Logitech Harmony 1000 Advanced Universal Remote Review

Posted: Aug 24 2007, 12:00am CDT | by , Updated: Aug 10 2010, 9:14am CDT , in Home Entertainment


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Features & Benefits
Previously I tested the Logitech Harmony 890 remote and though it was really great. The Logitech Harmony 1000 ups the cool factor of the 890 by adding a large touchscreen to the feature list. One thing that is very different about the Logitech Harmony 1000 and the other Harmony remotes is the design of the 1000.

Rather than being long and thin like normal remotes, the Harmony 1000 is a large rectangle that measures in at about 4” x 5.5” in size with the 3.5” touchscreen taking coup most of that space. A power button is located in the left top corner of the Harmony 1000 that turns all of your components off at once. When you are ready to turn your home theater system back on you don’t have to activate each component separately.

Rather Logitech uses activities and you have icons on the touch screen of the remote that say things like watch TV, play a game, listen to CD, watch DVD and so on depending on the types of devices programmed into the Logitech Harmony 1000. To turn your components on, set the correct inputs and other tasks needed to get your system ready for use you simply hit the task you want.

The Logitech Harmony 1000 can control up to 15 components including your home theater, you house lights, appliances and more. The Harmony software has a 175,000 device database meaning most all components will be easy to install. If you happen to have a component not listed in the database the Logitech Harmony 1000 has a fix for that.

You can program any device to the Harmony 1000 as long as you have the original remote control. If you do all you need is to connect the Logitech Harmony 1000 to your Pc, enter learning mode, point the components original remote at the bottom of the Harmony 1000 and press the keys you need to use. The Harmony 1000 saves the signals sent and will then operate your component. You can also use this method if your component is in the database, but a needed key is not listed.

The Logitech Harmony 1000 includes the programming software, the USB cable needed for connection to your PC, AC adapter and charging cradle for the internal rechargeable battery of the remote. The touchscreen and buttons are backlit with blue light for easy viewing in dark rooms. The remote is motion sensitive so the backlight stays on as long as it sense movement and if you are still and the backlight turns off simply moving the remote turns the backlight back on.

If at anytime your components used in an activity don’t respond correctly there is a help button located at the top of ever menu screen on the Harmony 1000. You can hit that and the remote will ask you questions, which help the remote to fix a problem. This works very well for instances when one component may not have turned on or perhaps the wrong input was selected at start up.

Another cool feature of the Logitech Harmony 1000 is the ability to set your own background and to add images into the remotes memory for a slide show. Inn addition to the touchscreen which is used for most of the navigation of the remote, there are also some hard keys on the right side of the remote.

The hard keys in my set up corresponded with channel up and down for the cable box, volume for my home theater receiver, last channel that switched the cable box to the last channel I viewed, mute for the AV receiver, and a round nav pad with arrows that was used to move up, down left and right in the channel guide. The circle also had an ok key in the center that selected the channel I was looking at and under the circle area are two more keys that move around in menus for the device selected.

Programming & Use
Setting up the remote took about an hour including fine tuning for an important function for my PVR cable box that I couldn’t find in the menus. I sat the Logitech Harmony 1000 up for an activity labeled watch PVR which used my SLS Audio Q-Line Silver home theater receiver, ViewSonic HDTV, and Motorola HD cable box. After all the set up was done I could simply hit the touchscreen button that said watch PVR and everything automatically went to the correct inputs and settings for watching HD cable TV. The firs time out the Logitech Harmony 1000 didn’t set the input on my TV correctly so I didn’t get a picture.

I hit the help key which asked me if I could see a picture. I hit no, it then asked me if the problem was fixed after changing the input, I hit no (the ViewSonic HDTV has 6 different input sources) and repeated the process until HDMI 1 was selected and hit yes the problem was fixed. Every time I used the remote after that it worked flawlessly.

I was happy to see that the onscreen menu for watching cable TV had the most commonly used functions from the stock remote included like guide, info, live TV, page up and down, exit and menu. There are icons around the outside of the screen that allow you to go to a direct channel input number pad, and a star that took me to the A, B, C and a few other keys needed with my cable box to save or delete shows that were recorded after viewing. The full complement of play, pause, record, rewind and fast forward keys are also in the screen.

The one heavily used key for my PVR that was missing was the list function that brings up the list of recorded shows. Without this key the remote is all but useless for PVR control because I can’t access the shows on the hard drive to initiate playback. The menu key that was listed is totally no needed in my set up so I opted to simply reprogram that key to function for my much needed list button.

I did this by connecting the Logitech Harmony 1000 to my Pc and starting the included software. Once in I went to the learn function and chose the menu key and simply pressed the list button. This bound the onscreen menu key to the frequency needed to open the recorded program list. The only bag part is that the key remained labeled as menu, which isn’t a big deal. I was able to get used to the change in a few minutes.

Like all touchscreen devices the only real drawback is the lack of tactile feel when pressing the key. With a remote this means that you have to be looking at the screen to be sure you are hitting the right key. Needing to look at the remote was inconvenient when I was fast forwarding a recorded show and looking for the point where the commercials stopped.

On the original remote I could feel the button so I never took my eyes of the TV. Using the Logitech Harmony 1000 since I couldn’t feel the button once I had the show to the point I wanted I had to look down to hit the key. Not such a big deal, but it did cause me to go forward to far a few times resulting in the need to rewind to get the show to the point I wanted.

I was impressed to see that the Logitech Harmony 1000 can operate some game consoles as well. If you use a PS2 for DVD playback and have a Ir remote the Harmony 1000 can operate the game console. In my case the Logitech Harmony 1000 was unable to control my PS3 because it doesn’t use IR commands. However, I did set up a play a game activity which turns the TV and surround sound receiver to the correct inputs.

Pricing for the Logitech Harmony 1000 is $499.99, which makes the Harmony 1000 one of the cheapest touchscreen universal remotes around. The only time I can see the Logitech Harmony 1000 not being as easy to use as the stock remote is for complex devices with lots of commands. Some of the less used commands for my Motorola HD cable box were buried deep in a 8 page listing of commands. If any of those commands happened to be useful to you, it would take a while to find them.




  • Easy to program
  • Can operate 15 different devices
  • Attractive design


  • Touchscreen lacks tactile feel
  • some commands for complex devices are buried deep in multi-page menus

The Logitech Harmony 1000 is a great universal remote. Even while it is one of the cheapest touchscreen remotes, it will still leave some with sticker shock over its price. However, if your home theater is complex and you want a slick and easy to use way to lose extra remotes and make using your home theater easier, the Logitech Harmony 1000 is a fantastic device that makes common home theater tasks much easier to accomplish.


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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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