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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With multiple devices assigned to one remote, how do you remember the button assignments for each device?


1. Do you make multiple photo copies of the remote, one copy for each device and then draw lines pointing to each button with the name for the buttons?


2. Or do you have one photo copy of the remote with a table describing the use of each button per device?


3. Or some other way?


Verbal descriptions of how you do it are fine but pictures would be even better.


Thanks,

Skylark
 

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I have a Harmony One controlling TV, AVR, PVR, BluRay, Popcorn Hour, and a couple power switches (power on/off). There is no need for any external button memory aids.


The volume up/down, channel up/down, guide, info, exit, skip forward/back, fast forward/back, play, pause, and stop are common to all Activities. Activities with Harmony remotes are selected devices grouped together to perform a function, e.g., Watch TV which uses the TV, AVR, and PVR. All buttons from those remotes are available to be customized to hard or soft buttons (touch screen).


Any buttons that do not fall into the above category and are occasionally used are assigned to a soft button. Any buttons that are rarely used can be accessed from the Device mode and will be a soft button. All soft button have a text label on the touch screen.


This concept should apply to any universal remote without a customizable LCD screen using either touch or associated hard buttons.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylark  /t/1470147/how-do-you-remember-your-remotes-button-assignments#post_23250315


With multiple devices assigned to one remote, how do you remember the button assignments for each device?


1. Do you make multiple photo copies of the remote, one copy for each device and then draw lines pointing to each button with the name for the buttons?


2. Or do you have one photo copy of the remote with a table describing the use of each button per device?


3. Or some other way?


Verbal descriptions of how you do it are fine but pictures would be even better.


Thanks,

Skylark

The (real world) short answer is: "You don't".


What many "JP1 programmers" do is #2 in your list. The software has a table in it identifying each button and assignement. The software also uses a remote diagram often, akin to your #1item.


However, I found this does not fully work. I have an excellent memory, and being the one that programmed the universal remotes, "usually" I could remember. But...add other people to the mix and well, you begin to see the story.


In my household, I put out a picture with set up as you described in #1. I also put out an "instruction manual" for the activities, help, etc. In the end the family learned the best method......"Dad!! How do you....?" And as more remotes filled the other rooms, my memory became a less robust method.


So, I "caved" and got a Harmony remote. The ability to clearly mark "soft buttons" and activities was a blessing. Further, the ability to NOT include certain commands (like "set up, surround", etc.) in the activities commands helped "errorproof" the use of the remote and system. Seperate "device" screens allowed me to use the remote for the advanced functions.


Again, the true answer is you do not remember all the button assignments. You may short term, and if it is only one, but as you add other people, devices, etc. there is no way to remember them all, for a longer time.


Lastly, if you are asking this question for the reason that you are programming a Universal currently; save yourself the headaches and go straight to a Harmony, URC or XSight. I can testify that I thought it was outrageous to spend $200 on a remote, when I could program the cable remote (or a $20 universal) to do all the same things. But, it could not "do it" in this critical "user friendly" attribute. So, not only did I get the Harmony, I ended up buying four more!
 

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I'm primarily a JP1 and Xsight user. So I print cheat sheets from the JP1 software as bizwiz suggested. However, I find that with intuitive design and use of shifted keys and long key presses, this is usually unnecessary. For example, I'll put a closed caption macro on shift-mute, or Eject on shift-Stop, or HDMI3 on shift-3, or discrete off on shift-power. Those are intuitively extensions of their unshifted counterparts which makes them easy to remember. Some things can't be done this way, so I resort to the cheat sheets in those rare cases.


For non-JP1 Remotes, I've made excel spreadsheets with pictures and arrows with function descriptions. The ideal solution is of course an LCD, so every function is clearly labeled. That's why I use Xsight on my more complex systems and JP1 on simpler systems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by BPlayer  /t/1470147/how-do-you-remember-your-remotes-button-assignments#post_23251519


I have a Harmony One controlling TV, AVR, PVR, BluRay, Popcorn Hour, and a couple power switches (power on/off). There is no need for any external button memory aids.


The volume up/down, channel up/down, guide, info, exit, skip forward/back, fast forward/back, play, pause, and stop are common to all Activities. Activities with Harmony remotes are selected devices grouped together to perform a function, e.g., Watch TV which uses the TV, AVR, and PVR. All buttons from those remotes are available to be customized to hard or soft buttons (touch screen).


Any buttons that do not fall into the above category and are occasionally used are assigned to a soft button. Any buttons that are rarely used can be accessed from the Device mode and will be a soft button. All soft button have a text label on the touch screen.


This concept should apply to any universal remote without a customizable LCD screen using either touch or associated hard buttons.

BPlayer,


Thanks for describing how Harmony remotes with a LCD screen works. Your info will be helpful if I'm wondering whether to buy one in the future.


Skylark
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by bizwiz41  /t/1470147/how-do-you-remember-your-remotes-button-assignments#post_23251625


The (real world) short answer is: "You don't".


What many "JP1 programmers" do is #2 in your list. The software has a table in it identifying each button and assignement. The software also uses a remote diagram often, akin to your #1item.


However, I found this does not fully work. I have an excellent memory, and being the one that programmed the universal remotes, "usually" I could remember. But...add other people to the mix and well, you begin to see the story.


In my household, I put out a picture with set up as you described in #1. I also put out an "instruction manual" for the activities, help, etc. In the end the family learned the best method......"Dad!! How do you....?" And as more remotes filled the other rooms, my memory became a less robust method.


So, I "caved" and got a Harmony remote. The ability to clearly mark "soft buttons" and activities was a blessing. Further, the ability to NOT include certain commands (like "set up, surround", etc.) in the activities commands helped "errorproof" the use of the remote and system. Seperate "device" screens allowed me to use the remote for the advanced functions.


Again, the true answer is you do not remember all the button assignments. You may short term, and if it is only one, but as you add other people, devices, etc. there is no way to remember them all, for a longer time.


Lastly, if you are asking this question for the reason that you are programming a Universal currently; save yourself the headaches and go straight to a Harmony, URC or XSight. I can testify that I thought it was outrageous to spend $200 on a remote, when I could program the cable remote (or a $20 universal) to do all the same things. But, it could not "do it" in this critical "user friendly" attribute. So, not only did I get the Harmony, I ended up buying four more!

Bizwiz41,


That's interesting to know that many JP1 programmers employ method #2.


I don't have the family members problem since my wife only wants to use the remotes that came with the devices and does not want to learn how to use a universal remote. My problem is that I normally use a universal remote with the cable/sat DVR so can remember the buttons for it. But when I occasionally use the DVD player or Magnavox DVDR with hard drive, I can't remember all of the button assignments.


My usage is not enough to warrant spending the bucks for a high end remote with LCD screen so am just trying to learn how others document their low end universal remotes. But it is educational to hear about why/how others go to high end LCD remotes in case I decide to go that route in the future.


Thanks,

Skylark
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej  /t/1470147/how-do-you-remember-your-remotes-button-assignments#post_23252050


I'm primarily a JP1 and Xsight user. So I print cheat sheets from the JP1 software as bizwiz suggested. However, I find that with intuitive design and use of shifted keys and long key presses, this is usually unnecessary. For example, I'll put a closed caption macro on shift-mute, or Eject on shift-Stop, or HDMI3 on shift-3, or discrete off on shift-power. Those are intuitively extensions of their unshifted counterparts which makes them easy to remember. Some things can't be done this way, so I resort to the cheat sheets in those rare cases.


For non-JP1 Remotes, I've made excel spreadsheets with pictures and arrows with function descriptions. The ideal solution is of course an LCD, so every function is clearly labeled. That's why I use Xsight on my more complex systems and JP1 on simpler systems.

Mdavej,


So you use method #2 for your JP1 remotes. That's informative to know.


I like your method of using shifted keys to allow the native remote labeling to act as an indirect assist for remembering the shift key function. I'll be getting a URC-RF10 remote that has the shift key (my first remote with that capability) so I'll use your shift method when I program it. I think your shift method along with method #2 that I listed in my original post to document the buttons will work since minimal reference to the document might be necessary, and method #2 allows all functions to be documented on one sheet.


Thanks,

Skylark
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylark  /t/1470147/how-do-you-remember-your-remotes-button-assignments#post_23252620


Mdavej,


So you use method #2 for your JP1 remotes. That's informative to know.


I like your method of using shifted keys to allow the native remote labeling to act as an indirect assist for remembering the shift key function. I'll be getting a URC-RF10 remote that has the shift key (my first remote with that capability) so I'll use your shift method when I program it. I think your shift method along with method #2 that I listed in my original post to document the buttons will work since minimal reference to the document might be necessary, and method #2 allows all functions to be documented on one sheet.


Thanks,

Skylark

One of the things I used to do for the "hard to remember" keys, was to print a small "cheat sheet" and tape it to the back of the remote.


As mdavej referenced, part of the key is to "map" comands/functions to intuitive key labels. For instance, on my daughter's Comcast remote (for her bedroom) I had the "SLEEP" command on the "on/off" button on the bottom of the remote.


The other aspect is to fight the tendency to put ALL the functions of the OEM remote on the Universal. There may be some you don't use often, or are actually better left off. It does help to streamline the actually used commands, and save the "set up" type items to the OEM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by bizwiz41  /t/1470147/how-do-you-remember-your-remotes-button-assignments#post_23253233


One of the things I used to do for the "hard to remember" keys, was to print a small "cheat sheet" and tape it to the back of the remote.


As mdavej referenced, part of the key is to "map" comands/functions to intuitive key labels. For instance, on my daughter's Comcast remote (for her bedroom) I had the "SLEEP" command on the "on/off" button on the bottom of the remote.


The other aspect is to fight the tendency to put ALL the functions of the OEM remote on the Universal. There may be some you don't use often, or are actually better left off. It does help to streamline the actually used commands, and save the "set up" type items to the OEM.

Hi Bizwiz41,


Could you explain what your "cheat sheet" consists of where it can be taped to the back of the remote and still be readable?

Does the one "cheat sheet" cover multiple devices?


Thanks,

Skylark
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylark  /t/1470147/how-do-you-remember-your-remotes-button-assignments#post_23253329


Hi Bizwiz41,


Could you explain what your "cheat sheet" consists of where it can be taped to the back of the remote and still be readable?

Does the one "cheat sheet" cover multiple devices?


Thanks,

Skylark

Hi Skylark,


Obviously real estate for the cheat sheet is valuable, so the more important, but less obvious items go there.

One of the major items was "Macros" functions. Just in case you do not know, "Macros" is a series of programmed commands (up to 15 depending upon the remote), which are the same as an "Activity". Macros like "Watch DVD" or "Listen to CDs" I would put there. In my case, this was to help out the family as well, but sometimes you do forget one of them. Other commands like "Aspect", Pic Size, Mode, etc. are also useful to add.


As for size of the sheet, that depends upon the remote itself, and how small of print you can comfortably read. I would use the 8 font, and use different colors for the font to help "code" the keys/commands.


Depending upon the size of the sheet used, I would try to position where it was not in the "holding position", i.e. near the top of the remote, etc. Again, this does depend upon the dimensions of your own remote.


I also have heard people say they would cut out small "labels" to fit over buttons on the remote, and label them. Again, this primarily was to identify Macros commands.


Remember, there will be times when other people use your remote (guests, relatives, friends), the simpler you can make it, the better. But again, this is personalizing your remote, "map" the functions to buttons that are comfortable to you. Are you left or right handed? Which activities do you use the most?, the least? Whatever works for you is the best method.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by bizwiz41  /t/1470147/how-do-you-remember-your-remotes-button-assignments#post_23254210


Hi Skylark,


Obviously real estate for the cheat sheet is valuable, so the more important, but less obvious items go there.

One of the major items was "Macros" functions. Just in case you do not know, "Macros" is a series of programmed commands (up to 15 depending upon the remote), which are the same as an "Activity". Macros like "Watch DVD" or "Listen to CDs" I would put there. In my case, this was to help out the family as well, but sometimes you do forget one of them. Other commands like "Aspect", Pic Size, Mode, etc. are also useful to add.


As for size of the sheet, that depends upon the remote itself, and how small of print you can comfortably read. I would use the 8 font, and use different colors for the font to help "code" the keys/commands.


Depending upon the size of the sheet used, I would try to position where it was not in the "holding position", i.e. near the top of the remote, etc. Again, this does depend upon the dimensions of your own remote.


I also have heard people say they would cut out small "labels" to fit over buttons on the remote, and label them. Again, this primarily was to identify Macros commands.


Remember, there will be times when other people use your remote (guests, relatives, friends), the simpler you can make it, the better. But again, this is personalizing your remote, "map" the functions to buttons that are comfortable to you. Are you left or right handed? Which activities do you use the most?, the least? Whatever works for you is the best method.

Bizwiz41,


Thanks for taking the time for your nice response. From it, I take it that your cheat sheet is in the form of a table. Would it be correct to assume that the button names are in the leftmost column with the device names in the top row? Then I guess the top row would need to have columns for the device names, with 2 columns per name (non-shifted and shifted). Are these correct assumptions?


Thanks,

Skylark
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylark  /t/1470147/how-do-you-remember-your-remotes-button-assignments#post_23255270


Bizwiz41,


Thanks for taking the time for your nice response. From it, I take it that your cheat sheet is in the form of a table. Would it be correct to assume that the button names are in the leftmost column with the device names in the top row? Then I guess the top row would need to have columns for the device names, with 2 columns per name (non-shifted and shifted). Are these correct assumptions?


Thanks,

Skylark

You're welcome, and it's my pleasure. Perhaps the easiest way is to let you see an example.


Attached is a program called "keymap", which is for JP1 programming:
keymap-master-v9.20.xls 3670k .xls file


Here is a link to the hi-firemote website that also includes other useful files and programs: http://www.hifi-remote.com/forums/dload.php?action=category&cat_id=81


I would highly recommend a visit to the website www.hifi-remote.com to review some of the programming material. There is a program called "Remote Master" which includes both a table and picture map for key mapping. I apologize but this website will not allow me to attach the file, due to its unknown file extension (.jar)


Have Fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by bizwiz41  /t/1470147/how-do-you-remember-your-remotes-button-assignments#post_23257736


You're welcome, and it's my pleasure. Perhaps the easiest way is to let you see an example.


Attached is a program called "keymap", which is for JP1 programming:
keymap-master-v9.20.xls 3670k .xls file


Here is a link to the hi-firemote website that also includes other useful files and programs: http://www.hifi-remote.com/forums/dload.php?action=category&cat_id=81


I would highly recommend a visit to the website www.hifi-remote.com to review some of the programming material. There is a program called "Remote Master" which includes both a table and picture map for key mapping. I apologize but this website will not allow me to attach the file, due to its unknown file extension (.jar)


Have Fun!

Thanks for the links. Have not been able to find examples of charts/tables yet but I made one up in Excel that I think will work for starters. I'll just refine it as I go along. Thanks for taking the time to help out.


Skylark
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylark  /t/1470147/how-do-you-remember-your-remotes-button-assignments#post_23265604


Thanks for the links. Have not been able to find examples of charts/tables yet but I made one up in Excel that I think will work for starters. I'll just refine it as I go along. Thanks for taking the time to help out.


Skylark

The key-master file has a table included, you have to look at the tabs at the bottom to locate it. The beauty of the key-master sheet is that if you simply enter your remote model, it will fill in the sheet for you.


But, it is something you can easily create in your own Excel spreadsheet.
 
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