Programmable Remote recommendations

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by bt-rtp, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. bt-rtp

    bt-rtp Icon

    Dec 29, 2005
    What is the latest and greatest in programmable remotes such as the Logitech Harmony product line ?

    I have a home theater with a HR24-500 and my Harmony model 676 is worn out after 4 years of use.

  2. nickff

    nickff Legend

    Dec 8, 2007
  3. mdavej

    mdavej Hall Of Fame

    Jan 30, 2007
    You can't use latest and greatest in the same sentence with harmony. If you buy the 700, for example, be prepared to lose all but 6 devices. If you buy the 900, be prepared to lose sequences. Logitech continues going backwards with its feature set with each new model. The very latest 300 does a whopping 1 activity. That's right, 1.

    If you want a remote that won't wear out after only 4 years (I have 10 year old one-for-alls still going strong), you should consider something more durable, like URC for example.
  4. Mike Bertelson

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

    Jan 24, 2007
    I have both a Harmony and the URC MX-810. I perfer the MX-810 because it's more flexible and will do macros of any length. The Harmony will only do sequences of 5 steps.

    Beyond that they do pretty much the same things.

  5. larryah

    larryah AllStar

    Jul 29, 2010
    I have a Harmony One and a 700, both have been excellent performers and trouble free after more than a year. They are easy to program, and can do just about anything you want. They work well with DTV equipment (HR24-500s) and with an adapter they can controll Bluetooth dvices such as PS3s. They are not cheap, but you get what you pay for, and customer service is excellent.
  6. mjwagner

    mjwagner Icon

    Oct 8, 2005
    I have a Harmony 900. I love it, but I don't need sequences...
  7. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

    Aug 31, 2002
    If you have an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, download the free L5 remote app, which allows you to build the interfaces for numerous remotes.

    You can do everything except assign codes to the buttons you have created, and control devices (you need the $40 dongle to do that)

    The little dongle (plugs directly into the iPad power connector) turns your device into a uni remote, designed by you. That is available from Amazon for $33.

    Unbelievably cool, inexpensive, ergonomics designed by you. It's just killer on the iPad.

    One of my pet peeves is that the most important button (mute, of course) is usually tiny and hard to find because its grouped in a sea of similar-looking buttons (that is why I never warmed up to the Harmony interface; cool idea and concept, poor execution on the button layout. Here the button layout is entirely up to you). I design my interfaces so that mute is the largest, most-prominent button of the bunch, and leave off buttons I never use. Theoretically, you could design a remote with one (mute) button 9" in diagonal on the iPad if you want an extreme example. You can also swipe from remote to remote.
  8. RoberMR

    RoberMR AllStar

    Oct 23, 2007
    I have 2 HR-24s, Sony AV receiver, Panny BlueRay player, Panny DVD recorder, Technics CD player, Sony EX500 TV.

    I control all of these devices with 1 Harmony 870. It's similar to the Tivo peanut remote in shape. It has a rechargeable battery and comes with a charging cradle. It can control more devices than I can think of.

    This is an "Activity" based remote. To program it, you go to the Logitech web site, select your remote model, then start defining your devices by manufacturer and model numbers. Then you define activities. For example, Watch TV using DVR1. Watch BluRay, Record DVD, Listen to Radio, etc. Then you assign devices that are used in each activity.

    In our case, when we select Watch TV using DVR1, it will power up the TV, set it to the proper input, then turn on AV receiver, select the correct input. Then if you want to watch a BluRay movie, it will power up the BluRay player, change the inputs on the TV and the AV receiver without turning everything off and starting over. When you're done using the system, it turns everything off when you hit the "Off" button. Each device is cusomized with options such as "leave it always on (for DVRs, etc.)

    The remote remembers what state it left every device in so that next time you want to use it, it knows what state it left the TV and the AV receiver in, so that if you want to watch TV using DVR1 but last night you were watching something using DVR2, it knows to change the inputs on the TV and AV receiver after it turns them on.

    The Harmony database has most of the commands for the different devices. If it's missing any commands, the device has the ability to learn from the original remote.

    Once the remote is programmed and working, the entire profile of the customized remote is stored at the Harmony website under your account. This way, if something happens and you lose the programming on the remote, all you have to do is to logo on to the website, connect your remote to the computer and download the setting in no time at all. Also, if the remote breaks and you replace it, you don't have to re-program the new one.

    It used to be that I always worried about what state I left the system in in case my wife wanted to watch TV when I wasn't around, etc. No more, the Harmony knows what to turn on and what inputs to use.

    I can't comment on macros because I have not had reason to set one up for any of my uses. It seems like the whole remote operates like it is a huge set of macros.

    I am totally happy with this remote and I expect that other Harmony models operate in a similar way.

    Good Luck

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