TV Remote other than Harmony

New to Hubitat and I'm really liking it. I also have integrations with Broadlink RM4 (ifttt) to control RF & IR devices and I'm in the process of hooking up to Node-Red to do more locally to speed things up.

HOWEVER, when watching TV, I want a real remote control. I don't want to have to unlock my phone to change a channel. I want real remote control buttons.

I know about the Harmony Elite Hub and I bought 2 of them, but haven't opened them yet, because I'm thinking about returning them due to the cost and I understand they will only control 15 devices and I don't think I can carry the remote from one room to the next and use it with a different hub.

My question -> Is there a universal remote control that we can use (without another special hub) and integrate it to Hubitat and/or Broadlink to control my devices and trigger actions/scenes/rules?

Seems like I shouldn't have to pay almost $300 (per room) to have a remote control send a signal Hubitat (and/or Broadlink) to change the channel on my tv.

1 Like

Keep the broadlink and use an old cellphone. Without a sim card the battery lasts like a week, if you uninstall all the crappy apps constantly exchanging data.
Couldn't you also use voice? Google or alexa with broadlink?

Thanks for that take. I do use voice for some things.

For entertainment, I want a remote with physical buttons.

Using cell phone means I have to keep looking at it.

As I scroll the guide or through movies, for example, I don't want to say "Next Page, next page, next page, next page, next page..." Just typing it is annoying! :slight_smile:

Not sure why you feel the Harmony hub (edit: Oops, I mean Harmony Companion) won't work due to button concerns - it includes a remote w/"real buttons." See below. Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you are concerned about? The hub/remote combo goes for about $100 (renewed). Also see it used/like new for $124. You do need a hub/remote for each TV/room, so if that's a price barrier then the Harmony won't work.

image

3 Likes

Short answer is probably no (if you want a tv remote style controller).

If you don't need the screen then the harmony companion is 1/2 the price of an elite

Yep, 1 remote, 1 hub.

I want the same thing. In a perfect world, I would have something with all of the buttons of a Harmony Companion Remote that would actually be Zwave or Zigbee button device and I could setup rules for each of the buttons. I like the tactile feel of a old-school remote with real buttons more than relying on a phone or tablet screen.

While we're at it, can I go back in time and date Phoebe Cates when she and I were 18? :wink:

2 Likes

@ronbissell

I agree with @danabw - the Harmony Companion is about $120 new and comes with a physical remote. The hub works with IR extenders, and the remote communicates with the hub via BT.

Not so long ago, the hub+remote could be found on sale for about $70. Right now, I found a non-retail packaged version on Walmart for $85

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Logitech-Harmony-Companion-All-One-Remote-Control-Smart-Home-Entertainment-Devices-Hub-App-Works-With-Alexa-Black-Bulk-Package-non-Retail-box-Like-Ne/938761257

2 Likes

Friend of mine calls it "The marriage saver." :wink:

1 Like

I am not looking to go back in time Spicoli; I am more looking for something like the Stream Deck Mini in a handheld model w/ 20+ buttons. :grin: :grin: :grin:

1 Like

I just think our defnitions of "a perfect world" focus on wildly different priorities. :wink:

Hadn't seen that before, thanks for the link. :slight_smile:

I have one of those in a box somewhere... Z-Wave from GE. Never tried it with Hubitat though. I think it pairs as a secondary controller...

1 Like

I am not sure if these will integrate, but perhaps URC remotes will work? Complete Control Automation | URC Automation

Or RTI? Remote Controls

The hubs should be about $70 a piece, $45 refurbished.

I do not know why you would pay four times as much for the Elite then the Companion. One nice thing about Samsung TVs is they all use the same IR signals. I can use the same remote for whatever room I am in. Anyhow, I am fine with the Companion version.

1 Like

If you have a ton of activities then having a screen to switch between them is essential.

2 Likes

You're both right, of course. I have two companions, one for each TV (Samsung and Sony) and they are exactly what I need. But it's very much a YMMV situation, and my wife still misses our older Harmony 700 remote because of the screen it had.

I think it's pretty funny (and likely annoying to the OP) that we've turned a thread called "TV Remote other than Harmony" into a full on Harmony love-fest. [Oops...]

1 Like

Lol. But let's be honest, there really aren't any viable alternatives out there if you don't want to use an app/phone to control your devices? :thinking:

2 Likes

It's all good. Lots of good info either way. And I think @rocketwiz has it right. No real options.

I found Harmony Elite is missing feature that affects Comcast/Xfinity. NO VOICE CONTROL.

For Xfinity, if you want to fast forward a specific time ("fast forward 3 minutes and 30 seconds'" to skip commercials) the only way (I know of) is to use the voice control.

Google Home/Assistant appears to translate that statement to just "fast forward." That isn't the same.
Harmony doesn't seem to handle that well either.

I could maybe pre-define specific time options, but I'm still grabbing the Xfinity remote if I want to do a different FF time. Defeats the purpose of a $300 remote/hub.

Thanks to everyone for the input on this thread.

2 Likes

I have a Tablo Quad for recording or for pausing live TV, etc. Do not get their HDMI versions. They disable them a LOT more then the Quads unless you pay their subscription fees and they apparently can not be added as a device to your lifetime subscription like you can quads. It is a total rip-off.