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
Stanton

Stanton

Audioholics Contributing Writer
How is it that in 2 pages of a Universal Remote thread I don't see a single post about URC remotes (I have owned a URC MX-450 for ~10 years)?
Logitech was not the only (or even best) universal remote, so good alternatives still exist. Anyone remember the Memorex CP-8 or Marantz RC-2000 (still have both)? Now those were remotes ahead of their time!
 
C

cpd

Full Audioholic
How is it that in 2 pages of a Universal Remote thread I don't see a single post about URC remotes (I have owned a URC MX-450 for ~10 years)?
Logitech was not the only (or even best) universal remote, so good alternatives still exist. Anyone remember the Memorex CP-8 or Marantz RC-2000 (still have both)? Now those were remotes ahead of their time!
Many many years ago I owned a URC remote with an RF extender. The system worked pretty well, but it was a pain to set up. I recall having a hard time getting the programming software and instructions and that programing it was not very easy. I think they made it that way to provide a revenue stream to dealers. Is it still that way or has the programming become easier/more consumer-friendly.

Frankly, that was the reason I switched to Harmony. Things change in my setup enough that ease of programming was essential. From my experience, the harmony line was much easier to use as well and I had far fewer problems with it. But, whenever my Harmony remotes die I am going to have to find another solution so I'd be interested to hear more about the newer URC remotes and any other options out there. Is anyone out there using the Seven Hugs remote?
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
How is it that in 2 pages of a Universal Remote thread I don't see a single post about URC remotes (I have owned a URC MX-450 for ~10 years)?
Logitech was not the only (or even best) universal remote, so good alternatives still exist. Anyone remember the Memorex CP-8 or Marantz RC-2000 (still have both)? Now those were remotes ahead of their time!
Find me a URC remote that's a simple as my companion remotes and I'm game. I don't need an a$$load of buttons and that's what turned me off the URC offerings at the time. Plus, they're a pain to set up (that's not an issue if they work great, which everyone says they do). I'm all ears.

 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
How is it that in 2 pages of a Universal Remote thread I don't see a single post about URC remotes (I have owned a URC MX-450 for ~10 years)?
Logitech was not the only (or even best) universal remote, so good alternatives still exist. Anyone remember the Memorex CP-8 or Marantz RC-2000 (still have both)? Now those were remotes ahead of their time!
URC is mostly for the CI industry, not a consumer-facing brand.

URC tells us (in the CI industry) that they have the most extensive database, but that's not even close to the truth- Harmony's database is more extensive, they check the codes and are willing to do more for people when problems with codes arise.

Pressing buttons to program a remote is annoying, especially if someone is on the clock. Being able to do it on a computer is far easier, far better for seeing what can be done and setting up macros isn't something I would ever want to do without the computer. I wasn't happy when Harmony went to app-based setup, but some changes are very easy.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
Find me a URC remote that's a simple as my companion remotes and I'm game. I don't need an a$$load of buttons and that's what turned me off the URC offerings at the time. Plus, they're a pain to set up (that's not an issue if they work great, which everyone says they do). I'm all ears.

URC doesn't have anything and they dumped on Harmony for many years, saying that the Harmony remotes were crap, but the last URC training sessions I attended had one comment about something I can't even remember and their new (at the time) remote model had a Help button, which is the one thing the Companion doesn't have, but the app makes fixing problems easy. I also like the dual use of the three activity buttons at the top- I like to listen to music when the news is on with closed captioning turned on and I can go from TV with sound to TV with Pandora with a long press on one of the buttons.
 
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panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
URC doesn't have anything and they dumped on Harmony for many years, saying that the Harmony remotes were crap, but the last URC training sessions I attended had one comment about something I can't even remember and their new (at the time) remote model had a Help button, which is the one thing the Companion doesn't have, but the app makes fixing problems easy. I also like the dual use of the three activity buttons at the top- I like to listen to music when the news is on with closed captioning turned on and I can go from TV with sound to TV with Pandora with a long press on one of the buttons.
Same. In my office I've got a lot plugged into my AVR so the top buttons make switching easy. Everything just does what it's supposed to. I don't have high requirements for a remote, but the logitech remotes are the only ones that fit them.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
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.
Yep our family had one of those....pretty dang fancy at the time....
 
Sugarbear

Sugarbear

Junior Audioholic
I loved URC remotes and painstakingly programming them to make them easy for the household to use.

I transitioned to Harmony and was fine with their middle tier models.

Then I bought an LG OLED and one hour with the Magic Remote and I was hooked. I re-wired everything to make the LG the new hub (rather than the receiver) and the experience has been excellent.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
After seeing videos of Sofabaton, I popped for one that should be here on Wednesday- I'll see how it goes.
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
I would say that anyone getting into HT now and buying new could get buy without a programmable remote. For those of us who still AVRs without network connectivity, the remote is still required.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
I would say that anyone getting into HT now and buying new could get buy without a programmable remote. For those of us who still AVRs without network connectivity, the remote is still required.
Obviously, that depends on the system, how they use it and if it has any need for macros that involve anything remotely custom. For a TV and source that use CEC, it's not needed but as soon as someone wants to add/move/remove commands, a universal of some kind is needed.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
I loved URC remotes and painstakingly programming them to make them easy for the household to use.

I transitioned to Harmony and was fine with their middle tier models.

Then I bought an LG OLED and one hour with the Magic Remote and I was hooked. I re-wired everything to make the LG the new hub (rather than the receiver) and the experience has been excellent.
Who the hell wants to 'painstakingly program' a remote?
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
SO far, adding devices is easy, but it showed that the codes for one piece were available in after choosing 'Haven't bought it' and they aren't when I was in the programming stage. It doesn't control my Roku at all, even after teaching it a few codes and trying those, so I'm waiting for another e-mail (the first told me that the emitter needs to be uncovered and the remote needs line of sight. Gee, why didn't I think of that?

Macro setup seems to be 'button by button'- if that's how they want to do this, Sofabaton will never take off and I hope they have a way that I didn't see. Instructions are very sparse- the YouTube videos are mainly very weak.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
SO far, adding devices is easy, but it showed that the codes for one piece were available in after choosing 'Haven't bought it' and they aren't when I was in the programming stage. It doesn't control my Roku at all, even after teaching it a few codes and trying those, so I'm waiting for another e-mail (the first told me that the emitter needs to be uncovered and the remote needs line of sight. Gee, why didn't I think of that?

Macro setup seems to be 'button by button'- if that's how they want to do this, Sofabaton will never take off and I hope they have a way that I didn't see. Instructions are very sparse- the YouTube videos are mainly very weak.
So, fair to say that this is not a good start. Too bad, remote is nice and simple.

I'm going to mess around with a tablet remote to see what I can get it to do. One interface would be great, but I'll need to see what all is involved in something like that.

I've used macros to launch remote apps for whatever I'm using on the TV, but that was years ago.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
So, fair to say that this is not a good start. Too bad, remote is nice and simple.

I'm going to mess around with a tablet remote to see what I can get it to do. One interface would be great, but I'll need to see what all is involved in something like that.

I've used macros to launch remote apps for whatever I'm using on the TV, but that was years ago.
To be fair to them, I sent a couple of e-mails and they called quickly, but I wasn't able to answer- they sent an e-mail to say that someone would call again- that's far better response than I have received from companies that are well-established.

From a physical perspective, the rubber button mat is very similar to the one on the Harmony Companion and the button for scrolling through the devices seems similar to a remote I have seen in the past, but I'm trying to remember which company sold it- maybe an old model from RTi. There aren't many companies making OEM remotes- Celodon and URC are the main ones and those companies make them to order, to a degree.

Any time multiple devices are used and need to be adjusted for an 'activity', a macro is needed unless CEC actually works. For a TV and one device, it can be fine, but when the system is elaborate, macros are absolutely necessary and they need to work or the end user is gonna see how much hang time or distance they can get when they throw the remote.
 
cornemuse

cornemuse

Junior Audioholic
First, I have a simple flip-phone. I need remotes!
I tried & did not like so called universal remotes, never could find one that covered all my *inputs*.
My cable box remote starts TV which starts stereo. <both sony> Cable box is set to use its own volume settings, not stereo's.
All inputs' remotes have their own volume controls. computer, DVD player, (2) media players, cable box.
Set the stereo volume HIGH, (shy of distortion).
Cable box starts TV & amp, set it aside, (use for watching TV, otherwise set aside)
Amp remote selects input, set aside.
Use other selected input (various) remotes as intended. Keep it close, this is what I use till changing inputs.
None of my remotes have very many buttons, unlike universals I have tried. Waaay too many buttons!
[For computer = wireless mouse, & I have to get up to turn it on.]

Works for me, , ,
-c-
 
T

thatguyallday

Audiophyte
FYI SevenHugs is shutting down, so the Qorvo is a no-go.
 

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