Logitech launches new Harmony remotes

If you practically need a new cabinet for all your lounge room's remote controls--let alone the actual devices that they control--then it seems you're not alone. Thankfully, advanced universal remote controls are becoming increasingly more affordable, as evidenced by Logitech's latest flagship universal remote, the Harmony 1000.

When it goes on sale for US$500 on October 17th, the device will go some way to provide what has traditionally cost closer to double that. The Harmony 1000 features a 3.5-inch color touch screen, is less than half an inch thick, has backlit dedicated volume, mute and channel buttons, a sleek brushed metal finish and a docking station to recharge its batteries.

I sat back and used the unit for a little while and noted that its easy to use interface, which populates commands (on screen buttons) as you need them, also allows pretty much any option/feature to be accessed in just a few touches, versus getting lost in a sequence of sub-menus.

Like the $340 Harmony 890 that we reviewed back in January, the Harmony 1000 can use a radio frequency RF extender: hardware that sits in another room and responds to the RF signal by sending infrared signals to your electronics gear. Though the 890 included your first extender in the box, it remains a $150 option for the 1000.

Logitech also announced the more traditionally shaped US$450 Harmony 890 Pro. It shares a key new feature with the 1000: support for the Z-Wave wireless technology standard used by manufacturers of advanced lighting, climate control and security systems. Both units also feature Smart State technology that tracks the status of appliances and lets you combine operations from several appliances into a single activity button.

I took some time out at Denver's CEDIA trade show to sit down with Brian McLeod, the vice president of Logitech's remote control business, and former CEO and owner of Harmony, known as Intrigue Technologies when Logitech bought the company in May 2004.

He explained that by the end of 2006, Logitech plans to invest between 30 and 40 million into its Harmony efforts, from marketing to Web infrastructure. The Web side of that begins to make sense if you've ever used a Harmony remote. Out of the box, they connect to your PC via USB, and you program the control information of your appliances using an Internet Browser. McLeod points out that this programming method provides access to a user community-driven database featuring details of 5000 different brands and 175,000 components. He claims that the control information of a further 3000 devices are added each week. Stay tuned for a full review of the Harmony 1000 as soon as we're able to spend some quality lounging time with one.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Danny Allen

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?