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Harmony 880 Owner Considering 650 vs One

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I've owned a Harmony 880 for 5+ years and have always been very happy with the way that it allows me to control my devices. Some of the buttons are starting to become less responsive and I'm itching to upgrade (sidegrade?) or make a switch. Before I buy a new remote, I'm going to try to take my existing 880 apart (have combed through that thread for tips on how to do this) to see if that satiates me for now. And if there were one thing I could change about the remote, I'd make the buttons a little more comfortable.

I'm pretty sure that I don't want the Harmony Touch because I like being able to feel where buttons are and don't want to necessarily look down at the remote to make a decision. So I'm basically down to either the 650 or the One. The major distinguishing factors that I can determine so far are the following:

Harmony One has rechargeable batteries w/ a cradle; 650 does not (standard AAs).
Harmony One can control up to 15 devices; 650 can control up to five.
Harmony One has a touch-screen; 650 does not.

Is there anything else that I'm missing? Obviously part of me wants to get the more advanced remote and go for the One, but for the price difference ($200+), I just don't know if the above are enough differentiator for me. I only have four devices (Samsung TV, Onkyo AVR, Comcast DVR, Xbox360) and don't know that I'll be adding anything, so the 5-limit on the 650 doesn't bother me. Even if I decide to get a Blu-Ray player instead of watching DVDs on the Xbox, that's still within the five. I can live w/ managing my own rechargable AA batteries vs the cradle. Does the touch screen on the One really add a lot of utility? The 880 works fine for me right now and controls all my devices the way I like. I feel like going to the 650 would be a similar user experience with perhaps a better button layout and more comfortable-feeling buttons. I'm trying to talk myself into a reason that I need the Harmony One, but can't figure out what it has in order to justify the price.

Note that this is for the main family room setup, so the simpler-looking 650 is also probably better for the wife and kids (is it more durable or does it just look that way?). If and when I take on finishing the basement, then I'll likely get something more geek-oriented for down there.
post #2 of 10
I have been debating whether or not to upgrade to the refurbished Harmony One at Tiger Direct. My 650 does everything I need it to do but it feels really cheap in hand compared to the One. My 650 is about 2 years old now and the buttons are starting to miss a lot. I have always hated how the battery door is very loose and it resets itself occasionally.

Anyway...good luck.
post #3 of 10
Is there any compelling reason to upgrade to the one over the 880? I've had my 880 for probably 10yrs and I love it but wondering if I'm missing out on features I'm unaware of...?
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks j76 for the feedback - that's good to know. gerry, I want a new remote mostly because the 880 is getting old and doesn't work as well as it used to. If I can crack it open and clean some contacts, that may help, but also the battery isn't holding a charge as much as it used to. I don't necessarily *need* a new remote, but new toys are always fun. I don't know of any features on the One that the 880 doesn't have, other than the touch screen and possibly improved button layout.
post #5 of 10
The refurbished ones are OOS at TigerDirect. Do you know if its possible to enter keyboard commands via the One? That was one of the only things I couldn't do with my 880 and I hated having to reach for my wireless keyboard whenever I wanted to search for a movie in Netflix or Windows Media Center.
post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rashman View Post

Thanks j76 for the feedback - that's good to know. gerry, I want a new remote mostly because the 880 is getting old and doesn't work as well as it used to. If I can crack it open and clean some contacts, that may help, but also the battery isn't holding a charge as much as it used to. I don't necessarily *need* a new remote, but new toys are always fun. I don't know of any features on the One that the 880 doesn't have, other than the touch screen and possibly improved button layout.
I would not advise about opening up the 880. all you will find is a circuit board with gel buttons on the board and you won't be able to do anything with them. the screws are tiny and everything has to align and snap together correctly. If the screws are loose you might try tightening them and if it won't charge you can open up the charger and drop a dollop of resin core solder on each terminal as the gold plate wears off. also to help with corrosion a drop of GB paste helps. As a final method is to put some toothpicks to push battery up. Careful as you will probably break off the battery cover tines. I have had 3 880's and love them for what they do and have worked hard to keep them running. As a final solution to the charger problem you might get a external battery charger. I have checked the voltage output of my stock chargers and they show 5.8v.
Since the batteries on your remote are weak. Try a new battery. Be careful as there are a bunch of junk batteries on ebay that are NG.
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by gerryinnv View Post

The refurbished ones are OOS at TigerDirect. Do you know if its possible to enter keyboard commands via the One? That was one of the only things I couldn't do with my 880 and I hated having to reach for my wireless keyboard whenever I wanted to search for a movie in Netflix or Windows Media Center.
With my 880 I have no problem with Nflix as my devices all have the buttons and you can add any buttons or sequances directly to the remote from the original device. I load whatever I want into the device then if I want an additional command in an activity I just add it to that activity.

For instance my AVR device has 18 pages of command buttons in the device it's self but when using an activity like watch Blu Ray even though it uses the AVR only a handful of the device buttons are added. Since Logi did not have the Audussey codes which were sub menu's on the Denon AVR (logi had only the buttons which were available on the Denon remote) I gave them the pronto codes and they for a small fee programmed them into my account. Now when watching a Netflix movie I can select things like Dyn EQ Dyn vol, Day, evening, midnight so the sound doesn't drive my wife to tears. The Harmony remote may be fragile but the functionalities and the ability to make sequences are great.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by generallee View Post

I would not advise...

Thanks much for the feedback and tips. I appreciate it.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quick follow-up to this in case anyone finds the thread and is interested: I went with the 650 and am happy with my choice. It does everything that I need it to do and is perfect for the environment/needs that I described above.
post #10 of 10
Did you go with the 650 "old" or "new" version? On Amazon, they have two versions of the 650, old and new. The old version gets better reviews than the new version and also costs more than the new version. Just wondering what the difference is between the two.
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