* Prices may differ from that shown
Being an Audio Visual enthusiast and a massive geek, my lounge is stuffed full of all sorts of seperates that require remote controls. From my 7.1 denon amp to my Sony HDD CD player. So a grand total of 5 remote controls had to find a home on the coffee table or bookshelf and it was driving my wife nuts. Especially when she picked the wrong controller and was trying to turn the TV up with the DVD remote. If you had more than one piece of equipment on, its a pain to have to use multiple controllers to turn them off or simply adjust settings.
For a long while I'd wanted a remote to do it all, more so though, I wanted one with a touch screen. After all, who doesn't love touch screen?
So, I did a little research on the the internet and surfed over to www.avforums.com amoung other sites. The logitech harmony range had rave reviews and the 1000 is the pinnacle of that range. Its a true beauty. I had always liked the look of Philips Pronto, but this logitech remote just oozes class.
It has a large touch screen and easy to use buttons. Hooking it up to your laptop or PC, you can connect to the remote, uploading pictures for backgrounds or slide shows (it acts as a mini digital picture frame when sitting in its charger!) as well as change settings and customise it til your heart is content.
As you can see from the pictures, there is a "front page" of "activities" each of which can be customised to suit your needs. For mine, i tweaked it so i have "play Ps3"*, "Watch Sky with Amp" "watch Sky" "listen to CD jukebox" and "watch a dvd". Pressing any of these will send a multitude of signals through the airwaves, turning on each relevant piece of equipment and changing them to the right settings. So for example, pressing "watch a dvd" turns on the TV, sets it to HDMI2, turns on my a/v reciever, changes it to DVD and turns on the DVD player.
One button press and you are off. Much easier than grabbing three remotes to do the same thing. Even better, turning everything off is as simple as pressing the power button on the top left of the remote, which (as you might have guessed) turns everything off with one press.
Front panel is a brushed steel design but much of the rest of it is made of plastic, so it feels a little cheaper and lighter than it looked. Which i have to admit was a tiny disappointment, but that's merely asthetic. The design itself is superb.
Connecting to the internet you can access logitech's database and register nearly any device currently on the planet. Remotes that cannot be mimicked in this way, can be manually input. The remote is very much a learning remote control.
It does take a while to intially setup and I couldnt say its flawless, but i certainly wouldn't go back to 5 seperate remotes. Its easy to use and pleasant on the eye.
Here's a big selling point for most men. Its simple enough that even my wife could get to grips with it. Not to be sexist or anything, but she had far more trouble with the seperate remotes than she does with this single unit.
In the end, Logitech's harmony 1000, although pricey and perhaps a luxury, is worth every penny and is a worthy addition to any home cinema setup.
*I should mention, it DOESNT work with Sony's Playstation 3, as that console uses bluetooth for its blu ray remote, rather than infa red. But that's sony's fault!
My dad got one of these for Xmas and we have just spent the whole evening trying to set it up, so I just had to get it all off my chest and tell you about it.
The idea of this device is that it controls all your AV equipment so you only ever need the one remote. This is high tech kit, and you do need wireless broadband to set it up and a degree in IT. We had the first....
First things first, this device looks great - it's made of brushed aluminium and it has a full colour touch screen. It's seriously space age. According to the techy boffin who bought this, it is good value for money at £213 (OMG - HOW much nail polish could you buy for that??) and much better than the Phillips Pronto. I merely pass that on.
OK - the set up. Now I can do most home-orientated IT things. I was glad I was not alone with this one.
Like one hour later it had downloaded the relevant bits, checked where we'd mis-labelled something, and spent some time blank-screen communicating with the internet. All OK in the end and it kept asking us irritating "Is this what you want?" questions, but we got over that. Good stuff vodka.
So you can now use it to operate all the AV previously purchased by techy-boffin (TB) (if they only had a crystal set, they wouldn't need any of it LOL).
Well the one's it does operate - great, but even TB (who has a Physics degree) couldn't get it to work with Dad's Bose speakers. Apparently the Logitech Harmony don't work with Bose. (??) It was possible to set up advanced custom stuff e.g. setting delay times for the remote commands. (When I work out why you want that I'll let you know.) TB added a custom button to turn the sub woofer on or off and was very pleased with himself.
OK so it is cute. It does seem to freeze every now again, which is solved by taking the batteries out and putting them in again (that's the level of technical support I felt comfortable with) , but you feel like Captain Kirk with it in your hands. a real talking point!
Oh a word of warning. If non-techy-boffins come in, can't fathom out how to work the new gadget and get the old remote out of the drawer, it get really confused and starts whizzing between appliances and switching stuff off than you wanted on. Don't let them do it.
So in summary - not a perfect product, not a cheap product, but for the man who has (nearly) everything and a physics degree - a great buy!