My New Logitech Harmony 1000 Remote Control

In between periods of downloading apps/updates or letting installs happen while getting my computer back up, I managed to get my first set up done on the new Logitech Harmony 1000 remote control and I must say, thus far, I am impressed.

In the past, I have been a Philips Pronto remote control owner and for the most part, just loved em. They were almost completely customizable, to the point of programming how you wanted the remote to look and act. The main problems with the Prontos were the reliability, weight and speed at which they chewed through batteries. When my last Pronto finally died, I went back having 5 or 6 remotes laying on the table and hated every minute of. I spent some time do research on a new remote, but was also balking at paying another $400 for a remote control. Finally, last Christmas, I found the remote I wanted and decided to give it a go. Unfortunately, the launch date was pushed back and I never did get it. The Logitech Harmony 1000 was finally released in February and with a new bonus check in hand from work, I took the plunge.

The setup couldn’t have been easier. You simply install some software on your computer and hook up the remote to your computer via the included USB cable. The Harmony software wizard asks you some questions about which components (brand and model) that you have. I have some non standard components and yet, it knew everyone of my components, even my wife’s off the wall karaoke player. It guides you through setting up some activities. The remote defines activities as such things as Watch TV, Watch a DVD, etc. etc.. It has predefined setups for all the normal ones (TV, SAT, DVD, etc) and has a simple wizard for user defined ones. I defined new ones for the karaoke and for my infrared lights controller in about 2 minutes each. The activity macro does all the work of turning on the right components and the initial settings for the ones involved in that activity.

After upgrading the firmware and then downloading my settings, including custom background image, the remote was ready to go. That whole process took maybe 30 minutes. After a quick test run, everything appeared to be running just perfect. I was pretty amazed. The default layout looked great and the pages for each activity and remote looked nice and was pretty intuitive.

harmony.jpg

The remote has a nice size 3.5″ touch screen display and a series of fixed, hard buttons for specific commands. The weight is incredibly light. It uses a rechargeable lithium ion battery (no memory) and comes with a charging stand for when not in use. There is also an available RF Extender which I may one day get.

Out of the box and with only 30 minutes spent on the remote, I was very pleased. After a couple of nights of use, though, I was wanting to do some customizations, like adding a few more buttons to some of the pages. For instance, my TV has a day and night setting that I have calibrated the brightness/contrast/etc differently depending upon the ambient light. Yesterday, my son had changed it to day mode while playing video games. When we fired up a DVD last night, it was obviously the wrong setting. It was still pretty easy to hit about four buttons and be on the page where I can change it, but I want it right there on the first page for all activities. The ability to customize this wonderful, initial settings of the remote had me worried.

This morning, I spent 10 minutes looking at it after church and it looks like it will be real easy to do. I haven’t actually done it yet, but if the remote hangs in there with my specific customizations, it will be well worth the $400. Today, I don’t think I could be happier with this remote.

Now, let me go see about putting those other 6 remotes away… and finishing bringing my computer back up…

Comments

  1. Sounds like quite a gadget! I love gadgets!

  2. Me too 😀

  3. Did you manage to customize it? I’m thinking of getting one.

  4. Actually, I haven’t had the time or the real driving inclination to customize it yet. There are only a few things I want to customize. Basically, a few buttons that I use that dont show up on the remote.

    After using it for a few weeks, most everything I want to do is in the default setup. They made it real easy to move from an activity to any device and then again easy to get to what you want to do on that device. Surprising to me, is that the default setups are easy to use and quite intuitive.

    My desire to customize has gone down, but hopefully this weekend, I will make the few tweaks I have desired. A couple of weeks ago, I looked at the customization and actually found it easy to use. I guess I actually did one at that time since my theater light controls weren’t a default set up. It only took me 15 minutes to get my lights working the way I wanted.

    I can easily recommend this remote though its not for the faint of heart at almost $400.

  5. Thanks for that. Much appreciated. I think I’ll get one. I only have a projector, motorised screen, amp, dvd player and cd player to control but I hate having all the remotes cluttering up my coffee table.

  6. Yeah, when my pronto gave up the ghost, it was back to 6 remotes on the coffee table… they are now put back away 😎

    If it’s IR, this thing can control it. It also has a learn function but it knew everyone of my devices already, including a few off the wall ones…

    Let me know how it goes if you get one!

  7. Hey great review! I was wondering what equipment you use to control the lighting in your house. I just got the Harmony 1000 and love it and now I want to be able to control my lights. What do I have to do?

  8. You will have to add an infrared control system to your lights… its really simple to do… just replace your light switch… not too expensive either…

    there are many brands out there… I happen to use Lutron (lutron.com)…

    its worth the time and money…

  9. Thanks for the reply! So do you just replace the light switches and just point the remote at the light every time you want to change it?

  10. Thats pretty much it… Its infrared so you have to point in general direction… you will have to wire in the infrared switch, which is pretty easy, just make sure you remove the power for safety…

    depending on how much you spend on the infrared control, you can have a bunch of preset positions, fine up/down control, on, off and theater like raising and lowering of the light level…

  11. ROY CHRISTMAS says:

    I LOVE THIS REMOTE, BUT I AHVE A PROBLEM DOWNLOADING PIC ON IT TO MAKE MY SLIDESHOW.
    I HAVE THESE KIND OF ERRORS POP UP.

    1. PAGE LOAD ERROR
    2. CONNECTION INTERRUPTED.
    3. THE DOCUMENT CONTAINS NO DATA.
    4. THE NETWORK LINK WAS INTERRUPTED WHIKE NOGOTIATING A CONNECTION. PLEASE TRY AGAIN.

    CAN YOU HELP ME ON THIS.

    THANKS
    ROY

  12. I have not done anything with the slideshow so not sure I can help.

    Also, unfortunately, though I really like the remote, it is pretty much sitting and collecting dust. I replaced a bunch of my components in my system and never updated the remote. This is largely due to my family not using the remote (never did get a good reason as to why).

    So it ends up being another remote with the others and thus I havent kept it up to date with my system.

    Kind of sad if you ask me….

  13. This is but one example of the large variety of touch screen remote controls that are available today. They will control up to 18 components of a home theater system very comforably and allow you the luxury of sitting back and having to use only one control for the entire system.

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