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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After reading through these posts I'm still confused as to what to buy. It seems they all have drawbacks, but my needs are relatively simple. I need to control a cable box, AVR, plasma TV, DVD and CD player, 5 components in all. I really don't want to spend more than a few hundred dollars unless it is really necessary to get the functionality I need.

It would be great to press one or two buttons to change from TV to DVD for example.


THe Harmony 880 sounds like what I'm looking for but the opinions are so mixed. I'd rather spend more money and get it right the first time if that's what it takes.


Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Well, the first big question to ask yourself is if your components are (or will be) all infrared (IR) controlled or if any (or will be) controlled by radio frequency (RF). If you need RF then your options thin considerably and you shouldn't be considering the 880 but the 890.


If you're all IR then it's just a personal choice between options, comfort, etc. Personally, I was looking at the 880 but didn't like the button layout and decided on the 550 which has a natural hold to it and easy access to the VCR buttons which is important b/c I use my DVR a lot. And, after looking at my TV remote, decided I didn't need the extra LCD buttons that the 880 provided. But you can figure out what works for you.
 

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I first bought a 670 and I could not get use to the small and close buttons. Also, the buttons did not feel right to me. I returned it and got a 550. I absolutely love the 550, it does everything I need it to do and feels really comfortable in my hand.


My devices are Moto 3416 DVR, Sony HD RPTV, Panasonic DVD recorder, Pioneer AVR, Xbox 360 w/HD DVD addon and sometimes a PC is hooked up. So far I have been able to control everything just like I want using the 550.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MNMatthias /forum/post/0


Well, the first big question to ask yourself is if your components are (or will be) all infrared (IR) controlled or if any (or will be) controlled by radio frequency (RF). If you need RF then your options thin considerably and you shouldn't be considering the 880 but the 890.


If you're all IR then it's just a personal choice between options, comfort, etc. Personally, I was looking at the 880 but didn't like the button layout and decided on the 550 which has a natural hold to it and easy access to the VCR buttons which is important b/c I use my DVR a lot. And, after looking at my TV remote, decided I didn't need the extra LCD buttons that the 880 provided. But you can figure out what works for you.


How do you determine what your components are using? I don't see anything on the remotes and I can't find anything in the manuals. This is crazy. Somewhere in the manual it should say IR or RF. Am I just missing it. I have looked in most of my manuals.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by litefoot sr /forum/post/0


How do you determine what your components are using? I don't see anything on the remotes and I can't find anything in the manuals. This is crazy. Somewhere in the manual it should say IR or RF. Am I just missing it. I have looked in most of my manuals.

Home theater devices will all use infrared light based remotes. However if you intend to put something in a cabinet, or closet, or other space where it can't SEE the light from the remote then you will need a radio based solution. The radio remotes transmit low power radio signals to a small receiver which then generates the traditional infrared light signal. You put the radio receiver where the devices you are trying to control can see the infrared. Typically the radio receiver will have one or more IR outputs that you can place in front of various nearby devices. All these IR outputs simply produce the same IR version of the RF code coming in to the radio receiver from the remote.


Another advantage of a radio setup is that you don't have to point the remote at the devices being controlled. As long as the radio receiver hears it, the remote can be pointed anywhere. This is particularly useful if you have long command sequences.

--Bob
 

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OK thanks Bob. I think I got it. I was worried that my older VCR might have an RF remote. Everything is in the open, right under the TV so it shouldn't be a problem. My set up is:

Pany TH-42PHD8UK Plazma

Pany SA-XR55 Receiver

Pany DMR ES25

JVC HRS 9600U VCR

Dish VIP 622


Do you see any issues using the Harmony 880?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by litefoot sr /forum/post/0


OK thanks Bob. I think I got it. I was worried that my older VCR might have an RF remote. Everything is in the open, right under the TV so it shouldn't be a problem. My set up is:

Pany TH-42PHD8UK Plazma

Pany SA-XR55 Receiver

Pany DMR ES25

JVC HRS 9600U VCR

Dish VIP 622


Do you see any issues using the Harmony 880?

I see no issues. I happen to use a Harmony 880 myself, replacing an older Pronto that I used previously. I find the hard buttons more pleasant to use, and I find the unit much more user friendly from a programming point of view. Of course it doesn't have the ultimate flexibility of something like the Pronto, but for most users that is outweighed by the fact that it can be programmed by mere mortals. Also, Harmony's customer support is surprisingly good considering how inexpensive their products are.


If you actually have an older device with a radio remote, the radio-style programmable remotes (like the Harmony 890) aren't going to help anyway. Their radio doesn't talk to such devices directly, but only to their receiver that converts the signals to IR.


If your remote for any older device gets blocked when you stick your hand in front of it, then it is an IR remote and not a radio remote of any sort.

--Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just an update and thanks for the recommendations. I bought the 550 yesterday and love it. Set it up in 15 minutes and it works like a charm. Great ergonomics too compared to the 880 style and has a solid well made feel to it.


The only thing I can't get it to do is change the TV Input when watching a DVD. Hopefully I'll figure it out but in the meantime I just manually make the change through the 550 so it still replaces all the other remotes.
 
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