Archives For Remotes

Harmony 360 For Xbox

Dave Zatz —  November 14, 2005

Harmony 360

Logitech has revealed a Harmony remote customized for the upcoming Xbox 360. The remote carries forward the new form introduced with the Harmony 520, but has added a row of Xbox-specific function keys mapped to X, Y, A, B. The display has also been tweaked with new green backlighting that appears to make text more legible. The remote is expected to drop this month for $130.

Logitech says: With the Harmony remote, there´s no need to juggle remote controls or press a dozen buttons to set up a TV, home-theater receiver, and Xbox 360 for gaming. When people push one button on the Harmony remote, the Xbox 360 and all of the appropriate electronics components are set to the required state for game play. Special console-specific buttons on the Harmony remote make it easy to navigate the Xbox 360 interface. The remote´s white finish, chrome accents, cool green backlighting and ultra-slim design complement the understated but sophisticated design of the Xbox 360.

Logitech Harmony 520 In The Flesh

Dave Zatz —  September 23, 2005

Harmony 520Logitech has begun shipping the new Harmony 520 to select Walmarts, which resulted in numerous phone calls and a distant quest to two stores. Why Walmart you ask? Logitech is aiming squarely down market with this $99 model – and I’ve concluded the cost corresponds directly to the number of buttons.

The main differences between the 520 and the 6xx line are obviously the the new physical design, dropping the hard coded activity buttons along with many others, and the introduction of new software – for under a hundred bucks.

As with other models, Harmony remotes are configured online using a web-based wizard with your custom settings being downloaded via USB into the remote. The 520 is the first in the Harmony line using updated configuration and connectivity software. Logitech promises this will eventually be available to all Harmony devices – in fact it is currently willing to configure my old 659, though I haven’t tried. Keeping with the Harmony way, you program your remote using activities. For example a Watch DVD activity might turn on your TV, switch the input source, turn on the DVD player, and dim your Lutron lights. Soft buttons listed in the LCD allow for an unlimited amount of function keys.
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PSP As Whole Home Remote

Dave Zatz —  September 20, 2005

SkipJam on PSPIf you happen to own SkipJam’s iMedia Center, you can harness the power of the your PSP as a whole-home remote control. SkipJam’s software utilizes the browser provided with 2.0 firmware and an Internet connection to provide a customized remote control interface. Sounds neat, but it’s nothing more than a low-resolution web page generated by SkipJam’s overpriced hardware.

SkipJam says: Using the PSP’s browser and internet connection, SkipJam iMedia users can now control any device in their home. The SkipJam iMedia software provides custom web pages which allow the PSP to function as a wireless remote for TVs, DVDs, Stereos, lighting and other consumer electronics throughout the home.