I have had a Harmony 510 for a couple years. My HT setup is reasonably complex. I had a Blu-ray player, a Onyko AV Receiver, a Roku box, a Comcast/Motorola DVR set-top box, and a Mitsubishi projector. My set-top box is in the other room so I cut a hole in the wall to routed the cables into my HT/Den closet where I keep the other equipment. This means I have to have an IR to RF to IR link.
Now it is all getting more complex yet. I replaced my Panasonic 65 Blu-ray with a Panasonic 220. The new one is 3D (and the old one wouldn't play Blu-rays anymore). The new BD player would respond to many but not all of the codes for the old player. I needed to find the programming cable to download the new codes. But fate intervened.
My Harmony began to have a very flaky key for switching the major components e.g. (Disk to Roku). I read on Amazon that that is a very common problem with Harmony remotes irrespective of the model. Apparently after a year or two one or more of the buttons stops working reliably. To get to my Roku box I needed to click the function button maybe a hundred times. Eventually it would work but it took a long long time.
I also ordered a new Sony 3D HMZ helmet yesterday. I didn't have room on the Harmony for another device. I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do.
Then I had a new cleaning crew come in yesterday. I no longer know where my Harmony is (or several other items). Last night I dug up all my remotes and watched TV (actually a 110" screen). I'd forgotten how complex and frustrating that can be. So this morning I decided to get a new Universal Remote.
I looked up TopTenreviews and the Harmony website. The top three remotes they recommend are the Harmony one, the Harmony 700, and the Harmony 650. The 650 is listed at $80. Then I went to Amazon. The Harmonys are much cheaper there and get good user reviews except that the buttons seem to fail after a year or two. Amazon also sells the URC remotes - much, much cheaper than the Harmonys. I bought a URC WR7 for $19.00. There are other URCs for ten dollars.There are off brands for $5.
The big difference seems to be that the Logitech Harmonys plug into the Internet and allow you to painlessly program your remote. The URCs don't do that. Apparently you teach the universal remote to learn the codes of the original remote by pointing one at the other. I don't know how difficult this is. Some reviewers say its easy others say it's hard. I'll know Tuesday and I will update this post.
There are no mentions in any of the reviews of the URC remotes having key reliability problems so that's a plus. At less than twenty dollars the URC remote is almost a throwaway item. If I don't like it I'll just keep it as a backup and buy a Harmony 650. The cleaners only come once a week. If they misplace the new Harmony again I would like to have an even half way working universal remote. Anything would be better than trying to use all those separate remotes for a week until they show me where they put it.