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OT but..... I need a universal remote

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    I'll chime in on the Harmony also. I have a 659 which I have been using for about 3 years now, and I have set up a 659 for my aunt and a 688 recently for my parents. The web-based wizards make setup and troubleshooting a snap, and the simple design makes the WAF very high.

    Rupp, the diference between the models is mainly button count and location of buttons, depending on what types of activities you are going to do most.

    I would trade in my 659 for the 680 or 688 because the location of the Play/Record/FF/REW/Stop/Pause buttons are a little ackward being at the very bottom of the remote.

    And if you go to buy one, look around. You can find them for significantly less than the SRP.


      FYI, The new Harmony 890/895 have builtin ZWave support.



        Take a look at the Pronto line, the NEO is cheap and after a slight learning curve with the out-dated software will control anything. I've bought four, I get them off Ebay at approx $40 each. They did retail for $250+ but most people who bought them did not upgrade the firmware (the stock firmware is useless and buggy) and returned them as no good. I control everything with these, lights, sprinklers thermostats and AV equipment of course (all via a USBIRT, that awsome little black box). Anything you can control with HS can be performed with the Neo. You also get custom bitmaps (I have the HS logo on mine) , learning and discrete codes (vital to a decent family remote IMHO)
        If you want to buy one on Ebay try to find one that doesn't come with the cable that is nessesary for programming as most people do not bid very high on these ones so you will get a good deal. The cable can be made in ten minutes with a 1/8" stereo plug and a DB9. I can send a link or Google it.
        Also helpful is "Neohacker", a small Java app that lets you get the most out of this under rated remote.

        I'm sure you've already checked but is a great resource.

        Happy New-Year!


          Ok, we all have to chime in, The cost is prohibited for most, but NOTHING compares to my Home Theater Master MX3000 touch screen remote. It controls all my AV, X10 and sprinklers (well did at my other house) it is still packed away with my AV gear, waiting for the new addition to be built
          Over The Hill
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          Virtualized Server 2k3 Ent X86 Guest on VMWare ESXi 4.1 with 3 SunRay thin clients as access points - HSPro - ZTroller - ACRF2 (3 WGL 800's) - iAutomate RFID - Ledam - MLHSPlugin - Ultra1wire - RainRelay8 - TI103 - Ultramon - WAF-AB8SS - jvESS (11 zones) - Bitwise Controls BC4 - with 745 Total Devices - 550 Events - 104 scripts - 78 ZWave devices - 42 X10 devices - 76 DS10a's 3 RFXSenors and 32 Motion Sensors


            I will second nickmcgibbon on the Pronto remotes. You can pick up a TSU1000 or 2000 pretty cheap on ebay. The Pronto series are hands down the most flexible remote out there - you can customize/program them to do just about anything. But that's also the gotcha - there is a learning curve with their programming software. But if you can deal with HS, the Pronto software should be no problem.



              I've been using the Theater Master MX-700. EZ to program & update with the MX-Editor software. They are now a lot less expensive now then when I purchased.

              Last edited by lpcalcaterra; January 1, 2006, 09:50 AM.


                I just bought a HArmony 680. Works very well and was easy to setup with macros. I also have a MX500 that I like.



                  I bought a Harmony 628 from Sam's Club. I connected it to my laptop, updated the firmware and communications software and proceeded through the web based setup. It was a breeze to set up and use. I'm amazed at the fact that I can push one button and turn on my receiver, TV, and DVD player all to the proper modes with one button. Thanks for the heads up on the Harmony remote.
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                    I use the pronto family for my personal systems. I have a few TSU1000 and TSU2000 and 1 iPronto. The Pronto line has done one thing for me, caused me to never buy another Philips product, Not because the Pronto does not work, it does; not because it isn't (IMHO) the best remote; because it comes close to that especially with the iPronto. It is because of the way Philips treats its customers and supports its products, Once again the iPronto in particular. They made marketing statements and never lived up to them. they essentially dropped the product and said too bad to you people who purchased it based upon what was described. I know they can do that (the infamous subject to change clause) but then again they should know I no longer have to buy their products, any of them; my subject to change clause.

                    With regard to IR remotes that do macros as most of them do; some people especially family, friends, others a little older, do not seem to realize that you have to keep pointing the remote at the "devices" for some time (generally short) after you release it and think you are done. Some of those strings in complicated startup macros can take some time.

                    For that reason my designs in HT use a PC to receive the IR from the remote, with the rule that if you press anything on the remote, only one short IR pattern comes out and the teltale at the front of the room blinks. The PC issues commands to the equipment using whatever is needed by the equipment (IR, RS232, ....) with the correct code and timing for the device. It is what all the crestron and AMX systems (and their ilk) do. Obviously Homeseer with its IR capability could do the same, i.e. act as the PC/IR controller in a HT.


                      Harmony's new reomtes will cover the above issue that Barry describes. The new line of remotes will RF and have and IR base that will do all the commands thru the little IR emitters that you may have placed on your AV equipment already. I have no issue with pointing the remote while the green light is lit, but on occasion my sig other forgets about the little green light and finds herself in a pickle with some AV toys not ready to work correctly...... well I start to laugh and gain the INSTANT RIGHTS back to controlling the remote..


                        Actually, the Harmony's timings are all controllable as well. It shouldn't be any slower than Barry's method, but it should be a *ton* cheaper and easier to do.

                        I used to think I was going to use the PC to do IR code controls and use sensors to check the power status of every device.

                        For the $$$, it's not worth it -- the Harmony tracks the state of every device based on which buttons you press. If it ever gets out-of-sync, you can use the simple Help button which simply asks you about the state of devices and -- when it finds the one that's not right, switches it. Presto, back in synch.

                        I've been very, very satisfied with the capabilities of the Harmony series.



                          I second what Dan states and I already have an Ocelot and the distributed IR. It is simply an amazing device.
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