Did your universal remote control bite the dust? Do you have the typical mountain of remotes cluttering up your coffee table? Then this review/guide is for you. I had a difficult time finding a full review for universal remotes online when I needed one recently so decided to do one myself to help others in the same situation.
Universal Remotes have come and gone from my coffee table over the years. From the very basic preprogrammed variety where you punch in codes while blindly hoping they work properly only to find you need to go through the full list of codes provided on the back of a tiny user manual (sometimes printed in Chinese!) that seems to never end, only to find out this new purchase won’t work with your TV!
Recently I found, on sale, the Logitech Harmony 650 universal remote. This would be my first Harmony remote. In the past I’ve owned the URC WR7 and Philips SRP5107/27. All worked “OK,” however there always seemed to be a few buttons that didn’t program properly or were missing altogether, or the buttons stopped working after a year as with the Philips.
The Logitech Harmony 650 universal remote replaces up to 5 other remotes. With its bright color LCD screen you can program your favorite channerl icons plus commands for easy navigation. Included with the remote is a USB cable that connects to your computer/laptop for simple programming. The frequently updated online database supports more than 225,000 devices which means it’s compatible with the devices you own now and those that you purchase in the future.
- Replaces up to 5 other remotes, reducing complexity and clutter in your living room
- Supports 5000+ brands, including devices you own today and add tomorrow
- Simple online setup using your PC, live customer support available
- Bright color screen shows your favorite-channel icons plus commands for easy navigation
- One-click activity buttons like “Watch a DVD” automatically switch the right devices to the right settings
Before setting up the remote, I suggest getting a pen/paper and write down the various manufacture/model numbers of the equipment you’d like to control. Once you connect the remote to your computer/laptop, simply navigate to http://www.myharmony.com and set up and account if you don’t already have one. Installing the software is quick and simple and links through your browser walking you through a quick setup.
The software’s interface is pretty intuitive and you simply enter the information you’ve written down as it guides you with various questions. You will be selecting each device you own and what you use it for. For example, to watch cable or satellite TV you may use your TV and cable/satellite box both. To watch a movie you may use your DVD/Bluray player along with your TV. You can also tell the software that you also use your receiver or other stereo components for the sound for any of the uses it asked you about. You can program any button to do anything you want, or if it doesn’t work properly the first time, this remote can “learn” any command. The guide online will guide you through the process. No more guessing games. When you are done, just push the “Sync Now” button and the remote is programmed for you.
Ease of Use:
Using the remote is really straightforward and anyone in your home should have no problem. You start off by using the “Activity” buttons such as watch TV, watch a movie, or listen to music. You can also program additional activities or rename them as needed. I’ve added “Watch Roku” for my internet streaming. The remote’s backlit buttons and LCD screen light up when you pick it up which is great when you don’t have all the lights on in the room. When you push an “Activity” button you simply aim the remote towards the equipment you’re using and it will turn on each one and if needed set the appropriate inputs. One neat feature is when you change to a new activity. The remote remembers which devices are on and their settings, so it will turn off the equipment not needed and turn on the others and set their inputs as needed. If you happen to manually turn something off or on without the remote, the LCD screen reminds you and guides you to “re-sync”.
The remote is lightweight, yet with a solid build quality. Buttons feel well-made and there is a distinct “click” when pressed. You can’t hear it but rather feel it. I’ve been using the remote for awhile now and have had to make only minimal adjustments. I changed some commands on the LCD screen and added a few duplicate commands on a few buttons to make it even easier to use. This type of customization can be really helpful and is what sets it apart from others on the market.
Battery life is so important these days. This remote lasts for months on just two AA batteries giving it high marks by most reviewers, myself included.
The Logitech Harmony 650 will suit the vast majority however, if you need to control more than 5 devices there is the Logitech Harmony Touch or Logitech Harmony One which will control 15 devices. The Logitech Harmony 900 adds RF frequencies to the 15 devices it controls for even more compatibility. I don’t recommend the lower models due to the lack of an LCD screen. I’ve found this bright color LCD screen really helpful for the odd command I needed to quickly see/find.
Where can I buy the Logitech Harmony 650?
Getting the best price tip! You can add an item to your cart on Amazon at any time and don’t have to purchase right away. Each time you visit your cart Amazon will note at the top any pricing changes. Your own personalized price-tracking tool. Makes it much easier to track what you want to buy later.
You can buy the Logitech Harmony 650 on Amazon. Currently they have free shipping available and from what I can tell, the best deal when compared to other online stores, especially considering the free shipping. Click here to view on Amazon
Looking for the Logitech Harmony Touch? Amazon also appears to have the best deal for this remote. Click here to view on Amazon
Logitech Harmony One: Click here to view on Amazon
Logitech Harmony 900: Click here to view on Amazon
If you’re looking for more information or have any questions please use the “Contact” form at the top of this page or check out a really helpful community over at AVS Forum