Sunday, August 3, 2008

This is for those of you who are looking for a good universal remote, but not just your normal universal remote. For those of you looking for something that is just…..more, Logitech has one that you should give some serious consideration. It is the Harmony One. It is one remote to control them all (well up to 15 devices that is). And its color touch screen interface makes it fun.
Typical universal remotes will allow you to learn the codes of other remotes, and some of the buttons on the remote need to be manually learned. This means that you have the two remotes face each other, press a series of buttons for one remote to send and one remote to receive or learn, hence programming the buttons that you want. Well Logitech has taken away the confusion and headache of having to learn from one remote to another. The Harmony One comes with some powerful software and has a USB interface. You simply install the software on your computer, and then attach the remote to the computer using the supplied USB cable. There is a simple tutorial that takes you through all the steps to set up your remote with the gear that you have. They have an extensive library of thousands of different devices. Even my Levitron remote dimmer for my theater room was on there. What I like is the fact that it includes all the buttons on my original remote. The remote for my Yamaha surround receiver has a lot of buttons. The Harmony One has its share of standard hard buttons, but whatever button is not there is programmed in as custom buttons in multiple pages of buttons on its touch screen display. I like it!

Once you have all the gear selected and the codes are downloaded to your remote, Logitech takes it a step further and lets you program macros for a set of function buttons on the color touch screen. You make them up for what you want. You can have a button that says “Watch TV.” Pressing that button can send out a series of commands such as turning on the TV and turning on your cable box. And you can have one for “Watch DVD,” that will turn on your TV, turn on your surround sound receiver, and turn on your DVD player, and press play on the DVD player.

Harmony also spent many hours of research in design for what feels good in your hand, and I think it works great. It also comes with a docking station that you plug into the wall to charge itself, so no more need to worry about replacing those AA’s or AAA remote batteries. I can honestly tell you that I found my one remote to control them all. I would highly suggest you check out the Harmony One for yourself. For more info and complete specs, please check out Logitech’s website at,en