17 posts / 0 new
Last post
strapped for cash's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 13 min ago
Joined: 17/08/2009 - 20:56
Posts: 4505
Best universal remote to control just four devices

I simply need a universal remote that's well built; doesn't look or feel tacky; doesn't require an engineering PhD to set up and operate; and isn't prohibitively expensive. (Ideally no more than £50.)

The obvious contenders have channel number buttons at the very bottom of the control. Since these are the buttons I'd use most, they're rather inconveniently located. This seems true of all Logitech and One for All remotes. I'm really not sure what else is out there.

As per my kit list, the remote will only need to control a Panasonic VT65; a Cambridge Audio 651BD; a Yamaha RX-A810; and a Teac PD-H600. I have a PS3, too, but since this is near obsolete, and I only use it very occasionally for gaming, PS3 controllers are good enough.

I'm looking to compile a shortlist. All suggestions are welcome. Smile 

bigboss's picture
Offline
Last seen: 43 min 5 sec ago
Joined: 25/03/2009 - 21:40
Posts: 12948
RE: Best universal remote to control just four devices

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Logitech-Harmony-650-Universal-Remote/dp/B005FQNDTO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1373729378&sr=8-2&keywords=Logitech+harmony

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Logitech-915-000113-Harmony-600/dp/B003B70C0C/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1373729450&sr=8-9&keywords=Logitech+harmony

bigboss's picture
Offline
Last seen: 43 min 5 sec ago
Joined: 25/03/2009 - 21:40
Posts: 12948
RE: Best universal remote to control just four devices

You'll get used to the remote layout, whichever you choose. Don't worry about it. I don't find the channel number buttons to be inconvenient at all!

BenLaw's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 12 hours ago
Joined: 21/11/2010 - 20:21
Posts: 6353
RE: Best universal remote to control just four devices

IMO this is one purchase where in time you will regret restricting your budget. Harmony with a touch screen for customisable buttons is what is called for, a One if you can find one, or a Touch. 

gel's picture
Online
Last seen: 59 sec ago
Joined: 22/11/2008 - 19:22
Posts: 12986
RE: Best universal remote to control just four devices

Probably be a good thing to do Flubit on.  I just tried it on a Blu-ray player and got £13 off!

Home cinema system: Panasonic 50VT65 (THX calibrated), Pioneer Bdp-lx71, Pioneer Vsx-lx70, B&W FPM Series, B&W PV1.

Gadgets: iPad 2 and iPhone 4s.  Headphones: B&O H6.  Dab radio: Roberts Dreamtime.

 

strapped for cash's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 13 min ago
Joined: 17/08/2009 - 20:56
Posts: 4505
RE: Best universal remote to control just four devices

bigboss wrote:

You'll get used to the remote layout, whichever you choose. Don't worry about it. I don't find the channel number buttons to be inconvenient at all!

Cheers BB.

For me at least, the number buttons look too small and are poorly located. For instance, I use the Freesat platform, which means I'm often switching to channel 108 or 109 (BBC1 HD and BBC2HD). The zero key is about an inch from the bottom of the remote at the narrowest end. That sounds picky, perhaps, but I find buttons near the very bottom of other remotes a pain, literally rather than figuratively, since they cause a recurrence of RSI. 

strapped for cash's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 13 min ago
Joined: 17/08/2009 - 20:56
Posts: 4505
RE: Best universal remote to control just four devices

BenLaw wrote:

IMO this is one purchase where in time you will regret restricting your budget. Harmony with a touch screen for customisable buttons is what is called for, a One if you can find one, or a Touch. 

Thanks Ben. I'd need to try a touch screen remote out first. I generally don't like touch screen devices (including my Android phone); and I'd have concerns about durability after spending that much. 

I'm not an easy customer, but that's hardly news to anyone that frequents this forum.  :shifty:

bigboss's picture
Offline
Last seen: 43 min 5 sec ago
Joined: 25/03/2009 - 21:40
Posts: 12948
RE: Best universal remote to control just four devices

strapped for cash wrote:

BenLaw wrote:

IMO this is one purchase where in time you will regret restricting your budget. Harmony with a touch screen for customisable buttons is what is called for, a One if you can find one, or a Touch. 

Thanks Ben. I'd need to try a touch screen remote out first. I generally don't like touch screen devices (including my Android phone); and I'd have concerns about durability after spending that much. 

I'm not an easy customer, but that's hardly news to anyone that frequents this forum.  :shifty:

My touch screen remote has been faultless even after more than 4 years of continuous use. Can't say that for some of the TVs now. :grin:

bigboss's picture
Offline
Last seen: 43 min 5 sec ago
Joined: 25/03/2009 - 21:40
Posts: 12948
RE: Best universal remote to control just four devices

This one displays he number buttons on the touch screen:

http://www.logitech.com/en-gb/product/harmony-ultimate?crid=60

And in this one, the layout of the buttons is a bit higher:

http://www.logitech.com/en-gb/product/harmony-smart-control?crid=60

I would buy a remote & try it first. Amazon has a good returns policy if not happy.

professorhat's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 days 8 hours ago
Joined: 28/12/2007 - 11:34
Posts: 11026
RE: Best universal remote to control just four devices

How about this one? Seems to fill the requirements and pretty reasonably priced.

 

The owls are not what they seem...

BenLaw's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 12 hours ago
Joined: 21/11/2010 - 20:21
Posts: 6353
RE: Best universal remote to control just four devices

professorhat wrote:

How about this one? Seems to fill the requirements and pretty reasonably priced.

 

 

I have a similar remote but lower in the range for use in my bedroom. For me, if you own an AVR then I can't see how a universal remote with hard buttons only can be satisfactory. There are so many buttons which just aren't covered. Some of these are obscure and you can tuck them away in page 6 of some customised touch screen buttons but others are more common. IME assigning buttons to hard buttons that don't quite fit the bill becomes a ridiculous memory game that ultimately leads to frustration. 

 

Like BB I have nothing negative to say about logitech functionality and durability, including the touchscreen. They are also notorious for their excellent customer service, including replacing broken remotes well after the warranty period has expired. 

professorhat's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 days 8 hours ago
Joined: 28/12/2007 - 11:34
Posts: 11026
RE: Best universal remote to control just four devices

I use one with only hard buttons - like strapped, I'm not a big fan of touch screen remotes and find them much more difficult to use day to day since you can't just pick it up and feel your way. You've got to pick it up, look at it, find the right screen for what you want to do etc.

When setting up an AVR, you do need quite a few of the buttons, but I find for day to day usage, I really don't need much more than the power and volume controls for my AVR. Having said that, my AVR remembers the last mode I've used for each source, so choosing CD input automatically selects Pure Audio, whereas switching to Blu-ray will automatically set back to Surround. If you don't have this, I can see why you'd regularly need access to these buttons.

 

The owls are not what they seem...

strapped for cash's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 13 min ago
Joined: 17/08/2009 - 20:56
Posts: 4505
RE: Best universal remote to control just four devices

bigboss wrote:
This one displays he number buttons on the touch screen: http://www.logitech.com/en-gb/product/harmony-ultimate?crid=60 And in this one, the layout of the buttons is a bit higher: http://www.logitech.com/en-gb/product/harmony-smart-control?crid=60 I would buy a remote & try it first. Amazon has a good returns policy if not happy.

Thanks bigboss, though I don't think I'm in the market for one of highly specified Logitech remotes. I'm really only considering this because the CA remote is poorly laid out (if not unusable). The high end Logitechs would feel like overkill, especially since I only need to control a small number of devices.

strapped for cash's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 13 min ago
Joined: 17/08/2009 - 20:56
Posts: 4505
RE: Best universal remote to control just four devices

professorhat wrote:

I use one with only hard buttons - like strapped, I'm not a big fan of touch screen remotes and find them much more difficult to use day to day since you can't just pick it up and feel your way. You've got to pick it up, look at it, find the right screen for what you want to do etc.

When setting up an AVR, you do need quite a few of the buttons, but I find for day to day usage, I really don't need much more than the power and volume controls for my AVR. Having said that, my AVR remembers the last mode I've used for each source, so choosing CD input automatically selects Pure Audio, whereas switching to Blu-ray will automatically set back to Surround. If you don't have this, I can see why you'd regularly need access to these buttons.

Likewise, I'm a fan of the reassuring click of a button and the option to feel my way around a remote control.

As Ben notes, the AVR is perhaps the complicating factor, because there are so many buttons and functions that would not necessarily correspond with buttons on the remote. However, I'm happy to concede that most buttons on the Yamaha remote are rarely pressed. They come into play when setting the receiver up, but as long as I can turn the device on and off, switch inputs without complication, and adjust the volume, I'm pretty much covered. The old Yamaha remote can be retrieved if I need to make more detailed adjustments (to DSP parameters, etc.).

The cheaper remote you linked to may be all I need. The only remaining questions are:

1. How sleek or tacky does it look/feel? (This can be difficult to tell from photographs online, where the quality of construction often isn't apparent.)

2. Will it operate all my devices? (Admittedly I'd probably only know this through experimentation.)

In the absence of a perfectly designed, affordable alternative, a £14 experiment with the option to return seems pretty sensible.

professorhat's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 days 8 hours ago
Joined: 28/12/2007 - 11:34
Posts: 11026
RE: Best universal remote to control just four devices

strapped for cash wrote:

1. How sleek or tacky does it look/feel? (This can be difficult to tell from photographs online, where the quality of construction often isn't apparent.)

Yup, never seen one unfortunately so I can't help here, but I guess you can't expect too much considering the price  Smile

strapped for cash wrote:

2. Will it operate all my devices? (Admittedly I'd probably only know this through experimentation.)

Should be okay on this front since it's able to learn from existing remotes in absence of a code - I specifically looked for this since I know this is a major limitation on the code devices. I am assuming of course you have all the original remotes!

strapped for cash wrote:

In the absence of a perfectly designed, affordable alternative, a £14 experiment with the option to return seems pretty sensible.

If you go for it, let us know how you get on. Would be good to know for future recommendations to friends and family.

 

The owls are not what they seem...

bigboss's picture
Offline
Last seen: 43 min 5 sec ago
Joined: 25/03/2009 - 21:40
Posts: 12948
RE: Best universal remote to control just four devices

There are more options from the same brand:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/One-For-All-URC7557-Universal/dp/B003MV57LQ/ref=dp_ob_title_ce

If you want a robust quality, check this out (admittedly the ugliest I've seen):

http://www.oneforall.co.uk/en_UK/product/1/universal-remotes/2/comfort/32/protecto-4

Pages

Log in or register to post comments