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Customer Review

on 25 April 2009
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I had this delivered to work and it quickly attracted a crowd (of men only), all making approving noises. The first question everyone asked was "what is it?" - the answer to which was generally met with responses like "cool". The second question was always "how much?" - when I told them the first word from their lips was always an expletive. Without a doubt this is one gadget where any normal notion of value must be discarded - if you can't do that, walk away now.

So having come to the conclusion that the Logitech Harmony 1100 is both cool and ridiculously expensive, the next question must be does it work. Fortunately the answer is yes.

Prizing the surprisingly compact remote out the box and putting it on the supplied dock, the Logitech Harmony exudes quality. It's anodised alloy on the front, with a rubberised reverse and feels great in your hands. Once charged the set-up process is quite straight forward but did take me longer than the suggested 30 minutes (more like an hour and a bit for me). Those familiar with such devices could perhaps do it quicker.

In brief the set-up process is as follows: Install software (internet connection needed), set up account, attach remote via USB to computer, use software to add devices, set up 'activities', test remote, make changes if necessary. You are guided through each step in relatively plain english, but if you don't know the difference between HDMI and SCART you'll be in trouble, as it rightly assumes you know what's plugged in where.

The 'activities' are key to how this remote works. For example the most obvious 'activity' would be 'Watch TV'. Pressing the relevant icon on the touch screen will do the following: Switch on the Sky+ box, switch on the AV receiver and select the relevant input(s), switch on the TV and set to the correct input source. Once done the remote will ask if all is working as expected, if not it will walk you through suggested fixes. Then if you then decide you want to watch a DVD, press the appropriate icon and Sky+ goes off, the DVD player comes on and the AV Receiver and TV switch to the correct channels. Once you've had enough, press the power off button on the remote and all the devices are switched off.

I honestly thought it would trip up at some point, but so far so good. I also initially thought that some features were missing, but they are all there under the 'devices' sub-menu, which lists all the buttons on your existing remotes.

My only gripe is that it can't switch the PS3 on or navigate it's media bar (as it's bluetooth, not infrared). By using a USB infrared adapter you can control movie playback though.

At the end of the day I've gone from juggling six remote controls to two (the Harmony 1100 and the PS3 handset). Do I recommend the Logitech Harmony 1100 to people with a bunch of devices to control? Oh yes. And I don't normallty write reviews this long, so thanks for reading this far.
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