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86 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Richly repays time invested in setup
There is no point in pretending this is quick to set up. Nor is it especially easy if you're not pretty clear on how your own AV equipment is connected and set up. The manual says to "allow 45 minutes". That seems about right to me (although it is now many years since I set up my very first Harmony). On top of that 45 minutes, you will probably make several more...
Published on 12 Sep 2010 by Caroline P.

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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good hardware, poor software, troublesome upgrade
I bought this remote to replace an old Logitech Harmony 525 remote, which was looking very tired (button text warn off and silver paint wearing through).

I had looked at the competing One-for-all remote, but it seemed their software was just as clunky at Logitech's and I would have to start programming the commands from scratch. If, on the other hand, I stuck...
Published on 28 Mar 2012 by David Powell


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86 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Richly repays time invested in setup, 12 Sep 2010
By 
Caroline P. (Milton Keynes, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Logitech Harmony 650 (Accessory)
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There is no point in pretending this is quick to set up. Nor is it especially easy if you're not pretty clear on how your own AV equipment is connected and set up. The manual says to "allow 45 minutes". That seems about right to me (although it is now many years since I set up my very first Harmony). On top of that 45 minutes, you will probably make several more round-trips via your PC to fine-tune your setup to suit you just right (and a PC with an internet connection is COMPULSORY, please note.)

However, it is one of the best gadgets I own - if you are prepared to take the time and effort, the rewards are yours for years to come. This is my third Harmony (they've been around many years now). I would note neither of the previous two have failed - they both gave years of reliable service. Being heavily used, they just got a bit old and tired looking and I find myself looking at a new, shiny model! That means, over time, most of my AV equipment has changed as I went from video-recorders/analogue TVs to Freeview to Freesat, to DVD & then Blu-Ray, to a PVR and so on. So one of the things it may be useful to know is that the lengthy setup time was needed just once, all those years ago. I've long since worked out precisely and exactly how I want my buttons to react and changing one piece of equipment now only takes 5 or 10 minutes. For instance, I recently changed a dead DVD/HD recorder into a Freesat PVR. I think it took under 5 minutes to modify my Harmony. The buttons I use regularly I ensure are are all in the same place (for me, that's stuff like "Subtitles" and - especially - a 10-second rewind & a 30-second fast-forward). It also means my learning curve on a new piece of equipment is very brief, as my remote therefore works the same way and I know where the buttons are in my sleep. Even when I change Harmony, the button layout doesn't change very much, so I'm quickly up to speed. Every piece of equipment I've bought has been in the enormous Harmony database. Occassionally I have needed to "teach" the remote a single command, but that is quick and easy to do. Note that you cannot control a Wii, as that uses bluetooth for communication.

Not only does it allow you to replace all your remotes with a single one, the Harmony allows you to setup what it calls "Activities". I have a TV, a surround-sound, a blu-ray player, a freesat PVR and a Nintendo Wii all hooked up. Part of the initial setup encourages you to setup these "Activities". So, for example, when I want to watch recorded TV, one button press switches on the TV, surround-sound & PVR. Each piece of equipment is automatically set to the right input with that single button press (eg HDMI2 on the TV for my PVR). Then each piece of equipment is entirely controlled via the Harmony: volume buttons control the volume on the surround-sound whilst channel-change and record buttons control the PVR, and so on. All this is completely transparent in use - once set up correctly, it simply works for ever more.

The Harmony 650 is slightly bulkier than either of my earlier models, but is very light and feels very well-made. Button presses are distinct and clear (not like the "mushy" keys you get on some remotes). The button layout has changed slightly from my previous model but I think it is an improvement as different "sections" are more clearly grouped together and slightly separated now from one another (eg the bottom section - as always - is the numeric keypad. Next up Play, Pause, Stop, Rewind etc buttons are more logically grouped together. Above that, another clear group of buttons for the direction pad, volume up & down and volume up & down. It feels clearer and slightly bigger - an advantage for those of us who now use reading glasses! Incidentally, when you swap one Harmony remote for another, you simply select it on the PC and all your settings are transferred to the new remote. The 650 uses ordinary AAA batteries, whereas my last model used a rechargeable that came with its own "base station" for storage and recharge. If you prefer that, you might want to select a model further up the range. In the past I've found batteries last about 9 months. The buttons are backlit - when you pick the Harmony up, they light up which makes life easier if you like a darkened room for viewing. The LCD screen at the top is in colour - these are the main buttons for setting up those specific commands that suit the way YOU like to use your equipment. One thing to note if you're an existing Harmony user is that each "screenful" is 4 items not 6. I haven't found this a problem personally - it just took a little bit of re-arranging buttons to suit me. This remote can control up to 5 items - more expensive Harmony remotes can control up to 15 if you want (for example) to also use it for a hi-fi centre.

All in all, I'm as pleased with this Harmony as any previous model. Maybe even a little more so - it is very comfortable in the hands and the button layout feels a little better.

In conclusion, if you're prepared to spend the time at the beginning of your ownership, I'm certain that you'll be a Harmony fan too! If it feels too complicated or you don't want to have to spend the time, you will probably regret it. A little patience will go a long way and be well rewarded. I recommend this very highly.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It works... and even better after tweaking., 25 Jan 2012
This review is from: Logitech Harmony 650 (Accessory)
I know some people have had bother getting this to work but that is not my experience. If you are used to messing with PC's and gadgets it wont be a problem, but the wife for example would not get this to work. She likes using it though...she clicks the "Watch TV" button and the TV is turned on with Sky and the Home Cinema Amp selects the correct input then the remote operates as a Sky remote...simples. The same goes for the "Watch Movie" button, it fires up the TV, Blu Ray player and AV amp then remote works as the Blu Ray remote. I would say however that I did have to spend a bit of time tweaking the settings to add some button commands such as Sky backup and Blu Ray remote commands etc and extra display commands.

In summary if you can set up a home cinema amp then you will get this to work. You can use the downloadable software that allows more complex programming or the more user friendly online software but not both. If this puts you off then obviously you could get a "savvy" friend or relative to do the set up. The good thing is that once set up if the unit loses its settings you just hook it up to the PC or Laptop and re-sync over the web.

Cheers
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good hardware, poor software, troublesome upgrade, 28 Mar 2012
By 
David Powell (Wales - UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Logitech Harmony 650 (Accessory)
I bought this remote to replace an old Logitech Harmony 525 remote, which was looking very tired (button text warn off and silver paint wearing through).

I had looked at the competing One-for-all remote, but it seemed their software was just as clunky at Logitech's and I would have to start programming the commands from scratch. If, on the other hand, I stuck with the Harmony, then the software would allow me to copy my settings over from my old remote. So bearing that in mind, it was an easy choice to stick with Logitech.

...Well that was the theory at least! When using the Harmony's replace remote function I found out that while it would copy across the activities (Watch TV, Watch a Movie, etc.) it would not copy across any custom buttons (such as a DVD players' angle and subtitle buttons for example). I can't understand why not, but at least I wouldn't have to re-do it all right? Wrong! Upon trying to re-program in the custom buttons I kept on having the software display the error message "Unable to Display Content", then all the settings I'd just entered would be lost. Going by Logitech's user forums and internet searches, many other Harmony users are suffering from the same issue too.

I tried multiple suggestions from the forums, but none of them fixed the issue. In the end I bit the bullet and created a new login and reprogrammed the remote from scratch. Thankfully the "Unable to Display Content" didn't resurface. So in summary, don't buy the remote because of the easy upgrade path (the cake is a lie).

The thing is once you have gone through the pain of using Logitech's software (which is poorly laid out and long winded to use), you will be rewarded with a remote that excels in controlling multiple devices and simplifying start up, switching and shutting down processes.

The remote itself is a big improvement over its predecessor, with an improved screen, layout, key spacing and build quality. Where it is a step backwards is in the loss of the glow button that would trigger button back light, which was useful in the dark, and the reduction in the number of devices it can control (down from 10 to 5) which is quite stingy (you only need a TV, amplifier, DVD player, Freeview box and a games console and you are already at the limit).

Overall I think it is a great remote, let down by poor software and being slightly too stingy on the number on devices allowed (should be a minimum of 6), hence the loss of two stars. Even with all these problems, I would still recommend it (until someone else creates something better), just don't expect the setup to be quick or easy.

IMPORTANT: Since I wrote this review, Logitech announced in 2012 that they going to stop producing the Harmony remote range. As of August 2013, they have backtracked and decided not to sell off their Harmony remote business. This uncertainty is something you may want to take into consideration if you are planning to buy a Harmony remote.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing device, great build quality and capable of being your sole remote. Not simple to set up though! Read on.., 31 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Logitech Harmony 650 Universal Remote - Refresh (Accessory)
I love this device!

I've never used a unifying remote before, yet i have a fairly complicated media set up:

- TV
- AV Amp
- Cable box
- Xbox 360
- Wii
- Media PC

so having remotes for all that kicking around was a bit of a pain.. with a keyboard too.

People I have heard of having these in the past haven't got on with them, and the reviews suggest people having not much luck with them.

I think the reason is that they require a fair bit of setup and tuning. The 'Learning' element is clever in some places, but all I wanted to do (being a techy at heart) is get to the application and program it to do what I wanted it to.

It's now set up like a dream and is the only remote on my coffee table (with the keyboard there for internet browsing, etc.

If you use a Media PC.. look into getting a FLIRC. its a usb device that can use an old remote to control a PC. You can just set another device on the harmony (i use a different manufacturer TV) and configure that to work with Flirc. Media bliss!

The build quality is nice and it has a good weight to it.

Highly recommended.. but don't expect it to work out the box and be prepared to do some configuring. I'm confident that anyone with a reasonably technical mind can figure it out. Just make sure you use the harmony website, and understand that you may need to tinker with the 'procedure' it follows.

For example, if you have programmed it to operate the xbox and the cable tv box, and you use it to switch to cable tv, it will follow a set of instructions like:

- change TV input to cable
- change AV kit to cable
- turn off xbox

If you didn't want it turning off xbox, all you need to do is use the software to go in and remove this part of the process.

the biggest tip I could give though, is that bear in mind that it needs to follow all these steps sequentially. that take s a little longer than using one remote. If you point your TV remote at the tv and press 'off' it goes off. If you point your harmony at the tv and press off, its sending the following signals for example:

- turn tv off
- turn cable box off
- turn av kit off

as it needs to do each, one at a time, it will not complete if you just throw the remote down and it cannot reach the devices to shut them down. then what happens? The Av kit doesn't turn off.. Next time you turn on with harmony, it send the power signal to the AV kit (which was left on) and that goes off.. all of a sudden, no sound.

I recon this is the number one problem people have with these kind of remotes.

I hope that helps someone!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wow!, 4 April 2012
This review is from: Logitech Harmony 650 (Accessory)
wow. best remote i have ever owned. set-up is supper easy plugs in to the computer, logon to a webpage enter brand and model then click save to device. done.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very cleaver, 24 Feb 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Logitech Harmony 650 Universal Remote - Refresh (Accessory)
I can't believe how cleaver this device is! I bought it despite that when checking compatibility I could not find my old rare plasma screen in their data base. Still the Logitech 650 was able to read the signals from my original remote control and apply them effectively. I also was concerned that switching between devices with my AV receiver inputs could be a problem, but this was not the case. Everything worked perfectly. At one press of button, not only all the necessary devices will be switched on, but also unnecessary devices will be switched off. Also it does feel solid and of a high quality. Recommended A+
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My type of Harmony (revised 13.5.2014), 6 Nov 2011
This review is from: Logitech Harmony 650 (Accessory)
Harmony 650
=========
We chose the 650 for its set of coloured buttons and colour LCD which can show Channel logos and is useful to distinguish between Activities with a pink background and blue for Devices. I find the LCD's hard buttons are preferable to a touch screen. The use of 2x AA batteries such as rechargeable eneloops is an advantage because problems have been reported with the special battery used by the more expensive models. Nor do you have to wait for hours or fiddle with dedicated cradles or leads for recharging. However the manual is still too concise. The previous model, Harmony 700, was the same except for the supplied wall charger and rechargeable AA batteries but it could at one time handle one more device with v.7.7.0 'standalone' software, or two more with myharmony.com, but please read on.

The software (interface/'GUI') program, to be installed on PC, is Harmony Remote Software v.7.7.0 'HarmonyRemote.exe' which was on the CD and is available from the Logitech Harmony website. It is compatible with the older models but not with 300 and 200. From June 2013, if you did not already have a Harmony.exe v7.7.0 stand alone account, the H600, H650, and H700 models were limited to using 'myharmony,com'. That allows ten steps in a sequence (instead of five steps with v7.7.0)and a total of **8 devices** and can now also be installed on PC (edited 13.5.2014)

Usually the configuration for each remote is stored in its own Account, but at MyHarmony several different remotes can be included. It is only with v7.7.0 that H600, H650, and H700 are interchangeable for a particular configuration. An account first needs to be opened and the remote connected by USB and gives access to freephone telephone help for the first 3 months (or in uk, indefinitely, as I was recently advised by Logitech). There is also a good support forum at Logitech's website.

- H650 has become the only current model which has dedicated hard Activity buttons so it is highly recommended.

PS update. Since October 2013, unless you already have earlier v7.7.0 account/s, new examples of Harmony 600,650,700 and One can no longer be configured with v7.7.0 - they must use the improved myharmony.com but H650 can have up to 8 devices!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It is so sad it has design flaws, 21 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Logitech Harmony 650 (Accessory)
First impression was very good, setup interface is brilliant. After a couple of minutes the remote was up and running.

However there is one error that happens very often and is very annoying. It only takes 1 minute to fix it, but it is more than I would take to reach the few remotes I have.

For some reason the remote control always switch on the TV but sometimes it doesn't switch on the soundbar and the Sky box.
When this happens (and this is happening 5 times/week) you need to use the auto assistant to refresh/re-install the settings you had previously installed.
This error is happening since the day I bought the remote. Apparently a lot people are having this issue too. It is not clear this is a hardware or a software issue. Read online user reviews before you buy this remote.

This remote is really annoying because of its design flaws, but it would be the perfect remote if it work as it was intend to.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but could be better, 28 Dec 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Logitech Harmony 650 (Accessory)
This is the second Harmony remote I have purchased. I firmly believe activity based remotes are wonderful, however the 650 seems to have a similar problem to the first one I purchased; un-tested software. Now I am sure Logitech will fix these problems, as they did with the 1000 model I got some years ago, but wouldn't it be nice if they just did a little more testing rather than let the customers do it all.

Anyway, on to the 650... while it works fine for basic functionality, the person who buys this is likely to have fairly advanced entertainment kit. If you have a PVR, it will not be plain sailing to set up, mainly because Logitech assume you always turn on the PVR to watch TV (which you don't if you have a digital TV). It also assumes you are more likely to have a VHS recorder, which if you do, you are less likely to be able to deal with advanced kit like this. So a little more "common sense" needs to be applied to the default options.

If you have a modern Toshiba (or Samsung) then switching inputs will cause you grief as this device doesn't seem to be able to cope with the pop up style menus for inputs (don't you wish HDMI had auto sensing!) Not sure why as the software separates these two makes out (Samsung and Toshiba), but still doesn't seem to be able to select the input no matter what I set the options to try. If your TV remote has a button for each input source you won't have this problem. This is a big niggle as you expect an advanced remote to be able to set up the system for you to watch whatever source you are setting via the activity... e.g. Watch TV, set it to TV, Watch DVD set it to HDMI1. If you are still using SCART, again this won't bother you as SCART will auto sense and switch for you. To me, this is a big problem for this kind of product to have but maybe my original 2 stars was a bit harsh.

So, some hints if you have a PVR:

When setting up your devices, Set up the TV and load the remote. Then add the DVD and load the remote, then add the PVR. This allows you to have the TV on without the PVR being switched on. You then have to edit all the buttons in the PVR activity to use the PVR functions and not the TV ones(e.g. pressing Menu brings up the PVR menu and not the TV menu etc)

Other than that, it only took me about 3 hours to sort out the power on problem! Now works all devices (TV, PVR and DVD) with the exception of altering the source when starting up and this is a function of how Toshiba chooses the input source rather than a specific Logitech problem, although they know it is an issue, the solution Logiech employs just doesn't work yet.

I'll update this review as I did with 1000. I initially gave that 1 star as it didn't work well at all until Logitech issued firmware and software updates. I'm sure this will be the same and eventually I'll give it 4 or 5 stars.

If you are wondering why I now chose this rather than the touch screen model, there are 2 reasons;

1. The touch screen on the 1000 wasn't/isn't great. The newer 1100 may be better.
2. Buttons are tactile so you can find buttons by touch while you are watching. A touch screen is flat with no point of reference so you have to look down at it to operate the buttons and it always seems to be when the most exciting part of a programme is on when the phone rings and you have to find the pause button!

UPDATE

A firmware update and a lot more "tinkering" with the software has it running nearly as well as my touchscreen model (1000) but it was by no means "easy" to get to that stage. Once there, the remote works well. Not for the feint hearted or non-techies amongst us.

The SELECT INPUT problems persists, I have assigned the UP/DOWN key under the screen to "SELECT NEXT INPUT" which pops up the INPUT window and allows you to select the device to view. Not as slick as it selecting automatically, but better than 3 different remotes.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly surprised, 2 Aug 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Logitech Harmony 650 Universal Remote - Refresh (Accessory)
Like a previous reviewer I had an older Logitech Harmony remote that I wanted to upgrade from. In my case it was a Harmony 555 and after 5 years of heavy use the buttons were getting unresponsive. I had a "race memory" of how awful the Harmony was to set up last time, and so I was keen to import all the settings from my previous remote rather than go through all that again... cue an evening of painful and fruitless struggle. If I'd written a review at that time then it would have been a scathing one.

However, last night I decided to forget the old remote and just configure the new one from scratch - and it turned out to be a doddle to do. In an hour I had my remote tuned beautifully - I even got it programmed to control my multimedia music deck which I hadn't even attempted with the old remote.

One thing about the Harmony series: I hate the "Activity" concept that they try to push on you. Since I don't see a lot of complaints I conclude that I must just not be like other people, because I don't like to do just one thing at a time: I have the music deck playing, while the TV, sky box and DVD players are all on, and all while doing sudokus on my tablet. In my case switching from one activity to the other does NOT mean that I want my other equipment turned off thank you very much!

Thankfully, in both my old remote and my new one it is possible to ignore the activity notion almost entirely: the remote is permanently configured for the "Watch TV" activity, which does nothing more than turn the TV on (no input selection). For everything else I simply select the device I want to control. I do have the Mute and Volume buttons specially programmed for all devices to always send the TV control signals, so I don't have to switch devices to change volume.

For those unsure about what features they want in a remote: you'll want one with an LCD display like this one has (though not necessarily with colour), in order to have access to all the specialised and lesser used buttons. No remote without this feature would have room for them, bear this in mind if looking at something in the cheaper "All-In-One" range. Otherwise it won't be a complete replacement for the original remotes.

The "My Harmony Desktop" configuration software is greatly improved over what I had to use last time. The only minor irritation is that the drag and drop of commands onto the display area buttons didn't seem to work very well. I would have liked some visual cue as to where the object I'm dropping will be placed in the order - I was trying to have the most used buttons on the first page of display commands, but it kept putting them on the last page instead. In the end for the device in question I had to delete all of the commands and then add them back in the order I wanted.
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