It seems that everything in the home these days, from home theater and multi-room audio systems, as well as some security systems, and even some window shade and lighting products can be remotely controlled.
However, this can also make it more complicated as you can end up with a table or drawer full of remotes. Of course, you can always opt for an expensive custom-installed home theater/home control system which requires a lot of in-wall wiring, but Logitech is offering up a simpler solution, the Harmony Elite Remote Control System.
The Harmony Elite consists of the three elements: A single handheld Harmony remote control, the Harmony Hub, and a Smartphone App.
The Remote Control
The Harmony Elite is a full featured remote control that incorporates a 2.4-inch color touchscreen, in addition to keypad controls, and can control up to 15 devices. The remote is also backlit, so the buttons are easily accessible in a darkened room.
For TV and home theater use, you can change channels, adjust volume, fast-forward, or rewind using gestures on the easily viewable 2.4-inch touchscreen.
Also, just was it most universal remotes, you can program in your favorite channels (up to 50) for direct access without scrolling all available channels, as programming activities, such as Play a Blu-ray Disc, which will turn all of the needed components (Blu-ray Disc player, Home Theater Receiver, TV) as well as switching to the proper input settings) to enjoy your home theater experience.
Vibration feedback adds another control convenience, so you don’t have to take your eyes off the TV screen when using some of the remote’s functions.
In addition to your theater components, you can also control compatible smart home devices, such as security and lighting systems.
The Harmony Elite provides a long lasting rechargeable battery, and a charging station is provided.
The Harmony Hub
To complement the remote control part of the Harmony Elite system, one Harmony Hub is also provided in the package. The remote sends commands to the Hub, which, in turn, relays the control commands to home theater and other compatible devices using IR, Wifi, or Bluetooth – whichever is required. With Wifi and Bluetooth capability, the Hub can communicate with devices through cabinets and walls, as long they are in range.
Also, two mini-IR blasters are included in the package for easier communication with IR control-based components, if needed.
Note: For multiple rooms you may need more hubs depending on your setup, which can be purchased separately.
Harmony Smart Phone App
You not always have harmony remote handy (or it may be charging), so, for added convenience, Logitech also provides a free downloadable app that allows users to use their iOS or Andriod smart phone as a basic remote control.
Once the app is downloaded, you can either enter brands and model numbers of the devices you want to control, or you can scan your home network for devices and it will automatically download the appropriate remote control codes from the Logitech Harmony online database.
Additional Requirements and Support
To set up the Harmony Elite Remote Control system, you need to have the system connected to the internet via Wifi or physical connection to a PC via USB cable.
Logitech’s online remote control database contains over over 270,000 devices from 6000 product brands, ranging from TVs, Blu-ray Disc players, and home theater receivers, to multi-room audio, security, lighting, and other related products. However, if you can’t find your device, Logitech provides an additional method that may be able you to find it for you.
Here are the Harmony Elite setup system requirements:
Mac: OS X 10.7, or higher
Smartphone/Tablet setup and control:
iOS: iPhone® 4S or later, iPad® (3rd generation or later), iPad Mini™, iPod touch® (5th generation or later) device with iOS 8.0 or higher
Android™: Wi-Fi enabled smartphone with Android 4.2 or later Bluetooth® Smart technology-enabled iOS or Android device
For more specifics on the setup and operation of the Harmony Elite remote control system, visit theLogitech Harmony Elite Getting Started Page.
UPDATE 06/08/2016 – Logitech Adds Harmony Pro For Installers
Building on the foundation of the Harmony Elite (including the same physical appearance, interface, and capabilities), Logitech has released a “Pro” version that is specifically targeted to the custom home theater install market, and is only available via authorized dealers. The Harmony Pro includes additional IR Blasters for control of to 15 devices (plus control of additional wireless Smart Devices), and also comes with double the warranty (2-years).
Official Product Page – Suggested Price: $399.99.