Harmony remotes -- physical number buttons - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 12-03-2013, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone,

I've been reading a fair bit of posts from people who miss the physical number buttons on the newer Harmony remotes. I'd like to better understand this statement and have a few questions about this..

- the obvious advantage of tactile buttons is, of course, being able to feel your way around your remote without having to look down at it. Is this something you do for numbers as naturally as you might for volume, channels, or even transport (play, pause, etc)?

- what is your primary use for the number buttons? If there is a secondary use, which is that also? (Examples include typing in a code to unlock your DVR, directly tuning into a channel, programming a recording, changing setting values, etc)

- if your primary use of the physical number buttons is to directly tune into channels, is there a reason you prefer to use this method over the Favorite Channel Harmony allows you to configure? What is this reason?

- when considering purchasing a universal remote, is the lack of physical buttons a deal breaker to you?

Thanks in advance -- looking forward to reading everyone's's thoughts on this.

Sylvain

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post #2 of 20 Old 12-04-2013, 08:12 AM
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Personally, I have a Harmony 900 and a Harmony Smart Control, and lying in house somewhere is the Harmony One, 650 and 520. Previously, I was all hung up over the physical number buttons. Now I find I never use them or even the Favourite Channels on the remote. All DVRs have a Program guide. I usually scroll through the Guide and see the Show and then record or change channels using that method. Cannot remember when I last used the number buttons.
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post #3 of 20 Old 12-04-2013, 02:49 PM
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So far, apparently nobody misses the number buttons. I agree it was a good design decision to move them to the screen since they are so rarely used.

I do, however miss the skip buttons, and that IS a deal breaker. In fact, it's THE deal breaker. Gestures and double presses aren't good enough. And if I change the primary function of the search buttons to skip, then multiple presses of search for changing search speed no longer works correctly. I require physical skip buttons and physical search buttons. Make them nested or rocker if you want. It doesn't matter so long as one button does a skip and another does a search, each with a single press, since I use those functions hundreds of times per day, far more than any other buttons. Please give the Ultimate II a full complement of physical transport buttons.
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post #4 of 20 Old 12-04-2013, 03:19 PM
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Number buttons is the only way I tune to TV channels.  Getting rid of the physical buttons is a no go for me.

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post #5 of 20 Old 12-04-2013, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

So far, apparently nobody misses the number buttons. I agree it was a good design decision to move them to the screen since they are so rarely used.

I do, however miss the skip buttons, and that IS a deal breaker. In fact, it's THE deal breaker. Gestures and double presses aren't good enough. And if I change the primary function of the search buttons to skip, then multiple presses of search for changing search speed no longer works correctly. I require physical skip buttons and physical search buttons. Make them nested or rocker if you want. It doesn't matter so long as one button does a skip and another does a search, each with a single press, since I use those functions hundreds of times per day, far more than any other buttons. Please give the Ultimate II a full complement of physical transport buttons.

When you say search, do you mean fast forward and rewind?

Thanks.

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post #6 of 20 Old 12-04-2013, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by primetimeguy View Post

Number buttons is the only way I tune to TV channels.  Getting rid of the physical buttons is a no go for me.

Interesting. I'm curious as to which Harmony (or other) remote you own, and approximately how many channel numbers you have memorized and access using the number pad.

What is it about using the physical number keys that makes it a better experience than using Favorites?

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post #7 of 20 Old 12-04-2013, 03:43 PM
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I have a couple 720 and the rest are 650 in the house. May be only a dozen or so channels I access but it's faster than scrolling through a short list. Add I can feel where the buttons are.

But this did make me rethink a couple channels, BigTen and FSN, as well at OTA locals since those are 5-digit channels on Dishnetwork. So I added those to my 650 to play with a while.
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post #8 of 20 Old 12-04-2013, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarmonySylvain View Post

When you say search, do you mean fast forward and rewind?

Thanks.
Yes
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post #9 of 20 Old 12-04-2013, 06:49 PM
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The fact that the skip buttons are missing and the transport controls are at the top of the remote is more an issue for me than the lack of physical number buttons.
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post #10 of 20 Old 12-05-2013, 04:21 AM
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I have 2 One's, and a 650. I will never upgrade to the poorly layed out Ultimate remote. Having the transport buttons at the top is a deal breaker for me. Please bring back the One smile.gif I also use the number buttons all the time. I know the channel numbers of my most watched stations. I am not going to page through screens to press an icon when I can enter the 4 digit channel number.
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post #11 of 20 Old 12-06-2013, 07:48 AM
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Guess I'll chime in here.
I currently have a One and an older model....think its maybe the 626 (am at work right now so dont have access to it) Over the years Ive had or have programmed for others almost every Harmony up to the One.

I have been very tempted to try the Ultimate or the Touch and have been monitoring my remote usage to see what buttons and design changes may effect me.
Ive noticed that I very very rarely use the number buttons so the lack of them on the new remote shouldnt bother me at all.
The transport buttons on the top of the remote may be an issue....I really wish they were towards the bottom.

The one really is a great remote but the physical size and balance of it are my biggest complaints/concerns. The older peanut shaped Harmony remotes really were the easiest and best shape for everyday usage IMO.
I also loved that the older remotes had dedicated activity buttons across the top for truely one button press activity switching.


Long story short...I believe moving the number buttons to a screen so the remote can be a better size and more balanced was a great design choice.

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post #12 of 20 Old 12-06-2013, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by insync44 View Post

Personally, I have a Harmony 900 and a Harmony Smart Control, and lying in house somewhere is the Harmony One, 650 and 520. Previously, I was all hung up over the physical number buttons. Now I find I never use them or even the Favourite Channels on the remote. All DVRs have a Program guide. I usually scroll through the Guide and see the Show and then record or change channels using that method. Cannot remember when I last used the number buttons.

Exactly the same here.

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post #13 of 20 Old 12-06-2013, 09:52 AM
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I have a One, but Harmony replaced it with a Touch due to a swollen battery (thanks!).
I haven't taken the time to really program the Touch so I've been using the One until I get to setting the Touch up. I also had a 670, which I replaced with the One due to sticky/non-responsive buttons.
I use the number buttons while I"m in the satellite guide to skip back & forth between blocks of channels. For instance, I may be on channel 1050 but want to see what's on TSN on channel 1400. Paging up takes too many clicks so I'll just punch in 1-4-0-0 & be done with it.
I don't think I'll be using the favourites as I won't know what's on the particular channel unless I look at the guide. I'd like to know what movie or football game is on before I turn the channel on. The favourites to me seem like a crap shoot as to what's playing.
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post #14 of 20 Old 12-06-2013, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Topher View Post

I have a One, but Harmony replaced it with a Touch due to a swollen battery (thanks!).
I haven't taken the time to really program the Touch so I've been using the One until I get to setting the Touch up. I also had a 670, which I replaced with the One due to sticky/non-responsive buttons.
I use the number buttons while I"m in the satellite guide to skip back & forth between blocks of channels. For instance, I may be on channel 1050 but want to see what's on TSN on channel 1400. Paging up takes too many clicks so I'll just punch in 1-4-0-0 & be done with it.
I don't think I'll be using the favourites as I won't know what's on the particular channel unless I look at the guide. I'd like to know what movie or football game is on before I turn the channel on. The favourites to me seem like a crap shoot as to what's playing.
You could use favorites just for block skips.
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post #15 of 20 Old 12-06-2013, 12:18 PM
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Hmm... never thought of that. Like I say, I haven't really had the time to delve deep into the Touch. Not to hijack the thread, but do you mean bring up the guide, hit a fav & the guide will skip to the channel? That would be cool.

Edit: I guess if it worked that way, I wouldn't use the number buttons very much either.
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post #16 of 20 Old 12-06-2013, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Topher View Post

Hmm... never thought of that. Like I say, I haven't really had the time to delve deep into the Touch. Not to hijack the thread, but do you mean bring up the guide, hit a fav & the guide will skip to the channel? That would be cool.

Edit: I guess if it worked that way, I wouldn't use the number buttons very much either.
Yep
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post #17 of 20 Old 12-07-2013, 03:25 AM
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So rather then enter the channel numbers, you like to press guide, scroll through your fav list, then press that? That's a lot of steps. No thanks. I will stick with the One & 650 with buttons.
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post #18 of 20 Old 12-07-2013, 04:03 AM
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I have a Harmony touch and i think it is brilliant i have No's on touch screen and favorites just one button press and thats it (even the wife can use it) must be easy,Once it is set up on PC all is good,The other day i found the remote could not select USB rear so i put message on logitech forum day later private message from admin saying they had added USB rear code added to Onkyo 525 codes and i needed to remove old codes and re-setup again and the new code should work and it did,( good service from Logitech).

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post #19 of 20 Old 12-07-2013, 08:25 PM
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I do change the channel using physical buttons. After I press a device for activity I rarely look at my remote again.
I have about 10 channels I watch most often - I want to go directly from point A to point B. I prefer a surgical strike.
I sometimes use the numbers to select chapters on a disc but most often to select a channel without having to look at the remote.

I watch a LOT of streamed video and DVD/BR - I watch much less live TV so the placement of the FF and RW is asinine on the new Touch.

The lack of physical buttons is surely a deal breaker for me. I'm looking at other brands for universal remotes - 1 to get the buttons back - 2 for better quality buttons as the ones on the Logitech tend to wear out.

I hope they not only fired the management team that let the touch make it to the market but sacked their families as well. Frankly if they had released it along with a GOOD remote that had all the buttons in the right place like the Harmony One I doubt so many people would feel so frustrated with Logitech for such a colossal cluster chuck.

The Harmony smart control is a much better remote than the much more expensive Touch. They should either just make the Harmony One again but improving the quality and slapping on 4 more buttons for the common DVR or take the Smart Control and toss on a nice screen at the TOP (not the f'n middle). And throw in BT so you don't have to connect the thing to your PC to update it.

I like the flat cradle for the Harmony One - not likely to knock it over on your nightstand.
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post #20 of 20 Old 12-10-2013, 02:56 PM
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What I'd like to know is how the Touch actually made it to production. Removing those buttons would be like Mercedes saying we notice most of our customers can't be bothered with the turn signal (as they think they are the only person on the road that matters) so we aren't going to put a turn signal on our new models.
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