My new best friend: the Logitech Harmony 555
Please note: this is not a sponsored message, although I welcome all gifts ofcourse.
This weekend, I’ve bought myself a new gift: a Logitech Harmony 555. Where as I’ve used universal remotes before, this is one of a different kind: it’s not only capable of controlling several different devices, it can do so at the same time. Where other remotes are about controlling a device, the 555 is about controlling activities. Unpacking the remote was a unique event in itself. The plastic packings used nowadays are a pain to a lot of people. Hard to open and often, a scissor is needed. Well, not now: the Logitechnicians have put some thought into it. A sticker is applied saying “pull corner this way”: the plastic was perforated already. Nice welcome!
Next, I found out the remote already has batteries inserted. This is because of the demo mode: when in the packing, pressing the activities button causes the remote to enter the demo mode. The four-line display shows some lines about what the device can do for you. After you’ve read this, the remote needs to be connected to a computer to be set-up.
After the software is installed, new firmware is downloaded from Logitech and the remote is updated. You need to create an account at Logitech. Now, you need to set up your stuff. Because it’s constantly connected to the internet, all devices are recognized. For instance: my digital set-top box is manufactured by Digi1. I did not know the brand until I bought the box in an impulse. After adding the devices, your activities are set up. Here’s where life starts to get better.
For the activity Watching TV, I was asked if I change channels on the Digi1 set-top box, or on my Panasonic TV. Since i chose the set-top box, it asked me what channel my TV had to be set. Do I change the Volume on my TV or on my Sony receiver? When this activity is chosen, do all the other devices need to be shut down or can they be stand-by?
Likewise, I’ve added some other activities, like Watching a DVD, Listening Radio, or Listening an audio CD. I also bought a USB IRDA receiver, so I can hook up the mediacenter to the remote. Unfortunately, I hadn’t read the LIRC FAQ properly:
No, it’s technically not possible to use USB IrDA dongles (as specified by the Infrared Data Association) with LIRC. This does not apply to USB receivers in general.
For now, I’m happy though. I’ve thrown away five remote controls and I now have a nicely designed remote control. All I need now is a connection to my Mediacenter.
This entry was posted on Sunday, November 30th, 2008 at 22:36 and is filed under Blog, BlueTooth, Digi1, DVB-C, Gadgets, Hardware, HTPC, IR, Logitech, Mediacenter, OS X, Panasonic, Sony, Testing, Ubuntu, WindowsXP. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.