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User reviews for the Harmony 520 from Logitech.
Harmony 520
RatingsReviewsMSRP (USD)
Average: 3.85/5.00
Median: 4.00/5.00
16$99.99
The Harmony 520 is the most economical activity-based remote control from Logitech. It features a completely redesigned format, backlit LCD screen with 4 adjacent hard buttons, fully backlit keypad, code learning, USB communications and online setup.
Get it
at:
Amazon.com


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the Harmony 520 remote.
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Written by Tomahock from Philadelphia Area.
The reviewer has used this remote control for under 1 month.
Review 16 made on Monday January 14, 2008 at 11:39 AM.
Also owned:Home Theater Master MX-500
Strengths:Easy to program, very complete Preset list, Good key layout, Accurate hand feel
Weaknesses: "Creeky" assembly. Unacceptable transmission delay
Review:I like the idea of this remote. I like to use my PC to program it. The software sets up macros very easily and the preset macros are pretty "smart". The preset device codes brought up a better set of commands than the OEM remotes do! My TV (Olevia) wasn't listed in the preset list, but when I submitted it to Logitech, they came back with a great set of commands. I also like the fact that the setup is stored in a place other than the remote itself so if and when the remote crashes or whatever, it will be easily reset.

The buttons are laid out well. The most-used buttons are right where you want them and easily accessible. I really like the way the macros leave on some components and turn off others when you switch between activities. And the "help" button is great for when someone other than my technonerd self uses it. It asks you questions until it finds out what is wrong then it fixes the problem (i.e. "is the cable box on", you click "yes", it says "is the TV on?" you say No, it turns it on and asks if that fixed the problem).

All that being said, I had to return the remote. The delay between when I push a button to when the remote sends the command was too slow to be acceptable. Almost a full second of delay. When navigating through menus and guides and everything else you need to breeze through in order to operate today's DVR and 400-channel set top boxes, a .8-second delay or so after each key push is just way too much. I liked the remote enough to try to deal with it, but when I realized I was sort of dreading typing in a search string to find a movie, I realized it was just too slow. I assume (and hope) that higher-end Harmonies don't have this problem.

The creeky assembly is not a deal breaker, but it does make the remote itself seem cheap (which I guess it is, really). Where the face of the remote meets the base, the seem is a little loose. The result is when you squeeze the remote in your hand, it creeks as the top and bottom rub against each other. If this was the only problem with the remote, I would have been able to accept it, but it did bother me a little.

Final word: The software and programming and completeness of the remote are great. I was very impressed with the presets. But the interkey delay was too much to deal with. I'm going to look for a higher-end Harmony.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by cobra47 from Australia.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 3-6 months.
Review 15 made on Thursday December 20, 2007 at 7:06 PM.
Also owned:Sunwave 3000
Strengths:Size & price.
Weaknesses:Difficult to programme online-even with 3 Logitech Techs attempting to do so.
Very poor LCD display.
Small control buttons.
Review:The initial software installation onto my computer went fine. However, programming the remote proved to be a HUGE PROBLEM. I have four(4) devices, all current models, to be included on the 520(updated firmware). I made several individual attempts, before phoning the 1800 support. Turns out, this is a call centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Five calls, & three different Technicians, & 6 days later, they were able to come with a solution. Could not recommend.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Joe94131 from San Francisco.
The reviewer has used this remote control for under 1 month.
Review 14 made on Friday March 9, 2007 at 12:58 PM.
Also owned:TSU6000, Sony AV2010 and AV3000, various others
Strengths:Ease of setup, incredibly lightweight, good button "feel". On sale it was only $80. I've spent $1,000 on a Pronto, so $80 seemed like nothing. The width of the IR signal is pretty wide, and activate my equipment in the various locations on different walls of my media room. With a tactile button interface rather than a touchscreen, I was able to quickly learn to use this remote to the point where I didn't have to actually look at it to use it.
Weaknesses:None, considering the price range and target market of this unit.
Review:It's hard to keep these reviews simple. This remote was bought after checking out the reviews here (good and bad). I've spent years programming a Pronto, going through quite a few different multi-function programmable remote devices, etc. This time, after moving, I wanted a lightweight remote that didn't have a thousand dollar price tag. This was on sale for $80.

INSTALLATION
-----------------
You connect to the internet, throw in the installation CD, and connect the device to the USB port. The installation takes place, you register with Logitech, and it asks you to fill in the model numbers of your equipment. It has checkboxes for specific unusual scenarios, like how my receiver controls volume (not the TV), and my VCR is my cable tuner, and how my PlayStation uses my VCR's LINE 1. Defaults are highlighted, and you can change them now or later.

Total install time: about 10 minutes, but I had my model numbers written down in advance.

Installation rating: easy, simple, and convenient. Isn't that the promise of the internet, after all? Some people seem to hate this type of installation process. But compared with entering codes into a remote, and "learning" IR codes from your existing remotes, this method is really a breeze.

I did not have to do ANY special "learning" process to transfer IR codes to the device from my existing remote control collection. That was a first for me.

USE
-----
The device organizes itself by "activities", such as "Watch TV", "Listen to the radio", etc. This essentially eliminates nearly all of my typical macro programming I'd have to do with my older remotes. You can still do limited macro programming, but for me it was completely unecessary.

I simply pressed "Watch TV", and the receiver turned on, switched to VCR inputs, turned on the VCR, changed the VCR from LINE 2 to ANT, then the plasma monitor turned on and switched to VIDEO 1. Within three seconds everything was on, the volume control came from the receiver, and the channel buttons affected the VCR instead of the cable box -- exactly as specified during the setup process.

When I was done watching TV, I pressed the "off" button. Everything powered down -- even my weird NEC plasma monitor that has separate on and off buttons.

Ease of use: almost TOO easy. Even my $1,000 Pronto had trouble with the separate on/off buttons of my NEC display.

ADJUSTMENTS
-----------------
Every remote control, especially multi-function units, requires the user to change a few habits. For me, they were as follows:

Changing "Activities" -- If I wanted to switch from watching TV to viewing a DVD, I found it easiest to press "Off", followed by "Watch DVD". This powered down everything and powered up everything for the new activity. Some might say this is the "long way around", but for me, it just meant pressing two buttons to get to what I wanted. That's easy, even if it took six seconds to have things power down and power back up with the new "Activity" setups.

Volume/Channels -- This is minor, but I wish I could trade the locations of the power up/down and the channel up/down button arrays. I'm just used to them being on the opposite sides of where they are on the remote.

CONSIDERATIONS
---------------------
If you are a remote control hobbyist, you will be dismayed at how easy this is to set up, and how little you get to "play" with the settings. After the initial 10 minute setup process, that's pretty much it.

If you want an incredibly lightweight remote with real tactile buttons that essentially programs itself with the help of the internet, this is a great choice. I didn't have to make it learn any IR codes, the database recognized perfectly all of my new and old equipment, and I found myself able to use the device without looking at it within about 30 minutes of typical use.

SUMMARY
------------
I am amazed at how I so rarely have to look at the remote control's menu to do something special or unusual -- yet I still don't have to reach for one of my original device-specific remote controls.

Based on how accurately it set itself up for my system configuration, I could see myself spending at least a couple of hundred dollars more for this remote. It really seems a bargain, and it's unobtrusive design is quite elegant.

Quality: Features: Value:

Written by tomhayes from San Diego, Ca.
The reviewer has used this remote control for under 1 month.
Review 13 made on Tuesday October 31, 2006 at 5:17 PM.
Also owned:Logitech 720
UR MX-500
Cinema &
Strengths:Activities have made my mother able o control her equipment easily.
Weaknesses:The screen is not nearly as sharp as the 720's.
Programming this remote to control a device not in there database (in my case a Sony SA-VA100 speaker/cd/tape system) will be hard for novice users.
Review:I bought this remote for my mother who had never been able to figure out which buttons to press to get things set-up on her system correctly. She could watch TV fine, but good luck getting her to watch a DVD where you have to press POWER on three different remotes, set the video input on the TV and the receiver and then use the DVD remote to actually watch the film.

This remote's activity buttons ("Watch a DVD", "Watch TV", "Listen to a CD") was exactly what she needed. And the if something is wrong she can just press the "Help" button and follow the directions.

It was well worth the $99 dollars I paid at Wal-Mart.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Tony Rice from Raleigh, NC.
The reviewer has used this remote control for under 1 month.
Review 12 made on Friday October 27, 2006 at 9:04 PM.
Also owned:All For One 6131
Strengths:Ease in setup for straight forward home theater systems
Weaknesses:Complexity in setting up
Review:It found all my equipment pretty easily. However setting up 2 different TiVos in the same room was a bit complicated and I still don't have it working quite right. I'm hoping to don't have to learn each and every button on the silly thing, twice.

If I indicate that I've got 2 of the same model TiVo that I want to control, any universal remote should be smart enough to know that I dont want to control both at the same time and that I've got them setup to have discrete codes.

This remote should be priced at $50, not $100. The $149 Circuit City is trying to get for it is just ridiculous.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by tonyJP1 from Arizona.
The reviewer has used this remote control for under 1 month.
Review 11 made on Thursday October 19, 2006 at 3:23 AM.
Also owned:urc-9910
urc-8011
urc-6131
OEM
Radio Shack non JP1 learning remote
Strengths:None
Weaknesses:incorrect database
limited downloads (20 per year)
very poor customer service
no locally saved files
Review:I got this remote because i am missing several remotes. I have a few universal remotes but none did the needed menu and setup functions. I had originally gone looking for a pronto remote but unable to find one under $400 the sales man talked me into this one.

Well first off in the user agreement it says u can only download 20 definitions in a year. Second the units that you select are not stored on your computer for easy reinstallation as it should be if they limit your downloads. The software was slow to connect to the server(i have a cable modem). I didn't like the way the macro's were auto setup. The codes for the HTR-5960 receiver are from the last gen receiver as it operated my HTR-5460. I would understand if this had just come out on the market but it has been out over a year. I put in a monitor AM3501R and number 3 on the keypad made it change to input 1 and that's it no other buttons worked. I must have tried 15 different models that were close to the ones i wanted before calling customer service.

After about a 30min wait i get someone. He then has trouble finding my email and username. He gets very upset and rude with me when he can't find it. When i tell him to hold on the line as i make a new one he then finds it. But because i deleted all the codes from the remote he said i didn't even download anything. He then says download something first then give us a call back and hangs up. I was so mad i called right back but the office was closed. So I returned the remote and got a JP1. The JP1 software was much easier to use and NO LIMIT on downloads. I am so happy i got 1 for each room with a TV.

In conclusion i wouldn't recommend ANY harmony remote. Buy JP1 or Pronto.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by BigScreenDLP from Virginia.
The reviewer has used this remote control for under 1 month.
Review 10 made on Sunday September 24, 2006 at 7:48 PM.
Also owned:OEM
Strengths:Ease of set up
Styling
Price
Weaknesses:None at this point
Review:I spent the better half of the week reading reviews and considering remotes from $50 to $250. I just wanted a universal to do what my OEM remotes do. I was set on getting one to customize the functions. The more I read about Logitech remotes the more I liked. Everyone was boasting the new 880 and 890's. OK, I don't need all the bells and whistles.

The solution was Logitech's Harmony 520! Hands down the smartest choice I have made to date. I had it loaded and running my components in about 20 minutes with no problems. I love the digital display and the hard buttons are perfect.

I can't say enough positive about the remote and the ease of use. I highly recommend this for the average to better than average home theater user. Unless of course you want to boast to all your friends that you spent hundreds on a remote.
Quality: Features: Value:


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