on February 17, 2011
If you are like me, universal remotes have always been a gamble, wondering if it will work with the intended devices. Yes, learning remotes help alleviate that a bit, but getting them set up just how you want can be tedious. The Harmony 300i remote is amazingly simple and effective.
Many of the low reviews for this remote (and its sibling, the Logitech Harmony 300 Remote Control (Black) - the only difference is the 300 has a matte finish and the 300i is glossy) are written by those comparing it to a full fledged Harmony, which cost significantly more. This remote is better compared to things closer to its price range, the typical universal remotes with learning features. It seems to be for people who want the benefits of the Harmony line without extra features they will not use. It is in this comparison that the Harmony 300i shines.
The first and most significant benefit is the HUGE Harmony library of compatible devices. No more wondering if a device is supported unless it is VERY uncommon. We got this for a new 55 inch Insignia TV, and Insignia Blu Ray player, and a Direct TV box. The Insignia items were particularly troublesome with other 'universal' remotes, but were simple with the 300i. We used the default programming for all three items, and it works great.
Aside from the large library of supported devices, this remote is remarkably easy to program. Plug it in to your computer, log in (more on that later) and type in your devices' maker and model number. Then sync your remote to your choices. All done. When you choose an actual model number, no more wondering if the code is correct. No more typing in various codes from some small printed manual to see what works. I was able to program these three items at my house and then take over to a relative for her to start using.
If for some reason you do not like the default set up for a device, the remote's software allows you to move options to other buttons by simply dragging the option to the button you want to control that choice. For example, you can choose Volume Up an drag that to any button you so choose. Much easier than having to relearn things button by button to set it up the way you want.
Also, the Harmony does allow learning for functions not included in an items default set up. Since this process is software driven, it is much simpler than any other learning I have tried.
(Note: I did say I am using the default set up, but did try the drag and drop and also learning features just to see how they work.)
One other benefit of the remote is the appearance and comfort level. It looks classy and the shape has a great feeling. If is contoured nicely to your hand and despite its longish size is easy to operate with one hand. While one would expect that, I have used enough universal remotes to realize that not all of them feel great in your hands and not all of them are as easy to operate with one hand.
So... Why only four stars? This remote does require you to register at the Harmony web site to set it up. There is no software included in the package, and even with the appropriate software, it requires logging in to the Harmony web site to make any changes to the remote. Sorry, that bugs me. I have enough items I've had to register, and to do so just to program a remote seems unnecessary. Does it justify a one star drop? Maybe, maybe not. But I could not bring myself to give this items five stars (which implies perfection) based on the registration and log in necessity.
In summary, however, this is a great remote. Does it measure up to the much more expensive Harmony's? Probably not. But for people wanting an easy to use learning remote just to get rid of the remote clutter, this is a great choice.
EDIT: Since the first one was so good, the relative wanted a second one for another room, also with a TV, Blu Ray, and DirectTV box. Long story short... Not only is registration required for EACH remote,, but it must be done with a different email address - you cannot use the same email address to register a different remote at myharmony.com. One registration is bad enough... Having to register each Harmony 300 separately is annoying... But not being allowed to use the same email address is ridiculous...
Considering this, I have reduced my review to three stars. If I wanted annoyances, there are many remotes I could choose from, making the Harmony 300 very average. I hope Logitech takes this into consideration. It almost seems like they expect people to buy only one... But its a good enough product that they should make it easier to own more than one...
UPDATE: As of July 26, 2012, another user is stating that the Harmony system allows more than one remote per user account. Since the remotes are with my relative, I really cannot check. But from his comments, it appears Harmony may have finally caught on to the hassle they created by not allowing that to begin with.
on February 10, 2011
This is a great multi-function remote. Very easy to program using their on-line web site, and the supplied USB cable. You can check and see if this remote will duplicate your particular equipment before purchasing. It allows for 1 source volume control for all of the devices. Initial programming takes about 4-5 minutes, but simple one button changes only take a few seconds after initial set-up. The online software remembers your settings.
What I like about this remote: 5 Stars for...
Ease of programming for all devices.
Easy to add/change button functions.
Easy to hold, very ergonomically designed.
Plenty of buttons to do almost everything.
Good price if you don't have more than 4 devices to control.
A friend found one at Best Buy for under $30.
What I don't like about it: 3 stars for....
Buttons are too small and close to each other.
The markings and fonts on the keys are too small.
It would be great if all the buttons lit up when using.
Very hard to find your place on the remote in a dim lit room.
Black buttons on a black shell makes them almost invisible.
It is very nice and you would be hard pressed to find one this good for the money.
on January 19, 2011
I have Onkyo Receiver, Vizio TV and Verizon Cable box (DVR). I tried many universal remotes earlier but always messing up with remote codes, and nothing worked fully.
I bought it accidentally. I thought I will return it, but then decided to give it a try.
The online programming of remote (while remote attached to computer via USB cable) is awesome and quick. It took 3-4 minutes for initial setup.
Some of the keys did not work for onkyo receiver initially. However, website provided two options to program the keys which were either not programmed or I wanted to program differently. Two options were:
1. I could drag and drop the the command from list of commands of onkyo (available on harmony's site) to the key which I wanted to program. Done. This is interactive and easy process.
2. Second option is called "Teach" where the old remote can transfer the command wirelessly to Harmony remote, and then you can assign that command to a key on harmony remote. Again very easy to use.
I bought it accidentally but I am glad that I bought it. This is cheap and best solution for those who want to get rid of many remotes yet all functions should still available in single remote.
on February 16, 2012
Plenty of other reviewers have praised the numerous advantages of this remote, so I won't go into too much detail besides saying the setup of this remote rocks. It's much better than any other universal remote I've ever used before, so that's a major plus. On top of that the remote is designed pretty well, feels nice in the hand, and has enough buttons and functions to keep most anyone happy.
The real problem is that this remote has a built-in lag/delay of about 1/3 to 1/2 of a second that doesn't go away no matter how you configure it. Logitech has four different delay settings that can be adjusted if you call their support (higher models allow adjustment directly through the configuration software online), but changing these settings doesn't fix the delay. Even when set to zero there's still a very noticeable delay. For example, if you want to quickly increase the volume by 5, and you tap the volume up button five times, it doesn't finish sending those five volume up commands and will continue for another second or two after you've stopped pressing the button. This could be tolerable if it only affected the volume, but any time you want to scroll through a list or a menu accurately you have to deal with this issue and it gets frustrating very quickly. None of the remotes that came with my devices exhibit this behavior, so it is definitely a problem with the Harmony remote.
After calling support a few times they suggested the remote was broken and that I return it. After testing a second Harmony 300 I found that the problem continued and is just a design flaw. In the end, I could not stand the delay and returned it. It's a real shame too because otherwise it's a fantastic remote. If you are not a fast button clicker or not easily annoying by this kind of thing, then you'll probably love the remote because it's so great besides the lag. Really wish there was some way to fix it. After some more research online I was able to find numerous reports of this same issue regardless of which model of Harmony the owner was using (Harmony One, 700, 650, 550 all have the same issue).
on March 2, 2011
This is a great remote as long as you know how you intend to use it. Like the description says, this remote can be programmed for 4 devices and supports just one activity (the "watch tv" function). Note that this is a no-frills version of the Harmony remotes. If you're used to Harmony remotes, you'll likely be disappointed. It uses the Logitech database of devices for programming the remote, but it automatically assigns devices to function buttons and this cannot be changed in the software. My receiver got assigned to the "DVD" button and my htpc to the "VCR/Aux" button--not very intuitive, obviously. Aside from the one activity button, it basically functions like a universal remote, albeit a very high quality one.
I got the 300i to use with my htpc running win 7 media center, a Pioneer receiver, and a Vizio HD tv. Here's the most important part: since my htpc drives everything in my living room, I only need one "activity" button. That means I hardly ever use the separate device buttons.
Build quality is impressive. It feels solid, buttons are easy to push and have a nice amount of travel. With the 300i, you get a glossy chassis that looks great but it is a fingerprint magnet. My main gripe is the absence of backlit buttons: only the device buttons light up momentarily when pushed. But then again, you're getting the most inexpensive remote of the Harmony line.
Setup is easy, as long as you're patient.
1. Attach the remote to your pc with the included USB cable
2. Go to the website and download the software (which opens in your web browser)
3. Follow the prompts to add your devices (use "Microsoft Media Center SE" as the device for your WMC htpc). The software prompts you with make and models.
4. If it doesn't have the device in the database, it will learn the basic commands directly from your existing remote.
5. You can customise the buttons for each device. If there are buttons on your original remote that were not imported, you can teach them to the 300i. I had no problem doing this with my old Microsoft remote.
6. You can program the "watch tv" button to turn on any combination of your devices. I set it to turn on the tv, receiver, and wake the pc from sleep. The button also turns off the tv and receiver and puts the htpc to sleep.
7. Finally, you can set the volume controls to be handled by any device. I have the 300i set to use my receiver exclusively for all volume regardless of which device is selected.
8. Sync the remote and disconnect from the pc. That's it. Took me maybe 20 minutes.
It just works. As soon as it was configured, I showed my wife and she was thrilled: "you mean I don't have to get up to turn everything on and off?!" In fact, the one button to turn everything on and off is exactly why I got this remote as I don't need other activities.
The only "issues" thus far are mostly related to adapting to a new device. First, the 300i has a good broadcast range but sometimes it misses a device. I think this is because I'm used to holding my old remote at a different angle. Adjusting the angle slightly fixes the problem.
Second, you can't push the buttons rapid fire. There's a momentary lag after each button push. Again, this is only noticeable while adjusting from using my old remote. It doesn't really affect normal usage, even while skipping through commercials in recorded tv shows.
Third, the Logitech software requires you to register to use the software. This only requires an email address and password. If you have more than one remote, however, you will need to register each one separately (with a different email address for each). I don't understand why Logitech couldn't design the software to use multiple devices per email address. This isn't a problem in my little house, but people with multiple systems in multiple rooms might take issue with this.
On the whole, I'm very please with this remote and I have no problem recommending it. Just know WHY you're getting it, and you won't be disappointed.
on March 26, 2011
I was really impressed with this remote. Setting it up via USB and their PC app is awesome! It has codes for everything! So simple to add/change buttons. I really loved this thing. It should get 5 stars! It should get 10!!
Then it happened. I tried to get it to the 100% point of why I got this kind of remote. Below is a reply I posted on Logitech's so-called support site when I found that the Device Buttons (TV, DVD, Sat/Cbl, VCR/Aux) are not user-settable.
I, too, am frustrated. Here's my story. First, I assigned my Dish network DVR - it went to Sat/Cable just fine. Next, my Receiver (Denon avr-391) and it went to Aux. Added a PS3 to my system and I bought the adapter - It assigned as DVD, which is perfect for me as that is going to be its main function (discs and netflix). So far so good. Then I wanted it to control the projector (Optomo) on power up/down, so I assinged that, and it came up as TV - again, everything is where it should be.
Sat = Sat
Rcvr = Aux
PS3 = DVD
Prjctr = TV
I now have a Roku box, and decided to remove the projector from my devices list and add Roku. The only thing the remote was doing with the projector was turning it on - since turning it off (along with half the TVs on the market now) requires a second press of the power button and the remote can't do that (with the Watch TV button). I added Roku XD and now is when the trouble starts. Just as mentioned by OP, things have been rearranged into the weirdest locations. Why on earth would my AV Receiver be listed as TV? The PS3 is now VCR/Aux, and the Roku is DVD. The only thing that stayed where it belongs is the cable box.
These are not user-changeable! What a mistake!
So I started reading these (logitech) forums and decided to remove the Roku - ta da! the other buttons went back to where they belong! Only problem is that I can't force the Roku to be what I want (probably TV), so I guess I'll have to leave it off of the remote - how annoying.
My other problem - poor response by Logitech.
I've read a number of the threads here on this topic and it seems that logitech doesn't plan on addressing this - and the snarky 10,000+ post dweebs are no help what so ever. So, I'm going to post all of what I just wrote here on my Amazon Review, and on my Crutchfield review. Most people don't find these kinds of problem threads when they are researching to buy something - only when they have problems. But, more and more people are reading Amazon reviews - this hits them in the wallet. I suggest others do the same, maybe Logitech will listen then.
If it wasn't for how wonderful the rest of the remote works, I'd give it only 1/2 a star. True, not everyone will have this same setup, but plenty of people have enough uniqueness that those 4 buttons should be addressable.
on December 27, 2011
Normally, when I see 1-star reviews, I tend to take them with a healthy bit of salt.
In the past, I would have given Harmony remotes 4-5 stars. However, over the past WEEK, I have been unable to connect to the Logitech site, except once in a while for very short periods of time, and usually not long enough to get the job done. When it does work, it is mind-numbingly slow. I went to the Logitech forums to try to determine what was up. There I saw many others with the same problem, since well before Christmas, and over many other times of the year.
Logitech was (and is) unprepared for the volume of people, trying to set up their remotes. All of these people paid money for the remote control, which REQUIRES access to the Logitech site, even for minor changes to the programming in the remote. The price paid is supposed to include this access.
The access problems apply not only to the low-cost Harmony 300, but also to ALL other Harmony remotes. I have the 300 as well as an older 550. The former uses the website-based ("cloud") software at myharmony (period) com. The latter uses the version 7.7 Harmony software which runs on my computer. However, even this pc-based software requires access to the Logitech site. Here is what my software tells me today, the 27th of December:
"We are sorry. Many people like you are excited to set up their new remotes, so we're experiencing a high volume of traffic. Please try again later."
"set up [my] NEW remote?" I can't even get in to add a device or change buttons on my EXISTING remote! Logitech is alienating existing customers, along with the new ones.
Logitech is unable to handle the volume of traffic associated with the hardware they sold and thus has committed BREACH of CONTRACT. Would you consider buying any device which required software, but for which you could not obtain software? And yet this is exactly what Logitech has done.
One star. I hope many others will follow my lead. Logitech deserves the bad press on this one.
=========== UPDATE TWO YEARS LATER ===============
Well, we've used this for two years. I've not programmed it again since (FINALLY) getting into the website.
In two years, the "Watch TV" button is all but gone. Pressing it rapidly 5-7-10 times will usually get it to work once. The volume button is starting to show the same issue. We don't watch TV 24-7, nor flip channels all the time, nor turn the TV on/off multiple times a day. So figure, what, maybe 800-1200 pushes of that "Watch TV" button before it is no good any more? Pretty bad. Yes, we changed the batteries. One star stands.
on May 1, 2011
Typical of most households, we had 4 remotes in our living room. We recently replaced our old DVD player with a Blu-Ray, with yet another remote for me to get used to. My husband (who is not remote-challenged like me) got the Logitech Harmony 300 remote which he was very happy with. I watched him controlling everything with just that one remote, while I was still fumbling around with the original 4, so I decided to get a one for myself. (I got the Harmony 300i - I believe the only difference is the finish - the 300 is black matte finish and my 300i is glossy black; otherwise they seem identical). This turned out to be the perfect solution for us - we each have our own remote, and we've taken the old individual remotes and put them away in a closet.
The Logitech Harmony 300i was super easy to set up (even for me) - just connect via USB to the computer, go to Logitech's website with its really great interface and set the remote's buttons to do whatever you'd like, and whatever task seems more logical or more ergonomic to you. The website has a huge database, and it easily located our 6-year old TV, our brand new Blu-Ray player, our satellite box, and best of all, our 10-year-old Harman-Kardon receiver. After some experimentation and returning to the website a few times to change some of my choices, I've got all the buttons programmed to do everything I want; the only thing physically left to do is get up and put a disk in the player. I highly recommend this remote (particularly for the remote/electronics challenged like me); the price is right and makes it easy for each person to have his or her own personal remote which controls everything.
on May 18, 2011
I have owned many Harmony remotes and really like their feature-set, especially the wide ranging database of "known products" to control. But I have grown especially fond of the "Activities" that the Harmony-line allows. When you have more than one component to control (and probably 99% of you who are shopping for a "smart", universal remote do), the ability to determine which components need to be powered-on (or off), what order to do that in, and any additional, custom codes you want sent to the devices is absolutely brilliant. For those of you who own other Harmony remotes (or have owned them), you know what I'm referring to.
While this remote relies on the same, comprehensive device database from Logitech, there is only one "activity" that can be setup, and that activity is heavily crippled in its capability. The button is "Watch TV", and you can only choose the devices you want on (not the order to power them on, which is important in some situations), and whether you want the TV's input set to a specific one. Nothing else. The remote that came with my VZ set top box has more programmability. But if that is "enough", it's a solid remote.
The other "trick" is that you have to go assign the volume buttons to a specific device -- which it certainly should allow -- but the programming was different and kludgy in how you get there, IMHO.
So, as I said, if you have owned other Harmony remotes, you will probably find this model to be a disappointment. You can argue that the price may offset its limitations, and that's a valid argument too. I think Logitech should have better advertised the subset of typical Harmony functionality they provided in this model.
on February 14, 2016
I am very pleased with this remote. As with almost everything I purchase, I looked at many different one's and checked out some reviews before I made up my mind. This is perfect for me as I only have 4 devices that I need to operate, as well as the fact that anything too advanced would have my wife pulling her hair out if she tried to use it. It has a very straight-forward layout/design and is very easy to use. I love the fact that I can have full function control over all of my devices with one remote, something that has been sorely lacking in other universal remotes I've purchased in the past.
I had to do a small amount of customization to the controls to have that with a couple of my devices but, it's very easy to do and having full control over what buttons will do what is just awesome. In the software you have a picture of the remote along with a list of all of the commands from each device and you can drag and drop commands to the button you want to assign it to. If a command is missing it's extremely easy to teach that new command to the remote from the original and you have the same control over the new command/commands.
The one I received is the glossy black, which I thought someone said was the 300i but, I ordered the 300 so, I don't what's up with that. The only negative points I could make are that it's pretty slippery and can be difficult to hang on to at times and when selecting my TV input I can't just hit input then use the directional buttons to choose what I want, I have to hit input repeatedly to get it to where I want it, which is something I don't really like but, it's a very small drawback.
At first I was having trouble getting it to complete the sync within the software so I couldn't do any customization, it had done enough that it worked but, I wanted and needed to customize a bit. I soon discovered that I just needed to pull one of the batteries out for a few seconds then put it back and try again, it worked perfectly after that. So, if you're having trouble give that a try.