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Once all the contents are taken out of the box, the first thing you'll want to do is set up the charging dock. Logitech recommends giving the new device a charge for 5 hours, so factor this into your first day if you're looking to pick up the device and use it ASAP. I personally find this to be crucial, and not a suggestion; you're going to want a fresh charge for setup to avoid any frustrating delays.
The charging dock is very simplistic, with charging terminals in the base that is cupped at the bottom to hug the contour of the remote base and line up the terminals on the bottom of the remote perfectly. The back of the remote has a groove about three fingers wide going vertical along the back. This is mirrored on the charging dock, allowing the user to find the “sweet spot” as to where to slide the remote onto the dock without demanding too much focus away from your entertainment.
While the remote is charging, installing the software to your PC or Mac can be done quickly. In fact, the remote isn't needed to set up any of your devices or activities until the very last step. The software install on your PC is pretty straightforward, and defaults to your Program Files directory under Logitech. The next step is to run the Harmony Remote Software and create an account with the Logitech servers. This will also allow you to save your preferences in case you have to reset the remote or even transfer your profile to a newer model down the road.
Once an account is created, you're off and running with adding devices. Simply jot down the device type, manufacturer, and model number of all the devices you wish to control, and add them line by line. Logitech's database has literally thousands of different devices that it will recognize. It even recognized my 6 year old computer sound card with infrared on its jump drive, as well as my DLO HomeDock for my iPod. Unfortunately, both of these odd items did not come with all the button options and did not work flawlessly.
With all your main devices added to your arsenal, the software will then offer up a list of possible Activities that you may want to use. It is very intuitive in this way, and once the Activities are confirmed, only a few simple and obvious questions have to be answered for each activity, with most of the predicted or recommended answers primed and ready for your confirmation.
If you give yourself a good 20-30 minutes (not counting the time to gather all the model numbers you'll need!) to go through the online software setup, you should get a good feel for how everything will work and be able to navigate through the steps quite smoothly. The software allows you to review each Activity step by step, process by process, and device by device. You can customize the Activities in many ways, and even start tweaking some of the default device button layouts if you have the time. Also, you can add any extra commands to the Activity protocol, from priming up a particular cable channel to popping out the disc tray of your DVD player.
Making custom buttons is easy enough, but the user has to make sure to label them individually as to remember which buttons are which. The remote also allows you to choose unique icons to use with each button made, although the choices are limited as to what is offered in the software, and not all button types are represented. Once you are satisfied with all your Activities, plug the USB cord into the device and your PC and hit the Update Remote button. This will reset your remote and upload all your commands.