I recently moved and had the opportunity to build a new home entertainment center. I collected a number of fine components including:
- Sony 52 inch LCD TV
- Onkyo 7.1 Channel Home Theater Receiver
- Onkyo Remote Interactive iPod Dock
- Canton speakers
- Velodyne 10" Powered Subwoofer
- Panamax Home Theater Power
- Comcast PVR
Setup was easy - unpack the components, connect the wires, and run Audyssey, Onkyo's automatic speaker calibration technology. The system is impressive and the Sony picture is excellent. But when I caught sight of the pile of remote controls, I got concerned. The system would be way too complex for my family. I counted 5 remote controls and each unique and optimized to control its components. Some offer support to control other components, but it's limited with a painful programming interface.
So I went looking for a better solution. I found the Logitech Harmony One Remote Control. Setup is very cool - install software on either a PC or Mac, update, and program. The remote works on activity-based profiles like watch TV or listen to digital music. Once your programming is complete, connect the remote to your computer via USB, and let the computer program the remote. If you don't get the behavior that you want, simply go back the computer to adjust the profile until you get it right. As well, the remote's help mode lets it adapt and learn when you don't get everything right. The remote has a small touch screen that lists the profiles and functions for the devices that it controls. The software supports a huge number of devices. And because it's software based, it can easily be updated to improve its capabilities as well as update its device support.
Once the Harmony One is programmed, it's simple enough for any family member to operate. Everyone in my family loves it. It looks cool. It's easy to operate. It lets us control everything from a single remote control. It's reasonably priced at a MRSP of $249.99. I think that it's best in its class. Check it out here: http://www.logitech.com.
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