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User reviews for the Harmony 890 from Logitech.
Harmony 890
RatingsReviewsMSRP (USD)
Average: 3.24/5.00
Median: 3.33/5.00
The Harmony 890 upgrades the 880 with new RF capabilities - control equipment that's not in your line-of-sight! It also features a color LCD screen, activity-based concept for up to 15 devices, web-enabled setup with USB connection, television program guide and a rechargable lithium ion battery.
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the Harmony 890 remote.
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Written by jtfogbank from Sononma.
The reviewer has used this remote control for under 1 month.
Review 4 made on Wednesday December 27, 2006 at 2:43 AM.
Also owned:Sony RM-VL710
Sony RM-AV2500
Strengths:None to think of.
Weaknesses:Poor ergonomics-Important buttons too small, poorly backlit.
Much touted rechargable battery? Try and find a replacement locally.
Cumbersome, time consuming, tedious, non-effective programing. If you are not a "tech" person, this software is going to drive you wild.
Review:I'm amazed that some people put up with every weakness that I'm going to mention and still give this product three stars or more.
Why do people pay so much money for such punishment and shortcomings? I'm not one of them. I'm getting a refund.

All the promises this product makes are moot since it refused to power up my father-in-law's newish Sony TV. After 10 hours of laborous programing it shot itself in the foot since it was intended to solve the clutter of 5 remotes being used to watch TV and DVDs.

For starters there is no indication that the battery is "charging". On every other device I've used in my life (with a display) there is some indication that charging is taking place. Not on this thing. Speaking of the battery. I nearly couldn't get the battery cover off until I discovered the trick of NOT placing your thumb where logic dictates it should be to remove the cover. And make sure you have a coin or screwdriver to disloge the battery.

Poor backlighting:
The backlight makes the buttons more difficult to read in any lighting condition except pitch blackness. The buttons appear to have black text on silver but pick it up and the blue backlight obilterates numbers and letters producing just a blur. The lightsource appears to be deep in the plastic of the buttons so the illumination changes dramatically with just minor movements of your hand. Some buttons become nearly unreadable when the backlight comes on. Isn't this "feature" supposed to work the other way around? The big Activities and Help buttons at the top are good examples of what I mean. The smaller eight activity buttons on either side of the screen have backlighting dots the diameter of a sewing needle which means they are virutally invisible even in complete darkness. And you have no choice to defeat the button backlighting since it is linked with the screen.

Small buttons:
The volume and channel select buttons have the smallest labels and the poorest backlighting and are not easily distinguishable just by finger feel. Certainly not compared to most Sony remotes which make these important buttons fall naturally under thumb. Once you do find them there is very little tactile feedback to confirm you are pressing a button. The mute button is just above the volume + key but has no differential feel.

10 hours, no success. I'm sending it back. My in-laws don't have a laptop and their computer is down stairs on the other side of the house. I got a good workout at least.
Why should anyone have to suffer with a website that doesn't recognize scrolling in this day and age? Logitech makes scrolling mice for pete's sake. This is just simply ridiculous and there is no excuse for it. There are website pages in which you cannot keep all the information on screen (even maximized) and you are forced to use up/down and left/right buttons. Naturally you can no longer see the row and colum headings so you have to move around or try to remember them.

There is a "Tips" box in the upper right of the programing software. The problem is sometimes these "tips" are very important and other times not. And sometimes they are the exact same text that are in the programing step. The tips are so brief why put them in a box far off to the other side of the main instructions? The software also says "updating remote" when in fact you are updating the repeater it just insisted you plug in. Poor, poor, poor. Didn't anyone beta test this?

You have to update the RF/IR repeater every single time you make a change to the remote even if the changes you made are not for the devices it controls. This adds several minutes to every single update you make. Heaven forbid you installed the repeater and all it's associated wiring in a cabinet because you'll have to yank it back out again.

There is no way my elderly in-laws would have gotten this thing to function as promised. It requires too much time on very poorly designed, clumsy software. Add to that the tiny, anti-backlight buttons and you have a product that deserves more bad reviews like this one to save potential future customers needless grief.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by eruffbug from tn.
The reviewer has used this remote control for under 1 month.
Review 3 made on Sunday December 10, 2006 at 3:27 PM.
Also owned:sima , rotel
Strengths: it's pretty
Weaknesses:Multiple software and firmware updates are required before alowing configuration, this takes up to 1.5 hrs. Next, when ever you are able to config the unit the website dosn't have the I.R. codes/ configs for older components. such as a Sony 200 disc cd changer cdp cx250 or my reciever, the Carver HTR-880. Then when I had to go to manual learn mode the thing still could not even power on or power off these components
Review:In short this unit is JUNK! with poor ergonomics, poor loyout and design, poor quality and even poorer customer service, these guys were woried about how I had made my conections on the reciever when the remote couldn't even power up the reciever. DON'T WAST YOUR MONEY and more importantly YOUR TIME !
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by thursday from stratford, ct.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-2 years.
Review 2 made on Thursday November 23, 2006 at 10:50 AM.
Also owned:Pronto TSU3000, Sony AV3000
Strengths:Excellent The harmony remote does everything it says it does.
The new software is easier to use and it works with all of the Harmony Remotes.
The new software makes connectivity with the RF extender work much better.
Weaknesses:Charging station doesn't charge.
RF Extender loses connectivity with remote. It's a process to get it to connect again.
You have to take the extender out of the cabinet to update it every time you add a command or change anything. Sometimes these wires are fished through and are very difficult to extract.
Make sure you take away all of the other remotes and steal their batteries so the customer can't use their Cable remote and get everything out of sync.
Sometimes you spend hours between calling tech support and getting the website to recognize the remote or the extender.
Review:I am a Harmony Dealer and thoroughly enjoy this remote. Harmony is a young company that is getting better all the time. Their tech support is some of the best in the business. They are helpful, cheerful and patient.
When they finally get it right this remote will be the finest remote out there.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by brucefan from Lanesboro, MA - U.S.A..
The reviewer has used this remote control for under 1 month.
Review 1 made on Monday October 16, 2006 at 8:29 PM.
Also owned:Integra Chad (Pronto style)
Strengths:All keys and displays are lit
Rechargeable battery
Allows ANYONE to use your system (no phone calls when wrong button pressed)
Ease of use and setup (web site leaves a lot to be desired, but works)
Activity based is like having a specific remote for each activity - awesome
Weaknesses:Not possible to share configurations (device configurations in particular)
Device and Activity "pages" can only be accessed sequentially (cannot create "jump menu" (e.g., A/V Setup: Dsp, Levels, Options) like you can on the Pronto
Placing remote in charger is definitely a challenge.
Possibly cost, but I would say it is worth it.
Review:Imagine pressing a single button called "Watch A DVD" and having your A/V receiver turn on, switch to the proper input, lower your powered screen, turn on your projector, turn on your subwoofer, turn on you DVD player, dim the lights and away you go. If it could cook the popcorn, you wouldn't even need a microwave oven. That's how simple it is to use the Harmony 890 remote. And you don't have to write a single macro. That level of functionality is pretty much "out-of-the-box" after you enter your device list. Activities such as Watch TV, Watch DVD, Listen to Radio, etc are created automatically after you enter your devices and answer some simple questions (e.g., to Watch A DVD, your A/V amplifier should be set to what input -- and all applicable inputs are listed including the recommended default). Once YOUR "system knowledge" is programmed into the remote, no one else needs to know how everything is "hooked up", they only need to know what Activity they want. And if you want more control, you can add Custom Buttons to each Activity if you want.
I guess the best way I can summarize is this: when you select an Activity, it's like you picked up the remote for the primary device (e.g., the DVD remote for Watch A DVD) but you still have other often used buttons (e.g., DSP modes for
your A/V Receiver, Aspect Ratio for your TV or Projector, mute and volume controls for your A/V Receiver).

The 890 uses RF to send signals to the IR Extender which in turn sends IR commands to your equipment, no commands are missed, so the remote always knows the state of your system. Not that missed commands are a problem. With the Help Assistant, if something doesn't go right, you will be asked simple yes/no questions until everything is the way you want. For instance, I originally configured my Projector to "not turn on or off". Every time I selected an Activity that used the Projector, it would not turn on. I simply pressed the Help Assistant which asked, "Is your Projector turned on?". I said, "No." and it turned it on for me. My son, who is 15 years-old, had never even seen the remote before. He was watching TV when I found him with it. He had used the Help Assistant to turn the Projector on and he had no problem. No instruction, no manual, no explanation. As far as I'm concerned, it doesn't get any better than that.

As others have stated (880 reviews), the buttons are small. However, because they are ALL lit, they are easy to find, even in the dark. Also, and I don't know why because the remote seems to fit nicely into the cradle, the remote doesn't make good contact with the charger, resulting in a "beep fest" (one beep indicates the remote is charging, two beeps means you removed it from the cradle -- except for one thing, you haven't touched it!). Lastly, the Java Utility that is provided is REALLY BAD! I think you need to install it, but you don't have to use it (unless you want to create stress in your life). You can use the Web Site directly ( which is better but not great. The biggest problem is it takes almost 5 minutes to update the remote (about one MB of data, DSL and USB 2.0 -- it just shouldn't take that long). I really wish it were possible to share setups (like the Pronto), particularly for devices. Listing all possible discrete codes for a device, in alphabetical order, particularly when a lot of them don't work is not the best "default" setup for a device. For example, my Hitachi 50" RPTV is suppose to have discretes for Input Video 1, Input Video 2, etc. They are listed in the device mode for the remote. However, they don't work (and didn't with my Chad/Pronto either).

I would highly recommend this remote for anyone that wants to setup their system for others to use, especially for Projector owners that want to use their system in the dark. My DirecTV H20 remote drove me to the Harmony because I (too) often found the wrong buttons in the dark. I'm glad it did!

Quality: Features: Value:

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