Official Logitech Harmony Link Thread (Android & iOS Remote) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 148 Old 09-20-2011, 05:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Looks like Logitech is throwing its hat into the ring with an Andriod and iOS remote solution called Harmony Link.

Pre-order is $100 for the Harmony Link and the smartphone app is free.


Harmony Link Also Transforms iPhone, iPod touch and Android Smartphones into Full-Featured Remote Control

FREMONT, Calif. September 20, 2011 With thousands of TV channels and seemingly unlimited choice of shows and movies, getting to the content you are looking for is often a challenge as you navigate among programming guides and juggle multiple remotes to control your home entertainment system. With this in mind, today Logitech (SIX: LOGN) (NASDAQ: LOGI) unveiled Logitech Harmony® Link, a small device designed to fit in next to your TV and media electronics and communicate over Wi-Fi® with the free Logitech Harmony Link App for iPad®. After setup, the Logitech Harmony Link and the Logitech Harmony Link App work together to let iPad users browse a personalized schedule of their favorite shows, channels and genres to find something good to watch and - with one touch - turn on all the right devices and tune to the right channel.
Logitech Harmony Link extends our vision of removing barriers between people and their entertainment by replacing the clutter and confusion of multiple remotes and different program guides with a single intuitive touch interface, said Ashish Arora, vice president and general manager of Logitech's Digital Home Group. Our research revealed that many iPad owners are using their iPad on the sofa while watching TV, many of them seeking ways to find out what shows are on. We set out to make this experience easier. Using Logitech Harmony Link and the Harmony Link App, iPad users can browse for what is on television, and with one touch of watch now icon next to the show of their choice, they can automatically turn on their TV and other electronics, and tune directly to the show they want to watch.
Logitech Harmony Link delivers more than just a personalized program guide to iPad users. By leveraging Logitech Harmony technology, it offers the activity- and device-based control provided by the award-winning line of Logitech Harmony Advanced Universal Remotes. Just select what you want to do, such as Watch a Movie or Listen to Music, and Harmony Link automatically switches your devices to the right settings - meaning you won't be fumbling with multiple remotes or manually switching inputs anymore.
Control from Your iPad
The Logitech Harmony Link connects to your existing home wireless network to receive Wi-Fi signals from the Harmony Link App and turns them into IR commands that home-entertainment devices can understand. Harmony Link can control up to eight devices, is compact (about the size of a hockey puck) and was designed to integrate neatly and discreetly with your home entertainment system. Harmony Link includes an IR mini-blaster accessory so you can control entertainment devices both inside and outside of a closed entertainment cabinet.
And because the Harmony Link App transforms simple swipes and taps into useful actions, such as volume control and video playback, you can stay in control of your entertainment without taking your eyes off whatever you're watching on your big screen.
Harmony Link can even connect with more than one iPad at a time, letting multiple family members use their own iPad - with their own set of favorite channels - rather than fighting over a single remote.
Turn Your Smartphone into a Remote Control

The remote control functionality of Logitech Harmony Link also works with the iPhone® or iPod touch® as well as with Android smartphones. Initially, smartphones will not receive personalized program guides from the downloadable App; however, Harmony Link will deliver complete activity-based control over up to eight devices in your entertainment system. Now you can essentially turn your smartphone into a great universal remote.
Program Information Provided by Rovi
Logitech has teamed with Rovi Corporation to provide program information behind its free Harmony Link App. An important element to entertainment discovery, Rovi data includes show synopses, movie overviews, and images to give you an in-depth and visually rich experience as you navigate through entertainment content and connect to your television guide.
Pricing and Availability
The Logitech Harmony Link is expected to be available in the U.S. in October for a suggested retail price of $99.99. The Harmony Link App for iOS tablets and smartphones and the Harmony Link App for Android smartphones are expected to be available as free downloads in October from the iTunes App Store and Android Market, respectively. For more information please visit www.logitech.com or our blog.

About Logitech

Logitech is a world leader in products that connect people to the digital experiences they care about. Spanning multiple computing, communication and entertainment platforms, Logitech's combined hardware and software enable or enhance digital navigation, music and video entertainment, gaming, social networking, audio and video communication over the Internet, video security and home-entertainment control. Founded in 1981, Logitech International is a Swiss public company listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (LOGN) and on the Nasdaq Global Select Market (LOGI).
# # #
Logitech, the Logitech logo, and other Logitech marks are registered in Switzerland and other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. For more information about Logitech and its products, visit the company's website at www.logitech.com.

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post #2 of 148 Old 09-20-2011, 06:06 AM
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if this works "right", it's gonna be a killer app... i gotta believe there's a huge market out there (relatively speaking) for something like this...

- chris

 

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post #3 of 148 Old 09-20-2011, 06:40 AM
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hopefully there will be a way to integrate this into xbmc remote or the other way around
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post #4 of 148 Old 09-20-2011, 07:05 AM
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This seems like a great product, and I definitely thought twice about opening up my 900 that I just bought. I just wish they didn't limit it to 8 devices.
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post #5 of 148 Old 09-20-2011, 07:16 AM
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^^^

true, it would...

but i'm guessing that for the target market for this device, 8 is likely enough... besides us nut jobs at avs , i'd take a wag that over 95% of households don't have more than 4 or 5 (tv, cable box, disk spinner, game console and maybe one other)...

heck, even some of us nut jobs are down to only 8...

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post #6 of 148 Old 09-20-2011, 07:35 AM - Thread Starter
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The more I get into my HTPC the fewer devices that I have. The latest casualty was my DVR which has been replaced by a Ceton cablecard tuner. I now have only my TV, AVR, HTPC, Xbox, and lighting controller. I've retired CD players, DVD players, never bought a stand-alone Blu-ray player, and just stopped using my PS3 in my main room. The lighting controller was part of my HTPC, but I've changed it to run on a server which needs its own IR control.

I've replaced the need for at least three remotes just buy using a HTPC.

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post #7 of 148 Old 09-20-2011, 08:05 AM
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^^^

off topic, but is there a thread on that ceton unit? my curiosity is piqued...

on topic, yea, the only reason i have more than 8 right now is because i have the 2 extra displays in here for football season... once football is over, and i go back to just 1 instead of 3, i'll be back to 6, and really should unhook the hd-dvd player that never gets used...

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post #8 of 148 Old 09-20-2011, 08:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

^^^

off topic, but is there a thread on that ceton unit? my curiosity is piqued...

on topic, yea, the only reason i have more than 8 right now is because i have the 2 extra displays in here for football season... once football is over, and i go back to just 1 instead of 3, i'll be back to 6, and really should unhook the hd-dvd player that never gets used...

Here's your off topic link
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1336614

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post #9 of 148 Old 09-20-2011, 08:19 AM
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^^^

cool thanks... i have some reading to do...

- chris

 

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post #10 of 148 Old 09-20-2011, 08:29 AM
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Will it do sequences or will it be crippled like other recent logitech remotes?
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post #11 of 148 Old 09-20-2011, 08:35 AM
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^^^

that's a good question...

i would hope that it would, but i fear that it won't... sadly, features rarely come back once they are gone...

- chris

 

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post #12 of 148 Old 09-20-2011, 08:36 AM
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Lots of potential, but lots of questions as well.

At least it's only a month away and everything should be clear by Christmas!
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post #13 of 148 Old 09-20-2011, 08:45 AM
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Well I got a few questions I need to have answered before I decide to buy this:
  1. Does it do IP control?
  2. Will there be hard-button remotes that work with it?
  3. What about integration with the Revue?

I'm guessing no to all the above and it ticks me off. I haven't checked on the Revue in a while, but it's only $100, and it does some of this, but as I recall it only supports set-top boxes, receivers and TVs.

What gets me is that if they are putting these devices on the network then they have easy access to IP control, which is becoming more common. That's the killer app right there. I'd pay good money for something that handles IR and IP based control, without requiring line-of-sight from the remote, could use hard-button remotes as well as touchscreens/android/iphone device and had the easy setup of a Harmony.

Download my IR hex codes for the Denon AVR-4810ci and other Denon receivers here.
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post #14 of 148 Old 09-20-2011, 08:53 AM
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^^^

and a pony...

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 

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post #15 of 148 Old 09-20-2011, 09:18 AM - Thread Starter
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"You visit www.myharmony.com, connect Logitech Harmony Link to your Wi-Fi® network and tell us what equipment you have. Then sit back. We take care of the hard stuff."

Anyone considering this should start praying that you can use their full remote software package and not have to rely on myharmony.com to program this thing, like the Harmony 300.

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post #16 of 148 Old 09-20-2011, 10:04 AM
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that would REALLY suck...

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 

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post #17 of 148 Old 09-20-2011, 10:05 AM
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Crap. That answers all our questions. Yet another harmony that could have been a great device ruined by moronic software. So no sequences, only 4 or 5 activities, no additional commands at the beginning or end of activities, and no way to adjust delays or repeats. Thanks logitech. Sad part is they'll still sell a million of these things because J6P won't know what he's missing.
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post #18 of 148 Old 09-20-2011, 10:47 AM
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yea... double crap.

too bad... if it wasn't hamstrung, it would have made for a great secondary remote...

oh well...

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1332917/ccotenj-finally-gets-a-projector

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post #19 of 148 Old 09-20-2011, 10:48 AM
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Here is a pretty detailed video from This is my next:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnY5n...ayer_embedded#!

I went back to my closet and checked if I could get my devices down to 8...and I could if I really tried...not sure if I want to though lol.

But, one of the downsides to this is that it requires a good dedicated tablet. And by good tablet I mean, you can't get away with buying a $100 android tablet and expect the same experience as you would with a Galaxy Tab 10. Where I'm going with this is, our remote stays with the theater no matter what. So it is a dedicated device. I can't justify keeping the $600 iPad in the theater, or running around the house trying to find it because I need to play a DVD and finding out someone in the family took it to work that day. If I had the money to blow, heck yeah I would...but then again I would probably go for iRule instead.
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post #20 of 148 Old 09-20-2011, 10:51 AM
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This was the next logical step for Harmony remotes. The market for this device is huge.

Hope it's not too crippled.

__________

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post #21 of 148 Old 09-20-2011, 11:37 AM
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I'm not an expert on this kind of stuff...but once the Link hardware is out there, could any software developer (Android or iOS) write their own software for a tablet or phone to control the Harmony link?

-Shimon
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post #22 of 148 Old 09-20-2011, 11:41 AM
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I wonder why Logitech doesn't want to make something like this targeted at the high end of the home theater market.
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post #23 of 148 Old 09-20-2011, 11:43 AM
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^^^

likely because they are a mass marketing company... they want to sell millions of units, not a few thousand...

not that i'd complain if they did...

- chris

 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by shimonmor View Post

I'm not an expert on this kind of stuff...but once the Link hardware is out there, could any software developer (Android or iOS) write their own software for a tablet or phone to control the Harmony link?

In theory the protocol could be reversed engineered, and a third-party app could be written, but that could be made difficult if Logitech chooses. And I'm betting that some of the limitations, such as the 8-device limitation, are in the firmware of the Logitech device, not the iOS app.
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post #25 of 148 Old 09-20-2011, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

^^^

likely because they are a mass marketing company... they want to sell millions of units, not a few thousand...

not that i'd complain if they did...

But it seems like they are just a few tweaks away. Support for more than 8 devices would be a good start.
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post #26 of 148 Old 09-20-2011, 11:50 AM
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The 890 has a limit of how many devices the RF unit can control, and I found a way around it. I combined my X10 controller and HDMI switch into one device. It's a bit of a pain, and might not work for devices with lots of controls, but what I did was chose X10 controller as the device, then told it I want to program additional IR commands on that device.

Of course this requires a decent level of control over your Activities so that you can add the extra commands that you need. I'm not sure the newer ones have that.

Download my IR hex codes for the Denon AVR-4810ci and other Denon receivers here.
For Logitech Harmony support, ask Logitech for the Denon receiver in the account kmickunas.

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post #27 of 148 Old 09-20-2011, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbaysing View Post

In theory the protocol could be reversed engineered, and a third-party app could be written, but that could be made difficult if Logitech chooses. And I'm betting that some of the limitations, such as the 8-device limitation, are in the firmware of the Logitech device, not the iOS app.

The limit is in the config app (myharmony.com), not the remote or this new link device. My 6 device harmony 700 has 12 devices on it using the same firmware as everyone else with no tricks other than upgrading from a 12 device remote.

As far as reverse engineering goes, people have been trying to crack that nut for years with no meaningful progress. I wouldn't hold my breath for any 3rd party apps or new features either. It would be nice, but I just don't think it's going to happen.
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post #28 of 148 Old 09-20-2011, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbaysing View Post

But it seems like they are just a few tweaks away. Support for more than 8 devices would be a good start.

nah, they are a lot more than a few tweaks away, unfortunately...

take something like a urc pro line remote and compare it to a harmony...

i like harmony products, believe me... i used to use them, and the one i gave my old man for christmas a couple years ago was the best christmas present i've ever gotten him in my 48 years on this planet... they have a large niche, and for the most part, they satisfy it very well... there are millons of very happy harmony customers...

but there's no comparison between that and my mx-5000 and mx-980... and throw a msc-400 controller into the mix, and it becomes even more lopsided...

if harmony was to do this, their remotes would cost even more than the urc remotes, as they'd have to hire a massive customer service staff just to handle the programming tech support...

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1332917/ccotenj-finally-gets-a-projector

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post #29 of 148 Old 09-20-2011, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scl23enn4m3 View Post

Here is a pretty detailed video from This is my next:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnY5n...ayer_embedded#!

I went back to my closet and checked if I could get my devices down to 8...and I could if I really tried...not sure if I want to though lol.

But, one of the downsides to this is that it requires a good dedicated tablet. And by good tablet I mean, you can't get away with buying a $100 android tablet and expect the same experience as you would with a Galaxy Tab 10. Where I'm going with this is, our remote stays with the theater no matter what. So it is a dedicated device. I can't justify keeping the $600 iPad in the theater, or running around the house trying to find it because I need to play a DVD and finding out someone in the family took it to work that day. If I had the money to blow, heck yeah I would...but then again I would probably go for iRule instead.

good for those touchpad firesale buyers
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post #30 of 148 Old 09-20-2011, 05:09 PM
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Last thing to do is get in bed with Logitech again after all their shoddy Harmony remotes. 8 device limit? lolwut? The usual IR-only Logitech stuff that doesn't let you see or change anything without calling Support and hoping they can work some kind of magic on their server. This feels like last year's product warmed over because the team probably got sidetracked onto the failed Revue and postponed this until now.

With an iTach, I can choose from at least 3 different apps with no real limits -- open market = competition rather than this thing which surely will not allow any other apps. The Rovi TV Guide integration in Roomie is at least as nice as this (looks better in Roomie to my eyes).

Most apps other than this do something with IP control. Logitech wont admit IP control exists, IR is like a monopoly for them. The iTach has addressable emitters rather than one huge emitter so you can handle scenarios like two of the same device. List goes on.

The only surprise is how long Logitech took to do this. But it looks like the same old Logitech technology including that nightmare website all over again.
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