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A Discussion On Remote Controls

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Old 03-14-2006, 04:49 PM   #1  
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Default A Discussion On Remote Controls

In order to get some discussion started on the abilities of various remotes, I have put a discussion over on my blog. I would have put it here also, but the Forum software does not like fully formatted HTML pages, so please click the link to read the discussion and come back here to discuss. Thanks.

Click Here For: A Discussion On Remote Controls
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Old 03-15-2006, 11:43 AM   #2  
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Where I get lost is what exactly the downloadable programming available for some of the $200 or so remotes does http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/pr...CONTENTID=9933
- If it's just an easily viewed pick and click matrix or spreadsheet format to program from the computer that would work -
But with a single brand (sony) for the most used equipment - with a few of remotes at hand - I wonder if the complication of programming a universal remote for the oppo, pioneer, zenith samsung sharp infocus etc. equipment would actually add complexity by making the occasional tasks less intuitve?
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Old 03-15-2006, 11:46 AM   #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maicaw
Where I get lost is what exactly the downloadable programming available for some of the $200 or so remotes does http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/pr...CONTENTID=9933
- If it's just an easily viewed pick and click matrix or spreadsheet format to program from the computer that would work -
But with a single brand (sony) for the most used equipment - with a few of remotes at hand - I wonder if the complication of programming a universal remote for the oppo, pioneer, zenith samsung sharp infocus etc. equipment would actually add complexity by making the occasional tasks less intuitve?
The Harmony line of remotes has made the up-front setup pretty trivial by my understanding, even if you have a tricky setup with various brands, etc... They've solved the "useability" issues as well, including the ability to troubleshoot problems (ie, if video isn't on, it will walk through possible fixes on the remote).
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Old 03-15-2006, 02:23 PM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraterGrillo
The Harmony line of remotes has made the up-front setup pretty trivial by my understanding, even if you have a tricky setup with various brands, etc... They've solved the "useability" issues as well, including the ability to troubleshoot problems (ie, if video isn't on, it will walk through possible fixes on the remote).
I don't know about the trivial thing but after registering and downloading the 23mB file -- the "test drive" of the program didn't help me much - It didn't list my Sony34XBR800 _maybe they call it a 34XBR80? - and it seems to load a predetermined (limited?) set of functions for each device chosen - most of my remotes have a many times more functions than are availablel on the pictured unit - my XBR has 43 buttons + joystick+ 12 more on the numeric pad (55 total)-the sony A/V rcvr has 56 + joystick- the Harmony 880 looks like an ordainary VCR or Sat remote from the pictures (keypad + about 15 other buttons) - and the demo doesn't provide anything but more pictures of it. - A $500 touch screen remote would probably work better - but that's for the folks who buy $3000 DVD players and $50K triode amps IMO - [ Envy ]
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Old 03-15-2006, 02:35 PM   #5  
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maicaw you have just hit the reason I prefer the MX-850 over the Harmony remotes. With the LCD screen assignable buttons and the ability to learn your device remote IR commands, the MX-850 will absolutely be able to duplicate all of your device commands and functions. With the Harmony this will vary depending on the model, sometimes if at all. In reading your previous posts, I would say you would be happier with a MX-850 than any Harmony remote.

The problem with the MX-850 is it is marketed for professional use. A consumer can, and usually does, find the programming difficult to leard and quite frankly, the documentation that comes with them is lacking. Only after attending training and programming several MX-850s did I really know how to best program one. The touch screen units are yet again another level, so I would go for the MX-850 to be sure you will have success.
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Old 03-15-2006, 04:35 PM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbinck
maicaw you have just hit the reason I prefer the MX-850 over the Harmony remotes.
does anyone know what is missing when you buy the $199 MX-850 from these guys http://www.pricegrabber.com/p__Unive...search=MX-850+
e.g. http://www.compuplus.com/i-Universal....html#moreinfo
vs the $399 one from the B&Ms
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Old 03-15-2006, 04:48 PM   #7  
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The $399 is the full list price. We pay closer to the $200 range from our distributor. As far as I know, it is the same remote. Notice pricegrabber just echos other website prices, so until you get it ordered, you don't know what the final cost will be. Some internet sites are willing to make just the handling money.
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Old 03-15-2006, 07:59 PM   #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maicaw
I don't know about the trivial thing but after registering and downloading the 23mB file -- the "test drive" of the program didn't help me much - It didn't list my Sony34XBR800 _maybe they call it a 34XBR80? - and it seems to load a predetermined (limited?) set of functions for each device chosen - most of my remotes have a many times more functions than are availablel on the pictured unit - my XBR has 43 buttons + joystick+ 12 more on the numeric pad (55 total)-the sony A/V rcvr has 56 + joystick- the Harmony 880 looks like an ordainary VCR or Sat remote from the pictures (keypad + about 15 other buttons) - and the demo doesn't provide anything but more pictures of it. - A $500 touch screen remote would probably work better - but that's for the folks who buy $3000 DVD players and $50K triode amps IMO - [ Envy ]
In my experience, if you have the time and patience, you should be able to program every feature of your original remote into a Harmony (at least mine). Are you saying you use every single function of each one of your remotes? Don't judge a book by its cover. For my av controls, the Harmony has 10 pages of commands. You can scroll through the pages, the command is then assigned to one of the eight LCD panel buttons. So if your remote has a dot. to enter channel 7.1, the Harmony can ad that dot on the panel screen. I don't know if this answers your question, but other than the ez mic function many av remotes have, I'd be surprised if there is something your orginal remote is capable of doing that the Harmony can't.
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Old 03-15-2006, 08:30 PM   #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dels28
Are you saying you use every single function of each one of your remotes? .
yes
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Old 03-15-2006, 08:56 PM   #10  
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The 880 is comprable to the MX-850 bot in capabilities and price with a list of $399. The problem I have with Harmony remotes is the need to be able to access the internet. I can show up with my laptop and program the MX-850 without having to go on line. This is a big benifit for me.

The other problems with the Harmony is they make some really low cost units that many people think will do the high cost operations. The MX-850 is not as well known, so people do not over anticipate what it can do like they do the low cost Harmonys.
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Old 03-21-2006, 10:12 AM   #11  
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What do you think of some of the more budget priced remotes like the Universal R5G at $40. Is it a learning remote?
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Old 03-21-2006, 10:36 AM   #12  
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I think you get what you pay for. If you have the ability to set one of these up and train your family to use it, it will operate most systems. Yes it is a learning remote.

We would not sell this type remote to anyone because the programming cost would far exceed the price of the unit and nobody that wants to pay only $40-$50 for a remote wants to pay for setup.
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Old 06-15-2007, 02:02 PM   #13  
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I have a pretty good $20 phillips that has a learn feature. It helps out for when certain features dont get reconised by the original remote, I think its pretty good, only thing you have to hit some buttons a little harder then others but it has been a favorite for me.

Here it is, learn feature is and awsome
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1063670252761
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Old 08-07-2007, 03:07 PM   #14  
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Sorry, this may be a stupid question, but I don't understand how the learning remotes work. They "learn" the functions of remotes you already have. So does this mean you don't need the setup codes if you have the remote that the device originally came with?
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Old 08-07-2007, 03:45 PM   #15  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baboone View Post
Sorry, this may be a stupid question, but I don't understand how the learning remotes work. They "learn" the functions of remotes you already have. So does this mean you don't need the setup codes if you have the remote that the device originally came with?
Yes.
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