Logitech Debuts Two Harmony Remotes - Ultimate and Smart Control - Page 3 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #61 of 261 Old 04-23-2013, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by rekbones View Post

I wish they would update the 890/1100 line of remotes with the very reliable z-wave rf tech. I have two of the 890's one for me one for my wife. The range is excellent all over the house. They have a terrible button layout and the Z-wave lighting controlls are clunky but all could be fixed with a firmware change. Give me a remote like the Harmony one with z-wave RF and it would be better than anything they have come out with since.

No kidding. I've been scouring the Internet for a way for my H1 to control something Z-Wave.

Hell, I'd buy two or three of the things. eek.gif
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post #62 of 261 Old 04-23-2013, 11:39 AM
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Who's the genius at Logitech who thought it made sense to place the pause/play/skip buttons above the screen? Is this Logitech's final contribution to the Harmony line before it sells it? I hope not...
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post #63 of 261 Old 04-25-2013, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by jhoff80 View Post

Keep in mind that Logitech is actively looking to sell off Harmony as well, and yet you're tied to Logitech's server to set the remote up. It might not be a smart investment until we hear what actually happens with the division.

To be honest though, good riddance, because the product has gone downhill ever since Logitech bought them. My 659 was a million times better than the 880 I had to replace it with after years of use, and in many ways is still better than the Harmony One I got after the 880 died (conveniently right after its warranty was up).

And that's not even mentioning how much worse the software is now compared to when it used to be just a webpage, as opposed to the mess that is the Logitech Harmony software.

I love my 880. With the ability to program macros, to powering on and off all/any of my gear, setting the appropriate inputs, or customize button sequences for individual devices within a particular activity. Just to start. Every time I start looking to replace this remote, I don't seem to find anything (with similar pricing) that even comes close! Even the newer Harmony remotes didn't seem to be able to perform to the 880's level. I have equipment that ranges from the mid 1980's to present, and 90% is controlled by the 880(aside from an old Pioneer CTF-900 cassette deck and B&O turntable-non IR devices). All the equipment is located inside a cabinet, addressed to using IR emitters with an out board IR receiver.

I do agree that being tied to the web based setup could become a problem. I may end up feeling the same as you if my 880 fails, Harmony is kaputts, or both. But for now I hope it keeps on ticking.

Enjoy Listening!
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post #64 of 261 Old 04-25-2013, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by buttecreeker View Post

I love my 880. With the ability to program macros, to powering on and off all/any of my gear, setting the appropriate inputs, or customize button sequences for individual devices within a particular activity. Just to start. Every time I start looking to replace this remote, I don't seem to find anything (with similar pricing) that even comes close! Even the newer Harmony remotes didn't seem to be able to perform to the 880's level. I have equipment that ranges from the mid 1980's to present, and 90% is controlled by the 880(aside from an old Pioneer CTF-900 cassette deck and B&O turntable-non IR devices). All the equipment is located inside a cabinet, addressed to using IR emitters with an out board IR receiver..

I absolutely hated the layout of my 880, and mine also died a few weeks after the warranty ended. I had other complaints about it too, but it was so long ago I can't remember.

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post #65 of 261 Old 04-25-2013, 10:10 PM
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Have any of you with problems with your Harmony remotes ever contact Logitech's awesome customer service about it?
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post #66 of 261 Old 04-26-2013, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 72.9.159.100 View Post

Have any of you with problems with your Harmony remotes ever contact Logitech's awesome customer service about it?

I have. And I've heard many people complain about it. Personally, I called and the first person or two I spoke to were like talking to a wall.. I eventually got through to some technical rep or whatnot and she was knew her ****. 30 minutes to finally talk to her, 5 minutes of talking to her and she had fixed every issue I had and made a world of a difference. I think your best bet is to just keep asking for technical support, eventually you will get the help you need.. I can't knock them too bad for that, as I'm sure MOST calls don't require much technical training SO most reps aren't trained well enough to deal with the more technical issues... just keep asking for tech support and eventually you'll get someone that can resolve your issue. Also, not sure if it has changed now but it used to be that if you had a bad remote outside of warranty, they would basically give you any new remote for half off.

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post #67 of 261 Old 04-27-2013, 03:07 PM
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I've had 3 harmony remotes and have mixed feeling about them. The Harmony H659 was a good remote but the buttons wore out too fast. Still have the 880 and it's been a good remote but rarely ever use it now. I also had the 1000 which was the most expensive yet the worst Harmony remote I've had. It had to be "rebooted" by removing the power often and the hard buttons seemed to stick on occasion. The Customer Service was poot to say the least. Unlike most I work for a company where I had to have Harmony put codes for hardware into their database and their support would have to pass you up the chain to talk to a higher level support who would never call you back.

I've since bought iRule for $50 on my iPad and it's a MUCH superior product IMO. Harmony does macros and such but turns on devices by power toggles. With iRule I can use discrete commands and use more advanced macros than the Harmony can do. Plus I don't have to aim and hold my remote whereas with iRule you simply press the button with no aiming involved. You can customize your own interface and use discrete commands on my AVR such as settings a specific volume level by one press of a button rather than the press and hold option on the Harmony. I can e-mail iRule's customer service and they typically respond faster than about any support I've ever dealt with. Personally, it's not likely that I'll ever use another Harmony product again. There's just much better out there. Just to note, most of my devices are controllable via IP with the exception of my projector and for that I purchased an iTach.

Just my 2 cents.
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post #68 of 261 Old 04-27-2013, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by xb1032 View Post

I've had 3 harmony remotes and have mixed feeling about them. The Harmony H659 was a good remote but the buttons wore out too fast. Still have the 880 and it's been a good remote but rarely ever use it now. I also had the 1000 which was the most expensive yet the worst Harmony remote I've had. It had to be "rebooted" by removing the power often and the hard buttons seemed to stick on occasion. The Customer Service was poot to say the least. Unlike most I work for a company where I had to have Harmony put codes for hardware into their database and their support would have to pass you up the chain to talk to a higher level support who would never call you back.

I've since bought iRule for $50 on my iPad and it's a MUCH superior product IMO. Harmony does macros and such but turns on devices by power toggles. With iRule I can use discrete commands and use more advanced macros than the Harmony can do. Plus I don't have to aim and hold my remote whereas with iRule you simply press the button with no aiming involved. You can customize your own interface and use discrete commands on my AVR such as settings a specific volume level by one press of a button rather than the press and hold option on the Harmony. I can e-mail iRule's customer service and they typically respond faster than about any support I've ever dealt with. Personally, it's not likely that I'll ever use another Harmony product again. There's just much better out there. Just to note, most of my devices are controllable via IP with the exception of my projector and for that I purchased an iTach.

Just my 2 cents.


I'd agree with the cust service... it can be hit and miss.. The first tier support is usually like talking to a wall, but eventually there ARE people at higher tiers that know what they are doing....if you don't mind waiting a while to finally reach them.

You can use discrete power on instead of power toggle with most Harmony remotes too.. it just takes some trickery.. I only had to do so once, and the way I think I did it was to tell the software to keep that particular device "on" all the time.. This tricks the remote into not sending the "toggle command".. THEN you need to add a step to the "start" of each particular activity you use that device for.. In this step, you just have it give the "discreet on" command. THEN in the end/switch activity, you would do the same thing with the "discreet off" command. It's a bit of a work around, but it works.. The only flaw is that it turns the device off and back on between activities that use the same device...basically if you are watching TV and switch to watch a blu ray, the tv would turn off and back on, where if you use the default version, the tv would stay on, just switching inputs(which is why I've stopped using it this way).

As far as aiming, it really depends on the device.... I agree IR controls, especially if you have several steps with lag between inputs, can be a pain to hold the device pointed at your equipment... BUT I've used the RF remotes as well, and it solves this issue...albeit more expensively. Most equipment does not have discreet volume controls (if they do you could map those on the remote, or even add them to start up sequence to start at desired level).... having no discreet volume control, I'm curious how the iRule approaches this? You CAN create a sequence(on most harmonies) that will send a volume up or down several times in a row, quickly.. Depending on the device, that can help a lot.

My only beef with iRule is that I want a physical remote. not a tablet, not a phone, a remote. Considering I want a remote, and I want it to do activities- this is about the best option that is available without needing someone else to program (or obtain and learn software yourself)..

The 1000 and 1100, I agree are not fun. The concept seems like a great idea until you have to hold a square remote with an unfriendly button layout..


As far as the iRule, I like the idea of using a phone and tablet, but still want a physical remote.. What happens when I'm on the phone, phone dies, I'm not home and others want to use it, etc.... and I just don't think I could get used to using a tablet all the time. The new harmony ultimate and smart DOES allow you to use these devices while still providing a physical remote as well. I'm curious to see how the user interface works with the new hub/smart harmony system on phones and tablets and how that compares to the iRule for people who don't necessarily need/want a physical remote.

I would imagine using a tablet (such as with your iRule) would be a pain much of the time... like at night and you just want to increase the volume- doesn't grabbing that tablet and lighting up the room blind/bother you?

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post #69 of 261 Old 04-29-2013, 01:11 PM
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No Windows Phone 8 support = No sale.cool.gif
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post #70 of 261 Old 04-29-2013, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKaram View Post

As many have noted here, this looks like a jump-off from the Harmony Link... however my perspective is that it's worse technology. The strength of the harmony link was in its use of wifi protocol. The app required for it was poor, but having access to it over your home network was excellent.Now they have reverted back to bluetooth (which is how the Harmony 900 worked, also discontinued).
Well, nobody has seen one yet, but I *believe* this is a misconception. In their webpage "Harmony Ultimate Technical Specifications", they list the specs for a "WiFi IR Hub", including the LED state"Wi-Fi connect (green/red)" which says to me that the hub works via WiFi the same way the old one did. The specs also list Bluetooth, but only as an *output*, to control Wii & PS3. It does say it has the "Linux Blue Z stack", which I suppose doesn't preclude input. But the specs for their remote list *neither* WiFi nor Bluetooth! So that's still guesswork as to which method (BT, RF, WiFi) their own remote connects to the hub. Regardless, your iThing will (apparently) work with the new hub just as it did with the old, i.e. WiFi control.
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post #71 of 261 Old 04-29-2013, 11:58 PM
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it uses Wifi to receive the commands from the android/ios device and then sends them by IR, RF, or Bluetooth

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post #72 of 261 Old 04-30-2013, 09:10 AM
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I've been through two 890's, and frankly I liked the button layout on those. I got used to them pretty quickly and could use them without looking. However both failed in different ways, and left me feeling like the quality is just not there with Harmony remotes. I loved the RF and activities in those remotes though.

I've switched to an Accoustic Research ARRX18G with the RF extender. I picked up two used ones off ebay for cheap, but you get what you pay for in that case. One shows little wear, but the up and left arrow keys barely work, the other has a lot of wear and multiple buttons have issues, so I fear for the longevity of those remotes if I fork out the money for a new one. Also the RF is nowhere near as good as the Harmony remotes.

I've considered iRule, but I want physical buttons. IP and Serial control are the best though, far better than IR or RF. But there's no reasonable way to get those with a remote that has actual buttons.

So maybe this new Harmony remote will do it for me, although I'm worried about the longevity of it. I just wish Logitech would go with IP control when they are using devices that are wifi compatible. It'd make their remotes so much more powerful. It's so shortsighted to skip that.
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post #73 of 261 Old 04-30-2013, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trackavsforum View Post

Well, nobody has seen one yet, but I *believe* this is a misconception. In their webpage "Harmony Ultimate Technical Specifications", they list the specs for a "WiFi IR Hub", including the LED state"Wi-Fi connect (green/red)" which says to me that the hub works via WiFi the same way the old one did. The specs also list Bluetooth, but only as an *output*, to control Wii & PS3. It does say it has the "Linux Blue Z stack", which I suppose doesn't preclude input. But the specs for their remote list *neither* WiFi nor Bluetooth! So that's still guesswork as to which method (BT, RF, WiFi) their own remote connects to the hub. Regardless, your iThing will (apparently) work with the new hub just as it did with the old, i.e. WiFi control.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Chaves View Post

it uses Wifi to receive the commands from the android/ios device and then sends them by IR, RF, or Bluetooth


I'd prefer it receive wifi from the wand remote. Controlling it with iThing isn't ideal, imho.
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post #74 of 261 Old 05-01-2013, 08:57 PM
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I recently purchased a Harmony 900 remote and today marked the near completion of all of the programing (except for the TV2 IR Kit for Dish Network DVR that I am wait for in the mail). Even though this device is in its infant stages with me, I am more than happy with its features and performance. I was looking for a universal learning remote that had the RF capability and this one fit the bill. The remote is based on setting up Activities and my favorite one is the one that I programed into the remote today. This Activity involves being able to control my Roku media streaming device almost anywhere in my condo. This same Activity starts both my LCD and Plasma TV's for viewing the Roku's media offerings as well as the Onkyo AVR for volume and surround options. When I'm ready to leave the house, one button turns everything off just like that!. My girlfriend wants me to add favorite channels to the TV Activities touch screen options, so I will be doing that first thing tomorrow morning. I am looking forward to adding lighting into the mix in the future biggrin.gif
So, in conclusion if these remotes are anything like the 900 they are winners in my book!
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post #75 of 261 Old 05-02-2013, 02:21 PM
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When I first saw the new Harmony 900 I thought that this was just what I was looking for to replace my 890”s. Then I read the reviews of its poor range and performance in RF and the fact that they abandoned the Z-wave RF of the 890/1100 series I decided against it. I would have to replace all my IR blasters , PS3 controller and Z-wave light controllers. Logitechs decision to abandon the Z-wave tech was either corporate greed to get you to replace all your RF equipment or Z-wave charging a ridiculous license fee for thier tech. My 2 890's control my home theater, living room system, bedroom system , loft sewing room system and work great at over 40' from the blasters. One is customized for me and one for my wife. I will keep patching these together until someone comes out with a wand remote that can compete for a reasonable cost.

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post #76 of 261 Old 05-02-2013, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMonMan View Post

...My only beef with iRule is that I want a physical remote. not a tablet, not a phone, a remote. Considering I want a remote, and I want it to do activities- this is about the best option that is available without needing someone else to program (or obtain and learn software yourself).....As far as the iRule, I like the idea of using a phone and tablet, but still want a physical remote.. What happens when I'm on the phone, phone dies, I'm not home and others want to use it, etc.... and I just don't think I could get used to using a tablet all the time. The new harmony ultimate and smart DOES allow you to use these devices while still providing a physical remote as well. I'm curious to see how the user interface works with the new hub/smart harmony system on phones and tablets and how that compares to the iRule for people who don't necessarily need/want a physical remote.

I would imagine using a tablet (such as with your iRule) would be a pain much of the time... like at night and you just want to increase the volume- doesn't grabbing that tablet and lighting up the room blind/bother you?

When I first started using iRule I found myself wanting a hand held remote to feel the hard buttons. At first it just didn't feel right. Now that I've tweaked the interface to my liking and I've moved away from using a hand held remote I actually like it better. For the scenario you described at night it's actually much better with iRule because while you are looking to feel the remote to press and hold to reach a certain volume level, I've already experimented somewhat and I know the volume level I want so I simply grab the tablet and press one button that I pre-programmed to the desired volume level and I'm finished. For me, I'm nearsighted so having an ipad makes the buttons easier to read as well. Bringing up the remote on the tablet doesn't bother me at night. and most of my backgrounds are dark colored with light colored buttons. Now that I've grown accustomed to using a tablet I just couldn't go back as personally I love it.

I designed an interface that even my wife can use. She constantly left devices on or got them out of sync with the Harmony remote that doesn't happen with iRule. If your devices are IP controllable that are many little tweaks you can do that would be difficult to do with IR (or even RF). Not to mention that response time is generally faster as well.
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post #77 of 261 Old 05-07-2013, 07:30 PM
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I just received the Harmony Ultimate from Logitech. A couple of weeks ago I received an email stating if I were one of the first 50 people to respond to the email, I would receive the new Ultimate for free. I have completed the set up and have started to use it. My first impressions are that it is better then the Harmony Touch. There are some differences I have noticed on the touch screen. Here are some pictures. I'll provide more feedback in a few days after I use it a bit.



My set up
Marantz SR-7008, Emotiva XPA-3
Sony UBP-X800 Ultra 4K Blu Ray Player, Harmony Ultimate Remote
Klipsch RB-81II, RC-52II, Boston Acoustics Micro 120s
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http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1227096
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post #78 of 261 Old 05-07-2013, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnnt29 View Post

I just received the Harmony Ultimate from Logitech. A couple of weeks ago I received an email stating if I were one of the first 50 people to respond to the email, I would receive the new Ultimate for free. I have completed the set up and have started to use it. My first impressions are that it is better then the Harmony Touch. There are some differences I have noticed on the touch screen. Here are some pictures. I'll provide more feedback in a few days after I use it a bit.



AND YOU DIDN'T FORWARD THE EMAIL FOR US!?!?!?!?!

Just kidding, that's awesome though. Looking forward to your thoughts, and will likely have a few questions.

Speaking of!, do you think it'd be possible for you to post a video, navigating the menu system and going through some of that interface? That would be MUCH appreciated..

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post #79 of 261 Old 05-08-2013, 01:17 PM
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Hi everyone

I'm Ian and I am part of the Product Management and Design team for Harmony. I wanted to introduce myself and join the discussion about Harmony Ultimate and Harmony Smart Control. I'll try to clarify product features and technical information, give advice on how to set up and use our products and generally talk about remotes and how to make them better.

Having read this thread so far, I want to clear up some confusion about how the products work:

- Harmony Ultimate and Harmony Smart Control remotes communicate with the Hub via proprietary RF. The RF is only used to communicate between the remote and the hub, not with various RF devices directly. It is a different RF technology than that used in Harmony 900, 890 and 1100, and therefore is not compatible with those remotes or extenders.

- The Hub can also connect to your WiFi network, letting you communicate with it from your iOS or Android smartphones. The hub will track the state of your entertainment system so whether a command comes from the remote or from the phone, nothing will get out of sync. Connecting to WiFi means you can also update your account (add devices, change settings, etc) without having to reconnect your remote to your computer.

- The Hub can blast IR at your entertainment devices and can also send Bluetooth commands, for non-IR game consoles PS3, Wii and WiiU. In the future, additional Bluetooth devices will likely also be supported. Other than Bluetooth, the Hub does not use RF to communicate with AV devices.

- The IR mini blasters connect to the Hub and are used to get IR signals into parts of the cabinet that can't be reached by the Hub.

- Harmony Touch owners will be able to upgrade to the Hub. We expect the standalone hub and the FW upgrade for Harmony Touch to be available later in the summer.

Hope this helps, and as I said I hope I and/or my colleagues can continue to be a helpful resource on this thread. I see jnnt29 has his Harmony Ultimate set up, I'm looking forward to his review just like everyone else ;-).

Thanks,

Ian.
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post #80 of 261 Old 05-08-2013, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarmonyIan View Post

Hi everyone

I'm Ian and I am part of the Product Management and Design team for Harmony. I wanted to introduce myself and join the discussion about Harmony Ultimate and Harmony Smart Control. I'll try to clarify product features and technical information, give advice on how to set up and use our products and generally talk about remotes and how to make them better.

Having read this thread so far, I want to clear up some confusion about how the products work:

- Harmony Ultimate and Harmony Smart Control remotes communicate with the Hub via proprietary RF. The RF is only used to communicate between the remote and the hub, not with various RF devices directly. It is a different RF technology than that used in Harmony 900, 890 and 1100, and therefore is not compatible with those remotes or extenders.

- The Hub can also connect to your WiFi network, letting you communicate with it from your iOS or Android smartphones. The hub will track the state of your entertainment system so whether a command comes from the remote or from the phone, nothing will get out of sync. Connecting to WiFi means you can also update your account (add devices, change settings, etc) without having to reconnect your remote to your computer.

- The Hub can blast IR at your entertainment devices and can also send Bluetooth commands, for non-IR game consoles PS3, Wii and WiiU. In the future, additional Bluetooth devices will likely also be supported. Other than Bluetooth, the Hub does not use RF to communicate with AV devices.

- The IR mini blasters connect to the Hub and are used to get IR signals into parts of the cabinet that can't be reached by the Hub.

- Harmony Touch owners will be able to upgrade to the Hub. We expect the standalone hub and the FW upgrade for Harmony Touch to be available later in the summer.

Hope this helps, and as I said I hope I and/or my colleagues can continue to be a helpful resource on this thread. I see jnnt29 has his Harmony Ultimate set up, I'm looking forward to his review just like everyone else ;-).

Thanks,

Ian.


Ian thanks for your introduction to the group and the updated information on the Ultimate. I feel very fortunate to have received this remote. Thank you. My initial impressions of the Ultimate are that it is a high quality remote in build and finish.

I have the Harmony One, the Harmony Touch and now the Harmony Ultimate. The transport buttons on top are more of an annoyance on both the Touch and the Ultimate based on their placement and take some time to get use to, but not a deal breaker. The lack of a skip forward and backward hard buttons was a concern when the Touch first came out, but the change in the way the swipe screen is used on the Ultimate, has in my eyes muted some of that concern. The Ultimate's new touch screen UI has changed from the Touch and has a new menu and layout of the on screen buttons and is an improvement over the Touch. The RF functionality is a nice feature as well. I only had about an hour to work with it last night and will continue putting it through its paces tonight. I use the Harmony One as my measuring stick to compare the other remotes against and will give you my thought on how the Ultimate measures up. JT

My set up
Marantz SR-7008, Emotiva XPA-3
Sony UBP-X800 Ultra 4K Blu Ray Player, Harmony Ultimate Remote
Klipsch RB-81II, RC-52II, Boston Acoustics Micro 120s
Klipsch SW-310, RPW-10, Samsung UN65JS8500FXZA
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1227096
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post #81 of 261 Old 05-08-2013, 02:07 PM
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HarmonyIan, or anyone else familiar with the product, I have a few questions:

  1. Any chance of TCP/IP support for devices that use that? Since this is connected to the user's network that's pretty much a no-brainer and would provide ultimate control.
  2. Does the remote emit IR also?
  3. Which software do you use to program it? As I understand it Logitech changed to a different web oriented software from early remotes (such as the 890) that was far more limited.
  4. What control of macros/activities is provided?
  5. Can profiles from older remotes be brought in?
  6. How is the remote updated when the user changes settings? Is this via WiFi also? The 890 update experience was always so annoying.

I think the Ultimate looks like a pretty good product and might fulfill most of my needs. Two-way communication is of course the killer feature too many remotes are missing. But the ease of setup, flexibility, and overall capabilities, assuming it matches my 890, will make it better than most other options out there, for the money of course.
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post #82 of 261 Old 05-08-2013, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarmonyIan View Post

Hi everyone

I'm Ian and I am part of the Product Management and Design team for Harmony. I wanted to introduce myself and join the discussion about Harmony Ultimate and Harmony Smart Control. I'll try to clarify product features and technical information, give advice on how to set up and use our products and generally talk about remotes and how to make them better.

Having read this thread so far, I want to clear up some confusion about how the products work:

- Harmony Ultimate and Harmony Smart Control remotes communicate with the Hub via proprietary RF. The RF is only used to communicate between the remote and the hub, not with various RF devices directly. It is a different RF technology than that used in Harmony 900, 890 and 1100, and therefore is not compatible with those remotes or extenders.

- The Hub can also connect to your WiFi network, letting you communicate with it from your iOS or Android smartphones. The hub will track the state of your entertainment system so whether a command comes from the remote or from the phone, nothing will get out of sync. Connecting to WiFi means you can also update your account (add devices, change settings, etc) without having to reconnect your remote to your computer.

- The Hub can blast IR at your entertainment devices and can also send Bluetooth commands, for non-IR game consoles PS3, Wii and WiiU. In the future, additional Bluetooth devices will likely also be supported. Other than Bluetooth, the Hub does not use RF to communicate with AV devices.

- The IR mini blasters connect to the Hub and are used to get IR signals into parts of the cabinet that can't be reached by the Hub.

- Harmony Touch owners will be able to upgrade to the Hub. We expect the standalone hub and the FW upgrade for Harmony Touch to be available later in the summer.

Hope this helps, and as I said I hope I and/or my colleagues can continue to be a helpful resource on this thread. I see jnnt29 has his Harmony Ultimate set up, I'm looking forward to his review just like everyone else ;-).

Thanks,

Ian.

Hey, glad to see someone from Harmony on here to discuss the product.. I think that goes a LONG ways, I had a couple questions:

1- You mention that the hub is able to keep track of the state of your devices... is that "state" going to update back to the phone/remote? For instance.. If I turn on the "watch tv" activity with my smartphone, will the harmony ultimate's screen update in real time to show that the devices are in their "watch tv" state? So if I was to leave the room, my wife could grab the remote and it would already be caught up with the state of the system, being in the proper activity? Sorry if that's confusing.. basically, does the hub send back an RF and wifi signal to all other remotes/phones every time it receives an input from a different one..so every remote/phone is up to speed?

2- Do you know if there are plans to release something along the lines of the "harmony 900 precision ir cables" for the ultimate/hub or if the ones for the 900 would work with this hub? My next major upgrade will be concealed, I'm curious if something like that will become available for the ultimate?

3- Can someone post a decent in depth video that shows some of the menu navigation and functions? Those commercials really don't show the menu navigation or connectivity features that well... you get an idea what it can do, but would like a "hands-on" type video that really gets into it.

4- Is Logitech still trying to sell off the Harmony line or do they plan to keep it now with this release? Regardless of what happens, will our old devices still be supported in the event of a sale?

Thanks.

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post #83 of 261 Old 05-08-2013, 03:56 PM
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Hi Keith, good questions, some answers below:

  1. Any chance of TCP/IP support for devices that use that? Since this is connected to the user's network that's pretty much a no-brainer and would provide ultimate control.
    > We definitely plan on doing this. Right now, we are controlling the Philips Hue light bulbs over the network, by connecting to their network bridge. Other devices allow some levels of control with various private and public APIs that we can rely on. This is the future and we expect WiFi enabled Harmony remotes like Ultimate to take advantage of this.

  2. Does the remote emit IR also?
    > Yes, the remote also emits IR. You can choose on the remote whether you want the Remote or the Hub to control each device. For Hub control, you can isolate just the hub or an individual mini blaster or all 3.

  3. Which software do you use to program it? As I understand it Logitech changed to a different web oriented software from early remotes (such as the 890) that was far more limited.
    > About 3 1/2 years ago we launched the www.myharmony.com website and have used that for all new remotes since then. Although it was less feature rich than the older Harmony Desktop Software when it launched, it is now virtually equal and even surpasses the old software in many ways (more complex sequences, more integrated favorite channels, better device model matching algorithms, etc.). Keep in mind that although I call it "desktop software", it required a live internet connection to access our online account and device database.

  4. What control of macros/activities is provided?
    > There is no restriction on the number of activities you can create, although with large accounts (over 10 devices) and many activities, the sync time and on-remote memory become practical limits. In addition to the standard activity settings (power and input for various devices), you can append additional commands to the startup or shutdown sequence, such as always tuning to a certain channel or auto-navigating a menu to start a certain app, etc. Once your activity is running, you can create standalone sequences triggered from any button or from the touch screen. Sequences can be up to 10 steps, not including any delays you want to insert between steps. There is no limit on the number of sequences.

  5. Can profiles from older remotes be brought in?
    > Yes, partially. In the myharmony website, when setting up a new remote, you can import all the settings from a remote that was set up using the older Harmony Desktop Software. We have not yet enabled copying settings from one myharmony account to another. Although this sounds backwards, we prioritized supporting users of the older remotes like Harmony One, 880, 900, 1100, etc rather than the newer remotes. We'll get there though...

  6. How is the remote updated when the user changes settings? Is this via WiFi also? The 890 update experience was always so annoying.
    > Aside from using your smartphone, this is the greatest benefit of the WiFi connectivity. Once you're set up, any changes you make on myharmony can be sync'd to the Hub without having to connect your remote or hub. On the remote (or your phone) there is a "sync remote" button which triggers the sync. Similarly, there are a lot of settings you can manage directly on the remote (and eventually in the app as well). those changes are automatically sync'd to our backend as well so everything is always up to date and conflicts are avoided. For now, FW updates require you to connect your remote to your computer, but we hope to eliminate that as well.


I think the Ultimate looks like a pretty good product and might fulfill most of my needs. Two-way communication is of course the killer feature too many remotes are missing. But the ease of setup, flexibility, and overall capabilities, assuming it matches my 890, will make it better than most other options out there, for the money of course.[/quote]
> If you have a chance to try it, I hope you'll find that Ultimate does everything - and does it better - than any previous Harmony did.

Hope this helps,

Ian.
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post #84 of 261 Old 05-08-2013, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMonMan View Post

Hi CMonMan, see below for some answers:

1- You mention that the hub is able to keep track of the state of your devices... is that "state" going to update back to the phone/remote? For instance.. If I turn on the "watch tv" activity with my smartphone, will the harmony ultimate's screen update in real time to show that the devices are in their "watch tv" state? So if I was to leave the room, my wife could grab the remote and it would already be caught up with the state of the system, being in the proper activity? Sorry if that's confusing.. basically, does the hub send back an RF and wifi signal to all other remotes/phones every time it receives an input from a different one..so every remote/phone is up to speed?
> Yes, the remote and any apps (you can connect more than one app) are always updated in real time when a state change is triggered from another device.


2- Do you know if there are plans to release something along the lines of the "harmony 900 precision ir cables" for the ultimate/hub or if the ones for the 900 would work with this hub? My next major upgrade will be concealed, I'm curious if something like that will become available for the ultimate?
> The same precision cables you mention work with the Harmony Ultimate. Those have been kinda tricky to get your hands on, but they should be available on our website before too long, if they're not there now.


3- Can someone post a decent in depth video that shows some of the menu navigation and functions? Those commercials really don't show the menu navigation or connectivity features that well... you get an idea what it can do, but would like a "hands-on" type video that really gets into it.
> I'll look into this. What kind of things are you interested in? There are currently two videos from our customer care team describing the IR/RF/BT operation but they don't really focus on the LCD screen and menus.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3wi2CwZWtk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibdCJwTTh0g&list=PLHQ3zN7XkvqnAocx9EninMdnoocF9f2ch&index=8



4- Is Logitech still trying to sell off the Harmony line or do they plan to keep it now with this release? Regardless of what happens, will our old devices still be supported in the event of a sale?
> I can't comment too much on the announcement that the Harmony business is for sale, other than it is and that process is ongoing. Operation of the Harmony servers and support for exiting customers should be unaffected by that.


Thanks.
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post #85 of 261 Old 05-08-2013, 05:27 PM
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Wow Ian, thanks for all your replies, that is some wonderful info. I have decided to go ahead and order the Ultimate. Since my 890's broke I've been using some other products, and they aren't satisfying my needs. They're not activity based (a huge plus for the Harmony line IMHO), although to their credit they have decent macros, but their RF just isn't that good. Hopefully the RF in the Hub will have at least as good as reception as the 890's reception, which always worked well in my rack.

  1. Any chance of TCP/IP support for devices that use that? Since this is connected to the user's network that's pretty much a no-brainer and would provide ultimate control.
    > We definitely plan on doing this. Right now, we are controlling the Philips Hue light bulbs over the network, by connecting to their network bridge. Other devices allow some levels of control with various private and public APIs that we can rely on. This is the future and we expect WiFi enabled Harmony remotes like Ultimate to take advantage of this.You can't even begin to imagine how happy that would make me. I really thought when the Link came out that would make it a killer app, but that product never seemed to evolve into anything. If TCP/IP control is added for at least some of the major brands that will put the Harmony remotes in a class all their own when you consider price, capability, and user friendliness.
  2. Does the remote emit IR also?
    > Yes, the remote also emits IR. You can choose on the remote whether you want the Remote or the Hub to control each device. For Hub control, you can isolate just the hub or an individual mini blaster or all 3.
    Good, my rack is in the other room but I still need to control the TV. I figured it was there, but the front of this remote looks cleaner so it's hard to tell.[/green]
  3. Which software do you use to program it? As I understand it Logitech changed to a different web oriented software from early remotes (such as the 890) that was far more limited.
    > About 3 1/2 years ago we launched the www.myharmony.com website and have used that for all new remotes since then. Although it was less feature rich than the older Harmony Desktop Software when it launched, it is now virtually equal and even surpasses the old software in many ways (more complex sequences, more integrated favorite channels, better device model matching algorithms, etc.). Keep in mind that although I call it "desktop software", it required a live internet connection to access our online account and device database.
    I've never had to use myharmony.com. I know when it came out it was much maligned here, glad to hear it's improved.[/green]
  4. What control of macros/activities is provided?
    > There is no restriction on the number of activities you can create, although with large accounts (over 10 devices) and many activities, the sync time and on-remote memory become practical limits. In addition to the standard activity settings (power and input for various devices), you can append additional commands to the startup or shutdown sequence, such as always tuning to a certain channel or auto-navigating a menu to start a certain app, etc. Once your activity is running, you can create standalone sequences triggered from any button or from the touch screen. Sequences can be up to 10 steps, not including any delays you want to insert between steps. There is no limit on the number of sequences.
    Sounds awesome.[/green]
  5. Can profiles from older remotes be brought in?
    > Yes, partially. In the myharmony website, when setting up a new remote, you can import all the settings from a remote that was set up using the older Harmony Desktop Software. We have not yet enabled copying settings from one myharmony account to another. Although this sounds backwards, we prioritized supporting users of the older remotes like Harmony One, 880, 900, 1100, etc rather than the newer remotes. We'll get there though...
    Actually that makes sense. I can't imagine many people want to change remotes with every new product you introduce, some will of course, but most people want to see major improvements before spending a few hundred on something new.[/green]
    How is the remote updated when the user changes settings? Is this via WiFi also? The 890 update experience was always so annoying.
    > Aside from using your smartphone, this is the greatest benefit of the WiFi connectivity. Once you're set up, any changes you make on myharmony can be sync'd to the Hub without having to connect your remote or hub. On the remote (or your phone) there is a "sync remote" button which triggers the sync. Similarly, there are a lot of settings you can manage directly on the remote (and eventually in the app as well). those changes are
    automatically sync'd to our backend as well so everything is always up to date and conflicts are avoided. For now, FW updates require you to connect your remote to your computer, but we hope to eliminate that as well.

    Such a relief to hear. Pulling the receiver out of my rack to update it, and constantly going back and forth with it when testing stuff was such a pain. No matter how small the change, even if it should only affect the the remote, you had to update both with the 890[/green]

Thanks so much for coming here and answering our questions. I personally appreciate it because there's so many details that need to be covered and marketing people don't always address the nitty-gritty details that the enthusiasts want to hear.
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When do you expect the Harmony Smart Control to be available? I'm excited about it because it looks to offer most all the features of the Harmony Ultimate at less than half the price. I've never been a big fan of touchscreen remotes anyway. In fact, the touchscreen display on my Harmony One (the second I've owned--first one had some sort of battery issue and fried itself) has some pixel damage due to being dropped.

Again, I'm not seeing any major features offered in the Ultimate but not seen in the Smart Control. When can I get one?? cool.gif
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post #87 of 261 Old 05-08-2013, 07:37 PM
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Hey thanks again for answering our questions.. Got a couple more-

Regarding your reply to Keith's question about the remote emitting IR.. If you use the ultimate to emit IR to say the TV, does the hub still "know" that the IR was sent somehow? Would think not, meaning the hub would not know the state of devices if you are using the remote to send IR to the device..right? If that's the case, if you were to choose IR control straight from the remote to device, most phones/tablets are not going to be able to control said device, right? Couldn't this lead to some headaches, or am I missing something?

As far as the videos, yes.. I've seen the marketing material.... really looking for more of a hands-on going through the menu/interface..and just how it navigates through menus and options.. as well as see the smartphone app being updated and that menu played with a little bit. The videos are great for showing the concept, but would really like to see it played with a bit more.. I am sure we'll start seeing video reviews pop up anyway, but would be nice to see a well done video with decent lighting/sound/etc so you can really see more of that menu navigation and how it works in real time with other phones on the system..

Gawd.. part of me wishes I had never googled "best universal remote" a few years ago... For the amount of money I've invested in Harmony remotes and will likely be continuing to invest, I should have just bought the damn line myself...or at least bought some shares of that stock! lol

Thanks again!

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Hi

Happy to help. I know we haven't been the most active in forums like this recently, but I hope to change that, starting today ;-) In my personal life I'm a big AVS Forum reader. I'm more of a lurker than a poster, but the value of these forums is priceless. I would never even consider buying new electronics without reading about it hear first. Hopefully I can provide some value to Harmony enthusiasts in return.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CMonMan View Post

Hey thanks again for answering our questions.. Got a couple more-

Regarding your reply to Keith's question about the remote emitting IR.. If you use the ultimate to emit IR to say the TV, does the hub still "know" that the IR was sent somehow? Would think not, meaning the hub would not know the state of devices if you are using the remote to send IR to the device..right? If that's the case, if you were to choose IR control straight from the remote to device, most phones/tablets are not going to be able to control said device, right? Couldn't this lead to some headaches, or am I missing something?
> The hub knows all :-) Controlling a device directly from the remote does not circumvent the Smart State tracking between the remote and hub. You are correct though, if you have a device controlled from the remote and not the hub, that device will not be controllable from the Harmony control app.

As far as the videos, yes.. I've seen the marketing material.... really looking for more of a hands-on going through the menu/interface..and just how it navigates through menus and options.. as well as see the smartphone app being updated and that menu played with a little bit. The videos are great for showing the concept, but would really like to see it played with a bit more.. I am sure we'll start seeing video reviews pop up anyway, but would be nice to see a well done video with decent lighting/sound/etc so you can really see more of that menu navigation and how it works in real time with other phones on the system..

Gawd.. part of me wishes I had never googled "best universal remote" a few years ago... For the amount of money I've invested in Harmony remotes and will likely be continuing to invest, I should have just bought the damn line myself...or at least bought some shares of that stock! lol

Thanks again!
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Last one-

If I have an ultimate with hub in my living room and another ultimate with hub in my bedroom, does the app allow me to switch between the two systems and control both systems from the same phone, depending which room I am in, or can I download two separate apps-one for each system, OR does it automatically switch between the systems when it is in/out of range of the hub? Or hasn't this been thought out yet?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMonMan View Post

Last one-

If I have an ultimate with hub in my living room and another ultimate with hub in my bedroom, does the app allow me to switch between the two systems and control both systems from the same phone, depending which room I am in, or can I download two separate apps-one for each system, OR does it automatically switch between the systems when it is in/out of range of the hub? Or hasn't this been thought out yet?

Yes the hub will allow you to switch between different hubs. You can only connect to one at a time and it's a manual process to switch but it is relatively easy.
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