Ok.. I am a long time Logitech Harmony remote control user.. Going back to around the launch of the Xbox 360. I had tons of remote controls in my living room. TV, BluRay/DVD Player, surround sound amplifier, and even more. It was literally a mess of controls in my living room.
Enter the Logitech Harmony series of remotes. The one I had years ago worked great, and with this new Logitech 655, I can dool all I did before, in a revised physical design, a nicer more premium physical feel, and yet not break the bank as with the higher end logitech harmony remotes.
This remote controls up to 10 separate devices, even really, REALLY old and obscure manufacturers. I had a really old pioneer surround receiver that had was in the setup program’s database of devices. The list of devices is exhaustive.
Setup is done from either a PC or Mac, and to be honest, is a bit of work to get going the first time. You basically define which devices you own, TV, Consoles, Amps, Media Streamers, etc.. Then you define “activities”, such as “Watch TV”, “Play Xbox One”, “Watch a Movie” etc. The setup asks for each activity which TV input should be used for that activity, should the Amp be on? What setting should the amp be on? How about, your media streamer? Should that be on, etc.. You can define the order of the devices turning on too. You can even customize it more if you would like, rename the activity, etc. You save all this information on your Harmony online account, you will need to register one, and then it will save back to your remote control. When you are all done, you unplug it from your computer and try it out.
The great thing is, once you go thru this process one time, and say you lose or break your remote, you get either a replacement, or a newer remote, it can even be a different model, and, BAM, Bob’s yer uncle, you can transfer your old remote’s programming to your new/replacement remote. BRILLIANT. You can even define multiple remotes for different rooms too.
The remote itself glows in the dark when you reach for it, and are using it, though not all the keys light up. Most of them do.
You can even control each device to actually emulate all of the original remote’s setup. Basically if there are keys that it does not have physically, let’s say for a setup menu on your tv for example, that button will appear on your LCD screen as a “button”.
For me, I basically always just use the activities. Ahh.. and my favorite.. If you have a device that did not turn on because you were pointed a little off when you lanuched the activity? You click the “HELP” button, and the remote basically will try to turn on, or off, all devices, or whatever your last “activity” was set to perform. Still doesn’t work? It will then ask for each stage of that activity if that device is on, set to the correct input, etc.
There are some downsides.. This will take you around 30-45 minutes to setup the first time, and I had some issues getting Windows 10 to see the device as connected to my PC, but managed to get thru it in about 30. Also, I wish the remote was not so slippery. This thing falls out of my hands alot.
And here is my single biggest gripe with basically all of the harmony remotes that have followed this general design, though hopefully not with this one. Eventually, the buttons will be pushed so often that they will need to be pushed down very hard. I have gone thru several harmony remotes like this. What is happening is that the circuit board inside the remove is slowly getting bent down, and losing connection with certain buttons. In the past it has taken about 2 years to get to this point on other remotes, so I was ok with it, given how fantastic the performance of the line of remotes has been in the past.
Overall, for the price, the remote is fantastic. Highly recommended.