37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Awesome!, 12 Mar 2010
This is a brilliant bit of kit. I'm usually really fussy and can identify flaws in everything but this thing is really, really good!
To make it work you need to connect it to your PC with the supplied USB cable and run the Harmony software from the supplied CD/logitec.com. You will need www access to do this since it checks for updates to the software/firmware on every use and (more importantly) stores the profile you create within your username (i.e. backs-up your lovingly created config).
Be prepared to spend at least an hour on its initial config as you need to add all your devices. You will probably also need to continually tweak it in your first few days/weeks of use - not because it doesn't work, but it takes the human brain a little while to comprehend the potential of all the little nuances and time-saving additions you can configure. Basically, if you can think it (and it's possible via button presses on a remote) then this thing will do it. I've had mine for a month now and I'm still amending/adding various options - but this is VERY easy to do.
The genius of this remote lies in the ability to set up "Activities".
Here's how it works. Say for example you regularly "Watch Sky TV". You can set this up as an activity. Pressing this button does the following (assuming you've set it up right): Turns on the Sky Box, Switches your AV amp to your Sky box input, turns on your TV (already set to the correct AV input) and configures all the buttons so that the up/down channel controls the Sky box and the up/down volume controls the AV Amp. This was great until one day my TV Vol was set kinda high from a previous viewing session and there was an echo. So... back to the config program and I added two "soft buttons" (up to 8 "pages" of six completely configurable buttons can be added per activity!) for up/down TV Vol.
Basically this unit rewards patience and "wouldn't it be nice if" style thinking in spades.
Bored with "Watch Sky TV"? Hit "Watch DVD" and your entire AV set-up morphs into a DVD player. The Sky box turns off, the TV switches AV input, the AV amp switches to DVD and the DVD player comes on. All the buttons now control the DVD and the AV amp and a whole new range of soft buttons appear (ones that I've "invented", such as Subtitles, Audio track, Top Menu, eject, etc).
This is a seriously capable bit of kit; I concede that it's pretty complicated too, but it does repay any time/effort involved in its set up. It is currently doing the job of six remotes and is still impressing me with it's "tweakability". I would say that it's worth every penny. I have no idea what the "US power" guy was talking about in his rather unfair one-star review - mine came with both UK/EU style plug adapters.
I didn't think I'd use the RF element of this. The idea is that you can shut all your kit away in a wooden box and the remote uses Radio to communicate to an IR relay (hidden in the same wooden box). However, because my coffee table sometimes blocked the remote's IR signal I set up the IR emitter under the sofa and now I can control everything from anywhere in my house!
It has no trouble controlling my new Bose V30 Amp or my 15 year old Mitsubishi VCR. My only gripe (if I had to identify one) is that for this kind of money it really should control my PS3 without the need for an additional adapter. I haven't bought the PS3 bluetooth adapter yet but I'm tempted... This basically works in the same way as the IR relay, turning the 900's button presses (and IR/RF output) into bluetooth signals for the PS3 and is about £.
I guess it's personal preference between this more conventional remote and the Harmony 1100 which uses more soft buttons. I liked the idea of using normal buttons for volume, play, pause, etc and so opted for the 900. Personal choice as I said.
In summary - buy one of these, it's honestly the best thing since sliced bread!