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246 of 253 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent remote.
Got this remote from Crutchfield last Friday. Not only does it work great, but the remote and the hub both look good and the build is high quality. When I opened the box, I was hoping it would work as good as it looks, and it didn't let me down. You can set up either using a PC, or with the iphone or Android app, which I have an iphone. Strongly recommend using the...
Published 15 months ago by Chris

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55 of 62 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic product, awful documentation and setup
Once it's set up and working, the Logitech Harmony Smart Control is not just the best universal remote control I've ever seen but the best one that I can imagine, given the constraints of the design of current home-entertainment systems. Everything about its design is well-considered: for instance, the Bluetooth and WiFi-networked stationary hub beams the commands to the...
Published 11 months ago by Anonymous


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246 of 253 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent remote., May 20, 2013
This review is from: Logitech Harmony Smart Control with Smartphone App and Simple Remote - Black (915-000194) (Electronics)
Got this remote from Crutchfield last Friday. Not only does it work great, but the remote and the hub both look good and the build is high quality. When I opened the box, I was hoping it would work as good as it looks, and it didn't let me down. You can set up either using a PC, or with the iphone or Android app, which I have an iphone. Strongly recommend using the app because you can plug the hub in, and leave it there. One thing with set up: if you are upgrading from another Harmony remote, chances are you can import the activities, and that speeds it up. Only thing it won't import are customized button settings, but that's no problem. The feel of the remote is great, and the buttons "click" so you know the command has been sent. And you may not need to use the mini-blaster if your hub is in the open, I'm just using the hub and the remote. And note that the hub is required because that's what actually sends the IR commands to your equipment. One neat thing: when you update your settings and sync via the app, the hub updates over wifi and then it updates your remote via RF. For those wondering about the remote battery, it's a replaceable CR2032 coin battery that's supposed to last one year or longer, but we'll see. And this battery also explains why the buttons aren't backlit (too much drain).
One weak point is the documentation, which there was practically none. Also, seems like Logitech tech support hasn't been well trained on this device. One of their techs happened to change a setting on my account, and that caused the remote to stop working. The next day I asked how to reset to factory condition so I could redo the set up, and they told me to press and release the reset/pair button, which is incorrect (that's only to pair a remote). Finally, they told me to unplug it, then press and hold the button, plug it back in, and wait until the LED turned solid red before releasing. WHY this is not in the documentation, I don't know. With better documentation and tech support training, I would have rated 5 stars.

UPDATE 6/13 - First off, I don't know why my review was dated May 20 by Amazon, I actually reviewed it 6/11. Anyway, a note about the "Help" feature: First, the remote doesn't have a help button (no display to guide you through the motions), it's only found on the iphone app (or android). But even in the app, the help feature is only present when an activity is "on". When all activities are off, there is no help feature present. This means if you turn off the TV activity, but your cable or satellite box fails to turn off (if you've set everything to turn off), the only way to do it is either at the device or by using the device's original remote. I called tech support and they verified it wasn't there by looking at one of their ipads. They said they would "elevate" it. Now I'll just wait and see if that gets done. After all, it is a core feature that should be there.

UPDATE 7/6 - I actually emailed the CEO of Logitech about the "Help" issue with the iphone app (it's there when you turn on an activity in case a device failed to turn on, but not there when turning off activities, so what do you do if a device doesn't turn off ?), and a rep from corporate did answer. He stated that they are planning on updating the app to include this feature in late summer as part of their "road map". I still don't understand why this wasn't programmed in from the beginning since "Help" is a core feature of their remotes. I guess they must contract out their software programming and they simply left it out and Logitech didn't check/test for it, or they did test the software but overlooked "Help". Whatever the reason, I'm satisfied I got a proper response. Now we'll see if it actually gets done. Still love the remote, though. And the coin battery still appears to be going strong after four weeks of use (don't hardly use the iphone app, but when I do, I want the "Help" to be there like it should).

UPDATE 7/28 - Logitech has now updated their app to include the "Help" function when turning off an activity, this was previously missing. Only thing is it appears that the associated firmware update for the hub was probably delayed because I initially had problems with the updated app. However, I tried the app again last night and noticed the firmware update came through, so now the app works like it should. Also, the corporate rep followed up with me and stated that they have made improvements to the documentation included in the box, although it may be a bit before the updated packaging gets to the customer. And the original battery still seems to be going strong after almost 8 weeks of almost exclusively using the simple remote.
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162 of 178 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Value, June 28, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Logitech Harmony Smart Control with Smartphone App and Simple Remote - Black (915-000194) (Electronics)
First off, let me be clear that I did not buy this remote to use with my smartphone/tablet, as I have no interest in doing this - I must have a dedicated remote with real buttons. Instead, I bought it strictly for use with the included simple remote. As such, this review only covers my experience using the included remote.

I have had harmony remotes in the past, and have always found that their biggest "flaw" was that you had to keep the remote carefully pointed at the components while the activity sequence was performed. And, even when being careful, things would inevitably upset the process (e.g. kids, dogs, flying objects) - this is simply the nature of the IR beast. One solution to this problem is to use an RF remote (or WiFi device) that broadcasts to a "hub," that then turns around and controls your components with IR blasters. Logitech had solved this problem with at least 2 previous products - the Link, which didn't have a dedicated remote so that was out for me, and the 900, which did meet all of my criteria, but was just too expensive for me to justify its purchase.

Enter the Harmony Smart Control - it does exactly everything I need it to for an excellent price. The smart control package consists of an RF-only remote (no IR), a hub (which is also an IR blaster itself), and one auxiliary IR emitter. The intent is that you put the hub in your media cabinet so it can control all the components in there, and then place the IR emitter (which plugs into the back of the hub) outside the cabinet so it can control your TV. For myself, I wanted to be absolutely certain there was never a missed IR signal, so I elected to purchase the Logitech Precision IR cables and attached one of the emitters to each of my devices, and stuck the hub under my entertainment cabinet to keep it out of the way.

Once setup, everything has worked flawlessly - there has not been a single missed command that I am aware of, and there is no perceptible lag between pushing a button on the remote and having the resultant action occur. Furthermore, the remote itself is compact, light-weight, has a nice textured back surface, and very solid feeling buttons. So, from the point of view of using the included remote, Logitech has absolutely nailed it with this product, and I will be purchasing several more for the other TV setups in my house.

One final note: you do not need a smartphone/tablet to program this setup, you simply go to the harmony website and plug in the hub via the included USB cable when prompted.
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118 of 130 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love the heck out of this remote!!!, July 12, 2013
This review is from: Logitech Harmony Smart Control with Smartphone App and Simple Remote - Black (915-000194) (Electronics)
Okay, first of all, don't let the box and blurbs fool you: This is not just a hub that relies on you having a smart phone or tablet. Yes, you need one to set up the hub and all your devices, but once you've got them set up you need not ever use your smart phone or tablet to control TV again. In fact, the "Simple" remote they include is far from the bad definition of "simple." It's probably the best-feeling, best balanced, most responsive remote control I've ever owned. It has a great shape, and the back even has a nice grippy feel. The buttons are clicky and solid. The whole remote feels excellent in the hand, and since it's working with the Hub, you don't need line-of-sight for it to work. More on that, later.

In truth, I got this by accident. My intention was to get the Harmony Ultimate, but this is what arrived. I was slightly miffed at first, but it has turned out to be a very happy mistake because I absolutely love the Harmony Smart Control. Once you set it up, you control all your devices with the single remote. It effectively transforms all your devices to Bluetooth remote-controlled devices. This is rather awesome for me since a couple devices had really fidgety IR remotes that are no longer an issue.

In fact, the only complaint I have about this remote is that it has a tiny negative when used to turn on the Nintendo Wii. If you don't register your Wiimote with the console before the Harmony does its thing, the Harmony registers as controller #1 on the Wii. This is a problem because Nintendo doesn't let controller #2, #3, or #4 have any control over Setup or Menu items, and a lot of games won't let anyone but player #1 have control over starting games, pausing, etc. I'm not sure why the Harmony hub registers as a controller, since the Harmony remote doesn't actually do anything on the Wii (no control over the pointer, anyway) and the only reason you enable the Wii on the Hub is to allow the Hub to turn the Wii on and off.

Every device I've tried to control with the Harmony Smart Control has worked perfectly once registered with the app. That includes an HP remote control for Windows Media Center and the Roku 3. Setup is quick and easy using the app. It basically asks for the maker and model number, and does everything from there.

Once you have devices set up, you can create activities. For example, with one button press the remote will turn on your Blu-ray Disc player, turn on your receiver, set the receiver to the proper device, turn on your TV, and set your TV to the proper source input. It's really very cool, and makes the whole home entertainment experience a lot less messy and complicated. It blows away the experience with a standard "universal" remote control, too.

If you are inclined to use the app to control your devices instead of the awesome Simple Remote, you'll have slightly more options and controls. Of course, the down side is that you're burning battery power on your phone or tablet to control your home entertainment center when the Simple Remote is more than suitable for most tasks, and doesn't take nearly as much power. I actually had to look it up to find out how to replace the battery in the remote (and it's really simple, actually) because the battery is so small (a CR2032 flat battery) and the panel that conceals it is integrated into the remote so well.

I'm still really interested in the Harmony Ultimate, but right now I'm loving the Harmony Smart Control. The Hub really ups the ante with remote control tech, and the look/feel of the Simple Remote is fantastic.

The only thing I'd ask for in terms of improvement on this remote is backlit buttons, which it unfortunately doesn't have. It's a minor quibble, though, because the remote is laid out smartly enough that you'll use it without looking at it after a very short time.

So, minor caveat aside, this is a five-star gadget as far as I'm concerned. It's one of my favorite additions to my entertainment center. I'd go so far as to call a Harmony Remote a must-have device for anyone who has a few different devices to control.
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55 of 62 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic product, awful documentation and setup, August 28, 2013
This review is from: Logitech Harmony Smart Control with Smartphone App and Simple Remote - Black (915-000194) (Electronics)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Once it's set up and working, the Logitech Harmony Smart Control is not just the best universal remote control I've ever seen but the best one that I can imagine, given the constraints of the design of current home-entertainment systems. Everything about its design is well-considered: for instance, the Bluetooth and WiFi-networked stationary hub beams the commands to the home theater, so (unlike a conventional "universal remote" where all the tech is in the handheld remote) it can be aimed at them with permanent line of sight. It can even control a PlayStation 3 for ease of movie-watching and Netflixing. It pulls its configuration from an online database, so you only need to enter the model number of each device for it to work, rather than the irritating training sequences and code numbers you get with cheaper remotes, and it's controllable via both a pleasant and sleek remote control and a smartphone/tablet app (albeit one with sometimes clunky usability, which often just presents rows of little square on-screen buttons rather than a good UI).

The only flies in the ointment here are the documentation and setup process, but they're sadly fairly major problems that prevent me from whole-heartedly recommending this otherwise great device. The remote includes virtually no printed documentation, and Logitech's support website is a complete mess, full of unhelpfully simplistic articles and videos (as well as ridiculous browser and plugin requirements!) and lacking any good explanations of how to configure the device for many very simple scenarios and typical problems. Even with the device-specific Harmony Control app installed it takes a lot of random fiddling (and even Logitech's one-line "install app" directions are flawed -- the company offers two similar-seeming "Harmony" apps on the iOS App Store, only one of which is the right one, and the directions don't help distinguish). Before setup can proceed, you need to pair the hub device via Bluetooth with an app-using smart device, which is documented nowhere! (Hey Logitech, how hard would it really have been to include the following three steps: 1. Install and open the app. 2. Plug in the hub and press the small "pair" button on its back. 3. Press the app's "Setup New Remote" button.)

After this you'll also need to sign up for a "My Harmony" account on Logitech's web site, with an email address. Preposterous though it seems, you have to sign up for an account online just to use this remote control. No technical reason for this weird, invasive requirement is apparent.

And even once the app is installed and the hub is configured and networked, setting up the remote hub's "activities" is is basically a process of blind experimentation. Some functions work and others don't with little or no explanation: e.g. the remote will control a PS3's menus, but only in the "Play a Game" activity type, not if you call it "Watch Television" instead. (This is totally undocumented as far as I could see; also, it can't automatically run a specific PS3 app, so there's no one-button "start the PS3 and fire up Netflix" command.) For some reason it requires you to select "Favorite Channels" during setup even if you have just told it that you don't subscribe to broadcast, cable, or satellite television. (Why is Internet-based streaming seemingly confusing, for an Internet-connected remote control?) There are a thousand other little things like this, to say nothing of its "gesture-based" controls on the remote app, that Logitech just treats as puzzles for its users to solve rather than providing adequate written or searchable documentation anyplace, whether on the web or with the product.

It's a great product, but for the price (insanely high-end for a remote control) the documentation and setup process really need a complete overhaul from a usability specialist. The current nearly total lack of documentation and kludgy setup process are very shoddy work. I'm afraid that only hard-core geek experimenters and people willing to hire an installer for help should purchase this remote as it is, even though it's a truly great gadget once set up.
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48 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Best Harmony Experience - Beats Harmony Ultimate, July 28, 2013
By 
This review is from: Logitech Harmony Smart Control with Smartphone App and Simple Remote - Black (915-000194) (Electronics)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've used several Harmony remotes in the past, including the 1000, 1100, and my current 900. Each one has gotten progressively better, as Logitech learned from their mistakes (sometimes fiascoes) to deliver what I now consider to be my all-time favorite remote -- bar none. Form follows function on this slick, expertly designed, user friendly piece of futuristic tech art. Am I gushing? Yup, cuz this remote is that good.

No Touchscreen? Good!

At first, I really thought I'd be disappointed with the lack of a touchscreen. In reality, dumping that flashy, yet problematic screen, has proven to be one of the strong-points of this Simple Remote. Anyone whose been using Harmony touchscreen remotes knows how easy it is to accidentally touch that nifty screen and inadvertently mess something up. At least I have; many, many, many times. It happens so often to me, that I've just become accustomed to being very deliberate about handling my Harmony 900 gingerly. Now with this Simple Remote, those kind of hiccups are things of the past. This remote is for Bear Paws, twitchy kids, or anyone who doesn't think a remote is important enough to tiptoe around, lest you trigger something unwanted.

I Admire Logitech's Gutsy Packaging

For years, I've been saying that the best tech products require NO reading whatsoever - zip, zilch, zero, nada. If design teams do their job right, any consumer should be able to pick up a piece of tech and use it, straight out of the box. Well, Logitech throws down the gauntlet with this one, because there is nary a user guide to be found. Just a short pictorial leaflet showing how to plug in the blaster, and an arrow insert in the remote, inviting you to give it a tug, and activate the battery in the remote. Aside from that, Logitech rightly assumes that everyone coming to this game has seen a remote control before. And if you're adventurous enough to get a remote made for tablets and cell phones, then you're smart enough to download the accompanying app all by your lonesome, without the help of any redundant user guides. This is Earth, after all, and we've all been here our whole lives, so not everything has to be packaged for the tech-illiterate, or an alien visitor that's just touched-down and knows nothing of our Earthly ways. Just open the box, grab the shiny new toys, and start playing with them kiddies.

Easiest Harmony Setup EVER

Back in the Harmony 1000 days, many of us ripped out hair, wanted to punch computer screens and hurled remotes across the room because the setup process was absolute crap. Class Action Lawsuit kinda stuff. (Did you all get your 50-cents from that one yet?) By contrast, Logitech has done the impossible with this Simple Remote, and given us the one thing we all wanted -- EASY setup. I've always thought that if Logitech truly wanted to make a cutting-edge remote, then they needed to figure out a way to make them work within 10 minutes out of the box, with little to no setup. There's a whole bunch of customers out there who want to consolidate the pile of remotes on their coffee tables into one, easy to use universal remote. But most of these same customers could never get a Harmony setup and working in the first place. Well, Logitech did it -- anyone from age 6-86 could setup this remote. All they need to know is the brand and model number of their components. Easy-peasy.

10 Minutes and I was Up and Running

Literally; no joke. I downloaded the app to my tablet, created an account, punched in the make and model for my TV, A/V receiver, 2 DirecTV DVRs, a Blu Ray player, and had 3 activities up and running within 10 minutes. All WITHOUT connecting anything to my computer directly -- just WiFi. The blaster updates the handheld remote itself, and within seconds of hitting 'sync' on my tablet's app, the remote was programmed and ready to use. Really, I'm not kidding! I guess Logitech really was listening to our complaints all these years after all.

Secondary Setup - 15 Additional Minutes

After the initial setup, I decided to customize some buttons. That required visiting Logitech's website, installing their new web browser plugin, and making a few tweaks. For one, I think Logitech got the FF/Skip and Rewind/Skip buttons backwards. I skip commercials more than I fast forward or rewind, so I wanted the commands reversed from factory default -- short press for skip, long press for FF and Rewind. That step had the option of connecting the blaster to my computer to update it, OR, I could use the app and hit the 'sync' button, and everything was wirelessly updated to the remote within seconds -- -- great job Logitech!!

Button Battery & Power Consumption

The remote itself is powered by a large, wristwatch type, button battery. Gutsy move Logitech. The lack of a touchscreen means this remote draws little power. And there's nary an LED on it, which I love, so there isn't a lot to drain the battery. Button presses are only brief and intermittent, so this thing shouldn't need a lot of juice. Plus, the tiny battery means the remote can be much thinner than any other remote.

A Sleek Thing of Beauty

If there's awards for tech design, this should win one. The remote is a cross between a ninja weapon and a Sci-Fi gizmo. It's very thin and compact. And it feels Fantastic in the paw. The body is contoured and ergonomic. The finish is textured on the bottom, so it doesn't slide off the sofa armrest like my others always do. And Logitech made the genius move of placing a counterweight into the remote, so it balances nicely in the hand. This is the kind of remote you could fall asleep with in your hand and forget it's even there -- it's that comfortable and natural to hold. Again, a thing of beauty to be admired for us tech nerds.

Multi-Touch Buttons

Virtually all the buttons on the remote can have a dual function -- Long Press for one command, Short Press for another. Utterly brilliant! And the buttons have a nice rubbery feel, yet are Not spongy and hard to press like some remotes can be. The buttons are very responsive and have excellent tactile function.

The App

If you're still itching for that touchscreen remote, fear not, just use the accompanying app. I'd much rather use my 10" tablet than a small crappy touchscreen on a remote that's hard to see, and not as responsive as my tab. I'm using the Android app on my phone and tablet, and it works quite well. Touch gestures, inviting layout, very snappy and responsive, great menus. And the app has every button that's available on my original manufacturer's remotes. All on a nice, large, tablet touchscreen. My tablet is always on my lap anyway, so remind me again why I'd want to spend extra on the Harmony Ultimate? No thanks, I'd probably keep hitting that touchscreen accidentally, like on my Harmony 900. Sometimes Simple is better.

Complaints

None come to mind, other than: what took you so long?!? I wanted this remote years ago! Just glad it's finally here, and that I've got one in my hot little paws.

Bottom Line - take note, tech designers -- this is how truly cutting edge gadgets are supposed to work -- NO reading, and NO complicated setup -- that's YOUR job. My part in this, is to buy it, take it out of the box, and use it -- no more, no less. Logitech got everything right on this one. Absolutely the best Harmony remote I have ever tried, hands down. And all at a reasonable price. So long as the button battery in the remote has a decent lifespan, this remote is perfection in our household. Keep heading in this direction, Logitech; this is how ALL of your gadgets should be designed to function. Happy! ;oD
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Much the Best Harmony yet!, December 24, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Logitech Harmony Smart Control with Smartphone App and Simple Remote - Black (915-000194) (Electronics)
I have owned about 12 Harmony remotes over the past 10 years. I have 4 A/V set-ups in my home including a home theatre, multiple stereos, several Tivos, Apple TV's, Blue Ray players and a SlingBox. I also have a pretty significant wired and wireless network, with a dedicated A/V server and a couple of wireless Routers/Access Points. I also happen to have several generations of IPads, IPhones, iPod Touches and android based devices, some of them just sitting around....a large family with a lot of kids means you update these things fairly frequently, either because they break or because a new device has the latest kid-must-have feature or IOS. Oh, and I was in IT for 20 years. I'm providing this background so anyone reading understands that I am technically savvy and have a history with Harmony and their devices.

I bought my first smart control to replace a failed Harmony 700 unit in my family room. The package consists of the wireless hub and the remote. The hub device was about as easy to set up on my wireless network as any other wireless device, requiring you to plug the unit into your computer first and set the SSID and security settings. Once this is done, you can access the device wirelessly. You also need to establish your Logitech Harmony account on the device. Once THIS is done, you can move any previous device configuration (like the one I had set up on my now-failed 700) into the Smart Control. The process was...eh...more-or-less seamless, but I had to re-create all of the custom buttons I had created before (i.e. red, blue, yellow and green buttons perform specific functions depending on which activity you are in.)

Here's the cool part. Once you set up the device, you can use any tablet or phone to make adjustments to it. You no longer need to go to the Harmony site to make changes and then download them to your device. Now, as soon as you make the change to the hub and update settings, the change is active on every device you own.

The remote is fairly capable but there is a little learning curve if you are used to a device with an LCD or touch screen. It is very slim and light, but it feels a little better than the previous units like the 650 or 700. It is not backlit, which is a huge problem in my A/V room. I'm hoping that these units will work longer than my prior Harmony units, which tended to fail in one way or another within about 2 years (usually a single button would fail, the battery connection would develop a fault or a rubber button cover would pop off). I've never been able to figure out why the failure rate is so high on these things considering I have NEVER had any other TV, stereo, Tivo or DVD/Blu-Ray remote fail. It seems like a built-in obsolescence thing that in spite of the hefty price, is sort of the Harmony way. I am banking on this Smart Control Hub lasting much longer since it is just an electronic device with no buttons. Since I'm using my own devices, it won't be the end of the world when the Harmony remote fails as long as the hub continues to work. I opted not to get the touch screen version of the remote because I have so many IOS devices around.

The biggest pain on the remote is that there are no DVR specific buttons like skip, thumbs up, etc., but you can program the four color buttons to do things with 1 press or two for a total of 8 functions. There are a couple of other buttons that are not automatically programmed that you can use, too.

The "Smart State" in the hub is pretty nice if you are using tablets or smart phones. It keeps tack of the last commands from any remotes and when you, say, go to the Harmony app on your iPad after somebody else turned something on with the remote, the iPad will know what activity is in progress.

Oh, and since the hub is wireless, you can connect to and use it from anywhere in the house. The other day I heard a faint subwoofer rumbling sound coming from the A/V room and remembered I left the system on. (Tivo switched to live TV after a long pause.) I opened the app on my iPhone and it showed me that the system was still watching Tivo. Turned it all off from the dining room.

There are still a few "synch" problems that can occur. Any previous Harmony user knows what I mean, but if you are new to Harmony, the biggest problem with these devices is when they think your A/V system is in one state or activity (Activity is the Harmony term for "Watch TV" or "Play Blu Ray") and your system is actually in a different state. This happens when, for example, the wife picks up the Tivo remote and turns on the TV. Harmony does not know the TV is on because the command did not pass through the Harmony system. As much as we all want the Harmony to be our absolutely, positively ONLY remote, you still have to keep your device remotes in a drawer someplace nearby...or you have to program the Harmony with extra button functions to handle the occasional issue. The Harmony help system works pretty well at resolving issues, also. It will try to turn everything off, for example, so you can start again. Overall, this system does very well at keeping track of your devices...much better than any previous remote-only Harmony systems. And since the IR is coming from a device already in or near your equipment, you don't have to aim the remote or tablet at your equipment. This eliminates a lot of command errors that occur when somebody is standing between you and the TV, for example.

OK, for those of you who have never used a Harmony remote before, these devices are different. Really different. First, you define the devices in your system, typically by manufacturer and model number. (The Harmony database is huge, so your equipment is already in there.) Then you define "Activities" by walking through a routine that asks you what devices are used and then what settings each device uses to achieve the desired result. So for Tivo, it's "Use TV, Tivo and Pioneer receiver. Set TV to HDMI 1, and Receiver to HDMI 1. Once saved, your remote then communicates with the receiver for volume and the Tivo to change channels, view guide, etc.

The tablet interface is also pretty nice. Any button you program for your remote will also perform the same function on a tablet. Plus there are gesture controls, which take a little getting used to, but work pretty well. There are other options like favorite channels that display pushbutton icons. There is one problem, though. The tablet remote keys are Exactly the same as the remote, meaning you can't customize the LAYOUT of the keys like you can in some more expensive tablet based A/V controllers. You can't just add the missing thumbs-up and thumbs-down buttons, for example, as new buttons on the button layout on your tablet. You have the same buttons in the tablet as you do on the device itself. Period. That's really too bad considering the ultimate flexibility in a touch-screen tablet or smartphone. I understand why harmony did not unleash this beast...mainly because touchscreen layout design is a nightmare even for professional A/V people. Giving it to the average Joe who buys one of these systems is asking for a TON of support calls. Logitech learned this lesson from the old "macro" options in older Harmony remotes that advanced users loved but basic users frequently tripped over. That feature is no longer available.

About the hub. It is a small device about the size of a short stack of pancakes. It converts commands presented across the network or from the remote and sends them to the devices to be controlled. The unit can sit anywhere in a room but a direct line of site to the equipment is best. you can also put it inside a cabinet since it is communicating to remotes via wi-fi. It comes with one IR-bug so you can keep the device out but still wire into a closed cabinet. There is an additional jack for a second IR-bug if needed. With two jacks, you could use one jack inside a cabinet and another jack to run an IR-bug into the room to control motorized screens, the projector, blinds, lights, whatever. There are hundreds of IR-bug solutions to help you figure out how to manage devices spread all over a room.

About the only tablet device I haven't loaded the harmony app onto is a Kindle Fire HDX I just bought for my wife. Amazon doesn't seem to have the Harmony as an app for Kindle yet, but I should still be able to get it loaded via another Android device. Advanced Android users can probably do this pretty easily but it could be challenging for basic Kindle users. The app loads and works easily on IOS and straight Android (non-Kindle) devices.

So...over all, I give this device a 4. It would be a 5 (and may yet become a 5) if I could customize the layout on a tablet and If Amazon had the app so I could load it on a Kindle Fire without having to go through hoops. If you have ever owned a Harmony before, this thing is a sure bet. Buy it. If you have not owned a Harmony before, be prepared for a mindset change and probably a little frustration in getting everything set up. Still worth it in the end.
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38 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the Wait, June 12, 2013
By 
T. Forgan (Dallas, TX USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Logitech Harmony Smart Control with Smartphone App and Simple Remote - Black (915-000194) (Electronics)
Totally worth the wait. I'm still keeping my Harmony One, but I duplicated my Harmony One with my new Smart Control and the setup / conversion went flawless. the only issue was the little black booklet Setup Guide does not tell you how to connect the hub to your WiFi network. (You just plug the hub to your PC via OCB an go to MyHarmony.com). I have to admit, this is a GREAT little remote control. You get an RF remote control, a better button layout on the remote than the Ultimate. Fairly customizable. As a customer installer, for my customers who have simple needs (90% of them), this is a GREAT remote control. Thanks Logitech. Now figure out a way to make money with these and don't sell or dismantle the Harmony line of products!

Revision: NOTE THE REMOTE ITSELF DOES NOT HAVE IR CAPABILTIES. So if your components are in another room where the blasters cannot see the TV, you will to find a different way to turn on/control the TV and soundbar. (options are running an IR head to the TV, using TV/soundbar remote to turn on TV and control volume, or bite the bullet and get a Harmony Ultimate which does have local IR capabilities)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars General Tips - (and Xbox One users, please read), October 26, 2013
This review is from: Logitech Harmony Smart Control with Smartphone App and Simple Remote - Black (915-000194) (Electronics)
I have to admit, I absolutely love this universal remote control. It still amazes me every time I use it, since it works so many different devices simultaneously (of varying signals).

Three tips to save you a few headaches:

1) Make sure you go into all of your devices, and turn off "HDMI A/V Sync" or the like. This is the feature that allows your TV remote to control your DirecTV remote, or vice versa. You need this setting OFF on everything for the Hub to work properly.
2) Make sure your DirecTV receiver is on the "IR" Remote Setting only (some have both RF and IR, so you want the setting to be switched to IR only).
3) If you have a Projector (mine is Epson), make sure the "Direct Power Off" feature is turned ON. Otherwise it doesn't power off properly, and instead switches inputs when the Hub is trying to power it off.

Some steps that will be very helpful to you:

1) Go to [...] and create an account.
2) As soon as you get the device, sign into your account, and even though the device Setup works via Bluetooth, plug the HUB into your PC anyhow. You should be prompted to download a browser plugin for the remote control hub, so obviously do that if you haven't already.
3) When you begin, you will immediately be prompted to update the Hub's firmware, so do it right away. This will alleviate 99% of any issues other users experienced.
4) Then, you will be prompted to add the Hub to your home wireless network, where you have the option of either continuing to set it up via the PC, or you can disconnect it from the PC and instead do the setup via your iOS device (which is what I did).

Here is where the real fun starts:

1) Even though the free iOS App is sized for iPhones only, it can still be downloaded and installed on an iPad as well. This was great, because I had an older iPad lying around that was collecting dust, so I decided to download the App to the iPad, and use it primarily as a universal remote in my home theater (very cool!).
2) Running the setup via the iOS App also familiarized me to it, so it was simple to use and navigate after.
3) The iOS App was SUPER SIMPLE, with step by step instructions the entire way for adding devices, and even setting up my "one button" multi-device controls.

OK, so the skinny of it is that, the setup found every one of my devices automatically by make and model, so after I added all 4 of them (it can handle up to 8), they included:

1) Sony Receiver - (uses an IR Remote)
2) Epson Projector - (uses an RF Remote)
3) Playstation 3 - (uses a Bluetooth Remote)
4) DirecTV DVR/HD Receiver - (uses IR or RF)

Initially, all three of my devices accepted the Hub's commands except the DirecTV box, but the Smart Control comes with one "IR Mini Blaster" that you can connect to the hub, then move a few feet away for a better all-around signal, so once I connected that and placed it in my cabinet near my DirecTV box every device caught the Hub's commands perfectly.

Once the setup was done, the Hub automatically set up the "one-button" commands as well, so at the press of one button I can simultaneously turn on my DirecTV, turn on my Projector to the corresponding Video input, and turn on my receiver to the corresponding Audio input, even though they are all different signals. LIKEWISE, I EVEN PROGRAMMED A PLAYSTATION BUTTON, SO IT WORKS EXACTLY THE SAME AND CHANGES CORRESPONDING INPUTS EVEN THOUGH IT IS BLUETOOTH, WOW !!!

Immediately after the setup completed the Hub then sent EVERYTHING I just did to the remote, so no matter what I watch the remote now knows that volume is always via the receiver, and Play/Pause type controls are always the PlayStation, etc, etc ..... I NEVER HAVE TO CHANGE AN INPUT ON THE REMOTE REGARDLESS OF THE SCENARIO, ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!

The only reason I give this remote 4 stars instead of 5 is because of two things:

1) No backlight on the remote .... Kind of a bummer in a dark home theater room (though the iPad is handy here, with the exception of #2 below).
2) The iOS App "disconnects" itself from your wireless network if not used for a bit, so the first time you sit down and go to run it, it can take a few seconds to "reconnect" .... Not a huge deal, but having to pause for a few seconds each time gets annoying. Personally, I prefer to use the physical remote most of the time (which has all the same buttons as the App), then I just use the App to show off to friends on occasion, haha.

HIGHLY recommended for a mere $125 on amazon (at this time).

******************** UPDATE 11/24: *******************

Just got the XBox One, and although the remote does control it, if you connect your cable/satellite box directly to the xbox (as intended), this controller can only control ONE at a time. Meaning: the Xbox starts up in it's HOME screen, where the controller can navigate the Xbox menu fine, BUT, if you switch to TV Mode the controller can no longer work your cable/satellite Box (since it is still in "Xbox Mode" ....

There is a trick to getting this to work (until maybe they release an update that does it automatically):

1) Create a WATCH TV profile on the remote, and designate the XBOX as the channel changer when prompted.
2) Then go back and CUSTOMIZE the remote's buttons individually so that SHORT presses work the Cable Box, and LONG presses work the XBOX (or whatever combo you want).

This is the only way I have found to get the remote to properly work both the XBox Menu, and my DirecTV Menu at the same time (without having to switch modes at the top).

Also, since I have a DVR in my DirecTV box, I made a separate "WATCH MOVIE" profile with all of the buttons designated strictly to the DirecTV box, that way if I really need I can quickly switch over to an "all cable" remote when watching TV.

Please do feel free to post if anyone has found a better way, thanks!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Choice - way better than my old Harmony 890, October 12, 2013
By 
I. Stevens (Sacramento, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Logitech Harmony Smart Control with Smartphone App and Simple Remote - Black (915-000194) (Electronics)
I'm a huge fan of this device. I bought it to replace an old Harmony 890, because I was tired of charging the battery, sticky volume keys, and the inability to control my ps3 with buying a $50 add on.

Set up was remarkably easy. The new software they use for set up is light years ahead of the old Harmony software. My favorite part on the software side is being able to update the remote with plugging into USB.

An added bit of awesomeness is the cloud storage for settings, and syncing device states. I can switch between using my phone app and the included remote and it knows what devices are on already.

The included remote is awesome. I like the asthetic of it. Very thin and uncluttered, but very powerful. My wife never really used my harmony 890. I think she was turned off by the touch screen (which made it look overly complex) and the fact that the battery was always dying. Not so with the remote that comes with the smart hub. She uses it exclusively now.

My one gripe with the remote is lack of device buttons. I like to use the remote whenever possible (instead of the smartphone app), but occasionally have to use the phone app when an activity misfires (e.g. fails to switch inputs on the TV).

Overall, I highly recommend this product. It controls all my devices (ps3, stereo, tv, and htpc with an ir receiver), never needs recharging, and has an easy learning curve for less techy people.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works Great, August 24, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Logitech Harmony Smart Control with Smartphone App and Simple Remote - Black (915-000194) (Electronics)
This is my third Logitech remote and by far the best.

For the 1st two ( a Harmony 550 and a Harmony 880) I would only give three stars. They had too many odd quirks, plus when someone wanted to change the channel, they would grab the remote, stare at it for a minute, then give up and hand it to me with a pleading look.

Now it was nice never having the TV changed mid stream while I was watching a program but really, too many buttons and just non-intuitive.

The simple remote is the best idea since doing away with the wire. At first glance it looks like your "run of the mill" remote with no bells and whistles. Wrong, it's all in there. Very customizable with plenty of programmability.

What Logitech really did was split the remote into two parts. The hub is really a Wi-Fi enabled remote with the IR transmitter. It plugs in the wall and sits near your entertainment center. The remote you hold in your hand is nothing but a keyboard and I'm assuming a Bluetooth transmitter. That is why the remote can be so slim, light and elegant.

I have only positives to say about the remote. To be fair though, better documentation would help.

Now one of Logitech's selling points is using a smartphone to program your new remote and to act as a remote itself. I say why bother. It might be fun for an afternoon and your friends will think its cool but think about it. Do you really want to wake up your phone and launch the app just to turn up the TV's volume.

Don't fret about the IPhone app being a waste. Not so. Remember how I said the remote was "Very customizable with plenty of programmability". That is where the IPhone app comes in. In that rare situation where you need to change a setting in that overly complex surround sound receiver, the IPhone app does just fine.

As far as initial installation. Here are the steps I found to work best.

1) With the supplied cable plug you new hub into a computers USB port. go to MyHarmony.com and create a new account.
2) None of the old Logitech accounts will work, so do step one. Got it?
3) Follow the sites directions.
4) If you had an old Harmony, you are in luck. You can import all of your setting.
5) But watch out, you may have to tweak a few settings in step 4.
6) After the website syncs the remote, you can log out.
7) Take the remote hub and plug it in near your entertainment center.
8) Download the MyHarmony app on your device.
9) Have fun.

Pros:
No more IR. Works first time, every time.
Simple and intuitive to use.
An IPhone can be used in a pinch.........Has anyone seen the remote........ : )
No more charging the remote. They say batteries should last a year.
Just feels right in my hand.

Cons
Now everyone can change my TV : )
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