Harmony One worth it?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by gkamer, Nov 13, 2010.

  1. Nov 15, 2010 #41 of 145

    spiketoo Cool Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    It's OK but I'd imagine most any programmable remote will do. Got them to throw in a H1 with my HT purchase. I've gone thru 3 RS 1984 JP1 programmable remotes which work just as well. No longer made and buttons wore out (ergo 3 of them), but the last one cost all of $30 on ebay.
  2. Nov 15, 2010 #42 of 145

    photostudent Godfather

    Nov 8, 2007
    I have two Harmonys. Most of the good points presented above are quite correct but here are a few downsides:
    The remotes "remember" the last settings of your devices, i.e. on or off, input, etc. If you have two people with remotes, like my wife and I this can get quite confusing. I have to put my hand over the emitter to get mine in sync with hers.
    They can never match the ergonomics of a good OEM remote like D's R series, although the newer models with color buttons are a big advance.
    They are not particularly more rugged than a less expensive remote. Your dog can chew up a $150 Harmony as quickly as a $10 one.
    The big upside for me with the Harmonys is that the soft buttons can duplicate about any function that was available on a missing OEM remote.
  3. Nov 15, 2010 #43 of 145

    JosephB Icon

    Nov 14, 2005
    Birmingham, AL
    I love my Harmony 650. I have a Harmony One which is nice too, but to be honest the 650/700 is better. Physical buttons to select items on the screen, plus dedicated color buttons where the One doesn't. Plus they're cheaper than the One :)

    There's no codes or anything. That's probably the best thing about the Logitech remotes. Just use their website or program on the computer to put in your devices, select the options on the screen, and plug in the remote and the computer does all the programming for you.
  4. Nov 15, 2010 #44 of 145

    MartyS New Member

    Dec 29, 2006
    The Harmony 650 will control 5 devices and the Harmony 700 will control 6. I bought the 650 for $99 at Best Buy and replaced my Harmony ONE with it. I replaced it because the ONE did not have the Red/Yellow/Green/Blue buttons. Also, the 650 uses standard batteries, and doesn't require a charger.

    I just saw the 700 at Costco for $99. If you don't need to control a ton of devices, I'd go for the less expensive one. Same great features, just a few less devices and a lot lower cost.
  5. Nov 15, 2010 #45 of 145

    PeterB Legend

    Jul 25, 2002
    I have a (IIRC 720?) Harmony I am using now, that I picked up when my original Philips Pronto kicked the bucket, after a long line of URC remotes.

    It works, but I don't like it. The Setup is geared far to much towards the "non-tech savy" crowd, and I've never been able to get it just the way I like it. And for the life of me, cannot get it to stop turning off all the lights on my x-10 system every time I hit "help" to get inputs alligned again.

    If I had to do it again, i'd save up for a pronto or get another URC remote.
  6. Nov 15, 2010 #46 of 145

    mdavej Hall Of Fame

    Jan 30, 2007
    I hate the software as well. But all you have to do to fix your X10 problem is tell the software it has no power buttons.

    Sadly logitech has killed the pronto. Philips has stopped making them.

    I managed to snag a 700 for $68 a while back at Fry's, which is the only reason I have one. I still like my 360 best because a refurb was only $30 and it's 12 device instead of 6, and it can go months between charges.
  7. Nov 18, 2010 #47 of 145

    Eskimo AllStar

    Aug 2, 2010
    Not a huge fan of the Harmony brand, but a good universal is a GREAT purchase to help de-clutter things. Macros are the icing on the cake.

    My wife balked at the cost of the setup in the theater until I told her that if she wanted to watch a movie, she could either: hold the proposed remote pointed anywhere (RF) and press one button, or do the following:

    Walk to the wall and dim the lights
    grab the screen remote, point at the corner of the wall, and lower the screen
    grab the PJ remote, point it behind her, and turn on the projector
    open the closet, grab the processor remote, turn on the processor, wait 5 seconds, and then set the input on the processor to Blu-Ray.

    Yeah, I won that one. :grin:
  8. Nov 18, 2010 #48 of 145

    lugnutathome Hall Of Fame

    Apr 13, 2009
    Woodburn, OR
    I'm not the only one then... I've 2 of the 700s a One and an 880.

    The Harmony One has an wonderful eye candy screen but it's touch feature is sensitive and sometimes you trigger things unintended. Also lacking the color buttons that the shared 650/700 platform offers it's ergonomics are a bit awkward using DTV remote functionality.

    Where the 650/700 models fall down is that they only control 5 and 6 devices respectively which for most users is probably just fine. The conversion unit that permits one to use a Harmony to control a PS3 for movie watching is really good. Some delay in response so not a game controller:p

    If you've 5 devices to control (or less) the 650 is affordable has all the functionality you would need. Use the extra money to buy a good set of rechargeable batteries and charger and you are good to go.

    Oh yeah battery life on the 700s is awesome whereas the One requires very frequent recharges. Yeah its got that fancy cradle but. My 880 by compare falls between the two on usage time.

    Don "YMMV" Bolton

  9. Nov 18, 2010 #49 of 145

    pdxsam Godfather

    Jun 19, 2004
    The support on the Harmony remotes is fantastic also.

    They really take care of their customers.
  10. Nov 19, 2010 #50 of 145

    WingNut AllStar

    Sep 18, 2006
    Yes, get a harmony remote. You don't need the One to handle what you have if price is a concern.

    If I have more than a TV/receiver in a room, it gets a harmony remote. I love the fact I don't have to talk my girls through getting the home theater system on, how to change inputs, how to do this, do that, blah blah blah. One button and done.
  11. Nov 19, 2010 #51 of 145

    WingNut AllStar

    Sep 18, 2006

    Logitech overall has great customer service.

    My Harmony 880's LCD screen was dying and it was 2-3 years old. I called them and they said all they could do was offer me 50% off a new one. I thought that was reasonable since it was outside of my warranty.
  12. Nov 19, 2010 #52 of 145

    WingNut AllStar

    Sep 18, 2006
    I didn't even think of this. This will solve a few issues I was facing with the harmony.
  13. Nov 19, 2010 #53 of 145

    benn5325 AllStar

    Mar 16, 2004
    Harmony One is great. Got one for Xmas last year, loved it so much I got another one. I use one in the family room to control the Sat box, TV, Rcvr, DVD, CD, Xbox. The other one is kind of a floater, bedroom, basement, garage. And yes, as others have said, Logitech support are good, one of the kids dropped one in a glass of orange (God knows how) and the buttons got all sticky, told support and they just shipped out a new one to replace it.
    A bit pricey but, like the commercial they had, the fact that the Grandparents can actually watch TV when they are babysitting is well worth it :lol:
  14. Nov 19, 2010 #54 of 145
    Mike Bertelson

    Mike Bertelson 6EQUJ5 WOW! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Jan 24, 2007
    From my experience, all the programmable universals operate pretty much the same way. You start everything up with a one button activity. The difference is how easy they do other functions and that’s were my URC MX-810 beats the Harmony’s hands down.

    I don't have to have multiple “sequences” or learn anything in raw mode to have a macro greater than five steps. I just drag the commands I want to the button I want as many times as I want (up 255 steps anyway). No learning from the original remote necessary. A macro to check my To-Do list or to do a Menu Restart literally takes thirty seconds to do. How long would it take the Harmony to learn the necessary steps in raw mode?

    Changing the activity macro is much easier on my URC than it is on my Harmony. I can click and drag a new step to any where within an activity macro. Not just at the beginning or end. Add a new component or replace a current one, just click and drag the new step in.

    I don’t have to associate that device with the activity macro either. It’s just a matter of dragging the new command to the macro. When I replaced my TV I just dragged the new power on & off commands to the macro and done (in my case the there are no other TV buttons on that activity and I have discrete power commands). It took longer to up load to the remote then it did to change the activity macro.

    Harmony’s are very nice remotes as long as you don’t do too much customization down the road. There is not a single thing my Harmony can do that my URC can’t. However, I can make changes to my URC much faster and easier than my Harmony and it never, ever involves teaching the remote anything. And, it’s just as easy to use. My mother-in-law can come over and just use it...ok, I had to explain the color buttons but she really didn’t need to use them anyway. :D

    However, my MX-810 is more expensive than the Harmony One...a lot more actually. That battery lasts longer on the Harmony One and the MX-810 it has to be plugged in to recharge. I would love to have a charging cradle. :( The software is a little easier to use for the Harmony but it’s more restrictive in what it lets you do. Being less restrictive also can be a downside. It’s easier to mess something up which I did once :shrug:. Lastly, the MX-810 doesn’t have a touch screen. As far as I can tell these are the only down sides in using an MX series remote to using a Harmony.

    Of course my point to all this is that there are other remotes out there that do everything the Harmony's will do and are just as easy for the family to use. AAMOF, the only thing my MX-810 can do that the Harmony can't is unlimited macros, easier customization, and more devices (although I can't for the life of me understand why anyone would need that many devices). As far as every day use, there is no advantage over the Harmony...in fact URC and the other major manufacturers learned a lot about how to do it from the Harmony remotes. This post should spin some people up :D

  15. Nov 19, 2010 #55 of 145

    mjwagner Icon

    Oct 8, 2005
    I have used a number of Harmony remotes over the years. Currently using the Harmony 900. IMHO it is by far the best, as long as you don't need macro capability which I don't. Ergonomics are superb and RF capability is included. It also has hard buttons for R,G,B,Y. It is on the expensive end of the spectrum for universal remotes.
  16. Nov 19, 2010 #56 of 145
    Mike Bertelson

    Mike Bertelson 6EQUJ5 WOW! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Jan 24, 2007
    That's the other thing I would like my MX-810 to have...the color buttons. Right now they're on the first page of the LCD but it would be better to have the hard remotes. It actually amazes me that more remotes to have hard buttons for this. There are lot of remotes for cable boxes, DVRs, and receivers that have them. You’d think more universals would include them too. :shrug:

  17. Nov 19, 2010 #57 of 145

    SPACEMAKER Freethinker

    Dec 11, 2007
    Mason, MI
    My Harmony 650 is nice but it's a battery hog. Also it turns off on it's own if it gets jarred and I have to press the "watch TV" button to get it return to the correct mode.

    But having the play and pause on the same rocker button is sooooo worth it.
  18. Nov 22, 2010 #58 of 145

    mjwagner Icon

    Oct 8, 2005
    I agree completely. You would think at this point releasing a universal remote without the color buttons would be like releasing a universal remote without a pause or play button....makes no sense. I really can't understand why Harmony released the Harmony One without the color buttons. That is one of the reasons I ended up going with the Harmony 900.
  19. Nov 22, 2010 #59 of 145
    Mike Bertelson

    Mike Bertelson 6EQUJ5 WOW! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Jan 24, 2007
    Color buttons and a recharging cradle. It would seem to me that these should be standard with a high end universal. The two things missing from my remote. :rolleyes:

  20. Nov 22, 2010 #60 of 145

    Herdfan Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2006
    Have you seen the new MS-780? It has color buttons and a layout very similar to the 810/880. The downside is that it is a dumb remote and needs the MRX-10 to control anything.


    I will disagree with the notion of the cradle though, especially for the 810/880's. They use so little battery that they don't need to be charged every night like my 980 does. And since they are plug-in's, you can use them while they are charging.

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