Logitech has announced a new member of the Harmony universal remote family. This isn't a normal remote control like the other offerings Logitech has had in the Harmony line for so long. This is a keyboard aimed at making it easier to type on various game consoles and set top boxes.
Logitech has outed a new pair of universal remotes, one physical and one for your smartphone, and throwing in the ability to control Philips hue lights too. The Logitech Harmony Ultimate is a $350 slab of do-it-all remote, complete with both a touchscreen and physical keys, and which can control A/V kit in cupboards thanks to an IR repeater along with Bluetooth-enabled consoles. Those who can't keep their phone out of their hand, however, might prefer the cheaper Harmony Smart Control bundle, which combines a comprehensive remote app for iOS and Android along with a more straightforward physical remote for others to use when your phone isn't around.
Logitech's latest universal remote, the Harmony Touch, has broken cover, and as the name implies it's centered around a full-color touchscreen for easier channel surfing. Compatible with 225,000 devices from among 5,000 brands, the Harmony Touch has a 2.4-inch touchscreen bracketed by traditional physical controls for the best of both worlds, and supports macros for shortening multi-step processes - like turning on the TV, choosing source, and powering up your surround sound speakers - into a single tap.
Logitech has announced the Harmony Link, turning your iPad, iPhone, iPod touch or Android device into a universal remote. Pairing an WiFi-enabled IR blaster dongle and custom apps for each platform, the Harmony Link can replace up to eight remotes and supports macros such as "Watch a Movie" to automatically turn on your HDTV, Blu-ray deck, surround system and - if you have a fancy intelligent lighting rig - dim your lights too. The iPad app also includes personalized, in-app TV listings.
Google's new endeavor, Google TV (appropriately named, right?), went official just a few weeks ago, and we already know quite a bit about what's going to make the experience the next best thing for your living room. However, what we are missing are a few key details about the partners Google's teaming up with. In the case of Logitech, who is working on those accessories we'll need so badly, we've been wondering what's going to be so special about their companion box, which will bring Google TV to our TVs. Well, almost as if on cue, Logitech's come forward and put a sneak peek of what's under the hood. Meet Harmony Link, and all of its infrared goodness.
Most universal remotes, Logitech reckons, have a "bad reputation" for being tricky to program; that's something the company hopes to amend with the new Logitech Harmony 300. Capable of replacing up to four remotes, the real interest is in Logitech's newly redesigned myharmony.com setup site that promises easy configuration for over 225,000 devices covering 5,000 brands.
Logitech have outed two new universal remote controls in their Harmony series, and unlike other models in the line-up they both come in at under $100. The Logitech Harmony 650 and the Logitech Harmony 600 are pretty much identical, bar the 650 having a color display that's network icon capable.
IR extenders - which can be used to remotely-control A/V components tucked inside closed-up equipment racks or in other rooms - aren't new, but Logitech probably have the brand-name recognition (and bricks-and-mortar shelf space) to soon dominate the market. The Logitech Harmony IR Extender System works with your existing remotes, and comes with a compact IR receiver and an IR blaster with various tethered mini-blasters.
I have been using and reviewing Logitech Harmony remotes for years and so far, I have found them to be some of the best universal remotes on the market. The only real downside to most of the Harmony remotes is that they are expensive devices.
Logitech have unveiled their latest universal remote, the Harmony 900, an RF unit that - with the three bundled IR blasters - can control devices in other rooms or enclosed in cabinets. The Harmony 900 remote has a full-color touchcreen as well as numerous backlit hardware buttons, and can be set up via an online wizard; Logitech claim battery life of up to a week.