|Logitech Harmony 1000 Advanced Universal Remote|
|Home Theater Remotes & System Control Remotes & System Control|
|Written by Ken Taraszka, MD|
|Wednesday, 01 August 2007|
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I loved this remote, but it has some minor issues I’d like to see resolved. The touch screen is beautiful, but doesn’t have enough space for large numbers of buttons, so devices require multiple pages to control their features. The IR emitter is located on the top left side of the remote, a where my and my friends’ left index fingers seemed to reside, occasionally causing issues with control. The lack of hard transport buttons means you will need to look at the screen to use these keys, taking your eyes off what you are scanning through. The Harmony has a cache for multiple button presses. I found it almost never necessary and, when I was impatiently hitting the volume increase button, it continued to raise the volume sometimes for a second or two after getting to the level I wanted. A little patience on my part solved this.
The Harmony 1000 Advanced Universal Remote does a great job outputting IR signals, but IR is a line of sight control system and can thus be flawed. While the remote can output RF, the Harmony RF Wireless Extender that allows control of your devices from up to 100 feet away without a line of sight adds $149.99 to the price. I used this in my reference system where the gear is out of sight. I can see how even in my bedroom system, where sheets and blankets can sometimes obscure the IR signal, the reliability the RF extender adds to the remote would truly bring it to the next level. The RF extender allows guaranteed control of your devices from anywhere near your system and with the remote pointed in any direction; I would have liked it to be included in the package.
The Harmony 1000 Advanced Universal remote is quite simply the closest most of us will ever come to the likes of Creston or AMX, and it is far easier to program than either. Its drop dead gorgeous looks, sleek lines and beautiful touch screen display will make it a focal point of any theater, while its ease of use and advanced help feature make it practical enough for the whole family to enjoy. One of my favorite things about the Harmony remotes is the Help function. Should something go wrong starting an activity, the remote will walk the user through fixing it, saving you the phone calls of, “Honey, the TV won’t work!” The charging base station keeps the remote proudly displayed and always at the ready with a full charge. The Lithium ion battery lasts up to a week between charges, should you fail to replace it in the charger.
I have been through most universal remotes made over the past 10 years, and I have to say none make a remote as easy to use as Harmony. The Smart State technology makes them function smoothly without discrete codes. The simple to use and learn computer-based programming system is the best I’ve seen and, with the frequent updates, has continued to improve. During the short time I have had this review sample, Harmony has updated their remote software to 126.96.36.199, which solved a small but annoying issue I had in the past renaming activities. I spoke with Harmony’s technicians at the recent HE 2007 show and explained some of my issues and desires for this remote, most of which are software-upgradeable. They were aware of many of them and are working to add to the flexibility of the software, so we can hope these will be out soon, making this already exceptional remote even better.
While remotes continue to accumulate in my household, the Harmony 1000 has managed to keep all of my originals hidden in the closet. This remote offers amazing functionality and flexibility, with looks that will have your friends drooling with envy. The Harmony 1000 Advanced Universal Remote pushes the envelope of what the everyday consumer can expect from a mass-marketed remote. I have recommended Harmony universal remotes to my friends for years. The new Harmony 1000 Advanced Universal Remote is clearly their most luxurious remote to date and one that won’t be leaving my system any time soon. I flat-out love this remote. Try one and you’ll see why.