The Harmony Line of Universal remote controls are perhaps the most advanced remote controls available. Over the last couple of years, consumers have developed a fondness for these remotes, thanks largely to thier simplicity, as well as effectiveness. The brand was originally developed by Canada’s Intrigue Technologies, but was later purchased by Logitech. Starting with the Harmony 880, Logitech began designing these remotes exclusively, which has since featured color screens, built-in rechargeable batteries, and docking stations.
Universal Remotes can be programmed to operate various brands of one or more types of electronics devices. But, because programming is not always easy, it is usually left up to tech minded people.
Harmony remotes’ simplicity come from their being able to be programmed through the web. Plug it into a computer and tell the web-based application what device to program. It also allows the set up of “Activities“, which are steps the remote takes to do certain tasks, like “Watch DVD,” “Watch TV,” or “Play Xbox”. While other universal remotes work by pressing a button to switch to, say for instance, a DVD player, on a Harmony remote, just press the “Watch DVD” activity and everything else is done for you.
This task-based approach is what makes harmony remotes so popular. They have offered this sort of one-touch functionality for years now, updating their product line with new designs, color screens, and even big touch-screen remotes that look more like a PDA.
Tips on selecting the right remote for your needs
Know your budget. If you can only afford a remote that is less than that of the suggested retail price, opt for a less featured model. Harmony remotes come in about 8 different models, and there is one for every budget.
Determine how many devices you want to control. If you have more than six devices , don’t get a remote that only controls five. Harmony remotes are able to replace many infrared-based remotes, including, for example, those for ceiling fans, and light switches.
Decide if you need RF control capability. Control compatibility refers to either infrared (IR) or radio frequencies (RF). Most devices use IR control, which requires line of sight to the product’s remote receiver. If you want to hide your device in a cabinet, for instance, you can invest in a more pricey RF model. Some models include RF-to-IR converter devices called “blasters”. These accessories convert the radio commands and are placed near the receiving devices.
Some Harmony remotes come with docking stations, but if you want to save money, you can purchase your own rechargeable batteries.
Paying over a hundred dollars for a universal remote may sound like a lot, but the Harmony models contain many features that make them a great investment and well worth their purchase price.