I recently had the opportunity to test a new remote control from Logitech. Those of you who are audio or videophiles will recognize the Logitech Harmony series of remotes.
These remotes work on the concept of "activities", such as watching TV, or a DVD, a video, or listening to music. The remote is programmed to operate your equipment according to what activity you are doing.
These full featured remotes are aimed at the high end user, but anyone who has to go through a complicated series of maneuvers to operate their home audio or video equipment can benefit from the new Harmony One remote.
This is one high end remote, and for as sophisticated as it is, it works wonderfully in a beautifully designed ergonomic frame that is easy to setup and use.
Presentation: Logitech presented the Harmony One in an elegant display box, showing the gleaming black case through clear plastic. The box graphics are nice and do a good job adding to the whole experience. No blister packs here, this feels like you are opening something important.
In the box you will find the following:
AC Power Adapter
Lithium Ion Battery
CD-Rom with Logitech Software
Setup: Setup is a cinch. I must admit though that I did have some trouble connecting this unit to my Intel iMac. After installing the software the unit did not want to acknowledge my USB connection. There was a number to call. The call center help was very friendly and helpful. Above average tech support. The problem was resolved and we moved forward. Newer software updates have since resolved any Macintosh support issues so newer purchasers should have no problems.
The software is easy to install, and once installed you hook up your remote to your computer through the supplied USB cable. The software then asks you for the items you want to control. (Note: It would be helpful in advance to have the makes and model numbers of everything you want to control.)
After you setup all the items you want to control, the software then asks you how you have your components set up to work. For example, if I want to watch TV, I need to turn on my Dish DVR and turn my TV on and switch it to Video 1. These are called setting up activities, and I'll get to a little later.
After this is all set to your liking, the software installs the information to your remote, reboots it and you are off to test it out.