Logitech Takes Harmony to the Masses

Is a Harmony remote without a display really a Harmony? We’re about to find out. Like others in Logtech’s lineup, the new Harmony 300 can be programmed to control multiple devices, via a USB connection and their cloud-based device database of a bazillion components (some recorded better than others). However, unlike prior Harmonys, the 300 seems more ‘universal remote’ than macro-based event control… Given the missing LCD and 4 component limitation. Which is probably OK as they’re clearly shooting for the mass market with a $50 price point. (And battery life should be very good.) However, if you’re on a tight budget yet want a “real” Harmony remote experience (with color LCD), I’d spring for the 650 which recently launched at $100. Give it just a few more weeks and I bet we’ll see it on Amazon or Dell for $80.

13 thoughts on “Logitech Takes Harmony to the Masses”

  1. I aalways m surprised by the amount of people that get confused by the LCD screen. I would be interested in this just for that though I am not sure how you map “on demand” and “dvr” to this remote.

  2. I need a remote for the Ceton tuner media center thing. I think I’ve decided that’s the route I want for sure.

    Now I guess I could use the XBOX 360 media center remote… but would the harmony be better? I want quick access to 30-sec skip, and stuff like the guide and recorded content.

    What would be a really GOOD media center remote that I can also program to my TV?

    All of the Harmony’s can be programmed to work with the xbox 360 right? Can they also be programmed to work with a Windows 7 Media Center PC with a USB IR dongle?

  3. Oh forgot to mention, the remote has to be durable. I can’t count the numerous times we drop the remote onto the hardwood floor. Those Comcast remotes are durable. I have two in the living room.

  4. As long as it’s a task based remote, it still offers many advantages over device based remotes. A display is not really necessary when there are only a couple devices that need to be controlled. I would definitely consider purchasing this remote for my basement, which only has a TV, a Tivo, and a DVD player, assuming that it’s task based.

  5. It’s mostly not task based, it’s more device based, hence my ‘universal remote’ descriptor. Basically, it supports 1 Activity: Watching TV. Check the Harmony 300 Amazon page to see the comparison chart about halfway down. Sorry for the gratuitous link, but I don’t see a similar chart on the Logitech site.

  6. I love the Harmony line of remotes, I currently own a couple Harmony Ones and a Harmony 1000. It appears to me that this remote is perfect for basic setups. I just ordered one from Amazon and I plan to use it in my kitchen where I only have one device – a Roku DVP – connected to the TV. Instead of needing to handle two different devices to switch between watching basic cable and the Roku, this will be a little more convenient. Whereas another Harmony One would be overkill for this basic functionality, the 300 should be perfect, and the price ($50) can’t be beat.

  7. Ugh! Support for only one activity is pretty lame for a $50 remote. Dave, thanks for the link to the comparison table.

  8. Ok after much research, I think I’ll go with the 650 once they shave $10 off the price. Heard it works fine with a 360 running Media Center Extender. Also the wikibook on my TV claims that discrete IR codes are available for switching inputs.

  9. I’ve had a Harmony 880 for a couple of years, and I don’t really love it, but the price/performance is hard to beat (the ones I think I’d like better cost WAY more). Honestly, I think removal of the LCD display would be an improvement in many ways. It sounds like they’ve stripped out more than that here, so this may not be as appealing as it could be, but I’d happy buy a remote that’s the 880 without the screen…

  10. Was using HVR-1600, but IR won’t recognize in W7. Anyways…was searching for an inexpensively HTPC, blu-ray, tv, etc universal IR remote. Still needed a IR receiver either a (USB-UIRT) which is expensive but works. However I did some more research and found that I can get AVS Gear MG-IR01BK with a IR reciever, (buy for IR) and ditch the remote and buy the Universal Remote R6.

    Total Cost – 48$ w/ shipping from newegg, cheaper than the USB UIRT

  11. I’ve always loved the Harmony remotes conceptually, but I have probably been through at least half a dozen and have always found the build quality/durability to be lacking. With the 880 series, I felt that every day past 1 month the tilt sensor worked was a bonus. Build quality on URC remotes far superior.

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