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Universal Remote

Discussion in 'Hardware Lounge' started by Zak, Jun 12, 2007.

  1. Zak

    Zak Active Member War Zone Member

    So what is the hot remote these days? I've had pronto's in the past, a Neo, but never had one of the tactile ones. Read a lot about the Harmonys a while back but never pulled the trigger. My mother in law is coming over a lot more lately and watching our kids and she cannot figure out how to use the 5 remotes to change from watching tv to watch a DVD.

    TV: Vizio 47" LCD
    Receiver: Pioneer
    DVD Player: Cheapo Samsung
    VCR: Older Hitachi
    CD Player: Parasound CD-1500
    Cable Box: High Def Comcast box

    Would like to get these devices working with it if possible.

    Would like to keep the price under $500.

  2. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    Harmonies, no questions asked. If you had run some sort of poll, of the people here who own a universal, I bet it would be 90% Logitech Harmony(ies). They have models all over the pricing map from $100 to $500+.
  3. Alfer

    Alfer New Member

    No question...Harmony all the way. Easiest family friendly remote out there...even if they mess something up on it, they can hit the "Help" button on the remote and get back on track.
  4. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    Dude, Alfer and I agree on this, that's pretty much a given that you are done looking ;)
  5. Zak

    Zak Active Member War Zone Member

    Good to konw. thanks guys. What is the best one for the money right now? Say one at Costco for $150. I think it was the 740 or something like that. I'll ahve to go to remote central and see what's new.
  6. Alfer

    Alfer New Member

    My parents have the 676 I think it is and love it...I have the 550....any one of them will do the job. All I ever do is use it to switch everything on/off, change inputs to watch either SAT or DVD...nothing else really extravagent so I saw no need to spend big bucks on one since the buttons used most will be the SAT buttons and "PLAY" "FF" "PAUSE" etc...
  7. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    I have an 880. I'd look at that, the 890 and 1000 if you want to splurge.
  8. Michael

    Michael Junior Geek


    There can be only one!
  9. Zak

    Zak Active Member War Zone Member

    Thanks CJ. i was lookign at both of those, but found some odd reviews on Amazon about them. Have you had any issues with the battery not holding a charge? I'll have to check out the 1000.
  10. Alfer

    Alfer New Member

    That would be my biggest fear with that unit...rechargeable batteries, no matter what device uses them, always seem buggy and in time troublesome.

    My parents Harmony and my 550 can go several months on a good set of Energizer AA batteries.
  11. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    I have not. Alfer keeps bringing it up but (and I'm not implying ANYTHING that I'm not actually saying here) to the best of my knowledge, he doesn't have any experience with them.
  12. Alfer

    Alfer New Member

    But everyone pretty much knows that rechargeable batteries of ANY kind can be buggy and in time peter out abrubtly or stop holding charges for long periods (like when new)....Unless Harmony mastered the whole rechargeable battery thing, I wouldn't 100% trust them. The remote however is cool if you like lots of bells and whistles (and plan to use them).

  13. Saurav

    Saurav Active Member War Zone Member

    I have a rechargeable battery in my DAC. The first one ran for about 3 years before it died. The second one's at around 1.5 years now. So I don't know that rechargeable batteries of any kind can be buggy.

    Granted, these are large-ish SLAs, but you said any kind ;)
  14. Troy Seufert

    Troy Seufert New Member

    For an alternate opinion I really like the Home Theater Master Universal Remote. I have the MX-500. It does both IR and RF, is programmable with macros, etc. I really like the large, solid buttons and construction of the thing. It doesn't look like they make the MX-500 or MX-700 anymore, but have a new line that looks very similar. You could probably find one of the older models for dirt cheap on eBay. My friend just got the MX-500 for I think $49.95.

    Here is their corporate website.

  15. Zak

    Zak Active Member War Zone Member

    The URC 900 and 950 get some pretty amazing reviews. Not are pretty as the Harmonys. Mmmm. Pricing is about the same with the Harmony 890 and the URC MX-900
  16. Michael M

    Michael M Active Member

    I've picked up 2 Harmony 880s on JR.com. They are refurbs for $99 ea! Love 'em! They list for $249, JRs has them for $159 (not refurb).
  17. Allen

    Allen New Member War Zone Member

    Three Harmonys (all 688s) in our house for 4-5 years - all work like a champ. (Battery consumption is very, very low)

    One warning to support Alfer's comments about rechargeables:
    I tried to help a friend this weekend who got a new (color screen) Harmony from Costco just last week. It has rechargeable batteries, but the cradle it sits in is really, really, lame - there's no way to tell if it's charging or not, b/c there's no "click in" or fail-safe contact made when the control sits in the cradle, and no light flashing even to show it's still recharging (in fact, the control face goes black after about 5 seconds, even when in the cradle).

    Of course, it was sold without a real manual, so I couldn't check, but I'd bet there's no doubt a way to "fix" the blackout thing - but I still wouldn't want a universal with that kind of recharging system, period.
  18. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    Interesting. My 880 has a graphic that comes up indicating that its charging before it goes to black. Are you sure there's no charging graphic?
  19. Shane

    Shane Active Member

    My 890 has a charging graphic. I would recommend one if you don't have line of sight with your gear.

    If you do then get the 880.

    The 890 is $249 from JandR. I highly recommend them.

    I've had ZERO issues with my rechargables.
  20. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    $224 from Amazon Harmony 890

    $142 for the 880. Both great prices from a good source.

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