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Hardware Support Discussions related to using various hardware setups with SageTV products. Anything relating to capture cards, remotes, infrared receivers/transmitters, system compatibility or other hardware related problems or suggestions should be posted here.

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  #1  
Old 11-16-2007, 05:24 PM
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morikaweb morikaweb is offline
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URC VS Harmony?Harmony (Logitech) VS URC remotes?

I'm trying to chose a remote and am kind of stuck. I'm looking at ether a URC MX-810 or a Harmony 890 or Harmony 1000 remote. Does anyone have experience with these remotes? Which company would you recommend Logitech or URC?
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  #2  
Old 11-16-2007, 08:34 PM
_matt_ _matt_ is offline
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I don't have any experience with the URC but I love my Harmony 880. If you don't need the RF that the 890 provides I would recommend the 880 because it is significantly less expensive.
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  #3  
Old 11-16-2007, 08:55 PM
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MeInMaui MeInMaui is offline
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I used to use an MX-700 until I upgraded to a Harmony 890 last Christmas. I found programming the MX-700 to be much more straight forward. I had to jump through too many hoops with the Harmony to work around its issues. The 890 also has some problems with making good contact to the charger base. (I actually set my MX-700 on top of the 890 on the base to weigh it down so it makes good contact. ) I think I liked the button layout on the MX-700 better as well. I find that I have to look down at the 890 quite often, where I could use the the MX-700 completely by feel.

The thing I really _really_ like is having an RF remote. I can't imagine going back to IR. It might sound silly but it is so nice to not have to worry about where I'm pointing the remote.

In summary, I like the Harmony 890 but it definitely has its issues. If I had to do it again, I'd probably look elsewhere but I'd definitely go RF. If you haven't checked it out yet, go to Remote Central. They have some good reviews that could help. (And how can you possibly go wrong with the 'Menacing Thick Fluffy Blanket' (MTFB) test?

Aloha,
Mike

P.S. If you go with URC, make sure you buy from an authorized dealer. Unless they changed their (very poor) decision, you won't be able to get software updates if you purchase elsewhere.

Last edited by MeInMaui; 11-16-2007 at 09:03 PM.
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Old 11-16-2007, 10:31 PM
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I can't speak to either of these models, they're a little out of my price range. But when I shopped the two brands I ended up with the URC (their "store" brand). I got my dad a Harmony (also a lower model) and I have to say I still prefer my URC.
The programming of the URC isn't quite as user friendly to set up (the computer programable ones help with that) but it's much more flexable IMO. I love the fact that any key can be a macro on the URC and that you can set up keys as both commands and macros. Especially great for your sources, press the key once to access the DVD remote, hold it down to run the macro to set everything to watch a DVD. Same with the off button, one press to turn of the unit, hold it down to turn off the whole system.

It was easy to set up the Harmony and it supports lots of products, but when one of it's settings didn't work it was difficult to debug.
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  #5  
Old 11-17-2007, 06:47 AM
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morikaweb morikaweb is offline
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Quote:
If you haven't checked it out yet, go to Remote Central.
Thanks checking out that web site now. Seems to have all the info I want in one place

Quote:
Originally Posted by Djc208 View Post
It was easy to set up the Harmony and it supports lots of products, but when one of it's settings didn't work it was difficult to debug.
From personal experience with Logitech keyboards and Mice I know if they work great if they don’t, good luck getting official help as it aint happening. That is the #1 reason I was looking at URC as a alternative.


Thanks for your responses everyone, I still need to think about it but I am now seriously leaning to towards the URC camp. Mostly I need to make sure it will work flawlessly with my Star Choice box, if so then I'm golden.

BTW, its too bad about the MX-700 I’ve read such good things about it I'd buy one right now, if they hadn’t discontinued it :-(

Last edited by morikaweb; 11-17-2007 at 06:52 AM.
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  #6  
Old 11-17-2007, 07:08 AM
bcjenkins bcjenkins is offline
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For me, I went 890 because of RF and ZWave. I wanted basic lighting control with the remote too. I have had my share of issues, but have found the Harmony support was always willing to swap out remotes, etc.

I too have the same charging issues which were alleviated by opening charging base and raising the charging contacts per a thread on remotecentral.com

Recent software updates have improved the reliability of the 890, so if you have one, but haven't upgraded in a while, I would do so.

B
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  #7  
Old 11-17-2007, 08:30 AM
mohanman mohanman is offline
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If you want some of the best remotes out there go with URC. However, I would go with at least the 900 model, or if you have the cash to burn get the mx-3000. The only thing with URC remotes is that they are "professional" remotes. Meaning that you need to know how to program them! It took me at least a week to figure out how to get the MX-3000 working. I bout the Mx-950 to replace it as I like the feel of buttons. The mx-3000 can do anything though. I had awesome backgrounds and sounds on mine. Pressing play xbox 360 brought up an animated logo of 360 with the opening sound effect.
Sweet

Mo
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  #8  
Old 11-17-2007, 09:00 AM
Berg Berg is offline
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The 880 was the choice for me and the WAF and F(amily)AF is great.

I also have had the charging base issue.
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  #9  
Old 11-17-2007, 10:39 AM
Fluffdaddy Fluffdaddy is offline
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Ditto on both accounts. I called Harmony and they swapped out the charger free, even though I got the remote used off of ebay. I'm sold on Harmony and their customer service.
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  #10  
Old 02-25-2008, 04:47 PM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mohanman View Post
I bout the Mx-950 to replace it as I like the feel of buttons.
How's your MX-950 treating you? I'm looking at finally taming the remote zoo I've got going:
  1. HD Extender
  2. Xbox 360 (HD DVD)
  3. Pioneer DVD Player
  4. Infocus Projector
  5. Anthem SSP
  6. Lutron IR light dimmer


I really like the looks of the RTI system but seems very hard to get the programming software. Did you have any trouble getting the MX-950 software? Do you "just" use it as a universal or do you have a bunch of fancy macros setup? Given any thought to the MSC-400?

My biggest annoyance currently is with the Extender I let my projector do the scaling/AR control, so I end up using two remotes quite a lot, and I have to point my projector's remote behind me (at the PJ).
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  #11  
Old 02-25-2008, 04:52 PM
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lovingHDTV lovingHDTV is offline
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I love my Harmony, if you plan on having anyone being able to pick up the remote and use it I'd go for a Harmony. If it just for your own use, I don't think it really matters.

I find that most anyone can come into my theater and use the Hamony to turn everything on to watch SageTV and play a DVD. If they get stuck there is the help button to ask them questions one by one to get it all working.

YMMV
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  #12  
Old 02-25-2008, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovingHDTV View Post
I love my Harmony, if you plan on having anyone being able to pick up the remote and use it I'd go for a Harmony.
Had Harmony, promptly returned it (OK, not so promptly). Didn't like the feel, and didn't like how limited it was. I always felt like I was fighting the software to get it to do what I wanted.

Quote:
If it just for your own use, I don't think it really matters.
That's part of the reason I don't have an automation system yet, but it is getting rather annoying having to fiddle with three remotes all the time. That's why I'm looking for something better.

I really don't think a Harmony is going to cut it for me, I think to satisfy me, and to justify the cost, I need a "professional" solution, like the URC. Really, I think what I want is the URC MX-950 (or 980) and MSC-400 system.
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