Logitech Harmony 1100 Advanced Universal RemoteNov 8th, 2009 | By Simon
Logitech Harmony 1100 Advanced Universal Remote
: 11/8/09 – 10:40:13 PM
: Input Devices
Page 1 : Introduction
With the average entertainment system requiring a TV, DVD and sound system, we're often left with a few remote controls lying on the coffee table. If a guest comes over, they're more often than not completely confused as to which remote control is required to just turn on the TV to watch some news. Thankfully, we have Logitech to simplify our lives.
The Logitech Harmony 1100 Advanced Universal Remote delivers complete home entertainment control with a single remote control. You can say goodbye to all the other remotes and pack away the double and triple A batteries you burn up each year. The Logitech 1100 is a rechargeable 3.5′ touch screen remote that is fully customizable.
Page 2 : Package and Specifications
Logitech shipped a used Harmony 1100 to me for testing purposes so you will need to excuse the damaged packaging and returning label adhered to the front of the box. That package should give a picture of what the Harmony remote looks like and it lists the key features available to the end user.
Inside the box we have a collection of manuals and discs, the power adapter, battery and USB cable (not shown). A separate vacuum formed insert cradles the desk stand which acts as the battery charger and cradle.
Navigating through the Logitech website we quickly and easily come to the Harmony 1100 Advanced Universal Remote page where we get a breakdown of the features and specifications this remote has to offer.
Page 3 : Setup, Configuration & Testing
Nowadays very few things come ready to use right out of the box. The Logitech Harmony 1100 is no different. The few accessories with the Harmony 1100 need to be set up. This includes setting up the base station, installing the battery and then charging the remote.
The battery slips into its slot much like a cellphone battery. The contacts for charging the battery are located on the bottom and mate accordingly to the recharging station.
The USB connection is tucked away behind a rubber tab. It's nicely hidden and doesn't protrude from the body one bit.
Before we go any further with the configuration, here's a quick gallery of the Harmony 1100 in its entirety.
Configuration is quite simple but requires the use of your PC. I was really hoping to be able to add devices directly with the Harmony 1100 and only use the PC for software updates.
However, I found devices had to be added using Logitech's Harmony Software. Installation off the CD is very straight forward and I recommend running the update to ensure you have the latest list of devices that can be added.
The next step is to create a profile or account for your remote. This will store your profile online and let you access it as long as you have internet access; convenient if you happen to have multiple computers around the house and don't always leave the Media PC on. Once the profile has been created, you will connect the remote and begin the process of adding devices and activities. The process for TVs and DVD players was quite easy. I struggled a little more with getting my computer added; what needs to be done is actually add a second ‘Watch TV’ activity with a different input channel (HDMI 1).
Once you have the basic task of being able to turn on your device, you can add some useful things like favourite channels.
Alternatively, you could just have some fun with the Harmony 1100 and change the default background or add a slideshow. The slideshow will only be displayed while the remote is on the recharging stand.
While proper configuration may take a few tries, it is certainly well worth the effort. The Harmony 1100 can now replace both my Samsung remotes and it only takes single touches to switch between my favourite channels whereas I was forced to press the channel numbers on the remote. While I am unable to make finer changes to the TV with the Harmony 1100 like Color, Brightness, Contrast, etc, it's a small price to pay for the extra features gained. One qualm some people may have with the remote is the lack of a tactile response or ability to find keys without looking down at the remote. This doesn't bother me, but may be an issue for some to consider. The backlit LCD screen will always ensure that you can see the screen regardless of the time of day.
The Harmony 1100 uses a 1250mAh 3.7V battery which I found to give decent battery life given it had to power a 3.5′ screen. That said it is still short. You pretty much must dock the remote control when you're not using it in order to have sustainable battery life.
Page 4 : Conclusion
Logitech has made a number of Harmony Remotes and each one they make continues to outperform the previous. The Logitech Harmony 1100 is by far the most advanced and expensive remote available. Priced at $399.00 (MSRP) it has the price of a small computer.
While many may be deterred by the high price, you get what you pay for. The Harmony 1100 doesn't make many compromises. It boasts a large 3.5′ screen and a nearly infinite list of support devices. The Harmony 1100 software gives you ultimate control over the remote. Why have one favourite channel when you can have pages of them? With digital TV offering hundreds of channels, this remote lets you add your favourite channel and go to it by name. No one has time to remember what station a three digital channel number corresponds with.
While the price may prevent many people from ever owning a Harmony 1100, if you have the opportunity to get one on sale, it's certainly worth it.
- Consolidates remotes to one
- Large color display
- Touch screen makes for easy navigation and control
- Configuration may take a few tries to perfect for all your devices
- Short battery life
I'd like to thank Logitech for loaning me the Harmony 1100 sample.