Originally Posted by siuengr
Yes the Elite is the best, but do you need it. It's works with Alexa, but so do the cheaper versions. You do not have to use your cell phone unless you only get the hub. You do have to use your phone or table to set it up. The companion app just give you access to every function the device supports which may not map to a button on the physical remote.
Yes, there are dedicated buttons on the Elite and Home Companion version for controlling lighting.
Any remote with a hub is RF to the hub. The hub blasts IR into the room to control equipment with IR, or the IR blasters are placed near components to control them if they are obscured. The hubs also have bluetooth and wifi, so they can talk to wifi controlled devices or directly via bluetooth. For example, a Roku that doesn't have IR is controlled via bluetooth from the hub or a nexus player can be controlled via wifi.
A smart switch is an outlet or light switch that can be controlled via an app. The Echo dot would control the smart switch.
You will need to get two remote, one for the living room, and one for the bedroom. I have three, an Elite for my theater, the home companion for the living room, and 650 for the bedroom. The hub is nice that it doesn't matter where you point the remote, it just works. You can get a hub version without the dedicated home control buttons a lot cheaper that the ones that do, or forgo the hub and just get a 650.
The Harmony works great with lighting, but you only get 4 dedicated buttons for them. Up to you if you need them.
Don't bank on them updating the firmware and adding devices. I've been using them for 15 years and never had them increase the amount of devices.
Thanks for the answers, siuengr
Okay, I actually called Logitech tech support to ask them some of these questions, before I read your post.
While I won't count on it any time soon, the tech told me that they recently increased the number of devices that can be paired to one of their older remote controls from 8 to 10 (not sure if paired is the right word) and that they will likely do so for the Elite as well. Again, I won't hold my breath or buy this in anticipation of that happening, but I thought I would post it anyway.
He also told me that I don't need a second remote for the living room and bedroom, particularly since all my devices are congregated in entertainment centers very close to one another in each respective room. He mentioned using IR blasters to create what he called "Activities." I am still not clear on what he means by this, as it seems a little nebulous to me, but I will research this further before I buy anything!
I asked him if I could simply buy a second hub, one for the bedroom and one for the living room, and use the same Harmony Elite remote, and he said that not only would this work, but it would actually be my ideal situation, and would be like having two remotes without actually needing a second
. I guess because the Hub plus a cell phone or tablet is, basically, a second remote. He also allayed another concern of mine with a two Hub setup, which is that I don't want to turn on/off the cable box, PS4 Pro, or XBox One S in the other room
, while operating the one in the room I am in at that moment.
The way he explained it to me is that the remote can only
sync with one Hub at a time. He sounded almost apologetic about that when he mentioned it, until I explained that this works better for me since I have a duplicate of many devices in two separate room, and if I connect to one Hub, I would not want the remote to be communicating with the other Hub I don't want to be connected to or devices connected to that inactive
I am a little confused by the IR Blasters. He said that each Hub has 3 IR Blasters built in (or maybe it was one blaster for 3 devices? I forget). It seems to me, if I am understanding this correctly, that if the devices are all in close proximity to one another, I can place the Hub centrally located, very close to all of them (say in the Living room, in the entertainment center, I can have that Hub synced to the Living Room TV, PS4, Receiver, XBone, Cable Box and my AC). Where I am a little confused is that I believe each IR Blaster (which I can buy off Amazon, separate from a Hub) can control 5 devices. So it is not clear to me if the Hub has 3 IR blasters built in (5 devices each) OR has one blaster that can only control 3 devices.
Suffice it to say, assuming I need a blaster in addition to the Hub, I think that one IR Blaster can control all the devices I listed above, say in the living room, except the AC, since that is located on the other side of the room (9 feet away) and would presumably need its own blaster and it is also a 6th device anyway.
Then I could put a Hub in the bedroom to control the bedroom TV, PS4 Pro, XBone, Cable Box, PC Moniter, and Sound System, and any other devices, though the ones listed there are 6 devices, so I may need another IR Blaster, which is fine, since they are very cheap on Amazon.
Then we talked about the lighting, which he explained to me that even with many lights, all with different ways of controlling them (Activities also?) that the collective lights in my apartment, even with multiple smart switches and/or smart sockets, would be seen by the Harmony as ONE device of the 15 I am limited to. Not sure this makes sense to me, but it would definitely prevent me from going over the 15 device limit if that is the case.
I previously assumed that if I have, say 5 Smart Sockets and 15 light fixtures (for example, Phillips Hue, or LiFX) that each fixture and each smart switch and smart socket would be one of 15 devices. It is easy to see how just with lighting alone, if that is the case, I will run into my limit very fast lol.
He then explained to me, though again I am not sure I understand this, that I would NOT need the Echo Dots I was planning on purchasing (two for my apartment in total) if I have the Harmony Elite, hub (one or two) plus the Smart Switches, which can be purchased bundled with the Elite off Amazon.
Big selling point for me: he also explained that literally ALL of these devices, lights, sound, video, consoles, etc., would NOT need line of sight if I have the blasters and hubs.
Something just occurred to me. All of these Smart lights (Phillips Hue, LiFX, etc) are all compatible with Alexa and voice commands. Which begs the question, what do I need to worry about having them controlled by the Elite if I end up buying an Echo Dot or two?