Harmony Remotes

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Mike Boniferro, Oct 24, 2003.

  1. Mike Boniferro

    Mike Boniferro Second Unit

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    Has anyone ever tried these remotes?
    I just purchased the Harmony SST-659 and I gotta say, this thing is amazing.
    You hook it up to a USB cable as soon as you take it out of the box and you're instantly connected with the Harmony website. From there, you quickly register a user name and then get to work.
    First you punch in brands and model #'s of ALL your components, then it asks you a bunch of questions such as 'when you are watching your satellite receiver, what do you use to control the volume' and 'what input does your TV have to be on' and the same for receiver. Since you've already told it what type of receiver and TV you've got, it has a list of EXACTLY what inputs they have.
    WAF is amazing on this thing. All you have to do is press the 'watch a movie' button and you've got you're entire system turned on and switched to the proper inputs without ever programming a macro. It also remembers what is turned on and what is turned off (always synched) so that you can just press 'watch tv' and it will simply turn off the DVD player, turn on the sat receiver, then switch receiver and TV inputs for you.

    There is a ton of customizable stuff you can do with it as well after you have the initial setup. I'll comment more on that once I've played with it some more!

    BTW, the website is www.harmonyremote.com
     
  2. Phil Levy

    Phil Levy Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm going to buy a 659 this week. It's relatively sleek size appeals to me much more than say, an MX500. I'm especially happy that Harmony is a Canadian company [​IMG].
     
  3. Mike Boniferro

    Mike Boniferro Second Unit

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    yah based right out of Mississauga [​IMG]

    a couple more things to add... customer service!!!
    I happened to get one with a backlight display that didn't work, so I emailed them at about midnight the night I bought it. The next morning they emailed me back by 10:00a and asked for my shipped address and if I could get it to them by 4:00p they would send my new remote. I received my remote first thing the next morning on a Fedex truck. These guys stand behind their product. The other nice thing, I didn't have to reprogram everything... I would have had to just connect it to the website and download my preferences again (which I didn't have to do as they did it for me before shipping it!!)

    And yes, the remote is very sleek and intuitive to use. All the normal buttons you would expect, and for any that it doesn't have (say page up and down for my HD box's channel guide or Pic Size/Stretch mode for my TV) you can put them on the lcd screen. On the website is just about every code you could imagine for any product. What's better, if they don't have the IR signal you need, you can learn it to the remote and in doing so you have uploaded it to the website so their database now has that code!!

    And another thing about what I mentioned up top with not needing macros and it remembers what is on, you are probably thinking 'well what if someone walks in front of the remote and it doesn't turn my tv on' or 'what if I turn my dvd player on so the remote doesn't know'. Well, up in the top right corner there is a 'help' button. If you press that button after you've selected an activity and something didn't synch properly, help will quickly ask you 'is your tv on, is your dvd player on, is your receiver on, is your tv on input 4, is your receiver on input DVD' and by answering those questions you've just got them working together again.

    Truly genious [​IMG]
     
  4. Chris Chang

    Chris Chang Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow! That is very, very cool. I might have to consider this over the MX500. I just watched the tutorial and it seems like it's very easy to use. Hmmm...hard to decide.
     
  5. Mike Boniferro

    Mike Boniferro Second Unit

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    lol, INCREDIBLY easy to use.
    When I told my wife how much we were spending on a remote, she asked if I was f**ken crazy... so I told her she could try it for a week and we would return it if she didnt like it... now she swears she'd pay twice this for it [​IMG]
     
  6. Chris Chang

    Chris Chang Stunt Coordinator

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    The only thing I don't see are chapter skip buttons. Are those just programmed into the lcd?
     
  7. Mike Boniferro

    Mike Boniferro Second Unit

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    Yep, they are automatically there. Or you could set it up so that the channel +/- buttons do chapter skips when you are in the 'watch a dvd' activity.
     
  8. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    hi guys!

    I have 2 of these, brand new / never out of the box.

    Let me know if you want one, $150 plus 8 to ship in the continental USA. I can ship to Canada also but would have to calculate the shipping cost.

    Email, [email protected] if wanting one. I could ship on Monday.

    Regards

    Gregg Loewen
    www.lionav.com
     
  9. MikeSRC

    MikeSRC Second Unit

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    This does not apply to the ones Gregg has for sale, but for those who are considering purchasing a Harmony from an internet dealer, please be aware that Harmony will not provide a warranty if you buy online from other than an authorized dealer. You can check out their policy here. The list of authorized resellers can be found here.
     
  10. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    wow, I just checked at the Canadian site, I actually have the SST 768 remotes, which sell for $449 CDN ( about 300 USD ). I am selling the 2 I have for $150 plus shipping each (USD). If not sold soon Ill put them on ebay ($$$).

    Email if interested, I accept paypal and can mail on Monday.

    Regards

    Gregg

    remote link
     
  11. Mike Boniferro

    Mike Boniferro Second Unit

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    Gregg, any particular reason you are selling them?
    Just curious if you had a chance to try one out and what you thought about it [​IMG]
     
  12. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    After a lot of research, I pulled the trigger and ordered a Harmony SST-659 last night from SurfRemote.com ($147 shipped). I have been using a Marantz RC2000 MKII universal remote for the past four years, but it has become more cumbersome to use as I have added more video source components. While I can easily change from watching TV to DVD, OTA HDTV, Cable HDTV, etc. with a few button presses, my wife has no clue how any of this works on our setup.

    I considered a Pronto, but I did not feel like investing the time required to customize that type of device. Besides, I am really partial to hard button remotes.
     
  13. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    My Harmony SST-659 arrived yesterday. So far, I am impressed with the remote. It does take a little time to learn how to program the remote properly, though, since I am trying to duplicate all the functions I have setup over 4 years on my Marantz RC2000 to control a DVD player, DVD recorder, two external HDTV tuners, SACD changer, 16x9 TV, 7.1 receiver and MiniDV camcorder.

    The most obvious thing that I missed was that I need to customize each device's button in both the component area and in the activity area (if the device is assigned to an activity). I assumed it would pull the device's customization from its definition area to the activity, but that is not the case.

    So far, I have my DVD player, SACD changer, TV and the sound/picture functions setup. I still need to customize my remaining components.
     

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