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Help me select a Logitech Universal Remote

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Help me select a Logitech Universal Remote

Old 12-16-08, 01:26 PM
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tpc
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Help me select a Logitech Universal Remote

My quick backstory:

I've been slowly upgrading my living room home theater setup. I owned a 360, and have always been a movie buff, but was always stuck with standard def stuff. Earlier this year, I bought I purchased a 42" Sharp Aquos. Then I purchased a (cheap) sylvania Upconverting DVD player. I know it's not top end, but the thing actually does a hell of a job for the price I paid for it. Of course, I bought all the cables to get the max quality out of things, and then upgraded to DirectTV because my cable company just wasn't cutting it in the HD Department.

I've been mulling a surround sound system, because that's my next logical step

I just found out that my wife purchased me a really nice HTIB set up from Onkyo.

It's the HT-S5100, for those keeping score at home. I can't wait for Christmas to set it up and wake the neighbors. I don't have a huge room, so I think the quality and featureset will be more than sufficient. In fact, I'm perplexed on how I'm going to actually set up a 7.1 speaker setup. My room is really too small for it... but that's neither here nor there.

As we all know, recievers add an additional layer of complexity to things, and i'm going to need to simplify things to increase the WAF. She isn't TOTALLY technologically inept, but even switching the inputs on the directtv remote can be a hassle.

So I'd like to add a Logitech Harmony to the mix, and consolidate the remotes for the TV, Satellite, DVD, and soon to be the reciever into one.

I have MOST of it consolidated to the universal capabilities of the Direct TV remote, but it doesn't, of course, allow you to do some of the more specific adjustments on each device, but that's alright. Most day to day functions are there.

The features I'd NEED on the logitech are The ability to mimic the DVR functionality of the DTV box. I need easily labeled buttons for accessing the program list.

I see that they have one that is designed for the 360 (which would be nice, since we've become fans of streaming Divx and Netflix via the 360). That would be a nice feature, but wouldn't be absolutely necessary.

I'll be adding a PS3 to the mix for BluRay, so any capabilities in that regard are a plus.

And primarily, it needs to allow her to select things like "Watch a DVD" and have everything sync up the way it needs to be (reciever, player, TV if necessary.)

I've looked over the logitech site, but what has me concerned is that it's hard to read the buttons, and there are no online manuals (unless I'm entirely missing them) so it's hard to see the button mapping.

I'm sure the $500 touch screen remote would do it, but obviously, I don't want to spend that if unnecessary. My wife is kind of hard on electronics, so I'd like to keep the device she uses as simple and inexpensive to replace as possible.

Recommendations, all?
Old 12-16-08, 02:34 PM
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Well if the the Harmony ONE is in your budget I would go with that one. If not take a look at the 550 and see if that will work. Best Buy has the 550 for $49 and I think they are knocking off $50 any Logitech remote.
Old 12-16-08, 04:08 PM
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I have the 880 and really like it. I think it's pretty simple to use and has the rechargeable base. You shouldn't have any problems finding all of your components in the Logitech database. And if it's not there, you should be able to teach your remote the device.

Keep in mind that the PS3 remote works with Bluetooth and not the usual IR signal. The Harmony can be made to control the PS3 but you will need to buy an IR to Bluetooth converter that will plug into your PS3.
Old 12-16-08, 04:15 PM
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I have the 880 and love it. Wish some commonly used buttons were bigger, but that is my only issue with this excellent remote.
Old 12-16-08, 05:32 PM
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I upgraded from the 880 to the ONE when the contacts went bad on the 880 and it wouldn't recharge anymore.

It's night and day to me. The ONE feels better, has fewer (and BIGGER) buttons in a much better layout, and is very customizable.

Great touch screen as well. When everything is off it shows all the activities it's set up for (DVR, Oppo, HD-DVD Player, DVD Recorder, PS3), and when I activate one it turns on and off everything flawlessly (it won't turn on or off the Ps3, but it controls it for everything else). When I'm watching TV, I have pages set up that have the station logos for most of the channels I watch (I stink at remembering numbers).

It's worth twice what I paid for it easily.
Old 12-16-08, 06:58 PM
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What did you do with the 880 that failed?
Old 12-17-08, 12:06 AM
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If your sure you want a Logitech, then you really just need to go look at them. They all program and pretty much work the exact same way. It is only the button types, layout of buttons, screen type and if it has a rechargable battery that makes a difference.
Old 12-17-08, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
If your sure you want a Logitech, then you really just need to go look at them. They all program and pretty much work the exact same way. It is only the button types, layout of buttons, screen type and if it has a rechargable battery that makes a difference.
This is definitely true for me. Three years ago I bought the 680 model. The button layout was ideal for me with the hard buttons labeled for items only found on DVRs and with the play,stop and pause around the directional ring. I also preferred the more durable feel of the gem buttons over the rubbery ones of their other models. They all program the same but it was these things that decided it for me.

I can't believe they only sell the 670 now from the 600 series. Even though they program the same it is nice when guests need to use it if the button I program for Live TV doesn't have an UP directional label on it. Out of all of the new models I would buy the one with the most hard buttons rather than soft since I like to use it by feel and not need to take my eyes off my display to find what I want.
Old 12-17-08, 08:58 AM
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I've got a 550, and it's fantastic. It's really no-frills, but for $50, nothing else can compare. It's light, thin, and easy on batteries (eneloops).

I would caution against the XBOX version of the 520, just because those buttons come at the expense of the placement of the menu and buttons that my DVR would use.
Old 12-17-08, 09:58 AM
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Thank you all for the valuable input.

In the end, I went with the 550 because of the incredible price. When I told the wife last night about the purchase, she seemed genuinely excited for the prospects of simplifying things, so I figure for 50 bucks it's worth a shot. If I really fall in love with it, I can always resell or repurpose this one and upgrade, but it seemed a good way to jump in and save a few dollars.

Again, thanks all. I don't post here often, but I'm always impressed with the knowledge and advice of the DVD talk community.
Old 12-24-08, 02:08 PM
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I just got the Harmony One from my girlfriend as a Christmas present. I love it!
Old 12-24-08, 04:52 PM
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Harmony 520 %30 shipped, just got mine in the mail
http://cgi.ebay.com/Logitech-Harmony...3A1%7C294%3A50
Old 12-24-08, 06:22 PM
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I just got the 620 and I love it. It is so great to have only two remotes the 620 and the one for the PS3. I had 7 remotes, I wish I had got it sooner.
Old 12-24-08, 08:50 PM
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When I bought the 880 a few years ago, it was easily the best home theater purchase I had made. Every time my friends upgrade their equipment, or go all out buying a new setup, I suggest one of these remotes. They always come back saying they cost too much. I figure, if you're going to spend a few thousand on your equipment, you might as well throw in a $150-200 remote. Having one remote that does everything automatically is awesome.

It means less phone calls from the girlfriend as well.
Old 12-24-08, 11:24 PM
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I got the 670 on a deal from Amazon and really like the button layout. Personally, I'd go for a bargain here and see how you like these.

Besides the eBay deal about on the 520 for $30... Currently you can pick up a new Harmony 550 from Best Buy for $49.99. Here's the link.

-beebs
Old 12-25-08, 11:58 PM
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I'm seriously considering purchasing a Harmony, probably the 880, to control my HTIB, HDTV, and FiOS box. Problem is, the Verizon FiOS remote is not in Logitech's database. They say that one of their techs can walk you through the setup of a non-listed component, but I'm interested in some first-hand reports. Has anyone had to manually program a Harmony with a non-listed component and, if so, how did it go?
Old 12-26-08, 11:35 AM
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I'm setting up the system today. I'll post impressions sometime this weekend.
Old 12-27-08, 11:10 AM
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I got all the speakers mounted and (almost) everything connected, so I broke out the new 550 and set it up. Ideally, I'd love for it to have about 4 more buttons for some common functions, but it's not bad at all. The wife seems to approve, and thats ultimately the goal... so success.

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