Harmony One Remote Control by Logitech replaces up to 15 devices and covers over 5000 different brands & models. Perfect for home theatre.
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Harmony One Remote Control by Logitech

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If, like many people these days you have a home theatre system, you are probably already aware of the syndrome known as TMRC - too many remote controls! Even though over time you probably become familiar with where everything is on each remote control, having multiple remotes can look messy, be cumbersome to use, and let's not mention the drain on your pocket forking out for batteries.

For example, my home theatre system consists of an Samsung 3D Plasma TV, Yamaha Aventage Home Theatre Receiver, Samsung 3D Blu-ray Player, Pioneer DVD player (back up), Velodyne Subwoofer, Benq HT Projector, and finally a Home Theatre PC.

Remote controls
Logitech Harmony One
That's seven remote controls - count them!

Now, besides the TMRC syndrome, there is the problem of when a remote control unit malfunction. For example, the "power on" and "power off" buttons on my Yamaha AVR remote control do not work anymore, and it seems my HTPC remote (Microsoft) is starting to have issues as well. Replacement cost for both is about $120.

Rather than replace two remotes, I decided to try a universal remote control - again. I owned one several years ago - it was a Phillips and it was rubbish.

After doing some careful research, I settled on the Logitech Harmony One Remote Control. It seems to get rave reviews, and hardly anything negative is said about it - although I do have a couple of things I'll whinge about later.

I'll be brief about its functionality because all the info is readily available eslewhere, but in short the Harmony One has the ability to control up to 15 separate devices, and it can import settings for over 5000 brands and models.

The Harmony One comes with a wide array of buttons, plus an easy to use, multiple page touch screen. The buttons are quite easy to use without looking with some buttons having raised ridges, but the Harmony has a nifty little motion sensor in it which turns on the touch screen and all the backlit buttons light up once it is moved, or picked up.

The remote control is rechargeable, and comes with a low profile docking station sporting an embedded power-on light. One thing I notice is that the remote uses a LOT of power, so I only get about four days of use before a recharge is required, whereas I've read that others say it can last up to ten days. Maybe that's without using it? ;-)

Logitech's Harmony One feels very comfortable in your hand and is easy to use, whether you hold the base in your palm, or hold it with your fingers from the top.

The RRP (recommended retail price) is $299, but itís very easy to find it for $199 - and it's well worth that much (Australian dollars).

My pros:

One press on the touch screen can start all the devices you need through "Activities", and adjust the settings accordingly. For example, I want to watch a movie, so I press "watch Blu-ray":

Harmony One renote Control The remote is now setup to control all the main features I need without changing the device itself. If I do need to make a more complex adjustment, it takes mere seconds to go to the actual device panel and make the adjustment.

All the settings are downloadable from Logitech, so once you input your devices through the easy-to-use web browser style interface on your computer, the remote then downloads the appropriate button controls.

The Harmony One looks sleek with its black gloss buttons and face, colourful touch screen, and ergonomically designed hand-hold.

My cons:

Oddly enough, the unit seems to "forget" the occasional setting in an Activity sequence. For example, one day it may turn the TV to HDMI input instead of PC input.

The touch screen buttons are arranged in a very odd way. One would expect the main buttons to be first (eg, power on/off), but they seem to be all over the place and there is no way to rearrange them.

This was a pro, but it's also a con - the gloss black shows the slightest mark, BUT, Logitech have had the foresight to supply a special cleaning cloth.

All things considered, I'm VERY happy with this unit and I highly recommend it. Also, being a Logitech product, no doubt I will get years or life out of this remote.

Further reading

Harmony One Remote Control by Logitech Review By Rob Arnell, Senior Contributor at JustWeb Rating: 5 out of 5. All I can say is BUY ONE! You won't regret it. Looks great, works well, and gets rid of all those ugly remotes (8 in my case).

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