Which Universal Remote to Use?

Hey everyone,

Looking for thoughts/opinions on trying to unite all my remote controls (currently 7) into one universal command remote.

Any one that folks recommend in particular for a combination home theater/listening room setup? I'm looking for ease of setup, future expandability, and ease of use without busting the bank.

I'm comparing the following:
- MX-3000 from Best Buy/Magnolia
- iControl
- Phillips
- Logitech Harmony 550, 670, 890, 1000,

Also, any tips on which ones to avoid would be helpful. Many thanks!
IMO the Harmony 670 is the best for everything without going to a crestron. My 600 series (I have 3 of various vintages) will run everything including my digital projection projector and reimyo cd transport levinson Bat preamp esoteric player and any and all tv's vcr's dvd Meridian complete theatre system etc. avoid the mx-3000 at all costs good luck!
Look at the Harmony One.
Harmony One
Interesting to note that the Harmony's run projector remotes too. I've got a Panasonic projector that could benefit as well.
I've had the Harmony 690,880,890, and 1000.

For me, the 890 is the best allowing RF to IR control and is all inclusive (you need to buy the RF extender to the 1000 for $99)

I would not recommend the Harmony one, it is cute with the touch screen but the screen is to small to be of any value, and it is only IR, unless you want to be tied to line of sight, avoid this, also you'd need to point it at your projector if you have one.

I don't like the MX line as they are much more difficult to program than the Harmony's, and I don't like their design. Harmony also has the largest database of control in the world. When I swap out even a pre/pro, I can reprogram my Harmony's in a few minutes... They are that easy.

AMX is nice, but every-time you change something, you will also be paying for someone else to change the remote, not only is it a PITA, it can get expensive.

I have not worked with the iControl, as for the Philips, the big ones (read expensive) are really nice, also somewhat tedious to program, but a solid remote.
I have the Harmony 890 in my bedroom now and the Harmony One running my main system. My wife definitely likes the 890 better, I like the Harmony One. The 890, as with the 880 has some charging problems with the cradle/remote batter contact design, so it can run out of juice and you have to "jiggle" the remote in the cradle to get the contacts to seat correctly. They are both excellent remotes and very similar.

I have had 3 different Phillips Prontos and didn't really like them. Too hard to program, too expensive, and too big.

I still love the Home Theater Master remotes, and in some ways they are more flexible with programming, but it takes more effort. The Harmony software locks you in a box with some things, it's difficult to write stand alone macro's that don't fit their standard questions given during programming, but it is extreamly simple to use in general.

Good luck.
What ever you do DONT get the Harmony 1000, it was rushed to market very flawed, my dad paid $500 for it and he gave up on it after only a couple days....its terrible.
BTW I programmed it and I have alot of experience with remotes, it just doesnt work the way it should and its a shame as it looked very promising. When in NYC for T.H.E. show last year we ran into a Harmony rep and talked about our issue with the 1000, he shrugged his shoulders and said "get in line"....no kidding!
Wow Chadnliz, glad you mentioned that about the Harmony 1000. I have a friend putting in a multi room system and I was going to use that with the RF extender for the Dining/Kitchen section remote. Now I think I will look at someething else.


I got the Harmony 1000 for free, and it's barely worth that. Initially Harmony had told me they were going to allow you to customize the screens, but that is never going to happen, they also needed to add an RF to RS 232 controller to it but that too won't ever happen.

I use the 890 for my main rig which is a complicated dual use (movies/music) system and it works very well and I love all the hard buttons, I keep the 1000 in my bedroom which is much simpler a system and it barely is good enough for that. I often have to reboot the 1000, and the IR emitter stinks!
Glad I could help!
Wow - the Harmony 1000 is really that bad huh? Thanks for steering me clear - nice to know that there is an upper limit to getting what you pay for when it comes to remotes.
Just spent a few hours reading reviews of the Harmony remotes on Amazon - looks like the biggest issue with the Harmony 880-890s is an issue with survivability due to "regular" wear and tear. The remotes appear to be fairly delicate. While I don't intend to subject my remote to Underwriter Laboratory testing in my media room, I'm curious as to how big a factor this is for the Harmony owners out there.

Any thoughts?

I have had my 880 for ~5 years, it works flawlessly, my 890 is slightly younger but not by much and again, works perfectly, neither has ever had an issue, and I would highly disagree with the statement that they are 'delicate'.

I have big dogs and had young children (well, 9 and 13 then) and they both survived without a scratch. The one complaint many have is the charging dock for the 880/890 is not the greatest design, some times the remote won't make good contact and it doesn't charge when in the cradle.

I do not find this to be an issue, and in fact, my 890 still runs for weeks without recharging, even with regular use.

Oh, BTW my entire house is tiled, so every time the remote has fallen, it's landed on tile, and both still are hanging in strong.

I guess by now you can see I am hooked on the Harmony remotes, and have been now for seven years (when I got my 690, which BTW is still working perfectly as well, no cradle issues as this one runs on batteries, again which last MONTHS between changes!)
no delicacy issues
I have had several brands and other Harmony's. Everything is right about this remote for me:

Easy, easy, easy to program online

Can't lose your set-up as it is stored online

My wife can run it and I can label buttons she understands

Tilt backlight is fantastic

Strong signal output

Only thing it does not have is RF, but I run the powermid RF x10 system throughout my house. Allows the use of any IF remote anywhere.
Harmony One above.
Does anyone know of a universal remote that will work with Oppo players. The stock one is lousy. I need one with nice large and illuminated buttons. I found several at WalMart for little more than ten bucks, but Oppo was not among the dozens of brands listed on the package.
URC 900 is much better than any Harmony piece..Add the Mrf260 radio frequency extender for control up to 100 feet.Tom
Harmon Kardon TC30
Outstanding response from Oppo. I sent them an E-Mail.

You download new software, and write it to a CD. Then you use the CD in the player. Instructions must be followed exactly, or you may mess up the player. I have not done it yet, but I did do something similar for a Rotel prepro.

I bought a very nice universal remote at Radio Shack for $14.99. Illuminated buttons and all.