Harmony H688 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 330 Old 01-07-2004, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
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According to early reports from CES-2004 (http://www.dailywireless.org/modules...ticle&sid=1905), Intrigue Technologies Inc. has announced a new remote: Harmony SST-688 (which sounds like a replacement for SST-659). If you have any information about this remote, please post it here.

FYI: Other new Harmony remotes: SST-768RF and the WiFi Command Center

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post #2 of 330 Old 01-08-2004, 10:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Harmony's press conference at CES is scheduled for 10AM today. So, I hope we will have some information about this remote by the end of the day.
http://www.cesweb.org/press/events/p...ail.asp?ID=137

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post #3 of 330 Old 01-08-2004, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
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MSRP $249. Not exactly a 659 replacement, but a similar shape. More conveniently located transport buttons. More activity buttons. Availability - March 1 (according to Mike from Surf Remote Control). What else?

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post #4 of 330 Old 01-09-2004, 09:03 AM
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post #5 of 330 Old 01-09-2004, 09:05 AM
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The pic was actually posted by Daniel Tonks from RC and is not mine
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post #6 of 330 Old 01-09-2004, 09:11 AM - Thread Starter
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The SST-688 is supposed to come in two colors: silver and dark-gray. The attached picture shows the silver version.
LL

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post #7 of 330 Old 01-09-2004, 09:29 AM
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IlyaV:are you at CES? from your pic it looks like the + and - are raised (bumps) is that right? nice pic by the way
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post #8 of 330 Old 01-09-2004, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by AnthonyP
IlyaV:are you at CES?
I wish...
Quote:
from your pic it looks like the + and - are raised (bumps) is that right? nice pic by the way
These are all prototypes. Someone in another forum mentioned that production version will have buttons that are more raised. We'll see..

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post #9 of 330 Old 01-09-2004, 09:47 AM
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Boy, they blew this one....this design sucks. Even if the final production of the remote raises the buttons some, they still run together. And location of the volume buttons? Come on! They must have had their head in the sand when they designed this one. Makes me VERY glad I got the 659. I disagree with many posters who say the 659 buttons don't have a good feel. I think they're fine. I'm sticking with my 659.

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post #10 of 330 Old 01-09-2004, 02:26 PM
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I agree, it looks rather unfriendly to blind use. I like the 659 (no, I LOVE my 659,) but I do like the transport buttons being a little more convenient.

Something in the middle would just make my day...now how do I tell the wife I just upgraded the 60 day old remote? :D
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post #11 of 330 Old 01-09-2004, 02:34 PM
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Just ask her which color she prefers.

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post #12 of 330 Old 01-09-2004, 03:17 PM
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You know, everybody whines about the location of the transport buttons on the 659, and I really find that puzzling. I remapped my VCR transport buttons to the navigation buttons. And, when I use my DVD player, I don't use the transport buttons much at all after I initially start a DVD (plus, when I hit mute on my 659, it automatically pauses the DVD anyhow). The only thing I don't have any experience with is a PVR, so maybe those are the ones who (possibly, legitimately) have a beef.

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post #13 of 330 Old 01-09-2004, 03:19 PM
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That's the kicker, the PVR. You MUST have the directional buttons to move through menus, and you MUST have transports to make watching Tivo any fun at all (FF through commercials, the dull stuff, etc.)

Side note, how'd you get the mute/pause combo. That's pretty damn slick. Care to share?
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post #14 of 330 Old 01-09-2004, 10:44 PM
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Sure. Under an activity like Play VCR or Play DVD, go to customize, then go to change behaviour of buttons. You'll see the first column titled "button". In that column, go down to "mute" and to the immediate right, in the next column, choose "pause" from the drop down menu. That's probably the VCR or DVD player, and in the column next to it (probably your receiver controlling the sound), select "mute" from the drop down menu. Then save, and download/upload the changes. So, when you hit mute on your Harmony, it sends the "pause" command to the DVD (VCR), plus the "mute" command to your receiver.

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post #15 of 330 Old 01-10-2004, 09:25 AM
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Oh, DANG, why didn't I think of that? That's so stinking cool. I never even thought of having it send two commands at once to separate devices.

Thank!
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post #16 of 330 Old 01-12-2004, 09:18 AM
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Harmony will be revising the buttons to give them more of a tactile separation. Also, there's a good possibility that the position of the Volume and Page buttons will be transposed. Daniel (of Remote Central) and I happened to be at their booth at the same time and mentioned that the Page Up/Down buttons were not needed for most applications (satellite, PVR).

Enjoy!

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post #17 of 330 Old 01-12-2004, 12:03 PM
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I like the mute/pause idea. Very clever.
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post #18 of 330 Old 01-12-2004, 11:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by oldskoolboarder
I like the mute/pause idea. Very clever.
When I first read about programming the mute button to also send a pause command I thought "wow very cool idea". A few minutes later though, it occured to me that simply hitting the "pause" button to pause playback would in effect "mute" the sound as the dvd or tape or whatever stops playing, all without extra programming (as little as that may be). So programming the mute button to pause seems redundant, if just hitting the pause button has the same net effect. Am I missing something here?
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post #19 of 330 Old 01-13-2004, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Also, there's a good possibility that the position of the Volume and Page buttons will be transposed.
This would be a wise decision. Almost all remotes have the volume buttons arranged similar to the SST-659. The current placement on the 688 is ackward.
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post #20 of 330 Old 01-13-2004, 09:10 AM
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The mute/pause is redundant to a certain extent, but, on the 659 especially, the mute button is a lot more conveniently located than the pause button. That's the main reason I like it Also, when you use this combo on a VCR activity, it's more convenient, because, on some VCRs after a few minutes in pause, they go to stop which brings the volume back on. This keeps the volume off.

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post #21 of 330 Old 01-13-2004, 10:19 AM
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Good point Bierboy. Also w/ Tivo, if you pause, the 30 min buffer may fill and the video will restart. So the mute, in that case, is a good option.
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post #22 of 330 Old 01-13-2004, 11:17 AM
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Thats similar to how I setup my 659 for controlling my DirecTivo.

My Prev button is pause, channel up is skip and channel down is replay. That way your thumb is over the buttons used most of the time. Volume up/down on the left, light and pause and mute in the center, skip and replay on the right.

Some other tricks I have used on my 659 is:

With my mute button I also have it signal the x10 light controller to bring the main lights up.

For setting up a receiver for movies and music, I added more device inputs and customized them so that when I select input DVD the 659 tells the receiver to switch to DVD input and engage DPL II movie. When I select input CD the 659 tells the receiver to switch to DVD input and engage stereo mode. It's a way I found that you can use macros just by selecting a devices inputs.

I also did this with my x10 light controller. I told the 659 that it has 7 inputs, to simulate scenes:
1. All lights on
2. All lights off
3. Ceiling lights on
4. Ceiling lights off
5. Ceiling lights dim
6. Back lights on
7. Back lights off

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post #23 of 330 Old 01-13-2004, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
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I assume that SST-688, like other Harmony remotes, has a built-in TV Guide. Correct?

Can someone comment on how convenient this guide really is? Is this a great feature or just a gimmick? I didn't see too many comments on this. Do you even bother downloading schedules on a regular basis? Please share your experience.

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post #24 of 330 Old 01-13-2004, 12:47 PM
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don't know, but the 659 has the ability of a guide, it is not included in the purchase price.
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post #25 of 330 Old 01-13-2004, 01:41 PM
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Since I've had my 659 only a couple of months, I still get updates to the guide when I update the remote. It's nice, but non-essential in my opinion. Don't think I will pay the $20/year or $50/lifetime for it when the freebie runs out.

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post #26 of 330 Old 01-13-2004, 04:35 PM
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A case of different strokes for different folks.....I really like the "TV Guide" feature of the 659. I set mine up for favorites and on the "all" part primarily for the movie channels. I have seen shows that I doubt I would have seen by just sitting there and scrolling through my favorites and movie channels. The nice part is I'm able to do that without interferring with others watching the TV. Then, once I find that show I want, just a press of the button next to it and I'm instantly taken to that channel. Pretty cool as far as I'm concerned. And yes, I will be paying the $40 (I was told by Intrigue it was $40 for "lifetime" and $20 for one year) to maintain that feature. But again, different strokes for different folks. Seems like people find different features of this remote that works for them. I do keep "fine tuning" the remote and it gets better and better.
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post #27 of 330 Old 01-13-2004, 11:45 PM
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Hi

I happened to stop by the Harmony booth, they had lots of reps eagar to demo the remotes. I didn't think I needed a new remote so wasn't really looking for one. I was impressed with the demo and played with both remotes and really like the older 659 better. I thought the new buttons were harder to read and find. They were selling the remotes at the show so I ordered the 659 for 100 bucks and 15 shipping, I think the 688 was 120.

Phil
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post #28 of 330 Old 01-14-2004, 03:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MikeSRC
Harmony will be revising the buttons to give them more of a tactile separation. Also, there's a good possibility that the position of the Volume and Page buttons will be transposed. Daniel (of Remote Central) and I happened to be at their booth at the same time and mentioned that the Page Up/Down buttons were not needed for most applications (satellite, PVR).
I'll be interested to see the new design. Having a PVR, I can't really see enjoying the transport down at the bottom, otherwise I'd get a 659.

Still, looks like this remote would be missing a few of the main PVR buttons.

Why aren't there more remotes designed with PVR in mind? Man, if only I could talk to the engineers for 5 minutes! :p

The money pit:
$3800 spent sofar :p
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post #29 of 330 Old 01-14-2004, 08:59 AM
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The 688 is not missing any of the most used PVR buttons, it's just the layout and separation of the buttons that's an issue. It has a 5-way thumbpad with Menu, Info, Guide and Exit just below and the >>| and |<< buttons right below them. Just below that are the other transport buttons.

Enjoy!

Mike
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post #30 of 330 Old 01-14-2004, 10:50 AM
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---
Zen wrote:
When I first read about programming the mute button to also send a pause command I thought "wow very cool idea". A few minutes later though, it occured to me that simply hitting the "pause" button to pause playback would in effect "mute" the sound as the dvd or tape or whatever stops playing, all without extra programming (as little as that may be). So programming the mute button to pause seems redundant, if just hitting the pause button has the same net effect. Am I missing something here?
---

Also if you are using a plasma display and you hit pause, you may want the screen saver to turn on. The "multifunction" pause idea would also be a good idea here.
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