Logitech Rant

Posted by: oldskoolboarder

Logitech Rant - 01/25/13 03:37 PM

I'll post this here because you folks will probably sympathize the most.

Just saw this.

http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/23/logitech-q3-earnings-selling-harmony-remotes/

I've loved my Harmony remotes for years, back when they were a small Canadian company. I've gone from 659, 688, 880 to a Harmony One. Some have died (from overuse and kid abuse), just to be replaced by refurbed/used ones on ebay so I could just reprogram them. I even bought an extra Harmony One for $100 in case I ever drop my existing one.

Add this to the fact that my Squeezebox Radio (which I love) is changing support for the 'newer' platforms.

Being an early adopter really sucks.

[RANT OFF]
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Logitech Rant - 01/25/13 03:47 PM

It doesn't look like the Harmony remotes are going away (yet), it's just up for sale. But this does make me inclined to look at the Universal line-up the next time, which will be soon.

I'm on my 3rd Harmony 1100 remote. And I'm going to be switching from RF to IR with a remote that can program activities. Functionality is more important to me than price.
Posted by: INANE

Re: Logitech Rant - 01/26/13 11:55 AM

ugh... my only worry is that their design requires they maintain that website so we can continue to program them.
Posted by: Murph

Re: Logitech Rant - 01/28/13 07:43 AM

Another reason I like URC. I'm not reliant on anything but my own brain to get it programmed.

I thought my newest where you program it directly, using it's own LCD screen, would be tricky but I now prefer it this way. Having to plug a remote into a PC, remove it, test, plug it back in to tweak, rinse, repeat multiple times seems redundant now.

I still recommend Harmonys to my less tech savvy friends or family though. Both have thier place so I'm hopeful the Harmonys survive.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Logitech Rant - 01/28/13 07:47 AM

What model do you have? I'm finding it difficult to pick one. They all sound about the same when I read about them.
Posted by: Murph

Re: Logitech Rant - 01/28/13 07:54 AM

MX-450 and RF BAse Station.(It does IR and RF)
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Logitech Rant - 01/28/13 08:47 AM

Originally Posted By: Murph
I'm not reliant on anything but my own brain to get it programmed.

EXACTLY why I want to move to the Harmony One that Ive already purchased.

My brain has enough to do (mindlessly) whistling that song I heard when I was nine.
Posted by: Ray3

Re: Logitech Rant - 01/30/13 03:22 PM

+1

Jack & I have been URC fans (and advocates) for years. The Harmony remotes are pretty good. The URC remotes take you to a another level with power, features, flexibility and the ability to program macros.

Example, I have a Denon 3808. The Harmony will allow me to add a Denon receiver. With the URC MX-900, I have set up individual devices as follows: Receiver, AM Radio, FM Radio and Internet Radio.

In addition, I have added a device named Speakers. Inside that device I have the individual commands to raise and lower volume by speaker, including the subwoofer. (.5 db increments) For example, front right would be FR+ and FR-. Really simplifies the whole calibration exercise by having the individual commands right there rather than buried in a menu somwhere. Also - I have added SUB+ and SUB- commands to each of these devices - Satellite, BD DVD, AppleTV, PS3, CD and Reg DVD. That way I can adjust the sub on the fly without leaving the device. These examples only scratch the surface for things that the Harmony can't do.

I now have two MX-900s which replaced two MX-850s which replaced two MX-700s...... you get the idea. (Boy, that was dangerously JP-like).

The website Remote Central is an outstanding support resource, including a robust library of discreet commands to use for programming.

Pretty nice to open a piece of software (regularly updated) on your PC and program your remote to the extent the URC allows.

Just sayin'
Posted by: INANE

Re: Logitech Rant - 01/31/13 01:11 AM

Originally Posted By: Ray3
In addition, I have added a device named Speakers. Inside that device I have the individual commands to raise and lower volume by speaker, including the subwoofer. (.5 db increments) For example, front right would be FR+ and FR-. Really simplifies the whole calibration exercise by having the individual commands right there rather than buried in a menu somwhere. Also - I have added SUB+ and SUB- commands to each of these devices - Satellite, BD DVD, AppleTV, PS3, CD and Reg DVD. That way I can adjust the sub on the fly without leaving the device. These examples only scratch the surface for things that the Harmony can't do.


I do some of this with my Harmony 880
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Logitech Rant - 01/31/13 08:56 AM

Easy enough to do that with a Harmony. And I if I do it right, I never have to look at a device specific page at all.

Does the URC have something equivalent to Activities now?
Posted by: Murph

Re: Logitech Rant - 01/31/13 10:06 AM

I think the thing about URC is that it has whatever you program it to do. It has always done "activities", if you set it up to do so. For instance....

If I hit the button on my main screen with the picture of the DVD player, it correctly activates my HDMI switch, BR player, receiver, TV etc and also sets the receiver to accept the audio signal type being sent from the BR player, typically a standard or HD 5.1 format. The 'TV on' part of the macro includes the 'manual double click trick' to ensure the TV is actually turned on, not off, because I still have yet to look up it's discrete code for this. (luckily the trick programmed for my old TV still works with my new model)

Finally, it takes me to a screen where I have programmed buttons for all my other custom tasks that I might do when watching a DVD. These tasks are not device specific to the BR player. For instance, I have a button to bump up the center channel 1.5 db and another to reset it back.

In contrast,
If I press the button showing a CD, it activates all the same gear but locks the sound format to 'stereo with sub,' which is currently my preference for stereo recorded music. It completes with taking me to another set of screens with CD listening specific tasks. For instance, I have a button to return from 'stereo' back to a 'Dolby surround mode,' just in case JohnK is knocking at my door. I don't want to get caught in stereo.....

Whatever you choose to call it, both products have always done 'activities'. It's just how you set them up that differs.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Logitech Rant - 01/31/13 12:11 PM

What about the volume control and directional arrows, which might be used by two different devices during one session? IE, volume controls must control the receiver, but directional buttons must control the DVD player?
Posted by: Kruncher

Re: Logitech Rant - 01/31/13 12:54 PM

In the manual for my MX-500 they refer to this as "punch through", which I always found to be a bit odd. Often it's referred to as "volume lock" or "channel lock" so that the respective buttons are locked to one device, such as the receiver for volume controls, and the DVR for channel controls.

I've always liked how I'm in charge of everything in terms of configuration AND custom functionality of the remote, and that once you've learned how, you can make significant modifications quickly and easily.

RF would be nice though. It was way too expensive at the time that I bought the MX-500 for $200.
Posted by: Ray3

Re: Logitech Rant - 01/31/13 01:05 PM

Ken - Murph's answer is right on for your first questions. The Harmony does "activities" by extrapolating commands from the devices you load. With the URC, this function is called a macro and you program the remote (with any simple or complex steps you choose.

As to your second question:
"What about the volume control and directional arrows, which might be used by two different devices during one session? IE, volume controls must control the receiver, but directional buttons must control the DVD player?"

Once you set up your DVD device, the remote has all of the commands & buttons of that model. Additionally, you can program a "punch through" that allows you to control the volume/mute functions of the receiver or TV, depending on how you are hooked up. Then you can add additional commands - my example above of the SUB+ and SUB- controls. You can also add the receiver commands for audio - stereo, Dolby Digital, DTS, Cinema, Music, etc.

If you have a 2 zone or 3 zone receiver, you can set up a device for them as well. Or a Receiver device, a CD device, or APPLTV/iTunes device for each zone.

Said another way, with any device you create (Satellite, DVD, TV, etc.), you can add any other command from any other device (via drag & drop) to any device you have. For example, I have a POWER device where I have the discrete ON and OFF commands for all of my other devices. I use it to build macros. On the main OFF button, I have a macro that cycles through all of my device OFF commands when I am done so that I am sure everything is turned off.

On an MX-900, the LCD screen has 6 entries per page and can go 21 pages deep. You can drag & drop to arrange the commands anywhere you want ( I put the most-used commands on the first & last page - easy to toggle). This is in addition to the standard hard button commands.

As I said, the Harmony stuff is pretty good, but the URC remotes just get to a whole different level.

To be sure, you need to buy the URC remotes from an authorized dealer so you can get the software for programming it. Jack & I have been using (and referring folks to) Mike at surfremotecontrol.com. Great prices, extremely helpful AND authorized dealer.
Posted by: Ajax

Re: Logitech Rant - 01/31/13 01:14 PM

Yeah I posted the following in Catbrat's thread:

Anyone considering a URC (Universal Remote Control) remote should check the prices at Surf Remote Control. Just give them them a call and ask what the current discount price is for the remote in which you are interested. They are authorized dealers, have great prices, and are super nice folks to deal with.

It may be possible to find a better price, but you should definitely check with them before buying.


P.S. Just be sure that the vendor is an authorized dealer or you won't get the software and warranty.


Obviously, if you choose to go with a URC remote, you will have lots of support from Ray, Murph, and me.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Logitech Rant - 01/31/13 01:20 PM

Originally Posted By: Ajax
Obviously, if you choose to go with a URC remote, you will have lots of support from Ray, Murph, and me.


Pfffft. Neither of you have made any house calls.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Logitech Rant - 01/31/13 02:43 PM

I have two MX 980's. The things you can program these remotes to do is seemingly endless. This is good and bad. Good for folks who like to tweak. Bad for folks who are impatient, as the learning curve is pretty steep. One gripe I've always had with URC is their database. Half of my stuff is not in their IR database, so I have to use the "learn" function. Whenever you use the learn function, there will always be problems.
Posted by: Murph

Re: Logitech Rant - 01/31/13 02:48 PM

Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
Originally Posted By: Ajax
Obviously, if you choose to go with a URC remote, you will have lots of support from Ray, Murph, and me.


Pfffft. Neither of you have made any house calls.


Hey unfair, my remote spent some time in your house.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Logitech Rant - 01/31/13 03:14 PM

Well, that's true.
Posted by: Ray3

Re: Logitech Rant - 01/31/13 08:15 PM

Originally Posted By: Murph
Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
Originally Posted By: Ajax
Obviously, if you choose to go with a URC remote, you will have lots of support from Ray, Murph, and me.


Pfffft. Neither of you have made any house calls.


Hey unfair, my remote spent some time in your house.


And, of course, we would actually need to be INVITED, ya know, to come to your house.

Just sayin.



grin
Posted by: Ray3

Re: Logitech Rant - 01/31/13 08:29 PM

Originally Posted By: michael_d
I have two MX 980's. The things you can program these remotes to do is seemingly endless. This is good and bad. Good for folks who like to tweak. Bad for folks who are impatient, as the learning curve is pretty steep. One gripe I've always had with URC is their database. Half of my stuff is not in their IR database, so I have to use the "learn" function. Whenever you use the learn function, there will always be problems.


Mike ,

I assume that you do a regular update to you URC software. I find the database pretty complete. Agree about the learning curve, but at some point you go - "Oh, THAT'S how you don't!!!" Plus, there are folks here that can help.

Have you ever looked at the user files uploaded to Remote Central? What a treasure trove of devices and discrete commands.

Plus, they have a huge and robust library of Pronto .ccf files for drag & drop.

Personally, I think the learning function is extremely powerful. With it, I added the commands for my Vortex room fan/heater. I worked them into the macro for my Satellite/receiver/TV. Pretty cool.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Logitech Rant - 02/01/13 10:23 AM

BECAUSE THEY'RE VAMPIRES.
Posted by: mapatton

Re: Logitech Rant - 02/01/13 11:09 AM

I share your concern as I have a Squeezebox.
Now as far as remotes, I am even worse off as I use a Pronto 7000. I dread the day that thing dies. I love it.