Explain it to my like I'm 5: RF Remotes...

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Control & Remote Controls' started by thereviewer, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. thereviewer

    thereviewer
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    Can someone explain it to me like I am 5, about RF Remotes and switching to RF from IR. I want to put my rack in a closet. I have a Samsung Bluray (will be changing to a PS4) an xbox 360, a Uverse Cable Box, a Onkyo TXNR-805, an HDMI switcher, an Optioma HD 65 Projector, and a Lutrion light dimmer.

    I currently use a Harmony 700 (IR Only) I don't love it, but I can live with Harmony functionality if that is the remote solution I need.


    Questions I need answered are what RF Remote should I get and what else would I need besides the remote. How does it work? Can I do it for all of these things. Does the PS4 and the Xbox use something besides RF now? I have decided this is the thing I want to do for myself for my birthday. I am open to any solutions. I have been reading here and it seems like I just need an RF remote and it comes with the stuff I need? Is that accurate? Or do I need to buy it, and a receiver and those light emitters? Are they wall mountable? Can I get them so one is in the closet for all the things on the rack and one stays out for the projector and light switch? I have read some but am very confused still.

    Also how does Google TV and the Nexus 7 work as a remote? I live in Austin and will be switching to Google TV as soon as it is available and they use that as a remote, how does that work?


    Thank you very much!
     
  2. logiciel

    logiciel
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    Hi and welcome to the forum.
    There are no universal RF remotes!
     
  3. mikelj

    mikelj
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    What you are describing is an IR remote with the capability to transmit IR codes via RF to a receiving device that will output the original IR codes.

    Assuming you want an actual remote, rather than an Android/iOS device doubling as a remote, then I believe the best solution would be a Harmony Ultimate.

    The Ultimate is an IR remote that also ships with the Harmony Hub. The Ultimate has bulit-in IR emitters, like any other IR remote control, but it can also transmit IR codes via RF to the Hub. The Hub itself is an IR blaster and also comes with two mini blasters, so for example, you could place the Hub in a closed cabinet and place a mini blaster outside to control other equipment. The mini blasters are not really designed for wall mounting, they are designed to be placed on a flat surface.

    The Hub is also capable of controlling Bluetooth devices like the Xbox 360, Wii or PS3 (RF commands from the Ultimate are converted to Bluetooth). I've no idea whether PS4 control will be possible, but if it is controlled via Bluetooth like the PS3, then I would expect the Ultimate to support it, although you may have to wait for a firmware update to the Ultimate (a question for Harmony then).

    I recently changed my Philips Pronto ProNG (a highly capable, if rather ageing, universal remote) for an Ultimate and overall, I'm very happy with it. I have an open AV rack, so I have my Hub placed diagonally opposite it at the other side of the room, around 18ft away. The Hub is quite powerful with a wide spread (it controls my Lutron Rania which is 2/3ft away but 90 deg on to the Hub). I've not used the mini blasters, but I believe they are quite powerful too (it's something you would have to try).

    The Hub also has wifi, so you can update the Ultimate via the web-based My Harmony suite and sync the remote without having to physically connect the remote to your computer. Conversely, any changes made on the remote itself are synced via wifi to your My Harmony account. Your still need a physical connection with your computer though to perform a firmware update.

    I've only two issues with the Ultimate. There is a small issue that gesture control settings are reset to defaults following a firmware update (annoying, but not a huge issue). I don't use the touchscreen gestures myself, my wife uses the gesture page to prevent any accidental touches of the screen sending any commands (since none of the gesture are assigned a command). There is also a free Android/iOS control app that communicates with the Hub, so that you can also control your equipment via a phone, etc. but it's not something I'm particularly interested in, I had a quick play and it seems to work fine.

    A more limiting issue is that it is no longer possible to set an activity to ignore unused devices, so it is not possible to define a Lighting control activity that you can simply dive into, adjust the lights and exit without either powering on unused devices or powering down unused devices - hopefully a future update will correct this. To get around this, I have to include my Rania controls in every activity, which is ok for just one light, but would become an issue for more complex lighting scenes.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2013
  4. Trollslayer

    Trollslayer
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    Mike's solution seems the right one to me as it will give you RF plus universal IR to the equipment.
     
  5. thereviewer

    thereviewer
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    Thank you Mike, that is a great response. I have to put my lights into every activity now so that I don't have to go into the menu of the lights to change the lights, and have it on the LCD for the 700 now, so I would do that anyway probably. I think this seems good. Wow what a price difference from the 700 though. I am a little bummed about the battery not being able to be changed...seems like that could be an issue in a few years, but the space I save would be great.

    So if my projector is behind and above me and the light switch is to the left and behind me and everything else is in the closet...

    I put the base in the closet facing the rack, run a line outside of the closet to somewhere facing the PJ and light switch, and the little blasters will shoot at the PJ and lights? How powerful are the mini blasters, I think were talking 10-12 feet max. How wide is the angle on the mini blaster?
     
  6. logiciel

    logiciel
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    That's something different altogether, and mikelj has explained it!
    You might be better with just one emitter for the items in the cupboard and the extender outside it.
    They all work strongly though so it doesn't really matter.
    I haven't found the defect in respect of unused devices though - what exactly is that?
     
  7. mikelj

    mikelj
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    That's a good option and two mini emitters could be used inside the cabinet if required.

    Hopefully my post on the Harmony forums adequately explains the issue.

    http://forums.logitech.com/t5/Harmo...t/Turn-Off-Unused-Devices-Option/td-p/1072773
     
  8. logiciel

    logiciel
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    Thanks very much and you've done well to raise the matter.
    I'm just astonished that they've removed a feature from the normal setup procedure!
     
  9. mikelj

    mikelj
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    Hopefully they'll bring it back in a future update (not too much in the future though!). I'm not totally convinced it was intentional, I think they've tried to cover all scenarios in the device power control options.

    The recent update included quite a few fixes and some new (admittedly minor, but welcome) features, so fingers crossed:).
     

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