Looking for new universal remote

Discussion in 'Home Theater PCs & Equipment' started by Liver, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. Liver

    Liver [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,516
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Please recommend a remote for me. TV is in one room and all the components are in a closet, that is in a different room. All wiring through the walls.

    So I need a IR remote to control the TV and an RF remote to control everything else (satellite, receiver and Apple TV). The latest Harmony remotes are confusing to me. Example, they ship with a “hub” and I understand that is actually the device that sends the IR signal?

    For my set up, would I need 2 hubs?

    I used a Harmony 880 for years, it just isn’t supported any more. Can’t update the remote, and the product is about 10 years old.

    I absolutely do NOT want to use my phone or tablet for this.

    If the Harmony Elite does it, I’ll buy it for $300.

    Edit. It’s fine if it comes with an app for phone, I don’t want to be required to use it for functionality.
     
  2. Vengance_01

    Vengance_01 [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,542
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2001
    I like my basic harmony 650. They can be had pretty cheap. How many functions do you have to support?
     
    The Lurker likes this.
  3. Liver

    Liver [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,516
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Just 2 right now, maybe three in the future. Satellite and apple tv. The issue is requirement for IR and RF at the same time. IR for the TV and RF for the satellite, apple tv and receiver.
     
  4. Vengance_01

    Vengance_01 [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,542
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2001
    I missed that. Does the apple tv support cec HDMI input so you can control it with the tv remote. The fire sticks can but not the roku not sure about apple
     
  5. Liver

    Liver [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,516
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    I don’t know. It’s odd though, I can control the receiver, Apple TV and satellite receiver via network (WiFi to switch). The LG TV does not support it, and most likely never will. So that leaves me with two technologies again.

    IR and network or IR and RF.

    The Apple TV supports Bluetooth but that’s the only device that does.
     
  6. Vengance_01

    Vengance_01 [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,542
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2001
    I think your only option is the expensive harmony hub and remote
     
    Liver likes this.
  7. Liver

    Liver [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,516
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    I still have all the IR blasters that came with the 880. I wonder if they can be used?
     
  8. westrock2000

    westrock2000 [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,351
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2005
    The Apple TV 4 (4K) also supports IR still. The old remotes work perfectly fine for basic control (although loosing the additional functionality of the new touch remote).
     
    Adidas4275 likes this.
  9. Liver

    Liver [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,516
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Only the TV is in line of sight. Every single other component is in the media closet.

    It’s a new house with a new TV and satellite (used to have cable and TiVo) so I needed to program the remote. Which I no longer can.

    The 880 is a legacy product and the OSX program doesn’t even recognize the remote. I think it’ll be fine if I had a windows machine, but I no longer have that. Nor do I have access to one.

    It’s a combination of errors.
     
  10. Vengance_01

    Vengance_01 [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,542
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2001
    run a windows vm on your mac
     
  11. Liver

    Liver [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,516
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    That’s a great idea.

    At this point it seems I’m being an obstructionist. I’d need to get some sort of VM software and Windows license. Do all that to run a single program, to support a device that’s 10 years old when much better remotes are available.

    I was hoping to find someone that would let me use their computer to do this.

    Realistically I think it’ll end with me getting a new remote.
     
  12. TroubleMagnet

    TroubleMagnet Gawd

    Messages:
    524
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    The harmony hub that comes with the elite comes with two IR blasters and I think the hub sends IR as well. So you should be able to put the hub in the cabinet and run one of the IR blasters out to control the TV. I suppose you could put the hub outside and run the blaster(s) in too if you wanted.

    The phone app is just required for setup. I don't touch it otherwise and just use the remote 99% of the time.

    I also tie it in with my home automation stuff, may not be a factor for you.
     
    Adidas4275 likes this.
  13. WhoMe

    WhoMe Gawd

    Messages:
    737
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
  14. Liver

    Liver [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,516
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    What kind of signal does the remote send out? The actual remote, not the base?

    I’m hoping it’s exactly like the 880. Where the remote is IR and RF. Then the base is gets the RF and sends IR. I’ll find out in a couple of days
     
  15. TroubleMagnet

    TroubleMagnet Gawd

    Messages:
    524
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    The actual Elite remote is all RF (not sure on the flavor) and the hub + blasters do all of the IR. Unless their docs are wrong :)
     
  16. TroubleMagnet

    TroubleMagnet Gawd

    Messages:
    524
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    I've had good luck with the Harmony remotes. I've only had one die on me, the Harmony One, but it lasted a bit over 8 years. Note it wan't dead, just the battery was dying and had expanded so much I couldn't get it out without destroying the case. One of the lower end ones that is even older is still kicking, uses 4xAAA batteries so that may help.
     
  17. WhoMe

    WhoMe Gawd

    Messages:
    737
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
    I had the opposite experience a $200 remote failed a month after warranty, figured it was bad luck, got another same thing happened. Just anecdotal of course but after twice being burned I don't want to try again whereas I have a Universal Remote I use heavily and is now 10 years old (but it doesn't have blue tooth so now I have to use a separate remote on my TV, still it does everything else). Maybe I just had really bad luck. I just wish the new Universal remotes were about 1/2 the price.
     
  18. Liver

    Liver [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,516
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    I went to BestBuy today to buy the Elite. They had a remote and a hub for $70 (normally $130), I decided to take a chance.

    The iPad app was exceptionally easy to set up.

    Remember I needed an IR and RF remote?

    What I did was tie a stout rope to my HDMI cable and pulled it through the walls. Then I used the string and pulled the HDMI cable (back) and a 1/8 headphone extension cable through the walls. The cable only needs to have one channel, but I had this cable.

    I put the Harmony hub in the closet, and used the IR mini blaster in the main room (connected to the hub via the provided connection and the headphone cable).

    I discreetly glued the mini IR blaster to my TV. Looks great. It works.

    Awesome.
     
  19. Commander Shepard

    Commander Shepard Proud Brony

    Messages:
    3,098
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2016
    I've been very pleased with my Harmony hub setup. I control everything in multiple rooms from my phone and/or iPad.
     
    TroubleMagnet, Liver and Adidas4275 like this.
  20. Icy006

    Icy006 [H]Lite

    Messages:
    76
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    The harmony hub is great. I have one in each of my TV cabinets, and it shoots IR all over the place quite effectively.
     
    TroubleMagnet and Liver like this.
  21. Icy006

    Icy006 [H]Lite

    Messages:
    76
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    ...in fact I just ordered a third harmony hub for my bedroom because we got sick of leaning over to accurately point our harmony 650!