I don’t watch a lot of TV but Winters are cold, dark and long and I no longer feel guilty about relaxing in front of a TV at the end of the day. I recently took advantage of 40% off sales and updated by old plasma TV to a Samsung LED smart TV.
My home system consists of:
Samsung 49 inch LED TV.
Vizio sound bar with wireless sub woofer and two Satellite speakers.
Shaw direct PVR receiver.
OTTTV X96 streaming media centre box.
Digital optical switch box.
With prudent purchasing and watching for sales I do not have a lot invested but it is a nice system.
The only negative is that each device has a separate remote and add in an air mouse and wireless keyboard and I have a total of 7 remotes. Because I built the system I understand the remote dance (though inconvenient) but herself is overwhelmed.
In past years I have tried universal remotes and found them painful to set up and not that good.
My solution is a Logitech Harmony 650 remote. Logitech has over 270,000 devices in its database and with the power of the internet the setup is remarkably simple. To set up you need a computer, the manufacturer and model of your devices and what input ports you use on your devices. Setup can also be done with an app which I did not try.
I downloaded the Mac desktop software. Using that software I created an account at Logitech. Then I plugged the remote into a USB port on Mac. First thing you do is add devices. This is where you need manufacturer and model. Fill in the two bits of info and done setting up devices. At this point all devices are working with one remote.
The coolest feature with Harmony is ability to set up one button activities. I set up 4:
Watch OTTTV box
Listen to music
Now to do any of the activities I press ONE BUTTON on the remote. The necessary devices are turned on, necessary HDMI ports switched and sound input selected.
Finally, the set up is totally configurable so it is easy to reassign buttons or commands. If when devices are added a particular button does not work there is an easy solution. The PVR button did not work when controlling the Shaw Direct receiver. Put the Harmony is learn mode. Point the old remote at the Harmony, push the PVR button on the old remote, once received on Harmony select a button on the Harmony to use for that command and done.
$88 well spent.