Written by Admin in All in One TV Remote & Accessories
Aug 8 th, 2011
Logitech Harmony Remotes are a good solution for when you want to replace several remote controls used to control things like a TV, set top box, and a Surround Sound Receiver with just one remote.
The Remote works by using what are called activities. An activity can be setup for almost any function you want. An activity can be “Watch TV” or “Listen to Music” or “Play a Game” etc. When you hold the remote and press an activity button such as “Watch TV” the remote turns on all the equipment needed for that particular activity and sets them to the appropriate settings.
Programming the remote is fairly straightforward. Harmony remotes are programmed using an Internet Web Based programming template. The first thing you have to do after you setup your online Harmony account is input each device you want to use such as: TV, Stereo, Gaming Console, Set Top Box etc. Because each unique device and model number has its own unique remote control commands you must either have the full, complete model number or be prepared to use the device remote to learn in all the remote command codes (time consuming). Once you input the devices then you setup each activity one by one and test the setup. Programming can be a little time consuming because you often will have to make small changes and test them.
Yes, you can custom assign a function to any button you want. A lot of times… in some of the activities you program a button on a Harmony that won’t be used during normal use. Or, several buttons on the Harmony will perform the same function. In this client’s application, highlighted in this video, the Harmony is programmed to control volume on two different devices.
During programming some Harmony remotes will allow for port assignments, up to 4. Taking the time to assign ports is a good idea. Port assignment will send commands intended to go the a particular device only to that particular device and not all the devices in your stack. When you don’t do port assignment the remote will still work but you end up sending the command intended for, lets say, your surround sound receiver to every other device in your stack and then every other device has to process that command. For example, they have to process: (1) Is this code for me and/or (2) Is this code in my code set and what is it for. That process takes time, if only a millisecond, its time that might cause the unintended device to miss a correct IR code intended to do an important function. So, absolutely do port assignments. You can assign any port to any device(s) in any order.
Harmony does offer free technical support during the initial setup of your remote. You can reach them during normal business hours using a toll free number. It’s a good idea after you completed the initial setup to call Harmony and ask them to review the programming with you. There are advanced programming items like inter device delays etc. that effect how reliably the remote performs. As well, if you purchase a Harmony Remote with an RF extender you might want to ask about port assignment. This too will help the remote send the right signal to the right piece of equipment more reliably.
This is going to depend on how often you use the remote. Some better Harmony Remotes comes with a rechargeable battery and charging cradle and, as well, cost a little bit more.
The Harmony Universal All in One Remote is good for combining multiple remotes into one to control Home Electronics. You can program the remote yourself and there’s free support if you need support. Some models come with a charging cradle. Some Harmony remotes are direct line of site and other models are RF (radio frequency). More information on other remote control options by clicking here.
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