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Topic # 205789 27-Nov-2016 11:38
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I have a Harmony One universal remote, which was great in its day but it's starting to annoy me, plus the touch screen is starting to fail. The main problem is isn't not reliably turning one device on any more.

 

My setup is:

 

  • Samsung TV
  • Onkyo recevier
  • PS3, with an IR to bluetooth adapter so it can be controlled by the harmony
  • WattsClever power saving device
  • Raspberry Pi 2 running Kodi, with a keyboard attached. It took a lot of work to get the R.Pi and Kodi working well with the Harmony.

The WattsClever listens for any IR command and turns on power to everything else, to save power. I have it listening for "TV Volume Up", and I have the Harmony one sending this as a custom "power on" command for the TV. It then leaves a second for the power to come on, then turns the TV on - that part works fine. My current problem is the Onkyo receiver doesn't turn on first time. I have it as the last device in the sequence in case it takes time to power on, I have plenty of delay in the Harmony setup, and the receiver rarely turns on first time. If I hit "help" the harmony runs through the sequence again and it usually turns on, if not the individual commands work. I don't know what it is, I've tried heaps, and I'm pretty sick of it. The Logitech software sucks, a dodgy web interface instead of a decent rich client. It took a lot of effort to get things like 

 

So rather than try and fix that, can anyone recommend a good universal remote? It needs to cater for this custom on sequence I use, and support those devices. I don't need a touch screen, I don't really like it. 99% of the time I just want to turn the same devices to watch the same thing. 1% of the time I may want to listen to the radio, use a custom HDMI input, etc, which I could do manually.

 

Is Harmony still the best around for complex setups like this or is there something else that's better? Are the non-touchscreen models decent, and is the software better now? I don't want a phone app, visitors need to be able to control the TV.





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Mr Snotty
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  Reply # 1678218 27-Nov-2016 12:41
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Yes Harmony is still by-far the best universal remote. My parents have got quite a complex setup so bought them a Harmony remote and have macros to turn everything on and they love it.

 

Had a look at the Harmony Hub? Sounds like it is what you're needing (especially if you've got an Amazon Echo).







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  Reply # 1678262 27-Nov-2016 13:21
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I don't think I need need hub, it looks like home automation from a phone. I probably need the cheapest Harmony remote, that's around NZ$50 or a bit less from Amazon. Is the latest software any good or is it still a PITA?





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  Reply # 1678293 27-Nov-2016 14:25
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My parents have the Harmony 650 which is fine however as far as the software goes it is made in Microsoft Silverlight so requires IE or Firefox to program it.





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  Reply # 1678333 27-Nov-2016 15:42
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I am a huge fan of the Harmony One and I dread the day it dies. It has given us faithful service for many years now.

 

Yes, the web interface required to programme it is brain dead, but the device itself is brilliant. Mine now controls so many things in such complex ways that if something ever goes wrong I wouldn't have a clue how it all works. I have it controlling a dozen different devices in different ways, switching HDMI inputs, that sort of thing. There are several different activities and I managed to customise it to operate the IR interface of a cheap Chinese air mouse that I used to interface with the PC, which acts as both a media centre and streaming device. I used AutoHotKey to assign new functions to the IR commands and I can fairly easily perform any computer operation from the Harmony. The number buttons work well to move the mouse. Other buttons perform various functions and there are menus with keyboard shortcuts for the other things. I also have an integrated HD PVR2 for HD recording. I could not live without my Harmony. I have my fingers crossed that the 650 can be made to do the same things when the One finally dies. Otherwise I am lost.

 

 





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  Reply # 1678338 27-Nov-2016 15:48
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It doesn't strike me that the issue is with the Harmony... more the Onkyo.

 

Does it turn on first time when you use the supplied Onkyo remote?




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  Reply # 1678414 27-Nov-2016 17:04
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Dunnersfella:

 

It doesn't strike me that the issue is with the Harmony... more the Onkyo.

 

Does it turn on first time when you use the supplied Onkyo remote?

 

 

Onkyo works fine with the Onkyo remote and with the Harmony One remote when I go into devices. I think there was something odd going on with sequencing. I set up my power saving thingy as a custom cable box, having it turn on first, and I think it's going to work better.

 

But the Harmony One is dying, the touch screen is failing. It's more than 5 years old so it's going ok. I might just replace with the latest model when it dies, though probably the cheapest model in the range.





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  Reply # 1678415 27-Nov-2016 17:13
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Had a Harmony One - which got damaged - so have had a Touch for the last year or 2.

 

Could not "live" without it.

 

Have set it up for a relatively complex set up incl - TV, Projector, Projector Screen, HTPC (Xtreamer Ultra), Nvidia Shield, Freeview DVR, BR Player, Xbox 360, Chromecast and an HD-DVD player even!

 

And the Activities I have set up (13 of them) make it so easy to turn everything on and off and then control them as I want to - so even guests can be zooming around Kodi and watching a movie via the projector after a 1min tutorial :)

 

The only thing missing is wifi so I can control the wifi LED lamps in the lounge....so when the Touch dies! :)

 

 

 

So yeah the Harmony One/Touch remains to this day my favourite tech purchase.

 

 


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  Reply # 1678421 27-Nov-2016 17:23
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The hub is a significant upgrade on the IR based harmony remotes. Because the hub is the IR emitter, and has bluetooth as well, it means you don't need to have the remote pointed at the gear for 30 seconds when you run a big macro. I really can't overstate how much better we like our Harmony Smart Control than our older harmony remotes. It's got 2 IR blaster outputs as well (it only comes with one blaster though.

 

The bluetooth is good too - it means you can use the keyboard in the app with Fir TV and Apple TV. 

 

Very highly recommended.




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  Reply # 1678431 27-Nov-2016 17:42
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Hub sounds nice, but I'd rather pay $50 than whatever it costs. I can't find the hub with a quick Google search, but it's US$92 on Amazon, so probably $200 here.





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  Reply # 1678528 27-Nov-2016 21:35
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I sold my Harmony One and went to the Harmony Ultimate.

 

It runs a TV, a Panasonic Blu-ray recorder, a pre-amp, a Mac Mini and an XBox One... oh and Philips Hue lights.

 

The blaster is the key - the remote itself is a little ergonomically challenged, but could we live without it?

 

Probably not.

 

It'll probably move downstairs in a few months time for a second TV... and the Harmony Elite will find itself into my home.

 

 


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  Reply # 1692531 19-Dec-2016 23:38
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Logitech Harmony Elite - $349 (equal cheapest ever according to PriceSpy)




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  Reply # 1692551 20-Dec-2016 06:47
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Thanks Sam. I got the existing Harmony working ok, by adding a new device to control the power saving system I use. Things seem ok now. I have no intention of paying $350 for a remote control, I'd rather use the ones that come with the TV and such.





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  Reply # 1692556 20-Dec-2016 07:31
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FWIW, I landed my Harmony Hub + Basic remote for ~$100 from Amazon after my previous Harmony (685 I believe) died.

 

Hub is pretty cool, as now you don't need line of sight between the remote and the devices (small upgrade but still quite cool). The remote is small and light and since it doesn;t have any screen, it runs on normal batteries for ages which is also cool. No more: "Can't use the TV cause someone forgot to put the remote back on the craddle"

 

For doing anything tricky, you can install an app on your phone and you get access to every single button that came on your original remote.

 

Quite happy I got it even though I was really gutted when my previous one died.


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  Reply # 1692569 20-Dec-2016 08:35
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I have a harmony touch around here that I could/should be able to dig out for you to try if you like @timmmay? It's been gathering dust for nearly a year and doesn't owe me anything if you want to have an extended trial.

 

I upgraded to a Harmony Elite and love it. The hub is definitely useful for my complex setup.




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  Reply # 1692572 20-Dec-2016 08:42
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Thanks @disrespective, that would be the second things you offered me (S3 before) and that help with the design stuff before as well. In this case I'll decline with thanks, the current remote is working well enough for now.





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