Need a remote control - Has to be idiot-proof for my wife

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Rick_Brown, Jun 27, 2003.

  1. Rick_Brown

    Rick_Brown Second Unit

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    I'm not looking for an "all-in-one remote" that can take over all of the functions of my many components. What I need is a remote that I can program macros for my wife, with custom labels or buttons for functions like:

    - Turn on TV and listen through HT sound system
    - Turn on TV and listen through TV speakers
    - Watch DVD and listen through HT sound system
    - Watch DVD and listen through TV speakers

    Ideally, I would be able to enter specific text-labels to be displayed on the remote that she can understand for each macro. After one of these choices is made, the normal remotes can be used for volume, etc.

    Can anyone suggest a remote for me? I'm willing to spend up to $500 USD. Thanks.
     
  2. JamesCB

    JamesCB Second Unit

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    Rick,
    I know your not looking for a all-in-one remote, but...
    The Home Theater Master MX-700 (retails for $500, can be found cheaper) comes with a companion remote (called the Sidekick) for simple functions such as tv. It has a 190 step macro capability and is "idiot-proof". The MX-700 is one of the most powerful remotes on the market. Has a huge list of features and programming capabilities. Check out www.universalremotes.com for more info. Hope this helps.
    James
     
  3. Mathew Shelby

    Mathew Shelby Second Unit

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    I would like to also vote for the Sony RM-AV3000. I was in the exact same situation as you. My girl would never use the television in the living room because she says it was a pain in the ass....until this thing came around. I got it from ecost.com for ~$100.
     
  4. David Preston

    David Preston Supporting Actor

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    Go to www.dealtime.com go to electronics then to remote controls. There are a bunch there to chose from and they have a price range for each product. That is probably where I'll get my next remote from.
     
  5. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Since you mention you don't want a do-it-all remote, you could go several different ways. Several remotes from $25 on up can do macros. But until you get to a certain price level, you won't get the ability to do any type of custom labeling. Also, are you wanting buttons or a touchscreen? Or a hybrid between the two? And truthfully, once you get to this level, IMO, you should at least consider a do-it-all model simply because they can...

    A couple of other questions...How many of these macros are you going to need? How many devices are you going to control?

    If you decide to go the touchscreen road, I like the Pronto series (many models) and the Sony 3000. Others here at the forum are more knowledgeable on the touchscreens than me though because I have learned that I'm a button remote person...

    I heavily prefer the Home Theater Master series over any I've ever used. (And I have tried many! Including a touchscreen Sony.) The only real limitation of HTM's best button based units is that you are limited to a 5 character label for the buttons that allow custom button labeling. IMO, no big deal. But it may be for you.

    Checkout the MX-500 and the MX-700. (HTM is also going to come out with radio frequency extended versions of these two(the MX-600 and MX-800) for controlling equipment in a different room or behind closed doors.) Here's a link to HTM's product line: http://www.hometheatermaster.com/htm/products/main.html

    (BTW, if warranties matter to you, there are some websites that offer product but may not offer manufacturer warranty. This link at HTM shows their approves e-tailers. http://www.hometheatermaster.com/htm/zip/online.html The only e-tailer listed at dealtime for the MX-700 is not approved. So IMO, shop carefully...) My favorite e-tailers for HTM products are bluedo and surfremotecontrol. They heavily support their customers on questions over at the HTM forum at remotecentral.com. IMO, worth something in and of itself alone...

    Hope this helps some...
     
  6. JamesHl

    JamesHl Supporting Actor

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    The pronto is excellent for purposes like this, being super customizable. You have to do the idiot-proofing yourself in the programming, though.
     
  7. Rick_Brown

    Rick_Brown Second Unit

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    Thanks to all for your suggestions. I have potentially a lot of equipment: plasma tv, plasma controller, dvd, cd, digital hi-def cable box, receiver, second pre-amp and amp for multi-rooms, etc.

    Sounds like I should go for a complete remote like the pronto or HTM. I'm not afraid of doing the grunt programming to get my wife going, and then I can probably do more programming for other things as well.

    Cheers.
     
  8. MikeSRC

    MikeSRC Second Unit

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  9. Bill_D

    Bill_D Supporting Actor

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    The MX-700 sells from about $175 - $200 on ebay.
     
  10. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Very true that you can buy the 700 cheaper than the $350 list. But HTM has made it crystal clear they will NOT honor the warranty from non-authorized dealers. Since authorized dealers charge $350, these prices are not from those dealers. So buy cheaper with caution...

    Here's a link to the authorized e-tailers. http://www.hometheatermaster.com/htm/zip/online.html
     
  11. Don_K

    Don_K Agent

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    Thanks for asking the question Rick, and thanks to everyone who answered. I do have a followup question though....

    Is there a clever way to deal with components where you cycle through several settings? For example, my TV has Video 1, Video 2, Video 3, etc. Are any of the remotes somehow capable of knowing "where" the current settings are, and then performing a predefined number of operations based on where you want to go?

    Hope this is clear.
     
  12. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Absolutely! These types of control codes are called discrete codes. For example, Sony TV factory remotes can only scroll thru the various Video inputs. BUT, the codes are out there that allow one to go directly to any video input you want. Depending on the type of remote you end up with does determine how you get and use these codes. And of course there are exceptions. Some gear just doesn't offer some of these user friendly shortcuts. But many do.

    Another, effective but less user friendly way to accomplish these kinds of settings are by using automated macros. For example, most Toshiba TVs do not have individually addressable video inputs. So, an easy way to get to Video 3 would be to have the TV go to an off the air channel, say channel 6, which would automatically (and always), put the TV at the same starting point. Then send the video input change command 3 times. If these commands are assembled in an automated sequence, the resulting Video 3 input would always turn up.

    The preferred method would clearly be the 1st one and it usually is the one most of us can work out. But there are workarounds for most of the ones that are finicky...
     
  13. MikeSRC

    MikeSRC Second Unit

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  14. Don_K

    Don_K Agent

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    Thanks Chuck & Mike. I like what I'm seeing at Mike's website.
     

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