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View Full Version : Best Universal remote for Squeezebox?



sander
2007-07-23, 09:08
I've looked at a number as they come up on the sales sites, but someone pointed out somewhere here that none of them have the number to letter conversions necessary for some functions like lazy search, which is a deal breaker.

Has anyone found one that has this or an alternate way of entering text that works with the Squeezebox?

TIA

bobharp
2007-07-23, 11:26
I have updated my Harmony remote and the options for Squeezebox control have increased tremendously.
I'll check out the 'lazy search' options to see if it works.

earthbased
2007-07-23, 11:31
I've looked at a number as they come up on the sales sites, but someone pointed out somewhere here that none of them have the number to letter conversions necessary for some functions like lazy search, which is a deal breaker.

Has anyone found one that has this or an alternate way of entering text that works with the Squeezebox?

TIA

I use a Harmony 880 and 550 with a SB2 with no problems. The 880 has big color screen but buttons are small and flat. The 550 has monochrome screen and rubber raised buttons. I like the form factor of 550 better, but the color screen on the 880 better. You can get the 550 on Amazon for around $75US. I don't see why the buttons on the Harmony remote would be a problem with Lazy Search since they mimic the native remote's command set. I didn't know about Lazy Search. I will try it as it looks great!

ceejay
2007-07-23, 14:50
I've looked at a number as they come up on the sales sites, but someone pointed out somewhere here that none of them have the number to letter conversions necessary for some functions like lazy search, which is a deal breaker.

Has anyone found one that has this or an alternate way of entering text that works with the Squeezebox?

TIA

My Harmony 885 has the letters on the number keys, and they do match the same convention as used by the slim remote and the Lazy Search plugin.

Highly recommended, as long as you don't want to use it to control a Panasonic plasma.....

Ceejay

sander
2007-07-23, 15:31
I didn't know about Lazy Search. I will try it as it looks great!

Like CeeJay mentioned the issue is lazy search (and regular search as I recall) both rely on the letters in addition to the numbers to use them effectively. Lazy search is just too helpful for me.

Based on what the consensus so far the Harmony sounds like it's the way to go. Just out of curiosity, I'm researching it at the moment, are all the Harmony's the same on the back end (functionality-wise) just fancier layouts and rf/ir?

Thanks for the advice!

mbonsack
2007-07-23, 15:58
My Harmony 885 has the letters on the number keys, and they do match the same convention as used by the slim remote and the Lazy Search plugin.

Highly recommended, as long as you don't want to use it to control a Panasonic plasma.....

Ceejay

What's wrong with the 885 and a Panny plasma? I use the 676 and it works just fine with my Panny commercial display...

earthbased
2007-07-23, 16:16
Like CeeJay mentioned the issue is lazy search (and regular search as I recall) both rely on the letters in addition to the numbers to use them effectively. Lazy search is just too helpful for me.

Based on what the consensus so far the Harmony sounds like it's the way to go. Just out of curiosity, I'm researching it at the moment, are all the Harmony's the same on the back end (functionality-wise) just fancier layouts and rf/ir?

Thanks for the advice!

They are all based on the concept of 'Activities' such as Watch TV, Play CD, Play Digital Music, Play Radio, etc. The lower priced ones can't handle as many devices/activities and have smaller lower resolution monochrome displays.

agentsmith
2007-07-23, 17:35
I have updated my Harmony remote and the options for Squeezebox control have increased tremendously.
I'll check out the 'lazy search' options to see if it works.

Bob, where did you get the code the your Harmony. I have a 880 and got my Slim codes from the Logitech site, the menu layout is kind of messy. But then I have not accessed their site for ages.

agentsmith
2007-07-23, 17:37
One thing I find with the Logitech Harmony 880 is the charging cradle is seriously broken. I have to out some weight on top of the remote for it to make contact with the cradle. This seems to be a known problem with this unit, but I have not gotten around calling them.

earthbased
2007-07-23, 19:51
One thing I find with the Logitech Harmony 880 is the charging cradle is seriously broken. I have to out some weight on top of the remote for it to make contact with the cradle. This seems to be a known problem with this unit, but I have not gotten around calling them.

Try using an eraser on the contacts.

EB

ceejay
2007-07-24, 00:02
What's wrong with the 885 and a Panny plasma? I use the 676 and it works just fine with my Panny commercial display...

I think this may depend on where you are - but current Panasonic Plasmas sold in Europe have some very messy command structures for switching inputs involving the use of the 4 colour buttons, which the Harmony has a hard time modelling. Not insolvable, just very tricky and even then not foolproof.

I also find the way you have to set up the Harmony using their web-based software more than a little frustrating - it has quite a few quirks that you have to get used to before you can make it do what you want.

But the end result is very good: my Harmony has replaced 8 remotes in my living room and the originals very rarely see the light of day.

Ceejay

geoffb
2007-07-24, 07:06
On 7/23/07, agentsmith wrote:

> Bob, where did you get the code the your Harmony. I have a 880 and got
> my Slim codes from the Logitech site, the menu layout is kind of messy.
> But then I have not accessed their site for ages.

I've found that most Harmony profiles don't have EVERY function
programmed - just the most common ones. It's worth spending a a bit
of time to program the functions you need, if they're not included;
it's pretty easy to add the buttons you want to the activity you're
using.
If the buttons aren't all available, just edit the Device entry in
Harmony's software, and assign them, or 'learn' them if they're not in
the list. Then you can add them to the activity.

Cheers,
Geoff

geoffb
2007-07-24, 07:12
On 7/24/07, ceejay wrote:
>
> mbonsack;216672 Wrote:
> > What's wrong with the 885 and a Panny plasma? I use the 676 and it
> > works just fine with my Panny commercial display...
>
> I think this may depend on where you are - but current Panasonic
> Plasmas sold in Europe have some very messy command structures for
> switching inputs involving the use of the 4 colour buttons, which the
> Harmony has a hard time modelling. Not insolvable, just very tricky
> and even then not foolproof.
Maybe it's to do with the model? I have a TH-50PX600U, and my 880
works very well with it. Input change is a two-button affair
('TV/Video' followed by a digit 1-9), which my remote dealt with out
of the box (with the standard profile on Harmony's list). There was
an annoying issue of the onscreen guide coming up every time the TV
turned on or changed inputs, but that turned out to be a setting in
the TV itself.

> I also find the way you have to set up the Harmony using their
> web-based software more than a little frustrating - it has quite a few
> quirks that you have to get used to before you can make it do what you
> want.
Totally agree on this one - but it's gotten better, IMO. The only
real issue for me now is the five-minute timeout on some of the
screens (and to be fair, they do put a warning on relevant pages).

> But the end result is very good: my Harmony has replaced 8 remotes in
> my living room and the originals very rarely see the light of day.
Again - my vote goes in this direction too. I also managed to put
away 8 remotes, and only ever need the Slim one occasionally - I
haven't solved the press-hold-for-10-seconds issue on the Harmony.

Cheers,
Geoff

Steve Baumgarten
2007-07-24, 07:57
> Like CeeJay mentioned the issue is lazy search (and regular search as I
> recall) both rely on the letters in addition to the numbers to use them
> effectively. Lazy search is just too helpful for me.

That's the one thing I don't like about my Harmony -- no letters. Makes
search very difficult or impossible. Are there any decent universal
remotes that have letters as well as numbers on the keypad?

SBB

Steve Baumgarten
2007-07-24, 08:01
> That's the one thing I don't like about my Harmony -- no letters. Makes
> search very difficult or impossible. Are there any decent universal
> remotes that have letters as well as numbers on the keypad?

Actually I see that the 880 has letters on the keys, but even discounted
it's a pricey remote. I don't think I could justify it...

SBB

agentsmith
2007-07-24, 09:00
Try using an eraser on the contacts.

EB

Yes I heard about that trick and tried it unsuccessfully

My remote is quite new and hardly ever used do that may not be the problem.

geoffb
2007-07-24, 09:44
On 7/24/07, agentsmith wrote:
>
> earthbased;216708 Wrote:
> > Try using an eraser on the contacts.
> >
> > EB
>
> Yes I heard about that trick and tried it unsuccessfully
>
> My remote is quite new and hardly ever used do that may not be the
> problem.

I called their support, and they were excellent - after a few
rudimentary test requests from them, they sent me a new cradle and
battery. They said the issue was fixed in the newer cradles, and for
me that definitely seems to be the case.

Cheers,
Geoff

TheQwerty
2007-07-24, 10:09
> I also find the way you have to set up the Harmony using their
> web-based software more than a little frustrating - it has quite a few
> quirks that you have to get used to before you can make it do what you
> want.
Totally agree on this one - but it's gotten better, IMO. The only
real issue for me now is the five-minute timeout on some of the
screens (and to be fair, they do put a warning on relevant pages).


I wish I were so lucky.

<rant>
I went to make one small change on my 880 this week (and fix the 15 minute time drift), installed the latest update, made my tweaks, clicked update, and got back nothing but Java classCastExceptions. Seems someone forgot to read the chapter on try-catch-finally. Searched the Logitech forums for a bit to no avail, though I see quite a few people are getting Java runtime exceptions, but no solutions (and no comment from anyone at Logitech).

Hopefully I'll have some free time this week to write down all my settings and attempt to reprogram the entire remote and if that doesn't work I guess I'll be chatting with a CSR or attempting to rollback the software.

I thought the software was pretty poor before, but at least I could program the remote then.

Between the Harmony software and SetPoint, I really hope that the SD developers wear off on Logitech, or at least convince them to quit using Summer Interns (I hope they aren't paying people to write this shoddy stuff) for all their development. I bet leaps and bounds would be made if all Logitech did was open the current Harmony Software up to community development.
</rant>

Aside from the software and dodgy charger if you can get the remote programmed the 880 is great, but at its price I expected far fewer problems. Entering search queries is easy enough, and it passes the dark test since most of the buttons glow (and yes the 880 has the letters on the 0-9). It works fine with all my devices (though my Philips TV seems really picky about the power codes) and has replaced 6 remotes plus gave me a remote to control the XBox360.

bobharp
2007-07-24, 11:07
Bob, where did you get the code the your Harmony. I have a 880 and got my Slim codes from the Logitech site, the menu layout is kind of messy. But then I have not accessed their site for ages.

Codes came from the Logitech site.
While adding functionality to my SB, the updates seem to have removed my ability to move around the LCD menu options. I use to be able to change the order of when they would appear when pressing next.


No letters on my 676 but "Lazy Search" works as reported.

sander
2007-07-24, 18:39
No letters on my 676 but "Lazy Search" works as reported.

I ordered the 670 after all the comments. It has letters (not backlit) but at half the price of the 880 and apparently nicer buttons, I'm hoping for the best.

earthbased
2007-07-24, 19:59
> Like CeeJay mentioned the issue is lazy search (and regular search as I
> recall) both rely on the letters in addition to the numbers to use them
> effectively. Lazy search is just too helpful for me.

That's the one thing I don't like about my Harmony -- no letters. Makes
search very difficult or impossible. Are there any decent universal
remotes that have letters as well as numbers on the keypad?

SBB

The Harmony 550 has letters and numbers on the keys as does the more expensive 880. You can get the 550 on Amazon for $75. Not expensive at all for all it does.

EB