Logitech - Harmony Smart Control - Black
MODEL: 915-000194 (after about 1 week of use)
GREAT REMOTE FOR ADVANCED USERS
Just like you should not complain that a stick shift (manual transmission) is harder to learn to drive than an automatic, reviews dinging this for the hard setup, should keep in mind what it is designed for.
Once you master driving a manual transmission it is a much more enjoyable driving experience, in most, but not all cases.
SUMMARY: If you are not an advanced user, very good at programming and logical thinking / planning, then maybe look at other models. It you want to have almost limitless control of every single button on the remote (up to 2 functions for 40 buttons), and have the patience to design a layout that is perfect for your use, then this gives you that capability.
If I were designing an advanced entertainment device management system from scratch, this would be it.
I have spent about 1 week programming this remote, and I think I am about 90% there towards having the perfect set up.
I will probably never use the phone/tablet APP around which this system is designed, the thought of finding my phone, unlocking it, turning on Wifi, etc, seems too much work. The included “basic” remote is perfect for sending one button “launch” commands to the hub which blasts the actual button pushes to all the other devices.
I only used the windows / online based configuration tool, which admittedly could be improved, but it still had 99% of the functionality I needed, it just could have been streamlined. Eg it would be nice to have a command “press right 9 times” instead of having to add 9 rows of commands one at time to “press right”.
TV: SONY KDL55W900A
DVR: TiVo Premier XL / Comcast
Blu Ray: LG650
Audio: Yamaha HTR-5790 (older no HDMI inputs)
GOAL: I finally mounted my TV on the wall, and I wanted to move the rack of devices away from the TV. So I moved all the gear to the other end of the room and mostly out of view. I needed a way to blast signals to all the devices, and I wanted a way to make a simple to use all in one remote for my family who hates to deal with 3 remotes in order to watch a move. I have all our movies and music stored on a media player (Synology), and we use Netflix, Amazon Instant, and Hulu Plus. It was very confusing for my family to stream a movie. Turn on TV Set input to Blu Ray, Turn on Blu Ray, Turn on Stereo Set Input to DVD, Set Audio to 7 Channel Stereo, Use Blu Ray remote to navigate to “home media button”, browse to the media player, navigate to the movie folder, etc etc etc etc.
RESULT: There are 3 buttons on the remote that control up to 6 activities (scripts of button pushes).
After my tweaking……
Button - Music (changes all the inputs as above and takes the user automatically to the media folder)
Button - TV (changes the inputs and remote to watch TV from TiVo)
Button - Movie (changes all the inputs to watch a Blu Ray)
A long press vs. a short press, does all of the same, but includes the Stereo into the mix, since some people in the family prefer to listen to audio through the TV and others in surround sound.
I also set up the color coded buttons on the remote as follows; RED = Netflix, YELLOW = Amazon, GREEN = Hulu, BLUE = Change input to the Wii.
CONCLUSION: Yes, setup is complicated, and could use some improvement on the user interface. However, with patience and some planning you can get everything done. I would have liked one more row of buttons on the remote with miscellaneous names found on many devices “home”, “setup”, “input”, I’ve had to hide some of these functions as “long presses” on other buttons, but since I’m the only one that uses them it is fine. The remote control itself is slim, attractive and comfortable. It is not as intuitive as my TiVo remote, but it is close. I’ve also been using the TiVo remote for about 10 years, so there is muscle memory there.
I’m about to pilot test this remote with the rest of the family now. Wish me luck !