gone to Harmony Elite.

I really wish Philips would revive the Pronto line. Still my all-time favorites.
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post #9 of 64 Old 04-11-2019, 11:13 AM
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Like Lightbox I have used the Pronto and an older URC and Logitech Harmony 915 and now Harmony Elite. I have the Harmony Elite running everything to perfection and have had no issues. I am impressed with the remote IR hub as I have it shooting across the room to turn on the projector and then it shoots down a shelf and directly to the side turning on multiple components. It never fails to work. It also controls an insteon lighting unit for the theater. I wanted control 4 but this is much much cheaper and has never not worked. It lights up when you pick it up, feels good in the hand, has way better battery life the the 915 and for the cost I could not imagine wanting control 4 over this for the price.
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post #10 of 64 Old 07-05-2019, 12:50 PM
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URC TDC-9100. It is worth every penny IMO. Now I am adding voice control to it for a total of $700. Tech+hardware. I do not mean to be a jerk but Harmony is a Boy and this is a Man!
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post #11 of 64 Old 07-05-2019, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by TriTon464 View Post
URC TDC-9100. It is worth every penny IMO. Now I am adding voice control to it for a total of $700. Tech+hardware. I do not mean to be a jerk but Harmony is a Boy and this is a Man!
That's pretty sweet, but I'm doing exactly the same thing, including voice, with a $100 Android tablet and $12 remote software. And I can change the programming myself anytime I want for free. Guess that price doesn't make it a high-end remote anymore.

But my kids use it the most. I personally don't want to have to look at a bright tablet in the middle of a movie just to change the volume. And I definitely don't want to tell my remote to change the volume. Way too distracting and slow. I'll take a wand style remote with hard buttons that only needs to recharge every six months over a gigantic tablet I have to charge every night and look at to use.
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post #12 of 64 Old 07-05-2019, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post
That's pretty sweet, but I'm doing exactly the same thing, including voice, with a $100 Android tablet and $12 remote software. And I can change the programming myself anytime I want for free. Guess that price doesn't make it a high-end remote anymore.

But my kids use it the most. I personally don't want to have to look at a bright tablet in the middle of a movie just to change the volume. And I definitely don't want to tell my remote to change the volume. Way too distracting and slow. I'll take a wand style remote with hard buttons that only needs to recharge every six months over a gigantic tablet I have to charge every night and look at to use.
What remote Android software are you using and what do you use for an IR blaster and RF/IP control?

I agree with you regarding the awkwardness of a tablet, or really any "fully touchscreen" solution. I strongly prefer physical buttons for common functions.

Even though I don't like fully touchscreen remotes as a rule, I think for complex multi-zone systems, a touchscreen can be simplifying for non-techies if they are implemented properly.
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post #13 of 64 Old 07-05-2019, 03:27 PM
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I use TheHomeRemote. It does IP natively (I used a mix of HTTP and TCP to control my Tivo, Roku, Denon, Sony BD, Nest Thermostats and a home theater PC). For my two IR devices (an old Sony TV and a Fire stick*), I use a Global Cache iTach. I think it has 4 blaster ports. Wifi from the tablet to the iTach takes the place of old school RF.

I only have 3 zones, 2 of which are rarely used. So I pretty much just run one zone.

Biggest thing I dislike about THR is it's a little too DIY. I had to work out the Tivo, Roku and Sony IP protocols myself from the hard to find protocol documents. It probably took me a good 100 hours of programming and research to get everything working to my satisfaction. I'm not a strong HTTP or java programmer, so it was quite a challenge. The thing I like most is it's multi-platform. I develop one app, but my kids can run it on their Android phones, iPhones, iPads and Windows phones. And I can debug/test from a Windows PC. I just push out updates to dropbox and they can load them right up.

But for me, the tablet and THR is just a fun toy and an excuse to learn java. I still use my old fashioned wand RF/IR remote 99.9% of the time. Programming pretty much the same functionality on my old remote from scratch takes literally about 2% of the time THR took.

Keep in mind that I never did any kind of exhaustive search or comparison to arrive at THR. I basically picked the first cheap app I found that checked all my boxes. There could be much better options out there that I've never explored or even heard of.

Given all the work I had to put in, I guess paying $700 isn't so crazy after all.

* Never could figure out IP control on the Fire stick. Required some kind of adb client that I could not replicate with just HTTP or TCP. But I know the big boys like Crestron have figured it out. There was some sort of middleware I could have bought in order to use TCP, but it was too expensive.
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post #14 of 64 Old 07-05-2019, 05:08 PM
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You know what? I came from a MX-1200 I think it was. I too thought the tablet would suck but instantly I felt it was incredible. It has good haptic feedback in a number of styles and can even combine them. It is super responsive. No lag, missed presses ETC. For the money they obviously thought this out. My backlight is only on 2, so not very bright in blacked out room at all. YMV on this of course. I would most certainly demo one before spending 2+ grand and another $700 for voice. However I found out the Harmony's are very limited what they can do with a Google assistant. This can search for any movie,show,actor,actress,show,time, set DVR etc. It does anything you can think of. I suppose that is why it is $700 and Google Home Mini is $25. To me this was 100% worth it. Plus it controls 3 whole systems and a total of about 45 remotes. I think Harmony is limited to 15 or so. The MX-1200 was limited to like 300 which was plenty to begin with. If I am correct on that. I thought I would hate it but I fell in love with it. Again, YMMV so let the dealer demo it in your home first for this kind of cash. BTW, the battery lasts at least 3 days. I have not tried longer. So that is not really an issue either. I suppose it depends where you have the backlight at though. This thing is the best thing since sliced bread to me. I can even use it one handed but that is tricky. Although it will certainly sustain a drop from my chair they informed me. This is no toy, but serious equipment IMO. Yeah, I would rather pay the $700 than go crazy trying to figure that out. I have no clue about that stuff. I let the techs set up every single thing I buy. Loyal to one store so it works fine. I honestly have no clue how to set this stuff up. In fact the end user cannot even normally set up a URC. Even if they could pull it off they could not obtain the software AFAIK. My High end TV was just professionally calibrated 2 days after they installed it and it made a huge difference to an already stealer picture. I just let them do everything. I am not very handy like that. I am very pleased with everything and to me service means a lot because I am clueless how to work all this stuff. I even got a 2 hour training session on the remote. There will be another training session included for the voice. So, to me it is worth it. I am not super rich but I never go anywhere so this pays for itself in my case really.
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post #15 of 64 Old 07-06-2019, 02:15 PM
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I love my Harmony 650 ($50 on Amazon)...which replaced my old Harmony ONE....LOTS of [re-programmable] buttons and user definable Menus....but it doesn't do RF and is NOT compatible with Harmony's RF HUB.

I highly endorse the above recommendation for the Harmony Elite with Hub for connection to RF Devices and Wi-Fi to iOS and Android Devices:
https://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Harm.../dp/B014PDFP9S
https://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/harmony-elite
Harmony sez that you can have up to two Hubs active in your home, which are compatible with the fol. list of Harmony R/C's:
https://support.myharmony.com/en-us/harmony-add-on

As far as I know, there are no Harmony R/C's that work with RF devices directly....only via Line-Of-Sight IR to a Hub....which can then be controlled by user's cellphones where ever they are located throughout the house.

Harmony's user supported Database is likely the most extensive available and Logitech provides on-line and phone Help.
Harmony took the "Push Button to Select Device" to the next logical step, which maintaining the usual functionality. Most (but perhaps not ALL) button IR Code assignments and Menu Entries are populated right out of the Harmony Database when you go through the set-up procedure on a Computer connected to Internet. Harmony ADDS the ability to establish a set of particular "Activities", such as "Watch BD-Player" or "Watch BD-Player with AVR"....this allows the USER to decide whether a particular button or Menu Assignment should control a TV Function (e.g. TV INPUT SELECT, TV Vol Up/Dn/Mute, ASPECT RATIO), an AVR Function (e.g. AVR INPUT SELECT, AVR Vol Up/Dn/Mute, Surround Mode, Bass Level Up/Dn) or a BD-Player Function....which might take awhile, but seamlessly integrates ALL Functionalities into a single Remote that does NOT have to be constantly switched between TV, AVR and BD-Player Modes.

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post #16 of 64 Old 07-07-2019, 05:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post
* Never could figure out IP control on the Fire stick. Required some kind of adb client that I could not replicate with just HTTP or TCP. But I know the big boys like Crestron have figured it out. There was some sort of middleware I could have bought in order to use TCP, but it was too expensive.
yes, it does use ADB. The good thing is that it responds just like most all other Android TV boxes. So, write it once, use it across dozens of players.
It's not just the "big boys" that have figured it out
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post #17 of 64 Old 07-25-2019, 05:56 AM
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still rocking the harmony 890
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post #18 of 64 Old 07-25-2019, 06:18 AM
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I've got 6 URC MX-990s and a dozen old MX-850s with most of the MX-850s slowly being retired. I came from RTI and didn't like the proprietary nature. I enjoy programming my own remotes - particularly as I'm always upgrading my audio, TVs, BluRay players, etc.

I really enjoy the 8 hard buttons on the MX-990. Everything is just so intuitive with this remote. I've learned to despise voice remotes and a dislike remotes with 6 or fewer hard buttons or small option screens. I just don't feel they are flexible enough for programming options. I also don't like phone apps as they are slower than a regular handheld remote where you're fingers know exactly where the channels, volume and other buttons are without a second glance. The worst part of phone / tablet based apps is that they temporarily destroy your vision contrast when in a dark home theater watching a movie.

I integrate things with my URC remotes with the Universal Devices ISY-994 and Amazon Echo devices.
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post #19 of 64 Old 07-25-2019, 04:13 PM
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I've got two Harmony 700's controlling my two HTS's (downstairs and upstairs) and a brand new 650 in the cupboard just in case. They do everything I need but I guess they're not considered high end. Oh well
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post #20 of 64 Old 07-25-2019, 06:11 PM
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PS: More re R/C's with LOTS of Buttons...PLUS Menu Choices (like Harmony 600/700 series, ELITE, ULTIMATE, et.al.). I do NOT like a R/C where you have to LOOK at it and then NAVIGATE thru several MENU's to find the ACTION you want to take....over and over again. I prefer a R/C that has a reasonable number of MENU Choices, cuz not everything can be assigned to a fixed button....but with numerous Unassigned Buttons, I find that I very rarely want to take the TIME to scroll thru a bunch of MENU's to find the ACTION I want.



The Harmony's (et.al) usually include several user programmable Buttons (frequently colorized, just like a Cable R/C). And with Harmony "Activity" (such as "Watch TV+Cable+AVR" mode) I can set them up as follows: 1) TV ASPECT, 2) TV INPUT SELECT, 3) CABLE GUIDE and 4) CABLE PROGRAM SEARCH. And no matter what Activity Mode I'm in, I assigned the bottom two buttons (CLEAR, ENTER) to control the BRIGHTER/DIMMER settings on my Lutron Maestro Light Dimmer. [These buttons are NEVER needed to control my UDTV, CATV or AVR.]

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post #21 of 64 Old 07-28-2019, 05:57 AM
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Im ready for a new remote, im using a Harmony 1100. Dont get me wrong, it works, but i would like more visable buttons, scrolling through pages is getting old.
I would really like a small 7” tablet type with a gateway box. I want to see ALL my buttons instead of scrolling tiny screens

Any suggestions ???

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post #22 of 64 Old 07-28-2019, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by kgveteran View Post
Im ready for a new remote, im using a Harmony 1100. Dont get me wrong, it works, but i would like more visable buttons, scrolling through pages is getting old.
I would really like a small 7” tablet type with a gateway box. I want to see ALL my buttons instead of scrolling tiny screens

Any suggestions ???

Have used a Harmony 650 for years. New Denon avr with Heos recently. Got a cheap 10 inch tablet. Added a Harmony hub also. Installed the Heos, Denon remote app amd Harmony app. Also apps for other pieces. Works great for me. 10 inch touch screen remote. Maybe not "high end", but I love it.
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post #23 of 64 Old 07-28-2019, 06:40 AM
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The URC TDC-7100 is a 7" tablet and the TDC-9100 is a 10" tablet. I suggest the 9100 because it is easier to see. It is not much larger physically. There is absolutely no comparison to a Harmony or anything else. the downside is with setup and voice control either is going to run you about 5 grand. You can finance it though if you want to. It is a good investment that you will use for many years. unlike Harmony with 15 devices I believe it supports several hundred devices so you can control everything you have in your entire home. Instead of sitting on the phone with Harmony tech support that are clueless it is all done professionally but it costs a lot. even just a "question" will cost you at least $300. plus have to be home to wait for tech to get there. that is not really a downside because it is done right the first time. Remember, the question in this thread was "high end". so in that regard this is about as high end as it gets. You want "cheap" get a Harmony but not the same by any measure.
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post #24 of 64 Old 07-28-2019, 11:17 AM
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The URC TDC-7100 is a 7" tablet and the TDC-9100 is a 10" tablet. I suggest the 9100 because it is easier to see. It is not much larger physically. There is absolutely no comparison to a Harmony or anything else. the downside is with setup and voice control either is going to run you about 5 grand. You can finance it though if you want to. It is a good investment that you will use for many years. unlike Harmony with 15 devices I believe it supports several hundred devices so you can control everything you have in your entire home. Instead of sitting on the phone with Harmony tech support that are clueless it is all done professionally but it costs a lot. even just a "question" will cost you at least $300. plus have to be home to wait for tech to get there. that is not really a downside because it is done right the first time. Remember, the question in this thread was "high end". so in that regard this is about as high end as it gets. You want "cheap" get a Harmony but not the same by any measure.

"High end" has different meanings to everyone. What you are describing, to me anyway, is "off the deep end"
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post #25 of 64 Old 07-28-2019, 02:30 PM
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Indeed maybe so...
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post #26 of 64 Old 07-28-2019, 02:41 PM
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Indeed maybe so...
The part where you describe "financing" is what got me. If you can afford it, and all is well, then good deal. More power to you or whoever can. But if you need to finance a remote control, then maybe you should take another look at your priorities? I dunno, maybe me.
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post #27 of 64 Old 07-28-2019, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by MRAYB View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by kgveteran View Post
Im ready for a new remote, im using a Harmony 1100. Dont get me wrong, it works, but i would like more visable buttons, scrolling through pages is getting old.
I would really like a small 7” tablet type with a gateway box. I want to see ALL my buttons instead of scrolling tiny screens

Any suggestions ???

Have used a Harmony 650 for years. New Denon avr with Heos recently. Got a cheap 10 inch tablet. Added a Harmony hub also. Installed the Heos, Denon remote app amd Harmony app. Also apps for other pieces. Works great for me. 10 inch touch screen remote. Maybe not "high end", but I love it.
Care to elaborate a little, especially the harmony app, im interested

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post #28 of 64 Old 07-28-2019, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by kgveteran View Post
Care to elaborate a little, especially the harmony app, im interested
The Harmony 650 is not Android capable. The Harmony Hub will provide access with Android apps. That is why I added the hub. Using the "My Harmony" online tool with my 650, I copied everything to the hub. Worked great. The Harmony app is great on a tablet. All of the the 650's settings are there on the tablet fine. Very easy to setup more "activities" with the hub as needed with the My Harmony online tool. The "Hub" is considered a "remote" when using the online tool for programming.
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post #29 of 64 Old 07-28-2019, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by kgveteran View Post
Care to elaborate a little, especially the harmony app, im interested
The Harmony 650 is not Android capable. The Harmony Hub will provide access with Android apps. That is why I added the hub. Using the "My Harmony" online tool with my 650, I copied everything to the hub. Worked great. The Harmony app is great on a tablet. All of the the 650's settings are there on the tablet fine. Very easy to setup more "activities" with the hub as needed with the My Harmony online tool. The "Hub" is considered a "remote" when using the online tool for programming.
Wait....i can load my existing 1100 functions on the app using a tablet ?

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post #30 of 64 Old 07-28-2019, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by kgveteran View Post
Wait....i can load my existing 1100 functions on the app using a tablet ?
funny
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