|Logitech Harmony 700 Remote Review|
|Home Theater Remotes & System Control Remotes & System Control|
|Written by Mike Flacy|
|Thursday, 10 February 2011|
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While it doesn’t have the sleek, polished styling of the Harmony One, the Harmony 700 comes in a cool matte black color with a similar button layout to the other remotes in the lineup. The size is identical to the Harmony One, but is slightly heavier likely due to the AA-batteries in the remote rather than a lithium ion battery. I actually preferred the extra weight to the remote as it feels more solid, but would have preferred to see a charging cradle come with the remote rather than the mini-USB cable that plugs into a standard wall outlet. The display is just shy of 2 inches in size (square) and does not have touch screen support. The resolution of the screen is 128 by 128 pixels and looks fairly bright in a darkened home theater room.
At the bottom of the remote, you will find the 12 digit keypad as well as the play / pause buttons for controlling DVRs and Blu-ray players. In the middle of the remote, you will find the volume / channel buttons as well as a directional pad for shifting around in the menus. Above the pad, there are 4 color coded buttons for custom functions, a page up/down rocker and buttons for cable box / DVR menus and information. On the top section of the 700, you will find the color screen with selection and navigation buttons as well as the power button and automatic buttons for performing a series of actions like “Watch TV” or “Listen to Music” The layout is very straightforward and anyone that’s used a cable box / satellite remote will be right at home.
Just like all the other Harmony remotes in the current lineup, you have to connect the device to your computer (Mac or PC) and go through a setup process to choose all the devices in your home theater. Anyone that’s had to setup a cheap universal remote will value the simplicity of the setup as there are no codes to plug into the remote over and over until the right frequency is discovered. You will need online connectivity as the setup connects to a database of thousands of manufacturers and over a couple hundred thousand products. As you choose your items, you indicate what actions they will be used for. For instance, a cable box would be included in the “Watch TV” action, thus the Harmony 700 will know to turn it on when you press that button. After filling out all the questions, the remote is automatically programmed and you are ready to go. However, if you add any new devices to your current setup, you will need to run through the program again.
If you can’t find your product listed in the program (unlikely if you home theater was purchased within the past five years), Harmony does have a learning function that can be used to teach the remote about your devices. The remote controls up to six devices and includes everything from televisions to game consoles to climate control (Heaters, for instance). Setting up the 700 to handle everything in my home theater was pretty simple and took about 30 minutes of time with a little trial and error testing. If for any reason your remote loses all the information that you programmed into it, just pop the remote back into the program. I didn’t have this problem though.