Have Remote Controls Become Obsolete?

Are Universal Remote Controls Obsolete?

  • Yes. IP control and Phone is the way to go.

    Votes: 4 17.4%
  • No. I still love a programmable universal remote control

    Votes: 17 73.9%
  • What? I'm still spinning vinyl and getting off my butt to change the volume.

    Votes: 2 8.7%

  • Total voters
    23
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
I have a harmony and never use it because it’s laggy. Phones too are laggy and require way too much effort to use IMO when the IR remotes that come with products are instant.
Make sure your network connection allows the phone to communicate with the hub without lag- that's usually where the problems occur- do a speed test with your phone AT the hub's location. I just tested my hub and pressing Pause caused the music to stop and start almost instantly.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
Sure, like most of this forum for that matter where just getting clean water is a real problem.
Milwaukee is a good example of that- the city has known about the problem with inner city residents being poisoned by the lead pipes since the mid-'70s, but always kicked the can down the road, saying that they're waiting for money to fix the problem.
 
T

Tenno6

Enthusiast
Make sure your network connection allows the phone to communicate with the hub without lag- that's usually where the problems occur- do a speed test with your phone AT the hub's location. I just tested my hub and pressing Pause caused the music to stop and start almost instantly.
The lag I’m speaking of is either in the remote itself being laggy in its software and for phones more the physical latency of having to navigate touch screens which are, IMO, still terribly designed from a UI perspective. Not lag as in actual button pressed to device registering the press.
As far as my IoT setup goes i don’t have any network latency and my entire house is wired with higher end equipment and two large 48 port switches with vlans etc to optimize everything lol.
My harmony isn’t even connected anymore. I prefer just grabbing the remote for the device I need to fine control especially since in most cases the device loading up the content is sufficient at controlling other devices once they have been calibrated to desired levels.
 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic Samurai
The lag I’m speaking of is either in the remote itself being laggy in its software and for phones more the physical latency of having to navigate touch screens which are, IMO, still terribly designed from a UI perspective. Not lag as in actual button pressed to device registering the press.
As far as my IoT setup goes i don’t have any network latency and my entire house is wired with higher end equipment and two large 48 port switches with vlans etc to optimize everything lol.
My harmony isn’t even connected anymore. I prefer just grabbing the remote for the device I need to fine control especially since in most cases the device loading up the content is sufficient at controlling other devices once they have been calibrated to desired levels.
Why do you need two 48 ports switches for, presumably, a home network?
 
Eppie

Eppie

Audioholic General
mostly for expandability and powering cameras and access devices for main and guest house.
Yes, if you use power over ethernet and can hard wire devices it sure beats replacing batteries every year.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
The lag I’m speaking of is either in the remote itself being laggy in its software and for phones more the physical latency of having to navigate touch screens which are, IMO, still terribly designed from a UI perspective. Not lag as in actual button pressed to device registering the press.
As far as my IoT setup goes i don’t have any network latency and my entire house is wired with higher end equipment and two large 48 port switches with vlans etc to optimize everything lol.
My harmony isn’t even connected anymore. I prefer just grabbing the remote for the device I need to fine control especially since in most cases the device loading up the content is sufficient at controlling other devices once they have been calibrated to desired levels.
How far from the hub are you when you try to use the remote or phone and how well hidden is the hub? If it's behind several barriers, it can't be expected to receive RF signals and the remote communicates with the hub over BT, which doesn't have the range of WiFi, but that's a difficult thing to stuff into such a small package along with the rest of the innards. While it's true that smart phones can do a lot, there are reasons for using BT vs WiFi but I'm not one of the designers.

Some latency issues have to do with the programming, especially if someone adds custom delays (or doesn't when they're needed), extra steps for input switching, etc. Have you used the troubleshooting steps to fix any of the commands or activities? I would suggest that, if you want to get it to work. Some (many) devices need a fairly long delay between power on and any other command and that's not the fault of the remote manufacturer, it's the nature of the controller in the piece of the equipment. Before I knew about the need for long delays with some brands, I had some terrible problems getting systems to do what I wanted, then I was told that Denon AVRs needed more than five seconds between Power On and any input command. Denon didn't tell me, it was another integrator and I had attended several Denon training sessions, too.


.
 
T

Tenno6

Enthusiast
How far from the hub are you when you try to use the remote or phone and how well hidden is the hub? If it's behind several barriers, it can't be expected to receive RF signals and the remote communicates with the hub over BT, which doesn't have the range of WiFi, but that's a difficult thing to stuff into such a small package along with the rest of the innards. While it's true that smart phones can do a lot, there are reasons for using BT vs WiFi but I'm not one of the designers.

Some latency issues have to do with the programming, especially if someone adds custom delays (or doesn't when they're needed), extra steps for input switching, etc. Have you used the troubleshooting steps to fix any of the commands or activities? I would suggest that, if you want to get it to work. Some (many) devices need a fairly long delay between power on and any other command and that's not the fault of the remote manufacturer, it's the nature of the controller in the piece of the equipment. Before I knew about the need for long delays with some brands, I had some terrible problems getting systems to do what I wanted, then I was told that Denon AVRs needed more than five seconds between Power On and any input command. Denon didn't tell me, it was another integrator and I had attended several Denon training sessions, too.


.
I’m not talking about latency in communicating with the hub or devices. I’m talking about latency in the remote software itself. Latency in navigating remote ui.
 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic Samurai
I’m not talking about latency in communicating with the hub or devices. I’m talking about latency in the remote software itself. Latency in navigating remote ui.
When I recently replaced my decade old RF based Harmony with the Elite I found the Elite to be much snappier than the old one. There is not much, if any, speed difference between the Elite and the remotes for the LG OLED or the Denon AVR.
 
MR.MAGOO

MR.MAGOO

Audioholic General
Here's the lovely Emma Peel relaxing watching TV with a secure wired remote controller, no risk of interference from Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, AM/FM, or cell phone waves! :)

IMG_3536.JPG
 
Eppie

Eppie

Audioholic General
Here's the lovely Emma Peel relaxing watching TV with a secure wired remote controller, no risk of interference from Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, AM/FM, or cell phone waves! :)

View attachment 49639
Hah! We had an ultrasonic remote for our black and white Zenith TV. Nothing more satisfying than hearing that "PING" and then hearing the motorized tuner change the dial. I give you... the Zenith Space Command.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
I’m not talking about latency in communicating with the hub or devices. I’m talking about latency in the remote software itself. Latency in navigating remote ui.
Is this latency in increments of whole seconds, small parts of a second...?
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
Hah! We had an ultrasonic remote for our black and white Zenith TV. Nothing more satisfying than hearing that "PING" and then hearing the motorized tuner change the dial. I give you... the Zenith Space Command.
My aunt & uncle had a TV with one of those- they also had a Boxer that liked to chew on things which produced frequencies that it really hated, so they resorted to telling my cousins to change the channel or adjust the volume, for a while. My uncle happened to be an engineering technician at AC Delco, so he knew how it worked and set out to make a replacement, partially because he was very cheap, because he knew how and to make it a learning experience for the kids. He got a short piece of Aluminum and drilled a hole in it, cut grooves in a wooden dowel and attached the Aluminum to the end of the dowel. He would rub a pen along the grooves to make the dowel, and therefore the Aluminum, vibrate- at first, he had ballparked the length as a starting point to find the frequency that made the channel change, then filed the bar shorter to raise it. Once he found the frequency, he added an Aluminum piece to the other end and got it to do something else- I don't remember if it was for the volume control or turn it on/off.

The dog still hated it, but they had learned to put the new 'remote' in a place where the dog couldn't get to it.
 
Eppie

Eppie

Audioholic General
My aunt & uncle had a TV with one of those- they also had a Boxer that liked to chew on things which produced frequencies that it really hated, so they resorted to telling my cousins to change the channel or adjust the volume, for a while. My uncle happened to be an engineering technician at AC Delco, so he knew how it worked and set out to make a replacement, partially because he was very cheap, because he knew how and to make it a learning experience for the kids. He got a short piece of Aluminum and drilled a hole in it, cut grooves in a wooden dowel and attached the Aluminum to the end of the dowel. He would rub a pen along the grooves to make the dowel, and therefore the Aluminum, vibrate- at first, he had ballparked the length as a starting point to find the frequency that made the channel change, then filed the bar shorter to raise it. Once he found the frequency, he added an Aluminum piece to the other end and got it to do something else- I don't remember if it was for the volume control or turn it on/off.

The dog still hated it, but they had learned to put the new 'remote' in a place where the dog couldn't get to it.
What a coincidence. We also had a boxer in that house with the Zenith. The dog didn't seem to be bothered by the remote though. The original house owner (friend of my dad's) had removed the back of the TV and installed it flush into a wall. Above the TV was a 60 gallon aquarium that he made himself. Sure am glad that never sprung a leak! :D

Much like your uncle my father and his friend were do-it-yourselfers. This was the same house where the upstairs stereo consisted of a Scott kit-built tube amp and tube tuner and a DIY variation on the Klipshorn corner cabinets using Electrovoice drivers and cross-overs. Lots of hand built items in that house.
 
Teetertotter?

Teetertotter?

Full Audioholic
I use our RC-73 Directv Satellite remote, to turn on and off the TV, Denon, AVR, and Directv Receiver. I use eArc and the DTV remote works well. I seldom use the DVD player and will use that remote.

My wife has no requirement for a programable remote other than using DTV remote for TV and DTV receiver.

I do have a Harmony 650 that I used for a couple years and might reprogram for the equipment I have today. It would give me something to do as would give me a spare remote.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
I’m not talking about latency in communicating with the hub or devices. I’m talking about latency in the remote software itself. Latency in navigating remote ui.
Are you talking the physical remote or the app? If you're talking the app, it sucks and I never use it. The remote itself is pretty much instant for me.
 
T

Tenno6

Enthusiast
Are you talking the physical remote or the app? If you're talking the app, it sucks and I never use it. The remote itself is pretty much instant for me.
Both lol. The remote probably isn’t that bad but all the animations switching Between menus might as well be latency IMO. Just waste of time having to watch menus slide around.

it’s honestly been a long time since I’ve used it since I just rather pick up the remote I need. Usually Apple remote is all I need unless I’m watching a Plex movie with atmos and need to switch to shield tv or make settings adjustments in avr/tv.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
Both lol. The remote probably isn’t that bad but all the animations switching Between menus might as well be latency IMO. Just waste of time having to watch menus slide around.

it’s honestly been a long time since I’ve used it since I just rather pick up the remote I need. Usually Apple remote is all I need unless I’m watching a Plex movie with atmos and need to switch to shield tv or make settings adjustments in avr/tv.
Animations? My remote has buttons only. Never saw a use for the ones with a screen, just an added cost without actually being all that useful.
 
C

cpd

Audioholic
Animations? My remote has buttons only. Never saw a use for the ones with a screen, just an added cost without actually being all that useful.
I have two Ultimate's. The screen actually is pretty helpful-especially for programming buttons that don't have a natural fit on a hard button or programming controls for a secondary device. For example when watching through my streaming device, I like to have certain options available for my AVR and TV without having to toggle over to the menu of commands for those devices or remember what hard button I programmed the command to.

I for one will really miss the Harmony line. That said, I am frustrated with it right now. Over the past few months Amazon must have pushed updates to its streaming boxes because I have problems maintaining bluetooth connection between my Harmony and those boxes. My main system has a Fire Cube that I think I have fixed, but my bedroom (an older Fire TV - the flat square kind) will not reconnect no matter what I do.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
What a coincidence. We also had a boxer in that house with the Zenith. The dog didn't seem to be bothered by the remote though. The original house owner (friend of my dad's) had removed the back of the TV and installed it flush into a wall. Above the TV was a 60 gallon aquarium that he made himself. Sure am glad that never sprung a leak! :D

Much like your uncle my father and his friend were do-it-yourselfers. This was the same house where the upstairs stereo consisted of a Scott kit-built tube amp and tube tuner and a DIY variation on the Klipshorn corner cabinets using Electrovoice drivers and cross-overs. Lots of hand built items in that house.
That uncle built a Sherwood amplifier kit and built his speakers from various drivers in end tables. The tops were marble and he added a 3" space around the bass enclosures, filled with sand. He knew the kids would probably crank the crap out of the stereo once they could reach it, so he dialed the max output down, using his various test equipment. He knew what he was doing- he had worked on projects for the Apollo missions and military tank weapons/tracking systems.
 

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