Apple TV and Universal Remotes

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by beatledud, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. beatledud macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    #1
    What are people's preferences with a Universal Remote and an Apple TV 4? I just got a Sound Base for my Panasonic TV and I cannot get the TV remote to sync with the Soundbase. So I'm inclined to get a universal remote since 3 separate ones isn't an option.

    And if I do, I'd like to get one that works fully with the Apple TV Remote (which CAN control the soundbase). I also have a PS4, but not so concerned with this (but a perk if it works).

    Lastly is price. I'm doing this mainly because my TV and Audio are separate and might as well get one that also controls the Apple TV. If it's too much then I'd just upgrade to a more expensive soundbase which includes HDMI-CEC which allows my TV remote to do the work.
     
  2. bluespark macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Location:
    New York
    #2
    The ATV accepts IR input, so any IR universal remote will work. You would still need the ATV remote for Siri or the touchscreen.
     
  3. Snoopy4 macrumors 6502a

    Snoopy4

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2014
    #3
    We use Harmony remotes without fail. That would be my recommendation.
     
  4. jdag macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #4
    I agree, the Harmony remotes work well. The main negative is fast scrolling. While with the Apple remote you can swipe and move quickly, the Harmony navigation keys need to be pressed for each movement step. It makes for working through a long list inconvenient (like in the Computers app).
     
  5. thisismyusername macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    #5
    URC has been my remote control company of choice for years now, specifically their MX line. They're definitely on the pricey side, especially if you want an RF solution, but you get what you pay for. If you're looking for a cheaper option, I'd go with a URC remote that's not PC programmable (e.g. URC R50) or a Harmony.
     
  6. beatledud thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    #6
    I've had an URC but they aren't as user/consumer friendly as I've read regarding the Harmony remotes with their USB/GUI interface abilities.

    Regardless, what models specifically can people recommend of each knowing I just need to control an Apple TV 4, Panasonic TX-L39EM6B, and a Denon DHT-T110 Sound Base? And as I noted, if its too much money, then one could argue I return the Denon for a more expensive Sound Base with HDMI-CEC/ARC features which should then play nicely with my Panasonic Viera Link.

    And is there no way to map the Siri button to any remote?
     
  7. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #7
    I second URC for a great universal remote and I encourage paying up for the PC programmable versions. I like the MX850 myself.

    However, I read this point...

    ...of OP's first post to maybe imply that OP is wanting the full capabilities of the Apple remote in a universal and I don't think any of them have that yet. Yes, existing universals can control the :apple:TV4 but I don't believe any of them replicate the touch aspects & Siri yet. I'm guessing that's only a matter of time though.

    OP, unless someone knows of a very new universal that covers those things (and you want full compatibility instead of mostly compatible functionality), a good universal will let you have one remote for everything. I retire the remote caddy a LONG time ago.
     
  8. beatledud thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    #8
    Thanks for the suggestion. In addition to my point of wanting functionality for Apple TV was also not to spend tons of money. Aside from the MX850 not easily available in the UK, it's nearly $300. Might as well at that point invest in a more expensive sound base with hdmi-cec and let my TV remote do everything again.
     
  9. bluespark macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Location:
    New York
    #9
    URC remotes are excellent products, but I've been turned off by the fact that the remotes I bought from them could be programmed only by professional A/V installers -- URC didn't even make the software available to the end user. As one who swaps in and out a fair amount of equipment, this became a very expensive and inconvenient proposition. Worse, very few of the approved installers I tried could ever get my setup exactly the way I wanted it.

    I can understand why a company might call for professional installers as a default option and might not advertise links to the software, but they should always make it available. I hope they have started doing that. At the moment, I have a perfectly good URC remote sitting in a drawer because I simply decided enough was enough with the whole installer bit.

    Harmony remotes, while less configurable than the better URCs, generally work very well.
     
  10. beatledud thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    #10
    While I can appreciate a good Harmony vs URC debate, what I was looking for was a recommendation of a remote that will work with the Apple TV 4. And a specific Model remote.

    And I'm not dumping several hundred on a remote. Like I said I'll just swap the soundbase if that was the case.

    What I'd like the remote to do:
    1. Turn the TV on off, change channels, change AV input.
    2. Turn volume up and down on Sound Base, and maybe the 2 specialized speaker buttons.
    3. Control direction of Apple TV, select, Siri, Pause/Play, etc. Like full control here (but don't need the touch pad).
    4. Basic control of the PS4 a plus but not required.

    These functions I need, I don't think necessitates spending hundreds on a fancy remote.
     
  11. jdag macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #11
    Harmony 650...It will do all of the above except the Siri voice commands. I am pretty sure you that a universal remote with Siri does not (and likely will not) exist.
     
  12. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #12
    I love my harmony remote, but I also use voice commands often. For that reason, I keep the ATV remote on my table.
     
  13. dwfaust macrumors 68040

    dwfaust

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Location:
    I am here => [•]
    #13
    We use both the Harmony and the ATV Siri remotes... both work well, but as has been stated, the ATV Siri remote is required to be able to use Siri or touch screen.
     
  14. beatledud thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    #14
    Looks like the best is to hope Sideclick finalizes their ATV4 remote version and release it in the near future.

    They do have a blogpost saying the first round won't include ATV4 remotes, but they are working on it.
     
  15. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Location:
    (Central) NY State of mind
    #15
    I'm using a Harmony 650 with my ATV4 and it does 99% of what I need it to do - with MrMC I don't have to touch the Apple remote to do anything. The 650 can be found refurbed on Meritline for around $40 about once a month.
     
  16. thisismyusername, Feb 19, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016

    thisismyusername macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    #16
    Yes, it does kind of suck that URC doesn't really cater to the DIY'er and that's why I'd only buy a URC remote from an authorized seller who's willing to provide you with the programming software, like http://www.surfremotecontrol.com.
     
  17. normanfox macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    #17
    I have URC MX-880 and program it myself. Prior to ATV 4 release, I use it to control everything, including receiver, light, fan, etc.

    now I use both mx-880 and Siri remotes. without Siri remote, ATV4 is handicapped in term of usability. as powerful as MX-880, it can't switch app (without back to home screen), navigate quickly with swipe, FF/Rev with swipe. plus, Siri remote is small and light. it makes MX-880 big and heavy for long holding.
     
  18. simon lefisch macrumors 6502a

    simon lefisch

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2014
    #18
    For simple systems I'd suggest a Harmony 650. You can find one new on Amazon for about $60.

    Otherwise my first choice would be an RTI (I use the T2C for my system) or as many have suggested already, an MX880 remote. Both are great remotes, however when programming the remote I prefer the RTI interface.
     
  19. and1tennis, Mar 27, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2016

    and1tennis macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2014
    #19
    Please someone here may have an answer to this frustrating question. With my regular comcast remote, I was always able to turn my apple TV 3 on an off without fail. I would simply press the power button with the apple tv input selected and the apple tv would turn on. There is a problem here with apple tv 4 in which there is no option under the learn remote for a home button to be learn, which is the only way to put the device to sleep by pressing it for 3 seconds. SO... my question is, how do I program the universal remote to turn on the apple tv 4 and turn off the apple tv 4 if I cannot program the home button into the remote... I have contacted apple support and they had no idea how to do it. Im guessing this isn't even possible quite yet and may be fixed in an upcoming TVos update. Any help would be much appreciated.

    UPDATE: I have figured out how to program a button to make the device turn on. I just simply press any button programmed for the apple tv (stupid me), but I still have no solution to turning the TV off with the universal remote (since I cannot program a home button). Any advice would be great.
     
  20. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Location:
    (Central) NY State of mind
    #20
    I have not seen or found a way to turn off the ATV4 with a Logitech Harmony remote either. I'm content to use the main "off" button to turn off my TV and AV receiver and the ATV will shut itself down after 10 minutes of no use.
     

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