Logitech Harmony 700. This is the next generation of smart remotes. As far as I can tell if the appliance (or whatever) gets it’s input via infra-red, there is likely a script for at least one of the Harmony remotes. They are pricey, but pretty damned cool. This one has an LCD screen with defined activities (functions) and devices that the activities are for. Still playing with it just to see what it will and will not do.
It is a pretty cool piece of tech.
However, there was one thing the thing just wouldn’t do in the scripts I had done. I could not make the TV change the input mode to save my life. So in this sequence for instance, to watch a movie:
turn the TV on
turn the Home Theatre System on
volume controlled by Home Theatre (system)
set volume to 10
set Home Theatre to DVD
play Disc 1
set Night Mode
set audio to Movie
set TV input to HDMI1
That “set TV input to HDMI1” would not work. I had deleted all the devices and scripts at least three times.
I was about ready to box the thing back up and take it to back to Fry’s. Decided to give tech support a try. After an enormous waiting time I finally got to talk to a live person, Brent. He asked me a number questions pertaining to my issue and had me push a bunch of buttons to ascertain what the remote should do as opposed to what it was doing.
He then put a script on my Harmony account that the next time I synced (which I did while he was still on the phone) would attach itself to my remote. Went through the testing sequence with me and once everything was working, bid me to have a nice day!
He was very knowledgeable and courteous. Told him if they did surveys to have them send me one.
Couple of things about this remote though.
The scripts are kept on your account in the cloud, on the logitech servers. I personally don’t like this much but it did indeed let the tech fix my issue quickly.
Every time you make a change or add a new script the software formats the remote and then loads everything from scratch. There are both good and bad aspects to this, but it mostly works.
You need to think about these things before you implement them. For instance, The activity I set up to watch TV also turns on the Stereo and the volume and sound is controlled by that.
There are times, like early in the morning for instance, when I just wanna turn on the tube and watch the news without all the glamour of “Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound”!
So I may change that at some point. I can think of a few things that I’ll need to investigate. Like control the volume on the TV, but change the channel from the DVR, for instance. Sure it is probably possible, but I need to check it out.
Not everything needs to be done via script either. You can control most devices via the remote -without having to-invoke an activity.