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Logitech Harmony Link to Enable One-Touch Control of Home Entertainment System from iPad


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#1 of 32 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted September 19 2011 - 11:32 PM

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Logitech Harmony Link to Enable One-Touch Control of Home Entertainment System from iPad


Harmony Link Also Transforms iPhone, iPod touch and Android Smartphones into Full-Featured Remote Control


FREMONT, Calif. — September 20, 2011 — With thousands of TV channels and seemingly unlimited choice of shows and movies, getting to the content you are looking for is often a challenge as you navigate among programming guides and juggle multiple remotes to control your home entertainment system. With this in mind, today Logitech (SIX: LOGN) (NASDAQ: LOGI) unveiled Logitech Harmony® Link, a small device designed to fit in next to your TV and media electronics and communicate over Wi-Fi® with the free Logitech Harmony Link App for iPad®. After setup, the  Logitech Harmony Link and the Logitech Harmony Link App work together to let iPad users browse a personalized schedule of their favorite shows, channels and genres to find something good to watch and – with one touch  turn on all the right devices and tune to the right channel.


“Logitech Harmony Link extends our vision of removing barriers between people and their entertainment by replacing the clutter and confusion of multiple remotes and different program guides with a single intuitive touch interface,” said Ashish Arora, vice president and general manager of Logitech’s Digital Home Group. “Our research revealed that many iPad owners are using their iPad on the sofa while watching TV, many of them seeking ways to find out what shows are on. We set out to make this experience easier. Using Logitech Harmony Link and the Harmony Link App, iPad users can browse for what is on television, and with one touch of “watch now” icon next to the show of their choice, they can automatically turn on their TV and other electronics, and tune directly to the show they want to watch.”


Logitech Harmony Link delivers more than just a personalized program guide to iPad users. By leveraging Logitech Harmony technology, it offers the activity- and device-based control provided by the award-winning line of Logitech Harmony Advanced Universal Remotes. Just select what you want to do, such as “Watch a Movie” or “Listen to Music,” and Harmony Link automatically switches your devices to the right settings – meaning you won’t be fumbling with multiple remotes or manually switching inputs anymore.


Control from Your iPad

The Logitech Harmony Link connects to your existing home wireless network to receive Wi-Fi signals from the Harmony Link App and turns them into IR commands that home-entertainment devices can understand. Harmony Link can control up to eight devices, is compact (about the size of a hockey puck) and was designed to integrate neatly and discreetly with your home entertainment system. Harmony Link includes an IR mini-blaster accessory so you can control entertainment devices both inside and outside of a closed entertainment cabinet.


And because the Harmony Link App transforms simple swipes and taps into useful actions, such as volume control and video playback, you can stay in control of your entertainment without taking your eyes off whatever you’re watching on your big screen.

Harmony Link can even connect with more than one iPad at a time, letting multiple family members use their own iPad – with their own set of favorite channels – rather than fighting over a single remote.  


Turn Your Smartphone into a Remote Control
The remote control functionality of Logitech Harmony Link also works with the iPhone® or iPod touch® as well as with Android smartphones. Initially, smartphones will not receive personalized program guides from the downloadable App; however, Harmony Link will deliver complete activity-based control over up to eight devices in your entertainment system. Now you can essentially turn your smartphone into a great universal remote.


Program Information Provided by Rovi

Logitech has teamed with Rovi Corporation to provide program information behind its free Harmony Link App. An important element to entertainment discovery, Rovi data includes show synopses, movie overviews, and images to give you an in-depth and visually rich experience as you navigate through entertainment content and connect to your television guide.


Pricing and Availability

The Logitech Harmony Link is expected to be available in the U.S. in October for a suggested retail price of $99.99. The Harmony Link App for iOS tablets and smartphones and the Harmony Link App for Android smartphones are expected to be available as free downloads in October from the iTunes App Store and Android Market, respectively.


About Logitech
Logitech is a world leader in products that connect people to the digital experiences they care about. Spanning multiple computing, communication and entertainment platforms, Logitech’s combined hardware and software enable or enhance digital navigation, music and video entertainment, gaming, social networking, audio and video communication over the Internet, video security and home-entertainment control. Founded in 1981, Logitech International is a Swiss public company listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (LOGN) and on the Nasdaq Global Select Market (LOGI).




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#2 of 32 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted September 19 2011 - 11:46 PM

Okay, so, this is the big Logitech announcement that I had to keep under wraps.


I had the opportunity to visit Logitech two months ago to get a first-look at their

new products.

You should have seen the smile across my face when the rep pulled out an iPad

and began using it as a remote to control the display and Blu-ray player in the demo area.


I couldn't believe it.  I can't begin to tell you how many times over the past year

I have looked at my iPad and asked, "why can't someone make this into a remote?"


Then I began thinking about conspiracy theories that the last thing remote control

companies would want to do is put their hardware at jeopardy by making the iPad

a remote control.


I was completely taken by surprise when Logitech showed me this application.

This was the product that I had been hoping someone would not only come up

with, but do it RIGHT.


Seems like Logitech has accomplished both.


Not only is this a full-fledged touch-screen remote control that mimics all the

benefits you already enjoy from Harmony devices, but since your iPad

is connected to the Internet, it is also a full-fledged program guide.  Every day

your iPad downloads the latest television schedule according to your particular

provider.  It also pulls in photos and descriptions of shows.   So, right on your

lap, you have a colorful guide of the best that television has to offer you at that

moment.  You simply click the show description, your television turns itself on

and goes directly to that channel.


...at least from memory, that is what guide enabled you to do.


And yes, you program this device through your computer exactly as you

would any Harmony remote.


I should have this product in hand very shortly and will be doing a review for

this forum.   I have never been so excited about receiving anything from Logitech.

What this product now does is enable my iPad to be an all-in-one remote for

both television and music playback in my home.

Watch for the review shortly.




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#3 of 32 OFFLINE   Jeff Brooks

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Posted September 20 2011 - 12:23 AM

This might actually make me want to buy an iPad!

#4 of 32 OFFLINE   mylan

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Posted September 20 2011 - 04:08 AM

So does this work for Android tablets as well?
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#5 of 32 OFFLINE   TheBat

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Posted September 20 2011 - 11:43 AM

ron.. did you see the one for the iphone as well? Jacob

#6 of 32 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted September 20 2011 - 11:49 AM

Okay, according to the website this is Android compatible.


No, did not see the iPhone version.


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#7 of 32 OFFLINE   TheBat

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Posted September 20 2011 - 11:51 AM

I heard that they are doing an iphone version. Jacob

#8 of 32 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted September 20 2011 - 12:03 PM

It's done.  All we are talking about is software.


I don't expect everyone to run out and buy iPads, but I am

rather concerned about how cumbersome the remote will

be with the size of the iPhone screen -- especially with the

full-color program guide.


I should be testing the Harmony Link on both iPad and

iPhone shortly so I'll give my impressions of both.


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#9 of 32 OFFLINE   TheBat

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Posted September 20 2011 - 12:41 PM

that would be awesome. thanks Jacob

#10 of 32 OFFLINE   mylan

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Posted September 20 2011 - 01:27 PM

For a hundred bucks I may be tempted to get this for my Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. I already have the tivo commander app that works on wi-fi for our upstairs tv. I have the Harmony One remote for the home theater but this may take things to a whole new level.
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#11 of 32 OFFLINE   OzzieP

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Posted September 26 2011 - 06:03 AM

Can this be a full replacement for the Harmony 1?

#12 of 32 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted September 26 2011 - 06:19 AM

Ozzie,


Yes, I believe so.


However, since you have a larger iPad device being turned into

a harmony remote, it will be interesting to see the comfort and

convenience level of using it over a smaller one-handed device.


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#13 of 32 OFFLINE   OzzieP

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Posted September 26 2011 - 06:36 AM

True the size of an iPad being used as a remote might be an issue, but if this "Harmony Link" can take inputs from multiple devices such as iPhone, iPad or iTouch then it would really make it handy. I already use the iPad with Air Play and streaming to my AppleTV and truthfully size has not been an issue. A couple of taps and things start to happen. If I want to hold on to the remote then using a smaller iTouch or iphone just might do the trick but if I want to see all the details of a TV show the big screen iPad is what I would pick up. It's nice if one could have this option without actually getting another remote. Using devices we might already have makes a lot of sense. I already have a master remote and an iPad, and my kids have an iTouch, so if this would allow me to not need the master remote at all then it would be one less device yet still having total control. Being that its on a netowrk, I wonder if one could control these devices when away from home?

#14 of 32 OFFLINE   OzzieP

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Posted October 08 2011 - 12:58 PM

I see the Harmony Link app is now out in the app store. I downloaded it but the first thing it wants to do is find your Harmony Link, which makes sense but I don't have one yet. I was hoping I could play around with the app to see the UI. Has anybody picked one up yet and able to give us a review?

#15 of 32 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted October 08 2011 - 01:00 PM

I am still awaiting Logitech to send me a review sample.


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#16 of 32 OFFLINE   Robert George

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Posted October 10 2011 - 06:38 AM

I picked up one of these this past weekend.  It does what they say it will, but frankly, as one who owns and programs URC remotes, this is very much a "retail" type device that is aimed at the person whose system is fairly basic AND does not already have a universal remote.  The device is also not without its frustrations.  Most annoying for me is Logitech's choice to use 2.5mm plugs for emitters.  Industry standard is 3.5mm.  This makes trying to add emitters without having to resort to the expense of an adapter all but impossible.  Plus, only two emitter jacks is very close to useless.


My bottom line, if you already have a universal remote, this is not a replacement.  If you don't, and you do have an iPad, maybe.  Waking up an iPad just to change the channel is still not a great solution.



#17 of 32 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted October 10 2011 - 06:58 AM

Obi,


Thanks for the first-look at this product.

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#18 of 32 OFFLINE   Jason Shuff

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Posted October 31 2011 - 04:32 PM

I have the link and App on my ASUS transformer, it works great, something i found is that you have to have the server running on a pc for the link to stay connected. It's www.myharmony.com to update your devices and set up the controls. Something i noticed is you loose some settings configuration like you have with a standard harmony remote. I.E, when i turn off my optoma HD-20 i always have to press the power button twice or power then enter, the link wont allow me to add this. I still like the setup though. Once i have the bar complete i'll post pics.

#19 of 32 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted November 01 2011 - 03:12 AM

Any new comments on how this performs especially compared to the Harmony One? Does it require IR blasters on every device? How about eyes-off operation for changing volume or channels (a benefit to hard buttons)? Is the setup software better or more flexible than what the Harmony One has?



#20 of 32 OFFLINE   Jason Shuff

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Posted November 03 2011 - 12:59 PM

It comes with one IR blaster, but it's as strong as any harmony and bounces off walls. It does have the port for adding a second one. The buttons are what ever your screen is, i'll attach some photos of my ASUS so you can get a feel of it. http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/ http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/ Your going to have to look down at the device to change volume and channels