New Sony 43" Smart TV (KD43X80J) - Not So Smart After All


Novice Member
Good day to the Forum,

First post here, so if I've done it wrong, please let me know how to do better, thanks.

We had cobbled together some 20 year old technology, - a Sharp Aquos 42" TV, a Sony mini Stereo, a PS3 and a HomeWorx HW-150PVR (we cut the cord about 6 years ago and converted to OTA signals via a roof top antenna and digital converter box). All our technology is / was connected via a Harmony Hub. This worked very well, solved all of the line of sight issues with the various devices and gave us full control of channel up/dwn, volume and device selection from one remote. The PS3 was our platform for Netflix, Prime and PLEX.

About a month ago PLEX changed its security standards and the PS3 would no longer connect to the PLEX servers.

We concluded that it was best to remove as many points of failure in our hardware lineup and decided to replace the Sharp TV with a Sony 43" Smart KD43X80J. This is where our aging hardware, digital OTA signals and Harmony Hub started to really unravel. It started when we realized that the TV tuner in the new Sony TV was not as sensitive as the HomeWorx digital converter box it attempted to replace. Where the HomeWorx box could find 51 channels, the tuner in the Sony could only find 37. Adding back our in line antenna amplifier caused the Sony to lose an additional 8 channels (probably due to clipping).

Digressing a bit, it seems that manufacturers (not all) have built TVs with marginal tuners in them that are not as sensitive as most digital converters. I think manufacturers rely on the cable companies to deliver an attenuated signal suitable for the tuner built into the TV.

At this point we weren't much further ahead in eliminating hardware, but at least we now had a stable PLEX, Prime, and Netflix platform. TV, however was still being supplied by the digital converter via HDMI port. Additionally, we still have to add a blu-ray player to watch our DVDs.

So, having related this tale of woe, the Harmony Hub is still the central control for channel up/dwn, volume and for turning on the correct devices in the correct sequence. It also acts as the only device that can turn everything off successfully. Why do we use it? Primarily due to line of sight issues with the digital decoder and the Sony mini stereo. Without the Harmony we would need to use 4 different remotes to launch all the devices, or turn everything off. As a token gesture, I discovered that the new Sony remote can launch the HW decoder if held in front of the HW, but it is unable to turn the decoder off.

Getting to the Question:

Maybe there is no solution for the problem we now have, or maybe the closest we will get to one remote is the Harmony to launch and turn off everything and then the Sony remote to chose the function(s).

Has anyone else encountered this dilemma? Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

Special Note: Logitech, makers of the Harmony Hub, have discontinued support for the Harmony Hub, so we are on our own.

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