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Intrigue Technologies Harmony H768

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Control & Remote Controls' started by gilesm, Jul 20, 2004.

  1. gilesm

    gilesm
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    Hi all

    I've got a Pronto RU950 but not really having too much joy with it, its very slow, and doesn't remember the states of equipment - so it appears to be quite dumb. It controls most things ok, but just can't get on with it, and in fact my partner has point blank refused to use it now.

    Also I've just bought a new Arcam AVR300 and that comes with a learning remote, however it doesn't seemt o integrate well with Sky +.

    My local HiFi shop recommended the Harmony H768 the little blue one with the screen at the bottom. Read the reviews on Remote Central and it sounds quite good, just wondering if any of you had any experience with it?

    Cheers
     
  2. noidea

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    would be very interested to hear any views as well. In addition, Harmony have brought out a European version of their 659 model (called 655 over here) that has colour buttons for sky etc. I like the whole idea of the Harmony system where you just tell it your components on line and it downloads all the codes plus macros straight onto your remote. I'd just like to ensure it actually works.

    btw if anyone has one, did you get it from a US retailer? a lot cheaper over there
     
  3. Ishlin

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    I've had some experience with the 768, unfortunately not very positive. Out of the box, the LCD didn't work. I tried some standard tips, like tightening the screws, inserting padding in the battery compartment and so on, with limited success. From what I've read, many have had problems with the LCD on all of Harmony's models. When I opened up the 768, the construction looked anything but robust and it does not surprise me that problems have been common.
    Let's put it this way: It's by far the most expensive remote I've ever owned. It's almost the only remote I have *not* dropped on the floor. And yet it's the only remote I've had where the hardware malfunctioned. Not good.
    Of course many have not had such problems. But given my experience, I wouldn't recommend a Harmony remote to anyone unless you know you can get a replacement for free and without hassle.

    The unreliability of the hardware aside, here are some other comments. It's an unusual remote in several ways:

    1) The method of programming by the web. Neat idea. Some reviewers have raved about how simple it makes the process. Not sure I can agree though -- it's different from a conventional remote but I don't think it makes it simpler and definitely not faster. Configuring a conventional remote takes one hour at most. The 768 took me a lot longer. Part of that was due to the Harmony software, which admittedly has been improved since. For instance, at first I couldn't download anything to the remote and had to search the forums to realize I had to clear the Temporary Files folder. Now the Harmony software will inform you of this.
    But it you're willing to spend the time (and use XML), there's practically no limit to how you can configure it. Bottom line, it's a matter of taste whether you like this kind of setup.

    2) "Activity" based. Again a matter of taste whether it's good or bad. I thought it sounded great, but after using it for a while, I decided that I don't really want a remote to switch devices on and off or change inputs, unless I specifically ask for it.

    3) Small, and with few buttons. It's impressive to get so much functionality in such a small remote. But be prepared to do a lot of jumping between menus and using the scroll wheel (which, like the LCD, is not of the best build quality).

    All in all, I think Harmony has interesting ideas, but the implementation and the hardware needs more work. For now, I definitely prefer my HTM URC-100, an excellent example of a more traditional remote.
     
  4. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    I am using 2 H655 for runnning demo rooms and they are fantastic! i have one running a dual display system with an IR repeater system and and another runnning our main demo room with Lutron Grafic eye PJ amp DVD etc etc
     
  5. gilesm

    gilesm
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    Ishlin, Honeydragon

    Thanks both for your replies, was speaking to my hifi shop yesterday and they're still raving about them, however they said there's a new model out now specifically designed for Sky+, so am going to have a look at that, but Ishlin I will definately have a look at the build quality.

    Interestingly, it appears Intrigue Tecnologies have been taken over by Logitech now (May 04), and the link to www.harmonyremote.com takes you to a none existent web page on the logitech site - which is a little worrying, wonder what plans logitech have with them?

    Cheers
     
  6. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    H655 is the new one for Sky+ the harmony remote site is still at http://www.harmonyremote.com/home.htm
    And it is excellent mate never liked the old one 768 to un ergonomic H655 is incredible fully programmed in 30 minutes unlike a pronto, i gave up after 3 hours!
     
  7. noidea

    noidea
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    thanks Ishlin and Hornydragon. Was looking at the H655 anyway as it has more buttons than the 768 and (most importantly for an idiot like myself) has the screen at the top rather than at the bottom so I won't waste precious time firing the thing at my belly and wondering why nothing works :D

    Had a play on the site and all my components are catered for (including Telewest cable box with redeye IR/IRDA converter :clap: )
     
  8. Ishlin

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    I like the whole idea of the Harmony system where you just tell it your components on line and it downloads all the codes plus macros straight onto your remote. I'd just like to ensure it actually works.

    A comment on this: Yes it works. However the functions don't necessarily end up where you want them. With the 768, there were many functions I use I lot that the software decided to bury in long menus that are accessed with the scroll wheel instead of, as I wanted, on hard buttons.
    You can use Harmony's web interface to move functions to any buttons you want, but for each function, you have to go through several menus on their webpage. So this tweaking is a simple but slow and tedious process. It may be less of an issue with the 659 and 688 since they have a lot more buttons.
     

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