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Harmony Question.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by Mike Bertelson, Sep 9, 2009.

  1. Sep 9, 2009 #1 of 14
    Mike Bertelson

    Mike Bertelson 6EQUJ5 WOW! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I have an Universal Remote Control MX-810 and I plan to get an MX-880.

    Before I upgrade to the MX-880 can someone explain to me what the equivalent Harmony does that the MX-880 can’t?

    • It creates the same activities as on the Harmony and they are editable.
    • The software for the MX-880 is not web based and has a huge IR database. The one thing it doesn’t have that I need is my Octava HDMI switch but it will learn from the OEM remote.
    • I can have as many different configurations as I can create and upload any one of them to the MX-880 that I choose.
    • Up to 48 devices...ok that’s a bit ridiculous. Who needs to support 48 devices?
    • As many macros as will fit into memory each up to 255 steps.
    • I can create and use custom, color icons for the LCD screen as well as custom backgrounds(I use Gimp to create the png files).
    • Lithium ion battery but no cradle. I wish it had a cradle but I can live without it.
    • Supports RF via RF base.
    I know you Harmony fans are fiercely loyal so before I drop a bunch of money on a remote are the advantages of a Harmony over the other universals?

    Mike
     
  2. Sep 9, 2009 #2 of 14
    olguy

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    The Harmony remotes do not have macro capability. They have a sequence of up to 5 steps that's not all that helpful. The One can use icons for the soft buttons for channels but I don't know if you can use them for other things. Not sure as to the number of activities but I currently have 7 set up.

    If the programming isn't 'net based, where does the data base for all the devices reside? Just curious.

    The main advantage I see to the Harmony One is $199 on amazon vs $499 for the MX-880.
     
  3. Sep 9, 2009 #3 of 14
    Drew2k

    Drew2k New Member

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    Squareyes has created some beautiful icons for Harmony One favorites, but each activity is limited to only 16 favorites.

    Known as Sequences in Harmony parlance, macros of 5 steps or fewer can be added to soft-keys or hard buttons on the One. If you need to have a macro with more steps, this can be simulated with a custom activity where you specify each device you need and custom build a list of commands to send at activity startup. I have never seen a limit on the number of steps here, but the drawback is you have to "leave" your activity to start a "fake" activity to run the macro (which starts when you start the "fake" activity) and then return to your previous activity.

    The Harmony One has a very large IR database, all web driven. You specify the device type, input the brand, then the model, and it's almost always found. You can learn your own commands from the original remote if it's not in the database or if you want to customize it.

    PS - Just found this at AVS Forum: Harmony One vs. URC MX-810 - AVS Forum
     
  4. Sep 9, 2009 #4 of 14
    Mike Bertelson

    Mike Bertelson 6EQUJ5 WOW! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    The software has a function to go out and get the updates. It's a button on the toolbar. The good thing is you can search through the database for what ever you want. My TV remote has a TOAD for power. I searched the database for other Panasonic plasmas that I knew had discrete On & Off IR codes. I found ones that would work and copied them over the On & Off buttons on the device definition for my TV. I now have discrete On/Off. :D

    Amazon may have it listed for $499 but if you go to an authorized dealer you can get it much cheaper. Not as low as $199 though. :grin:

    I have some macros that are >5 steps so I would have to divide between two or three custom buttons...not likin’ that too much.

    Mike
     
  5. Sep 9, 2009 #5 of 14
    Mike Bertelson

    Mike Bertelson 6EQUJ5 WOW! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I have a Harmony 550 so I'm very familiar with programing them. I was hoping the higher end Harmony's would have greater flexibility.

    Mike
     
  6. Sep 9, 2009 #6 of 14
    Mike Bertelson

    Mike Bertelson 6EQUJ5 WOW! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Here's a question...Can you Edit the Activity, e.g Watch TV?

    Mike
     
  7. Sep 9, 2009 #7 of 14
    olguy

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    Like Drew mentioned and I forgot (CRS don't you know :p) you can include a lot of things at activity start up. In fact, that's how I get it to do the 11 key strokes to turn on CC on the 622. I have one activity to turn on the Tosh, Onkyo and 622. Another that does all that but also turns on CC.
     
  8. Sep 9, 2009 #8 of 14
    olguy

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    Yes. Just start up the software, make the changes then plug in the One to the USB and tell the software to Update My Remote. And add and remove devices. And add and remove activities. Pretty easy really. The hardest thing is deciding which soft buttons you really need for something like a DVD recorder/player or any device really.
     
  9. Sep 9, 2009 #9 of 14
    Drew2k

    Drew2k New Member

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    Cool ... you're ahead of the game!

    Yeah - this would be just like on the 550. After creating the activity you can customize it to add or remove devices, set the keys up, control the order of IR commands sent, etc.
     
  10. Mike Bertelson

    Mike Bertelson 6EQUJ5 WOW! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I haven't programed my 550 in about a year so bear with me here (it's not even installed on my new laptop yet so the last time I programmed it would have been last summer).

    Can I search through the IR database and try out different buttons to find a discrete code for say inputs on my TV...or anything else for that matter?

    Mike
     
  11. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    Basically I find the web-based setup on the Harmony trumps all others. Sure, you think you only spend a little while setting up the remote, but when it's so easy to do, you'll make all sorts of little changes and and the final experience will be worth the time.
     
  12. Mike Bertelson

    Mike Bertelson 6EQUJ5 WOW! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    How it's programmed isn't as important to me as functionallity but having done both I so much prefer software on my local machine.

    I have 15+ configurations for my MX-810 (a couple of which are for testing). I can upload any one of them. I can also click and drag commands from one to another(the one I'm dragging to has to be the the one loaded in the software).

    That's why I wasn't happy to hear the XSight was going to be web based.

    It certainly seems that, other then macros, there isn't anything my MX can do that the Harmony can't and vice versa.

    I'm having a hard time getting past the macro thing though. I'll have to consider some more.

    Mike
     
  13. olguy

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    Should have mentioned this about macros yesterday. But like I said, CRS gets me frequently :p

    There have been a couple of posts in other threads on this forum about teaching a Harmony a macro if you have it on another remote. You do that by teaching the Harmony the key of the other remote in the raw mode. And from what I've read, if you're holding your mouth just right, the planets are in perfect alignment, you don't spill coffee on it while doing it and you are making the right incantation it will work :lol:
     
  14. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    You're right on track with that. I've tried to learn multiple keys on the same key but it's rough. It's a shame that a Harmony sequence can only have 5 items but most of what I do will work with 5 button pushes.
     

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