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whats so great about harmonys remotes?


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22 replies to this topic

#1 of 23 OFFLINE   munsterrr

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Posted February 27 2008 - 12:34 AM

just wanted to say hi first of all. first post here. ive been browsing this forum for about a week and have learned alot. thanks ahead of time

anyways i see these harmony remotes that alot of people seem to have and do see all the greatness about them. to me it looks like a remote that does macros with a screen and nothing more. i mean right now i have an old sony vl-600 that can "learn" buttons of it doesnt know them and does macros.

i just dont see it. maybe you guys can open my eyes and show me the light.

#2 of 23 OFFLINE   starrin

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Posted February 27 2008 - 12:59 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by munsterrr
just wanted to say hi first of all. first post here. ive been browsing this forum for about a week and have learned alot. thanks ahead of time

anyways i see these harmony remotes that alot of people seem to have and do see all the greatness about them. to me it looks like a remote that does macros with a screen and nothing more. i mean right now i have an old sony vl-600 that can "learn" buttons of it doesnt know them and does macros.
i just dont see it. maybe you guys can open my eyes and show me the light.

It works great for my wife. When we went HD-HT she went bananas. The idea that she could punch a button on the remote that pulled up a function (Watch TV) or (Watch TV HT) and everything falls into place made a true believer of her - and a great supporter of HD

#3 of 23 OFFLINE   munsterrr

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Posted February 27 2008 - 01:14 AM

so once again its just a fancy macro more or less?

#4 of 23 OFFLINE   mylan

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Posted February 27 2008 - 01:29 AM

While I do not own one as of yet, what sets the Harmony's apart is the way they are set up. Your Sony learns commands by aiming the remote at the one it replaced I would imagine, the Harmony uses web based programming. You log on, create a password, and tell it what devices you own and how you want it to control your system. With a little trial and error, they can be tweaked further for more control options. You can save the configuration to their web site and retrieve it if the remote ever loses its settings and you can transfer your settings to a newer model Harmony whenever you upgrade, bottom line, it is the programming that sets these remotes apart.
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#5 of 23 OFFLINE   munsterrr

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Posted February 27 2008 - 02:44 AM

so with this remote i guess anyone would say its for everyone else but the person that purchased, setup, and studied how everything works.

like we know tv has to go to input 1, reciever goes to dvd, dvd player goes to disc 3, microwave in the kitchen goes to 1 minute 3 seconds, the garage door opens and the hall light turns on.

BUTTTTT any common folk would just hit the "end of the world button"

#6 of 23 OFFLINE   mylan

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Posted February 27 2008 - 03:06 AM

Ummm, yeah, what you said.
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#7 of 23 OFFLINE   munsterrr

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Posted February 27 2008 - 03:09 AM

haha outstanding

#8 of 23 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted February 27 2008 - 03:37 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by munsterrr
so once again its just a fancy macro more or less?

No, it is a lot more than a macro. The remote operates on "states" and that state can change from activity to activity. Say you have a macro on a traditional remote that sets up watching a DVD. It could consist of:

Turn on TV
Turn on DVD
Switch TV input to DVD
Switch receiver to DVD input
Switch TV display mode to Full

But what if you were listening to music on your DVD player and your TV was already in "Full" mode? Because there are no "discrete" commands for on/off or TV mode, you may push the "DVD" macro and suddenly it turns your DVD player off and changes to the mode that is below "Full" on the menu. You would then have to go back and fix the stuff the macro screwed up on.

The Harmony takes care of all this by itself. It remembers the current state of all your devices and only acts on the ones that need it.

For example, if all your devices are off and you hit "Watch TV", it will turn on the TV, the Cable box, and the Receiver, switch everything to the right input, and away you go. If you then hit "Watch DVD", it won't turn everything off then on again, and it won't change the inputs/states it doesn't have to. Instead it will just turn the Cable box off, turn the DVD on, and switch the inputs on the TV and/or receiver. No macro can do this. Plus, if things ever get messed up (because of a blocked signal or someone messing with the manual controls), you just hit "Help" and it will ask you step by step questions to correct the setup (i.e. Is the TV on? Is the Receiver on DVD Input?).

#9 of 23 OFFLINE   JeremyErwin

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Posted February 27 2008 - 03:40 AM

Quote:
like we know tv has to go to input 1, reciever goes to dvd, dvd player goes to disc 3, microwave in the kitchen goes to 1 minute 3 seconds, the garage door opens and the hall light turns on.

I suppose that if you want to remember those trivialities, you're welcome to them. As for myself, I don't feel the need to keep three remotes at hand.

Harmonies work best when there's a dedicated button assigned to each function. "Input--left---left--left--enter" doesn't always work as well as "hdmi 1".

I like the internet functionality: it's fast and easy.

#10 of 23 OFFLINE   munsterrr

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Posted February 27 2008 - 03:47 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyErwin
I suppose that if you want to remember those trivialities, you're welcome to them. As for myself, I don't feel the need to keep three remotes at hand.

Harmonies work best when there's a dedicated button assigned to each function. "Input--left---left--left--enter" doesn't always work as well as "hdmi 1".

I like the internet functionality: it's fast and easy.

well see thats my problem here. i cant just hit "HDMI" for anything. i have to hit "input left etc".

#11 of 23 OFFLINE   JeremyErwin

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Posted February 27 2008 - 04:39 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by munsterrr
well see thats my problem here. i cant just hit "HDMI" for anything. i have to hit "input left etc".

The Harmony will handle that-- it can remember that when the TV was last used, the input was set to S-Video, and that switching to the HDMI-4 input will involve "Input Menu, right,right,right,right,down,enter,right,right,rig ht,enter". And then, when the off button is pressed, it will remember that the TV is set to HDMI-4.

But dedicated buttons are still more reliable.

#12 of 23 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted February 27 2008 - 05:04 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyErwin
The Harmony will handle that-- it can remember that when the TV was last used, the input was set to S-Video, and that switching to the HDMI-4 input will involve "Input Menu, right,right,right,right,down,enter,right,right,rig ht,enter". And then, when the off button is pressed, it will remember that the TV is set to HDMI-4.

But dedicated buttons are still more reliable.

Not only will it remember, but the user never has to learn/know the sequence at all, because it is preprogrammed by the website setup. I've got a BD at home for which I've never taken the original remote out of the package. I just set it up on the website, added the buttons I needed and downloaded the configuration to the remote. No need to learn key sequences at all.

#13 of 23 OFFLINE   JimIroc

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Posted February 27 2008 - 05:05 AM

As others have said, the macro abilities of the remote are a bit more advanced, but then again, the macro abilities of other remote brands have become advanced also. My interest in the Harmony lies in its simplicity to operate large volumes of equipment that I don't feel older universals offered. I bought a universal for my parents a few years ago, and all it really accomplished was to replace 3 remotes with 1. Unfortunately, actually operating the equipment really didn't get much easier. I did assign one of the 3 macro buttons to turn everything on and off, but my parents still had to remember which macro button to push. Performing an operation like switching from TV to watching a DVD is still too complicated for my mother to figure out, and as a result they've probably watched 2 movies in the last 3 years.

I'm having them buy a Harmony. If you want to watch a DVD, you press the button titled "Watch Movie". That's it. The remote takes care of everything. My mother doesn't need to have any working knowledge of anything she's using, including the remote itself.

The way I see it, a universal remote can serve two purposes. The first is the ability to consolidate all of your remotes into one. The second is to simplify the operation of your equipment. I think any universal can accomplish the first, but the Harmony really seems to excel ad the 2nd.

#14 of 23 OFFLINE   munsterrr

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Posted February 27 2008 - 05:39 AM

SOLD!!!!!!!!!!!!

you have opened the eyes. now to find a cheap 550 somewhere

#15 of 23 OFFLINE   Steve_Pannell

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Posted February 27 2008 - 06:14 AM

You won't regret buying one. I researched them for a long time and asked some questions on this forum before finally buying one. I bought the 880 and haven't looked back since.

I thought these fancy hyped-up Harmony remotes were "just another remote that does macros". It is much more than that.

The learning curve is fairly short, too. It takes a little thinking about what buttons you want to program to do a certain function but with a little trial and error you'll have it figured out in no time.

#16 of 23 OFFLINE   nolesrule

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Posted February 27 2008 - 09:28 AM

Just so, you know, even if you have to cycle through inputs or modes on the tv or receiver or have non-discrete commands for on/off on your remotes, discretes often do exist for those devices. 99% of the time (as in unless the device is so new it hasn't made it into the database yet), the Harmony database will have all the extra commands that don't exist as buttons on the remote, including discretes. And if it does, you can tell Harmony to use them rather than toggling.

In 6 years of owning my Harmony remote through various equipment changes and setting them up for family and friends at least 4 times over the years, I've never experienced not finding the device in the database.

And I've never received one complaint from any of those people (nor my wife), because the simplicity factor for everyday usage is so high.

In fact, the only time I ever pull out one of my remotes, and it's my receiver remote, is when the power goes out for an extended period and everything defaults back to factory settings and I need to reset it to my setup. And that's only happened twice.

#17 of 23 OFFLINE   munsterrr

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Posted February 28 2008 - 11:20 AM

HOLY CHRIST THIS REMOTE IS OUTSTANDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1


WOW THATS ALL I CAN SAY IS WOW.

only problem i have is my 360 tray wont close. thats the only thing.

#18 of 23 OFFLINE   mylan

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Posted February 28 2008 - 11:23 AM

So which one did you end up with, the 550?
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#19 of 23 OFFLINE   munsterrr

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Posted February 28 2008 - 12:11 PM

yea i got the 550. i didnt see any reason to get anything nicer than that. and so far i see no reason to get the better ones........

but then again i originally thought there was no reason to get the 550. is there a big difference besides recharging and colored screens? that showing what channel with the icon on the screen was spiffy but thats all i saw

#20 of 23 OFFLINE   nolesrule

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Posted February 28 2008 - 02:31 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by munsterrr
HOLY CHRIST THIS REMOTE IS OUTSTANDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1


WOW THATS ALL I CAN SAY IS WOW.

And now you know what's so great about harmony remotes. Posted Image


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