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elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
Premium
join:2006-08-30
Somewhere in
kudos:2
Reviews:
·VMedia
reply to CanadianRip

Re: harmony remotes RIP

That costs money, but seriously, the only research they do is when it comes to cutting costs.

They took the Revolution XX mouse that had a built in battery (not user replaceable) and created a newer one that did.

This removed a shitload of warranty replacements due to failing batteries. Push the cost to the consumer.
--
No, I didn't. Honest... I ran out of gas. I... I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake.......


creed3020
Premium
join:2006-04-26
Kitchener, ON
kudos:2
Reviews:
·TekSavvy Cable
reply to Devanchya
I was literally just about to pull the trigger on a Harmony 650 for an HTPC I am building. I will have to change that plan otherwise I'll be giving someone an EOL product that may not be supported in the future. That is a risk I don't want to take.

I will admit the 650 does feel very poor in build quality but it's about one of the only universal remotes that I could find that does what I'm looking for this specific user. They aren't all that savvy so something that "pushes all the buttons" was valuable to me.

Does anyone have any other recommendations for something similar (IR) that can control multiple devices?


Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
reply to elwoodblues
The problem is that user-replacable batteries sacrifice battery capacity to get the replacability, particularly if you're switching from internal Li-Ion to AA NiMH.
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org


Devanchya
Smile
Premium
join:2003-12-09
Ajax, ON
reply to creed3020
c2roth, the 650 is pretty cheap and well worth it Even as an EOL product.


donoreo
Premium
join:2002-05-30
North York, ON
reply to Devanchya
I love my harmony remote. We got one for my wife's parents because it would be simpler to use one and for us to program. All of the time we find the other remotes out and they have been using them rather than the one. Not to mention we are always finding programs recorded on the PVR at the cottage set for "all episodes" because they pushed the wrong button and they just keep pushing more and not watching what is going on.
--
The irony of common sense, it is not that common.
I cannot deny anything I did not say.
A kitten dies every time someone uses "then" and "than" incorrectly.
I mock people who give their children odd spelling of names.


lugnut

@communications.com
reply to Devanchya
Am I the only one who remembers 50 years back when WE were the remote? Plus we'd have to fetch the old man a beer from the kitchen too


HiVolt
Premium
join:2000-12-28
Toronto, ON
kudos:21
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
·TekSavvy Cable
reply to Devanchya
I love my Harmony One. 5 years and counting now, with no issues.

However, the programming software sucks ass, and it takes forever to upload the new settings to the remote. It's a real pain when you are experimenting with various settings or macros. I wish they had invented some sort of wireless cradle for it, and that it would only upload what's changed and not the entire thing each time.
--
F**K THE NHL. Go Blue Jays 2013!!!


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
reply to Devanchya
said by Devanchya:

c2roth, the 650 is pretty cheap and well worth it Even as an EOL product.

Agreed. I have a 650 and a 300 and I love them both. The 300 is the best of the best when it comes to the low-end universal remotes that are sold at Walmart and such.


donoreo
Premium
join:2002-05-30
North York, ON
reply to HiVolt
said by HiVolt:

I love my Harmony One. 5 years and counting now, with no issues.

However, the programming software sucks ass, and it takes forever to upload the new settings to the remote. It's a real pain when you are experimenting with various settings or macros. I wish they had invented some sort of wireless cradle for it, and that it would only upload what's changed and not the entire thing each time.

I do not find it slow. Only takes a few seconds.
--
The irony of common sense, it is not that common.
I cannot deny anything I did not say.
A kitten dies every time someone uses "then" and "than" incorrectly.
I mock people who give their children odd spelling of names.


HiVolt
Premium
join:2000-12-28
Toronto, ON
kudos:21
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
·TekSavvy Cable
said by donoreo:

said by HiVolt:

I love my Harmony One. 5 years and counting now, with no issues.

However, the programming software sucks ass, and it takes forever to upload the new settings to the remote. It's a real pain when you are experimenting with various settings or macros. I wish they had invented some sort of wireless cradle for it, and that it would only upload what's changed and not the entire thing each time.

I do not find it slow. Only takes a few seconds.

You're joking, right? I'll time it when I get home, but it was always 2-3 minutes at least...
--
F**K THE NHL. Go Blue Jays 2013!!!


donoreo
Premium
join:2002-05-30
North York, ON
said by HiVolt:

said by donoreo:

said by HiVolt:

I love my Harmony One. 5 years and counting now, with no issues.

However, the programming software sucks ass, and it takes forever to upload the new settings to the remote. It's a real pain when you are experimenting with various settings or macros. I wish they had invented some sort of wireless cradle for it, and that it would only upload what's changed and not the entire thing each time.

I do not find it slow. Only takes a few seconds.

You're joking, right? I'll time it when I get home, but it was always 2-3 minutes at least...

I do not recall it taking more than 30 seconds or so. Not 2 -3 minutes for sure.
--
The irony of common sense, it is not that common.
I cannot deny anything I did not say.
A kitten dies every time someone uses "then" and "than" incorrectly.
I mock people who give their children odd spelling of names.


Wolfie00
My dog is an elitist
Premium
join:2005-03-12
kudos:8
reply to Devanchya
I've never really understood the fascination with the Harmony, though I get it about the programmability. But it has to be at least 20 years or more since I bought a Sony universal remote (for around $100) and it's served me very well ever since. The majority of devices work with it right out of the box, and for those few that don't, the learning feature quickly solves that. I've even been able to use the learning feature to teach it unusual control functions that are actually a sequence of pulses, not just one. I'm not talking about macros here, it has those, too, and I've used them to turn on or off the whole home theatre setup in one click. Plus, it has a really solid feel to it, with a rubber grip around it and a good heft. The weight is partly because it uses four AA cells rather than the usual two AAA's of a typical remote, and dual LEDs, so it has considerable range. Personally, I've never needed anything more, and it's certainly given a long service life.
--
"The promoters of the global economy see nothing odd or difficult about unlimited economic growth or unlimited consumption in a limited world."
-- Wendell Berry


HiVolt
Premium
join:2000-12-28
Toronto, ON
kudos:21
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
·TekSavvy Cable
said by Wolfie00:

I've never really understood the fascination with the Harmony, though I get it about the programmability.

One reason for my Harmony, is that I have it customized for my HTPC (Mac mini running Plex Media Center). You can't do it on a traditional remote, even a learning one as there is nothing to learn from.
--
F**K THE NHL. Go Blue Jays 2013!!!


Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
reply to Devanchya
The Harmony One takes five minutes to reprogram. It's painful.
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
reply to donoreo
said by donoreo:

I do not recall it taking more than 30 seconds or so. Not 2 -3 minutes for sure.

I find that my 300 updates a lot quicker than my 650.


donoreo
Premium
join:2002-05-30
North York, ON
said by Gone:

said by donoreo:

I do not recall it taking more than 30 seconds or so. Not 2 -3 minutes for sure.

I find that my 300 updates a lot quicker than my 650.

It sounds like different models update at different speeds.


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
Yeah, that kind of makes sense. The 300 is just a dumb universal remote but with enhanced programming ability through the MyHarmony portal. The 650 not only does the devices, but it also has activities and the ability to do macros. It would make sense that it would take longer to program the remote versus that compared to something that is device specific.

I cannot stress enough just how awesome the 300 is as a plain universal remote, though. It is the only thing I found that can properly work with a 600-series Shaw Direct boxes. I use the 650 in the living room with the home theatre and the 300 in the bedroom.


Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
reply to Wolfie00
I like the concept of activities. I've got a 4x2 matrix HDMI switch at the heart of my setup, and sometimes also use the HDMI switch built into my Sony AV receiver. On top of that, my projector has a ton of input (multiple HDMI too), although at the moment I'm only using one (Wii on component might be a second eventually).

So, depending on what I want to do, different settings are required. If I want to watch TV, I need it to:

1) Turn on the projector
2) Turn on the AV receiver
3) Turn on the Videotron STB
4) Turn on the HDMI switch
5) Set the HDMI switch channel 1 to input D
6) Set the HDMI switch channel 2 to input A (Videotron STB doesn't like multi-output for HDCP reasons)

When I want to watch a bluray or netflix, I ened it to:

1) Turn on the projector
2) Turn on the AV receiver
3) Turn on the PS3
4) Turn on the HDMI switch
5) Set the HDMI switch channel 1 to input B
5) Set the HDMI switch channel 2 to input B (In case I want to watch PS3 on my computer display instead)

Of these steps, three of them are different. I also have activities for "play xbox 360", for "watch video on computer", etc. So the big thing is with the Harmony I don't have to remember what devices need to be on what input. Because that "watch video on computer" requires the input on two different HDMI switches to be set correctly. That's the nice thing, with a programmable remote, I could have a whole army of HDMI switches and never need to remember what input is what :P

The Harmony can also turn off all the devices, and it can also switch between activities without needing to turn stuff off and on again. For example, if I am watching TV and I want to watch a bluray, the Harmony is smart enough to know:

1) The projector is already on, don't touch it
2) The AV receiver is already on, don't touch it
3) The Videotron STB is no longer required, turn it off
4) The PS3 is now required, turn it on
5) The HDMI switch is already on, don't touch it's power
6) The HDMI switch is on the wrong inputs, change them

You'd be hard pressed to do this with a remote that only supported macros. But some of the other stuff I've programmed in would certainly be possible with macros. I've created macros to switch my AV receiver's night mode on and off (this requires going through menus, hence the macro), and for switching my projector from dynamic (max brightness) and cinema (accurate colour) modes. That last one required some configuration on my projector, I had to create profiles on the projector for it because the projection mode switches don't have a consistent number of steps making a macro impossible, but switching memory profiles is a fixed number of steps.

It does seem that the URC remotes support activities and macros both, so they can probably do everything that I want, but I would want to wait to see how it all develops (I mean, my Harmony still works fine).
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org


Wolfie00
My dog is an elitist
Premium
join:2005-03-12
kudos:8
Thanks for the detailed explanation. Needless to say, most people's setups are quite a bit simpler. Certainly mine is. For instance, the heart of my setup is the TV itself, which functions as a 4-way HDMI switch. Audio always comes into the TV via HDMI and always exits via the same optical out. (I'm oversimplifying a little. I still have an ancient DVD player with coax audio going to the AVR and component video going into the TV, but that's going to be replaced soon.)


Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
reply to Devanchya
Certainly simpler setups may not require it, but when it got to the point that I had six remotes to control all the different devices, and I could never remember what was on which input, I needed something to simplify things.

My parents had a similar problem, although with a simpler setup. They have a TV, bluray player, satellite box, and home theater receiver. Four remotes only. But they always had trouble figuring out how to switch the inputs, or remembering which remote to use to change the volume. They got a Harmony One, and it takes care of everything for them. In their case it was just because they're not technology-savvy, so the programmable remote does all the complex stuff for them. All they need to know is to push "watch TV" and all the buttons on the one remote do what they want (like change channels or change volume).
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org
Expand your moderator at work


FaxCap

join:2002-05-25
Surrey, BC
Reviews:
·Shaw
reply to Devanchya

Re: harmony remotes RIP

I hope they manage to sell the division. I've had 2 Harmony remotes.

The latest has served me well for 3 years and going strong. The old
one got coffee spilled on it and it never worked again.

FaxCap


digitalfutur
Sees More Than Shown
Premium
join:2000-07-15
BurlingtonON
kudos:2
reply to Devanchya
They couldn't compete with the free learning remotes used with digital TV set-top boxes, which provide almost all of the multi-device remote functionality that the average user needs.
--
Logic requires one to deal with decisions that one's ego will not permit.
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing - Edmund Burke.


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
said by digitalfutur:

They couldn't compete with the free learning remotes used with digital TV set-top boxes, which provide almost all of the multi-device remote functionality that the average user needs.

The "smart" Harmony remotes and the branded URC remotes that come with satellite and cable boxes have completely different target markets. They never competed with each other the same way a Ford Focus has never competed with a BMW 5-series.

URC did start to go after Logitech directly with their own line of smart/screen remotes, but you'll never see them come with a DCT.


digitalfutur
Sees More Than Shown
Premium
join:2000-07-15
BurlingtonON
kudos:2
Well then the niche market that Harmony serves is too small to be profitable, and is a no-growth market as well. Same result.


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
The market is there, URC's entrance into it is proof of that. Logitech has just been mismanaging that particular line for years.


Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
reply to Devanchya
A lot of people own Harmony remotes, because they can really help make your home theatre easier to use. Unfortunately, Logitech build up a reputation about completely ignoring their customers and providing terrible support.

When the CEO of Logitech posted in their forums about the Harmony sale, promising they would continue supporting the remotes, what followed was page after page after page of nothing but "Continue to support? What support? You don't support them now anyhow." or similar.
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org


El Quintron
Resident Mouth Breather
Premium
join:2008-04-28
Etobicoke, ON
kudos:4
reply to Gone
Speaking of URC do you know where one can be purchased in Canada?
--
Support Bacteria -- It's the Only Culture Some People Have


FaxCap

join:2002-05-25
Surrey, BC
Reviews:
·Shaw
reply to Guspaz
said by Guspaz:

Unfortunately, Logitech build up a reputation about completely ignoring their customers and providing terrible support.

I only had one need for their support and it was very good. I had a
Technics receiver that had an unusually long turn on time. Within a
couple of hours I had an e:mail reply with suggestions. When those
didn't work the guy asked a few more questions then told me how to
get deeper into the remote's setup menu. Few changes and all was well.

FaxCap