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Anyone using/spec'ing Harmony remotes?
This thread has 96 replies. Displaying posts 31 through 45.
Post 31 made on Tuesday June 7, 2016 at 10:16
highfigh
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On June 7, 2016 at 01:34, Brad Humphrey said...
Do you know how many houses (new customers) I walk into and the system is a complete mess. Control system non-existent or if there is one, it is programmed like crap.
Saying you have a LOT of dealers purchasing them doesn't mean jack. Most of those dealers are the jack a$$es we all have to go clean up after. Even worse are the thousands of homes that get screwed up once and the home owners say "never again will we hire someone for this $hit".

As others have said, the Harmony fits a budget niche. And can work within the confines of a small 1 room system.
But it is a DIY product. It will always be a DIY product as long as their is no 'REAL' dealer cost to the product.
I am NOT going to sell a remote that I only make $20-$30 on (and can be found for the same cost online). How can I support a customer, if that is all I make? I can't! Control systems require support! Harmony is a DIY product.

Someone else causing a problem is an opportunity for the rest of us to make sure a solution is found, not a reason to bitch about it. How many car service shops do a shitty job? Is that a reason to avoid paying someone to repair a car? No, it's a reason to find someone else to do it. Make it known that you can fix these problems and charge what you need to, so you make good money on the job.

If it requires support, charge for it, just like everyone else. Best Buy has a card for selling remote programming- it's good for a simple setup, one hour of time. Not 1-1/2 hours, one hour. Anything that's needed later costs more. What's the problem?
My mechanic told me, "I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder."
Post 32 made on Tuesday June 7, 2016 at 10:22
kgossen
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You know there's a problem when the remote comes with a help button.

I will admit that the Harmony IR database kicks the living sh*t out of URC's.
"Quality isn't expensive, it's Priceless!"
Post 33 made on Tuesday June 7, 2016 at 10:47
punter16
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On June 7, 2016 at 09:58, highfigh said...
You think something that was happening 9 years ago hasn't changed?

I was told that they're coming out with a CI-friendly version of the Elite, which won't be sold at Best Buy, etc. It will have different packaging, to make it easy to spot and additional emitters. I don't remember the other differences, but they planned to sell only through distributors.

Best Buy has an occasional sale, but they aren't dropping their pants on them the way they did.

I know things have changed in 9 years but what hasn't changed is the 0.6% margin as these things are everywhere on-line. I haven't sold them in 9 years because we've been happy with our lines.

I'm not slamming the product as IMO it has its place (TV, cable box, BD player). I'm just saying that it sounds like they want our opinion and my opinion is that I wouldn't look at them until the pricing is cleaned up on-line. I will believe that their pending specialty version isn't everywhere on the web when I see it firsthand.
Post 34 made on Tuesday June 7, 2016 at 11:05
highfigh
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On June 7, 2016 at 10:22, kgossen said...
You know there's a problem when the remote comes with a help button.

I will admit that the Harmony IR database kicks the living sh*t out of URC's.

That Help button prevents a helluva lot of trouble calls that would take five minutes to solve, but need to come with a charge. That pisses customers off and leaves a bad taste. It's for devices that don't have discrete commands and it freaking works. I have a Harmony Elite customer who really likes this remote and I have several additional commands for Zone 2 operation. They have no problem with it and her husband couldn't get their master BR system to work with a Harmony 650 because he gets flustered when it doesn't "think the way he does". Complete putz- started pressing every button in sight, including the main power switch on the power amp that turned on as soon as signal hit it, which made it impossible for the bathroom audio to work.
My mechanic told me, "I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder."
Post 35 made on Tuesday June 7, 2016 at 11:14
tomciara
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On June 6, 2016 at 19:42, edizzle said...
i have NEVER sold a harmony remote! dont think i ever will!

I have, on eBay.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened." - Winston Churchill
Post 36 made on Tuesday June 7, 2016 at 11:18
highfigh
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On June 7, 2016 at 10:47, punter16 said...
I know things have changed in 9 years but what hasn't changed is the 0.6% margin as these things are everywhere on-line. I haven't sold them in 9 years because we've been happy with our lines.

I'm not slamming the product as IMO it has its place (TV, cable box, BD player). I'm just saying that it sounds like they want our opinion and my opinion is that I wouldn't look at them until the pricing is cleaned up on-line. I will believe that their pending specialty version isn't everywhere on the web when I see it firsthand.

Just finished a call with the Device Specialist and they're aware of the pricing problems and are working on it. It's hard when a retail operation that's tied to a wholesaler is able to sell online and this is hardly the first time it has happened with one product, or another. I saw a Digital Watchdog camera on Amazon, being sold by B&H for $18 less than at ADI. I called DW to find out if B&H is an approved vendor and was told they are and in fact, they actually buy from ADI. I called ADI to ask if they would match the price and you can probably guess the response I received- "What do you want me to do about that?".

Harmony has two national distributors- DOW and ADI, although others are selling them. Skywalker has been selling Harmony for over a year and I saw them at ADI when I was there a few weeks ago. If ADI pulls some BS and Skywalker loses the line, I may stop buying from ADI, since I'm already fed up with them but the Elite for CI will be easily identifiable and it will also have two year warranty, which the regular one won't.

They also have a completely different setup "wizard". It has some limits, but they're also working on a way for a dealer to keep all of their accounts in one place. It allows making changes without needing the remote, which is great for people who have a second home and a road trip would be prohibitive. The Elite has an 'Update Remote' button, so any changes that have been made will be enabled. The Companion can be updated via the same section in the smart phone app- it offers a choice of remotes to update, if the setup includes more than one.

He's planning to offer dealer surveys and create dealer webinars after he returns to the US in two weeks, from Europe.
My mechanic told me, "I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder."
Post 37 made on Tuesday June 7, 2016 at 11:27
kgossen
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On June 7, 2016 at 11:05, highfigh said...
That Help button prevents a helluva lot of trouble calls that would take five minutes to solve,

Properly programmed remotes don't need this.
"Quality isn't expensive, it's Priceless!"
Post 38 made on Tuesday June 7, 2016 at 11:36
highfigh
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On June 7, 2016 at 11:27, kgossen said...
Properly programmed remotes don't need this.

Tell that to a customer who's too cheap to pay for RF an they can't stop preventing a clear path from the remote to the equipment.

It's more for equipment without discretes, switching from one activity to another, in random order. After a few times, the problem is usually gone.

I had an MX850 that wouldn't do what I wanted and when I called URC, I was speaking with the guy who made the training videos and I would hope he knew what he was doing. I e-mailed the editor file for him to evaluate and he couldn't find a problem, so the next time, he called me to see if we could find a solution. Using team Viewer, he couldn't even get it to work by starting from scratch, entering all of the equipment, himself.

I'll take a working Harmony over that BS, any day.
My mechanic told me, "I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder."
Post 39 made on Tuesday June 7, 2016 at 11:44
fcwilt
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On June 7, 2016 at 10:47, punter16 said...
I know things have changed in 9 years but what hasn't changed is the 0.6% margin as these things are everywhere on-line.he web when I see it firsthand.

The most valuable thing you have going for your is your time and skills.

Anybody can buy and resell a piece of hardware

But you are unique and can market that.

Get paid for your time - don't worry about making money on hardware.
Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
Post 40 made on Tuesday June 7, 2016 at 12:08
BF Home Tech
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Yes, I do use Harmony remotes.
Why? Because I know their limitations, and I make sure that I don't need to do something that they can't do for me. They also have a very expedited timeframe for supporting other devices such as Caseta and Hue lighting. Can I ask my Amazon Echo to turn on the living room to Watch Tivo? With the Harmony gear, why yes, yes I can. With URC, Procontrol, RTI, Crestron, and anything else.... Why no, no I can't. Could I use IFTTT with DASH and have Total Control do it? Probably, but that is an extra add-on, which costs.

Almost everyone on this board act like they only service clients that have 3.5 million dollar homes to start at a minimum... Bullshit. The name of the game is to be flexible. You don't need to offer a remote control that can control the pool temperature and just happens to cost $2500 when you really need to turn on a TV and a cable box.

I'd rather give people systems that work well and cost a reasonable price and now be their go-to guy for anything electronics related than milk people for every penny they have and never hear from them again.
Jordan DiCaprio
Virginia Smart Homes
757-692-6994
Post 41 made on Tuesday June 7, 2016 at 12:20
highfigh
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Just found out that in order to buy Harmony from ADI, a dealer agreement has to be signed. The good part- they aren't jacking up the cost over the other places. Yet. I fully expect them to, once the previously signed distribution ends. If they pull some BS that prevents good options for buying these when it's convenient for us, I will stop dealing with ADI. It's just another straw that's breaking the camel's back.
My mechanic told me, "I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder."
Post 42 made on Tuesday June 7, 2016 at 14:17
Brad Humphrey
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On June 7, 2016 at 11:36, highfigh said...
I had an MX850 that wouldn't do what I wanted and when I called URC, I was speaking with the guy who made the training videos and I would hope he knew what he was doing. I e-mailed the editor file for him to evaluate and he couldn't find a problem, so the next time, he called me to see if we could find a solution. Using team Viewer, he couldn't even get it to work by starting from scratch, entering all of the equipment, himself.

I'll take a working Harmony over that BS, any day.

You are correct. You should stick with installing Harmony!
Post 43 made on Wednesday June 8, 2016 at 07:41
mrtristan
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You can make your own help button with a ProControl remote when there are toggle commands. You can also set up variables to keep track of them using your logic instead of Harmony making it up for you. I've done some pretty complex tracking with flags that I don't think a Harmony would've figured out.
Tristan Leynes
OP | Post 44 made on Wednesday June 8, 2016 at 09:09
juliejacobson
CE Pro Magazine
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Thanks for all the great comments. Logitech is announcing the Harmony Pro today. Pretty much exactly the same as Elite, but it's a start.

[Link: cepro.com]
"CEPro: your website sucks!" - Fins
www.cepro.com
[Link: twitter.com]
Post 45 made on Wednesday June 8, 2016 at 11:17
Trunk-Slammer -Supreme
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On June 7, 2016 at 10:22, kgossen said...
You know there's a problem when the remote comes with a help button.

I will admit that the Harmony IR database kicks the living sh*t out of URC's.

URC has a crap database, but good remotes.

Here we have the inverse....



I gave a couple Harmony remotes to a couple of my clients. When called to ask their opinion, I was asked what they should do with "That POS!".

Never had the thought of selling one after that experiment.
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