Thursday, May 22, 2008

Logitech Harmony 550 Remote


http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/remotes/universal_remotes/devices/376&cl=us,en

- I picked up two of these for $50 each at amazon when they went on sale for a short period. I've pretty much replaced all the remaining remotes in my house now with harmony remotes. I have the 676 for the home theater, the xbox one in the game room, and 550's in the master bedroom and exercise room.
- This remote is almost identical to the xbox remote so pretty much everything I wrote there applies. I'll just point out the few differences in this article.
- The blue back light is pretty bright and looks cool.
- A few of the buttons have changed. One thing I like that this remote and the 676 has but the xbox one doesn't are dedicated pic/sound buttons. This allows you to group commonly used display settings our sound settings to those buttons. Pressing pic/sound once and you get a another whole button configuration set (hard and soft buttons), press it again and your are back to your main activity button set. The alternative was putting a bunch of these functions into the custom display button area but then it just mixes in with the rest of your custom activity buttons. This system is much more flexible and cleaner.
- Uses 4XAAA. I highly recommend you use eneloop rechargable batteries which is what I use in all my harmony remotes. They have a very low self discharge rate. Fry's has 4 packs for $10.
- The desktop software just keeps getting better and better which also automatically flashes your remote if it needs it. I noticed full macro support has been added.
- If you end up maxing out the 12 device limit you could take a device that doesn't use that many buttons (say an AV switch) and just learn those buttons on an existing device.

What can I say. I have loved Harmony remotes since my first one and at $50 these 550's were an incredible value. Sure the Harmony One is a lot fancier but I like using standard batteries. I don't really need color touch screens on my remote or 3 more devices (12 vs 15) for about a $170 premium. Highly recommended especially if you can find them at this price.

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