Logitech to unload Harmony line after 'disappointing' quarter - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 83 Old 01-26-2013, 11:00 AM
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I hope someone will buy the technology/product line from Harmony and make a better configuration software (where set ups can be saved, and where no internet connection is needed).

I am a big fan of the squeezebox system (the best music streaming solution IMO) and of Harmonys (best remote solution so far)... but don't care for any other logitech products...mad.gif
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post #62 of 83 Old 01-28-2013, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Eiffel View Post

I hope someone will buy the technology/product line from Harmony and make a better configuration software (where set ups can be saved, and where no internet connection is needed).

I am a big fan of the squeezebox system (the best music streaming solution IMO) and of Harmonys (best remote solution so far)... but don't care for any other logitech products...mad.gif

Ya I do hope someone buys the product line. I have been looking forward to a new set of models for awhile now.

I like the idea of being able to configure on the remote instead of needing to hook up to a pc. That would be awesome.
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post #63 of 83 Old 01-28-2013, 06:52 AM
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Ya I do hope someone buys the product line. I have been looking forward to a new set of models for awhile now.

I like the idea of being able to configure on the remote instead of needing to hook up to a pc. That would be awesome.

Setting it up on a PC is much easier but the software that logitech provides is a joke. It only has the wizard so to make just one change you have to run through the wizard rather than making only the change you want. What I do not like as well is that it has to connect to their server to run. I can see connecting to download data for a new device but to have to connect each time is ridiculous. This is what makes me most concerned about the demise or sale of the Harmony line.

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post #64 of 83 Old 01-28-2013, 07:59 AM
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This sucks. I tried using an andriod phone as a remote and hated it. I want real buttons! I just picked up a Harmony 600 for real cheap (I want to say something like $30). It replaced an old Harmony 800 that died (and I didn't like the buttons on). The best and worst thing about the Harmony software was that it was relatively idiot proof. I bought a 600 also for my dad and he had his DVR, VCR/DVD, TV and sound bar set up in less than 20 minutes. He's been absolutely amazed. I do agree that it needs an advanced option though. I'm pretty shocked that there isn't an open source solution out there for the software given how much love it gets. Maybe this will spurn someone to give it a shot.
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post #65 of 83 Old 01-28-2013, 11:06 AM
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Anyone looking for harmony alternatives today has a couple of pretty decent low cost options. If you prefer doing all the config on the remote, check out the URC R40 or R50. Other URC models have great PC config software. JP1 remotes also have fantastic config software which is free and doesn't depend on any servers. The remotes themselves are very inexpensive and durable.

Concordance is the only 3rd party harmony software I know of. Unfortunately it's extremely limited at the moment. Perhaps that project will get revived since the need is critical now.
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post #66 of 83 Old 01-28-2013, 11:09 AM
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A blue flame is hotter than a red flame..
That's a true statement and it's not being contested. The point was, when you see red and blue markings on your car's heating and A/C settings, what do they symbolize to you? Everyone knows that red implies hot and blue implies cold, scientific facts aside. If you tried to color code it according to scientific realities, everyone would think their climate controls were broken.tongue.gif
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post #67 of 83 Old 01-28-2013, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

Anyone looking for harmony alternatives today has a couple of pretty decent low cost options. If you prefer doing all the config on the remote, check out the URC R40 or R50. Other URC models have great PC config software. JP1 remotes also have fantastic config software which is free and doesn't depend on any servers. The remotes themselves are very inexpensive and durable.

Concordance is the only 3rd party harmony software I know of. Unfortunately it's extremely limited at the moment. Perhaps that project will get revived since the need is critical now.

I'm not disputing that, problem is, to be honest, I'm lazy. I have a 10 year old Pronto I never fully programmed because it took too much work. Same with the various JP1 remotes - the Harmony was easy enough to program and good enough that it worked for me. I'm not aware of anything else in a similar class.

Quality Assurance Manager, Ceton Corporation
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post #68 of 83 Old 01-28-2013, 12:44 PM
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This is too bad, but I suspect someone will pick up the product line. I just bought two Harmony 300s for $18 each including shipping for use with two Ceton Echos I purchased last month for bedroom TVs in the house. They are refurb units but are working perfectly. Maybe this announcement will make them cheaper?

You can also find refurb Harmony 200s cheap on ebay for$13 incl shipping, but I saw some reviews complaining about the direction buttons (an all-in-one rocker type mechanism and difficult to hit the OK button with precision) so decided to be a big spender for the WAF. :-) But they are a little smaller than the 300 and would likely be a excellent replacement for the Echo remote also.

I'm finding the 300 to be great replacements for the Echo remote with much better ergonomics (ie, bigger buttons and operates both the TV and the Echo seamlessly) Programmed them so a single button press (of the Watch TV button) turns on the TV, switches to Echo mode and then operate just like a normal TV. The 300 can handle only 4 devices, but I only need it for the TV and the Echo in the bedrooms. (I use a Harmony 670 to handle the HTPC, TV, Blu Ray Player, AV Receiver, and other equipment in the family room.).

So I hope someone buys the Harmony business because I love them. (especially when you can get them at eBay prices!)
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post #69 of 83 Old 01-29-2013, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Setting it up on a PC is much easier but the software that logitech provides is a joke. It only has the wizard so to make just one change you have to run through the wizard rather than making only the change you want. What I do not like as well is that it has to connect to their server to run. I can see connecting to download data for a new device but to have to connect each time is ridiculous. This is what makes me most concerned about the demise or sale of the Harmony line.

Agreed on setting up on a computer. But for small tweaks where I am getting up off my couch, at my pc...and yea connecting to that damn server...uploading etc...

I think to have some ability to modify at the remote itself with a wifi connection would be useful.
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post #70 of 83 Old 01-29-2013, 11:50 AM
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If you have a "delay", it is because you have not set things up properly. You can even change the length of time to send the IR signals, as well as the delay time between commands when sending multiple commands at once.
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post #71 of 83 Old 01-29-2013, 12:06 PM
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IMHO as a couch potato any touchscreen-only remote is a failure. Manufactures will do well to keep in mind that a remote is meant for single-handed operation, and by touch and feel without the aid of the eye.

I currently own a Harmony One after burning through two 880's in the last 5 years. I tried programming some of the touch screen keys as a way to reduce wear-and-tear on the "clicker" buttons that will undoubtedly go bad over time (if you owned an 880 you know what I'm talking about), but hated having to take my eyes off the TV or using two hands. I ended up just using the physical buttons with tactile feedback.

I was hoping in 2-3 years I will replace the One. But it looks like there's a chance there won't be a worthy succesor. As it is, IMHO Harmony One is inferior to 880 in terms of egonomics.
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post #72 of 83 Old 01-29-2013, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by gazebo View Post

IMHO as a couch potato any touchscreen-only remote is a failure. Manufactures will do well to keep in mind that a remote is meant for single-handed operation, and by touch and feel without the aid of the eye.

I currently own a Harmony One after burning through two 880's in the last 5 years. I tried programming some of the touch screen keys as a way to reduce wear-and-tear on the "clicker" buttons that will undoubtedly go bad over time (if you owned an 880 you know what I'm talking about), but hated having to take my eyes off the TV or using two hands. I ended up just using the physical buttons with tactile feedback.

I was hoping in 2-3 years I will replace the One. But it looks like there's a chance there won't be a worthy succesor. As it is, IMHO Harmony One is inferior to 880 in terms of egonomics.
I agree with you 110%. But unfortunately the general public doesn't always go for the best solution. You have hundreds of millions of smart phones out there now, so people are compelled to use them as remotes. And while they look pretty, it's not the best solution. So harmony, unable to compete with cheap apps and existing devices (smart phones), starts losing sales. They tried to compete with the Link and the Touch, but poor design, execution and high prices doomed those attempts. Of course they also dug their own grave by bungling the new software and needlessly removing features, which pissed off the existing customer base.

They are so close to having a very successful, unbeatable product. But they won't put in that tiny bit of extra effort to make it happen. They won't listen to their customers, and even if they did, they probably don't have the budget or expertise to deliver. Their ineptitude has been proven time and time again over the life of the harmony product line. They started with a great product and inexplicably dumbed it down and removed features to the point that most of the current product line is far worse than the lineup they had a few years ago.

Any buyout of the product line is going to have a huge price tag and require a huge assumption of liability. On day one, the new owner will not only be on the hook for hardware and warranty support, but web servers for millions of existing customer's configurations, data servers, designers, engineers and phone support. And any buyer is also going to see the same shrinking market caused by smart phones that precipitated logitech's losses to begin with. So it's going to be a tough sell.

The really smart things harmony has going for it are the database built by users, ease of programming and relatively low prices, not to mention great distribution channels. So the value for a buyer lies in the name, the database infrastructure and the programming platform. Leverage those and improve the programming interface and feature set for end users, as well as embrace and support integrators and you can have a very successful product again.

The trickiest part is reliability. Most people expect temporary, throwaway electronics these days. So harmony is almost spot on. Their remotes typically last only a couple of years, which is long enough for most people to get tired of them anyway and want to upgrade. If that time to failure is much shorter you start losing customers. But if it's long enough, you keep them on the hook forever, buying replacements every few years. I personally prefer my remotes to last at least 10 years (which they do), but I'm probably in the minority. So I don't think the new owner of harmony will have to make any changes in terms of durability, only some changes in button layout.

It will be interesting to watch this play out.
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post #73 of 83 Old 01-29-2013, 01:57 PM
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Did anyone bother to read this from the Logitech CEO?

http://forums.logitech.com/t5/Harmony-Remotes/Logitech-s-Commitment-to-Harmony-Customers/td-p/967579

"This is Bracken Darrell, CEO of Logitech. Logitech just publicly announced a plan to hold the Harmony business for sale. Logitech is not shutting down the Harmony business and certainly not the service.

This corporate announcement does not impact Logitech’s commitment to our Harmony customers. During the sale, Logitech will continue to provide customer support for Harmony customers. All current warranties provided by Logitech for Harmony products remain unchanged at this time.

We very much appreciate our loyal Harmony community and will continue to support and communicate with our customers. Check back here for future updates on this topic.

Thank you for your continued support and enthusiasm for Logitech Harmony.

Regards,

Bracken Darrell"

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post #74 of 83 Old 01-29-2013, 06:02 PM
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Did anyone bother to read this from the Logitech CEO?

Yes, it's perfectly wonderful marketing speak with no content. Sure, Logitech won't shutdown the Harmony service. Sure Logitech will support customers during the sale. But once the sale is done, all bets are off. A new company could decide to shutdown the Harmony service. We just don't know. So until the sale is done and we do know something, there is going to be some angst among those of use that depend on the Harmony service when we reprogram our remote.
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post #75 of 83 Old 01-29-2013, 07:01 PM
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I assume Logitech will have a support agreement with whoever is crazy enough to buy where they will provide support for one year to cover all item warranties sold up to that point. After that they will wash their hands of the whole mess.

Even though my URC software isn't exactly simple to obtain, it can work in offline mode if the company ever goes under.

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post #76 of 83 Old 01-30-2013, 01:52 AM
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Started with a Pronto, WAY too much work.
Bought an 880 and it worked well, Saw the 1000 and had to have the cool touch screen.
Now I've bought a One and use it and the 880. Touchscreen is in the storage room.
Remotes need buttons!
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post #77 of 83 Old 01-30-2013, 10:26 AM
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Started with a Pronto, WAY too much work.
Bought an 880 and it worked well, Saw the 1000 and had to have the cool touch screen.
Now I've bought a One and use it and the 880. Touchscreen is in the storage room.
Remotes need buttons!
I've had so many universal remotes I've lost track of them. My first major remote was a programmable model from RatShack. The next remote was a Marantz RC2000 Mk II (formerly know as "The Remote of the Gods"). It had more capability than any other remote available at the time, but still fell short on internal memory, which limited the number of commands you could teach it. It also ate batteries at a record pace (required a new set every 2-3 weeks) and it was very heavy.

The Marantz was eventually replaced with a URC model, which escapes me at the moment, but it was at or near the top of the model line. I don't believe it was a learning remote and it had to be sent back to URC for programming if it didn't have the codes for the device in the internal database. I used to change components in my HT setup frequently so having to get the remote reprogrammed for every new pice of hardware was a total PITA. It cost $10 a pop each time I needed to get it programmed plus shipping. Needless to say I didn't keep that one for long.

Next up was a Home Theater Master MX-700. Great remote and lots of macro functionality. More memory than the Marantz, but still limited byt the number of commands it could hold, IIRC.

Then came the Harmony 880. It took me a while to get used to the activity function vs. having to configure macros from scratch. I didn't like it initially but soon realized how much easier it was to set up and use. About a year after getting the 880 I bought a Harmony One that was on sale. I plugged it into the charger and never touched it for about another year. I was so used to the 880 that I was reluctant to switch. The thought of having to use the touch screen for more functions put me off, but I finally bit the bullet and set up the One. At that point I was down to just an A/V preamp/processor and my HTPC so I had very little in the way of components to program into it and only a single activity (i.e., watch HTPC). I was able to embed all of my apps within Media Center so I only needed to program the remote with the WMC codeset for control.

One of the biggest improvements I've seen is the ability to use a charging cradle instead of standard batteries. The remote is much lighter and I never have to worry about it not working because of dead batteries, as long as I remember to place it back in the cradle when I'm done (which I do religiously). Aside from disliking touchscreen-centric remotes, I won't buy another remote that doesn't come with rechargeable batteries and a charging cradle.
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post #78 of 83 Old 01-30-2013, 03:30 PM
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They are so close to having a very successful, unbeatable product. But they won't put in that tiny bit of extra effort to make it happen. They won't listen to their customers, and even if they did, they probably don't have the budget or expertise to deliver. Their ineptitude has been proven time and time again over the life of the harmony product line. They started with a great product and inexplicably dumbed it down and removed features to the point that most of the current product line is far worse than the lineup they had a few years ago.

Couldn't agree more. I bought my first harmony, the 680, back in 2005. Used it daily all the way up to 2011 when I got the 700. Still use the 680 but it's not in my main viewing room. The 680, while 8 years old, does more than the 700, at about the same price point. Still works fine (save for one button that you have to press extra hard but that was my fault), just as well as the 700, and I never saw any compelling reason to buy the higher end models. I've always advocated that a good remote must be such that you can learn where the buttons are and operate it without looking. It blows my mind that logitech didn't understand this most basic tenet of remote zen. Some of the designs between 2005 and now were just abysmal. The 890 is possibly the worst... and is currently selling on amazon for almost $300! What a joke.
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post #79 of 83 Old 01-30-2013, 03:38 PM
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One of the biggest improvements I've seen is the ability to use a charging cradle instead of standard batteries. The remote is much lighter and I never have to worry about it not working because of dead batteries, as long as I remember to place it back in the cradle when I'm done (which I do religiously). Aside from disliking touchscreen-centric remotes, I won't buy another remote that doesn't come with rechargeable batteries and a charging cradle.

What about just plugging it into a usb charger? I like that things seem to have settled on micro usb for the moment, so since I already have those for phones, I just use the same for my 700. (unfortunately my 680 uses mini usb, but since when I bought it there was no such thing as a smart phone, I'll give them a pass on that one)

The cradle to me is just another piece of plastic taking up space.
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post #80 of 83 Old 01-30-2013, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

One of the biggest improvements I've seen is the ability to use a charging cradle instead of standard batteries. The remote is much lighter and I never have to worry about it not working because of dead batteries, as long as I remember to place it back in the cradle when I'm done (which I do religiously). Aside from disliking touchscreen-centric remotes, I won't buy another remote that doesn't come with rechargeable batteries and a charging cradle.

My batteries last at least 3 months in my remote. Much more convenient than a recharge stand.
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post #81 of 83 Old 01-30-2013, 04:33 PM
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My batteries last at least 3 months in my remote. Much more convenient than a recharge stand.

One and H-900 have LCD displays that can shorten battery life. I have my cradle in the same drawer that hides/holds my turntable and phono pre-amp and serves as storage for other remotes that aren't used because of the Harmony. It is not inconvienent to open the drawer and drop the H-900 on the cradle a few times a month.

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post #82 of 83 Old 01-30-2013, 05:22 PM
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What about just plugging it into a usb charger? I like that things seem to have settled on micro usb for the moment, so since I already have those for phones, I just use the same for my 700. (unfortunately my 680 uses mini usb, but since when I bought it there was no such thing as a smart phone, I'll give them a pass on that one)

The cradle to me is just another piece of plastic taking up space.

I've had USB charging ports break on several devices, including a very expensive headset. The connector that connects the cable end to the board inside just popped out on that one. I realize that hundred of millions of phones charge via USB, but those break as well.

Cradles are a much more robust way to recharge, especially with a family around doing the charging.

Looky here!
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post #83 of 83 Old 02-02-2013, 03:22 PM
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I hadn't heard about Concordance, but this gives me hope as my 525s (including the spares I have) are nearly perfect in terms of features... built quality is another story, but as long as it works...

I've spent a lot of time my my Pronto, and they with JP1 remotes (with extenders, etc.)... but the Harmonys were a major step in the right direction in term of power for any fairly complex configuration. I guess I may have to go back to Girder, serial control et al. to get my system to work the way I want
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