As you can probably imagine from my previous blog on my home theatre setup, I’ve now got a fair few remotes for the various devices in the loungeroom. Anyway, I decided to sort that out with a universal remote. I’d heard good things about the Logitech Harmony remotes, so I went out and ordered 2 of those (one for my parents who are in a similar dilemma with about 7 remotes in their lounge).
It was a little convoluted to install the software, requiring an internet connection to set up an online profile for my devices. Once that was done though, I just had to select what devices I had and assign specific settings for the various activities of those remotes (ie AV2 inputs on the receiver for watching TV, etc). In general the remote works quite well, and has either a devices (for individually controlling each device I have it set up for) or an activities mode (for just pressing one button and having it set them all appropriately automagically). I’m pretty happy with it either way, although if you turn a device on manually, the remote has trouble recognising that it’s actually on in activities mode, and as such doesn’t quite work intuitively.
For my parents I’m still undecided as to whether it was a worthwhile investment. It successfully controls about 3 of their 7 devices. The others in the database are either the wrong device, or weren’t entered in there with the full functionality. At some stage I’ll go and program those extra devices manually and see if I can have any further luck that way, but at the moment they’re still using about 6 remotes. The software is quite difficult to work around to manually program devices too if you can’t find what you want in the Logitech database.
In short, before purchasing one of these Harmony remotes, be sure to research it will work for all of your devices first. If it will, then it’s a good replacement.