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Ralfi

Logitech Harmony Smart Control Impressions/review

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Love this thing so much, thought i'd put a review out there............


Components

  • Panasonic TV
  • Sony PS3
  • Foxtel IQHD
  • Yamaha AVR


Activities

  • "Watch Foxtel" [Foxtel - satellite - tuner]
  • "Play PS3/Blu-ray"
  • "Watch TV (FTA HD)" [TV tuner]
  • "Listen to Music (Streaming)"
  • "Listen to Music (Tuner)"


Setup...
HUB placement: All devices bar the TV (rarely worked) responded to the HUB. So the IR Booster was needed....

http://imgur.com/qXu9g84

IR Booster placement: TV responds every time with the Booster placed just beneath/in front of the TV....

http://imgur.com/Le3PGyo

HT components...

http://imgur.com/LO2KnP9

Remote...Great little thing - thin, well laid out & has a grippy, beach-pebble-like feel on the underside & lower front section, as seen below....

http://imgur.com/9xPEWBb

This is Harmony's 'low-end' Bluetooth-supported Universal Remote. Though not cheap (RRP $180, but should be found for $120-$130 at many retailers), it is what those with a similar setup to mine want.

Mine is not the most complex, nor the most straight-forward home theatre setup - due to the Foxtel satellite service, to access HD Free-to-Air channels, there's a need to switch to the TV's tuner. SD Free-to-Air channels are then accessed via the Foxtel IQHD tuner. & then there's the switch to/from the PS3.

The Harmony Smart Control (HSC) handles all input/device switches easily & fast enough, turning on/off all relevant devices, whether they be IR or Bluetooth...every time, anywhere in the house (WiFi) or abroad (Cellular) - I didn't realise this last feature; due to the HSC syncing via Harmony servers, it allows you to - via the internet - turn any Activity on/off whilst away from home.

So it works - one remote to turn all required devices on & off....no worries there.

But the added benefits are in the configurable settings; You can add commands to the remaining unused remote buttons. For eg. To access Subtitles before, I had to use the PS3 controller & press 6 buttons to get to them. Now, 1 button does the job.

You can adjust the order at which components turn on, the time it takes for them to respond to on/off commands, edit button layouts in the App, add/edit gestures within the App (1 or 2 finger gestures supported) add favourite channels/logos (FTA & Foxtel) to the App..See below...

Foxtel screenshot (iPad)...

http://imgur.com/fND3tRb

FTA Screenshot (iPad)...

http://imgur.com/f8ZrbyO

Foxtel Screenshot (iPhone 6S)...

http://imgur.com/jGA047S

Music streaming is also user-friendly - I use Apples Music App/Spotify/Apple Music all via Apple AirPlay...& controlling the pause/play/next/previous/volume etc. of the music via either HSC remotes is too easy...as it should be.

In summary, it's a brilliant thing. I'm using the supplied remote mostly, but the more I customise the App (like being able to leave the phone on in a dimmed state whilst the App is running, preventing need to unlock the phone), the more appealing it becomes. Having the option there is what you want though - to use the physical remote or App on phone/tablet.

Most reviews online state it takes awhile to set up....I didn't think it was too bad. Maybe an hour to 1:20 for initial setup (to get the basic Devices & Activities registered). Add another hour to tweak things to how you want & it's pretty much set.

It can take a bit to navigate the menus to find that setting you want to change, mainly due to there being so much you can do within the software. But after using it more often, you become familiar with the GUI.

3 remotes & 1 games controller now become 1.

9/10.

Edited by Ralfi

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Spotted this for ~$77 at Dick Smith a couple of days ago. Bargain!

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Agree this is a great remote. I got the next model up for the programmable buttons (i.e. LCD touch screen). (NB The Elite is just a waste of extra dosh IMO)

The only quibble I've had is the popular hard buttons (rew, play stop) are placed a little awkwardly at the top of the remote. Also never use the gestures FWIW.

The remote handles all the syncing and FW updates effortlessly. You can tweak it using the remote or use the very good online software (either way changes are wirelessly transmitted)

On the specific issue of the TV requiring a blaster, I've set all my equipment up in closed cabinets and use the RF. For the TV I specified to use the remotes IR and just point it direct when I want to turn it off/on (all other functionality is run by the units plugged in).

Sequence programming is powerful and easy. Price is great and if I ever break my remote I know I can grab another one and download my complete setup to it in two minutes.

gallery-1.png

Regards

Peter Gillespie

Edited by pgdownload

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I use both the one you reviewed as a simple remote for TV etc in conjunction with the more featured harmony ultimate for more complicated tasks and to control more equipment all through the same wifi hub.

JDH

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Dick Smith have these for $39!!

If you're lucky enough to find them at your local store...

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I love them also. I have the elite in my HT room when it used to come bundled with the hub. I have all my gear in a seperate room and it works 95% with the bonus that the remote can control the Sony PJ in the room with me. Just bought the harmony home same remote as ralfi so I can get the hub, however I am having some annoying problems with tn app where it takes a long time to r connect and the hard remote seems to rarely work..

May be faulty, fixed the PVR problem by making it the first unit to start..still experimenting.

HT - Foxtel, PS3, Yamaha avr, Sony PJ, WD Tv, Sony blue ray.

I have found most of my problems in initial setup was the order of when the gear turns on. I have also noticed the amp on and off control when using the macros can cause some grief with sound. Ie if I switch on the system and the AVR is already on, I get picture and no sound. I fix this by turning off the amp and then using the remote to turn it back on again.

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I am looking at getting the Harmony Elite, (I currently have the Ultimate  as pictured 5 posts above) with the Elite does it work between walls RF I believe, if so I am concerned that it will also start up the television in the bedroom at the same time (both TV's Lounge & Bedroom) are Sony and are on the same frequency for remotes).

 

Will it create havoc with the TV in the other room?

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2 hours ago, robertr said:

I am looking at getting the Harmony Elite, (I currently have the Ultimate  as pictured 5 posts above) with the Elite does it work between walls RF I believe, if so I am concerned that it will also start up the television in the bedroom at the same time (both TV's Lounge & Bedroom) are Sony and are on the same frequency for remotes).

 

Will it create havoc with the TV in the other room?

Hang on, the Harmony Ultimate has RF and a hub just like the Harmony Elite so you should know if it's going to be a problem now seeing as though you think you have a Harmony Ultimate, perhaps you have the Harmony Ultimate One which is not the same thing.

For what it's worth I don't think it will be a problem just as long as you position the IR emitter blasters that attach to the hub only in one room.

Edited by Satanica

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Yes I have the harmony ultimate one apologies for the misinformation.

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