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Harmony Ultimate w/Harmony Hub
New universal remote controls from Logitech

Logitech’s Harmony line of universal remote controls are some of the most popular on the market and make it [relatively] easy to control complicated home theater systems with the push of a single button. Logitech has added two new universal remote control products to its lineup including the Harmony Ultimate and the Harmony Smart Control.

Both of those products use the new Logitech Harmony Hub and support the Harmony Smartphone App. The universal remote control system allows users to control components behind closed doors and allows built-in support for game consoles from a smartphone or universal remote.
The Harmony Hub also allows users to control the Philips Hue LED light bulb. That means using the Harmony Ultimate remote control you can change the brightness and color of the Philips light bulb at the press of a button.

“We’ve elevated the universal remote to the next level, taking a personalized approach to home entertainment,” said Joerg Tewes vice president of Logitech’s digital home business group at Logitech. “Furthermore, our Harmony product line is no longer just about entertainment access – we’ve designed the Logitech Harmony Ultimate so you can also control your home’s lighting. Now you can tune the TV, start a movie and adjust your lights to set the mood, with the touch of your finger.”

Logitech says that both the Ultimate and the Smart Control are compatible with more than 225,000 home entertainment devices and 5,000 different brands. The remote controls will even work with the PS3 thanks to the Bluetooth wireless technology integrated into the Harmony Hub. The Harmony Ultimate can control up to 15 different devices and has a 2.4-inch color touchscreen.

The Harmony Ultimate is expected to launch this month for $349.99. The Smart Control will be available for $129.99.

Source: Logitech

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phone/ipod war
By daboom06 on 4/16/2013 10:05:00 AM , Rating: 2
is it just me or is this a weird really late version of the ipod/phone war from ten years ago? people didn't know whether the phone would turn into an ipod or if the ipod would become a phone.

except the 'smart' tv remote is 10 years late and smartphones can now be the best tv remote you will ever find. (galaxy s4 and htc one have ir emitters). the smartphone will become the tv remote.

putting an os on a phone is dumb now.

RE: phone/ipod war
By DanNeely on 4/16/2013 11:03:54 AM , Rating: 2
That's 2 phones out of the dozens on the market today. Convergence will probably happen eventually; but it's not here yet.

Even then though, when you have guests would you rather give them your phone or a dedicated remote? Using their phone would require first teaching it what every device hooked to your TV is and which input it's attached to is. Until all your video devices advertise themselves this is going to be a PITA.

Lastly the remote wars will get an order of magnitude worse when every one of the idiots feuding over what to watch has a remote of their own.

RE: phone/ipod war
By karimtemple on 4/16/2013 11:19:48 AM , Rating: 2
What would make a lot more sense is to simply improve HDMI-CEC. I can already turn on my Sony PS3 and Harman Kardon receiver by simply turning on my Panasonic TV, and control all three devices with the Panasonic TV remote. All CEC needs is a little cleaning up, a little more depth, and a little more simplification.

RE: phone/ipod war
By Mitch101 on 4/16/2013 1:22:11 PM , Rating: 2
I think all remotes should be RF based instead of line of sight or even blutooth where you pair them up. Having to aim the remote seems like dated tech today.

RE: phone/ipod war
By karimtemple on 4/16/2013 1:49:01 PM , Rating: 2
You'll always have line-of-sight when it comes to television; it's kind of the point of putting the television wherever it is that you put it. You don't want every little device polluting your RF signal space -- things are bad enough as it is. A stronger CEC platform is a far more efficient solution.

RE: phone/ipod war
By Mitch101 on 4/17/2013 4:31:03 PM , Rating: 2
I have a projector the line of sight is both in front and in back of me. I use an IR repeater now and it works for the most part on some occasions I have to click devices to turn on the projector because it wasn't aimed right.

This is easily solved by making remotes RF or have them paired like an X-Box controller but Ill take CEC with RF.

I also have a long run which HDMI doesnt work well in long runs so I use component video its still 1080P but I lose deep color. No biggie.

RE: phone/ipod war
By karimtemple on 4/18/2013 8:15:47 AM , Rating: 2
Well, yeah, projectors should all have RF in the first place. To me, TV is different from that.

RE: phone/ipod war
By Gurthang on 4/16/2013 2:11:27 PM , Rating: 2
While I agree HDMI-CEC is nice.. the other trend is that we are hooking up more and more of these devices directly to our home networks these networked things should all support control via some simple web gateway and centralized status and control via some built in webservice.

RE: phone/ipod war
By karimtemple on 4/16/2013 2:24:26 PM , Rating: 2
Far easier said than done; networking is a very different and complex beast. It's also a bit much to expect. If something is on your television, it's necessarily connected to your television, and CEC is much simpler to implement and maintain by comparison to network anything. Having a network control standard would be nice, but in the end it's no substitute for simply pressing a button -- whatever the device is, it's already plugged in !

By The Imir of Groofunkistan on 4/16/2013 11:37:11 AM , Rating: 2
great, except not everyone in my household has a phone. So, unless I'm willing to permanently leave a phone in the living room, phones that control the tv are just a novelty.

RE: phone/ipod war
By jibz on 4/16/2013 11:48:11 AM , Rating: 3
1) You don't have kids, do you? Or are you buying a galaxy S4 for your 8 y.o. son?
2) The difference between a normal remote and an harmony is that the latter remember the state of your equipment (i.e. what's on, what's off, what input your tv is showing, etc.) Independent phones don't have that information. That's exactly what the hub does. Keep that information so you can use different smartphones, remotes, tablets, whatever to control everything. So you control activities (watching TV, watching a DVD, etc.), and not devices.
3) The ease of setup-ing everything with the harmony software cannot be overstated. No looking up codes, no finagling. What's the brand, what's the model number, boom, it works.

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