102 of 105 people found the following review helpful
Brian K. Reynolds
- Published on Amazon.com
EDIT2: Wow, I've had this remote for nearly 5 years now. It's still going strong. I had to replace the battery once, but it was easy to find a replacement. It's the same battery that is used by many digital cameras. I think I paid less than 15 bucks for a new battery.
I can't believe how much these remotes sell for nowadays. I paid $99 for it at Best Buy! At the time, the competing Harmony was selling for $299, so it was a no-brainer to buy this remote. Since I wrote my review below, I've acquired two more of these remotes (for two of my bedrooms), used, on e-bay. I'm planning to buy a couple more of them soon, but I snipe them when I can get them cheap.
The web programming interface has improved over the years.
The remote still works just as well as it did when new, and so do both of the used remotes I bought.
Since writing the review below, I have simplified my setup considerably. I made sure to only buy components that have separate on and off commands available (by actually programming my remote for the new component before I buy it, and then walking into the store with my remote to test the component!). You'd be surprised how many components have separate on/off commands, but the remote that comes with the component only has a power toggle button. Then, when you program this remote, you find that there are commands that don't exist on the remote that comes with the device. For example, many components have separate ON, OFF, HDMI1, HDMI2, HDMI3, and other commands that do not exist on the remote that comes with the component. You won't know unless you program this remote for the specific component... and then try it in the store.
In recent years, the folks over at the JP2 forum have even written a program called RemoteMaster (Google it) which can be used to program this remote if you don't like the web interface (or if the web interface ever ceases to exist). I haven't used RemoteMaster yet, but I plan to test it soon because I have recently changed some components in the bedrooms and I want to see how RemoteMaster compares to the web interface. As I understand it, the RemoteMaster software does not require an Internet connection. If I remember, I'll update my review here with my findings about RemoteMaster. I imagine that it is even more flexible than the web interface that comes with the remote.
To summarize, I'd still recommend this remote. From what I've read, the Harmony remotes don't last very long. The buttons on them fail. This remote has withstood several years of use by me, my two kids, and several girlfriends and their kids over the years. It still works fine.
EDIT1: Many of the problems I mentioned in my review have since been fixed in their software. For example, you can re-order devices in the software now.
Here's my original review:
I read many reviews before I bought this remote. From what I could see in the reviews, the software is cumbersome, but it appears to be a good deal for the money compared to the Harmony One or the Harmony 900. I bought the AR-RX18G at Best Buy on Sunday to replace my old Sony RM-AV3000. I started setting it up that night. I spent about three hours on it before I figured out that I couldn't move devices so that the most frequently used ones are on the first page and also that I couldn't move soft keys for a device from one page to another. So I decided to give up for the night and start over the next day.
Monday night, I deleted all the devices and started adding them again. To my surprise, they didn't appear in the order I added them. I reset the remote to factory defaults (Settings > Reset > 981 > Factory Reset) and added the devices again. This time, they appeared in the order I added them. The web pages for searching for a device are VERY slow. However, once the devices were added, I was able to go to the Advanced button and see an image of the remote. This allowed me to click a button on the computer screen and select what function I wanted on that button. I was pleasantly surprised to find many more commands than what were available on my original remotes... including my RM-AV3000.
For the commands that were not on the website... I had to disconnect the remote from the USB cable in order to learn those commands from my original remotes. It would have been easier to do this via the website, but the learning function on the remote is not too difficult (it's MUCH easier than the learning process on my old RM-AV3000!!!). The real problem with the learning process on the AR-RX18G is that I had to logout of the website and log back in so that I could upload the new commands from my remote. This is not an intuitive process and I might not have known about it without reading the reviews online. I think many users would miss this. It would be much easier if there was a button on each page to upload from the remote. This button should appear on the website right next to the "download" button.
Also, there were a few inconsistencies with the learned commands. For example, if I learned a new command on a soft key, then edited any keys on that page via the software, my learned commands sometimes stopped working. In order for the learned commands to work reliably, I had to finish all my editing of the soft keys before doing any learning.
There was one strange thing about the device setup for my TV. When I added my RCA HD61LPW42 television via the software, none of the commands worked. However, when I tried adding the TV via the remote menus, it worked fine... and it was using the same T1447 remote code that the software had picked. Evidently, the commands for T1447 on the website are incorrect, but the ones stored in the remote work fine (with the only exception being the input selection... but I was able to learn those commands from my original remote).
As for all the reviews that mention how the Harmony remotes keep track of device states... that would be a nice feature to add to this remote. But, I've lived without it for years so I don't think it's a show-stopper. I have discrete on/off commands for my TV, receiver, and DVD changer. My other devices have power toggle commands. Basically, my "All ON" activity turns on my TV, receiver, and cable box and sets them to the correct inputs for watching cable TV. From there, other activities set the correct inputs for other devices and stop short of actually turning on/off the device unless it has discrete on/off commands (like my DVD changer). It's really no big deal to press the power button after the activity has done its thing. Besides, when I open the tray of the Blu Ray player, it turns on anyway. My "All OFF" activity turns off the TV, receiver, DVD changer (it has a discrete "off" command), and cable box. If other devices are left on, it's really no big deal because they don't draw much power and it's easy enough to turn them off when I'm done using the system. The only one that might draw some power is the amplifier for my 2nd room audio, which goes to my back porch, but I don't use 2nd room audio very often anyway.
To summarize, the setup process is frustrating. I spent three hours on Sunday only to find out that I had to start over in order to get my most frequently used devices listed on the first page. Then, I spent five hours on Monday night and an additional three hours on Tuesday night. I setup all my devices, all my favorite channels, three profiles, and most of my activities. The activities will probably require a little tweaking in the coming days, but I'm mostly satisfied with the remote. The IR is a little weak compared to my other remotes, but I plan to buy the RF extender anyway, so hopefully it will take care of the problem.
* Backlighting is terrific!
* Key layout is mostly very good. However, I would prefer to see the play/pause buttons transposed.
* Very simple operation.
* Can operate the remote with one hand.
* Touch screen works very well.
* "List" key for my DVR!
* RGBY keys for my Blu Ray!
* Key-command assignment is very easy via the software.
* The website is slow.
* Cannot change order of device soft keys!
* Cannot move command soft keys from one page to another!
* The learning process needs improvement.
* Learned commands should not be overwritten when editing other soft keys on the same page.
52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
OK - Let's face the real deal - we all are looking for a "Harmony" type device without the Logitech high prices. This is about the best you will be able to do. I have seen wild price swings on this device from $89.99 to $160.00 and more. Unfortunately, I paid about $150.00 (and still feel it was worth it). The main reason I decided on this remote was because of the "color" buttons - I absolutely needed those. That puts this device in direct competition to the Logitech Harmony 700, which costs more and offers less. So that's the first win. The touch-screen and custom set-ups make it also very attractive. The "learn" function is one of the best I've seen and I have seen a lot of them. Here's the Pros & Cons, as I see them:
1. Nice Construction - appears to have a high quality to the housing and the buttons.
2. Strong IR signal - reaches all my devices without pointing - including the projector behind me.
3. IR "learn" function is perfectly executed - with the receive sensor built into the base of the remote - so the remote you are learning can stay in the same orientation of X-sight remote, instead of head-to-head which means one remote is always upside down.
4. Native RF support - this is rare, and if you need RF support, it would make this device a "must have" - I personally do not need RF support at this time.
5. Battery life - I get about three to four weeks between charges.
6. "Bump" light - bump the remote and it lights up the keys - sweet!
7. Flexible programming - I can set this remote to do just about anything - but read the "cons" to understand.
1. Programming software is "on-line" only - no back-ups locally available. Your back-up is totally dependant on a web-site that could disappear at any time.
2. Programming software is clumsy and slow (but all the default stuff can be changed - you just might have to look around a little to figure it out).
3. Screen color and screen "button colors" are not user selectable. The remote sets them itself - with blue being the predominate color (kinda matches the back-lighting). Still looks good though.
4. Remote doesn't "remember" the current power state of a device. This could cause you to accidentally turn off a component that you want "on"... and vice versa. This is only a concern when using one-button macros (Logitech's answer isn't perfect either). Basically - if you are watching TV (or SAT) and you want to change over to a Blu-Ray or DVD, you will have to select the items individually (or use a macro to turn all existing components off and then use your DVD macro to turn on those items needed for watching DVDs - Personally, I can control the items individually, no problem - but there could be a user friendly "spouse factor" here.
5. Questionable support for non-Windows users - some users have complained that they can't make the software work with Apple products, other say "no problem".
6. Some default settings are pretty bogus - like 4 second delay between macro codes - luckily these are all changeable.
7. Some buttons are pretty small, especially for fat-fingered people (if they were bigger, we would probably have to give up functions - I use pretty much all of the buttons).
48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
I had researched high-end universal remotes for a week or two prior to settling on this one. Amazon was selling it for $149 which was $100 off of the local retailer's price. I also purchased the IR extender for around $60 from Amazon. The packages arrived and I opened them and had the extender plugged in, the remote turned on and programmed to my TV, Blue Ray, and cable box within 5 minutes. It was that easy using the on-remote touch screen programming functions without even getting the instruction manual out of the box.
I did get the manual out later that evening to us my PC to finish programming all of the more advance functions. That process too was pretty simple. I spent around 45 minutes adding in 60 favorite channels, creating favorite channel profiles for myself, my wife, and son. I also created 3 different sequence activities like watch TV, Watch a movie, and turn off and on every component in the system.
I had recently purchased an inexpensive IR repeater with a IR sensor that sat below the TV and had a 10 cord running into my AV cabinet. It was very inconsistent and frustrating. This remote along with the RF/IR repeater worked perfectly and needs no sensor sitting anywhere visible. Everything is sitting behind closed cabinet doors and the remote works from just about anywhere in the entire house perfectly every time without delay.
This remote is the bee's knees.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Who has two thumbs and
- Published on Amazon.com
My wife bought me this remote for Christmas after not being able to find a Harmony 700 in the stores.
This is my first UR that does more than your basic cheap UR.
I had asked for a Harmony One but my wife didn't want to spend that much on "just a remote" for me. So she proceeded to look for a Harmony 700. Mind you she waited until the last week before Christmas to start shopping.
Well, Christmas morning rolled around and I opened the box fully expecting to find a 700 and instead found the ARRX15G. She said the stores were all out of the Harmony 700 and that this one was recommended by a sales person as a viable alternative.
I waited a few days before I opened it because I was trying to find reviews online but they all seemed extreme either for or against the remote. Having never used a higher end universal remote I figured what the heck I'd give it a shot. Worse case I'd just return it.
After installing the software and going through the initial device install. I was pleasantly surprised at the flexibility of this remote. I use it to control 4 different devices - a Sony KDFE42A10 television, an Onkyo TXSR606 reciever, a Sony BDP350 bluray player, and an older Sony DVD Player.
I like the button layout and find that I was able to memorize the layout rather quickly.
A day later I decided that I wanted to add a couple of Activities and change some of the color buttons for functions that I use most often. Although, this took some time, about 30 minutes, it was very easy to follow the software and to make the changes I wanted to.
My wife paid $80 for this remote and I am rather satisfied with it. with the money she saved over getting the Harmony 700 she bought me a few blu-rays.
Again, I have never used a Harmony remote so I can't compare the two but for my uses, as simple as they may be, this remote works very well. It's nice not having to juggle 4 remotes on my side table just to watch a movie.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
First the bad... This remote is simple enough to set up, though it isn't as intuitive as they would have you believe. The web-setup is a pain... it would have been much easier to have local software that goes out to the web to look for new codes. One thing they don't mention... any setting up that you do on the remote itself is wiped out when you hook it up to the computer to set up the "functions". This can be avoided after the initial setup by uploading the remotes setting to the web before making changes. All in all, I've seen much more difficult set-up, but in their effort to "keep it simple" for the average Joe, they made it a pain to set-up for more advanced operations. It took me about two weeks to fine-tune it to where it's doing everything proper... and even now I find something every now and then that needs to be tweaked. Now the good... Once you get through the set-up, it works wonderfully. It can do all that a remote costing double can do, and looks good doing it. I would say that for the price, you can't go wrong.