[ad#Logitech Harmony 650]Over recent years, I have experimented with various brands of multifunction remote controls to handle our home theatre and flatscreen PVR setup. Only the Logitech Harmony 650 has really met the challenge.
Our system setup is not that different than most, although we may have some slightly unusual components: Bell ExpressVu 9200 PVR, NAD L73 Home Theatre System, RCA 5 Disc DVD player and LG 42LG55 Flatscreen/monitor. We also have an MVIX MX 760HD multimedia player but I do not expect many multifunction remotes to handle this one unless they have a learning feature. Until recently, the remote which came with our NAD Amplifier/DVD Player, the HTR L73, worked with all components because it is able to learn (not always 100% correctly) from other system remotes. However, all of a sudden, the remote developed a mind of its own and would only respond when it felt like it and seemed to block out certain functions with regularity. A replacement unit is almost $100 and I was not inclined to fork over this kind of money.
On a recent trip to France, I came across the Logitech Harmony 700 remote control (at my daughter and son-in-law’s home). It seemed easy to set up and use but I gave it no further thought until I saw a Logitech Harmony 650 for sale at a good price. The only difference between the two models is that the 650 controls up to five devices where the 700 can control 6. Since I was only intending to hook up 4 devices, the 650 seemed more than sufficient for my needs.
Set-up and installation
One of the great things about the Logitech Harmony remote controls is that you can check their compatibility with all your system components online before you purchase a particular model. I was therefore able to verify ahead of time that all my devices were compatible. Complete setup of the device also takes place online after downloading a piece of software from the Logitech site onto your computer. The process went smoothly and quickly and after just a few minutes, the Harmony 650 was fully programmed for my devices.
A good test of the utility and ease of use of any electronic equipment is whether Dorothy, my wife, is able to easily master its use. We have been using the Harmony 650 for almost a month now and although she has not used many of the functions, she is able to control the pvr and television without problems. The LCD is a great help since it always indicates which device is currently being controlled.
PROS: Easy to set up and use. Has an extremely large on-line database of supported devices. You can easily switch to support new or upgraded components
CONS: Relatively expensive
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Overall, I can heartily recommend the Logitech Harmony series of remote controls and especially the 650 and 700 both of which I have personally used. You can use the following link to see the best selection of Logitech Remotes at discounted prices