Harmony 688 Question

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by SummyD, Oct 4, 2005.

  1. SummyD

    SummyD Stunt Coordinator

    Mar 18, 2005
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    I am thinking of buying this remote. Dumb question - the logitech website says that it (and other models) can control stereo receivers. Can they also control surround receiver functions, e.g. switching to DTS:ES, etc.? Do these have to be taught or is there a list of surround receivers from which you can select yours to download?

    Also, is there a cheaper Harmony model that'll be sufficient to control these components:

    1. Toshiba rear-proj tv (50H81)
    2. Onkyo 502 receiver
    3. Directv HR-10 TIVO receiver

    Thank you for your input.
  2. Jim Rakowiecki

    Jim Rakowiecki Stunt Coordinator

    Sep 2, 2003
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    Let me start by saying I have the 688 and have been very happy with both the remote and the support I have gotten from Harmony. The activity based functions make it very easy to use for every one who picks it up. My girlfriend was able to start using it immediately with very little instruction.
    It has been able to do everything I have asked it to do.
    It currently controls my entire system and yes there is some teaching or learnining involved with some functions but this is a pretty simple operation.
    I did have to teach it to handle the "mode" function on Denon reciever which switches from dts to dolby to auto etc...
    The more you ask it to do the more teaching you'll need to do but like I said this is not difficult it really amounts to pointing the original remote at the Hamrony and telling the Harmony which button it is going to use.
    The new 520 may get the job done for you at $100.00 but I know that there are authorized resellers offering the 688 for much less than MSRP.
    You may want to check this site. It covers all things remote and you will find lots of good advice.
  3. wally

    wally Second Unit

    Feb 12, 2001
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    SummyD>Can they also control surround receiver functions

    The 880 and 688 both have hard buttons to control DVRs. I have the 688 and it’s the coolest HT component I’ve seen in a long time. If you search around on this and other forums I believe you will find similar raves.

    I, and more importantly my wife, wouldn’t dream of having a HT without a Harmony Remote. I will be purchasing another when we upgrade the TV upstairs. Highly, highly recommended.
  4. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

    Aug 20, 2004
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    I have the Harmony 659. Harmony remotes are like DVRs - you can explain to someone how great they are, but until they actually use one, they don't understand exactly what you mean. Remember when you first discovered tivo? Getting a harmony will give you a similar rush. All of my remotes were stuck in a drawer after I got the Harmony. I pull them out now only when I am recalibrating one of my components and need to get into the lesser used menus.

    Instead of the 688 (no offense to Wally or Jim), you should look at the 676 or 680. They all can control any component you have. The difference is the button type and location. The common knock on the 688 is that it has flat buttons which make it a little harder to use by feel. The 676 and 680 have more discrete buttons. The difference between those two remotes is the location of the dvr buttons. Choose the layout that works better for you.

    I have and HD tivo as well and will probably get a 680. The 659 is ok for now, but the dvr buttons are split at the bottom and opposite the lcd screen. Oh, and buy the harmony from a place with a good return policy. They are great remotes but there seems to be too many that need to be replaced out of the box. If you have to ship it to harmony, you pay postage to Canada. Amazon has good prices, tho they fluctuate. Here's a pic of some of the different Harmony's:


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