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Sony DVD Changer


Senior Member
I came across this over at remotecentral:


and this one that referenced DVDLobby:

It seemed to imply a few things:

1. That IR control of the changer was possible, through DVDLobby (and I would assume any other controller such as CQC if there was an IR blaster or the like).
2. The Harmony 880 can control this with an uploaded DVD listing. I have one of these and was pleasantly surprised to hear this.

The 995 is around $300, whereas the RS-232 version is around $540. I like the RS-232 support but at almost twice the price (and keeping in mind once this path is started, I may wind up with a few of them) I am hesitant. If IR control will work it seems like the way to go.

Anyone else have any experience with the above options?

The 880 support alone is tempting me. I have a lower model upstairs that I am curious if it will also support that list (a Harmony 520 I think) as then I can modulate the DVD's and still have control. It would tie me over until I finish the infrastructure and work on the software control of everything.


Senior Member
I control 4 TV's and 3 receivers, and 10 sets of mini blinds with the combo HomeSeer and Ocelot and haven't missed an IR signal ever as far as I know. While many argue that there is no replacement for RS232 direct connect ,and this is true, you can get an Ocelot and receiver cheaper and the Ocelot can be used for other activities as well.

Dean Roddey

Senior Member
I wouldn't scrimp on the hardwired control. It makes a lot of difference. The automation system can see the state of the device, and it can do things like get the TOC info for metadata lookup and whatnot. These guys take a long time to power up before they'll accept commands. So if you want to automate the startup and selection of a title, without feedback you'll have to do a worst case startup time every time (and it can be 30 seconds or more) because there'll be no way for the automation system to know it's already running. When the automation system can see what's going on, it knows it didn't have to power the changer up and can proceed directly to slot selection.


Senior Member
Hmm. Noted Dean, thank you. That is a good point. Guess I was just hesitant on doubling the price for RS-232.

750GB drives are out, but hard drive storage is still a bit more expensive as well.


Senior Member
Monitoring a Sony CX777ES goes well beyond just if it's on or not. The magnet deal works fine for simple devices, but it's not really much of a value add for controlling a media changer.

To know the current position of the changer is to optimize the command logic to que up the correct disk quickly and reliably. To know if someone hit the Stop button on the changer is important for automating the overall system. To extract and pass the table of contents from a disk is important to optimize adding that new disk into your media library and do internet based lookup of coverart and movie / music metadata into the media database.

A serial changer operates a lot faster than an IR changer as the command logic has to be built for worse case scenario for all requests in how much physical time it takes to perform. Loading the next disk in the carousel takes the same time as the one farthest away. With serial, it loads as quick as the mechanism is capable of moving to perform the task.