newbie remote woes

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Ed Kerns, Jan 27, 2005.

  1. Ed Kerns

    Ed Kerns Agent

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    If I were a more experienced HT guy, I'd have a better handle on this BUT.. I've spent most of a day trying to program the remote that came with my Onkyo TX SR800 to operate the rest of my system ( a motorola HD cable box, Onkyo Cd player, Onkyo tape deck, Sony DVD player and Toshiba projection TV). So far I'm about 60% successful. My simplistic question is, are the aftermarket controllers easier to deal with? Am I just suffering from newbie-itis and it gets easier with experience? The controller allows both learning and programmable functions and since I have no code for my motorola box, I need to use both methods. I find that some functions work and some don't. Is this typical? A secondary problem is that the Onkyo stuff is supposed to connect with what they call R1 cable. I don't have these cables, but they appear to be simple 1/8" phono plugs. Unfortunately, I've tried the cables I have on hand with no luck. Sorry for the rambling. I guess my primary question is; do I suck it up and keep trying to make this Onkyo controller work, or cut my loses and buy an aftermarket controller? If it's the latter, my next obvious question is what to shop for?
     
  2. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

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    This will probably get moved to the accessories forum.

    The aftermarket remotes are much easier to set up and much easier to use in controlling your equipment. All of my remotes except the universal are in a drawer and rarely see daylight. I have a Harmony 659. They are routinely on sale at Amazon for under $100 and well worth it. The 680 is a better model and has special buttons for use with a dvr. You don't have to deal with any codes. You just hook it up to your pc and set your preferences over the internet on Harmony's website and it programs it for you. You can be up and running in 20 minutes, though most people will ultimately fine tune the programming. Check out www.remotecentral.com. They have a program to help you pick the remote that is best for you. They also have forums there that are very informative. I picked the Harmony because it is very simple for my wife, babysitter, and kids to use.
     
  3. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    Most "universal" remotes that come with receivers or TV's are pretty limited or poorly designed.

    Have you checked your Toshiba manual? The remote that came with my 50HDX82 is "universal" and I can get it to control most of my stuff and it has a nice "volume lock" feature so no matter what mode you're in, the volume will always control the receiver volume. However, the layout is pretty crappy, there's no way to quickly switch from one component to another... you have to cycle the "mode" button until you get to what you want. It's much easier to just pick up the other remote. :b

    Thanks for the heads up on the Harmony, Charlie. I'll be checking that one out.
     
  4. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Charlie gets it right in the first sentence.
     
  5. Chris VW

    Chris VW Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,

    I had a Sony Commander in the past. It was Ok for me but a little time consuming to program. I could never get the macros to work quite right. Probably due to my lack of technical skill. It was tough for my wife to use and explaining to babysitters was a nightmare. On a friends advice I recently bought a Harmony 676. It was the best investment I've made in along time. It took me thirty minutes on their website and the whole remote was programmed for me and it works like a charm. Best of all my wife and various babysitters have no problem with it. Push one button for what you want to do and it all comes on or off.

    Chris
     
  6. WaltV

    WaltV Extra

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    I also have a Harmony 659 and couldn't be happier. It controls every component I have and I have put away all my other remotes.

    Its also so easy to tweak your commands or buttons online then download it to the remote, I find myself trying new things all the time.

    There are any number of very highly regarded remotes though, and like it was suggested, check out remotecentral.com.

    Walt
     

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