Favorite all-in-one remote control?

I'd like some opinions on the best all-in-one, learning remote controls out there. I don't even have all that many components, but I am sick of swimming in remote controls!! My gear is in a dedicated closet, so rf would be a plus (although I do have a set of powermids, so its not a deal-breaker). I've got 4 components to control (including a tv). Something of a reasonable size would be nice too, I'd like to avoid anything resembling a video game. Simplicity is a big plus, the less gadgety the better.
Thanks for your opinions, Jb3
I'm using a Marantz 2000 MkII and love it. I was able to replace 5 remotes with this one, and even my wife can use it to control the basic functions. I found it on FleaBay for $75, scooped it up and now I'm HAPPY!

And, contrary to what I'd read, it is NOT very battery-hungry: I replace the DuraCell alkalines about twice a year and that's with moderate to heavy use.

BTW, The Marantz SR-18 is the same unit with a different name...

I have a Pronto....forget it...
Take a look at Harmony remotes...they have three models and they look pretty well thought out...no macros or anything..it's all web based and then downloaded via usb into your remote...why didn't I think of that?
I have the MX-500 universal remote, I think it's a Theater Master. A search for MX-500 on ebay or google will turn up vendors. I learned about this on the avs and tivo forums (fora?), where it is far and away the most favored universal remote. It was easy to program, though I haven't done the more sophisticated things with mine, like having all your equipment or selected items turn on/off with the use of one button, macros to accomplish tons of things, etc. Everyone says these more complex things are easy to do with it, however. I got mine for about $97 from some online electronics retailer, maybe ABT Electronics or something, but you can possibly find them on ebay for less. A guy was selling one here about a week ago for $65 or so, but it was snatched up immediately.
Went from 6 remotes to the Philips Pronto TSU3000. If you get this make sure to get the Docking Station with the rechargeable battery. This baby does eat batteries. Also, spend the money and have someone program it with macros and make sure they know what they are doing. You will not regret it. All I know is my wife knows how to operate it and when she first saw it, she said "NO WAY". If she can use this thing then it is a sure hit.

One of my audiophile friends has a Pronto to operate his complex HT/stereo system(its 1 system for two purposes). I must admit I am by no means a remote control person or a techno gadget nerd, however, that thing is pretty neat. It can do ANYTHING for a system and comes in a fairly small attractive package that has tons of user friendly functions. He expressed the hardships he faced getting it programed :) but now that it is set, it is very helpful. If I had more then two items that needed a remote(they can be operated from one of them- so I really only have one remote) I think it would be the first on my list.
Harmony SST-768. I've owned one for about 7 months and am very happy with it*. It's compact, (one-hand operation), easy on batteries, huge memory (2MB), easy to program and to change the settings via your own personal page that you set up at Harmony's website.

It retails for $299 but is still inexpensive by Crestron standards. It's the only remote I know of that you program based on "activities". Just key in your components and how they are connected using their website "wizard" and it automatically creates the macros and hard-button mapping for each activity. It essentially creates a "block diagram" of your whole system which you download into the Harmony. And it loads every command from your OEM remotes for every component automatically from their database. Using the LCD, you can pull up any and all commands from the original remotes for every device in your system. Cool!

It also remembers the "state" of all the components in your system (whether on/off, which input, etc.) and spits out the right combination of IR codes to change to whichever activity you want (watch DVD, for example). It even has a HELP button. If things ever get "out of sych", you press it and it will get things back on track by asking simple questions on the LCD screen. It works because it has your whole system's block diagram stored in it's memory.

It works as advertised. They even include the USB cable which the Pronto does not (last time I checked). The few times I needed tech support it was topnotch (and free).

Nitpicks - It would be nice if the hard buttons were backlit in addition to the LCD (they do glow in the dark on mine, however).

*I'm not a Harmony dealer or anything, just a satisfied customer! JZ

I have been satisfied with the pronto tsu 6000. so much I bought 2. A new model is coming out soon to replace it so the 6000 should be popping up cheap soon. 400 is a fair price.
Check out RemoteCentral.com, which was where I did my research and got the Sony RM-AV3000 (MSRP $199) from B&H Photo Video online for $125. There are other better ones, but I didn't want to spend something equivalent to a AV receiver. I love what I have. Has many macro functions and can be programed to turn lights on and off. Macro function is a one touch button, which is convenient for wife and kids. Cool LCD touch screen. You can use any palm pilot pen for the screen in case you want to avoid finger grease.
Home Theater Master MX700. The best I have dealt with...easy to program, intuitive to operate and easy for others to figure out & use.

It truly eliminates other remotes. Main negative is no RF (newer models have) and a bit slow if channel surfing.

I use the Marantz RC-2000mkII.With everyting you need but...I would like more macro's now that my system fires up with one button.
Like some others I prefer a simple remote to control things. I have and still use the HT sl9000. I also have their Mx500. I find the 9000 a lot eaiser to use in the dark.--(one button device change / 500= 2 buttons)The 10 key part is more mid positioned and thus more one-hand friendly.--The 500's pad is way to near the bottom and requires both of my hands It's just that the Mx seems to learn more codes. So,---I use 2 remotes
Harmony SST-659. This is the best combination of effectiveness/cost/simplicity that I've ever encountered. I bought one for my father-in-law after reading the review posted by the founder/CEO of the eCoustics web site.


This thing is awesome, but does require a USB port and internet access on your computer to download the appropriate codes and micros. BTW, you don't have to program it. Just input the products you own on the Harmony web site and your remote gets downloaded apporpriately for your equipment/environment.

I highly recommend that you go to Harmony's web site and check it out. I'm ordering another one for myself. BTW, Harmony is EXCELLENT about adding support of new products. I have a fairly rare Resolution Audio Opus 21 CD player that uses proprietary IR codes. I asked to have the code loaded for the RA Opus and a week later it was on Harmony's list of downloadable code.

Lastly, I bought mine from an Authorized reseller at a substancial discount. Let me know if you would like the info for this dealer. I have zero relationship to Harmony or this dealer. I'm just a satisfied customer.


This is a very helpful thread! I have been trying to decide if I should attempt to program the remote that came with my Rotel RSP-1066 (which IS a learning remote, but which is not the easiest thing to setup or use), or if I should pickup another universal learning remote. I, too, have checked out remotecentral.com, and it is a very good resource. My current faves are either the Harmony ST-659 or ST-768, the Home Theatre Master MX-700, or RTI Theatre Touch T2.

Man, those things can get expensive...
I've been using a Marantz RC2000mkII since '98 and really like it a lot. I've never used another brand so I'm unable to make a comparison with the other nice ones out there.
ok which universal remote has commands available for wadia specifically the 27/270 remote
HP IPaq. As crazy as it may sound i picked up a used iPaq on ebay, installed a $15 application and ran a pronto ccf file and it works great. I have not had any problems with the range of the IR.
The software is programmable, user friendly and the interface is maliable. There are literally hundreds of free CCF files free for download containing IR codes for every imaginable device. The iPaq is cheaper than a pronto, and is expandable. With built in WiFi it can also control a number of other web enabled devices if you have a home network.
It may not be for the techinically shy but it pays out in dividends in the end
Hey Neil; wow. Here comes the shot-gun marriage with computers and lots of us Audiophiles. Great post. Just wish I could understand it.
Sorry about the incomprehensible thread above in regards to the iPaq. If anyone wants specifics, i.e. cost, software and / or general how to, I will gladly give it. Drop me an email or post a thread