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Thread: Universal Remote Control? Way O.T.

  1. #1
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    Universal Remote Control? Way O.T.

    I'm not much of an OT poster but, I am reasonably sure that a conversation was going on where someone mentioned a very capable universal remote by brand (at least). I had researched this unit and it covered all my devices . . . then I misplaced the link. When I Google this I get a LOT of Logitech Harmony recommendations. This is not the name I recall but, since I don't recall . . . it may have been.

    Anyone recall a conversation about this or have any shout-outs for a good universal remote for TV, Receiver, Disc-player . . . that's about it. I left my Audiophile Hat laying somewhere back when optical link cables were coming out so, what, early 80's .
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  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    I'm not much of an OT poster but, I am reasonably sure that a conversation was going on where someone mentioned a very capable universal remote by brand (at least). I had researched this unit and it covered all my devices . . . then I misplaced the link. When I Google this I get a LOT of Logitech Harmony recommendations. This is not the name I recall but, since I don't recall . . . it may have been.

    Anyone recall a conversation about this or have any shout-outs for a good universal remote for TV, Receiver, Disc-player . . . that's about it. I left my Audiophile Hat laying somewhere back when optical link cables were coming out so, what, early 80's .
    I have an Amazon Fire TV Cube, and if you treat her right, she's capable of a lot more than I originally gave her credit for. It works surprisingly well, voice commands and all that (if you can remember her name, I'm always getting tripped up on that.) My Logitech Harmony can't keep up.

  3. #3
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    I've got a Logitech Harmony, which worked very well with my last AV setup. I got all new equipment about a year ago & through some kind of modern electronic voodoo, I don't need a universal remote anymore. I just pick up the remote for whichever source I want to use, and it sets the correct input, controls the volume, and does anything I need it to do. I can't remember the name, but there is a system the communicates via the HDMI cables to get all the components playing nicely together. There is the odd hick up, but it generally works quite well.

    So my Harmony sits collecting dust.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Pratt View Post
    ... I just pick up the remote for whichever source I want to use ....
    From where I'm sitting, that sounds like it translates to "multiple remotes", not "universal remote".

    The thing I like about the Harmony is that it's primarily activity-based rather than device-based. The "universal" widget the cable company provided can talk to all of my devices, but I have to tell it which one to talk to. E.g. select 'cable' to change channels, select 'TV' to turn TV on/off or select source...you get the picture.

    The thing I don't like about the Harmony is that its software really doesn't know how to deal with somebody owning more than one of them. I got a second one for the music system upstairs and ended up having to install its app on a different computer and establish a second account with Logitech before I could program it.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee DeRaud View Post
    From where I'm sitting, that sounds like it translates to "multiple remotes", not "universal remote".
    You're correct Lee, it is multiple remotes, but I'm only using one for a given activity. If I'm using Apple TV, then the Apple remote is the only one I need. If I am watching Blu-ray, then the Blu-ray remote is the only one I need, etc.

    I could set up the Harmony, but I'm basically a bit of a lazy slob & I just can't be bothered cause the system works well as it stands. If I had over-the-air TV, or cable TV, I'd probably use the Harmony.
    Last edited by Frank Pratt; 10-08-2019 at 8:58 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee DeRaud View Post
    The thing I don't like about the Harmony is that its software really doesn't know how to deal with somebody owning more than one of them. I got a second one for the music system upstairs and ended up having to install its app on a different computer and establish a second account with Logitech before I could program it.
    Good info, thank you all. Lee, thanks for sharing that. It may be a concern.
    Buy a man a plane ticket and he’ll fly for a day.
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  7. #7
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    I have 3 Logitech Harmony remotes. Very easy to setup and all work very well. The only negative, you need to put them on the charger each day. The one in our bedroom goes on the charger during the day, the bonus and family room go on the charger when we power down the TV for the night.

    For our family room, the DirecTv, blue ray player, AppleTV are all in a cabinet with no infra red access, the TV is line of sight infra red. The Harmony send BlueTooth to the control unit in the cabinet which in turn has IR blasters to send signals to the appropriate devices in the cabinet.

    You identify each device in your system. TV, Soundbar, Cable Box, Blue Ray Player, etc.. You then create activities and link the devices needed for that activity, such as when I watch DirectTV, it turns the DirecTv box, TV and Sounbar on. It knows channel and guide info is DirecTV related, but volume is Soundbar.

    It has a color LCD panel, that lets you which between Activities real easy.

    I have Activities to watch DirecTV, AppleTV, ROKU and my Blue Ray.

    So no more reaching (searching) for multiple remotes to control different devices.

  8. #8
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    Hmmm.

    About the time you were posting this, I was at Goodwill giving away a NIB Logitech universal remote, which I had no use for.

    Sorry
    Rick Potter

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  9. #9
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    Chris, Check your Logitech battery. We have a Harmony that we charge about once a week.

  10. #10
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    +1 for Logitech Harmony
    It's based around "Activities". An Activity is basically the thing you want to do. For me, that's: Watch TV, Play a DVD, or Listen to Radio. For each of those things, it turns on the appropriate devices and adjusts them to work together.

    When you get the Harmony, you download an app to your computer and hook the thing up with a usb cable. Then you enter the devices you have using Logitechs library of devices. Then you have to tell how things are connected like which of your receivers input ports gets the signal from the Blu-Ray player.

    Once it has all that, you set up your activities. With the information you provided, Logitech practically does it for you from there.

    My only advice might be to get one of the simpler Harmonys and not to be tempted by the touch screen. We have a touch screen for some stuff and it looks nice but I've never been able to operate those virtual buttons without looking. The simpler remotes have physical buttons that you can feel.

    The Harmony is still based on infra-red which means line of sight. I wish they would all go to bluetooth. Bluetooth has a profile for remotes called AVRCP (Audio Visual Remote Control Profile) so the means to do it is there. Grrrr... Under AVRCP, you would pair up the remote with each device and the remote would just know what to do.

  11. #11
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    I use the Logitech Harmony to replace 5 different remotes, 3 of which were typically lost at any given time. I also installed an IR relay so that there is one tiny receiver mounted just above the TV and all the boxes and wires are in a cabinet down in the basement. It does mean going downstairs on the increasingly rare occasions when we want to insert a physical DVD or tape, but it earned a lot of points with my darling wife when I moved that whole jumble of electronic boxes and wires out of sight to the basement. A few minor complaints about the Harmony, but I wouldn't go back.

    I ran a blue smurf tube up through the wall for all the cables and put a recess behind the TV for connections and a power outlet. No visible wires around the TV. Yay! I found plenum-rated HDMI cables when I did this, next time I'll do it on HDMI over plenum-rated CAT6 cable.

  12. #12
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    Another +1 to Rogers suggestion about the repeater. I'm not using mine right now but the plan is to build a cabinet below the wall mounted screen for all the components. The cabinet will fully hide the components with no line of sight to the room.

    I had a cabinet in my old house with the door closed all the time. I only opened it to put in a disc. As Roger pointed out, you can put your components anywhere including another room. This really opens up some options.

    Of course my rant about Bluetooth still applies. If remotes were RF based instead of infra-red, no repeater would be necessary.

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