anyone using harmony SST-659?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Ted Lee, Mar 8, 2004.

  1. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    hi all -

    just looking for opinions from anyone using this remote.

    i'm especially curious about how well the internet interface works.

    thx!

    ted

    remotecentral.com review
     
  2. MikeSRC

    MikeSRC Second Unit

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    I've been using Harmony remotes for years since I beta tested their first remote (SST-745). I've never had a problem with the internet interface. Downloads can be slow if you're using the program guide for a lot of channels, but otherwise it's pretty quick. I don't bother with the program guide anymore because it's easier to see an on-screen guide.
     
  3. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I bought a SST-659 in December and have been very pleased with the remote. This was an upgrade from a four year old Marantz RC2000 MKII learning-only universal remote for my main system.

    The remote does everything I need, replacing every function for seven components. It's a fine combination of flexible programming for a power user like me and user friendliness for the rest of the family. My wife really likes its simplicity. Even my technology-challenged parents were able to figure it out without any instructions when they stayed with us over the holidays.

    The Internet interface has not been any problem for me. I have cable modem ISP service, and the download speeds are usually only a couple of minutes. As Mike mentioned above, I also do not bother downloading program guide information to the remote. I never used it, and my download times were cut in half without the additional data.
     
  4. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    thx guys ... i think i may check this out. seems like it'll be more flexible then my mx-500.

    oh yeah, one other question. how do you like the build quality / feel of the thing? i've read some reviews that say the buttons are mushy or don't provide much tactile feedback?
     
  5. Clayton Jr

    Clayton Jr Extra

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    I have a 659 and would echo the comments of the other users. The remote has been a great addition to my system. Once you've set up your components, you can put the original remotes away somewhere safe -- you won't need them very often.

    I appreciate the ability to tinker with settings anytime I feel like it (during idle time at work, for instance), since the web interface is always available and will just update the remote the next time I connect it (at home).

    You are correct that the tactile feedback of the buttons is a concern. That's the one issue I have with this remote. The buttons are a bit too jelly-bean for my liking, but it's something that I'm willing to overlook due to the functionality of the unit and the excellent blue backlighting.

    By the way, in my own checking, provantage.com had the best pricing of anyone (which is surprising, since they're an authorized dealer).
     
  6. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    thx clayton for the additional info.

    i can get this thing for about a hundred bucks ... so i may end up giving it a shot. i can always return it so i'm not really taking a chance.

    the feel of the buttons is kinda important, but if this remote just blows me away, then i'm sure i can live with it.

    thx again all,

    ted
     
  7. MikeSRC

    MikeSRC Second Unit

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    Actually, they're not. See the list of authorized online dealers here.

    Harmony will only provide warranties for their remotes if purchased from an authorized dealer, so be careful about where you buy. There have been a number of units that have had backlights go out in a few days.

    The 659 is easier for the whole family to use, but if you're someone who needs more than activity macros or accesses secondary commands (ie: surround sound settings), they're more easily accessed with the MX-500, which displays 10 LCD buttons at a time instead of four. Also, you can't rearrange how the LCD-labeled commads are displayed on the 659.
     
  8. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Mike, I have successfully arranged the LCD-labeled commands under the activities on my SST-659. I have not tried this with the actual device menus, since I control everything from the activity screens.

    As for the feel of the buttons, they are not as tight as other remotes I've used, but they are acceptable, IMO. The remote is nice and light and easy to handle. Some Tivo users have complained about the location of the transport buttons. Since I do not own a Tivo, I cannot really comment on that issue. Harmony does have a new model coming out this spring that is supposed to address this issue, though.
     
  9. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    I use the 659 and I also set one up for my aunt and uncle. My wife thinks it's great and so do my aunt and uncle.
     
  10. AlexanderS

    AlexanderS Second Unit

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    Too many people are bitching about the transport buttons. If you use the remote for more than 2 days you get used to it. If its really that much of a problem you could always map them to the lcd screen or to other buttons.
     
  11. MikeSRC

    MikeSRC Second Unit

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    I agree, but then I've heard a number of complaints about having to use LCD buttons on an MX-700 for chapter skip and having to reach those extra 2 inches to access them. There's no configuration that will please everyone.
     
  12. Clayton Jr

    Clayton Jr Extra

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    My apologies.

    I'm certain that Provantage was on the list of authorized dealers when I purchased mine. It's the only way I would have heard about this place. I made sure to purchase from an authorized place due to Harmony's warranty policy.
     

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