Recommend a universal remote to buy?

Hi folks

Wow home assistant is really moving fast. It looks like there’s easy options to automate my dumb devices now (TV, AVR). I see some universal remotes mentioned and i’m considering- Xiaomi universal, Broadlink Rm 3 mini, and Broadlink RM pro.

Cheaper is preferred, but it seems like the RM Pro supports 433 mhz, and so I could add some of those cheap cheap 433 mhz color changing bulbs in a couple spots where they would be appropriate? (I use z-wave switches mainly, don’t like losing the physical switch functionality so I don’t use smart bulbs, but there’s a couple spots I want to use color changing bulbs).

Can anyone give me their thoughts on if the Pro will do what I want, or if it’s just better to go with one of the two cheaper devices?


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i would also like a bit of guidance on these too.

Not sure if the Logitech Harmony Hub will work for you, but that’s what I have to control old-fashioned dumb devices. It’s set up to control all my entertainment devices, and the best thing is it can learn any IR remote so you can set it up to control your A/C for example, or anything that uses IR.

Scripts/actions are quite easy to do, for example changing the channel on my TV is as simple as this script:

  alias: 'Fox Sports 501'
    service: remote.send_command
      entity_id: remote.harmony_hub
      device: '49229097'
        - 5
        - 0
        - 1

I have Logitech Harmony Hub, Broadlink RM pro and RM 3 mini in use. Never try Xiaomi universal but I think it’s similar to RM 3 mini. The three devices have its own pros and cons. In short,
Go for RM pro if you need RF. Otherwise, RM3 mini is good enough in most cases. You may consider Harmony hub if you need one IR remote to cover two separated spaces or using its Remote component for a better way to send a sequence of key codes.

  1. RM pro:
    It does support RF 433MHz. I use it to control some RF light switches without any problem. There are some good hacking resources on GitHub, which is good for DIYers.
    It has a mobile APP to learn and play code well although the UI is quite confusing. However, the big plus for the APP is that you can access the IR code database in some way ( So you may create virtual remotes with the APP first and then dump all recorded codes from its database file. It saves a lot of copy&paste effort if you have many keys to be learned for creating Switch components in HA.

  2. RM 3 mini:
    Only support IR, much smaller body and much lower cost (got RM 3 mini <15USD but RM pro ~50USD). Other functionalities and controlability are the same as RM pro.

  3. Logitech Harmony Hub:
    Higher price than the other two, still only support IR but comes with a IR blaster and support Remote component in HA. IR blaster is used to extend IR singal to other device out of the range that the hub can directly reach. In my case, most AV devices are placed in AV cabinet but TV is right above the cabinet. So I put the hub in the cabinet and place IR blaster near TV. Of couse, using two RM3 mini can solve this problem with much less cost.
    Harmony hub also have a mobile APP to learn and play codes. The APP stores the key in online database. So there is no way to retrieve the IR codes it learned. In HA, once the hub is recognized, there is be a configuration file which records commands for each learned key of devices. You may use Remote component or Template Switch component to access Harmony. If you just want a simple switch on/off function, template switch component is what you need. If you want send several keys in a fix interval like 0.5s, remote component is a better choice. I find the interval has to be 1 second at least if using Broadlink remote with switch component. So using Harmony hub with remote component can shorten key input delay significantly.

Broadlink and Logitech all have built-in IR code database for some devices. However, the devices supported by Broadlink are most China-branded appliances. Logitech’s database covers much more appliances but don’t expect too much. In addition, if you want to control air conditioner, Broadlink is generally better than Logitech because it can record longer length of IR codes and some air conditioner like my Hitach RAS-series does need a long-length IR code to send all settings for each command. Harmony hub cannot handle it as confirmed by the mails replied by Logitech.


…and if you go for a Harmony Hub get one with a proper button remote as the experience with TV/media is infinitely better than any touchscreen remote.

Another thing you can do if you do get a Harmony Hub is use the HA emulated_roku component and you can use any button on the remote to control any HA function directly.

I personally have a Harmony Elite and an RM Pro.

Just quering, won’t the better option be the RM Pro, since it supports RF devices as well?

I am using RM Pro for like 6 months already and pretty satisfied with it.


  • Easy implementation
  • Learning IR and RF codes (that’s kind of a CONS too, I will explain below)
  • Cheap solution
  • Working so far with all of my devices
  • RF is a huge plus, most of these (cheap) remotes can only do IR and many cheap devices e.g. my projector screen works with RF


  • The learning is not consistent. As many times as I record new IR or RF commands to the device (via Home Assistant) I get slightly different results. It took me a little recording-testing-re-recording-testing loops till it was working properly. I tried to look up the devices’ IR codes online (e.g. my Harman Kardon receiver). usually you can find the HEX codes, but the RM Pro needs the base64 code. I used two different sites to convert the HEX codes to base64, I have no idea why, but those never worked and even the two sites (below) provides different results for the same code. I have no idea how could that be… Probably recording and using the github option mentioned here would do a better job:

Hope I could help!


Wow that’s a lot of good info, thank you for taking the time folks. Much appreciated.

There is also a DIY project, controls IR, RF and detects bluetooth beacons.
The total cost without case is around 5euros, the github page is very well documented and the creator is a active member on our forum constantly helping and improving.

I have a Broadlink RM pro and a 3 Mini which I switched for 2 OpenMQTTGateway’s

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For those that have the harmony remote+hub and the rm pro, do you combine them so that the remote also controls rf appliances?

Yep, through HA not directly though obviously