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Customer Review

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!, 12 Mar. 2010
By 
This review is from: Logitech Harmony 900 Advanced Universal Remote Control with RF capability (Accessory)
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!
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 31 May 2010 18:03:42 BDT
John Rozzell says:
How many soft buttons can you get on the touch screen. All the pictures I've seen show only three, but these always list activities. Once in an activity, does it split into six? Better still, can you get six activities on the main screen at once?

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jul 2010 15:02:44 BDT
Mr M says:
The Soft buttons appear once "in" an activity, that's right. There's space for up to six but you could create blanks if you wanted fewer than that on any one screen (I'm not sure why you would though, unless you had MASSIVE fingers).

The three button config you've seen I'd guess is, as you suggest, the activity choice itself (and the soft function buttons are essentially half the width of these buttons).

Having had a quick look at the software I don't believe it's possible to tweak this at all but the page back and forth buttons are just little arrows at the side of the screen and so it's possible to scroll through the screens really easily.

So, to answer the question - no you can't have six activities on the initial screen (the activity buttons are just "big" and are non-configurable) and yes, the config allows up to six soft buttons which appear once you've chosen an activity.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jul 2010 22:51:17 BDT
John Rozzell says:
Thanks, that answers my question exactly. It'd be nice to see an iPod style panning interface where you can just slide all your activities into view with a swipe of your finger; maybe they'll get around to that in the next range of remotes.

I do have anoter question. What's the charging cradle like in terms of just droppng the thing into it and away you go? I've had three previous rechageable harmonies and they've been an absolute nightmare to charge. endless rubbing of the terminals with soft cloth to make sure they're spotlessly clean, jiglling the thing about in the cradle till it sits just right, otherwise it won't charge at all. I notice from the photos that the contacts on the 900 are quite a bit larger, but those in the cradle look tiny.

any problems charging?

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jul 2010 12:44:05 BDT
Mr M says:
None whatsoever! I just did some tests dropping the controller into the charger from 3"-4" and at various skew angles. It just sits snugly into the charger and begins to charge instantly. I've never once had to re-dock it and so since this wasn't even a consideration I didn't mention it in my review.

One thing I am struggling to do however is have devices come on in a different mode. I have an HDD/DVD drive and so I had considered setting this up as effectively as two devices - press "Watch HDD" or "Watch DVD" to have the unit start up in that respective mode. Since it's only a single button press to toggle between the two it's not a huge issue but I'm sure there are other activities that I could automate in this way if it were possible. I'm still exploring the configs but I don't think it's possible to include additional button presses as part of the general activity switch-on. "All" it does is turn everything on to the right inputs and then assign the various hard and soft buttons as per your settings.

No idea when the next version of this (the "901"?) is due out but I still remain dead happy with this remote 4 months on after purchase.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jul 2010 12:50:44 BDT
Last edited by the author on 18 Jul 2010 12:51:08 BDT
Mr M says:
STOP PRESS!!

I think I've just worked it out!

The key is to set up each configuration of the device as a new device (rather than as part of the activity set-up). It's possible to define a series of key presses as "on" so I can do PowerOn then HDD (or DVD) as an "on" function. Then you set up an activity usng the 'different' devices.

Like I say - this thing's genius! It just takes the human brain a while to catch up with it occassionally...

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jul 2010 08:27:18 BDT
John Rozzell says:
Interesting. I had heard that they'd removed Sequences from the software on this model but what you describe makes me think they've put it back in. I'm getting closer to digging out the credit card... Have you noticed anything to support the comments I've read on here that the right arrow on the touchscreen (for next page) is less responsive than the rest of the display?

Incidentally, another way of acheiving what you wanted to do would be to set up two identical Activities and then go back into them and choose the "I want more control" option. After clicking through the wizard, leaving all your choices as they are, you get to a page where you can add additional keypresses and delays. You've already come up with a solution for your immediate problem but this might come in useful in the future.

There really isn't much you can't do with a Harmony. A useful forum on the subject can be found at www.remotecentral.com

Posted on 21 Sep 2010 23:41:36 BDT
if you dont need the RF, then youve just paid twice the price for what is essentially a Logitech Harmony One with RF added!

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Sep 2010 18:27:28 BDT
Last edited by the author on 22 Sep 2010 18:28:31 BDT
John Rozzell says:
Not really. If you use the colour buttons a lot, or need to find them by touch, or simply don't want to waste four out of your six slots on one page of the touch-screen, your only options are either "pay twice the price for what is essentially a Logitech Harmony One with RF added" or go for the cheaper Harmony 700. Since the latter only supports six devices, and I have seven (at the last count), there's only one choice.

The RF might yet prove useful as it seems they've sacrificed one of the IR LEDs in the process, making it slightly more directional. Sticking a few blasters about the place will help some of my fussier kit, as I've noticed it appears to transmit IR and RF simultaneously (when enabled), not one or the other.

Incidentally, what it "essentially" is, is a Harmony 1100 shaped like a Harmony One.

Posted on 22 Sep 2010 21:51:43 BDT
Granted, it has the extra colour buttons, but that's about the only difference apart from the RF isnt it? And its far from being a 1100.
There are plenty of ways round the colour buttons which dont cost a hundred extra quid, but its your money!

Posted on 30 Mar 2013 17:35:53 GMT
 says:
Hi, I am surprised nobody has mentioned the rebooting problem on this remote. Occasionally on placing it on its cradle, it fails to charge, and then, on moving it, it reboots. I thought it was a one off, but just got a replacement that does exactly the same, so they must all be like that.
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