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Anyone using/spec'ing Harmony remotes?
This thread has 96 replies. Displaying posts 46 through 60.
Post 46 made on Wednesday June 8, 2016 at 11:24
Mac Burks (39)
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Yesterday i was at the project i mentioned above. Client asks if i can add an appleTV to his game room system. I installed an HDMi cable and the client supplied AppleTV and then spent 15 minutes reprogramming the remote and i was done.

I used the clients PC because my MBP died the day before. No problem though because all i needed was the harmony login to gain access to programming.
Avid Stamp Collector - I really love 39 Cent Stamps
Post 47 made on Wednesday June 8, 2016 at 11:24
Audiophiliac
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For $400 (for the new "Pro" model), it is tough to beat with URC, C4, Elan, RTI, Pro Control, etc.

I did 3 Elites for a client who bought them himself. I was skeptical, but by the time I finished, I recommended that remote to another client who needed a simple universal remote on the cheap.

I get the stigma about it being DIY and cruddy installers leaving them half baked in quarter baked systems. I get that you would rather sell a 40 point product. Both those stigmas could be applied to lots of products we sell aside from remote controls.

I can overlook both of those and sleep at night when my clients are happy with the solution I have recommended. With the Pro version, if they get it set up the way they are talking about, where dealers can organize all their client remotes in a single location on a dealer account, it will be harder not to use them for simple single room systems where we would normally go to a MX780/MRF350.

Cloud management, remote programming changes, iOS/Android app, 2 year warranty, additional control with zwave, zigbee, BT, etc. Perfect for those $5k family room systems. I do not get some of the negative nancy attitude towards Harmony....it is not like it says Monoprice on it anywhere. It is the "never have, never will" that makes no sense. Try it once. Everyone is doing it. Once you go Harmony, you never go back? Ok maybe that is a bit far out. :P
"When I eat, it is the food that is scared." - Ron Swanson
Post 48 made on Wednesday June 8, 2016 at 11:30
fcwilt
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On June 8, 2016 at 11:24, Audiophiliac said...
when my clients are happy with the solution I have recommended.

And that is the most important thing.

The CI may be passionate about providing the latest and most sophisticated tech but how many consumers do?
Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
Post 49 made on Wednesday June 8, 2016 at 12:17
FP Crazy
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On June 7, 2016 at 11:44, fcwilt said...
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.

I would be more than happy with this business model, except that most customers are not emotionally mature enough to swallow labor rates comparable to what they might pay an attorney and also being charged for every waking minute related to the job.

Profit on equipment subsidizes many things. One of those most important things is stocking replacement remotes (or other equipment). If you sell it at cost, how can one justify stocking them at cost? And I stock multiple models, since one size doesn't always fit all.

Granted, I don't stock everything I sell but I feel stocking remotes is critical to this subset of our business model. My mantra to my customer is getting them back up in running with a replacement remote within 24 hours (since their system is typically not functional with a dead remote)

The other is minor service calls after the sale... to tweak or make minor changes...or to replace/repair item you provided breaks within the first year (hell, even the first 90 days). Many of us eat those quickie service calls (call it customer good will). Equipment profits subsidize this too.

A business either needs to have equipment profits to fund this reality, or double their labor rates (or more) and charge for every minute involved (like a lawyer). There is no free lunch.

As our industry margins get thinner and our industry's business' evolve, customer's emotional maturity is not evolving at the same rate. So realistically we have to wait until the customer can catch up to this reality and allow us to sell at cost and commensurately increase our labor rates and bill accordingly.

Anyone that can't grasp this concept, has either never been in business or needs to take off their shoes so they can count higher.
Chasing Ernie's post count, one useless post at a time.
Post 50 made on Wednesday June 8, 2016 at 12:20
goldenzrule
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It's simple for me. I swore them off the day I agreed to program a clients remote. I travel in traffic, which is super heavy around here. Get there, do a few things, go to program remote and Internet was down. There was an outage in the area. I swore them off that day and I have no plans of giving them abother shot.
Post 51 made on Wednesday June 8, 2016 at 14:26
punter16
Long Time Member
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On June 7, 2016 at 11:44, fcwilt said...
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.

I agree with your first three sentences. However, line 4 is a perfect recipe to cook up a bowl of go out of business. Ask Firedog how well that worked out for them. In my market (others may be different), this absolutely is not viable.
Post 52 made on Wednesday June 8, 2016 at 14:34
3PedalMINI
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So reading the article you spend $50 more for emitters? Lol!!

Wow!

I recently had to deal with a harmony. I wanted to blow my brains out. The client never remembered their password so I had to factory default it and make a new one. So stupid.
The Bitterness of Poor Quality is Remembered Long after the Sweetness of Price is Forgotten! - Benjamin Franklin
Post 53 made on Wednesday June 8, 2016 at 14:50
highfigh
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On June 8, 2016 at 11:17, Trunk-Slammer -Supreme said...
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.

And who programmed these remotes? No details about the clients' ability or willingness to learn to program, learn, adapt- never stops people from having an opinion, though. Did you show them how to do anything with them? Which model(s) of remote? That makes a big difference. If it was the 300, I would agree. Some of the older ones were pretty weak, too.

I have seen a lot of complaints about ProControls and URC, as well as other brands. The one that seems pretty blameless is Pronto but I don't think anyone was running out for Nevo, UEI or the others. Harmony never tried to be the top of the hill and nobody is saying they are but for many, the Elite, Companion and their hub will work well. They also have a remote that can pair with the hub and act as a secondary controller, the way the Companion does. I don't know of another remote that works via IR, BT and IP, for the price of this series. They either do, or will, control the Amazon Echo by voice command, too. Let's see where this goes.
My mechanic told me, "I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder."
Post 54 made on Wednesday June 8, 2016 at 14:57
highfigh
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On June 8, 2016 at 14:34, 3PedalMINI said...
So reading the article you spend $50 more for emitters? Lol!!

Wow!

I recently had to deal with a harmony. I wanted to blow my brains out. The client never remembered their password so I had to factory default it and make a new one. So stupid.

It's Harmony's fault they forgot the password? Right! Go with that.

No, we get to charge $50 additional for more emitters, 2 year warranty, we don't need to deal with the same thing being discounted online and it's easy to see the difference, rather than having an identical piece footballed by Best Buy.

BTW- you or the client could have called Harmony tech support to recover or change the password. Or, if you want, post/PM the model and PID (Product ID) located under the battery cover with their name and some of the equipment make/model numbers and I can recover the info.
My mechanic told me, "I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder."
Post 55 made on Wednesday June 8, 2016 at 14:58
highfigh
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On June 8, 2016 at 14:26, punter16 said...
I agree with your first three sentences. However, line 4 is a perfect recipe to cook up a bowl of go out of business. Ask Firedog how well that worked out for them. In my market (others may be different), this absolutely is not viable.

And yet, people buy Sonos from distributors all the time.
My mechanic told me, "I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder."
Post 56 made on Wednesday June 8, 2016 at 15:08
highfigh
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On June 8, 2016 at 11:24, Audiophiliac said...
For $400 (for the new "Pro" model), it is tough to beat with URC, C4, Elan, RTI, Pro Control, etc.

I did 3 Elites for a client who bought them himself. I was skeptical, but by the time I finished, I recommended that remote to another client who needed a simple universal remote on the cheap.

I get the stigma about it being DIY and cruddy installers leaving them half baked in quarter baked systems. I get that you would rather sell a 40 point product. Both those stigmas could be applied to lots of products we sell aside from remote controls.

I can overlook both of those and sleep at night when my clients are happy with the solution I have recommended. With the Pro version, if they get it set up the way they are talking about, where dealers can organize all their client remotes in a single location on a dealer account, it will be harder not to use them for simple single room systems where we would normally go to a MX780/MRF350.

Cloud management, remote programming changes, iOS/Android app, 2 year warranty, additional control with zwave, zigbee, BT, etc. Perfect for those $5k family room systems. I do not get some of the negative nancy attitude towards Harmony....it is not like it says Monoprice on it anywhere. It is the "never have, never will" that makes no sense. Try it once. Everyone is doing it. Once you go Harmony, you never go back? Ok maybe that is a bit far out. :P

To be fair, Harmony had their share of "problem child" models and then, a past CEO (or someone) decided that they should give up trying to make the 1000 work with Z-Wave, as intended, so they eliminated it from the options and database. The people who were counting on it operating anything with Z-Wave sued and that cost the company, big time. They had also implemented a dealer page (which still works) and a dealer partner program but the lack of communication during that CEO's tenure was terrible. I sent an e-mail yesterday and I don't think it was ten minutes before I received a phone call response.

The replacement for the 1000 was the 1100 and that was much better- I have a client who started out with two of the 1000 for his den and house systems, with some equipment being shared across the accounts. The 1100s went in around 2009 and we're still using them with both having been replaced due to immersion in liquid and dropping onto hardwood floors, repeatedly. The RF extenders are the original ones, from 2007. They'll be replaced soon, by the Elite. I'll be getting more info about the Pro soon, so I may have them wait a bit.
My mechanic told me, "I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder."
Post 57 made on Wednesday June 8, 2016 at 16:04
punter16
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On June 8, 2016 at 14:58, highfigh said...
And yet, people buy Sonos from distributors all the time.

And they make $$$ doing so. They may not make as much as if they were direct dealers but they still make a profit. If you were a small business and averaged $100 profit/day by selling Sonos through distribution, that's $36,500 toward your bottom line at the end of the year. That's a big chunk for a small business.
Post 58 made on Wednesday June 8, 2016 at 16:21
Brad Humphrey
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1,519
Since we have some serious Harmony fan boys on here, let me ask this... How is the reliability!

Because every Harmony I have come across in the field, I replaced with either URC or RTI. Because the customer complained about what a POS the remote was. The RF sucked! And several that had just out right failed!
You know how many URC or RTI remotes that I have had fail? Not counting the problem models which I knew about and never sold.
I still have customers with RTI T2+ remotes that refuse to upgrade because they still work great. And I have a few customers with URC MX700s in the same boat (despite that quirky middle stick, they still love them).
These remotes are 15 or more years old!
Let's see a POS Harmony 'consistently' do that.


And $400! LMAO
I can do a URC MX-780 with MRF-260 base for that same price. How much IR routing do you get with the Harmony....  yeah. And although the RF isn't as good on the MRF260 as the MRF350, I'm sure (in my experience) it beats the Harmony.
2-year warranty on Harmony? You'll need it!
App control, OK URC will add cost here but 'How's that interface for Harmony again?'
And finally... How much is my cost in that $400 from Harmony. I know how much my cost is on the URC $400. *This being sarcasm, I have no doubt I would make more than double what I would with the Harmony*

OH! Expandability. When the customer out grows their Harmony Elite/Pro, what do they upgrade to? Ah, they can't!
Everyone else has upgrade paths to bigger & better for customers.

Oh! And as someone mentioned above, programming is completely in the cloud. How many discussions have we had on the different forums about how this is a BAD thing! Allowing access and changes 'thru' the cloud is one thing. But to have to totally rely on a company's servers, for what is one of your biggest sections of your business... F^n stupid. It would be a cold day in hell for me.

Another thing: Precision IR kit? LOL WTF! How is a 4 head IR emitter 'Precision'? Look = NextGen has got you beat:
[Link: amazon.com]

Last edited by Brad Humphrey on June 8, 2016 16:47.
Post 59 made on Wednesday June 8, 2016 at 19:26
charlieg
Long Time Member
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167
The Harmony Pro doesn't have hard number buttons. Isn't that alone a reason not to want to use it? Much less give it to a customer? Wouldn't a MX 450 be better? Its been a few years but I was installing a MX 600 on every job that wasn't c4. It could do everything I needed and it was $450 programmed. Never even gave the customer a price for the remote it was just part of the system.
Post 60 made on Wednesday June 8, 2016 at 20:04
Mac Burks (39)
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Forgot to mention that the Harmony remote i updated to add a new AppleTV...had swipe functionality built in. I wonder how long to get that feature taught to a URC remote.
Avid Stamp Collector - I really love 39 Cent Stamps
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