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View Full Version : One Box to Rule Them All




dukeblue91
Dec 2, 2011, 12:48 PM
Maybe something like this is in existence already and I missed it but here is what I like to have.

One box that lets me stream my iTunes or NAS, lets me change the cable channels and also let me use it as a DVR.
And please make away with that horrible ugly Time Warner cable box interface.

It is such a pain having to constantly change inputs on my TV then on my surround sound unit to switch back and forth between my aTV and cable not to mention when my son wants to play one of his game consoles.
I just want this stuff to work with the least amount of effort.
I do have a harmony remote but it only does the main functions of each item and you have to switch it every time for each device like when I want to increase the volume I have to switch it to the surround sound and when wanting to switch to another channel to the cable box.
I would like an intelligent remote that I point at my AV setup and that will just work like it knows that volume up means the AV unit and change channel means the cable channels and so on.
I also would love for the cable company to just let me get the channels I want and not the 600 I don't need with the 10-15 I use.

It seems to me that all this should be able to be done with todays technology and software capabilities.

Sorry for my rant and please if you do have a solution please let me know.



mikepro
Dec 6, 2011, 10:57 AM
It sounds like you don't have your harmony remote set up correctly.

It is mean to be activities based, which should configure all of the buttons appropriately. So, you press the "Watch TV" button, and everything goes to the correct inputs. The volume buttons will control volume on the receiver, and the channel buttons will work on the cable box - no selection required on your part.

So, it's supposed to work how you seem to be wishing it worked. Maybe you need to re-do your setup and activities, and make sure you correctly answer the questions like "I use my receiver to control the volume" for this activity.

Other than that, the One Box to rule them all does not quite exist. You could look at Plex, a Roku box, or setting up an HTPC Mac mini or so. Do some research, and realize it is something of a world of hurt and compromises, and the perfect box is not here yet.

reebzor
Dec 6, 2011, 12:34 PM
build a PC with a CableCard TV Tuner (Ceton), a couple huge harddrives, decent video card, Logitech Harmony remote (set up correctly), use Windows Media Center. Sorry, I know, Windows, bleh. However nothing else supports cablecard tuners.

bhaveshp
Dec 6, 2011, 04:36 PM
Buy a Tivo Premiere with Lifetime subscription for about $500.

- Supports cablecards, 2 tuner DVR
- Pretty much the best DVR interface out there. Customize exactly which channels you want on your display
- Gets you Netflix, Amazon VOD etc for streaming options
- Using PyTivo on your Mac, you can playback pretty much any local content stored on the computer via the Tivo.
- Has a great iPad app to program the Tivo (can also program via the website)

But yeah, as others have stated fix your Harmony remote to properly switch your inputs.

carlgo
Dec 6, 2011, 05:39 PM
On my Harmony One, set up properly:

The activities of Watching TV, Watching a DVD (BR), AppleTv and Listening to the Radio are on the touch screen. Select one and the associated controls then pop up on the screen. Volume is a universal function and it controls any activity chosen.

I like to use the excellent little Apple remote for AppleTv, but use the Harmony for volume. I like the specific remotes that come with every device for nerdy things like set-up.

The forthcoming Apple TV could be anything from a Harmony on steroids to an entire wireless home theater system with a disappearing screen. Apple could come up with an absolutely simple, yet endlessly flexible system that would be far, far superior to anything else and it could be done with existing technology.