2009-02-02

Tech Tuesday: Harmony One

Not Actual SizeToday's Tech Tuesday is about the Harmony One Universal Remote Control. When I bought my new TV just over a year ago, I tried using the remote that came with the cable box as a universal. It did have "system" power button, and that worked okay. But when I added my blu-ray player and hooked up my old stereo system for sound, I realized that I was doing an annoying remote shuffle all the time.

The last time I'd had a universal remote in was some brown P.O.S. with a booklet of tiny codes that sort of worked OK for running the TV, VCR, cable box in the early 90's. But in reality, it sucked and I went back to doing the remote shuffle when I stopped needing a cable box for over a decade. In fact I had put it out of my mind until writing this.

But, I'd seen some ads around Christmas 2007 for something called the Harmony One Universal Remote. It was supposed to be so easy to use, that you could give it to the old lady from that digital conversion video, and she would instantly get along fine with it. Yeah. Right.

Well, I went to Best Buy and bought the thing for $250. They warn you that setup may take around 30 minutes. I'm guessing my initial setup was more like 45, with another hour tweaking and fiddling to fine tune it. CARP! $250 bucks and almost 2 hours on a remote? Yup. And worth every damn cent/second. I feel like I FUCKIN' STOLE IT!

Once the setup is complete, if you want to watch TV, you press theScreen Image Simulated section of the touch screen that say, "Watch TV" And instead of yelling into the kitchen to Martha to find out what channel NBC is, just tap the space on the touch pad with the peacock icon. That does take some time to set up, but once you do, it's done. (And stored on Logitech's servers, so if you loose it or your computer crashes, the settings are all safe.) It can control 15 devices, and the more complex functions are available thru the touch screen if there isn't a hard button for them. (Simmulated touch screen image. It doesn't photograph well.)

Plus, the thing feels good in your hand. The buttons are just right. And you can put all the other remotes in a drawer, and get down to One. The Harmony One.

And now, when the grandparents or the sitter come over, you don't need to hand them a manual so the kids can watch Dora on the big TV. So if you, or the wo/man in your life, have a complex TV configuration, and you can afford a $200 treat without skipping meals or shit, I urge you to give this some SERIOUS thought.


(Editor's Note: Incase the countdown looks like a "07" to you, please come back tomorrow for my much anticipated 100th post! 100 things about me. Missing your 100th post? Wouldn't that be a dandy?!?)

14 comments:

Candy's daily Dandy said...

Ya, that thing is the modern mans equivilent to the cave mans club.

I never get to touch the remote when My Guy and I are wartching TV together.

What's up with you guys and that?

Sassy Britches said...

How cool is this?! I'm going to empty my change jar. I wouldn't want my "wo/man" to go without.

(I love that term BTW!)

Scope said...

Candy - Seriously, anytime you want to come over, sit on the couch, watch TV, and play with my "cave man's club" you are MORE than welcome.

Sassy Britches - Thanks. Probably not original, but like "un-Holy Ghost" one of those things that just runs out of the fingers the second time you rewrite a phrase that just isn't working.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Ha ha..."dandy"...that's clever. Clever, clever you.

Is this thing simple enough my mother-in-law could use it?

Scope said...

For your MIL to program? No. You would do that for her.
For your MIL to use? YES*

* Assuming that she can see, and can press a button that says "watch TV" when she wants to watch TV. The biggest thing to get used to, and the screen even tells you this, is that when you press that button, it's going to be 5 seconds before it has finished flashing the codes all over. KEEP POINTING THE REMOTE IN THE RIGHT DIRRECTION! If you hit the button, and then toss the thing on the sofa where it bounces around, it's not the remotes fault if the stereo doesn't come on. But your daughter will master it in 5 seconds and can teach Grammy in a flash.

Giggle Pixie said...

That is awesome! I want one!!

Cora said...

Oh the lovely remote shuffle. I know it well. I've got three. And I keep them on top of the entertainment center because I'm sick of them getting lost in the couch. So, to use one of the lovely remotes in my remote collection, I have to get up off my butt and walk to the TV to do it. Defeats the whole purpose, I know. But it's not a long walk. I shouldn't complain. :-)

By the way, in my comment on yesterday's post I didn't mean for it to sound like I was suggesting you're SCARY to people on the street, Scope. I just meant that suspicious people might rather have a runty stranger mess with them than a tall one - runty people are easier to outrun and/or knock down. Not that you're messing with people, of course! But suspicious people don't know that. If I'm going to be attacked, I'd rather it were by someone half my size because I like my chances better, that's all. But, NO, I don't think YOU look SCARY! I've seen your pics and that video, and you're a very handsome, friendly, huggable-looking guy! And, please, the 6'5" frame is sexy, okay? So, just to be clear: Scary? No. I just wasn't eloquent yesterday. Am I doing any better today? I'm not sure yet. :-)

Gwen said...

I know myslef well enough to know that the programming would drive me fruit. I'll stick with my three - I already know how they work. ;-)

Morgan the Muse said...

it does, indeed, look like a seven.

I am glad that your remote is good. We bought one with huge buttons for my parents. I feel like I am living with a pair of 80 year olds when I change the channels.

Anonymous said...

Now if only Sony hadn't gimped the PS3 with a bluetooth-only remote.

SkylersDad said...

At first glance I thought you went and purchased a type II phaser!

Scope said...

The programming is about as bad as a link heavy blog post.

mike said...

If only the remote could go get you a beer, it would be the best thing ever.

It always cracks me up on MTV Cribs or whatever when they show someone with a big huge remote the size of a laptop, that opens the blinds or lowers a projection screen(allegedly) but they can never figure out how to work it.

Cowguy said...

Scope. I can barely work the damned handle on the toilet. Ask my wife.

J.