Harmony One -> 900 thoughts

cpc6128

Standard Member
I have just purchased a Harmony 900 to replace my One and I was wondering what other people who had done the same think of theirs?

I initially balked at paying almost £100 for a remote control when I bought my One, but after a couple of days of use wondered how I had lived without it! I bought the 900 almost on impluse though (very unusual for me) after seeing it for a good price on eBay. Even so, it is a lot of extra money over the One considering the few changes.

The hard colour buttons are great and are 90% of the reason I bought the 900. (like others here, I had mapped the colour buttons to some spare hard buttons on the One which worked fine but always irritated me). The new buttons are great & definitely make it easier for people used to a Sky+ remote to operate it. They are quite small (and some of the existing buttons have been made smaller to fit them in) but I have not found this to be a problem.

The IR function is also a welcome addition. Now that I have been using the RF blasters I would hate to have to go back to IR only. They work very well. Being able to change volume, etc from anywhere in the room (or outside it!) is great, as is not having to worry about people wandering in front of the controller or having to keep pointing the device at my equipment while it is all switching on. I have also not had the problem where the remote gets out-of-sync with the equipment because an IR code gets "dropped" somewhere, which makes the 900 feel more user-friendly I think. I have not experienced any "RF delay" that I have read about on other sites e.g. amazon.com reviews

Negatives (besides the cost): Although the screen is higher-resolution than the One there is a gradient effect applied as a background which reduces the apparent contrast resulting in a screen that is harder to read than the One (in my opinion). There is also a slight delay in operating the touchscreen whereas the One is much snappier. It seems more accurate than the One though - I don't know if it is just me but I was forever pressing the wrong button on the One (especially the devices button or scroll arrows) but this has not happened on the 900 yet. Possibly this is because, due to the RF feature, I can hold the 900 up vertically to use the touchscreen whereas you would have to hold the One horizontally to point it at your equipment.

Obviously there is the lack of Sequences. I never made much use of these one the One but I appreciate there are a lot of people who do & it would have been nice to have the option. Can't comment on the battery life yet. My One lasts for ages between charges so I hope the 900 will too.

The setup process is awful. You cannot upgrade your account/settings to the new remote (in fact you have to make a new account, new username & everything). Apparently this is due to the 900 being an entirely different "platform" but that sounds like BS to me. I installed the software on my Macbook Pro (10.6.1) and it would not communicate with the remote via USB. I did not want to waste any time trying to get it to work so installed it on XP via Parallels instead (which worked perfectly).

Well those are my initial impressions of the 900 vs. the One. I would like to hear what other users think.
 

logiciel

Moderator
Your initial impressions are in my experience typical impressions.
The usual, and recommended, practice with Harmonys is to leave them on the base at the end of each viewing session, so that the question of battery life doesn't arise.
It is inconvenient not to be able to load a One configuration to a 900 but I know that the reason is a genuine one.
How does that make the setup process awful though - do you mean ALL of the process, and in what ways awful?
 

cpc6128

Standard Member
Perhaps I should have phrased it "the setup process is as awful as other Harmony remotes"! The 900 is no worse than the One, but in my case I was especially dismayed when the setup program told me I couldn't transfer the settings from my One to the 900 because I was excited about the new remote and wanted to start using it as soon as possible! It was also annoying that it would not work properly with my Mac.

I find the setup process for all Harmony devices to be laborious and I would love there to be an "advanced" system (e.g. XML scripting) as an alternative to the wizard. Because I have lights & climate control in my setup I need to add these separately to each activity. It gets very boring customising the same buttons by the time I get to the fifth activity! Some kind of cut-and-paste option would be much appreciated. Plus the wizard is generally very slow to use because even to tweak simple settings you have to navigate through pages of multiple choice forms.

I wouldn't want to put anyone off a Harmony just because of the software though. It is easy to use, I just find it slow & frustrating. Of course, once it is set up properly, the remote works like a dream because the hardware is so good (and unless you get new equipment there should be no need to re-visit the setup software).

What do you think the chances are of Logitech releasing an update to e.g. speed up the touchscreen by optionally removing the fades in-and-out or even bringing Sequences back? I would guess at very little chance since they seem to want to make the Harmony devices as simple to use as possible which is why I think the customisation options are so limited.
 

logiciel

Moderator
I suppose it's less understandable that you can't transfer fom a One to a 900 which looks so similar, than with the 1100 which is so different, but I've done both and it wasn't really all that much of a hassle.
The awfulness of the software is one of those debates that could go on for ever. I'm somewhere in the middle, irritated sometimes by silly little features like radio buttons that need confirming by Next buttons, but with only three or four pages - that's not "multiple", surely? - to navigate through for each Activity, the irritation doesn't last long enough to qualify with me as anything stronger than "tiresome".:)
Sequences are the subject of another long and large debate on Logitech's own forum. There's no chance of them being applied to the 900 and 1100, but that doesn't mean they won't be "brought back" on future models.
I don't have any problems with the 900 screen and can only think you have a slightly faulty example.
 

cpc6128

Standard Member
Regarding the touch screen - if I touch "Devices" from within an activity, for example, the screen will fade out slightly, then pause for about half a second or so, then the screen will change and it will fade back in. The whole process takes about a second. On my One, in comparison, the process is instant (although you can see the screen refreshing). Changing pages within the Devices menu on the 900 (via the arrows either side of the touch screen) is quick however.

Is this different to how your 900 operates?
 

logiciel

Moderator
All controlling is done in Activities, and the Devices screens are only for testing purposes which I don't need, so I don't make that change at all from one to the other. I'll give it a try though and see if the same thing happens.
The side arrows work reasonably well within Activities and when changing Activities, but again they get no use for the Devices screens. I'll try those as well now!
 

b33k34

Standard Member
It is inconvenient not to be able to load a One configuration to a 900 but I know that the reason is a genuine one.

Can you explain why it's genuine? Logitech know from you old account
- what devices you own
- what activities you want to have
- the combination of on/off states you've chosen

I can accept that you would need to redo some customisation but surely, even if it's a completely new platform, they could have created some sort of migration path?
 

logiciel

Moderator
New platform and migration path are too technical for me.
All I can say is that during the testing stage those taking part, who had more technical knowledge, accepted that the technical reasons given were adequate, and that I accepted what they told me.
 

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