back to article Logitech Harmony 1100 universal remote control

The latest in Logitech's line of universal remotes is essentially a revamp of a product the company introduced more than two years ago. The 1100 is all about refining the old Harmony 1000 for the design demands of 2009's consumer rather than 2006's. First impressions are good. This time round the brushed metal upper surface has …

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Paris Hilton

Battery life?

What is the battery life of this thing? Personally i measure the battery life of my remotes in years. Putting a remote into a docking station is the same as those people who think that the correct place for a remote is on top of the device it controls.

It also looks like you have to use two hands with this device.

Paris icon because you need to use two hands with her.

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Setting up is a total pain

The application to setup the remote is a browser based thin client. This is a monumental pain in the arse to use. Every single action requires a box tick, submit and page refresh cycle. Then you have to connect the remote and upload your changes. When you have loads of devices to do this rapidly becomes a total chore. Especially as the default sort for each devices functions is alphabetical. So you then spend hours sorting them into a sensible "most used" order via this painful select, submit, refresh cycle. Honestly, it makes you want to throw it in the end.

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Silver badge

Pretty expensive for me!

I can go to the local Radio Shack (Tandy store in UK) and get a "universal" remote that my wife (who isn't that technical literate) can understand. The current setup I have includes a "head-end" for the TV stuff upstairs and a universal remote that communicates with it downstairs while she is in the kitchen. It all works quite well and can be had for about $30 or so (I think it was less actually). Unfortunately they don't sell the RF remote any more (it is erratic at times), but when it is functional it is quite nice.

TiVo in all rooms of the house is quite nice.

Yes, I would hardly refuse one if given to me, but... it hasn't. It might prevent my wif from having "clickeritis" as she clicks to find a channel without a commercial (*SIGH*)

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Anonymous Coward

Horribly expensive and underspecced

I've an older £50 harmony and, whilst i agree they're a pain in the arse to set up, once done they're the dogs danglies AND you do only need to do it once - buy a new Harmony and you can upload the profile from your last one.

However, this thing looks like a wasted opportunity. With a 3.5" touchscreen this could have a basic web browser in it as well and could be built to operate as a remote interface for (Logitech owned) Squeezeboxes.

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Dead Vulture

Oh sweet jesus

I clicked the link to this review, saw the price, and spent the next few minutes with my head in my hands, sweating and out of breath from shock.

I feel like i just got raped. And not in a good way.

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Missed by *this* much

...add sideshow so you can run your Media Centre PC without switching on the telly, and I'm sold...

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Prepare for pain

I'm with Neill on this one. Not only is an "advanced" setup process painful, it is also necessary given the number of errors in their much-vaunted database.

I have a harmony 'one' which I setup to work with my bravia TV, I had to delete the (fallacious) majority of the 27 inputs which the remote claimed were available. This conceptually simple process involved over 200 distinct mouse clicks (each involving a web page refresh) to then shuffle the remainder of the soft buttons into the newly vacant slots... I'm not even going to start on my misgivin gs with the frustrating and nonsensical naming and layout of UI elements in this monstrosity. In retrospect I've had migranes that I would relive in preference to repeating the setup experiance again.

In addition to all of the above, I was immediately blocked from the Logitech forums for criticising the obvious design flaws and lack of support for 3rd party developers seeking to offer a useable alternative.

For such a well engineered, functional and ergonomic piece of hardware, I consider it a real shame that the achievements of the designers should be overwhelmed by such an awful piece of software that sets back the cause of useability studies by several decades.

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Bluetooth

The PS3 (as standard) has no IR sensor. Seeing as the PS3 is a popular BD player do you think Logitech has missed a trick here?

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Stop

THREE HUNDRED AND FORTY NINE QUID???

£349 to avoid having to stand up once in a while?

Strewth!

O

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Way overpriced?

Hardware-wise, what's in this, that's not also in a touch-screen phone, which can these days be purchased for as little as £25? Answer: an infra-red transmitter diode (cost 5p? ) And of course, this gadget is not a phone.

This isn't to say that the software isn't worth £300-odd, but not to me. Could I perhaps invite mobile phone makers to add the infra-red emitter? Then one could purchase and download a remote-control app. Better still if future phones all go open-source and the remote-controller software goes free.

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Joke

Universal remote control?

How universal?

Does it control the coffee maker, cooker, washing machine, vacuum cleaner, insert DVD's into the player as well as operating all the devices in the home? Does it respond to voice commands?

I thought not.

Hardly a replacement for the missus then.

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Bronze badge

@ Nigel

Get a secondhand Palm V* and one of the many palm remote control apps. You don't get a colour screen but you do get one of the nicest pieces of industrial design in the last few decades and it will probably set you back a lot less than the cheapest of phones.

Other Palms no doubt would work - I've just never tried them.

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Go

Harmony

The £50 harmony is a great device I love the way it remembers what is on / off and what channels they are set to - so much more powerful the macro functions on other so called universal remotes. Each key is individually programmable & it will even learn non standard remotes (so if you coffee maker is IR controlled then yes maybe it will control it). Configuration is quite involving but once set up is a joy.

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@AC

I won't be the first person to say this, but....

There is no such thing as being raped in a good way. Your comment is deeply offensive, and demeaning to those people who have suffered the appalling trauma that rape can be.

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Coat

Way too much

I have the 880 remote and to those who say it's too much of a pain to set it up I say you have no business reading The Register and you're a bunch of whiny little girls. That said, you can get all you want from the 880. Some (but not all) of the older ones suffer from the keys losing their conductive material that you will eventually have to toss it. The 8xx series has a different push button type design with none of the conductive film behind the button issues. This thing does it all and does it well. If you have huge component system, the harmony will hook you up in no time due to their extensive database. Yeah, the browser sucks, but so is life and you won't be doing it everyday either.

Martin, are you seriously upset? Come on, not a great comment but you laid down the hammer pretty hard..

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Well

I guess if you're splashing £350 on a remote you ain't gonna care about all the energy you waste leaving all that crap on standby so the thing actually works.

For people with normal bank balances... no.

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Alien

Overpriced Wierd Features

I have a harmony something or other, one of the regular shaped ones (around $100). Its pretty nice but I have few peevs:

Half the time it remembers what is on, the other half it forgets. So if you are watching TV and want to switch to watching a DVD, it goes through its motions of powering off and on and you end up with a TV thats powered off, the DVD player on, and the receiver either off or switched to the correct channel. Kind of a pain.

The other REALLY lame one is this: you can do an "action" of watch DVD. As long as you are in the action mode, you can control the volume of the receiver with the volume button. But if you go into DVD mode, the volume keys do not work, nor is there a provision in the software to cross program them (other than direct learning mode).

Overall, not bad. Would I go for the super $300 one? Hells no!

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What?!?

350 quid and you STILL need to register with Logitech before you can use the unit?

Or, put another way, you just spent 350 quid, and there's absolutely no guarantee that you'll be able to use (set up) your remote in the future. When (not if, but when) Logitech decides to turn off their servers, well, at least you'll have a pretty paperweight.

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Paris Hilton

@overpriced wierd features

Two other problems are due to the 'one remote to rule them all'.

When the damn thing has 'gone walkabout' you spend so much time trying to find the damn thing. It really needs a page button.

Also the tears of grief, once its fallen of the couch one to many times. Thankfully it only cost ~30 quid. It needs to be ruggedised. (yes the spell checker flagged this is not a word, too few know the concept)

At 350, I think this is for those 'special' people who would pay 100+ for those audiophile patch cables.

Paris, cause she lives off those 'special' people

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Whiners be gone!

Life must be hard for people who go out and buy a piece of kit and then (heaven forbid) have to think about how they are going to use it!!! I can just see the sweat pouring off your poor crinkled brows now (and thet not just because it's currently 45+ degrees C).

Go back to the 8 remotes you have to use now just to record a show on ya Tivo and shut the f**K up.

I quite like my Harmony 525 an it also has a high WAF.

BTW why don't you get a real sound system rather than some poncy Bose thing.

That is all.

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My whinge about other universal remotes

Even though the web application to set the thing up isnt the best bit of kit, it's better than going through a list of codes in a booklet and then trying each one out because the code that matches your equipment doesnt actually work.

If you also buy a bit of kit from overseas, chances are that your model isnt listed in the booklet. Vice versa too if you buy an universal remote from another region.

I've tried learning remotes, which is nice if you still have the remote to teach, but to learn every single button is royal pain. Of course, it isnt necessary to learn every single button but when you can, why not. Especially if your remote actually has extra functionality which isn't available on the original remote. Like my Loewe VCR. It has the functionality to fast forward 30 seconds but there was no button for it on the original remote, yet the profile downloaded through the web had it, and it worked.

I've also use omniRemote on a palm V. The problem there is that my Loewe has a higher frequency that it can detect so it can't learn it.

There are many things you wish it could do better, and the price is something to consider but I quite like my Harmony 785. I do wish the buttons were bigger, which is why the touch screen would be great if only it wasnt so expensive.

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Bluetooth

For the poster who stated about Bluetooth... go and find another device that uses Bluetooth as a remote.... when you've failed to find anything mainstream come back and let me know if you think Logitech should spend a great deal of time and money adding functionality for one two bit device, or if maybe Sony should've taken off the big boots a little when designing the remote?

If you *really* want to control your PS3 with a Harmony you can buy a USB IR dongle that gives basic functionality.... or you could just buy a decent Blu ray player!

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Stop

NO El Reg - buttons ARE good!

The last thing you want in a remote control is it to be completely touchscreen!

That means you're always having to look at the screen for even simple functions like flicking through channels and the volume, or other "red button" navigation and stuff. With a 'real buttons' remote it's completely "Eyes Free" - much easier to use with a TV etc. than constantly having to check that your fingers are hitting the spot.

Touchscreen is good for those quick setup things (like switching everything on), but leave the tactile response stuff for frequent use.

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@AC no 2

Yes - I was and am seriously upset.

I'm also surprised that no-one else took it that seriously.

But OK - perhaps I'm more easily offended than most about the idea of making a joke about rape, or equating being staggered by the price with rape. I'd be curious to know if our moderatrix just missed the comment.

Oh - the remote control. £350 is stupid money. Enough said.

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Flame

@Iain & the myth of standby power

Strangely my 40" LCD TV and Home theatre set-up use less than 0.2 of a Watt/hour combined on stand-by according to the specs (actually the amp list 0.03W/hr). Read the specs on your gear, you're probably using a damn sight more power keeping a mobile phone on all the time...

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