Is Harmony really the king of the remotes?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Control & Remote Controls' started by [email protected], Sep 2, 2012.

  1. m@rk

    [email protected]
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    So the remote for my Sony Receiver is playing up. This is the remote that is actually used to control the amp itself, the TV and the DVD player so gets the most use.

    I never got round to an all in one remote until now but it seems the obvious way to go but if I am doing this then I want to do it properly.

    So looking through the forum Harmony and specifically Harmony 1100 seems to be the top of the range with a price circa £200.

    From what I can tell, the screen is context aware and I can set it up for the controls I need.

    So for a main screen I would need to be able to power on a Panasonic TV a Sky box and the Sony Receiver (if I read this right, I may be able to program this all to a single key press). I would need to be able to change channels etc on the Sky box and control the volume on the Sony amp as needed.

    The screen is just a monitor so beyond power up (and down) that is all i need.

    So just to confirm, could I set up a screen that does just this?

    And the more important question

    Is there anything better?

    I am happy to drop £250 to £300 if I need to but if the 1100 is the best out there right now then so be it.

    Thanks
     
  2. logiciel

    logiciel
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    The 1100 is one of only four current Harmony models: http://www.logitech.com/en-gb/remotes/universal-remote though previous models are still available.
    The only two reasons for choosing an 1100 are the "wow factor" of the different format and the ability through its IR/RF extender to control devices that are out of line of sight.
    If you want only the second of those then the 900 is a better option.
    If you want or need neither then it has to be the One.
    Your requirement of things to do with the press of one button is exactly the feature that distinguishes all Harmonys - and adds to their price - the Activities that allow you to combine devices in various ways to cover different types of viewing and listening.
    A typical example for watching broadcast TV would have the TV as the device to display the video, the Sky machine to select the channel, and the amplifier to control the volume. When you select that Activity the three devices would be powered on if they had not already been turned on by a previous Activity, any input settings would be made, and other commands of your choice could be sent, all automatically. Buttons for each of the functions would be assigned to the appropriate devices. Those could be hard buttons or screen icons, and on the 1100 those on the screen would be grouped into several "pages".
    HTH but feel free to ask for more details.
     
  3. m@rk

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    Thanks

    What I want to avoid is the situation I am in now where before the wife and I go out for the night, I need to give the babysitter a crash course on the right combination of buttons to press in order to watch Emmerdale on Sky :rolleyes:

    Any combined remote to me must be blindingly obvious when handed to a non technical person and should not need more than one key press to achieve at least the basic functions.

    Cheers
     
  4. Passingbat

    Passingbat
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    That's exactly what the Harmony will do. Your babysitter will press one button called 'Watch TV', and then they will just use channel and volume bottons like any other remote.

    They don't even need be aware that the volume button is controling the amp and the channel button, the sky box.
     
  5. m@rk

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    Thanks for that.

    So it is looking like the Harmony One is the way to go here.

    I have seen very mixed reviews on the 1100 which considering the difference in cost puts me off somewhat.

    One final question if I may?

    How much spread is there on the transmission of the remote.

    My TV and the rest of the kit (amp, Sky etc) are about 10 feet apart. I have had remotes in the past where the thing has to be pointing almost dead centre at the device it is controlling where as others seems to bounce beams all over the room and don't care

    Thanks
     
  6. logiciel

    logiciel
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    The 1100 is fine, but as I said the only point in selecting it is that you want either the wow factor or the IR/RF/IR extendability or both.
    If you don't want them the One will be fine for you and will emit strongly enough to reflect the IR around the room to all the devices.
     
  7. Passingbat

    Passingbat
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    I'm afraid I can't answer that one for sure as my AV racks are fairly close to the TVs.


    As a trial, with my lounge setup, which is around 10 feet away from me and equipment rack next to the TV, with just a floorstanding speaker inbetween, I turned 90 degrees to the direction that I would nofrmally point the remote and pointed the remote up in the air. The activity changed from HTPC to Tivo and I could adjust the volume on the amp, but the Tivo wouldn't change channel. So it is obviously dependent on both the harmony and the equipment that you have's IR sensitivity.

    It may be a case of trying it I'm afraid. Hopefully others with a similar distance to you will advise
     
  8. m@rk

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    Thanks guys

    Harmony One ordered (why does nobody seem to have stock right now) so fingers crossed.
     
  9. logiciel

    logiciel
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    There was a seller on EBay with new ones in stock for £15.
     

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