Dead Harmony 650, crappy Harmony 1100, Roomie, iRule what to do - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 5 Old 12-03-2013, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
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For several years I've used a Harmony 650 to control my entire HT (Yamaha RX A1000, Panasonic AE 4000, X10 Lights, Buttkicker, BluRay, DirecTV HR23). Worked well enough until some of the buttons started to fail, I was able to reprogram the failed buttons to other locations.

BUT, two days ago the IR beam seems to have completely failed, none of the devices respond and my IR repeater no longer lights up when it "sees' the IR signal. My first question is -
Is there any chance I can fix the IR beam/light/lamp/LED/whatever? if not do you think I can convince Logitech to repair/replace?

When the first few buttons started to fail I decided I'd try the iRule app with my iPhone. I managed to get it working but it was a lot complicated than I imagined it would be, I hated having to unlock my phone, start the app, find a "soft" button with no tactile feedback, find the volume controls or 30 second skip controls, and still have it seem to randomly fail to send commands. I only kept it two weeks before deciding it was more complicated and expensive than I was willing to invest time and dollar wise

Then I saw that Woot or Yugster was deeply discounting the Harmony 1100 so I ordered that, and am using it now, BUT it cannot learn macros (i.e I cannot turn the lights up when I hit pause and down when I hit play, send 6 -8 30 second skips for each commercial break). AND it does not remember the power state of my projector so it clicks ON/OFF (power toggles) whenever I change activities, Finally I sort of hate the form factor, who the hell ever decided to design a SIDEWAYS remote that is as wide as a Whopper (it takes two hands to handle...). It's nearly impossible trying to operate with one hand unless I set it down on the chair or table.

I'm inclined to go with a Roomie Remote, as I've read it will allow me to use the iPhones volume buttons to control volume and allow simpler setup and macro programming than the iRule?

From the above can you see any reason I won't be satisfied with a Roomie? what would you all recommend?
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post #2 of 5 Old 12-03-2013, 03:49 PM
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While Roomie may be easier to set up, you still get no tactile feedback (except the vol buttons), and still have to unlock to use.

While you could crack open the 650 and solder in a new IR LED, that still leaves you with several dead buttons. And the LED itself may not even be the culprit. How do you know your repeater didn't fail? Just get another 650. They were $40 on BF, same as the everyday refurb price, so you can probably still find one cheap before Xmas. You did get several years out of the last one after all.
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post #3 of 5 Old 12-03-2013, 03:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Good points, thanks, I did like that 650 until the buttons started to fail. It's not the repeater because it does nothing when I aim it directly at my rack from 2 feet away.
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post #4 of 5 Old 12-03-2013, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

How do you know your repeater didn't fail?

To check if a device (remote, hub etc) is firing IR, view it through a digital camera while it's supposed to be firing - if it is firing, you'll see white flashes on the device. See (that's not me!) smile.gif

I am an employee of Logitech's Harmony division.
Click here to join the Harmony Beta Community!
For questions, help or support, please visit Harmony's support site
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post #5 of 5 Old 12-05-2013, 02:10 PM
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The replacement for tactile feedback in smartphone remotes is gesture control. Harmony and iRule have rudimentary implementations of that. Roomie just came out with a much better one, by far the best of the ones out there. Harmony lets you define gestures that leave streak marks on the screen, but what each gesture does is basically a total mystery unless you designed the whole system yourself. iRule uses the same basic idea without the streak marks, so it's the worst of the lot. Roomie has very clear controls with jog shuttles, corner slides, labels, images, it's the first gesture system that can actually be used by normal people without training them first what you're supposed to do because you can just look at it and understand what the controls do and how you're supposed to move them.

Once you mentally understand gesture control as opposed to mental searching for a button, gesture control blows away buttons in the same way Tesla's 18 inch screen blows away old school car radio and air conditioning tactile buttons. It's not just the next step, it's a different paradigm.

As far as the IR unit, the Harmony units are a nightmare to setup. You need to install silverlight and go through an amazingly complex setup procedure to get it on your network. They also have a device limit, and are really designed for small, single-room systems. The iTach units are much cheaper, very modular, and don't require complex desktop computer gymnastics to get working.
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