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  1. #1
    Palmer is offline Administrator
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    Default Gear Review: Harmony ELITE Universal Remote

    We got our hands on the flagship Harmony ELITE remote which includes one backlit physical remote with a rechargeable battery, one Wi-Fi enabled Harmony Hub, two IR blasters so you can hide all your gear in a cabinet, and a free app for turning any iOS or Android device into an extra remote. It's not cheap at $349.99 (sale prices are lower), but it's an excellent remote with an ergonomical layout. Probably the best Harmony remote ever made. Hope you enjoy the read!

    http://hdgear.highdefdigest.com/3687...al_remote.html

  2. #2
    Josh Z's Avatar
    Josh Z is offline HDD Blogmaster General
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    I'm still using an old Harmony 880. I prefer a remote with a lot more physical buttons that I can easily feel and press in the dark without an LCD screen illuminating my whole room, and without needing to page through screen after screen of commands to find the one I want.
    Josh Z
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  3. #3
    Palmer is offline Administrator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post
    I'm still using an old Harmony 880. I prefer a remote with a lot more physical buttons that I can easily feel and press in the dark without an LCD screen illuminating my whole room, and without needing to page through screen after screen of commands to find the one I want.
    Oh, I used to have that one. Terrific bargain it was until it gave up the ghost. I enjoyed the Harmony One too because it had numerical buttons and a better touchscreen than the 880, but man oh man, once you don't have to hold the remote pointed at all your gear to either startup, shut down, or change devices, it'll change ya' life, brah. Also, I never loved the One's overall layout.

    That said, if your 880 dies, definitely check out the Harmony Companion (or whatever has replaced it that year); it's $200 cheaper than the ELITE, includes a remote with more physical buttons and the app interface. Cheers.

  4. #4
    Josh Z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Palmer View Post
    Oh, I used to have that one. Terrific bargain it was until it gave up the ghost. I enjoyed the Harmony One too because it had numerical buttons and a better touchscreen than the 880, but man oh man, once you don't have to hold the remote pointed at all your gear to either startup, shut down, or change devices, it'll change ya' life, brah. Also, I never loved the One's overall layout.

    That said, if your 880 dies, definitely check out the Harmony Companion (or whatever has replaced it that year); it's $200 cheaper than the ELITE, includes a remote with more physical buttons and the app interface. Cheers.
    One big problem with the 880 (and I'm currently on my third) is that the physical buttons often die early. Even on my current unit, the volume buttons died and I had to reprogram the Up and Down arrows to replace that function.

    I'm also not fond of the antiquated Setup Wizard software. I hope the newer models have improved that.
    Josh Z
    Writer/Editor, High-Def Digest (Blog updated daily!)
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    My opinions are strictly my own, and do not necessarily reflect those of this site, its owners or employees.

  5. #5
    Palmer is offline Administrator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post
    One big problem with the 880 (and I'm currently on my third) is that the physical buttons often die early. Even on my current unit, the volume buttons died and I had to reprogram the Up and Down arrows to replace that function.

    I'm also not fond of the antiquated Setup Wizard software. I hope the newer models have improved that.
    That's why I no-longer have the 880. And my Harmony One finally died after my brother spilled orange juice on it while visiting.

    And as for setup, I forget, does the 880 have access to MyHarmony? If yes, then I agree it's a little old, in terms of computer programs, but Logitech seems to be moving towards the Harmony app / mobile interface. You still need MyHarmony for complex commands (on the VIZIO P-Series, I had to call Logitech to have them add specific HDMI inputs, for example), mind you, but I rarely use it now. Cheers.

  6. #6
    Josh Z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Palmer View Post
    And as for setup, I forget, does the 880 have access to MyHarmony? If yes, then I agree it's a little old, in terms of computer programs,
    I think it's even older than that, and is just called Harmony Remote Software. It looks like this:



    (Not my screenshot. Just something found on Google.)
    Josh Z
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    My opinions are strictly my own, and do not necessarily reflect those of this site, its owners or employees.

  7. #7
    AndersT2 is offline Member
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    How is the battery life? I had the Harmony One which had touch screen and great battery life. I currently have the Harmony Touch which I have to recharge every 3 days with heavy use, and every 5-6 days with normal use. The One I only had to charge every 3-4 weeks.

    When the Elite only uses Wifi for signals, it has to drain the battery fast.

    I did prefer the old remote software over the new MyHarmony. There where a few more options in it. If you need it, and find it. Keep the install file somewhere safe, it sometimes can be hard to find on Logitechs sites, and I don't think it will be easier to get as the years go by.
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  8. #8
    Palmer is offline Administrator
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    I place mine the cradle overnight every two to four days depending on how much I've used it. Though this is much different than quite simple remotes, I thought of it more like having a smartphone or a tablet. In that sense, I found battery life to be quite good and similar to my experience with the Harmony One.

  9. #9
    Beerstalker is offline Member
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    I'm a big fan of Harmony remotes, but their new stuff is losing me. I liked the 880, but as others have said the buttons tended to wear out, and the charging base was a bit of a pain sometimes (even after the update). I have retired all of mine now.

    The Harmony one has a great layout, but I don't like the touchscreen. Like mentioned in the review it is a pain to always have to look down at the screen to see where you are touching it, or deal with hitting the wrong thing if you don't look. The charging base is much better on the One, and it seems to be holding up better than the 880. I still use the One in my home theater because it can control so many devices.

    The 650 is probably my all around favorite design. It has pretty much the same layout at the One, but adds dedicated color buttons. And instead of a touchscreen it goes back to a simple screen with buttons next to it, which is much easier to use without looking (as long as you know what screen you are on). The only issues I have with the 650 are that I wish it controlled more than 8 devices, and it allowed for more than 4 commands on each screen.

    I wish Harmony would come out with a new remote with the layout of the 650, charging setup of the One, and hard buttons next to the screen with 6 or 8 commands. If they added RF4CE or whatever it is called that would be awesome, but otherwise bluetooth or RF to a base station could be pretty great too. The Harmony 900 was pretty close to perfect other than the touchscreen but it has been discontinued.

    These new remotes rely too much on touchscreens (and I really don't want to use my iPhone or iPad). I guess too many people want it for the wow factor, and don't really care about how well it is to use. But to me that is the whole point of these remotes, to make it easier to use.

  10. #10
    Palmer is offline Administrator
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    Sounds like the Harmony Companion might be a good option for you, Beerstalker. I'm not sure how the remote itself charges, but it has all the functionality of the Harmony Hub systems with a remote that's more akin to the 650, plus the option to use smartphones and tablets if anyone in your home wanted to. Cheers.

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