1. Sign-up to become a member, and most of the ads you see will disappear. It only takes 30 seconds to sign up, so join the discussion today!
    Dismiss Notice

Logitech introduces HARMONY ELITE remote. The Most Powerful Harmony Remote Yet

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Ronald Epstein, Sep 16, 2015.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
    Owner

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 1997
    Messages:
    52,773
    Likes Received:
    8,610
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
    Hi Jeff!

    Saw your post this morning and I just didn't have time to respond.

    Chances are very good to excellent that a Logitech remote will solve all your woes.

    In most cases, every single button is supported one way or another when you add a particular manufacturer device.

    I'll give you an example...

    I added the Tivo Bolt. It has the ability to skip commercials, but you have to hit a very obscure button on the Tivo remote to do it.

    Lo' and behold, that button was automatically programmed into the coding when I brought it over to the Logitech Remote.

    There is also the ability to have the Logitech Remote "learn" commands by pointing the remotes at each other and designating what button on the Logitech remote you want to mimic the other remote.

    I really, really think that you'll be very happy with a Logitech. I have yet to see anyone who isn't.

    You know what? Buy it from Amazon or a store you can return it to. If it doesn't meet your expectations you have lost nothing.

    Keep us posted.
     
  2. Jeff S in NJ

    Jeff S in NJ Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2016
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    72
    Trophy Points:
    10
    Location:
    Northern NJ
    Real Name:
    Jeff Sumberg
    Considering there are a limited number of "fixed" buttons on this remote, and the labeling of them doesn't match every oddball function of other remotes (such as on my projector remote, there are dedicated buttons for "3D", "Lens Memory", "Picture Memory" and a "Netflix" button on my BD player remote)) I am assuming that virtual buttons appear on the LCD touchscreen for these things?

    Thanks for your reply.
     
  3. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
    Owner

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 1997
    Messages:
    52,773
    Likes Received:
    8,610
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
    Jeff,

    That is the "grey area" I am uncertain of. Every device is different. That is why it's hard to say.

    That is why I recommended buying it from a vendor that will accept returns.
     
  4. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,531
    Likes Received:
    3,316
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Catfisch Cinema
    Real Name:
    Dave
    The Harmony One, two generations old, could do almost everything. All the features that didn't map to the current activity (e.g. controlling TV, blu-ray, and receiver for "Movies") were available in the "Devices" mode. That took you out of the current activity and into a Device-specific mode. All the features were available via hard buttons or soft buttons. So to get into the TV menus to change the display settings or zoom mode could be done by Settings. In Devices mode, it was possible some features were missing. But generally I could find everything I needed for tweaking and controlling settings. But this is not the normal usage. This is for infrequent trips to change device-specific behaviors

    In normal activity mode, features are programmed to hard buttons and soft screens. Again, pretty much everything is available to associate and configure the remote. But, sometimes little features are missing.

    I assume the subsequent Elite and Ultimate have this as well.

    As Ron says, the only way to know for sure, for your particular needs, is to try it out.
     
  5. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
    Owner

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 1997
    Messages:
    52,773
    Likes Received:
    8,610
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
    I still have the old Harmony One that I gave to my Mother.

    Even that remote, as ancient as it is, adds extra device functions to its touch screen.
     
  6. Message #26 of 127 Apr 20, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016
    Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 1998
    Messages:
    14,574
    Likes Received:
    2,622
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Michigan
    Jeff, you may want to look at one of the less expensive Harmony remotes, as well. I have a Harmony 650 which cost under $70 that I use to control my TV, AV receiver, BD player, DVD player, Roku streaming device and cable box. Any IR command from your original remote that is not in the Harmony database for that device can be added manually by you.

    The only issue I have encountered is with the new Xfinity cable box we received from Comcast recently. While the box will receive IR signals as well as RF signals, the supplied remote communicates via RF only. There were two commands (PgUp and PgDn) which were not appearing in the Harmony database for the device I initially identified as the cable box (it's a Samsung model), and I could not add the command because the supplied remote was RF only. However, I was able to find another cable box defined in the database (something with Xfinity in the name) which had the commands.
     
  7. Jason Charlton

    Jason Charlton Ambassador

    Joined:
    May 16, 2002
    Messages:
    3,557
    Likes Received:
    421
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    Real Name:
    Jason Charlton
    Well, I finally bit the bullet and picked up a Harmony Elite from Amazon (it was on "sale" for $300).

    The Elite is replacing a Harmony 880 that I got secondhand from a former co-worker of mine. The 880 had performed admirably, but some of the buttons were starting to fail, and it was notoriously fidgety about requiring very precise placement in the cradle to initiate charging. In addition, some of the "paint" on the most commonly used buttons was starting to scratch off, resulting in incomprehensible "blobs" of backlighting that confused newbies on the purpose of certain buttons.

    In a nutshell (TL;DR): I LOVE the Harmony Elite - it works as well as advertised, and my biggest concern (the IR hub not being able to adequately relay signals to my devices) proved to be a non-issue.

    I love that you can differentiate between short and long presses for buttons on certain devices. I love the tactile feedback - much more subtle than my 880.

    HOWEVER, the setup process was NOT as simple as I had hoped it would be (and as Logitech would have you believe).

    In the end, I would wholeheartedly recommend the Elite to anyone who is looking to invest in a quality universal remote solution for their home theater. Yes, $300 is a lot to spend on a remote, but I am reasonably confident that this remote will last many, many years and will be able to provide support for everything I might add to my home theater in the meantime.

    The gritty details (for the morbidly curious): I had recently upgraded both my projector and my receiver. I knew a new remote was in the cards, so I never bothered to update the configuration for my 880 - I simply decided to live with multiple remotes for a couple of weeks.

    As per the suggested setup process, I installed the Harmony app on my Android phone and proceeded to use the phone to set up the hub, my devices, and activities.

    Honestly, I found this process to be really well thought out and intuitive to follow. My basement theater setup is not at all complex - projector, receiver, Blu-ray player, CD-player, Verizon DVR and some Lutron IR-based dimmers for the lights.

    The phone-based process connects the hub to my home Wifi network, identifies the devices used and the activities that I wanted to include. After all was done, I tapped "Sync" on my phone to transfer all the data to the remote.

    This is when the first problem surfaced. The activities transferred perfectly, and I could select any activity from the remote (Watch TV, for example) and everything would power on and all the inputs were set correctly... however, NONE of the device commands or button programming was enabled on the remote.

    All I could do was switch activities. I could do nothing once I was in an activity. Mobile device configuration FAIL.

    This is when I decided to download and install the desktop-based Harmony software. For the 880, I had used a (much older) version of the Harmony desktop software to configure the remote control. I literally, had not used the Harmony software for years, and in fact never even installed it on my new desktop computer. So when I went to log into my Harmony account, I was not the least bit surprised that I was notified that my existing device profile was for an older version of the software and (surprise, surprise) I needed to create a new profile for a newer device.

    This meant that I wouldn't be able to transfer my old configuration to the new remote, but then again, with the hardware updates I had made, I wasn't planning to anyway.

    After plugging n the remote to the computer using the supplied USB cable, I attempted a Sync. I was immediately alerted of a software update (that's odd, why didn't that happen when using the mobile app?), so I agreed and started the update/install/sync process.

    Naturally, it crashed 3/4ths of the way through the process. I closed everything, disconnected the remote, restarted the software and tried again. This time it worked and lo and behold the remote worked flawlessly!

    Once I had established that all the basic activity functions were working, I decided to add lighting control to the remote.

    My lights are not complex home-automation type lights. Just a simple Lutron Maestro IR-based remote controlled dimmer.

    Once again, trying to "teach" an IR command to the hub using the mobile application was a complete and utter failure. It never worked. I never got confirmation from the Hub that it had received the IR command.

    Teaching my lighting commands meant disconnecting the hub from the theater, and connecting it directly to my PC using the supplied USB cable. Once connected, teaching the commands worked as advertised. Since I wanted lighting control available for all activities, I associated the lighting commands with the one piece of gear that was associated with EVERY activity - the receiver.

    Now that everything is set up, this remote is a joy to use. I love that it's RF to the hub - so I don't have to worry about where it's pointing. The hub has had no problems relaying signals to devices two shelves above, or to the projector on the ceiling.

    Finally, a remote that can pass the "mother-in-law" test.

    Lessons Learned: Use the desktop application to sync your remote and to "teach" new IR commands to the system. Don't rely on the mobile app for setup and configuration.
     
  8. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,531
    Likes Received:
    3,316
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Catfisch Cinema
    Real Name:
    Dave
  9. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
    Owner

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 1997
    Messages:
    52,773
    Likes Received:
    8,610
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
    That's a great offer. Thanks, Dave.
     
  10. Kyrsten Brad

    Kyrsten Brad Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    Messages:
    2,124
    Likes Received:
    1,056
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Merritt Island, Florida
    Real Name:
    Brad
    New to this aspect of HTF but now I find my HT setup with 5 different remotes to fiddle with. So a Harmony remote may be in the cards in the not too distant future.
    First question, can the Harmony Elite be made to work with my new Sony 7200 region-free?

    Home lighting control sounds interesting too as I'm always fumbling to find the Blarsted switches in our condo.

    Advice welcome.
     
  11. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
    Owner

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 1997
    Messages:
    52,773
    Likes Received:
    8,610
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
    Ron here.

    Yes, you can use that Harmony with your Sony 7200 Region Free. Has codes already available for just about any device.

    I think you would be thrilled with the remote, Brad.
     
  12. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2001
    Messages:
    50,047
    Likes Received:
    13,438
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Rensselaer, NY
    Mike here.

    Brad: Harmony remotes simply rock.

    Once you've had one, you'll never do without one again. They can do anything that any of your current five remotes can do--and do it better. Fully programmable.

    And it's a challenge to find devices they are incompatible with.
     
  13. Race Bannon

    Race Bannon Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Messages:
    668
    Likes Received:
    487
    Trophy Points:
    610
    Real Name:
    Jay
    Has anyone used any Harmony remote to lower and raise their projector screen? I'm having some gremlins getting mine to trigger off a wire from either the projector or the processor. And I'm thinking about just not worrying about it and letting my eventual Harmony purchase lower the screen as part of an Activity program. (My activity is almost always the same -- turn everything on, or turn everything off).
     
  14. Race Bannon

    Race Bannon Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Messages:
    668
    Likes Received:
    487
    Trophy Points:
    610
    Real Name:
    Jay
    Oh, and I meant to add -- using the RF (radio frequency) remote for my screen, not IR.
     
  15. Race Bannon

    Race Bannon Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Messages:
    668
    Likes Received:
    487
    Trophy Points:
    610
    Real Name:
    Jay
    Any new buyers or updated thoughts? I'm getting pretty close to pulling the trigger on this.
     
  16. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
    Owner

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 1997
    Messages:
    52,773
    Likes Received:
    8,610
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
    Best remote of its kind out there, Jay.

    The only thing I would be concerned about is that it's nearing the cycle where Logitech announces a new remote. Whether that will actually happen or not is unknown.

    However, I wouldn't let that aspect stand in the way of you getting a remote that will serve you well.
     
  17. Race Bannon

    Race Bannon Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Messages:
    668
    Likes Received:
    487
    Trophy Points:
    610
    Real Name:
    Jay
    That's true. But maybe a price reduction for this one. My needs are fairly modest, but suprisingly Harmony is the only one that's put it all together in a robust package.

    I need the Hub (my rack is in another room, and has some old style IR components), and I need to power up a bunch of things, and I want the screen to come down with UHF (the low-voltage signal method is buggy). And I use a PS3 and a PS4 as blu-ray players (bluetooth).
     
  18. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
    Owner

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 1997
    Messages:
    52,773
    Likes Received:
    8,610
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
    Jay,

    This remote would be perfect for you. However, I am glad you brought up the PS3 and PS4. I don't use my game player much, but I do get a error message from the harmony remote about the PS3/PS4. Seems there is an incompatibility issue where you have to do a workaround with some of the commands. I don't think it's total incompatibility, just a workaround that needs to be done.

    I would Google "Harmony Elite PS3/PS4 compatibility" just to be sure. You'll get search results to other forums (including Logitech's forum) where you'll find out what is going on with that.

    In fact, if you want to report back, that would be great.
     
  19. Race Bannon

    Race Bannon Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Messages:
    668
    Likes Received:
    487
    Trophy Points:
    610
    Real Name:
    Jay
    Official Harmony guidance for both says that Sony does not permit any device but the game controller to turn on the machine -- after that Harmony can navigate menus and do anything.

    So that might be a good situation to almost always leave the PS3/PS4 on.
     
  20. Race Bannon

    Race Bannon Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Messages:
    668
    Likes Received:
    487
    Trophy Points:
    610
    Real Name:
    Jay
    Thinking about pulling the trigger on one soon. Any news or rumors about upcoming new models or deals? Any advice on how to purchase?
     

Share This Page