March 29, 2011
I bought a Harmony remote a few years ago to solve my too many remote problem. Not even sure how many years. I almost never used it. It was designed poorly. It was slow. It didn’t really do things the way I wanted. I knew it had it’s place in certain situations, just not in my particular setup.
When I returned from almost a month at home to my apartment, I really noticed the pile of remotes on my coffee table, I knew there had to be a better way to handle things. I did some research and found the Harmony One might do the job.
What I needed …
Ability to decide when to use TV vs Stereo speakers (Not perfect, but accomplished by creating different profiles. Not an issue on the Harmony One since it can handle 15 profiles. I’ve found that I almost always use my stereo now. I didn’t use my stereo as much before because I was worried it would be too loud. In my bedroom at home, that is a concern, not so much anymore. I wasn’t using the stereo in my apartment because it took that extra remote and my Comcast remote didn’t handle it very well.
Support all my devices. Including PS3 and Apple TV. (The PS3 needed an extra adapter. Once you get over the price, it’s great. Apple TV works great. Also supports my XBox 360.)
Buttons that aren’t on the original remote. When you go into the software and tell you what models you own, it populates the available commands. For some of my older stuff, it isn’t as good. I had to teach my old Harmony some tricks to get it to work in my bedroom. With my new TV, it came with a whole bunch of commands that aren’t even on my remote. Most beneficial are the Input buttons. With the remotes I had, you had to scroll through the inputs of the TV one at a time. An issue when using the Harmony because you have to keep aiming the remote at the TV until it gets to its destination. I found on my TV that is actually didn’t have a command for the last Input. I figured people must have run in to this and did some research. I found a forum with the specific codes that the Logitech tech would need to add this command. I had to send that command into support and within a few days that extra button was added to my account. The best way to handle things? Maybe not. But they added it quickly without issue. More than I can say about most support.
Favorite Channels – I haven’t mentioned it but that is likely because the coolest looking part, I don’t really use that often. The screen at the top is a color LCD with touch screen. This gives you a few more buttons for each profile. Plus, for TV, you can setup screens of favorite channels. I found a great site to download channel logos for the remote and set it all up. I don’t use it all that much, since I almost always watch stuff on the DVR. Worth it for channels that I never can remember the number. It really just looks cool.
More buttons! It’s nice to be able to program the LCD with more buttons, but not really that helpful. On the LCD, you have to look at it, I like to operate it blind. It really needs 2 to 4 extra buttons in the middle to program however you like. Buttons that I used a lot from my Comcast remote that I instantly missed were DVR, On Demand, and the buttons to jump forward or back a day at a time in the guide. Add to the list of reasons I miss Fios, this wouldn’t be a problem. The Fios remote knows what screen it is in and will change the Channel Up/Down to Page Up/Down and uses FF/REW to jump days in the guide. Then I could have easily mapped everything I wanted. It’s sad, because Fios and Comcast use the same type of cable boxes yet Fios has much much better software.
Better Battery. The remote has a charging dock. I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to just leave it in there. I need to charge it about once a week.
After using it for a few months I’m very pleased with my purchase. It took a little while to get everything configured the way I need it. I haven’t had to grab my original remotes except for when it is recharging. I would like for the battery to last a month rather than a week and a half. It’s worth it if you just have two remotes to replace. Replacing eight, it’s a dream.
March 13, 2016
February 20, 2016