[mythtv-users] Remote control - xsight touch w/ rf extender (mainly compared to logitech harmony)

Greg Oliver oliver.greg at gmail.com
Thu Dec 30 14:37:03 UTC 2010

On Thu, Dec 30, 2010 at 6:46 AM, Andre <mythtv-list at dinkum.org.uk> wrote:
> On 29 Dec 2010, at 14:00, Greg Oliver wrote:
>> I'll start a new thread since the other remote control replacement
>> thread is so long.  I bough this combo for a x-mas gift after reading
>> the reviews at:
>> http://www.remotecentral.com/reviews/acoustic_research_xsight_touch/index.html
> What are the buttons like? Those flush side buttons look like a pain to find in the dark.

There are no side buttons..  It is just a different colored plastic.
Plus it is 100% backlit.  Overall, the buttons are average compared to
others.  with 2 center buttons (OK, PLAY), there is no need for raised
plastic on any of them though.

>> Excellent remote control website - especially if you need raw or
>> discreet IR codes for any device, and especially for fellow Pronto
>> owners.
>> I cannot write a better review than that, but I can compare it to my
>> Harmony 880.  First, I will say that I also have the same gripes about
>> my Harmony that everyone does.  Second, I will also say that in-spite
>> of the gripes, it is still the best low end programmable I have used
>> to date.
>> Xsight Touch:
>> It is activity based just like the harmonies - it does all of the same
>> things the harmonies do, with the same programming techniques - albeit
>> a different provisioning style.  It took a few attempts at things to
>> get it all going - like:
>> o  Modifying a button when it is already assigned in a macro, causes
>> the macro to drop that function without notification
>> o  changing the icon and text of a button or icon - I finally called
>> them since the docs were obviously written for a software version at
>> least 3 versions ago :)
>>  ** The phone was answered within 3 rings, and the person answering
>> it was the support rep to help me.  Very good support - I have talked
>> to them twice - the second time to get their recommendation on
>> tracking the TV input - something none of these cheaper remotes ever
>> do (had to get their opinion though).
>> o  The differences between device screens and activities screens is a
>> bit of a disappointment.  I kind of got used to making my activities
>> screens any way I liked with logitech, and then of course the device
>> screens had every button I would need (on TVs, etc - definitely not
>> for Amps/Receivers)..  The xsight just breaks the remote into 7
>> sections and lets you choose which device screen from those 7 sections
>> is used for the activity screen.  eg:  sec1 (volume) = TV, sec2
>> (channel) = SAT, sec3 (directional) = SAT, etc....
> This sounds like a very backward step, the activity screen configurability is the biggest benefit of Harmony over others, maybe they are avoiding some Logitech patent!

It is actually just a web gui lacking..  You can provision the
individual buttons, it is just a 3 page process for each button
whereas the logitechs are all on one page for you.

>> o  It does not track power state.  This I like, although I know some
>> will not like it.  I cannot tell you the number of times I have almost
>> flung the damn harmony through the wall after having to go to the
>> device screen, press power, cover the IR end with my hand, and go back
>> into the activity...  Oh well, plus for me, maybe not everyone.
> Yes, yes, yes, extremely annoying, particularly when you have a projector with an enforced cooling down mode and the Harmony decides to turn it off just as everyone has sat down to watch a movie!
> If you tell the Harmony not to turn the "TV" off between activities it's a lot better but still messes up sometimes.
> Of course the "real" problem is manufacturers who think toggled power buttons are acceptable in high end kit. If they must, just how much does it cost to provide discrete on and off codes as well? Yes, absolutely nothing in manufacturing and 5 minutes of developer time.

Yeah, I think they could all benefit from hiring some usability
engineers.  That is the one thing that pisses me off about logitech -
they are so damn close, but will not take that last step.  With 1 more
level of advanced programming, you could easily replace higher end
remotes with their stuff.  For someone like me who really does not
need the high end remotes except for let's say 1 feature, that would
be great.  Conditional macros would be what I am talking about here..

> Andre
>> The only major thing I do not like about it (and 99% of all other
>> remotes I guess), is that the ergonomics of it after using the 880
>> daily are hard to get used to.  The buttons are laid out a little
>> sub-optimally IMO.  The buttons I use 99.9% of the time (info, menu,
>> exit, guide, d-pad, select, seek, play/pause) sometimes require me to
>> move the remote in my hand to get my thumb to them.  In my opinion
>> this is one of the 880s strengths (and also one of the harmony one
>> /900 weaknesses - it is very close in size and weight and layout to
>> this device - I sent it back last year)..
>> Secondary, it does have a slight button press "click" like some
>> remotes.  It *does not* suffer from the issue here you cannot send
>> codes while the backlight is turning off though - which all harmonies
>> suffer from)..
>> All in all, for the price ($180 shipped with RF and (4) 6' IR blaster
>> cables - the extender is (8) blaster capable), I cannot be happier.  A
>> harmony 890 would be the only thing I would consider against it.
>> Logitech lost me for this class of remote when they scattered the
>> buttons on the 900s and Ones...  This remote is a good alternative to
>> the $300 price range of a harmony with RF though.
>> -Greg
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