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DaveF

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Mother-forking shirtballs!
Tgp GIF by The Good Place
 

DaveF

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I’ve been a universal remote user since about 1999. I’ve been a Harmony owner for probably 15+ years. I don’t want to live in a world without universal remotes. The cacophony of living with multiple garbage remotes like the AppleTV remote is too horrible to imagine.

I’m good for now. I’ve got my Harmony elite for the living room. And my URC MX-780 remains competent in the theater / hasn’t been worth the trade off to try and replace it with a Harmony.

But in a few years...what then? <shudders>
 

Scott Merryfield

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Well, that sucks. I have been using their remotes for many years. I just ordered another 665 model to have in case my current remote dies. Not sure what else is out there that can work seamlessly. I do have some cheap RCA remotes on the TV's in our South Carolina condo that can control both the TV and a Roku, but they will not work for a full-blown home theater setup.
 
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Ronald Epstein

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It's rather devastating news.

Logitech really carved out a niche in the remote market. Nobody was able to match their consumer-grade remotes.

Not quite sure why they suddenly abandoned making remotes.

Perhaps there was nowhere else to go. The last remote they made was the HARMONY EXPRESS. I had one. It was a voice-powered remote.

However, within a year of its release, Logitech informed their customers it was abandoning the remote and ended up sending every one of their customers a brand-new top-of-the-line Harmony Elite replacement.

Perhaps that was the first sign that something was wrong at Logitech.

Even if Logitech wasn't planning on evolving their remotes further, I have trouble understanding why they chose to abandon their entire line.

Has the market really changed that much where these remotes no longer sell? People still have multiple devices in their homes and these remotes do an excellent job of handling a component-filled entertainment center.
 

Ronald Epstein

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I’ve been a universal remote user since about 1999. I’ve been a Harmony owner for probably 15+ years. I don’t want to live in a world without universal remotes. The cacophony of living with multiple garbage remotes like the AppleTV remote is too horrible to imagine.

I’m good for now. I’ve got my Harmony elite for the living room. And my URC MX-780 remains competent in the theater / hasn’t been worth the trade off to try and replace it with a Harmony.

But in a few years...what then? <shudders>

Dave,

Prior to Harmony, I bought one of those expensive Universal Remotes that high-end Home Theater users were using. It cost me almost $1k.

Thing is, it was incredibly difficult to program. If I remember correctly, there was no software to walk you through the process. There was actual programming/coding that had to be done to pair these remotes to your equipment.

I, too, worry about what comes next when my current remotes no longer work. I suppose there will always be a company out there offering a Universal Remote, but it's going to be tough to match what Logitech has been offering.
 

DaveF

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Dave,

Prior to Harmony, I bought one of those expensive Universal Remotes that high-end Home Theater users were using. It cost me almost $1k.

Thing is, it was incredibly difficult to program. If I remember correctly, there was no software to walk you through the process. There was actual programming/coding that had to be done to pair these remotes to your equipment.

I, too, worry about what comes next when my current remotes no longer work. I suppose there will always be a company out there offering a Universal Remote, but it's going to be tough to match what Logitech has been offering.
The URC MXC-780 is a customer installer remote. It’s the low-end of the line, but it’s in that “$1000” class remotes. I got a copy of the software from the installer and have stumbled through learning the basics of programming. Thank goodness, because paying $100/hr for remote updates is not in my DNA.

And yes, so much harder than programming a Harmony. It has capabilities that aren’t in the Harmony. But also, for such an uber-system, it can’t control devices any better than Harmony and lacks commands that Harmony has (and vice versa).

And Harmony is a better designed physical artifact.

But we see the stagnation afflicting the remote market, because the URC line hasn’t been updated in five or ten years. I’ve looked at upgrading my 780, and all the remotes look like they’re from 2010 with a zillion hard buttons.

big_MX890.jpg
 

DaveF

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The Harmony Elite (the most recent, flagship remote from Harmony) is not great. It’s not as good as their sublime Harmony One. Battery life is lousy. The charger is fussier and harder to get the remote seated right. The button layout is worse and more confusing than the one. The touchscreen is both too sensitive easily tapped by accident ... but also often fails to register touches and requires two or three tries to start an Activity.

The WiFi programming system, done on iPad, is superior in every way to the old Logitech. That part is brilliant. Though it’s still hampered by Logitech’s Choose-Your-Adventure approach which makes it hard to find some more nuanced controls. But still, so much better than the old way of wired desktop programming.

But yeah, a decade later and their Elite big upgrade from the legacy One is not really better and in “you’ve got one job to do” ways, worse.
 

Johnny Angell

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This is news I did not expect to read this morning and it sucks. I guess the universal remote market has shrunk. If Logitech was making a good profit, this wouldn’t be happening. There’s a lot of upkeep just to keep already sold remotes working, not good for the bottom line. They say they’ll continue supporting the remote, but there’ll come a point when the support will cease.
 

Ronald Epstein

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Disney doesn't stop selling 3D Blu-rays if they are selling well.

Logitech doesn't pull out of the remote market if its products are selling well.

I suppose that's the ultimate issue. The market isn't what it once was. Perhaps it's due to the television becoming the primary source of entertainment, with its built-in smart app functions to access all the streaming channels, foregoing the need to use other devices.
 

DaveF

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The universal remotes are also getting hammered, I believe, by the proprietary Bluetooth and WiFi solutions like AppleTV remote or PlayStation / Xbox controllers. Harmony is still substantially limited to dumb, slow IR and can’t do all the commands that the newer, first-party remotes do.

There might be some hope for enthusiasts as more hardware is IP connected and there are app solutions for these products. So maybe in a few years there will be some reasonable alternatives.
 

Robert Crawford

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I see some bad mouthing about the Harmony Elite remote, but I love that remote. So much so that I have three of them in my household. The best universal remote I ever had and I'm sorry Logitech is abandoning this market.
 

Ronald Epstein

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I see some bad mouthing about the Harmony Elite remote, but I love that remote. So much so that I have three of them in my household. The best universal remote I ever had and I'm sorry Logitech is abandoning this market.

I have owned almost every iteration of the Harmony Remote since its onset. Now, granted, I had a relationship with Logitech as a reviewer but I also ended up buying quite a few out-of-pocket.

Have loved all of them. They worked exactly as expected. Never an issue. I would say that the only one of their remotes I was less enthusiastic about was the latest one, the HARMONY EXPRESS. While using voice commands was obviously a necessary part of their continued evolution, I thought the remote was kind of "wonky" at times. I always wrote about wanting a voice remote in my reviews, but when I finally had one in hand, I longed for the buttons.
 

DaveF

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The Elite is a great universal remote and I’m glad I bought it. I am also frustrated by design regressions from the One and its software bugs.
 

John Dirk

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I suppose that's the ultimate issue. The market isn't what it once was. Perhaps it's due to the television becoming the primary source of entertainment, with its built-in smart app functions to access all the streaming channels, foregoing the need to use other devices.

There might be some hope for enthusiasts as more hardware is IP connected and there are app solutions for these products. So maybe in a few years there will be some reasonable alternatives.

I had also heard rumblings of this some time ago so it actually comes as no surprise. I think the two statements above more or less explain Logitech's actions. Every controllable piece of hardware in my main system has its own dedicated app, including the new SVS subs I just purchased. Switching between them is just a couple of clicks and they work perfectly for common functions. For my smaller setups, the included TV remote is really all I need as the apps are built right into the set anyway.

I do still use Touchsquid [an app-based universal remote] as a consolidated interface for each device and to handle some basic macros but they also bowed out of the market years ago, so I'm on borrowed time with that solution. There's also the Roomie remote but I believe they are subscription-based.
 

Scott Merryfield

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I tried harmonys twice. They both sucked because there is no intelligence in the transport. If one thing fails to flip on the whole system is out of sync and gets f’ed. It’s easier for me to juggle 6 remotes.
That situation rarely happens to me... and if it does, the remote has a help function that can easily remedy the issue. I have been using universal remotes for approximately 30 years (with Harmony brands for the past 15+), and I couldn't imagine going back to doing the "remote control shuffle" with a coffee table full of remotes. My wife would really hate it, as the Harmony is so easy for her to use. She wouldn't have a clue on how to use multiple OEM remotes to control the home theater system in our family room.

Since universal remotes are most helpful with a full-blown home theater, which also means mostly with a system that includes an audio/video receiver as a central point, hopefully the AVR manufacturers step up their game and improve their remotes to better control an entire HT system. I would certainly lean heavily towards an AVR brand that does this well. Maybe Denon or Yamaha could even consider purchasing the Harmony remote technology from Logitech.
 

Ronald Epstein

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That situation rarely happens to me... and if it does, the remote has a help function that can easily remedy the issue. I have been using universal remotes for approximately 30 years (with Harmony brands for the past 15+), and I couldn't imagine going back to doing the "remote control shuffle" with a coffee table full of remotes. My wife would really hate it, as the Harmony is so easy for her to use. She wouldn't have a clue on how to use multiple OEM remotes to control the home theater system in our family room.

Since universal remotes are most helpful with a full-blown home theater, which also means mostly with a system that includes an audio/video receiver as a central point, hopefully the AVR manufacturers step up their game and improve their remotes to better control an entire HT system. I would certainly lean heavily towards an AVR brand that does this well. Maybe Denon or Yamaha could even consider purchasing the Harmony remote technology from Logitech.

Yup! The HELP button fixes everything
 

dpippel

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Sorry to hear this. Less choice is never a good thing. I've been a URC user for a long time (currently using the MX-880), but as has been mentioned they aren't targeted at the consumer market, are NOT easy to program, and the app that URC provides to do so looks and functions like it was written in the early '90s, which it probably was. Once you GET their remotes programmed though, operation is pretty much glitch-free. However, URC remotes are not a viable replacement for the products that Logitech makes. Logitech pretty much stands alone in the market they dominate.
 

Clinton McClure

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I tried harmonys twice. They both sucked because there is no intelligence in the transport. If one thing fails to flip on the whole system is out of sync and gets f’ed. It’s easier for me to juggle 6 remotes.
I had the same experience, Sam. Mine also ate batteries and I found I was replacing 4 AAA batteries every month. I used a Harmony remote for about a year before abandoning it and going back to using separate remotes for everything which works fine for me. This was over ten years ago and I never got the itch to try a universal remote since then.
 

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