Well by the "Less than the cost of the components it is controlling?" definition my Niles Intellicontrol is definitely reasonable. I paid ~$1200 for the system and accessories. I've got over 16K in gear.
THe Niles Intellicontrol is a great system it knows what is on and off so you don't end up like some programmed remotes running macros turning off gear that was already on.
Down side to the Niles Intellicontrol it has to be professionally programmed unless you have an in with your dealer.
Take a look at the Theater Touch from RTI Technologies. I think the complete RF version/package can be found for around $700 +/-. Some like this remote, some don't. You can learn all about it at remotecentral.com
Next step up in RF remotes is Crestron, Lexicon, AMX, $2,500 - $5,000 plus programming.
The Niles Intellicontrol is a very good system, not just a remote. It's not as sexy as a Crestron not as much money either. Even some of the high end remotes mentioned are not RF. The problem with the Niles is it is meant to be set up by the installer. My AV dealer set me up to be able to do the programming but this due to our personal relationship and is not the norm. You need a seperate programming module and software that is a dealer only item. It's a shame Niles doesn't make this more of a consumer item as opposed to dealer setup because I think they would sell many more systems.
But that said the Niles works very well. It's no so much a matter of setting up macros as it is telling the system what you have and what you want it to do for each source device.
at less then 1k you can get a ProntoPro and an RF base, at a bit more then 1k you have the Marantz RC9200 (comes with the base) The Marantz has a lot more hard buttons and you can use a bit more of the screen, but it is in he same family as the Pronto Pro
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