I recently picked up the new Harmony 1100 Universal Remote to replace my very tired Philips Pronto RU890. The Pronto is very powerful but took weeks to program satisfactorily and I dreaded having to reprogram it if I found an error in a sequence of IR codes or I replaced a home entertainment component. Part of the dread was due to the Windows only software and part to the old serial port which required something like a Keyspan USB-Serial adaptor to connect with – the whole process was hit and miss…
Enter the Harmony 1100. It includes a charging stand, software CD, Getting Started manual and a USB cable. It’s got a nice touch-sensitive colour screen and some hard buttons for things like channel up & down, volume up & down, power off etc. Built-in is a motion-detector so it wakes up when removed from the charger.
The software on the CD is for Windows and Apple. Once you’ve told it the devices in your home entertainment set-up the software talks to the Logitech web site and downloads the infra-red codes for your devices. Since Logitech hold details of something like 225,000 devices, there’s a good chance your component will be listed.
The software then asks you how your devices are connected together e.g. is the Sky box connected to the TV’s SCART, AV1, AV2, HDMI1 or HDMI2? Then it’s simply a case of building “activities” such as “watch TV” or “watch DVD” which the remote runs on demand. Your configuration is saved to the Logitech website so it can be reloaded if you replace the remote.
I’ve got eight components in my home entertainment system and it took me about two hours to get the remote programmed correctly. That included downloading and installing custom TV channel icons (from iconharmony.com), tweaking a couple of settings and adding one or two extra icons to the device screens. So far I’m very pleased with it.