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Best remote?

Old 01-28-07, 11:11 AM
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Best remote?

I know that this has been covered numerous times over the years, butI needed some updated help on choosing the right remote for what I have.

Surprsingly I actually don't have a home theater system as we plan to have the basement finished off and transformed into a media room of sorts. Therefore I wanted to hold off on that until everything was finished, and besides the $$ will be put into completing that first before the Home Theater System.

So my set up is actually pretty meagre compared to what I know some of you guys have.

Here's what I have:

Phillips 55" HDTV
Stereo System (through which I have TV sound fed thru)
Cable box with DVR
Sony DVR
Apex (extremely basic model, but I have it hacked to multl regional)

I'm looking to spend in the $150 range.

Any suggestions/pointers I would appreciate.
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Old 01-28-07, 02:17 PM
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I used to think spending in the range of $100 bucks on a Logitech Harmony was absolutely insane. And then I bought one - I was wrong. These things are great.

I only have the one I'm using (550), but some of these guys can probably let you in on the plus/minuses of the other models.
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Old 01-28-07, 02:35 PM
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I thought the same thing before getting my Harmony 676. But if you've got more than 2 or 3 devices, it's well worth it. It's so much easier just being able to hit one button and everything's on/off. And much easier when company visits. And of course not having to tote three or more remotes to the sofa.
I think the Harmonies are all rather similar, with a few exceptions:
button layout/quantity
number of devices supported
screen [text or picture, mono or color]
regular batteries or built in rechargeable battery

Any Harmony should be able to handle all of your devices, with the possible exception of your stereo [though I wouldn't be surprised if it did drive it].
In my mind the Harmony offers a good balance between one-button ease of use, and programmability. If you're really into programming your own macros for ultimate flexibility, you'll probably want something else, but if your "macros" are somewhat consistent, the Harmony should do fine [like Turn on TV, Turn to input 5, Turn on Receiver, turn on input 3, turn on cable box, go to channel 100.]

One more thing about Harmony: Somehow I managed to lose my battery cover while recharging the batteries. I emailed support, and they sent me a replacement cover free. Points for that.

There used to be a picture of the main Harmonies so you could compare their button layouts, but I can't find it anymore.
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Old 01-29-07, 01:22 AM
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I also never thought I would spend $200 for a remote. Once my girlfriend moved in, she could never get the hang of using 5 remotes, so I bought the Harmony 880. Easily one of the best investments I've made.

Setup was simple.
Very rarely does a macro not work, and it has a simple "help" feature on the remote.
Rechargable batteries, which is nice. I'm tired of replacing batteries.
I don't get phone calls at work asking how to turn on the tv.
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Old 01-29-07, 02:14 AM
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Out of the Harmony models that are currently available, which one does everybody like?
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Old 01-29-07, 08:19 AM
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I have the Harmony 659 and it does everything I need. Great remote. I'm still addicted to my TiVo peanut, so I didn't replace it even though I could of.

I think the 880 seems to be the Harmony to get right now. The price ranges from $120ish to $250, so be on the lookout for sales.

Edit: Amazon has the 880 for that $120 range after rebate, but it ends today 01/29.

Last edited by Chew; 01-29-07 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 01-29-07, 08:29 AM
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1- Never apologize for your system.

2- I am also endorsing the harmony. I made my way through a few universals before i settled on the harmony. it was a lot of wasted money.

to me, the harmony is a no brainer for anyone looking for a universal. in terms of which harmony to choose, that is strictly up to you.

what do you plan on upgrading to in the future? some are better designed for tivo, some are better for media center, and others are better if you dont plan on using any of those. it's only difference is button layouts really.

macros are there but they arent traditional macros. there is no limit to macros though as you can use the software.website to customize whatever you want.

you could theoretically press one button to turn on tv, turn on dvd player, turn on receiver, switch tv input to dvd, receiver input to dvd, dvd player to automatically eject so you could insert a disk, turn down your lights, close you blinds, lower the room temperature and have your wife get you a beer. ok, it cant do the last one.

i have the 880 but got it as a gift when it first came out at $250. you can get lucky and get one around $120.

there are many models out there. choose the right one for you.
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Old 01-29-07, 05:48 PM
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I got the Xbox 360 Harmony remote (not speficic to xbox) on sale for $60 from Amazon, and it is really really good. Very easy to configure and it works great.

The only thing that sucks about it is the transport controls have no rhyme or reason to their placement, which makes using them without looking difficult. Pretty stupid to drop the ball on something like that, when they got all the hard parts right but there you go. I haven't seen any Harmony Remote with what I would consider a perfect button layout unfortunately. Couldn't they just copy the TiVo remote??
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