Suggest me a home theater remote

Hello everyone, I recently installed Home Assistant via docker on my QNAP NAS. I have been wanting to upgrade my home theater remote for some time, and now would like to get one that plays nicely with HASS.

My home theater consists of an Onkyo receiver (running 7.1 speakers), an LG OLED TV and a Windows 10 HTPC for Kodi and playing games. I also have an Nvidia Shield for occasional Netflix, but mainly consume content via my own Jellyfin server (also running on the NAS).

Currently, I have a Logitech Harmony One remote, which only does IR, which works great with the Onkyo and TV. I have a Flirc on the Shield and was considering getting another one for the HTPC, but would rather control it via Bluetooth of Wi-Fi.

My smart home consists of a shitload of Philips Hue lights throughout the house (I also use them as ambilight for the tv) and Honeywell Evohome thermostats in four rooms. They have been connected to HASS. I have no concrete plans to add more, but more will definitely be added in the future.

For the moment, I have no plans of automating the home theater via HASS, but I would like to have the option. Similarly, I have no plans yet for using the remote to control my home.

I definitely want a physical remote to control my entire home theater, and love the Activity option of the Harmony. I was thinking of buying the Logitech Harmony Elite, so I can use the hub and remote to control my home theater.

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First, I LOVE my Harmony hub/elite(s) and you can have them when you pry them from my cold, dead hands.

I have no preference HOW I control gear as long as it’s local, responsive, and reliable. Harmony has done that for years for me with literally any AV equipment I’ve thrown at it. It is the gold standard I judge all universal remotes against. I currently have two hubs, one with a One and one with an Elite and they are simply the best remotes I’ve EVER owned.

That said, I REFUESE to run gear that is no longer supported by the vendor, so I’m currently searching for a valid Harmony replacement as Logitech sadly announced earlier this year that they would no longer be producing Harmony remotes. They currently ‘support’ them but in my experience that will only last a few years until some exec at Logitech looks at the bottom line and says ‘we’re done’…

That said - I’m underwhelmed with what I saw in the marketplace. For instance:

Sofabaton - looks nice but there’s a LOT of small minor issues in execution (mostly in setup - missing codes, not accepting a setting, etc. each one in itself is minor but I’m seeing a LOT of them) in its current form that would make it a nonstarter for me. Nothing that looks like it’ll take multiple years to fix, but it feels - ‘beta’ - (If I pay multiple hundreds of dollars for a piece of kit it needs to operate with relatively few ‘issues.’) Info at

YIO, man this thing looks AMAZING, but are they PROUD of it ($400 USD). (I’ve given them feedback I would be easily willing to part with $250-299 USD but $400 is STEEP) They take a slightly different approach as it looks like they’re building a remote for your HA platform than for your home entertainment gear. Native HA support appears to be core to their design goals. More info: YIO Remote by Marton Borzak — Kickstarter

So for now - I’m sticking with my Harmony, (and I’m currently hunting an elite and a hub to keep as a spare) With plans to go to YIO as soon as it’s within my price range.


I did this

even with the dum remote I fast forward my Kodi box

And rightly so. Can’t wait for mine.

Thanks for the replies, guys! I have been thinking about the Sofabaton but it does seem buggy, so getting a Harmony Elite would have my preference, even with it being discontinued (I share your sentiment that ‘support’ will probably be very limited). The YIO looks awesome but such a high price for self-assembly is not what I’m looking for right now.

Elites go for €150–200 second-hand, so I think I’ll get one.

That was the V1.

The V2 comes fully factory assembled.

You’ve missed the Kickstarter now anyway. Though if you do want one later there are usually a few left over after the deliveries have been made.

Good to know the YIO 2 is not DIY. Seems I just missed the kickstarter campaign. The YIO 2 seems like a cool remote, and it seems to work nicely with Home Assistant. Connecting directly to Wi-Fi is cool if Home Assistant is the center of the smart home anyway. But the reason I never purchased a Harmony Elite was its price. So 350 euros for a remote that has not proven itself… IDK.

Would it be convenient and feasible to connect my home theater to Home Assistant, and run it from there? Maybe I should start with that, and then add a remote that integrates nicely. Or would that make things unneccesarily complicated?

The exact reason i did not do the Kickstarter. Proven its still $100 USD more than I am willing to pay. Unproven its a nonstarter.

The Harmony was (is, even discontinued) well worth the money and on average $200 less than the YIO2. If they come off the price by $100 on retail launch I’ll instantly buy three.

Just to be clear, Harmony (those with a Hub) would still work as for today, yes?
And is it all local?
Does the initial setup require cloud at all these days?

Yes Harmony still works. You MUST use thier app (either mobile app or theres a version for a Windows PC) for setup. The apps require logitech’s cloud at setup time. (has to pull codes, etc.)

Once setup it works locally and there’s a local integration for HA (requires putting the Harmony hub in developer mode for direct IP access)

Same story here - I have the Harmony Hub with Companion Remote (cheapest option) and have backed Sofabaton on Kickstarter as “insurance”. The other options just seem way too expensive. I’m not looking forward to reprogramming a new remote for the TV, and STB, and XBox One, and Apple TV, and Wii U, and 2 PCs, and 2 Chromecasts, and HVAC, and amplifier, and lounge lights. Not to mention the punishment I will get from my daughters because Logitech pulling the plug will be all my fault.

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I hear you, @michaelblight . That will be tough.

You control PCs with? Could you share how?

Have you considered Global Cache? Like the GC100-12 or I-Tach. I use a GC-100 with HA and can control my rack and devices from any tablet or phone I own. Their database is extensive. Just another option to consider.

I’m not controlling PCs - just switching the TV and amplifier inputs as required. I would love to find a cheap USB switch with IR so I can automatically switch the wireless keyboard too, as currently I have to stand up, walk over, and press a button (the horror!)

I purchased a Harmony Elite yesterday. Thanks for the suggestions guys! This will surely up my home.

@AllHailJ that would indeed me a cool option to control the home theater via the network.

So I set up the Elite for basic functions. Quite a hassle connecting to wifi, but it works.

To control my HTPC, I connect using Bluetooth. That seems to work great. However, Bluetooth does not work when the HTPC is hibernating, so I cannot turn it on. What suggestions do you guys have to make this work? I’d like to keep it simple, so although sending WoL with the Harmony via HA could probably work, that sounds complicated, and I’d rather not get HA involved if I don’t have to.

KVM switch with IR?
AV Access KVM Switch 2 In 1 Out 4K@60Hz /1080p@120Hz /2560x1440@144Hz, IR Remote, HDMI 2.0 with HDR10 and 3D, HDCP 2.2, 18Gbps Zero Latency for 4 PCs, USB 2.0 for Mouse, Keyboard, Printer etc. : Elektronik

I added myself to the YIO waitlist today. I’m not sure if I want to pay such a steep price, but it does look very cool. I currently have a couple of Harmony remotes, but I know their days are limited. Especially with two young kids with butter fingers, who are constantly dropping the remotes on the ground.

Question. Not sure if anyone knows this. What I love about the Harmony is that the remote is RF and can talk to the hub hidden inside of a cabinet with my stereo equipment. I believe the YIO is IR only, but I see it ships with and RF extender. How would the extender work? Would it have some kind of receiver that sits outside of my cabinet, with a physical wire then going into the cabinet with blasters on the inside?

Hi @_Mike

Thanks for signing up to the waitlist :slight_smile: As I’m one of the guys behind the remote, I hope I can answer your questions.

The remote and dock don’t have RF built in. They connect to your WiFi network and communicate with each other over that. The charging dock has IR blasters and IR learning built in. Also has two 3.5 mm jack ports for IR extenders. So you can place the dock on the cabinet and run the extender inside to reach IR devices there.

Let me know if you have more questions :slight_smile:

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Hi @marton. Thanks for getting back to me. With my particular scenario, I have equipment that is hidden within a cabinet. Unfortunately, the cabinet isn’t near where the charging dock will live.

Ideally (for me, anyway) I would love to see some kind of wireless option that can live inside the cabinet alongside my equipment. It would probably be very similar to your existing charging station, but would function solely as an extender. I’m not sure if that is something you and your team have considered, but it might help open up possibilities for a wider consumer base. Just my thoughts. But keep up the great work! I am excited to see the finished product!