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Do i NEED a learning remote?

 
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Brandon



Joined: 27 Sep 2003
Posts: 4
Location: Gilbert, Arizona

PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2003 6:55 am    Post subject: Do i NEED a learning remote? Reply with quote

Hello all !
Found this forum through remote central then the yahoo group as i was researching the HTM MX series. I was actually considering the MX700( i liked the idea of pc programablilty), until i realized that the 700 was much more than i ever would need.

I am completely new to the concept of JP1. I will learn what i can through as much research here as i can, but to start i need to decide, based on opinion, which remote i should start with.

The units i want to control...
A Panasonic PT53wx52 television
A Harman Kardon AVR 225 HT receiver
An HDVR2
A Panasonic rp-62 DVD/CD player
And a VCR that has yet to be determined( dont use one much if at all, but am going to buy a new one soon just the same).

Obviously, my Goal is to have full functionality of all these units from one remote. I am concerned speciffically with the HDVR2.
Within that scope of full functionality, i would like to be able to run Macros .
An example...

When i press a button for say the DVD player...
The televison will power on and change to the correct input.
The DVD player will power on.
The Receiver will power on and change to DVD input.
Audio level to be controlled by the receiver.

There will be other combinations that i will want to be able to perform...like TV( and hdvr2) alone.

CD and receiver with out television.

You get the idea.

Back to my quandry, with these 5 units, will i be better off purchasing a learning remote like the 8811 or will i be just as well suited using the 6131( i really like the HDVR2 friendly/similar button layout).

As far as lcd's...dont want or need one aka the RS 2116 or similar OFA.

Thanks !
BTW anyone know where i can find scale photos of the 8811 and the 6131?
AND, anyone here from the Phoenix area?
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gfb107
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Joined: 03 Aug 2003
Posts: 3388
Location: Cary, NC

PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2003 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use the JP1 enhanced 6131 with macros on the Device keys, to do pretty much what you are talknig about. You can see how I've programmed it here.
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jamesgammel
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Joined: 03 Aug 2003
Posts: 397
Location: Gillette, Wyoming

PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2003 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brandon,

A learning remote is a TOOL. You've listed what you have now, and suggest that that list isn't static, as you plan to get a vcr. OK, so *maybe* all your devices are pretty well supported, AT THE MOMENT, and you can pretty easily get by without a learning remote. But, No one can predict the future. One thing we don't have control over is service life of a particular device, so sometime in the future, something will "die", become obsolete, you'll want to change something, or add something more than just that vcr.
I have a penchant for devices that haven't been made for over 13 years. Now, you'd think that 13 years would have been plenty of time for all my devices to have been supported SOMEPLACE, either here, Pronto CCF files, LIRC files, etc. NOPE--NOPE, not even one. I'd have been a dead duck in the water if it wasn't for my learning remotes.
A couple months ago, we got a new vcr. It's a fairly popular brand, sanyo. All indications and documentation said it *should* use the common ueic setup code vcr_0046. Code search generally uses the "power" command to find the pre-canned setup code. Well, I simply assigned the remote to use 0046, pressed "power", and nothing happened.???????? what the F? Did they change setup codes?
Well, pressing "play" didn't turn it on either. What the F? So I manually turned it on, pressed "play" again, and it started playing. FF, REW,. etc all worked. What the F?
Seems the used all the standard efc values for everything in 0046 EXCEPT the power efc. Now, without a learner, I could have found the power efc by the hard-bang method, P,E,F,C for all the unused efc's, some 230+ to search thru. That would have taken a good while. However, I simply learned that command to one of my 2 learners, used IR, and quickly found what efc was "power". A simple keymove "fixed" 0046.
There's a TON of posts all relating to the power and convenience of having a learning remote. Among them, Most extenders use that learning area to add remote features, and more keymove/macro space. That "kills" learning, but it's not permanent. You can save the current configuration, 981, learn, decipher, build an upgrade or plan a keymove, re-install the configuration, add the change required, and it's off and running again.
Since I already have 2 learners, perhaps I could easily "get by" with a non-learner now ( as an additional remote). I wouldn't be without at least one, having been thru the experience of HAVING to have a learner, NUMEROUS times. I guess you'll have to decide how much risk you want to take as far as the future goes. You could, of course, always rely on OTHERS to support some device you get in the future, but that may take a while.

Jim
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johnsfine
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Joined: 10 Aug 2003
Posts: 4767
Location: Bedford, MA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2003 9:55 am    Post subject: Re: Do i NEED a learning remote? Reply with quote

Brandon wrote:

A Panasonic PT53wx52 television
A Harman Kardon AVR 225 HT receiver
An HDVR2
A Panasonic rp-62 DVD/CD player
And a VCR that has yet to be determined( dont use one much if at all, but am going to buy a new one soon just the same).

Obviously, my Goal is to have full functionality of all these units from one remote. I am concerned speciffically with the HDVR2.
Within that scope of full functionality, i would like to be able to run Macros .
An example...

When i press a button for say the DVD player...
The televison will power on and change to the correct input.


There is a thread at
http://remotecentral.com/cgi-bin/mboard/rc-discrete/thread.cgi?1198
which discusses the lack of input discrete commands in some Panasonic models. I can't follow what model and features are being discussed in this and similar threads there well enough to know if any of those issues would apply to you. If your TV doesn't have discrete input selection, you won't have much luck getting those macros to work the way you want. The ToadTog special protocol in one of the extenders (advanced JP1 stuff for some models of JP1 remote) might be good enough to compensate for a TV's lack of discrete commands, but it's tricky to set up and imperfect to use (though better than non JP1 remotes where you wouldn't have that option at all).

I don't know at all what an HDVR2 is, and don't know in detail what your other devices are, so I don't know whether you'll have trouble finding online data for all of them. But regarding Jim's comments about the risk that you'll change devices later and then not be able to find support, I think a JP1 remote is not that major a purchase. If it fits your needs now but sometime later it doesn't, it's a decent bet that the remote that fits your needs later will be available later at a better price than now. So buying a remote now because you might need it later is only appropriate for rare short term bargains like the clearance price on the 15-2104 (which I think is now long gone).
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The Robman
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Joined: 01 Aug 2003
Posts: 18311
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2003 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just FYI for others reading this, I think the HDVR2 referred to in the original post is really just a Tivo.
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gfb107
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Joined: 03 Aug 2003
Posts: 3388
Location: Cary, NC

PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2003 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Robman wrote:
Just FYI for others reading this, I think the HDVR2 referred to in the original post is really just a Tivo.

Yep, it is a DirecTV/TiVo combo unit. Uses the same IR codes as any other non-Sony TiVo.
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jon_armstrong
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Joined: 03 Aug 2003
Posts: 1238
Location: R.I.P. 3/25/2005

PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2003 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The link that John Fine posted about no discrete IR commands for AV inputs is AFAIK only for Panasonic Plasma displays. Given their cost, that seems incredible but perhaps they may be RS-232 controled.

Most of the Panasonic TV's and RPTV's DO seem to have have discrete AV inputs available. Some HDTV's use 128.4 for component 1 and 2 that would require a mini upgrade or use of a combination protocol, while most other commands for all Panasonic displays seem to be 128.0 (setup code TV_0250).

IIRC your DVD or a model number close to that may not have a discrete On (or Off or both) command(s), but it will turn On from Off with the play command. So Play|stop will turn it on but it may take some delay in the macro for Off (between Play and Power toggle) to make it work reliably. However, this isn't a remote issue but the basic hardware limitation. You should be able to search at Remote central in the discrete discussion group and get the details.

Brandon, I think you should be able to do what you want and if ANY remote can do that, a JP1 remote such as an 8811 can do it as well as any other remote on the market. It may take some work getting up to speed, tweaking, using various tools, but there is a great support group here to assist.
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Brandon



Joined: 27 Sep 2003
Posts: 4
Location: Gilbert, Arizona

PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2003 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well now, alot to consider, but good advice. I think i will pick up an 8811 just start playing with it and see how it goes.
If i understand correctly the 8811 is jp1 compatable out of the box, correct?
I am sure i can built the cable.
Thanks much for the input, i can see i have much to learn, but i wont unless i get started.
Brandon
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jon_armstrong
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Location: R.I.P. 3/25/2005

PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2003 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brandon wrote:
...If i understand correctly the 8811 is jp1 compatable out of the box, correct?


Yes.
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