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129 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 113914 1-Feb-2013 08:45 Send private message

Looking to get a universal remote to control everything in my home theatre setup, anyone have any suggestions?

Needs to be able to control
TV: Samsung
Amp: Poineer
Sat box: GOG
Bluray player: PS3

GOG is a brand I never herd of until the TV guy installed it, seems to work fine but would need the universal remote to work with it. Also imagine the PS3 could be tricky because it is bluetooth, but imagine there is a IR to BT adapter that can be used.

Really only want to spend $100, could stretch to $200 if really had to...

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821 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 25

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  Reply # 754224 1-Feb-2013 08:54 Send private message

Logitech Harmony all the way. There's a massive range of them, don't go for the low-end ones with no screen though as you'll be stuck with the 'hard' keys only -- the ones with the screen let you add commands that there isn't a dedicated button for.

Harmony will work with literally any device ever - it has a ludicrously massive database of devices which grows continually. You setup all your devices and activities via an app on your PC or Mac, then connect the remote via USB to sync it all across. In your case you could create a one-tap activity called 'Watch Blu-Ray' which with one button press will turn on your TV, change it to the right input, turn on your amp and set it to the correct input, and turn on your Blu-Ray player. When you're done, pressing the power off button will turn off all the devices the activity was using. Magic.

PS3 is not a problem. Go to the warehouse or look on trademe for one of the cheap 3rd party PS3 IR remotes which include a USB dongle. Plug that into your USB port on your PS3, add the PS3 as a device to your Harmony, and chuck the crappy remote that came with it in a cupboard. Works like a charm with the exception of power on and off. Not a biggy.

Have fun!

204 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 754225 1-Feb-2013 08:54 Send private message

I would suggest you look at one of the Logitech Harmony series; there is bound to be one in their range which will fit your requirements and price bracket.  Shop around, prices can vary a lot.

I use a fairly low-end Harmony at home to drive DVD/TV/PVR, and it works well for me.  Unfortunately, the wife can't get the hang of it, and it drives her nuts, so be aware that YMMV!

1472 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 106


  Reply # 754233 1-Feb-2013 08:59 Send private message

+1 for the harmony , i have had one for 2-3 years and it controls my amp, mysky and tv but even the ones without the screen are fully programmable, i can set any button on the remote to a function on the device but you do need a PC to do it and it does take a bit of time to get it right.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 754235 1-Feb-2013 09:00 Send private message

Which model of harmony is the cheapest that rules them all?




Apologies for poor typing standards when on Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE/iPad 2 Wifi

869 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 51


  Reply # 754238 1-Feb-2013 09:01 Send private message

+1 for the Harmony, take a look on TradeMe as I got a 785 for $60 that was basically brand new so you don't need to break the bank

1814 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 754244 1-Feb-2013 09:05 Send private message

jamesrt: I would suggest you look at one of the Logitech Harmony series; there is bound to be one in their range which will fit your requirements and price bracket.  Shop around, prices can vary a lot.

I use a fairly low-end Harmony at home to drive DVD/TV/PVR, and it works well for me.  Unfortunately, the wife can't get the hang of it, and it drives her nuts, so be aware that YMMV!

Really? I think my wife has forgotten how to use the original remotes - I have ongoing permission (no approval necessary) to purchase a new Harmony should our existing one kark it.

I would say if you have WAF issues with a Harmony, it is not setup correctly. They do take a bit of tweaking, but once setup, they are brilliant.

821 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 754247 1-Feb-2013 09:09 Send private message

joker97: Which model of harmony is the cheapest that rules them all?


Here is the current range available to New Zealand:
http://www.logitech.com/en-nz/harmony-remotes

Like I said -- avoid the ones without a screen, you will almost certainly find some function that one of your devices can do that isn't catered for with the 'hard' buttons.

4626 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 754249 1-Feb-2013 09:15 Send private message

The cheap harmonies are pretty limited in capabilities now, it didn't used to be that way.

Also the cheap usb dongle route doesn't allow for you to start the unit from memory.

Harmony do a really good PS3 unit add on but it's typically about another $100 on top of the base remote.
Worth it though.

5925 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 754250 1-Feb-2013 09:17 Send private message

I control my TV, amp, and PS3 with a Harmony One. I don't find the screen that helpful, you can always remap an existing button to do what you want too.

I have the official PS3 adapter, it accepts IR and outputs bluetooth (I think) so it can turn the PS3 on and off. I can't remember what it cost, less than $100, and it completely automates turning the system on and off.




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iPod 2G
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Lots and lots of Nikon camera gear

5925 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 754251 1-Feb-2013 09:20 Send private message

Incidentally, I have one of these things from Jaycar. They turn power off to all components once draw falls below a level you set, then turns it back on once it sees a remote command you program into it. I have it set so when I hit the TV volume up command it gives power to the system, which through the Harmony system I do by defining the power up sequence as

TV volume up
Pause
TV On

My system would draw $120 worth of power while in standby each year, the little gadget costs $20 so it's a quick win.




Asus eee pad transformer
iPod 2G
Windows 7 PC
Lots and lots of Nikon camera gear

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Uber Geek
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Telecom NZ

  Reply # 754253 1-Feb-2013 09:25 Send private message

Counterpoint.

I have a Harmony One, and have had 2 others before that (525 and 785)

Their software is galactically awful. They haven't and won't update it to acknowledge that Bluray players exist (You can control them, but they are called DVDs).

They haven't updated their icons for 5+ years (except for the newest remote) and show no signs of adding new icons to match Bluray players, ATVs etc.

Cheers - N

382 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 10


  Reply # 754258 1-Feb-2013 09:30 Send private message

+1 on the Harmony range. And the PS3 adapter is around 50 bucks. you can pick it up from some place like PB Tech or trademe. I sold my one for about $30 bucks so keep an eye out on trademe.




No, I will not fix your computer

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 754259 1-Feb-2013 09:31 Send private message

Their software isn't great, but it works. Icons and names don't bother me.




Asus eee pad transformer
iPod 2G
Windows 7 PC
Lots and lots of Nikon camera gear



129 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 3


  Reply # 754261 1-Feb-2013 09:33 Send private message

timmmay: Incidentally, I have one of these things from Jaycar. They turn power off to all components once draw falls below a level you set, then turns it back on once it sees a remote command you program into it. I have it set so when I hit the TV volume up command it gives power to the system, which through the Harmony system I do by defining the power up sequence as

TV volume up
Pause
TV On

My system would draw $120 worth of power while in standby each year, the little gadget costs $20 so it's a quick win.


Thanks! If the wife isn't bugging me about all the different remotes it is about how much power I'm wasting by not turning off at wall...

Looks like Logitech Harmony range is the go, will do some research over the weekend.

1099 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 32


  Reply # 754271 1-Feb-2013 10:04

Talkiet: Counterpoint.

I have a Harmony One, and have had 2 others before that (525 and 785)

Their software is galactically awful. They haven't and won't update it to acknowledge that Bluray players exist (You can control them, but they are called DVDs).

They haven't updated their icons for 5+ years (except for the newest remote) and show no signs of adding new icons to match Bluray players, ATVs etc.
 

I have to agree- I have a 525 - their setup software is terrible!
Their database of devices is huge though.

I have driven myself nuts though trying to get activities to work properly.
I have a G10 panny plasma. The standard TV remote has a power toggle button. The device on the logitech setup now shows that they have a discrete on/off code - and in fact this does what it says. ie press 'power on' on the logitech remote when the TV is on just leaves it on. 'Power off' turns it off - nice.

Do you think I can get the 'watch DVD' activity to send the 'power on' to the TV? - NOPE! - it always seems to do the equivalent of the power toggle - so half the time the TV turns OFF. I have spent quite some time mucking about with it but have given up (for now).

Other than that - they are also an awesomely powerful remote - they must blast out about 4 or 5 times more infrared signal than a standard remote - none of this taking aim at the device to get the remote to work. You can often wave it around the room while you are using it and it will work.




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Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it it himself - A. H. Weiler

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