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The Pros and Cons of Harmony

The Pros and Cons of Harmony

Harmony, now owned by Logitech, is upping their game with the new Home Hub. This system brings together your audio, TV, DVD, DVR, Blu-ray, lighting, and thermostat functions together with one small device. The hub is packed with infrared transmitters that allow your smart phones to control your home theater products with a few simple clicks...

Gone are the days where you only had chunky remotes, and many of them sitting on your coffee table, to control multiple devices. Harmony is trying to eliminate the problem of spending hours upon hours with tech support and programming the typical universal remote that could be purchased anywhere. This new system solves this problem to an extent.

Some downsides to this is that you can only use the Harmony app on your smart phones. The company does not have an app capable for tablets. With many other systems you are able to control from both a phone and tablet, but with this system you have no choice to use a larger screen than what can fit in your pocket. If you opt for the more expensive $350 remote, it isn’t equipped with an onscreen keyboard for typing in movies on Netflix or Apple TV. You can only move from letter to letter to slowly click a word to find what you want to watch. The biggest problem may be that the list of different devices the hub can control is small. Anything that is equipped with the Z-Wave or ZigBee language isn’t compatible with the hub. Logitech is planning on releasing a hub extender that will read these languages but that will set you back and extra $130 on top of the $100 that it was to get the Hub itself.

To some of you, this system may sound familiar as many other systems are capable of joining all your automation products together in one system allowing you to control it all from one remote or an iPad app. This system from Harmony has many of the same functions as systems from AMX, Denon, or Marantz, but by user comments is not as reliable. One commenter said “I had both the 900 and currently still use the 1100 [remote]. Both have flaws that the iPhone product does not solve (key pressing delays with many products), and still has some advantages over the iPhone product, like the total number of components that can be managed in a system. I still use the system […] but I get frustrated with it on nearly a daily basis.” Though the price is much cheaper than competitors, it might be wise to invest in a good system that can meet all of your needs.

A great remote system is the URC ccGEN2 line from Universal Remote Control. These remotes are IP based and support all iOS devices so you can control from not only the WIFI remote but also your iPhone or iPad. They also support IP and Z-Wave technology to control the lighting, temperature, and many more network and Z-Wave enabled products in your home. URC ccGEN2 remotes and processors work well with other popular brands such as Lutron, Sonos, Denon, Sony, GE, and many more to integrate simplicity into your lifestyle. Also their new system is stackable in the fact that you can add more network controllers to link other areas of the house now and in the future. There is no limit to what this remote system can do, controlling almost everything in your home with one device! To learn more about URC’s ccGEN2 line or have one installed in your home, contact a Control Designer representative today at (407) 243-9440.

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Comments (1)

  • Bikash

    Bikash

    16 January 2015 at 12:36 | #

    Thanks for posting this! I'm not sure I'm as qufailied as some but it sounds like a cool place to start.P.S. I came to Xcoders a couple times a long time ago so you don't really know me but I've followed your blog (and the mailing list) ever since.

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