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Harmony Remote Control Owners & Discussion Thread


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I think this is a deal breaker for me.  I like being self sufficient and having to call a physical human to reprogram my gear is painful for the both of us. 

I've been contacted by a company as a result of this thread with what they say is a cost effective alternative to the Logitech, albeit far more powerful in its ability (if desired). I have a sample co

Not disagreeing with you at all. You’re absolutely right. It’s not a replacement for Logitech,  but in the absence of that I took the plunge on an ‘alternative’.    With the amount of gear I go

Interested to hear from forum members who have any of the Harmony range of remotes and what your experiences/thoughts are of them.

I recently got a Harmony 680 - and it's absolutely brilliant. You create an account online at http://www.logitech.com/harmony/ (try their test drive) and configure your devices from their massive database, then link them to 'activities' like 'Watch DVD'. You can have multiple of the same activity to do different things, and rename them accordingly. Once you're done, click to download the config to the remote via the included USB cable. If you need to make manual changes to the button mappings or learn from another remote, you can do that too. But mostly it gets it right.

I've only had one issue - the Toshiba HDD-J35 STB/PVR has a very basic config file on their database - only around 27 of 59 or so buttons on the Toshiba's remote are in the Harmony config file. So I've reported it to Harmony/Logitech, and am in the process of teaching it the commands from the Toshiba remote. That is also web driven and very easy.

Having said that, every other device in the house was recognised perfectly - even our kid's ancient steam-driven Hitachi TV.

Configs are stored on the remote in flash memory so they're safe, and it's also on their web site so you have an offsite backup. Great stuff, you won't be disappointed.

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Does anyone know if I'd have problems with ordering in the Harmony 880 from the US? Assuming the recharging cradle uses DC, I can just get a 220v adapter locally.

But could there be any other problems, like infrared signals are different here or anything?

Dir

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Does anyone know if I'd have problems with ordering in the Harmony 880 from the US?  Assuming the recharging cradle uses DC, I can just get a 220v adapter locally.

But could there be any other problems, like infrared signals are different here or anything?

Dir

Check the thread which compares the Logitech Harmony 680 with the MX500 (below) and you will seeCzzer has an 880 ordered.

Yes you can order from Bluedo (or buy one here) a proper power adaptor. From Bluedo, think they are @ $28US or thereabouts. If you can wait a couple of months, the 885 will be available with 240volt power.

Since starting this thread, I ordered and received the 680 and find that absolutely superb. Best remote ever! And for me, no hassles with docking stations etc. The 680 does everything the 880 does, except the 880 has a prettier screen. So if you don't mind paying a fairly high premium for a prettier screen without any tangible extra functional differences, then order the 880. For me though, the 680 is spot on the money!

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BlueDo's current price for the universal power adaptor, suitable for the 880, is $US18.95.

Well, there you go! Even better! Be interesting to know if the 885 which does have our power supply is same pricing as the 880, or if it is more. If more, then it may be better to go with the 880 + the power adaptor. Time will tell, no doubt.

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UK sites are taking pre-orders for the 885 at around 170 pounds, with one place as cheap as 125 pounds, which works out to about A$302.

Bluedo has the 880 for US$175, which works out to about A$230, and some places have it as cheap as US$148,or A$195. So it's still quite a bit cheaper for the 880 plus a converter.

You'll still need a plug adapter for the 885 anyway, as it will have the UK plug on it.

I have checked with owners of the 880 on AVS forums and they told me it is a low voltage DC lead from the plug pack to the charger base, so a Jaycar plug pack of the right output voltage should work fine.

As far as IR signals, they are all the same.

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Will the 885 be exactly the same as the 880, apart from the voltage? I thought I read somewhere on one of these posts that it was supposed to have some extra facilities.

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It's going to have 4 coloured buttons in place of the 880's page up & page down (^v) buttons to suit the teletext system in Europe. I think that's the only difference

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Oh my God!

SPDF I see what you mean about these Harmony remotes.

i just went through the set up process on the Logitech site and its awsome.

Is it really that easy? Why don't they all do this?

I'm going to order an 880 and keep the MX-500 for the setup in the bedroom and give the URC-8811 to the parents. The GF will love this remote. Dead simple.

Cheers, Dean.

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It's going to have 4 coloured buttons in place of the 880's page up & page down (^v) buttons to suit the teletext system in Europe. I think that's the only difference

Could those coloured buttons be used as the red green blue and yellow we need for Toppy and Austar?

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It's going to have 4 coloured buttons in place of the 880's page up & page down (^v) buttons to suit the teletext system in Europe. I think that's the only difference

Could those coloured buttons be used as the red green blue and yellow we need for Toppy and Austar?

I don't have a Toppy or Austar, so I don't know exactly what you need the buttons to do. I know you can get any button you want to perform any function you want on the Harmony, so I assume it would do what you want.

EDIT: I just found a picture of the 885, and the colours are red, green, blue and yellow.

See here:

http://www.pixmania.com/ie/uk/104176/art/l...te-contro.html#

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I almost put in my order for the 880 plus that adaptor from bluedo yesterday. Glad I held off because this 885 is more for me as I too want those colored buttons. Very useful for Foxtel Skynews active... :blink:

Guess I better be patient and just wait for the 885. One question for those that ordered from bluedo. Can you tell me which shipping you select? Is it that UPS that cost $33? and is there is any special discount coupon available to us?

Cheers.

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I almost put in my order for the 880 plus that adaptor from bluedo yesterday. Glad I held off because this 885 is more for me as I too want those colored buttons. Very useful for Foxtel Skynews active... :blink:

Guess I better be patient and just wait for the 885. One question for those that ordered from bluedo. Can you tell me which shipping you select? Is it that UPS that cost $33? and is there is any special discount coupon available to us?

Cheers.

Looking at the photo enlargement of the 885, it looks very much like a pic of the 880! I couldn't see the extra coloured buttons.

From all accounts at this stage, the 885 looks like being dearer (initally) than the 880 with adaptor. From Bluedo, ensure it is standard shipping (to avoid customs import duty levied on stuff brought in by couriers). Think UPS is normal shipping so should be okay, but email Bluedo to confirm.

The discount coupons are not available on the Harmony products, apparently, but are on some MX remotes.

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Oh my God!

SPDF I see what you mean about these Harmony remotes.

i just went through the set up process on the Logitech site and its awsome.

Is it really that easy? Why don't they all do this?

I'm going to order an 880 and keep the MX-500 for the setup in the bedroom and give the URC-8811 to the parents. The GF will love this remote. Dead simple.

Cheers, Dean.

Yeah Dean, they are dead set simple to set up, however you may get tricked up depending on your gear. I did, and found fixing the problem a little difficult, but that's where tech support take over. You tell them what you need to do, they fix it and then you download the results. It took me a few goes to get mine just right, but hey, now it's just awesome! When you get used to their way of working on their website, it is pretty basic and straight forward.

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Looking at the photo enlargement of the 885, it looks very much like a pic of the 880!  I couldn't see the extra coloured buttons.

The extra colored buttons are there just under the screen. Very good because most of my remotes such as the Hitachi plasma, LG STB and Foxtel, all have those colored buttons. Just look carefully. Oh...you have to click on the 'Zoom In' to get a bigger picture to see them.

Cheers.

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Is it possible to run 4 sets of devise setups with the Harmony 680?.

I'm not sure I understand the question foxtail. Do you mean can you have 4 seperate complete setups, ie for use on 4 different HT systems? If so, you could make 4 user accounts, but you would have to upload a different account each time you change system. Or you could just have extra activities under the "More Activities" button for the different setups. I'm not sure of the maximum number of activities you can have, but I think it's around 100. In any case, there should be plaenty of room for just about any setup.

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I've had the 659 for around a year and love the unit as does the wife. It is just so easy to setup and use.

As for Aus resellers, www.idt.com.au should be able to put you in contact with a reseller in your area. (I don't think they sell direct to the public).

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HOw many people would be interested in a group buy? What savings could we expect other than saving on postage?

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Looking at the photo enlargement of the 885, it looks very much like a pic of the 880!  I couldn't see the extra coloured buttons.

The extra colored buttons are there just under the screen. Very good because most of my remotes such as the Hitachi plasma, LG STB and Foxtel, all have those colored buttons. Just look carefully. Oh...you have to click on the 'Zoom In' to get a bigger picture to see them.

Cheers.

I wonder if the Harmony website setup will program the coloured buttons on the 885 for all devices which use coloured buttons. This would mean that the 885 setup would need to be quite different from the 880 where presumably the coloured buttons on say the Toppy would need to be programmed to a regular device button. Otherwise, with the 885, I suppose you would need to learn all the coloured buttons separately. Might be worth checking with Logitech.

Also, I notice on the Pixmania website that has the picture of the 885 that it says “Availability 31/5/2005.” I wonder if that’s realistic.

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Looking at the photo enlargement of the 885, it looks very much like a pic of the 880!  I couldn't see the extra coloured buttons.

The extra colored buttons are there just under the screen. Very good because most of my remotes such as the Hitachi plasma, LG STB and Foxtel, all have those colored buttons. Just look carefully. Oh...you have to click on the 'Zoom In' to get a bigger picture to see them.

Cheers.

I wonder if the Harmony website setup will program the coloured buttons on the 885 for all devices which use coloured buttons. This would mean that the 885 setup would need to be quite different from the 880 where presumably the coloured buttons on say the Toppy would need to be programmed to a regular device button. Otherwise, with the 885, I suppose you would need to learn all the coloured buttons separately. Might be worth checking with Logitech.

Also, I notice on the Pixmania website that has the picture of the 885 that it says “Availability 31/5/2005.” I wonder if that’s realistic.

It's easy to assign whatever function you want to whatever button you want, so it shouldn't really matter either way.

What do the coloured buttons on Toppy and other devices do exactly? Is it mainly the Toppy that has them, or are they on all PVRs? Just wondering if I need them to future proof myself...I'll probably end up getting a Toppy or similar one day.

I don't think that date is realistic. The current expected date for general release of the 880 is June 10, so I assume the 885 would be some time after that.

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Yes I am interested in the 880 - so far we have three possibles from the above post??

I will leave it for a few days to see how many others would be interested in a group buy for the 880 then email bluedo to see what they could do....

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What do the coloured buttons on Toppy and other devices do exactly? Is it mainly the Toppy that has them, or are they on all PVRs? Just wondering if I need them to future proof myself...I'll probably end up getting a Toppy or similar one day.

On the Topfield, the coloured buttons are used for actions like setting and jumping to bookmarks, skipping forward and backward on playback, (e.g. 30 second skip forward to avoid commercials).

On Austar (and Foxtel, as far as I know), the red button is used for initiating Sky News active, for example.

My LG DLP TV also uses coloured buttons, chiefly for controlling PIP.

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The colored buttons are also used when in Teletext mode.

I honestly think this 885 is more suitable than the 880 in terms of absolute simplicity with these colored buttons. And these colored buttons are also standardised in terms of their order, ie red green yellow blue. I know you probably can create those buttons on the 880 but..... This time round, I will wait patiently for this 885 as it probably fits my requirement right down to the t.

Cheers.

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The colored buttons are also used when in Teletext mode.

I honestly think this 885 is more suitable than the 880 in terms of absolute simplicity with these colored buttons. And these colored buttons are also standardised in terms of their order, ie red green yellow blue. I know you probably can create those buttons on the 880 but..... This time round, I will wait patiently for this 885 as it probably fits my requirement right down to the t.

Cheers.

I agree. It seems that more and more devices are using coloured buttons and to have a remote that also has them would make it well worth waiting an extra month or two.

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Fair enough. Would I be correct in saying that you don't actually "need" the buttons to be actually coloured? ie the main function is skipping the commercial, or whatever. This could be done with either an LCD button, or page up/page down on the 880? Basically, the 885 has 4 coloured buttons in place of the 880's 2 up arrow/down arrow buttons.

I'm not questioning your reasoning, just trying to decide for myself wether it's worth an extra $100 or so for essentially 2 extra hard buttons??

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I have had my Harmony 659 (bought through eBay for under $100) for about a week or so now. I have 'taught' it to use the colored buttons (for the Austar remote) and assigned the names Red, Blue etc so these labels appear on the 'Watch Austar' lcd screen. Works perfectly! I have also put the Austar button on the lcd as well. The harmony members website makes doing this very easy indeed.

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Fair enough. Would I be correct in saying that you don't actually "need" the buttons to be actually coloured? ie the main function is skipping the commercial, or whatever. This could be done with either an LCD button, or page up/page down on the 880? Basically, the 885 has 4 coloured buttons in place of the 880's 2 up arrow/down arrow buttons.

I'm not questioning your reasoning, just trying to decide for myself wether it's worth an extra $100 or so for essentially 2 extra hard buttons??

You're right. I don't actually need the buttons to be coloured. It would just be convenient.

Incidentally is the $100 extra firm? When I checked with Bluedo a week or so ago, they did not have their pricing for the 885.

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I guess the pricing won't be "firm" until they are actually released. However, Bluedo has it on their website at $175, and is taking orders a this price. The cheapest price I have found an 885 is 148 pounds, also pre-ordered, although some people have reported finding it for 125 pounds. I don't know if that 148 pound price will even ship to Australia. This makes the price difference A$130 (using XE.com, $175US against 148 pounds)

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I guess the pricing won't be "firm" until they are actually released. However, Bluedo has it on their website at $175, and is taking orders a this price. The cheapest price I have found an 885 is 148 pounds, also pre-ordered, although some people have reported finding it for 125 pounds. I don't know if that 148 pound price will even ship to Australia. This makes the price difference A$130 (using XE.com, $175US against 148 pounds)

When you say "Bluedo has it for $175" I take it you mean the 880. Do we have any reason to believe that Bluedo's price for the 885 (when they release it) will be any higher?

I've found quite a lot of US-sourced electronic items to be priced quite a bit higher in the UK.

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The $175 is for the 880

I doubt very much that Bluedo, or any other US vendor for that matter, will even get the 885, as it is a European only model. They don't have the 655, which is the Euro version of the 659.

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I guess the pricing won't be "firm" until they are actually released. However, Bluedo has it on their website at $175, and is taking orders a this price. The cheapest price I have found an 885 is 148 pounds, also pre-ordered, although some people have reported finding it for 125 pounds. I don't know if that 148 pound price will even ship to Australia. This makes the price difference A$130 (using XE.com, $175US against 148 pounds)

czzer: Would be good if you could help track down where those people are able to get it for 125 pounds... :P

As for the colored hard buttons, they become easily accessible as with the hard buttons on original remotes. The last thing the wife needs is having to page through the lcd screen if you know what I mean. What's more, those colored buttons are very frequently used in my family as we do access Foxtel Skynews active frequently and teletext as well. In other words, for myself, with those color buttons, that just about make all my frequently used buttons directly available... :blink:

Cheers.

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czzer: Gee, thanks very much for the info. We don't have to pay VAT being international buyer. For 106 pound, that is marvelous!!! Could not wait for it to arrive... :blink:

By the way, I understand from this link that the 880 will be available through Harvey Norman computer store soon for $399 as posted by 'Marty'.

Cheers.

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