Harmony 525 - worth taking the plunge?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Control & Remote Controls' started by Hooblue, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. Hooblue

    Hooblue
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    Hi All,

    I'm thinking about taking the plunge and geting rid of all my remotes and replacing them with a universal remote. Now I don't want to spend a fortune, especially as this is my first time with a universal remote so want to see wha they are like before upgrading to a better one. Therefore I was thinking about getting a Harmony 525 to start with.

    Now basically want I'd like to know is are they worth it? Obviously it would save space and because I can set up activities it'd probably save time. However will it be able to do everything that I'll need? I know it'll let me turn devices on and off and also select the right inputs etc, but will it, for example, let me choose which surround option I want on the reciever (DD for movies, stereo for music etc). Bsically will it let me do things whcih require multiple presses of the same button. Also, once I've selected an activity such as watch TV (Sky+), can I freely do all the things I could with the normal remotes such as change channel/volume/playback of recorded programme without messing settings up etc.

    I guess I'm just not 100% clear hoe they work and what their capabilities and limitations are.

    Cheers.
     
  2. logiciel

    logiciel
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    All Harmonys work the same way - you specify the devices you want it to control, specify what combinations of devices you want as Activities - such as WatchTV or PlayDVD - and the buttons in each Activity will then be set to control the appropriate devices and any powering on or off and any input changes that are required when switching Activities will be made automatically. If you want different or additional commands to be available on buttons you can customise them in any way you wish.
     
  3. dmcconachie

    dmcconachie
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    If you're unsure how they work and have never used one before, it'll be the best gadget you've ever bought!
    I was like you, a little unsure, know these things can be all hype and didn't wan't to have to justify the cost to the wife. Took the plunge and now even she agrees it's better than having 6 remotes around the place!
    I have the 785 BTW
     
  4. Hooblue

    Hooblue
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    Cheers guys!

    Seeing as I'm new to these, what would be the main difference between say the 525 and 555? The Logitech 'compare' function doesn't exactly shed any light on things. Obviously as you go further up they can control more devices, are rechargable etc, but I only need a basic(ish) one for now so was going to opt for one of these first.
     
  5. Hooblue

    Hooblue
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    Just been looking at the prices of the 525 online and all the retailers seem to have put their prices up! Misco had it for £33 odd at the beginning of the week, now when you go into the item it's £48! :eek: The hut had it for £40 and now it's £54.

    Anyone know the best place to get one of these from at the best price?
     
  6. logiciel

    logiciel
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    The 555 has a couple of extra features that might be worth a pound or two extra.

    Prices for Harmonys, like all devices, fluctuate all the time - keep Googling until you find a price you guess can't be bettered!
     
  7. Hooblue

    Hooblue
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    Thanks Logiciel. What are the extra features that the 555 has over the 525? I've actually seen the 555 cheaper than the 525 so if they are worth it I might get that instead (although the other half likes the blue light of the 525 over the orange of the 555! :suicide: :( )
     
  8. logiciel

    logiciel
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    That's OK, and I agree about the colour - that orange is vivid!
    I think the 555 has separate Audio and Video sections but I don't know how they work - none of the later models have them so they can't have been very popular!
     
  9. platty2890

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    Tempted by the 525 myself, my local comet has it priced for £49.99 but salesman told me it scans up at £39.14 which it does so i believe thats a bargain after having a quick look on the net.
     
  10. Dave_nt

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    Ordered mine from MISCO on Wednesday for £33, looks like a bargain now! Arrived yesterday, up and running about 30 mins later. Very impressed so far, it's great having tv, sky, amp all working together from one remote. The activites you set up make everything so easy.

    Buy one!
     
  11. platty2890

    platty2890
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    Quick question where's the text button?
     
  12. Dave_nt

    Dave_nt
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    It shows up against one of the 4 buttons by the screen after selecting Watch TV.
    So when watching tv (for me anyway) it says TEXT next to one button and ASPECT next to another.
     
  13. platty2890

    platty2890
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    I only have one source for tv Sky Hd have monitor and projector no freeview so if select sky does the text button come up.
     
  14. dmcconachie

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    You can set any buttons to come up whenever you want. Part of their appeal is how customizable they are!
     
  15. platty2890

    platty2890
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    So if all the harmony controls do all the same why is so many different ones so is it worth stepping up from the 525 eg to another one in the range.


    Have denon amp, sky hd , fujistsu monitor ,runco projector ,ps3 soon to be replaced by a standalone bluray player, and a electric screen research projector screen.
     
  16. Dave_nt

    Dave_nt
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    Yeah, that's what I kept thinking but I couldn't see any reason to get a more expensive one. Unless you want to control more than 10 devices or specifically want a touch screen I really can't see the advantages of the more expensive models.
     
  17. Downinja

    Downinja
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    It's about other things, colour LCD, rechargable batteries, RF commands.

    I have a 525, does sky+ (HD ordered :)), denon amp, popcornhour, xbox 360, wii, 37" TV, controls them all.

    Once setup the WAF is through the roof, brilliant gadget, paid £65 for mine 3 years ago and use it everyday, kids have thrown it across the room lots of time, it's still up and running.
     
  18. platty2890

    platty2890
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    The only that caught my eye on the expensive models is that they are rechargeable but thats it, touchscreen is more of a gimmick.

    So for what equipment i own would a 525 suffice and how long do the batteries last?
     
  19. dmcconachie

    dmcconachie
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    I hate replacing batteries so the rechargeable nature of the 785 sealed it for me. Got mine for £65 from ebay about 18 months ago. It's a sturdy wee thing too. Wife's forever dropping it and the dog doesn't exactly look out for it before jumping on me. No marks, loss of integrity or function!
     
  20. Downinja

    Downinja
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    All of them, I assume your PJ screen is IR controlled and not RF?

    You could for example setup an activity to say Watch TV on PJ, pressing this button would power on projector, lower the screen, switch Source on PJ to Sky, switch Amp to Sky, and the play buttons (pause,1, 2, 3, etc) would all be set to work with Sky.

    Then you could press Watch Sky on TV, the PJ would turn off, screen would retract, the TV would turn on and the Source of TV would set to Sky.

    Once you are finished you press power off and everything powers off.

    For £35 you will wonder how you managed.
     
  21. limegreenzx

    limegreenzx
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    I have 3 harmony remotes I use all the time. I have the 555, the xbox version and an old 688.

    I wouldn't do without them.

    If you can get the 555 cheaper than the 525 then get the 555. Otherwise, I don't thing the dedicated sound and picture buttons are worth paying extra for.

    The problem with the sound and picture buttons is that it is difficult to tell that you are in that mode. You end up pressing the TV menu button instead of DVD menu because you forget you are in "picture" mode.

    It is also just as easy to press the dedicated device button.

    If you prefer the 525 colour I would go for that.

    Batteries tend to last about 6 months, but I always use decent good quality batteries. I don't use rechargables even though I have AAAs available.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2009
  22. platty2890

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    So should i buy the 525 or go up the range to a rechargeable one?
     
  23. Downinja

    Downinja
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    I love my 525 but would love a 885 more.

    Try to think of the activities you have, Sky+TV, Sky+PJ, PS3+TV etc.

    If you have more than 4 then the 525 would require you to scroll as it only has 4 activity buttons, something like the 885 has 8, the buttons are probably better on the 885 too.

    Personally though for a first time buyer, I would get a 525 as cheap as you can and look after it, will pretty much hold most of it's value and if you want anything more, sell it and get a better one.
     
  24. limegreenzx

    limegreenzx
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    All the harmony remotes work basically the same.

    For me having a charger plugged in all the time puts me off. I don't have a problem replacing batteries every 6 months. For you it maybe different.

    In your shoes I would go for the 525. If in a few months you would prefer something better you can replace the 525 with a better model and use the 525 for the bedroom etc. The software makes it very easy to update your remote to another model.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2009
  25. platty2890

    platty2890
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    Thanks, so is the comet price £39.14 a good buy?
     
  26. Downinja

    Downinja
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    Seems like a good price to me, they have been on the net for £33 but only special offer.

    £66 on amazon :O
     
  27. platty2890

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    Ok you sold it to me.Most of the cheaper prices usually incur delivery charges and also if i have any problems comets on my doorstep.

    Another quick question when pairing sky hd looked at the compatability which sky do you choose the sky or bskyb option.
     
  28. logiciel

    logiciel
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    When you get the Harmony, just feed in the make and model number of your Sky receiver.
     
  29. Hooblue

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    Just picked myself up a new 525 from Comet for £39.14. Thanks platty2890!! :smashin:

    Last one in the shop too. Was tempted by a 885 for £69 but at the moment the 525 will do me.
     
  30. logiciel

    logiciel
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    Not bad and you can always graduate to a One!
     

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