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All-in-one remote control

ThirithThirith Registered User regular
I'm thinking that we're about to reach critical remote control mass in our living room: PS3, PS2, TV, CD player, Bluray/DVD player (different region code than the PS3), digital TV settop box, A/V receiver. On the whole I don't mind juggling several remotes, but this is getting ridiculous... so I'm thinking of getting an All-in-one RC.

Any experiences and tips? I'm hearing lots of things, both good and bad, about Logitech's Harmony series. I wouldn't want to buy anything without knowing that it'll be a distinct improvement on the current situation.


P.S.: I know that the PS3 remote control works with Bluetooth rather than with IR. From what I've seen the PS3 add-on to the Harmony is pretty pricey, so all things considered I don't think I'd necessarily need to get rid of all of my remote controls.

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"Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods
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Posts

  • wonderpugwonderpug Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Harmony is the way to go. I bought this IR receiver for my PS3 and it works great. It's just $20 now. Can't turn the PS3 on but everything else works fine, and it's visually very discrete.

    There's a ton of different sizes and shapes of Harmony remotes but you're really just paying for extra bells & whistles, so only buy the higher end ones if you really want the extras. The low-end ones work just fine, they just won't have as many buttons or as big and pretty a display.

    wonderpug on
  • PirusuPirusu Pierce Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    +1 for Harmony. I love mine.

    Pirusu on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Harmony.
    /end

    Improvolone on
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  • wonderpugwonderpug Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    FYI, here's why Harmony is so great. Other remotes still generally make you look up some X digit code for each device and punch it in. Once you have all your devices programmed in, you generally choose a device, then command that device.

    With Harmony, you program it on your computer. So much easier than looking up codes. The software lets you choose commands for each device, add/remove special commands, and it's all simple.

    Then you program activities: watch TV, play 360, listen to radio, etc. The remote knows the on/off state of every device, so when you say what you want to do next it automatically turns on every device you need on (and switches it to the right setting) and turns off every device that's no longer needed. Instead of hitting "TV" to change the channel, then hitting "Receiver" to get the proper volume controls, the "Watch TV" button automatically sets the channel buttons to control the TV and the volume buttons to control your receiver. It's brilliant.

    wonderpug on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Its ridiculously convoluted when you explain it, but when you use one you go oooooh.

    Improvolone on
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  • MadpandaMadpanda suburbs west of chicagoRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Keep in mind some of the lower end ones do have a rather small limit on the amount of devices they will control. I think the one i bought for $40 refurbed from compusa does 5 or 6 which is fine for me, but for some people this might be an issue.

    Madpanda on
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  • ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    If I may ask a somewhat silly question: I'm relatively comfortable with more than half a dozen remote controls, but I think my girlfriend is less so. To put it in reductive terms: how GF-friendly is the Harmony? (And no, I'm not asking whether it's got a vibrating function. :P)

    Thirith on
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    "Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods
  • HoundxHoundx Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Seriously, harmony remotes are awesome. We've got the 880 and we love it enough that we got my dad the new 700 for Christmas. I like the 700 better than the 880. So long as you don't mind charging via usb instead of the cradle, I'd totally suggest the 700 because of its nicer buttons and it's more comfortable to hold.

    All of that said, I totally am not willing to pay MSRP for them. We got the 880 refurb on Amazon for like $70. The 700 was full retail but came with a free $50ish ps3 thing - which is quite a bit nicer than the ir dongle that we had before that - and we're getting a decent rebate but I can' remember the amount.

    edit:To be clear, the 700 does come with a wall wart but you just plug a micro-usb cord into it and plug that into the remote.

    Houndx on
  • PirusuPirusu Pierce Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Thirith wrote: »
    If I may ask a somewhat silly question: I'm relatively comfortable with more than half a dozen remote controls, but I think my girlfriend is less so. To put it in reductive terms: how GF-friendly is the Harmony? (And no, I'm not asking whether it's got a vibrating function. :P)

    If you have everything programmed into it properly, it's very friendly. On my Harmony One, you set up "activities" which add a touch screen button, with what you're wanting to do. For example: "Watch TV" turns on my television, switches the TV to HDMI 1, turns on the sattelite box. When you hit guide, or channel up, it'll use the sattellite box, and when you hit volume up, it uses the the television. The "girlfriend-friendly" portion of it comes from just pressing the one button, and everything just works as it should (You can set up activities for just about everything, and it works the same way; if you have a receiver, it'll make sure that's on the proper settings too, and will use that for volume, etc).

    The part where it becomes unfriendly is, for example, when you move to a new apartment without a satellite box, and are lazy, and don't update your activities. :P You can still control things, but it's no longer a single button push.

    Pirusu on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    It is old people friendly which is infinitely more friendly than girlfriend friendly.

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Final question on my part: several of my components (A/V receiver, Bluray player, settop box) are about 1 1/2 metres to the left of the TV and the rest of the components. Is this a problem, or does the Harmony's IR cover broad enough an area in one go so I wouldn't have to split up the commands between the TV area and the receiver area?

    Thirith on
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    "Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I don't have the beam angle in front of me, but it shouldn't be a problem at only 1.5 m.

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Pirusu wrote: »
    Thirith wrote: »
    If I may ask a somewhat silly question: I'm relatively comfortable with more than half a dozen remote controls, but I think my girlfriend is less so. To put it in reductive terms: how GF-friendly is the Harmony? (And no, I'm not asking whether it's got a vibrating function. :P)

    If you have everything programmed into it properly, it's very friendly. On my Harmony One, you set up "activities" which add a touch screen button, with what you're wanting to do. For example: "Watch TV" turns on my television, switches the TV to HDMI 1, turns on the sattelite box. When you hit guide, or channel up, it'll use the sattellite box, and when you hit volume up, it uses the the television. The "girlfriend-friendly" portion of it comes from just pressing the one button, and everything just works as it should (You can set up activities for just about everything, and it works the same way; if you have a receiver, it'll make sure that's on the proper settings too, and will use that for volume, etc).

    The part where it becomes unfriendly is, for example, when you move to a new apartment without a satellite box, and are lazy, and don't update your activities. :P You can still control things, but it's no longer a single button push.

    It is everybody friendly. You could train a monkey to use it. It may require some small amount of skill to get programmed just how you like it (though the default setups, built based on the devices you own, will likely be "good enough") but to use? Easy as hell.

    The most girlfriend/old people friendly part, by far, has to be the "Help" button. Things not working the way they should? Point it at your stuffs and hit "Help." It will attempt to resend any appropriate commands (set receiver input, set TV input, etc.) then ask if it fixed the problem. Answer no, and it will start asking you yes/no questions..."is the cable box on?" Press no, and it resends the power toggle command to the cable box. It'll ask if it's on now, and if you say yes it will ask if that fixed your problem....if yes, then you're done. If no, it'll keep going down the line until all your shit is how it should be.

    Girlfriend tested, grandma approved.

    mcdermott on
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