Today'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 the 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?!?)