I've tried a lot of universal remotes. A lot. And I've been so frustrated by most of them that I was almost tempted to turn off all of my electronics and stumble upstairs from my darkened basement, blinking and disoriented, and actually go for a walk. Outside. <shudder>
But then I got a gift certificate for Christmas last year and bought the Harmony 880. It's a freakin' miracle of a device. It, quite simply, just works. Period.
Here's a few geekified notes to supplement other reviews and the official product description:
- You program the remote via the Harmony website which maintains a database of tens of thousands of A/V products which is constantly evolving and updated by both Harmony and its users, so you'll never find a device without a remote profile.
- Once the remote is set up, you press one activity button (i.e. "Play DVD"), and while you keep the remote pointed at your entertainment unit, it turns everything on, sets the audio and video inputs properly, sets the proper aspect ratio, and presses play. If you have a remote-controlled lighting system, it'll even dim the room lights for you.
- The LCD screen is fully customizable with 8 user-set buttons per page, which you can set to be anything you want.
- How customizable is this remote? For true A/V geeks, you can manually set the delay, in milliseconds, between commands. So for example, if you think that the remote isn't changing channels fast enough, you can lower the delay and it'll send the commands quicker to your cable box.
If you purchase this remote, you won't be disappointed. Unless it's so easy and fun to use that you never leave your basement, you stop bathing and you start storing your urine in mason jars. This remote can't help you with that.