Logitech Unveils New Harmony Ultimate and Smart Control Universal Remotes
April 16, 2013 9:33 AM
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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.
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Software makes the difference
4/16/2013 4:11:42 PM
Phones need an app for controlling entertainment systems - and usually several. My Galaxy Tab came with the Peel Smart remote, what a mess that is. It is more about presenting media (and letting you "share") than it is about being a remote control.
There is another app for controlling the Tivo (not a bad one either) and one more for the Media Center PC (Peel won't do that as yet). Then there's the matter of running out of power pretty much every other day.
The Harmony remotes are pretty good on the other hand, and control everything but the PS3 pretty well - but the software for setting them up really stinks. You have no way of sequencing commands or really just using the Harmony as a universal remote if that's what you want. It is pretty much designed to create services (watch TV, listen to Music) rather than just let you control your stuff. If only Logitech would deepen the setup software a little.
Either way not ideal. HDMI-CEC is a great idea, and right now the smart-remote is a better idea than the smart-phone-remote, but only barely.
"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation
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