We have been selling and setting up Logitech Harmony remotes for 10 years in Canada, and were one of the first adopters of the remotes when they were new to market – both Harmony 880’s we use are still going strong; after a few battery replacements of course.
Of all the different models we have put in customers hands, the one feature that was never consistent was the option to control and playback the PVR functions for satellite and cable. The previous Harmony ONE and 900 models were close, but took a bit of programming to get the feature to work. Even then it was not the most intuitive for most customers and they would end up using their Bell or Rogers remote anyways. With the recent Fibe TV upgrades from Bell and new Rogers Nextbox system it was even more of a challenge to have a Harmony take care of all functions.
We believe the Harmony Ultimate Hub/Smart Control, Touch and Ultimate models have finally solved the PVR conundrum.
The PVR setup and operation across all models is a snap, and super-intuitive. Anyone can use a Harmony remote and the new models are no exception. The addition of a ‘DVR’ button is the final touch that the remotes badly needed, and mimics the PVR controls on most satellite and cables remotes after basic programming.
The Ultimate Hub and Smart Control are basically the same model, with the Hub being controlled by smartphone (newer touchscreen models), and the Smart Control includes a basic remote as a backup. The phone control looks good and adds a new dimension to the way people interact with their electronics. Most smartphone users are already exploring or using music streaming for their home theater, and are already using their home wifi – in other words, the phone has become a part of the system. Pairing the use of the phone as a controller is, in our opinion, long overdue and makes the most sense.
Both are RF capable, meaning they can control out of the way or hidden components. This is also great to eliminate the interference from wireless HDMI and Fibe boxes, as well as some interference created by plasma TV (mostly older models). Also, IR extenders and emitters are prone to the same type of intermittent problems. RF does away with all of that and we believe its for the best.
The Touch and Ultimate and also similar, with the Ultimate offering the RF control the Touch lacks. The 2.4” touch screens are tap-and-swipe, like a tablet, and are bright and responsive. Setting up common tasks like ‘Watch TV’ or ‘Record Video’ are just as simple to setup online as ever. For the price of the Ultimate it may scare the average consumer away, its a solid investment for now and in the future cause of its rugged build quality and ability to scale with your system.
We recommend all-in-one remotes to every single customer – don’t let the price of the remote be the only deciding factor. They are worth it for the money to make your complex system simple and easy to operate. No one wants to do the remote tap-dance from one remote to the next all the time.