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Author Topic: Greatest Universal Remote Ever!  (Read 5493 times)
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coopasonic
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« on: December 26, 2004, 05:51:35 AM »

Web based setup of your remote, no silly "learning" crap where you popint the remotes at each other and press a complicated sequence of buttons.

Harmony Remotes Link

Basically, you connect the remote to your PC USB port with the supplied cable, install the update software, go online and enter in your A/V equipment Manufacturer and Model Number and it walks you through preferences for activities. Hit update and it downloads the configuration to your remote and poof, it works!

Here is a picture of the screen to customize the buttons.

I'll never have to show my wife how to do anything with the A/V equipment against, it's all automagical! The one I have is listed at $229 or so on the manufacturer site, but it can be had for ~$130ish from tigerdirect or similar online electronics site.

Best remote ever. (well perhaps some of those mega-pricy ones are better... but I hardly believe it!)
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EngineNo9
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« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2004, 10:41:41 AM »

I can't believe people are stupid enough to spend oer $200 on a friggin remote.
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daedalus
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« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2004, 11:08:04 AM »

And there are those who would say that they cannot believe there are people stupid enough to spend as much money or time on video games as many of us do.
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coopasonic
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« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2004, 03:37:44 PM »

Video card: $400
Sound card: $200
PC speakers: $300
Monitor: $600
Universal Remote: $130
Not having to explain to the wife how to play a DVD yet again: Priceless
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EngineNo9
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« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2004, 04:21:56 PM »

What is so hard about picking up the DVD remote and hitting play?  I don't get it.  If you can't figure out which remote goes to the DVD player (Hint: it's the one sitting in front of the TV with the same brand as the DVD player as well as Menu, Skip Scene, etc) then how the hell is she going to figure out some weird remote that looks like every remote and telephone in your house jammed into one device?

And if you need only one remote, what is so much harder about programming a cheaper remote one time in your goddamn life than hooking that one up to your computer, downloading the update, knowing the make and model of all of your equipment and then assuming it will work?  Shit, all I had to do to program my $10 remote was turn on the TV and hold down the "Code Search" button, hit the TV function button and then power.  It works great and all of the instructions are printed in the back of the battery lid.
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coopasonic
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« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2004, 04:57:47 PM »

The make and model of all my equipment is printed on the front of all the equipment handily enough.

Quote from: "EngineNo9"
What is so hard about picking up the DVD remote and hitting play?


Old Universal Remote:
Hit the AMP button.
Turn the Receiver power on.
Switch the Receiver to DVD Input.
Hit the TV button
Turn the TV power on.
Press TV/Video 5 times to switch the video input on the TV.
Hit the DVD button.
Turn the DVD power on.
Play the DVD.

New Universal Remote:
Hit "Watch Movie" button.

/shrug Beats the hell out of socks for Christmas.
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Zekester
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« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2004, 05:49:55 PM »

I think no9 is just jealous that he doesn't have one  :wink:
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« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2004, 06:10:50 PM »

I had a Harmony 680 on my Christmas list, but Santa didn't deliver.  I think I'll be ordering one for myself next week.  smile  Universal remotes are extremely worth it IF they are easy to use for non-techies.  I really hate having to jump around between my receiver, DVD, and Tivo remotes constantly.
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« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2004, 06:15:13 PM »

Quote from: "coopasonic"
Video card: $400
Sound card: $200
PC speakers: $300
Monitor: $600
Universal Remote: $130
Not having to explain to the wife how to play a DVD yet again: Priceless

The obvious solution to this problem is to get a new wife.
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coopasonic
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« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2004, 06:19:03 PM »

I really like the model I currently have. There are some great benefits.

Now I forget which reply I was responding to. biggrin
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Jeff
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« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2004, 06:41:16 PM »

Quote from: "Vesper"
I had a Harmony 680 on my Christmas list, but Santa didn't deliver.  I think I'll be ordering one for myself next week.  smile  Universal remotes are extremely worth it IF they are easy to use for non-techies.  I really hate having to jump around between my receiver, DVD, and Tivo remotes constantly.


Agreed. I recently got a nice universal remote, and it's made life much easier  for our household. We have a basket full of remotes to sort through, but this universal has consolidated things. It also allows you to program macros, and do up to 15 consecutive commands with one button press.
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jpinard
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« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2004, 12:40:39 AM »

Nice.  We are always losing our remotes and it getsa nnoying.  We have 3 remotes for EACH room.  The TiVO remote won't learn enough DVD/VCR/Monitor commands - so we're stuck having to keep each one.

That thing would be very nice.
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formixx
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« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2004, 11:44:25 AM »

Maybe engine doesn't have a wife....they seem to be the #1 driver of programmable remote sales.  I used to get a phone call about once a week because my wife pushed some button out of sequence, but since I bought the refurbished Pronto?......not one call.
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« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2004, 12:53:20 PM »

So to sum up the essence of this thread so far:

You guys married women who cannot figure out how to use a remote control?

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha
Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha
Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha
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EngineNo9
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« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2004, 01:16:00 PM »

Quote from: "formixx"
Maybe engine doesn't have a wife....they seem to be the #1 driver of programmable remote sales.  I used to get a phone call about once a week because my wife pushed some button out of sequence, but since I bought the refurbished Pronto?......not one call.


You are correct.  I guess as a single guy I pretty used to knowing my own systems and being the only one who has to use it or know how.  

I have to say that to me these should be more marketed as Macro-multidevice remotes instead of just Universal Remotes, since it seems that the real selling feature is the ability to program a combination of "key strokes" directed at multiple devices into a single button press.  Maybe I just have an outdated definition of Universal Remote, but all that signifies to me is something that can control multiple devices.
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RunningMn9
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« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2004, 02:04:11 PM »

Quote from: "EngineNo9"
Maybe I just have an outdated definition of Universal Remote, but all that signifies to me is something that can control multiple devices.


Even having an old definition of a Universal Remote doesn't warrant getting all pissed off at people that pay good $$ for good universal remotes.  smile

I already spent about $100 on one of those Kameleons, but my wife hates it.  I've been thinking about this Logitech but haven't pulled the trigger yet.
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Bulletpig
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« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2004, 03:20:26 PM »

If this gave me full functionality of all my stuff with one remote I would consider it.

The other cheaper univ. remotes always leave me still needing two or three other remotes.

Pig
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coopasonic
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« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2004, 03:35:26 PM »

Quote from: "Bulletpig"
If this gave me full functionality of all my stuff with one remote I would consider it.

Pig


That's specifically why I selected this one. It can control up to 15 individual devices. As new components are released support for them is added to the configuration web site. It has enough buttons for most everything, plus up to 6 custom label buttons on the LCD screen for each activity.

In fact, this remote can switch my TV to other inputs instantly, something the remote that came with the TV couldn't do (watching a DVD meant switching the video input 5 times, no more)!

It takes some setup time, collecting model numbers on your components, configuring extra buttons that aren't automatically configured, but in the end it's completely worth it to me.
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Pyperkub
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« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2004, 07:39:21 PM »

Quote from: "coopasonic"
Quote from: "Bulletpig"
If this gave me full functionality of all my stuff with one remote I would consider it.

Pig


That's specifically why I selected this one. It can control up to 15 individual devices. As new components are released support for them is added to the configuration web site. It has enough buttons for most everything, plus up to 6 custom label buttons on the LCD screen for each activity.

In fact, this remote can switch my TV to other inputs instantly, something the remote that came with the TV couldn't do (watching a DVD meant switching the video input 5 times, no more)!

It takes some setup time, collecting model numbers on your components, configuring extra buttons that aren't automatically configured, but in the end it's completely worth it to me.


One thing that some of the earlier Universals had a problem with was losing all your Macros when the batteries died.  Make sure you get one with a backup system (backup battery, other), or you will likely return it, like my roomate had to with his favorite Universal.  Otherwise you'll have to go through the hassle of reprogramming the remote frequently, as those universals can eat batteries.
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coopasonic
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« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2004, 07:45:25 PM »

Quote from: "Pyperkub"
One thing that some of the earlier Universals had a problem with was losing all your Macros when the batteries died.  Make sure you get one with a backup system (backup battery, other), or you will likely return it, like my roomate had to with his favorite Universal.  Otherwise you'll have to go through the hassle of reprogramming the remote frequently, as those universals can eat batteries.


Two things, memory is retained when the batteries are removed and even if you do lose all of the programming, you just need to connect the remote to your PC, log in to the harmony site and reload the programming (even if you throw your remote against the wall and have to buy a new one).
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SpaceLord
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« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2004, 07:52:17 PM »

Coopasonic, I have one gripe. You misspelled "Evar" in the title. ninja

ninja Best. Smilie. Evar. ninja
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coopasonic
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« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2004, 10:21:18 PM »

Quote from: "SpaceLord"
You misspelled "Evar" in the title.


I had it typed that way originally, but I couldn't bring myself to submit it that way.
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Devil
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« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2004, 02:43:29 AM »

LOVE my Pronto but it's tough to use without looking at it (touch screen). This might make a good replacement some day!
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Pyperkub
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« Reply #23 on: December 28, 2004, 08:01:35 AM »

Quote from: "coopasonic"
Quote from: "Pyperkub"
One thing that some of the earlier Universals had a problem with was losing all your Macros when the batteries died.  Make sure you get one with a backup system (backup battery, other), or you will likely return it, like my roomate had to with his favorite Universal.  Otherwise you'll have to go through the hassle of reprogramming the remote frequently, as those universals can eat batteries.


Two things, memory is retained when the batteries are removed and even if you do lose all of the programming, you just need to connect the remote to your PC, log in to the harmony site and reload the programming (even if you throw your remote against the wall and have to buy a new one).


Nice.
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Rob_Merritt
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« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2004, 12:14:44 PM »

I spent about $160 on my Sony remote. I love the thing and when guysa visit my house for the first time, that all love the thing. However its getting less use since its not able to deal with 2 tivos.
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coopasonic
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« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2004, 02:14:30 PM »

I'm not sure how any remote could deal with 2 tivos... at least in the same room. It seems like they would both respond to any inputs?
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Rob_Merritt
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« Reply #26 on: December 28, 2004, 02:45:25 PM »

My Tivo Remote controls both of them. There is a selector switch when I cange Tivos to tell the remote which one to operate.
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coopasonic
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« Reply #27 on: December 28, 2004, 02:57:39 PM »

Very cool, Tivo may well be the greatest company ever. biggrin If the Tivo remote can handle it, I bet the Harmony remote could, and everything else for that matter.... not that you want to spend another $150 hehe.
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« Reply #28 on: December 28, 2004, 03:08:00 PM »

Quote from: "coopasonic"

Two things, memory is retained when the batteries are removed and even if you do lose all of the programming, you just need to connect the remote to your PC, log in to the harmony site and reload the programming (even if you throw your remote against the wall and have to buy a new one).


One other great thing about this remote, is that is also has a TV guide built into the LCD display.  Which comes in handy for me, since my ReplayTV guide keeps dieing for some reason.

(Would you look at that!  I have been lurking here/GoldGold for well over a year I think and this is my first post!)
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coopasonic
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« Reply #29 on: December 28, 2004, 03:25:17 PM »

Yah I checked out the guide functionality, but I would be too lazy to keep updating the guide regularly so I promptly forgot about it...

Very cool ability tho, so if I'm watching a movie and wondering if I forgot to set the DVR for something I can check the remote quick rather than stopping the movie and switching to cable.
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« Reply #30 on: December 28, 2004, 06:12:20 PM »

I pulled the trigger and ordered a Harmony 680.. Can't wait for it to show up.

BTW, one thing I should point out that makes these Harmony remotes unique:  They are State-based.  The remote remembers what devices are on/off.  This is especially useful if your components don't have a discrete On/Off but only have a "toggle" style power button.  

What does this mean?  If everything is off, I hit "Watch DVD", the remote turns on the Receiver, TV, DVD Player, switches the receiver input and tv input to the appropriate settings for watching a DVD.  Next, I press "Watch TV", it turns off the DVD player, switches the Receiver & TV inputs, and I'm watching TV.  When I'm done, I hit "Off" and it turns off the TV & Receiver.

Later, I want to watch TV and everything is off.  I use the same exact "Watch  TV" button, this time it turns on the TV and Receiver, switches inputs, and I'm watching TV.

No other remotes do this.  With my Pronto it was always a struggle to handle devices that didn't have specific on and off codes.  

Really looking forward to this puppy.  smile
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coopasonic
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« Reply #31 on: December 28, 2004, 06:16:57 PM »

Quote from: "Vesper"
Really looking forward to this puppy.  smile


Worth every penny! Welcome to the fold.
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« Reply #32 on: December 28, 2004, 08:00:48 PM »

Quote from: "coopasonic"
Yah I checked out the guide functionality, but I would be too lazy to keep updating the guide regularly so I promptly forgot about it...

Very cool ability tho, so if I'm watching a movie and wondering if I forgot to set the DVR for something I can check the remote quick rather than stopping the movie and switching to cable.


yeah the only thing it's missing is the ablility to update via 802.11!   biggrin
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Lee
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« Reply #33 on: December 28, 2004, 08:28:56 PM »

The thing sounds great, but I am confused on which one to get. What did everyone else get?

I want to use it with a Sony TV, amp, DVD changer and a Motorola digital cable/DVR box. I pretty much hate having 4 remotes sitting around.

Edit: forgot to put DVD changer.
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RunningMn9
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« Reply #34 on: December 28, 2004, 08:30:10 PM »

Quote from: "Vesper"
BTW, one thing I should point out that makes these Harmony remotes unique:  They are State-based.  The remote remembers what devices are on/off.  This is especially useful if your components don't have a discrete On/Off but only have a "toggle" style power button.


How does the remote deal with my 3-yr old turning my receiver on and off directly, not using the remote?
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coopasonic
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« Reply #35 on: December 28, 2004, 08:32:05 PM »

Quote from: "Lee"
I want to use it with a Sony TV, receiver, amp, and a Motorola digital cable/DVR box. I pretty much hate having 4 remotes sitting around.


Pretty much same setup I am using (assuming there is a DVD player in there somewhere), I got the 676, but the 688 puts the DVR/VCR buttons a little closer to your fingertips (around the directional buttons).
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Vesper
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« Reply #36 on: December 28, 2004, 08:44:40 PM »

Quote from: "coopasonic"
Pretty much same setup I am using (assuming there is a DVD player in there somewhere), I got the 676, but the 688 puts the DVR/VCR buttons a little closer to your fingertips (around the directional buttons).


Actually that's the 680.  The 676/680 are nearly identical other than where the buttons are located (and the 676 has interchangable colored faceplates.)  

The 688 on the other hand, you should avoid at all costs.  It has a very poor layout.
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« Reply #37 on: December 28, 2004, 08:45:42 PM »

Quote from: "RunningMn9"
How does the remote deal with my 3-yr old turning my receiver on and off directly, not using the remote?


There's obviously no way for the remote to know about this.  However, if things are ever out of sync, you hit the "Help" button, which will ask yes/no questions to re-establish the correct state.  Also works if the IR gets blocked or the device doesn't respond for some other reason.
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coopasonic
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« Reply #38 on: December 28, 2004, 09:02:58 PM »

Quote from: "Vesper"
Quote from: "RunningMn9"
How does the remote deal with my 3-yr old turning my receiver on and off directly, not using the remote?


There's obviously no way for the remote to know about this.  However, if things are ever out of sync, you hit the "Help" button, which will ask yes/no questions to re-establish the correct state.  Also works if the IR gets blocked or the device doesn't respond for some other reason.


Or you throw a shoe at the receiver and hope you hit the right button.
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« Reply #39 on: December 29, 2004, 04:24:40 PM »

Quote from: "coopasonic"
Quote from: "Vesper"
Quote from: "RunningMn9"
How does the remote deal with my 3-yr old turning my receiver on and off directly, not using the remote?


There's obviously no way for the remote to know about this.  However, if things are ever out of sync, you hit the "Help" button, which will ask yes/no questions to re-establish the correct state.  Also works if the IR gets blocked or the device doesn't respond for some other reason.


Or you throw a shoe at the receiver and hope you hit the right button.


Or the 3 yr-old, whenever he gets near the receiver!  Tongue
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