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Harmony One Universal Remote


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#1 Mjr69

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 10:10 AM

I have seen plenty of comments in different threads including a pre-release thread but not a user review - sorry if there is one and it didn't come up in the search.

Firstly the price is between $181.95 and $399!

With a couple of ebay scammers (or one playing 2 roles?) that start to sell them from $0.99 but ALWAYS magically reach around the $200 mark (+ $19 to $36 postage). If you look at the bidding although anonymous it seems the same group of people (on a rotational basis) who have only bought a few items over many years as being ebay members seem to bid almost solely with the same seller. The concept is to let you win for a few days and then gazump you with a few hours to go and some people will increase the bid to over $200 and get it - or let the seller win it. If you trace back often the sale is not recorded in the feedback for the buyer or the seller - but done enough times to give them a good rating. One of the multiple "successful bidders" also sells the same remotes for a higher cost with a Buy Me Now price - so I think it is the same person. I haven't contacted eBay as they don't seem to care about this sort of thing - as long as they are paid their fees - they are happy.

I bought mine from Trade Club for $181.95 + $9 postage - about a week from purchase to delivered.

Now about the remote...

Firstly I am VERY happy with it. My previous universal remote was an early Pronto with a "black and white" screen whereas the One has a colour screen. Also the Pronto (like the Harmony's big brother 1000i) needs two hands to hold it - the One is like a wand with the majority of buttons easily accessed with the one hand. However I have also (maybe out of habit) used two hands sometimes when using the touch screen. if you are fairly dextrous you should be able to operate everything with the one hand.

The package consists of the remote, charging station, 240v connector, USB connector, Lithium rechargable battery, brochures, software CD and polishing cloth.

The charging station has a tunnel underneath in which to conceal the power cord and allow it to lay flat. There is a light to let you know it is on - which I believe is a little too bright when I am watching a movie on the PJ.

The remote is in a bright piano shiny black finish with a rubbery texture underneath and fits your hand like a glove. It seems to me just the right weight and balance - heavy enough for you to respect it but not too heavy to fatigue you. There is a motion sensor in the remote to make it light up when you pick it up. The length of time the light stays on is configurable to 4 settings. Being shiny black with a touch screen it is a fingerprint magnet - I suppose that is why they give you a little black polishing cloth...

The touch screen is at first divided into three wide macro buttons - Watch TV, Listen to Radio, Watch a DVD etc.. these "Activities" are configurable - I have 9 which is 3 pages of 3. Some are Watch TV, Watch TV on PJ, Watch Blu-Ray on PJ etc.. There are arrows that appear to scroll to the other buttons. The macro can be as simple as to turn your TV on - or turn your TV on, your TV input, turn your set top box on, go to a certain channel, turn your receiver on and select TV on the output etc... You can customise the order in which each device is turned on, the delay (if needed) and also add other commands like open the tray to the dvd etc...

Once the TV is on, the touch screen can then show the icons for 6 channels at a time and as many pages as you need in any group configuration you choose.
You can also choose device and go to another screen to show more buttons like Red, Blue, Yellow, Green, brightness, contrast etc...

The "normal buttons" are mapped to your selected devices eg channel up and down on STB, volume on receiver etc.. all configurable. These also light up and are easy to navigate. If I could change one thing I would have preferred the volume and channel selection toggle buttons to swap places...


The software provided on CD - once installed takes you to the Logitech website where you open a free account and list all your devices and configure the remote accordingly. Once you are happy with the setup you plug your remote into the computer via a USB cable and download the file. The connection time for me is about 2 minutes...

Before you start I recommend that you go to all your equipment and write down the make and model number and think about what you need to happen - it will save you a lot of time in the long run. If your device is not listed - obscure/really old or very new it will suggest possible matches or you can learn the IR commands/buttons from the original remote. The device list is huge including air conditioners, lighting systems etc...

Once you have added all your equipment and decided what macros you want the procedure is very easy - a series of very easy questions come up which the software already guesses the configuration and you click Yes 99% of the time. EZPZ. :)

Then comes more fun - you can rename the macros, change icons, customise most things and add FTA and Foxtel icons etc...

So in a nutshell I am very happy with the remote and more importantly my wife is - she was having a load of trouble just working out which remote to use - let alone which button to press. :)

Pros:
Nice colour screen and ergonomics
Easier to program than the Pronto
Nice overall feel and looks
Well lit
No more batteries to buy (for a long time?) - my Denon 3805 eats batteries big time!

Cons:
Not exactly cheap!
Dust/oil/fingerprint magnet
No good if you have really big/fat fingers

#2 fire_dude13

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 12:54 PM

Nice review Mjr69, I love mine as well (got it free on redemption with a Dlink wireless N router for $280 a while back at HN).

The charging station has a tunnel underneath in which to conceal the power cord and allow it to lay flat. There is a light to let you know it is on - which I believe is a little too bright when I am watching a movie on the PJ.


There is an on/off switch for the light on the charger base which should solve your problem. Also, check this site out for TV/Foxtel/Austar icons.

http://www.iconharmo...gory=harmonyOne

Cheers

FD13

#3 Mjr69

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 01:42 PM

Thanks Fire Dude 13 - I didn't know about the switch - great deal with HN! :)

#4 diesel

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 04:33 PM

How do you find the hard buttons? Good feel?

Does the remote squeak and click when you press buttons (a minor quality issue with 525s) or is it relatively silent?

Are the hard buttons rubberised or hard plastic?

How are the commands printed onto the hard buttons - will they easily wear off?

#5 Mjr69

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 07:21 PM

The hard buttons feel real positive and do make a small click - which like the touchscreen shows that you have selected something. - I haven't done it but I think the noise the touch screen makes can be turned off...

The buttons are a hard plastic... I can't say about how they are printed but looking real close (magnifying glass) there is no feathering of the edges and the text is crisp so I don't imagine they will easily wear off.

Over the years I have bought a few Logitech products and they have always been well made.

I know in Adelaide they have one of each remote in the range set up at Myers in between the TVs and computers - although they are dummies you can get a good idea of what they are like... probably in Sydney too?

#6 Mjr69

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 07:24 PM

Double Post

Edited by Mjr69, 19 November 2008 - 07:44 PM.


#7 diesel

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 12:53 PM

Yeah, I have a 525 and am very happy with what it can do for such a cheap device. The build quality is really my only beef with it - but it has been punished pretty hard with twin 6yo boys using it as well as Mrs diesel and it's still going strong. Just feels a little cheap.

Thanks for the feedback regarding the One

#8 ...

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 05:47 PM

The buttons are a hard plastic... I can't say about how they are printed but looking real close (magnifying glass) there is no feathering of the edges and the text is crisp so I don't imagine they will easily wear off.

Very happy with mine so far! :)

Don't worry about the printing on the hard buttons wearing off, It's a backlit remote the printing on each button is actually molded in (translucent plastic) to allow the light to pass through. ;)

#9 Krixonix

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 01:51 PM

I got one from ebay $194 delivered. Fantastic unit!!
I love how you can put icons on for your favorite channels.
best source for these icons I found was s q u a r e e y e s i c o n h a r m o n y edit: as previously mentioned

Edited by Krixonix, 28 November 2008 - 01:53 PM.


#10 vandc

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 12:39 PM

What's the response time on the One like when pushing a button - for example channel changing? I'm hoping it's the same as the normal remotes. Had to buy a Toppy 7000 Pvr to alleviate my frustration at the slow channel change of my Pio Lx and am hoping there is no delay in response time on the One.

Cheers.

#11 Stux

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 02:31 PM

What's the response time on the One like when pushing a button - for example channel changing? I'm hoping it's the same as the normal remotes. Had to buy a Toppy 7000 Pvr to alleviate my frustration at the slow channel change of my Pio Lx and am hoping there is no delay in response time on the One.

Cheers.


There is no problem after you adjust the default times down to their bare minimum :)


I bought my One for about 350$ when they first came out.

I *love* it. Its my favourite bit of AV kit.

As far as I can tell its a perfect product. Which is fairly amazing.

#12 diesel

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 04:13 PM

What's the response time on the One like when pushing a button - for example channel changing? I'm hoping it's the same as the normal remotes. Had to buy a Toppy 7000 Pvr to alleviate my frustration at the slow channel change of my Pio Lx and am hoping there is no delay in response time on the One.

The Toppy should be much quicker in channel change, and the Harmony is almost as the quick as the original I find with my Beyonwiz. It's a split second slower when pressing it repeatedly, ie deleting file names etc.
Just be aware that you'll use the coloured buttons quite often on the Toppy, so move them onto the front page of the touchscreen.

#13 collinhack

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 10:49 AM

Also just got a Harmony One from an Ebay trader - came to ~$190 with shipping using "buy it now" :-)

Really like the functionality it provides. I find the feel of the keys is not too pleasing and it's hard to press a button accurately on the touch screen AND have it pointed at the 55 devices it's powering at the same time :-) Hopefully practice will make perfect. It's a breeze compared to remote juggling.

I had a few problems getting some commands to "stick", especially my dimmable lights, but after doing a bit of internet hunting, found out about RAW mode, which is the best way to learn a command from another remote, as it always seems to work, unlike the "standard" learning mode . . . strange that there is even a difference.

So in short, easy to program, easy to use. Touchscreen a little fiddly, but that's understandable given the size of the remote. I didn't like the feel of the keys, but I'll live and get used to it. The positives far outweight the negatives, and for less than $200 it seems like a very good buy to me!

#14 collinhack

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 12:38 PM

There is no problem after you adjust the default times down to their bare minimum :)


Which of the times do you reduce and to what? There seems to be varying numbers and choices and I don't want to bugger up the whole works for a small increase in response time :-)

#15 The D-Train

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 05:45 PM

Ive had my Harmony remote now for about 4 months and I must say im very disappointed with it.

It is forever turning on the wrong component, not turning on the correct one, choosing the wrong input etc etc.

I emailed logitech technical and they fixed it, a few times later its all crap again. I always go through the help menu to fix it but it obviously cant remember for next time.

I wouldnt recommend one of these unfortunately.

#16 ...

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 07:16 PM

Ive had my Harmony remote now for about 4 months and I must say im very disappointed with it.

It is forever turning on the wrong component, not turning on the correct one, choosing the wrong input etc etc.

I emailed logitech technical and they fixed it, a few times later its all crap again. I always go through the help menu to fix it but it obviously cant remember for next time.

I wouldnt recommend one of these unfortunately.

Never had this problem myself with my Harmony One. :huh:

Only issue I have is that because of the way my equipment is set up the TV's IR reciever is partially masked from the seating position and I sometimes forget to hold the remote high enough when turning things on and off.... :blush:

Are you making sure you hold the remote facing the equipment until after it has finished transmitting (little icon onscreen)?

#17 The D-Train

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 08:45 PM

Are you making sure you hold the remote facing the equipment until after it has finished transmitting (little icon onscreen)?

no issues with that. It looks like my "self learning" remote is the dunce of the class. :rolleyes:

#18 mazman

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 10:31 PM

whats this RAW vs STANDARD learning?
Just curious as i have a issue with my remote curtains, and ive tried learning the command.

#19 diesel

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 10:00 AM

no issues with that. It looks like my "self learning" remote is the dunce of the class. :rolleyes:

A good tradesman doesn't blame his/her tools.

Whilst i admit it can be trocky to setup a Harmony remote, once you have it setup right, it works like it says it does. I have never had any issues with devices going out of sync, wrong inputs etc.

I would say it just needs some tweaking in the setup D-Train.

#20 diesel

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 10:07 AM

Which of the times do you reduce and to what? There seems to be varying numbers and choices and I don't want to bugger up the whole works for a small increase in response time :-)

Under troubleshooting. There will be a question along the lines my device responds too many times or too slowly.

You will then be able to reduce the signals from say 3 to 1.

For example, when I first got mine, everytime i changed volume the Harmony sent two commands, so the volume always increased/decreased by two levels. i went in and reduced this to 1 command per press and hey presto.

You can also use this similar method to increase/decrease the delay time between commands being sent to different devices and commands per device in an activity.

#21 The D-Train

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 10:15 AM

A good tradesman doesn't blame his/her tools.

Whilst i admit it can be trocky to setup a Harmony remote, once you have it setup right, it works like it says it does. I have never had any issues with devices going out of sync, wrong inputs etc.

I would say it just needs some tweaking in the setup D-Train.

Im not sure Diesel, its all connected fine via the pc settings. Logitech themselves even tweaked it for me. Next time I use it I get different results. Perhaps I have a faulty one. I dont think I can be blamed when all I do is push a "watch a bluray" button and it doesnt work.

#22 rvbdoc

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 12:38 PM

D-Train: The "Help" is the only thing I don't like... it tends to mess things up. Just don't press it. From what I have figured out, it fiddles what commands it is sending because it thinks your are telling it "This doesn't work", and instead of asking you what went wrong it tends to just jump in feet first and start changing stuff. Try resetting and starting from scratch, and for each actual device (not just activity - go find the device as well) you can go in and adjust what you want it to do.

One common problem is that you may not have everything you want to manipulate in the transmitter range; I found my AV cabinet was reflecting the signals due to the thick smoky glass, which I kept nice and shiny. After I pulled a few of my devices forward and tilted the cabinet slightly, everything worked great.

Stick to doing everything yourself in the computer programming side - I've found it works just fine, even though it required a little bit of figuring out. Once you get it all set up, you're laughing. I love mine.

Edited by rvbdoc, 27 December 2008 - 12:44 PM.


#23 The D-Train

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 12:52 PM

D-Train: The "Help" is the only thing I don't like... it tends to mess things up. Just don't press it. From what I have figured out, it fiddles what commands it is sending because it thinks your are telling it "This doesn't work", and instead of asking you what went wrong it tends to just jump in feet first and start changing stuff. Try resetting and starting from scratch, and for each actual device (not just activity - go find the device as well) you can go in and adjust what you want it to do.

One common problem is that you may not have everything you want to manipulate in the transmitter range; I found my AV cabinet was reflecting the signals due to the thick smoky glass, which I kept nice and shiny. After I pulled a few of my devices forward and tilted the cabinet slightly, everything worked great.

Stick to doing everything yourself in the computer programming side - I've found it works just fine, even though it required a little bit of figuring out. Once you get it all set up, you're laughing. I love mine.

thanks mate, will give that a go.

cheers

D

#24 diesel

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 02:22 PM

D-Train: The "Help" is the only thing I don't like... it tends to mess things up. Just don't press it. From what I have figured out, it fiddles what commands it is sending because it thinks your are telling it "This doesn't work", and instead of asking you what went wrong it tends to just jump in feet first and start changing stuff. Try resetting and starting from scratch, and for each actual device (not just activity - go find the device as well) you can go in and adjust what you want it to do.

The Help function is a god send for non technical users. Mine always asks questions about the setup to which you answer Yes or No and then it works out what is wrong and sends the right command.
I have no idea how pressing the help button sends off commands before you tell it what is wrong...??? :unsure:

#25 collinhack

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 04:12 PM

whats this RAW vs STANDARD learning?
Just curious as i have a issue with my remote curtains, and ive tried learning the command.



Not too sure why they have the "standard" and not just RAW as a couple of things only worked when I used RAW - maybe "standard" takes up less memory or soemthing?

Do you need to know how to find RAW mode progamming?