Logitech Harmony Ultimate One

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by oldhifi, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. oldhifi macrumors 6502a

    oldhifi

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
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    USA
  2. drummer5645 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2014
    #2
    I was given a Harmony 1000. Had it professionally programmed for a simple TV/disc/sound bar. Without a doubt the worst remote I ever had. If you weren't pointing within a degree or so you were done. The software in general is glitchy and in general, support for the remotes is non existent.

    Now you are going to pay for the unit on top of it. Good luck. Sorry for being so blunt.
     
  3. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #3
    I must have tried at least 6 different "All In One" remotes...Marantz, Yamaha all the big boy's and NOT ONE successfully controlled my kit.

    Now I use apps on my phone...most of the major TV / AV and SB companies release these now and they are free.

    I have one for my Sony Bravia ( Which also allows control of the Onkyo AV system )

    And one for my Toshiba 46" in the bedroom.

    That's all I need unless I need to tweak low level stuff...Oh, and of course Apple's own remote app for the ATV's.

    I struggled with these things for days, and they aren't cheap..I think the Marantz cost me £129 or $215 and they didn't work. In short, keep your money and look out for apps that are compatible with your stuff.
     
  4. ColdCase, Mar 27, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2014

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #4
    I like the layout of the older Harmony One much better. Most remote junkies agree. There are a number of reviews out there, the most critical are from those that use a Harmony One, which seemed to be the optimum remote made. Logitec keeps trying to improve on the One, but have failed miserably. The Ultimate One is better but still awkward to use (fast forward/pause buttons at the top) compared to the original.

    Now that many devices are heading to wifi control, a AIO remote is starting to be less important. Although its nice to be able to just use one hand and have hard buttons when channel surfing or watching recordings.

    The 1000, as drummer noted, was not all that good and panned by many. But other logitechs have been excellent with fantastic support. Their database has codes for just about every controllable device made.There is also a couple vibrant forums that discuss the ins and outs. Most devices are easy to control, but those where you have to pushh a button to cycle through input selection are a bit tricky to program.
     
  5. Wondercow macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #5
    The page you linked to shows at least three different remote controls: the Harmony One, The Harmony Touch, and the Harmony Ultimate. The Harmony One was quite popular but it has been discontinued and replaced with the Touch and Ultimate.

    [It appears that Logitech has rebranded the Harmony Touch as the Harmony Ultimate One. So anywhere in this post that I mentioned the Harmony Touch you can replace that with Harmony Ultimate One.]

    I bought the Harmony Touch a while back and I loved it. However, I decided that the features that the Touch was missing that were included in the Ultimate were worth the upgrade price. I returned the Touch, purchased an Ultimate, and never looked back!

    Both the Touch and the Ultimate are apparently selling very well, and have largely turned around Logitech's universal remote control business. Both of these remotes are quite popular and the forums over at AVS are quite positive about them (see the Harmony Ultimate forum).

    One of the advantages the Ultimate has over the Touch is that it comes with the Harmony Hub. The hub is an extra device that is a Bluetooth, Wifi, and mini IR blaster connexion point (hence the name Hub) as well as an IR blaster in and of itself. So, with the Ultimate remote control, one can use the mini IR blasters to control devices located out of range of a normal infrared signal (e.g. behind cabinet doors), control Bluetooth devices (e.g. Nintendo Wii), use the free iOS and Androids apps to control devices via Wifi, and use the Hub's built-in IR blaster to control one's system no matter if the handheld remote is pointing in the right direction or not.

    There was absolutely no need to have that remote professionally programmed; that was simply a waste of money. As easy-to-use as the previous desktop software was, the new Web-based programming of the Touch and Ultimate is excellent for novices.

    There were many issues with the 1000 which is why it was replaced with the 1100. As for support, well, that is--in my opinion--the main reason why the Harmony line was failing (so much so that they were going to sell off the unit). They really didn't listen to their customers; I can't tell you how many people complained about the lack of macros (Logitech calls them sequences) in the 1000 and 1100 units. Logitech's response was simply "we studied the way people use their remotes and people who use these ones don't want sequences" and that was it. $400-$500 programmable, touchscreen, flagship universal remotes without macros and their answer was "you don't know what you want":mad:

    Anyway, I'm glad to say that the support has changed dramatically. In the forum I linked above there is a representative from Harmony (HarmonySylvain) who monitors it, answers user questions, and actively asks what the users want from their remotes. He also announces firmware updates--including changes, which Logitech never used to do.

    My advice is to purchase one or both of the models from a place like Best Buy--one that allows returns on opened items for a period of 14-30 days. Set them up, customize them, use them. If you don't like them simply return them; if you do like one and you're OK with the price keep it and return the unused model.
     
  6. oldhifi thread starter macrumors 6502a

    oldhifi

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    Jan 12, 2013
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    USA
  7. err404 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    #7
    I bought the Logitech - Harmony Smart Control and I love it. The basic remote that it includes is great. The buttons feel solid, the ergonomics are good and the battery life is amazing (same battery has been used for 6 months without a charge and still going). It integrates with my phone for configuration and controlling advanced setting, but I use the physical remote almost exclusively.
    I would highly recommend the Smart remote over the Ultimate. The screen adds little value for day to day use and the iOS app work great when I need the advanced functionality. IMO the physical remote in the Smart remote package is better due to size, feel and no need to charge. It's not only better day to day, but it is also cheaper.
    My old remote was the Harmony 800 and the difference in the software is huge. The new model is far easier to program and use. I was able to set it up in with a fairly complex setup in about 1/2 hour with only my phone. My setup is a TV, two game consoles, an Apple TV, a Chromecast with all inputs routed through a dedicated AV receiver.
     
  8. troy14 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Location:
    Las Vegas (Summerlin), NV
    #8
    Agreed. I use a Logitech Harmony One (not ultimate one) and it is the best remote / layout I have ever used. They make a RF one as well, not sure of the model (I think Logitech 900).

    The setup is a little annoying and a learning curve, but once you figure out everything and have it programmed, it works without a flaw. Most people settle for an 'adequate' setup that just 'works' instead of a perfect one. Also, it is IR so yes you do need to leave the remote pointed to the system for a few seconds.

    It works best if your TV has direct (discrete) commands to change input. Such as hitting one button and having it switch from HDMI 1 to HDMI 2 etc, or if your AV receiver has these as well.

    Having no physical number buttons would drive me crazy. That remote looks poorly laid out.
     
  9. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #9
    Don't you find the hard button lay out awkward? Difficult to use it with one hand and by feel..... but then I may just have been spoiled by the harmony one.
     
  10. nathanjbrown macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #10
    I've owned nearly every Harmony remote ever made (dating back to when Harmony was a private company prior to their acquisition by Logitech). The 1000 was by far the worst and is in no way representative of the others in the line. The best was the Harmony One but I'm now enjoying the Harmony [Touch] Ultimate. I like the smaller form factor, 100% RF operation (in tandem with an IR blaster), and superior responsiveness (the One could be a bit slow to respond to button presses).

    The button layout is indeed a step in the wrong direction, but I don't really mind it. I don't own a DVR and instead do most of my "recorded television" viewing via Apple TV or Roku 3. I find myself pressing the menu/back button more frequently than the stop button.

    FYI: the software (via myharmony.com) is much improved over the standalone application. With that said, I've never found the software to be very complicated. Though it did from time to time require a bit of patience and time.

    N
     
  11. Wondercow macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #11
    I wouldn't say "awkward", but I agree that it could be better. For me the placement of the transport buttons isn't a problem--I just turn/slide my hand so that the D-pad is directly under my palm and I use my index finger to control them. But that's me. My wife can't do that because her hands are too small; however, I have the prefs set to send IR signals from the hub, so the remote can be picked up such that the transport controls are convenient to the user and the commands sent--regardless of the remote's orientation.

    This is another hit in the Harmony line and is getting great reviews from users; however, don't discount the touch screen "for day to day use". Not only is the screen incredibly useful for those of us who like to have more commands than there are available buttons, but the fact that the screen can show icons and text for activities and commands makes it incredibly easy to use by guests, children, elderly, technophobes, etc. And that is also one of the downsides to the Smart Control: only six activities on the physical remote and limited button commands. Anything more than that and one needs to use the iOS or Android app, which is no good for guests, children, elderly, technophobes, etc.

    In addition, the Smart Control allows only eight devices whereas the others allow 15. I don't have a super-high-end home theatre but I'm already at nine devices (Wii, VCR, BD player, video camera, TV, AVR, AVR zone 2, WDTV, Mac mini). I'm a dying breed still using a VCR, but I also have only one game system and no cable box and/or DVR, so... (Truth be told I actually do have a DVR: I use EyeTV on my Mac mini. I also use iTunes for my CD collection, and iPhoto for photos. So that's three more "devices" within the single Mac mini device)

    In the end the best solution is to buy, try, and keep the one that works best for you.
     
  12. Stella macrumors 604

    Stella

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Location:
    Canada
    #12
    I've found the Logitech Harmony remotes excellent. With this one you also get software to allow your smartphone to control devices.

    Highly recommended. If you don't need the high end remote, just buy the basic Logitech Smart Control which gets you the smartphone connectivity plus simple remote.
     

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