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Harmony H885 first review

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Control & Remote Controls' started by hornydragon, Jul 1, 2005.

  1. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    OK people had a play with the 885 and so far I am Quite impressed,
    • Build quality is nice and it has a good bright screen
    • Fit on the dock is very good and easy and the dock has cable routing underneath to keep it all tidy
    • Buttons are very sleek unlike the very Bobbly 655 rubber ones
    • Size wise its only very slightly bigger than the 655 which is nice
    • Layout is very much based around the navi pad and screen

    Positive points:
    • Screen is very clear and easy to read
    • It has a date and clock function which is very useful (as I don’t have a clock I can see from the viewing position this is a BIG +++ for me)
    • Screen backlight is motion activated and no amount of table leg bashing would get it to come on (unlike OFA!!!) but pick her up and on she comes.
    • Glow is not as bright as the 655 which in a dark room is better
    • It remembers what you were doing ie watching TV, after an update so when tweaking the set-up it gets far less confusing (great point for insatiable tweakers like me)
    • Operation wise so far as good as the 655 which I love, have only copied my 655 config over and with more hard buttons on the 885 just had to remap a few, "Exit" being a very useful new hard button!!!
    • Has an Offline settings option for clock etc so no need to power PC on for that and a couple of other things

    Negative points:
    • Proprietary battery I was hoping for rechargeable AAA so those who wanted could use normal batts and not the dock
    • Screen still limited as far as I can tell to short labels for custom stuff more characters would be nice but does have room for 8 activities which is better than the H655
    • Screen picks up finger prints very easily (a 3m/Scotch Brite microfibre sorts that out everyone should have one)
    • Screen is on a screen saver while on dock (not sure if you can turn this off) and dock has a lovely blue LED that glows (so you can find dock in the dark I spose)

    Not figure out yet:
    • How to edit logos (but it did default to a Pic of a Gamcube, for that activity)
    • Turn off screen while on dock
    • Not figured out all the Hard buttons yet

    Overall this is a very impressive remote for Under £200 and there is going to be a forum exclusive “Powerbuy”. Easy as pie to set-up, very reliable to use and a button layout I should be able to get used to pretty quickly. Have found out it can now do B&O Higher frequency Codes and Logitech almost have a full batch going so a real alternative for those of you with some B&O and other kit.
    Anyway here are some real life Pics of the 885
     

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  2. woodss

    woodss
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    I'm loving that, can't wait to get want. Thanks for the quick review, any other opinions/information would be great.
     
  3. Diablito

    Diablito
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    Can the buttons along the screen be programmed for a projector? (change aspect, input, picture mode etc?) Or are they just for different activities?
     
  4. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    No they can be customised, screen changes once you are in an activity to give you soft versions of any special Hard buttons, I'll take a pic hang on a mo


    EDIT: Chapter+ and - are left over from my 655 the 885 has hard buttons for this but as you see i have added cintrols for "Angle", "eject", "Audio", "Sound"(mode) (for my AMP) and Screen (which is what i use for Aspect control )
     

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  5. akseln

    akseln
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    A simple question: Does the 885 show a 24h clock or did they forget to provide this for us Europeans?
     
  6. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    It has the option for 12H or 24H in set up i have 12H on at the mo (default)
     
  7. Diablito

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    Nice! :thumbsup:

    Now I just have to wait for delivery starting in Norway :D
     
  8. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    I am sure you could have UK one at the powerbuy price shipping would be a few quid more tho........... ;)
     
  9. Leigh_1973

    Leigh_1973
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    from remotecentral apparently you can turn off the screensaver when on the dock by pressing the backlight button (something like that anyway!) if you get stuck check out the remote central forum :)

    Thanks for the review :)
     
  10. AndyR

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    hornydragon - i have a pronto and one thing that annoys me about it is that is that the macros are not always reliable - ie one bit of kit isnt switched properly and everything is out of sync. how have you found this on the 885 ?

    What would really make this remote is an RF option.
     
  11. M-Jay

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    Thanks for the review.

    I want one!!!
     
  12. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    Thats where the help function on the harmony is golden mate if something screws up press help it will ask you some questions like "is DVD player on?" "is display set to input 2?" you answer "yes" or "no" and it corrects the system! you can get standalone RF exteder for IR so you just have a box in each room, not quite as slick as the pronto but this is ~£170 and IMO better than a pronto as a remote, not as good for collecting dust on a coffee table tho!!!
     
  13. Leigh_1973

    Leigh_1973
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    Has nobody else noticed the problem with the title of this thread.....

    "Harmony H855 first review"

    Now i thought it was an 885?.... ;)
     
  14. maclynn

    maclynn
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    Do you know when the "Powerbuy" will be available. I am to poor to get one from Futurehome.
    Mike.
     
  15. Leigh_1973

    Leigh_1973
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    Check out the other thread, its suppsed to be around tuesday AFAIK :)
     
  16. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    Ooops thanks leigh, YES details will be available on late Monday/Tuesday keep an eye out on the forum
     
  17. floozie

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    Right, here goes, my first ever post! But, as I have spent hours watching Horny do it it shouldn't be too hard! Having played with Horny's new gadget for a while I want a say (be it a girlie view).... I too love the H655 (basically cuz it's like the sky remotes!), however, I'm not convinced by this new one.

    Yes it looks better - not a fan of the brightly coloured buttons on the H655 and the ones on the new one are more discreet, and silver and pewter are are good combo in my book. The screen is bigger which for those of us who are visually useless is a bonus.

    BUT...... the slinky buttons flanking the screen are not particularly easy to use (especially for any one with long manicured nails like myself - if you want the misses to use this and not retrieve all the other remotes you have hidden away everytime she uses the system (like i used to do regularly) bear this in mind). The screen is so bright that the keys are hidden by a hugh of blue in a dark room. The icons that appear for each activity are brightly coloured and to be honest look tacky - not in keeping with a slinky sexy remote (i know Horny is trying to sort this for me asap!).
    The remote itself is lighter due to the lack of disposable batteries in favour of a lighter battery pack, but this creates problems as it is so light there is little counter balance to button pressing! And the docking station...... If you want yet another gadget sitting on the side or coffee table then great, if like me minimalism is best, then this is not the remote for you. Not only does it take up space on the side but requires yet another plug socket!!!!! Also the light on the docking station is rather bright and draws the eye.
    The thing that really doesn't do it for me is the menu set up. The H655 has hard buttons for main activities - I haven't found out if you can tag one of these buttons yet - so at the mo it takes at least two different buttons to change activity. Neither are near each other and again the counter balance issues appears!

    At the end of the day it is a remote..... it looks cool and does it's job! I'm sure I will get used to it or give in (Horny is persistent!!). If you have an H655 or similar then it really doesn't seem imperative to upgrade to this model, but if you are looking for an all in one thingie then this is a pretty ok place to go!
     
  18. Xstyle

    Xstyle
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    Thanks Floozie... nice to get different honest opnions.
    Whats your thoughts on that HD?? (cheers for your opinions too ;) )
     
  19. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    Everyone has different priorities, Floozies and mine are different I am going to try a new darker back ground later on today hopefully to see if that solves the over brightness of the background I am going to stick to blue but if anyone wants to email me a 128x160 pixel dark blue rectangle I willl try it (cant really think of anything exciting to use any ideas to hornydragon@hotmail.co.uk
     
  20. Leigh_1973

    Leigh_1973
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  21. benny.c

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    Saw this go wrong at their stand at CEDIA. First thing the rep tried to show me was the macro function to turn all the kit on, which didn't work. The help function did work a treat sorting the problem but took an additional 10 odd presses on the remote. Kinda defeats the point of having macros.

    Also the buttons are a bit wee and fiddley for my big mits. Looks cool though and did everything apart from the macros fine.

    Anyhoo my mate bought one so I'll let you know how he gets on when it's set up.
     
  22. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    Some one has been getting very eager...........thanks leigh will give em try

    As for "macros" The harmony doesnt use "macros" ( a series of automated button pushes configure to a single button) a pronto user as has happened in the past may get very annoyed at the harmony interface which doesnt let you do things as you would in a pronto the help function is great and lets you re sync all your kit, the demo one at Cedia was very rought i carried my 655 profile to the 885 and one button operation every time, only draw back is while in an activity you do need to press "activities" to get back to that screen to select what ever you want to do next, hope your mate gets it working benny but if the help function is needed regularly the config needs changing normally its only my really crap STB (saving up for a toppy or inverto) that doesnt turn off when it should due to a poor IR receiver, the 885 also prompts you to keep it pointed at the kit for a second or two till it stops transmitting something which unaware first time useres dont do and mistake for a problem with the remote instead of a problem with their use of it....................... Besides i didnt program the one a Cedia..........
     
  23. Leigh_1973

    Leigh_1973
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    Hehehe

    Just happened to find that over at remotecentral the other week, i did put in a request for some Sky UK logos, but to no avail :(
     
  24. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    speaking to Tech support in canada last night (thanks Nicky) it seems that custom activity logos are not possible yet however if you email tech support they may be able to produce a "sky" logo for you/us so everyone email them and get the ball rolling
     
  25. Leigh_1973

    Leigh_1973
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    I was referring to the channel logos which you can adjust (available via the 'media' button i believe) Your supposed to be able to programme the buttons to which ever sky channels you like and then associate the relevant logo with the button :)


    Email address for tech support?
     
  26. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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  27. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    OM i have changed the back ground to a new darker one and seems to have done the trick the background i am using is the one below, I have also been playing with the favourite channels, very impressive this feature works perfectly and is what makes the 885 really stand out it is superb!!!!
    And i now have no problem giving this a 5/5 easy to use logo were taken from remote central courtesy of Craig Barnes and Ray Bulter
     

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  28. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    THe logo Function is super!!!!!!
     

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  29. Leigh_1973

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    Wow, that looks superb! care to share any logos??!?!?! :lease:

    Do you have to fiddle much to get them in there? and im guessing you have to be connected to the internet to load all these up, or can you do that offline?

    Roll on tomorrow!
     
  30. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    leigh all you have to do is go to remotecentral and use colour pronto logos mate you download a batch to your PC then you upload them to Harmony profile (online) and just tell the site what number ie sky box 101 is the bbc 1 LOGO... Its so easy mate it took me 5 minutes after finding all those logos on remote central see here http://www.remotecentral.com/cgi-bi...television/craig-barnes_logos.zip&area=pronto
    And http://www.remotecentral.com/cgi-bi...ronto&db=other&br=designs&dv=networklogos&fc=
     

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