29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2010
Almost 5 stars (but for the cons). This is a Must have for Home Theater users, and much cheaper than the Harmony 1100.
This product works as advertised - but could do with some software improvements: see below.
* Software is Highly customizable - you can program Activities, move buttons around, assign Macros to specific buttons, rename buttons, program delays and the list goes on. For example - on my Comcast DVR ,I programmed a Macro to "Click" the FF 4 times, with just one touch on the IPOD, instead of 4. The possibilities are endless when it comes to customization. You can also choose to confirm each MACRO - a screen will pop up after you start an activity where you can turn on a device that did not turn on. This is MUCH BETTER than the Harmony remote I own, which is more cumbersome (which directs you to a few screens in sequence).
* Favorites list - you can create different favorite lists with a custom name for each - e.g. My Sports, News & Finance, etc. There are LOGOS for just about every channel out there.
* The device inputs for each activity can be programmed into every Macro e.g. HDMI 1.
* The Hardware is quite responsive, with good range - the components turn on instantly (except if you build a delay into the sequence).
* All Customization is done on your IPOD device - you don't have to connect it to your computer to program it - Unlike the Harmony remotes.
* The software does not "remember" which components are on - e.g. if you switch from Watch TV to Watch DVD, the software sends a signal to the TV to turn on - but since it is already on - it will turn off, as well as the AV receiver! This is annoying. To get around this, I had to build a Macro into my Watch Tv activity, to just switch the inputs the Devices, but I still have to access my DVD device to turn it on and control it. This can easily fixed in a firmware update - and SHOULD BE. This is one advantage that Harmony remotes has over the Re.
* The remotes database (albeit decent) should be broader - and should be sorted by equipment model #. For my Onkyo audio receiver, a few buttons were not there - such as "Test tone", and a few other key ones. Thankfully there is a Learning feature - so make sure you have all your OLD remotes.
Overall, the customization of this software beats Logitech's remotes easily....
Once you plug in the Hardware and start the software - the screen immediately flips so that you have the IR emitter pointing the correct way.
You have to spend some time adding devices and programming the activities - but once set up, it is a joy to use (but for the issues above). And you can finally put your other remotes away!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2013
I don't write many Amazon reviews. I have to either hate or love a product to go to the trouble. In this case, I'm writing because I feel that the negative reviews for this product do it a disservice. Reading them might lead you to expect hours of frustration leading up to a so-so final result, and this was not the case.
To be fair, this product isn't for everyone. I took on the task of setting up the Re as a creative project, and enjoyed the time I spent getting everything right. If you have the patience for this sort of thing, your efforts will be rewarded. This is mature, refined and well-conceived product that does just what it says it will do. But making it work is a DIY project, so you'd better get your geek on before you dive in.
The approach to setting up the Re is logical and simple. First, create working virtual remotes for all your devices. Then, use these remotes to create "Activities," or specialized remotes that use custom macros to power up and switch your devices. For example, to watch a movie, you would switch to the Activity remote called "Watch a Movie" (or whatever you want to call it), and press the "Start" button. This will turn on all your equipment and switch your devices to the correct setting for watching a movie. Each "Activity" also includes an "All Off" button for powering down all your devices. Additionally, the "Activity" remotes include all the buttons you need for that activity. My "Activity" remote for watching TV includes the buttons for my Tivo remote, as well as volume and mute buttons for the Denon receiver. Very slick!
Here are some things you might want to keep in mind when considering purchasing this product:
- If you're environmentally conscious, and you've got an old iPhone or iPod lying around the house that might otherwise end up in landfill, now you can repurpose it.
- Unlike all dedicated universal remotes, this one reincarnates. If your iPod dies, simply transfer the IR device and settings to another one. The longer you have the Re, the cheaper 4th generation iPods will become on eBay.
- Not only can you program an entertainment system with this remote, you can program ALL your entertainment systems. The Re allows you to create a different set of remotes for every room of your house! And you can copy settings from one room to another for identical equipment.
- Once you've fully programmed your Re, you can take the batteries out of all your remotes and put them in a closet. And never buy another battery for a remote control again.
- The buttons include not only the usual "on/off" toggle, but dedicated "on" and "off" buttons. This means that when you create a macro to turn on your system and then play a CD, selecting a different activity will not cause your devices to toggle off.
- With a little creativity, you'll find that you can create macros that do everything you could possibly want a universal remote to do. Example: I have a Monoprice HDMI switcher, because my TV only has two HDMI inputs, and I'm using 4 HDMI devices. Monoprice doesn't provide for dedicated "on" and "off" IR codes, so the power macro only toggles. That means that the next time I use a different "Start" macro, the power on the Monoprice will be toggled off. The solution? I have two startup macros for each activity. The one called "Start" powers up and switches everything, including the Monoprice switcher. The one called "Switch" switches the HDMI input and receiver to the appropriate inputs WITHOUT powering the Monoprice. That way, changing activities doesn't toggle off the Monoprice.
- You'll find that once you get the hang of creating macros, you'll enjoy tinkering with them to make them even better. I've just added a step to my macro for watching movies. Now, after everything is powered up and switched correctly, the macro even opens the disk tray. All with just one button press!
-You can move the buttons and customize them to resemble the remote they replace. When my wife tried the remote for watching TV, she easily recognized the layout from our Tivo remote.
- You can copy and paste individual buttons and folders of buttons from one activity to another. While watching movies or listening to music, I often switch my receiver between the "Direct," "Stereo," "5.1 Dolby" and "THX" settings, so I've pasted these buttons on the bottom row of each activity remote control.
- Once you're happy with all your settings, you can back them up, or easily transfer them to another device using either email, or "bump" transfer.
- After executing a macro, you can choose to have the Re ask if it worked correctly. If you answer "no," the Re provides you with a menu of each step of the macro, so you can then run any skipped steps manually. This almost always occurs because of a carelessly pointed Re, and this step allows you to easily correct the problem. If everything worked perfectly, you can ignore the query, and it will go away in a few seconds. Brilliant!
- The Re comes with a red Neoprene case for safe storage when not plugged in. I keep it there overnight, so the IR device doesn't drain my iPod batteries while I'm not using it.
- Being an iPhone/iPod/IPad, and not a dedicated remote, it will go to sleep after a few minutes. I haven't found this to be annoying (yet), since it stays on long enough for channel flipping, and once I've settled into a show, I don't need to use it very often.
- The iPod I'm using doesn't hold a charge for very long, so I have to recharge it fairly frequently. I don't yet know how long the charge will hold in normal use, but I'm guessing less than a week.
- Configuring the remotes requires some patience. The Re has a vast database of remote codes, but they are often designed for multiple devices. You may find that the best generic remote for your device is lacking some buttons. No worries, the Re can learn any missing buttons.
- I found that learning buttons works very well with most big name consumer electronics, with only one exception. I was not able to learn any buttons on the Wii U console. Since cutting our cable TV, we use the Wii for Amazon Prime Instant Videos, and unfortunately, the Re does not seem to support game systems. I tried to create a Wii remote anyway, but the Re could not learn any of the buttons. I suspect there must be some difference in technology that makes this impossible. Also, I needed the Re to learn two new buttons for the Monoprice switcher macro, and found this to be very tricky. But the Monoprice remote is by far the most finicky, so it's not a surprise that the Re had trouble reading its codes.
- I found the manual confusing. I often figured out how to do things on my own, and when I double-checked against the manual, I had no idea what they were trying to convey. Tip to the manual writers: first, explain the general concept, then give concrete step-by-step instructions like you're talking to someone who's never seen a remote control before, let alone programmed one. Better to be annoyingly clear than annoyingly vague. For what it's worth, I was usually able to find what I needed, and the interface is not hard to figure out.
If you approach the Re with the spirit of a DYIer, you'll have a great time making everything work and end up with the best (and most economical) remote money can buy. If you want something that will be as hassle-free to set up as possible, take a look at the Logitech line of remotes. I personally believe that you'll end up with a better final result with the Re.
21 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on January 10, 2011
Just recently I purchased a new sound system a new tv and a PS3, as well as a DVR box. To use 3-4 remotes to control this is quite the frustration. Looking at Harmony remotes, they look great, but in the end are just too pricey for a remote control, and yet just another device lying around my house of gadgets. So the thought of having my iPhone be my remote control sounded great!
$52 for a universal remote sounded like such a good deal. I would get rid of all my remotes and only have 1 device to control everything in my house. From my iPhone none the less!
Sadly this moment of relief was short-lived.
Once I received the 'Re' I noticed the first problem. The bulk of the IR adapter. Not only does it just hang from your connector-port, but if you rest it on any surface that isn't flat, you could risk snapping the adapter off in your phone. Not a good feeling needless to say. But it is of course removable at anytime, unlike the case-adapters for other iPhone controllers. Which provides the other issue. You constantly have to remove/plug-in the adapter if you want to use the TV/Volume..etc. Which becomes quite the pain.
Other than the nuisance of the adapter, which was expected to happen after consistent use, it all goes wrong in the Application for the controller. First off the UI/Look of the application. It's hideous. Black/Green/Grey, are the color of choices here. With no customizable background images, or button-images.
To set up your devices you will want to allot some time on the side to do this, as it will take a moment for you to set it up the way you want. BUT BE WARNED! As soon as you quit the application from running in Multi-tasking, it will lose all of your settings and revert back to it's default-state. For the longest time I thought I wasn't saving it properly. So I contacted the Customer Support for this device, which I will say, has been great! The support team gets back to you real quick, and even responds on the weekends. But sadly, upon my talk with them, we could never figure out what would cause the settings to just disappear. They said they have not seen that issue, nor could they replicate it. But I still to this date cannot quit my 'Re' application without losing all settings. The only way to save my settings it to email a copy of my settings to myself and keep on file, so every single time I want to open the device and use it, it will require me to upload it from my email. A big frustration needless to say.
The other issues with the UI just seem to be minor inconveniences but inconveniences none the less. The options for setting up a new remote is a bit stressing. If you want to move your volume buttons away from a pre-determined rectangle area that takes up a good chunk of your screen size....well you can't. You're out of luck. So in order to see your other buttons you've added, you'll constantly have to scroll, seeing how the button size and grid of the application is just too big. Buttons take up too much of the grids allowed space, requiring you to put buttons in a place not of your choosing, as the grid is just too wide and only has room for a 4-button line up. Which may be caused by Apples grid layout, so maybe not their fault/choice.
Needless to say I will be getting rid of this device. I have already stopped using it, as it's just too much of an inconvenience for me on a daily basis.
Since CES 2011, there are 2 devices coming out soon that will rival this product hands down, which is the Gear4 Unity Remote, and the Griffin IR blaster using the Umee remote application(which can be downloaded now) not only do these two apps offer gesture based programming, but neither require a dongle, and use a placed IR Blaster with Bluetooth, to control your TV.
Hope this has giving you something to think about on your future purchase.