best universal remote in the 200-500 dollar range?

J

jnboone

Junior Audioholic
Suggestions? Anything better than the Harmony Elite?
 
Bucknekked

Bucknekked

Audioholic Field Marshall
I have been using Harmony remotes for over a decade. Work great. Most of all, my wife understands them. That's worth all the money and effort.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Can't imagine why I'd want to spend $200-500 on a remote when a $60 Harmony does very well and is easy to program from the Logitech database. Been using a 650 and 600 model for several years. Is this for just an a/v system or more?
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
Can't imagine why I'd want to spend $200-500 on a remote when a $60 Harmony does very well and is easy to program from the Logitech database. Been using a 650 and 600 model for several years. Is this for just an a/v system or more?
Not all systems and equipment are in front of the user- for them, an RF transmitter/base is needed. Unfortunately, they can be subject to interference and since more equipment is being designed to operate with IP commands, some of the hubs are able to use that and it's more reliable. It also allows using an Amazon Dot/Echo, Google Home or some other device to control the system through the hub and to integrate with lighting, etc. Obviously, not all will use or need this but it does introduce some interesting possibilities.

I want to get Siri and Alexa in an argument and then, leave my house. I expect to see a SWAT team when I return.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
IMHO the only thing missing from Harmony remotes is RS232. The HUB based remotes are very easy to use and regularly go down to $70 in price which includes the hub and remote. It can use IR, bluetooth, and IP control. I've never had an issue with it disconnecting from wifi or anything like that.

I have three of them and they work pretty much perfectly.
 
davidscott

davidscott

Audioholic Samurai
IMHO the only thing missing from Harmony remotes is RS232. The HUB based remotes are very easy to use and regularly go down to $70 in price which includes the hub and remote. It can use IR, bluetooth, and IP control. I've never had an issue with it disconnecting from wifi or anything like that.

I have three of them and they work pretty much perfectly.
It would be nice to own one of these if only for backup use. Do they work with audio and video equipment? My stuff is at least 2008 and newer. Sorry for the dumb questions but I have never owned one of these and now have around 12 remotes around my place.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
It would be nice to own one of these if only for backup use. Do they work with audio and video equipment? My stuff is at least 2008 and newer. Sorry for the dumb questions but I have never owned one of these and now have around 12 remotes around my place.
Harmony has the most extensive database, contrary to what URC tells dealers at training. Harmony also introduced the 'Help' button to the remote industry and as much as URC likes to dump on Harmony (the ONLY company they mentioned at the last training session I attended),guess who added a Help button to their remotes.

Yes, they work with audio, video, security DVRs, lights, shades, thermostats, you name it. You can also use a Google Home or Alexa to tell the hub what you want it to do- it's just a matter of adding skills to the Home or Alexa. Harmony can also learn codes, if needed- hub, or not. Their support team is very good, too.

I started working with Harmony remotes in 2003- the range of devices that it can control is vast.

WRT RS-232, I think IP will take over soon enough, so controllers that use 232 will be a dying breed.

Other than the Companion, which only has three activity buttons that can function six activities (long and short press can be used for different activities) and no screen, the rest of the hub-based remotes are excellent and very customizable. One thing that can be annoying is the touch screen sensitivity causing changes that aren't intended. Well, users/programmers also have the ability to select the needed duration of the screen contact, too.

https://support.myharmony.com/en-us/compatibility
 
davidscott

davidscott

Audioholic Samurai
Harmony has the most extensive database, contrary to what URC tells dealers at training. Harmony also introduced the 'Help' button to the remote industry and as much as URC likes to dump on Harmony (the ONLY company they mentioned at the last training session I attended), guess who added a Help button to their remotes.

Yes, they work with audio, video, security DVRs, lights, shades, thermostats, you name it. You can also use a Google Home or Alexa to tell the hub what you want it to do- it's just a matter of adding skills to the Home or Alexa. Harmony can also learn codes, if needed- hub, or not. Their support team is very good, too.

WRT RS-232, I think IP will take over soon enough, so controllers that use 232 will be a dying breed.
Damn you sold me. I'm gonna have to check Prime since I have some bonus $$ available. Thanks!
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
Damn you sold me. I'm gonna have to check Prime since I have some bonus $$ available. Thanks!
In 2007, I set up a system for some people who have a den for the AV and he wanted to play music throughout the first floor. One day as I was tweaking the remote programs, their daughter sat down next to me and wanted to watch a movie, so she looked at the remote, pressed the DVD button, saw that it went to the Home screen and that the remote was then showing the transport buttons on the touch screen, so she pressed 'Play' and sat back to watch her movie. She was 3 years old at the time.

That Fall, I was there to discuss some additions with her dad and at one point, she went to him and whispered something, which made him chuckle. He told that she had said she doesn't like going to her cousin's house because she doesn't like the way their system works.
 
davidscott

davidscott

Audioholic Samurai
Thanks everyone again for all the info here. Prime has a 665 for $49.99 delivered so I just might just have to check that out.:)
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
Thanks everyone again for all the info here. Prime has a 665 for $49.99 delivered so I just might just have to check that out.:)
I would go this route instead. This has Bluetooth, up, or, wifi control. Much more versatile than the IR only model you are looking at.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
I would go this route instead. This has Bluetooth, up, or, wifi control. Much more versatile than the IR only model you are looking at.
The one in your link only controls a max of 8 devices- not a problem if the system only has 8, but many have more. Also, the 655 has the LCD screen and commands can be added for each activity to customize and the only way to add a lot of controls with the Smart Control is if the smart phone is used. That said, if the phone is used to control the system and the actual remote is used as a convenience, it makes for a very robust control system for the price.
 
DigitalDawn

DigitalDawn

Senior Audioholic
Not a fan of Harmony. We prefer to use URC for our clients.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
Not a fan of Harmony. We prefer to use URC for our clients.
The tech support department at URC needs to be cleaned out or trained, based on my last several attempts although I was so fed up that I stopped calling a couple of years ago, so it may have improved. I told Brett K about one call and I thought his head might spin off- I had some problems with an MX-780 and asked the support agent if I should send the file to him so he could check it and his response was "I don't know what good that would do". The last two times I called were in regard to the dim screen on MX-780 and those calls were fine- the other times were different problems.
 
D

Davidk

Audiophyte
New to forum—-Seeking advice on best remote control options where RF required . All equipment which will be brand new ( AV, cable box, blue ray etc) and is behind a wall in a room behind the room where TV is. Assume either a Harmony or Universal MX. Are Harmony or Universal Brand better for RF? Which models? Reliability? Appreciate your help.
 
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