A few weeks ago I purchased the Logitech Harmony Ultimate One IR Remote with Customizable Touch Screen Control (915-000224). While this remote has been out for a while now, I needed to replace my old Logitech Harmony 880 remote. It is still on the high end as far as pricing goes for universal remotes, but using the link above, you can purchase it for $199 through Amazon.
My plan was to use this remote on both levels of my house. My living room setup is a Mitsubishi DLP HDTV with an Onkyo Receiver and an XBon 360 and XBox One connected to it. My family recently decided to cut the cord with cable and just have internet in our house, so I have no cable boxes or antennas. I wanted a remote that I could teach the whole family to use and one that could control everything. My bedroom setup has a Sharp Aquos HDTV with a PS3 connected to it and an AppleTV box. We also have a Vizio soundbar connected to that TV.
Programming The Remote
Since I was already familiar with programming the Logitech remotes, the Harmony Ultimate One wasn’t much different. You install the app on your computer and connect the remote to your computer. In the app, you search for the devices you want to control then you setup activities. For example, I have “Play XBox One Downstairs” and “Watch AppleTV Upstairs”. One you have it all setup, you just sync the settings with your remote then try them out.
Using The Remote
There are some different settings you can customize on the remote, such as the lockscreen for the touch screen, or order of activities, etc. While aiming the remote towards your entertainment center, just select the activity you want to start and it’ll turn on all of the devices and put them on the correct inputs based on your setup. If something doesn’t start properly, you can use the Help menu on the remote to troubleshoot.
– Feels good in the hand with a good grip on the bottom
– Charging cradle is small and allows for low profile
– All of the buttons have a backlight, which helps in a dark room
– The sensors are quick at reacting when you pick the remote up
– No removable battery, you have to hope it lasts and rely on their charging cradle
– Lack of physical buttons. While most of your needs are done through the touchscreen, there’s only limited physical buttons
– The IR sometimes seems to be weak. Some of my devices sit low and I have to tilt the remote for them to read the signal, which also makes the touchscreen hard to see.