69 of 74 people found the following review helpful
Lots of pros and cons -- but still a great device,
This review is from: Logitech Harmony 700 Rechargeable Remote with Color Screen (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Program (What's this?)I have heard so many wonderful things about the Harmony line of remotes. I could not wait to try this one out.
OUT OF THE BOX
In the box came a remote with a USB cord and a charger with partially charged rechargeable batteries.
The remote is sleek and stylish. It is weighted towards the bottom, but my hand wants to be in the middle to control the buttons up top, so there were balance issues, but no big deal.
I have lots of rechargeable NiMh batteries, so I put a pair of fully charged hybrid batteries in. That way, I wouldn't need to plug in my remote very soon. It immediately flashed instructions on the little tiny screen about how to set it up, including when to connect to a computer and what website to visit.
Setup was easy but much more time consuming than I expected from all the buzz. I am not that familiar with the Harmony remotes, but I thought ease of setup was its allure. So when the instructions said to allot 45 minutes for setting up, I was surprised. And remember, you'll need a computer with an internet connection. For the technologically challenged, this could be a problem.
Most of my time was spent pulling the AV units out of the cabinets and looking for a model number. I also had to run up and downstairs in order to answer setup questions about how the remote operations are set up on my television. Once, when I did not know the answer to a question of how my old remote is set up, the Harmony "learned" from my old remote by having me place my old remote behind it.
The availability of channel icons is pretty limited. I could not find most of the ones I wanted and had to either go without or find them on the internet, download them, unzip them and install them.
Once I was done, I got to experience the beauty of the remote.
Once it's set up, it's very easy to use. My 8 year old figured it out right away. My husband, who's not technologically savvy, figured it out.
The favorites show up on screen as soon as I press the "watch TV" button. If you have a very challenged family member, put their favorites right there and s/he can just press the button next to his/her favorite channel.
I press a button and all the proper equipment turns on or off. Want to watch TV? The satellite receiver and TV turn on but the DVD player and VCR stays off. Want to watch a movie on DVD? Press the button and the DVD player, TV and satellite receiver (I have that set to always be on but it can be set to automatically be off) are on but the VCR stays off.
The biggest disadvantage with the operation I see is a mild delay when I press the commands. Press the "watch TV" button and I have to wait a second. Press the Disney channel and I have to wait a second. It's not a long wait, but it is noticeable.
+ a true all in one remote
+ Harmony remote can "learn" from other remotes
+ easy to use and learn
+ one touch on/off operation -- simultaneously turn everything you need on and off at once (things you don't need on will stay off)
+ set up instructions flash on screen when batteries installed -- includes which website to visit
+ sleeps when put down, wakes up when picked up
+ favorite channels show on remote screen when watching TV for quick access
+ comes with batteries
- allow 45 minutes to set up
- included icon selection is limited -- must download your own
- must plug in to recharge -- no cradle, and no memory if batteries removed
- need an internet connection for setup
- weighted towards the bottom but my hands wants to be near the top -- causes balance issues
- slight delay between pressing a command button and seeing the action desired
Overall a terrific device, definitely a step above the all-in-one remotes requiring code entry. Love the customizability of the favorites channels and the ability to add icons. Wish I didn't have to go hunting the internet for those icons and would like a cradle for my next Harmony. I do plan on upgrading one day.
UPDATE: I did find a way to fix the delay issue in the online manual (that is another disadvantage, no printed manual), but I haven't gotten around to fixing it, yet. If it's a problem to fix, I will update.
UPDATE: Before writing the initial review, I did take out the batteries to see what would happen with the remote. When I put them back in, the remote would not turn the TV or any other device on, so I had to go back to the computer to get my settings back -- hence the comment about no memory.
I have since been told there is a memory, so I went back to try again. This time, I did get the settings back, but it was not perfect. Some things changed, little things, like the remote assistant is on when I turn on the TV. I had it set to off.
Thank you, Logitech, for assisting me. At least I know there is a memory.
Tracked by 2 customers
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 21, 2009 7:44:26 AM PDT
Scott Harrington says:
Hi - I wanted to post a brief comment regarding the "no memory if batteries removed". Actually the remote uses flash memory to store the downloaded information - so you should never lose any data when changing batteries.
Hope you continue to enjoy your Harmony!
Harmony Product Marketing
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2009 8:11:09 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 21, 2009 8:26:34 AM PDT
Ah, yes. Thank you. Before posting my review, I did try removing the batteries to see what would happen and then I could not turn on the TV, so I had to go back to my computer to get my settings back. I have tried removing it again and this time, it does work. However, some of my settings were changed back to default, so now I have to go back again to reconnect to my computer. So, there does seem to be a memory, but its performance is not what I'd like.
I have edited the review to include this information. Thank you for your help.
Posted on Jun 12, 2010 11:42:34 PM PDT
Thanks for a through review. Very helpful.
Posted on Nov 4, 2010 7:38:25 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 4, 2010 7:42:04 AM PDT
M. Dowdie says:
As Scott Harrington mentioned, all settings are semi-permanently stored is flash memory when the remote is programmed by the PC. No real settings are lost or changed when the batteries are removed.
The Remote Assistant feature you mentioned (which I find annoying) will reappear when putting new batteries in; you must turn the Remote Assistant using the option in the software and then update the remote again from the computer. That is the only way to turn the Remote Assistant off permanently. But, again this is not a true setting change and based on years of experience with Harmony remotes nothing else changes or is "forgotten" when the batteries are removed.
I just wanted to add this comment because the review makes it sounds like there is a really serious flaw in the way the product is designed, which isn't the case.
Also, and this is a matter of personal preference, I'm glad that this model can use standard rather than rechargeable batteries. I don't want to have to find a cradle to recharge a remote frequently. I prefer to just set the remote down wherever is convenient. I don't mind changing batteries every few months for that convenience.
Thanks for taking time to write and update your review to help others.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 4, 2010 8:34:03 AM PDT
Since the 700 has a color display, it is a battery eater unless you control the display on-time, sorta like a cell phone. If you are going to use standard AA Alkalines, instead of the AA Rechargeables that comes with it, then be sure to set Setting Options in the software not to automatically turn on the display with the Tilt motion detector, and for best results, turn on only when a display or Glow button is pressed, not any button.
Since I already had an AA NiMH household battery charger, which most households do, I found having a backup set of AA Rechargeables ready to inserting when the existing ones are discharged, was the best way to go for me. In any case, after the 700 programming is completed and settled to your liking and the display lighting is well managed, batteries last a very long time.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 4, 2010 8:40:09 AM PDT
M. Dowdie says:
Excellent suggestion - thanks for the tip. Have you found that the rechargeable batteries need to be changed more or less frequently than non-rechargeable alkaline batteries?
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 5, 2010 11:37:31 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 5, 2010 11:42:00 AM PDT
Newer rechargeables are all 1800 Ma/Hr power rated, and most are 2000 or higher. They all store much more power than Alkalines.
But there is a caveat with all NiMH rechargeable batteries. They will self-discharge, even when not used setting on the shelf. This issue has been helped greatly by the new Hybrid NiMHs, that have extended shelf life from about 4 months to over a year. The 700 is shipped with two of these Hybrid rechargeables, Sanyo's Eneloop AAs, but all major battery brands make Hybrids as well, available in your local retail stores. Look for carded AAs labeled Hybrid or PreCharged. They do not cost much more, and the reason they are sometimes labeled PreCharged is they can be sold as ready to use because they can hold their charge, were other standard non-Hybrids sold next to them cannot. Hybrids are charged with any standard NiMH charger.
The fact NiMH batteries self-discharge over time is the reason they should not be used in low draw long term battery applications, like Smoke Detectors, Clocks, Flashlights, Backup power in consumer devices, etc. Remote Controls with displays and/or backlighting are not considered low-power long-term devices.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 10, 2010 8:44:25 AM PST
Dear Mr. Russel:
Thanks for your very informative post. The last paragraph of your recent post was very helpful understanding something that previously I did not know about.
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