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Old 2013-01-07, 07:20 PM
SophieP SophieP is offline
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Default RF Remote for TV control from a distance

Hi - I have a couple of questions about the set-up we're looking at for our new house...we're planning on having 2 wall-mounted TVs and want the cable box, DVD player, etc to be located in the basement so we have no wires, boxes, etc in our bedroom and in the family room. We're OK with the extra electrical outlets and HDMI cabling needed. The wiring specialist through our builder says we need an RF Remote for each TV and he is quoting us $640 (+ tax) per remote (Logitech Harmony H900 RF Remote), including installation. Here are my questions:

1- Is that my only option as far as remotes? Are there better/other options?

2- I see that the same remote can be purchased online or at Future Shop for anywhere between $249 and $349 + tax...is this something that is easy to 'install' (ie: what does the installation actually entail?) Can we do this ourselves once we move in?

Thanks!
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Old 2013-01-07, 07:55 PM
Kickingrass Kickingrass is offline
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Here is what I use in a similiar set up. Check the amazon reviews.
I have two and they work very well. Made by URC, who make the remotes for several high end home theatre gear. Significantly cheaper than the harmony. Very well made products.

http://www.amazon.com/URC-RFS200-Pow...remote+control

Carl
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Old 2013-01-07, 08:45 PM
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GregS GregS is offline
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There used to be a lot of different RF based remotes available, but it has since boiled down to a few companies.

Logitech being probably the most recognized since it is sold retail.
Universal Remote Control (URC)
RTI / ProControl

I've been through all of them and we now exclusively use ProControl.

Note these are only available through custom installers though and they start off at about $500 + programming.

So while your company has come back with $640 + HST, that's not unheard of, however, I really can't stand the Logitech remotes from a custom point of view.. because you can't really do anything with them other than what their online software programming wizard lets you do.

URC we dumped because their programming software is so very far behind in what it should be able to do compared to ProControl.

The remote that Kingrass shows there looks to be a model from about 5+ years ago. I'm pretty sure they discontinued all the mono-LCD screens 2 years ago.
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Old 2013-01-07, 08:47 PM
bluejeans bluejeans is offline
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Harmony 900 on sale for $219.99 at Best Buy until January 10th, 2013.
http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/product/...ba64ed78ccen02

You need to find out from your builder what they mean by "installation". Does that mean they run a conduit down to the basement from your chosen TV location for the cords/cables. Does that mean they set up the remotes and program it to work with your TVs . Does that mean they mount the TV on the wall for you too? Then you can decide if it is worth the cost. You can definately buy the remote from the store and program it yourself.

Last edited by bluejeans; 2013-01-07 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 2013-01-07, 10:14 PM
SophieP SophieP is offline
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Thanks so much for your help everyone! I have already sent an e-mail asking for more info about the installation (ie: what it includes)...will let you know what response I get.

GregS - if I purchase the Logitech via BestBuy (thanks for the heads-up about the sale bluejeans!!), are these easy to 'install'? Is it mainly a programming thing and not really an 'installation'? Thanks!
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Old 2013-01-07, 11:21 PM
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They are relatively easy to install/program. That's their whole merit. For most people they are just fine as long as they want to conform to how the remote works as opposed to the other way around.
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Old 2013-01-08, 12:03 AM
SophieP SophieP is offline
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Thanks GregS! We're not very techy so would probably be OK to conform to the remote - that being said, what features do you think I would not be able to use with the Logitech?

Here is my quote below (sorry for the bad formatting - couldn't attach file due to size)...so essentially, if I get the buidler to do the extra outlets and HDMI cabling to basement and walk-in closet (for the bedroom TV) and delete the 2 remotes, I could save over $780 plus tax if I get 2 remotes via Best Buy's sale (less than $500 total)...would that meet my needs? Am I missing something?

Thanks again!

---------------------------------------------------

Item Description Quantity Unit Price Sub Total

1 BasementRelocate cable/satellite outlet in basement N/C
Relocate telephone/network outlet in basement N/C
Additional electrical outlet next to HDMI run 123.87$

2 Family RoomRelocate cable/satellite outlet from family room N/C
to basement

Monster MC 1000HDEX-22M-75FT HDMI cable 500.00$
Logitech Harmony H900 RF Remote with installation 638.30$

3 KitchenRelocate telephone/network outlet in kitchen N/C

4 Master BedroomMonster MC 1000HDEX-10M-35FT HDMI cable 382.66$
Relocate cable/satellite outlet in master bedroom to walk in closet N/C
Additional electrical outlet in walk in closet 123.87$
Logitech Harmony H900 RF Remote with installation 638.30$

Subtotal 2,407.00$
Tax 312.91$
Total 2,719.91$
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Last edited by SophieP; 2013-01-08 at 12:06 AM.
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Old 2013-01-08, 07:28 AM
Trepex Trepex is offline
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Just some warning here that we had a LOT of issues with the Harmony 900 and eventually replaced it with the older 890 model. They changed the wireless protocol in the 900 (for among other reasons, compliance under Australian law) and the range was greatly reduced.

I located all of my AV equipment in the basement corner directly below where the TV was situated. With the 900, I couldn't stray more than 8 feet from the corner of the room below which my RF receiver was located. I can't imagine how the range will be sufficient for your bedroom, unless the plan is to do some funny business with putting the RF receiver in the same room and then extending wires to the basement for the infrared translation.

Then there's the fact the the $500 for the HDMI cable is just plain robbery. For example, here's one alternative:
http://www.cablesonsale.ca/index.php...net-black.html

So basically you could go with conduit instead of the Monster HDMI cable, then just run the cable after the fact. The other advantage of going this route is that you can change the cable later if/when standards change and you want something else in there.

I guess in closing I'd just like to really encourage to you think hard about doing this setup without the assistance of an installer who does this for a living. The Harmony 900 is a beautiful remote but for many just doesn't cut it. If you're really committed to this kind of a setup and don't want to instead keep the equipment in a credenza in the corner of the same room, you might make a few calls and talk to some Home Automation installers to explore your options.
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Old 2013-01-08, 09:18 AM
J&C J&C is offline
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I have our Rogers HDPVR, Blu-Ray and Onkyo receiver in the basement directly below our family room where we have our TV above the fireplace and we use the Harmony 900 and I haven’t had any problems with installing/setting it up/using the 900 at all from anywhere in the family room or kitchen/breakfast nook. I love it and recommend it (though not for $640).

We paid Minto for the upgrade to add support above the fireplace and two conduits running to the basement. One conduit from behind the TV going down to the basement and another conduit next to the cable outlet in the family room going down to the basement.

For the Harmony 900, basically you install the software on your computer and follow along with the wizard to install all your components (TV, cable box, etc) and then create your activities (ie watch TV & watch a DVD, etc.) I even found a website where your can download channel icons to use on your remote (www.iconharmony.com)

You don’t need Monster brand HDMI cable. There are much more affordable alternatives available.
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Old 2013-01-08, 10:24 AM
SophieP SophieP is offline
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Thanks everyone - I really appreciate the help since this is NOT my area of expertise!

I have told my builder to remove the 2 remotes from my quote. I also think $500 is outrageous for HDMI cabling! Trepex and J & C - you both mention other options...what can I ask my builder to do instead which will do the same? I will do more research on the appropriate remote for us but want to make sure we have all the cabling pre-wired ahead of time so we can just install and program the remotes. I'm on a time crunch since we've already passed our cut-off date for this so need to decide in the next day or two.

Thanks again for your help!
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