Progress report... Well, the BluMoo universal remote control was a complete bust for us. It didn't support any of the AV gear we have – and everything we have is mainstream stuff, not some weird off-brand. BluMoo has got a lot of work to go before it's actually ready for consumers. The app that controls it looks like an early prototype, rather than a shipping product. I'm going to call it promising, but far, far from finished.
I'm leaving in a couple days to spend a week with my mom and siblings, so I really wanted to have the AV system usable by normal humans. Without a universal remote, one has to juggle four remotes and have a complete understanding of how everything is interconnected (and that's pretty complicated). It challenges me, and I'm the geek who put it all together!
So I ran down to Best Buy in Salt Lake City yesterday, and picked up another universal remote: Logitech's Harmony Ultimate Home. It's pricey, but quite polished. The company has a web site with device compatibility, so you can check ahead of time whether your devices were supported (and all of ours were).
The installation could hardly have been simpler. Less than 30 minutes after getting home from my run to Best Buy, I had all of our devices configured in the remote. We had a much older version of Logitech's universal remote down in Jamul, and it's easy to see that they've come a long way since then. In particular, I noticed that the remote's understanding of device state (especially power on/off) is much better than the older control was. I've already got it set up to let us watch cable TV, listen to the radio, or watch a DVD/BluRay disk. I've got a little tweaking to do on button assignments (for instance, when watching TV, I want to be able to adjust the picture), but generally it's up and running.
That trip took up much of my day yesterday, and fighting BluMoo and implementing the Harmony ate the rest...