This review was originally posted October 18, 2009.
Logitech Harmony 700 Rechargeable Remote with Color Screen
I have heard so many wonderful things about the Harmony line of remotes. I could not wait to try the Logitech Harmony 700.
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.
This product was provided for review by the Amazon Vine program.