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Choosing a remote?
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mwm



Joined: 03 Mar 2007
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Robman wrote:

mwm wrote:
While it works, so does just keeping a dozen remotes on the coffee table. Having used a remote with soft buttons, going back just seems wrong. And my family might well shoot me.

Well, if you still need to have the original remotes lying around, I would argue that it doesn't work. Most of us can't even remember where our original remotes are, and we certainly don't have them available on the coffee table.

I still have the original remotes because they're in the original boxes, which are stacked in the closet.
The Robman wrote:

mwm wrote:
Without knowing what buttons are actually on the remote, I can't even guess how I would go about assigning them.

Have you looked at any of the remote images on this web site? Most of them are pretty detailed. Here's the image for the URC-8910 for example...

http://www.hifi-remote.com/ofa/pic2.shtml?URC-8910


Ah, excellent. No, I hadn't seen those. I have to wonder why they don't show up in google images, though. Thank you.
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The Robman
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Joined: 01 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mwm wrote:
I still have the original remotes because they're in the original boxes, which are stacked in the closet.

I was referring to the dozens of remotes that you claim to still have on your coffee table.
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mwm



Joined: 03 Mar 2007
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeff,

Now we're starting to get into philsophy, personal opinion and the like, which I tried to avoid. But...

The harmony web interface - personally, I like it. It means I can configure the remote on whatever system I happen to be sitting at, and then go update the remote from the system with the drivers installed. This works even if I'm on the other side of the country, with no effort on my part. On the other hand, the configuration information is on Logitech's computers, and they've shown that they can't be trusted not to screw with it as part of retroactively removing features from remotes they've already sold.

Conversely, the reason I avoided JP1 last time I chose a remote is Windows. I've got five computers close enough to touch here; two run Unix, one runs Linux, the laptop is a Mac (which is a Unix laptop with hardware support from the vendor; I primarily use X on it instead of the Mac UI), and the last one has Windows installed, but is currently running a Linux test environment. If I go to JP1, it'll mean considerable effort (if I go with Windows or Wine on Linux) to set up a secure environment that is adequately backed up, or to enough expense (Parallels on the Mac) that the cost savings on the JP1 remotes isn't really there.

Speaking of expense, I've got three to four grand invested in my home theater system, and expect to replace the two most expensive components (52" tube and A/V receiver) in the next five years, after the HDCP DRM cruft settles out. Spending 10% of what I've got in it to go from a remote that can do everything I want with funky buttons and maybe a few quirks to one that does everything I want exactly the way I want with no problems isn't an issue.

Which brings us to the URC remotes. From what I can tell, the only one that really has the capabilities I want is the MX-950 (or is it the 850?). That retails for $799. However, URC believes that I'm an idiot and a crook, and insists that I buy their remote from an authorized dealer, and get the software to program it from them (that's right - it comes without the software needed to make it do anything). This pretty much kills buying from a discount house, which would have brought the thing into the price range I consider acceptable. Worse yet, if I need code updates or software upgrades or the like, I have to go back to the dealer. Um, nope. No way, no how.

Which are the only options I know about. Others?
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mwm



Joined: 03 Mar 2007
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Robman wrote:
mwm wrote:
I still have the original remotes because they're in the original boxes, which are stacked in the closet.

I was referring to the dozens of remotes that you claim to still have on your coffee table.


Ah, no - just one remote on the coffee table. No, two - the PS/2 remote hasn't been put away yet. I was referring to a way to do things that would work, but isn't optimal.
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lwt42



Joined: 01 Mar 2007
Posts: 6
Location: So. Ca.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mwm wrote:

Which brings us to the URC remotes. From what I can tell, the only one that really has the capabilities I want is the MX-950 (or is it the 850?). That retails for $799.

Not to be confused with UEI. As far as I know, URC does not make any remote with a JP1 connector, and UEI doesn't have one over $100.

Rob sells the 8910 (which I'm sort-of using by default) for $20.

I'm looking for advice on something better, but in the meantime it's hard to go too wrong in that price range.
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greenough1



Joined: 30 Jan 2005
Posts: 659

PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mwm wrote:
Jeff,

Now we're starting to get into philsophy, personal opinion and the like, which I tried to avoid. But...

The harmony web interface - personally, I like it. It means I can configure the remote on whatever system I happen to be sitting at, and then go update the remote from the system with the drivers installed. This works even if I'm on the other side of the country, with no effort on my part. On the other hand, the configuration information is on Logitech's computers, and they've shown that they can't be trusted not to screw with it as part of retroactively removing features from remotes they've already sold.

Conversely, the reason I avoided JP1 last time I chose a remote is Windows. I've got five computers close enough to touch here; two run Unix, one runs Linux, the laptop is a Mac (which is a Unix laptop with hardware support from the vendor; I primarily use X on it instead of the Mac UI), and the last one has Windows installed, but is currently running a Linux test environment. If I go to JP1, it'll mean considerable effort (if I go with Windows or Wine on Linux) to set up a secure environment that is adequately backed up, or to enough expense (Parallels on the Mac) that the cost savings on the JP1 remotes isn't really there.

Speaking of expense, I've got three to four grand invested in my home theater system, and expect to replace the two most expensive components (52" tube and A/V receiver) in the next five years, after the HDCP DRM cruft settles out. Spending 10% of what I've got in it to go from a remote that can do everything I want with funky buttons and maybe a few quirks to one that does everything I want exactly the way I want with no problems isn't an issue.

Which brings us to the URC remotes. From what I can tell, the only one that really has the capabilities I want is the MX-950 (or is it the 850?). That retails for $799. However, URC believes that I'm an idiot and a crook, and insists that I buy their remote from an authorized dealer, and get the software to program it from them (that's right - it comes without the software needed to make it do anything). This pretty much kills buying from a discount house, which would have brought the thing into the price range I consider acceptable. Worse yet, if I need code updates or software upgrades or the like, I have to go back to the dealer. Um, nope. No way, no how.

Which are the only options I know about. Others?


Sorry to go into philosophy... just trying to give you a sort of, from my perspective, how I got here.

I think the urc 950 is about what you have to get into to get computer programmability with soft buttons. If you give up computer programmability (since the demise of IRClone), you can get the mx-500 which has soft buttons, but you'll push buttons to program it.

You've got your hands around the computing requirements. the most straightforward way is to run windows. There might be a post about someone who got the jp1 stuff running under linux, searching might turn it up, or I might be remembering wrong.

I've got at least $5k in HT gear, but I still use a jp1 remote (8811, 8910 and 6011's). If you think you've got a shot at setting up the tools on at least one of your existing machines, it might be worth a shot, since my cost arguement might be valid.

I also think that part of the discussion we're now having is at least partly what you originally were asking about. How does my remote work? Just the way I want it to. does it reflect an activity based configuration scheme? You bet. want to watch a dvd? press and hold the dvd key (LKP turns on the devices, inputs are switched and you're ready to watch a DVD). Want to watch HDTV? Press and hold the CBL button (LKP turns on necessary devices, inputs are switched and I'm watching HDTV).

Anyway, I think you've got enough to consider. Oh, RM (remote master that I refered to in my last post) is a pretty slick java based tool for configuring the remote and it has a beta integrated version of IR, the tool that directly interacts with remote. Check them out.

Best and happy remote hunting,
jeff
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mwm



Joined: 03 Mar 2007
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

greenough1 wrote:

I think the urc 950 is about what you have to get into to get computer programmability with soft buttons.


Well, if Logitech hadn't screwed things up, the harmony remotes would fit the bill. Computer programmable, you can progam them from any system that FireFox will build on (which includes systems that are physically smaller than the remote), and they're available for under $80 with soft buttons and a USB cable But logitech did screw up, so they don't cut it any more.

I'm probably going to order an 8910 - or something similar - to play with. Probably from Amazon, just because they'll give me free 2nd day air.
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The Robman
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Joined: 01 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mwm wrote:
I'm probably going to order an 8910 - or something similar - to play with. Probably from Amazon, just because they'll give me free 2nd day air.

Amazon won't sell you a JP1 cable though, so you'll still need to get one from elsewhere. I sell both the URC-8910 and JP1 cables and I offer free techincal support, which you won't get from Amazon. I ship using USPS Priority Mail, which gets the remotes to their destinations in 2 to 3 days. I've even had remotes get to Australia in just 4 days.
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vickyg2003
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Joined: 20 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

My minor grumble is: there is a gap between the highly technical information (like how to load and program an extender) and the basic (which remote has nice PVR buttons, or why would I want an extender).


You know what, YOU can write up some beginner documents. I was planning on adding a remote section to my irhelp file, but here is a preliminary version. It has key layouts and features of remotes if you are considering purchasing a JP1 remote.

I just posted.

http://www.hifi-remote.com/forums/dload.php?action=file&file_id=4318

Take a look and see if this is the type of information you wanted to see.
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The Robman
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great file Vicky. However you had the URC-6820/8820/10820 family of remotes listed as non-learners, whereas they do have learning, so I have corrected that and re-loaded the doc. Also, the URC-8910/9910 images that you have used are the old "donut" versions, you might want to either replace them with the "arrow key" versions, or make seperate entries for the arrow key versions.
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mwm



Joined: 03 Mar 2007
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Vicky,

That's pretty much exactly what I was looking for when I started the thread. It tells me what the keys are, and what it will take to start programming it. Thank you very much.

Two suggestions: Most of the things in the description are self-explanatory, but a short key wouldn't hurt. And in my experience, PDF is a more reliable format for document distribution than .doc.
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cywelchjr



Joined: 14 Oct 2006
Posts: 33
Location: Sacramento, California, USA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PDF may be more reliable, but outside of Linux, finding free ways to generate PDF files not always easy to do. I know there are multiple products out there, but many of them that most users can easily find are pay for. I personally would recommend RTF for pre-release documents at least, since just about every word processor out there can read and write them.
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Cy
My Remotes: 1 URC9910, 3 Millenium 4's, 3 Comcast 1067A's and 1 Visio OEM JP1.2
My Equipment: Mot 6412, Vizio LE32HDTV, Samsung HT-80, Samsung TV/VCR and others
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Ellen



Joined: 03 Aug 2003
Posts: 100
Location: East of the Rock, West of the Hard Place

PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
PDF may be more reliable, but outside of Linux, finding free ways to generate PDF files not always easy to do.

The free OpenOffice 2.x suite will allow you to save documents, spreadsheets and drawings in PDF format. It will even open simple Word and Excel files. Runs on Windows, Linux and MAC.
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mwm



Joined: 03 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cywelchjr wrote:
PDF may be more reliable, but outside of Linux, finding free ways to generate PDF files not always easy to do.

That's been my experience as well when starting from MS Office. If you start with an open source package - OpenOffice has been mentioned, and I've found it handles fairly complex MS Office documents, including powerpoint, but there are others that run on Windows - then they all pretty much come with a "Generate PDF" button these days. The ghostscript toolset runs on Windows, and includes a relatively capable ps->pdf translator (I used to use it with FrameMaker to add bookmarks, etc. before FrameMaker vanished) if you can coax your office suite into producing a postscript file.
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vickyg2003
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rob

Quote:
Also, the URC-8910/9910 images that you have used are the old "donut" versions, you might want to either replace them with the "arrow key" versions, or make seperate entries for the arrow key versions.


I'll fix that. Were the 8910 and 9910 B00 the only remotes to have the "dreaded" donuts?


As long as I'm going to make this public I really would like it to be a little more complete.


I suppose I should mention variations.
9960B00 and 9960B01 look the same but have different firmware so different extenders.

8811's come with red or green backlighting.


Other Features

8910 and 9910 have modem for WAV upgrades.

Oddities

Some keys are restricted without extenders.

I know that Fav Keys are very restrictive in there use. Any others?

I probably ought to mention something about the SET key on the 8811, 801x, 601x, 8910, 9910 being sunken. I have problems getting that key to press on those remotes. On the 6131 its lowered but it not sunken so its a usable key for me.

Any other oddities about these remotes that I ought to comment on.

As far as format, I could produce this file in Acrobat, HLP, HTML. I've got lots of tools in my arsenel. I chose DOC because I wanted it to be maintainable by anyone.
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