Logitech Harmony One Advanced Universal Remote Review

Posted: Mar 2 2011, 1:19pm CST | by , in Reviews | I4U Gadget Reviews

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One of the best additions you can make to your home theater


The Logitech Harmony One is powered by a rechargeable battery and is programmed using you computer. The remote has a charge base that comes with it. the remote can control up to 15 devices and has backlight buttons along with a color touchscreen and one-touch activities.

In Use

The changes between the new Logitech Harmony One and the old version I have been using for years aren’t seen at all on the outside of the remote. The Logitech Harmony One looks like a normal remote control and is designed very well. The layout of the remote puts the buttons into zones separated by raised areas on the back of the remote. What that means is that you can find the button or control you are looking for in the dark without having to look down.

My favorite thing about the Logitech Harmony One is that it is dead simple to program. There is no hunting for codes and entering numbers. You load the software onto your computer, plug the Logitech Harmony One in with the included USB cable, and then enter the model numbers of your components. The Harmony one will then program itself automatically.

Oddly, my very common DirecTV DVR isn't listed in the database of the Harmony software. I use a HD DVR from DirecTV model HR20-700 and the software couldn't find a match. Thankfully, that doesn't mean I can't use the Logitech Harmony One. I have the factory remote control.

To program the missing device the software walks you through specific keys to press on the factory DirecTV remote while it is about an inch from the back of the Logitech Harmony One. I had to press about six different keys and the process took only a few minutes. After pressing the factory remote keys the Logitech Harmony One learned the frequency, it needed and then programmed itself to work the DVR. The result was perfect control.

One of the things that bothers me about the Logitech Harmony One with my DVR is that it lacks hard buttons for the important control keys for the List function. The red, yellow, and blue buttons are listed on the touchscreen along with the button to list recorded programs. That certainly isn't a deal killer, they are easy to use. It is very curious that the One doesn't have hard keys for those functions though.

One the Logitech Harmony One as a cool new favorites screen that puts your favorite channel on the touchscreen complete with icons. The icons are perfect for young kids like my daughter that can’t read well yet. She can change the channel and change inputs without me having to help her. The Logitech Harmony One activities are still the single best feature of the remote control.

After you program in all your components you tell the remote that you want to be able to do from playing games to watching movies and what components are used. The software asks you to tell it what components are used and which are not and then sets up a one touch activity. When you press that activity on the touchscreen, all of the inputs are changed automatically for you. What that means is that you will no longer be the only person in the house that can work your home theater. There is no more explaining to friends, parents, and sitters how to change channels if you have this remote. Anyone can do this. My kids have been using the Logitech Harmony One without a single issue since they were four to change inputs and do things with my home theater. The Logitech Harmony One is that easy to use.

After using the original Logitech Harmony One, I owned for over two years I can say that the remote holds up very well over the long term. The only thing that looks different about my old Harmony one today compared to the new one I am looking at there is that the soft touch black finish has rubbed off my old Harmony in a bunch of places on the back of the remote.

My old Logitech Harmony One has had a hard life. My kids have dropped it, spilled on it, thrown it at each other, and generally abused the thing. It still works and gets used downstairs every single day. The backlighting and screen a bit slower to come on than they used to be, but the Logitech Harmony One still works with no issues. What I am saying is the $259 the Logitech Harmony One sells for isn’t cheap, but the durability, ease of use, and fact that you won't ever have to explain how to change from the TV to the PS3 again makes this one of those products that sells itself. You want this Logitech Harmony One remote control, trust me.



  • Activities rock!
  • Easy to program
  • Durable


  • Expensive


In the world of universal remote controls, you can spend more than the Logitech Harmony One costs, but few universal remotes will offer you more convince than you can get here. The Logitech Harmony One is an awesome product and something that even modest home theaters will be lost without.


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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/3" rel="author">Shane McGlaun</a>
Tech and Car expert Shane McGlaun (Google) reports about what's new in these two sectors. His extensive experience in testing cars, computer hardware and consumer electronics enable him to effectively qualify new products and trends. If you want us review your product, please contact Shane.
Shane can be contacted directly at shane@i4u.com.




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