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The best Universal Remote..bar none.
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The best Universal Remote..bar none.

I have owned my Logitech Hamony One Universal Remote for four years now and it is hard to believe that in that time nothing has come along to beat it. Developed in Canada Logitech’s line of universal remotes owe their success to a simple premise. That is, allow users to select what they want to do…watch TV, Watch a DVD or listen to the radio..then make it simple to program those activities.

My Harmony One is capable of controlling up to 15 devices so my simple home entertainment centre is a piece of cake for it..perhaps even overkill..but, I really like the touch screen.

The buttons control all the basics from mute to channel selection and volume control and all the standard playback and record buttons for DVD players or PVRs. The layout is intuitive and ergonomically well designed. The do what you would expect them to do and are similar in layout to the remote for the original device. So how does the Harmony do all this and yet be simple to program.

The Logitech Harmony Software makes it simple. The first step is to enter all the devices you wish to control, TV, PVR or drapes. Logitech has compiled a database of over 225,000 home entertainment devices..so once you enter the details the software knows what buttons need to do what and what inputs and outputs need to be set for each task.

Once the device information is entered the next step is to determine the activities, watch TV, Listen to Music or play a DVD..if your system is fairly basic like mine you can let the software do it based on the devices you have installed. Or you can manually program your activities. There are no codes to mess up..once you have gone through the steps using your home entertainment system is as simple as pressing one button

Now I mentioned my $279 Harmony One was a bit of overkill for my basic system..I chose it because I like the touch screen and the fact it comes with a charging station.

Equally powerful for a 6 device system is the Harmony 700.  Selling for $169, it has dedicated buttons for the usual activities and the buttons beside the bright screen can be programmed for other activities. It has the same ergonomics as the Harmony One and is as simple to use. The battery has to be charged about once a month using the provided charger and cable.

I have changed most of the devices in my Home Entertainment system over the four years I have owned my Harmony One and setting it up for the new device has always been a simple task. This feature alone makes a Harmony Remote a good investment.

Bob Benedetti

Former RCAF Fighter Pilot Bob worked for CTV Montreal as a Reporter, Producer and Executive producer for 35 years retiring in 2004. Bob started reporting on personal technology in 1995 at CTV and continues today at Home Technology Montreal

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