The Logitech Harmony Remote balances the universal remote capabilities with a price more down to earth for controlling your home entertainment devices including TV, Blu-ray or DVD player and even home automated devices like thermostats.
Ease of Use, Performance: 23/25
Look & Feel: 24/25
How much I enjoy 25/25
The Harmony 700 remote is another Logitech Harmony remote but with a feature set and a price that makes it a welcome addition to the Harmony line of universal remotes. The Logitech 700 remote makes using those multiple devices like your HDTV, Blu-ray or DVD player, Receiver and many more devices easier by using a single remote.
Logitech has a full line of remotes and boasts a full list of compatible devices from home automation like air conditioners and thermostats to those more common A/V receivers and of course TVs. There really is a lot of devices, more than 225,000 from 5000 brand names, so you’re sure to find just about anything with a common IR remote that can be controlled with the Harmony 700.
The Harmony 700 remote comes with the remote itself, two rechargeable batteries, an AC adapter, a USB cord and instructions. It is important to note that like most of Logitech’s Harmony remotes this device is programmed from a Windows or MAC computer.
You do have to connect your remote to a PC to program it but this makes things easier not more difficult, it saves your program information at Logitech. This means no matter your location you can connect your remote to a PC and using the Harmony software update your remote from your saved preferences.
I found this funny but it has been awhile since my last review of a Logitech remote and I have not been using the program or the remote for over a year. My information for the last remote I reviewed was still there and as soon as I loaded the software on my computer and connected my remote the program asked if I wanted to update to the new remote.
All the devices I used to have were still there and once the new remote was registered it asked if I wanted to use the same devices and set up viewing preferences with them. I just started all over again and deleted my previous devices because none of them are current and I just wanted to start with a clean slate.
All you have to do is have model numbers of your devices, TV’s, VCR’s, Blu-ray players and your ready to go, sit down and plug your remote into your PC’s USB connection. The Harmony program has a simple step by step process of telling the program and remote what you have and how you want to use them.
The program has three main areas with Activities, Devices and Remote Settings with each pretty easy to understand and use, Activities is simply what you want to do. Devices is what is controllable for the remote and settings are things like the backlight timing, assistance on or off and tilt sensor on or off.
The remote has a tilt sensor so when you pick it up the LCD screen turns on and using the power options it will shut off after whatever time you like to help conserve battery power. The Logitech remote does come with two AA Eni-Time rechargeable batteries that recharge using the included adapter and USB cable.
You simply plug the power adapter into a wall and the supplied cable into it, the connection is a micro B USB so you will not get confused and plug the wrong thing in. The adapter only has a USB connection so you simply plug the supplied cable into the power adapter and the remote to charge the batteries.
If you run out of juice in mid movie you can simply pop the batteries out and charge them at a later time and use regular AA batteries for the meantime. The use of rechargeable batteries is nice but it is even nicer to be able to use either types of batteries if you need to.
Once you go through the step by step guide to choose devices you can pick activities you want to do and the program will go through some steps to figure out things. It will ask what devices you use for that activity and what channel or function to set on the TV then review the activity and devices with what should be setup.
It really is simple and even for more advanced things like setting up a third party remote controller for a game console like the Schmartz for the PlayStation 3 I had no problems at all. A few times during the review period I did lose power due to a power outage or having to pull power for wiring I was doing and this had no effect on the remote itself.
I also allowed the remote batteries to wear down and even pulled them out a few times to see if this would cause the remote to lose its settings. I did get it to lose the settings and “forget” what it had for devices and activities but a simple reload of the settings from my PC solved this.
You can even program the remote buttons from other remotes using direct IR learning by facing each remote with the Harmony 700 and using the program press buttons for the 700 to learn. This programming worked well and was easy to do using the step by step instructions in the Harmony program.
One thing that is really nice about the Harmony program and having it in the cloud, on the internet, is that I can use any computer to program it once I have the Harmony program installed on that computer. I have several PC’s and the one in the living room is now the main program place for the remote but being able to have a couple of PC’s that can work from is nice.
The Logitech remote is your standard shape for remotes and is not too large to hold or use in one hand, the buttons are nice enough with the typical rubber feel to them. You can tell they are the type of buttons with the large rubber pad for all the buttons inside the remote like many remotes are.
The LCD screen is an inch by an inch so you have just enough space for words and they are clearly legible with five context buttons around the screen. There are also control buttons above the screen for Activities, Help and All Off for your main controls of each program activity like Watch TV, Watch Movie or Listen to Music.
If you hit the More Activities button it will give you the list of activities you have programmed in a list menu on the screen, simply use the up and down arrows under the screen to scroll through them. All the buttons on the remote are fairly straight forward and easy to use, you will be surprised to actually find out how simple the remote is to set up and use.
Daily use for the remote and just those simple tasks like switching from movie viewing to listening to music is easy with the activities buttons. Using the More Activities drop down list makes things simple if you have numerous devices and things you will be doing with them.
I found the Logitech Harmony 700 just as easy to use but a little more wallet friendly than the previous remote I took a look at back in May of 2008. This remote is a bit less expensive because it can only control up to six devices whereas other remotes from Logitech can control up 15 or more.
I found this remote much like the previous Logitech Harmony remotes with its ease of use and simple programming, much simpler than entering codes. If there is a problem the remote does have a help button and will try to fix things with a simple question and button push to fix what is not working.
I never had a problem that the remote did not fix with the Help button with the remote itself but did have problems with a controller that I was using in conjunction with the remote. I lost power in my home when the PS3 was on and it lost the settings for the extra controller I have for the PS3 but the Harmony remote worked just fine.
I just needed to re add the controller that was connected to my PS3 that the remote was trying to communicate with and everything worked fine. The Harmony 700 works just fine with IR controlled devices and does make a great universal remote control along the same series as other Harmony remotes but with less of a price tag.
The Harmony 700 costs about $150 currently, I have seen this at local stores as well for about the same price so it is readily available both locally and on the internet. The Logitech Harmony 700 is that nice middle ground of low cost but the same excellent remote in the popular line of Harmony remotes from Logitech.
I highly recommend the Logitech Harmony 700 Universal Remote if you need a fantastic remote to get rid of those others but don’t want the full price others in the Harmony line are.