Logitech Harmony Touch universal remote
When we were in England a couple of weeks ago we were in John Lewis at Cribbs Causeway near Bristol. I found a Logitech Harmony Touch there for GBP 104. It even came with both a British and a continental plug. So I bought one.
Setup isn't is as straightforward as using it. Basically because the synching with the laptop is really slow because of the Microsoft Silverlight plugin that is needed in the web browser.
When we got home to NL I loaded all the information about our equipment to myharmony.com and started thinking about the activities. I really like the way Logitech has set this up.
Since our TV, Airport Express and Bluray player are linked to the DAC, the DAC is connected to the video input of the amp. I have connected the Bluray player with a coax interlink and the Airport Express with a Toslink cable to the same input of the DAC. I have set up the Logitech in a way that they are not used at the same time. The other input of the DAC is used for the TV, so all activities using the TV are routed through the DAC and I only have to switch inputs on the DAC is when the TV is not used for an activity.
We now have the following activities:
Watch TV (TV on + amp on)
Use Humax DVR (TV on + HDMI 1 + amp on to video). All standard buttons on the remote can operate the Humax. Great!
Watch movie (TV on + HDMI 4 + Bluray on + amp on to video)
Listen to CD (Bluray on + amp on, set to video)
Listen to Airport Express (Amp on, set to video)
Listen to SACD/Bluray Audio (Amp on, set to CD). This uses the analogue outputs of the Bluray player.
Listen to radio (Amp on, set to tuner) I have added preset next and previous to the remote because of the way the Denon is set up with presets.
Play Wii (TV on, component input, amp on set to video)
Listen to vinyl (Amp on, set to phono)
I suppose I could make it even more interesting if I connected the old VCR and Minidisc deck again.
The old Sony DVD/HDD recorder is also connected to the TV but I haven't set up an activity for that yet.
Great feature: when you change activity, the remote switches of the gear that's not used for that activity.
The Mrs. looked a bit puzzled when I wanted to buy this gadget but she is now totally convinced and loves the Harmony Touch. 6 remotes have been boxed up, with the batteries removed. I also like the charging stand, so that's where the Touch goes at the end of the day.
The favourite channels for the TV is great idea too. We hardly ever have to use the touch screen to key in numbers. Logitech knows the channels that our cable company her in NL provides.
My only criticism is the slow synching with the MacBook and the fact that you actually need a computer to set it up and the fact that (for now) the rechargable battery can't be replaced. How daft is that?
But for anyone who owns a laptop and equipment with quite a few remotes and complicated settings I can really recommend the Logitech Harmony Touch.