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Controlling everything in my theater. (1 Viewer)

DanaRuns

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I'm putting together my first ever home theater and need advice, as I am an old, technically challenged woman.

Problem No. 1: I want to control everything with one remote control. I prefer something that is user friendly and highly visual. A tablet display with everything laid out on it would be awesome. Or something. Whatcha got?

Problem No. 2: All the gear (except subs and projector) will be in another room. How do I control it from my seat? I've heard of IR extenders or some such, but know nothing about them and nothing about how they work. I need an education and suggestions please!

Problem No. 3: I want everything to turn on and off with the press of a single button. Lights included, if possible.

In case it matters, here is the gear I need to control:

Projector: Epson 5050ub
Pre/Pro: Marantz AV7706
Power amp: Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3
Subwoofers: SVS sb4000 (two)
Disc player: Panasonic DP-UB802
Smart lights: TBD

Thanks in advance. So far, the people on this forum have been incredibly helpful!
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Dana, your needs and situation will require a very complex system, not to mention it will probably mean wiring run back and forth between the two rooms. Hate to say this, but your best bet will be consult with some local A/V contractors.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

John Dirk

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I addressed this question in the other thread. Did you miss that post?

As for remote solutions, I had the same requirements as you and ended up going with this Android tablet-based solution. For simple setups [5-7 devices] the cost is trivial and it works flawlessly. It's activity based [just like the lauded but discontinued Harmony remotes] and can even handle macros, timers, etc. if you end up needing that level of functionality. They stopped developing the app some time ago but it appears to be available for download. You'll need an IR blaster of some sort to use it but there are multiple [inexpensive] ways to address this.

http://www.touchsquid.com/AdSam.htm


The solution I proposed there will, unfortunately, be complicated by your "problem #2" which I don't believe you disclosed before. Depending on the proximity of the rooms, IR extenders are still a potentially simple solution. I use them in my setup but there's a fair amount of DIY work required to get it all right. If you're up for it, this might be something to look into.

RF [radio frequency] is really the better [albeit more expensive] choice. With Logitech discontinuing it's Harmony line of universal remotes I don't know how many players there are left in this field. You could go the used route if you want to go with Logitech's Harmony line. There are plenty of folks here who have more experience than me with Harmony remotes, so hopefully someone will chime in.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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RE: Problem #2, will the gear be in another actual/separate room or more like a (attached/adjacent) closet?

IF the former, maybe it'd make more sense to just build a simple, small, AV gear closet or similar into the HT space somewhere, if viable, and not actually use a completely separate room to house the gear...

_Man_
 

DanaRuns

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RE: Problem #2, will the gear be in another actual/separate room or more like a (attached/adjacent) closet?
It will be in an attached, adjacent "closet" (for lack of a better word for the space). To the right of the screen.
 

xx Brian xx

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There are remotes that can do everything you want but they normally require professional programming.
URC, RTI, Control4 and Pro Control are a few I can think of.
My preference is RTI because it is infinitely programable. You can have a single button press turn on the projector, receiver, disc player and lights.
It's not cheap though, you will end up spending a couple grand. I would call a local installer and get an estimate.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Not sure why that should require an expensive pro installation/configuration... though DIY path would likely require some effort (and possibly a moderate bit of ingenuity perhaps) to get it all working as well as desired... so you may wanna hire someone to do it for you, but I certainly wouldn't expect (nor accept) costs to exceed several hundred dollars at most (on top of the remote/home-automation hardware/software costs)...

OTOH, if you'll also need to hire someone to run cables, etc for the whole HT system anyway, then I guess choose someone that can include the remote/home-automation aspect (and probably get a package deal for it)...

_Man_
 

xx Brian xx

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"Not sure why that should require an expensive pro installation/configuration..." Because the software is not available to non-dealers on most higher end remotes. There are other systems out there for a DIYer but it will not be easy to make them do everything on the list. A professionally installed system can be set up on a touchpad or iPad as well.

"I certainly wouldn't expect (nor accept) costs to exceed several hundred dollars at most (on top of the remote/home-automation hardware/software costs)..." URC and Pro Control will be the least expensive. Control4 and RTI will run over $1500 for a remote, processor and license for iPad. Then you have programming at $100 per hour (or more). It can take 4 or more hours to install and program a single room system. So, as I said, it can cost a couple grand for a professionally installed high end remote.
 

Doug2000

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Regarding the proximity of the equipment- can you currently control the gear using the various standard remotes that came with the components from you seated watching/listening position?

Or do you currently have to get up and walk closer to the gear to change something using the standard remotes.
 

DanaRuns

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Regarding the proximity of the equipment- can you currently control the gear using the various standard remotes that came with the components from you seated watching/listening position?

Or do you currently have to get up and walk closer to the gear to change something using the standard remotes.
Neither, as my HT is currently being built. But all the gear is in a separate room adjacent to the theater. So it all needs to be controlled from one room, where the equipment is in another.
 

DanaRuns

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So, all my equipment is in, now. I have an IR extender/repeater so I can control everything from the seats. But I have a bunch of remotes now. I'd like to control everything, including lights and curtains, with one remote. Preferably an iPad or some such easy to see thing.

My friend, Kristian, who is installing all this for me, suggests that I buy a used/refurbished/leftover Harmony Elite remote control. What's everyone's opinion of that?
 

JohnRice

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Harmony Elites are very cool, and user configurable. Of course, that won't be using an iPad. If you can find one for a decent price, I'd probably go that way. I don't know what their capability is regarding lights, but they do have some degree of that. You also probably wouldn't need the extender anymore, since it uses a hub that communicates wirelessly with the handset. BTW, I do have two Elites, and they work nicely. The software does leave a bit to be desired, and who knows how long they will actually remain usable.

There just aren't many flexible and affordable options at the moment.

Clarification, you CAN use an iPad with the Elite.
 

DaveF

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The problem with universal remotes is that the market is dead man walking and options are getting scant.

I have a Logitech Harmony Elite for the living room and a URC MX-780 for the theater. Both are good and both have their strengths and weaknesses.

For simplicity, if you’re willing to risk buying into a discontinued product, I’d get the Harmony Elite. You can use the physical remote or an app on iPad and iPhone. They’re fairly easy to program, support macros (Activities), and support some smart lights. They’re well suited to your needs which are typical for a universal remote.

But do your homework (before buying) on hardware and software availability right now. I’ve not followed it. My gear works. But Logitech will be sunsetting support at some point.
 

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