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User reviews for the Harmony 659 / H659 / SST-659 from Logitech.
Harmony 659 / H659 / SST-659
RatingsReviewsMSRP (USD)
Average: 3.88/5.00
Median: 4.33/5.00
The Harmony H659 remote control features simple Internet-based programming via USB, Smart State control for easy system automatation, full backlighting, a redesigned user interface and a large complement of hard buttons!
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the Harmony 659 / H659 / SST-659 remote.
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Written by Todd Short from Massachusetts, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 12 made on Saturday February 7, 2004 at 8:34 PM.
Strengths:Hard keys. Supports "Activities".
Weaknesses:Internet access required for configuration. Non-standard configurations are difficult. Small hard keys. Too smart for it's own good.
Review:I tried this out for a day. It installed fairly easily, but it insists on an internet connection. This may make sense since Harmony is able to keep the device/code databases up to date. It uses the interesting concept of "Activities", which is something I tried to program into my original Pronto.

However, I encountered the following problems:

TiVo issues:

1. I have two TiVos, connected via an RF modulator to distribute video throughout the house. It was able to handle the video distribution, but it was unable to handle the cable/satelite combination. (I'm eventually going to cable-only, but this is a limitation.)

2. The default configuration for TiVo's does not define a TiVo button!

3. When you use the Off button, it turns off the TiVo output. This can happen with Sony TiVo's that have a "Power" (really display) toggle. I thought my Sony TiVo crashed (I even unplugged it to reset it). It does allow you to disable this.

Other issues:

4. The "Glow"/backlight stopped working after only a few hours. I even put in fresh batteries.

5. Some devices have a toggle on/off button, but also have discreet codes for on/off (e.g. Sony devices). The Harmony only supports the toggle on/off.

6. If it thinks devices are off, the [Off] button doesn't do anything.

7. It recognized my TV (Pioneer Elite PRO-510HD) as a monitor, despite the fact it has a tuner in it. So, I couldn't program it to "Watch TV" except through the VCR. I had to add the "TV" input myself. However, I was able to set it to use the TiVo's on the RF modulator (channels 120 and 124).

8. It recognized my Receiver (Yamaha HTR-5280/RX-V800) but didn't identify the inputs correctly (inputs were mislabeled and missing).

9. It recognized my DVD player (Sony DVP-CX875P), but not as a jukebox. It thought it only had one disk (really 300). It also didn't work right away, because it supports multiple DVD IR codes (as do Sony CD players). It allows you to change the code set (I had it at two to avoid conflicts with the Sony PS2 DVD controller), but it doesn't ask you up during the programming guide. At first, I thought it didn't recognize the DVD player.

I returned it after 1 afternoon's use. I guess I'll have to get a USB serial adapter to reprogram my Pronto TS1000.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by GuyJ from IL, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 11 made on Thursday February 5, 2004 at 6:30 PM.
Strengths:User interface
Weaknesses:some buttons are hard to press
Review:I don't understand when other reveiwers are saying that the set-up isn't easy. I guess these people don't know how to read. This Mac OS X user had the whole thing programmed an ready to go in about 30mins. Including a 10 year old laserdisc player. Besides some of the buttons are a little hard to press, this is one of the best remotes I've owned.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Ed Smith from MD, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 10 made on Saturday January 31, 2004 at 8:49 AM.
Review:All components were listed on website, no problems with download, cable modem.
Everything worked on 1st try even dvd/vcr combo. I went back and added a few extra buttons for Home Theatre System with little or no effort. The extra buttons automatically loaded for other activities too.

Very Happy Customer
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Marty B from Bay Area California.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 9 made on Friday January 30, 2004 at 11:47 PM.
Strengths:Slick website - promises the world!
Weaknesses:Not ready for prime time, not worth the expense.
Review:Intrigue's website makes their remote controls sound like they're easy as pie to set up. They weave a picture that all you have to do is tell their internet-centric installation tool what equipment you have and everything is pretty automatic from there.


While their expensive plastic is pretty, it is far from easy to setup.

Want to play a movie on your DVD player? Sorry - that's not possible with onr button click. Do you expect to be able to switch from watching TV to watching a video, with the Harmony turning on and off the right equipment? Good luck... you're better off turning everything off each time you want to switch media. Have a DVD player with dolby encoding? Watchout! The Harmony managed to permanently remove my center channel sound from my DVD player.

The email support is about two days late in responding. Their telephone support is friendly and genuine in trying to be helpful. But they can't overcome a series of design flaws that prevent Harmony from delivering on the promises they make on their website.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Jeff from MO.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 8 made on Friday January 23, 2004 at 7:39 PM.
Strengths:Simple, slightly easy programming.
Weaknesses:Not yet sure
Review:I needed to replace a Sony Commander that grew legs and walked out of my house (happens with kids around), so I read many reviews. I wanted to replace it with someting a little more ergonomic so I chose the SST-659. I found the best price (not from the mnfctr) and it arrived via UPS within a week. I opened it, read the manual and got started. The remote froze before the first step was complete. After a call and a few e-mails (I was required to fax a copy of my original bill of sale!!!), I was instructed to order another from using my credit card! I now have to send it back at my own expense and hope that my card isn't charged and it gets back to be continued
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Bob Barndt from Pennsylvania,USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 7 made on Tuesday January 20, 2004 at 8:59 AM.
Strengths:Hard button layout,SST technology,one touch activity buttons
Weaknesses:Some buttons stick and some equipment not in there data base yet.
Review:I have owned about every remote made in the last 10 years from $1000.00 and under including the Philips TSU1000 and TSU6000 and this remote is the best yet. With all the others I found myself grabbing the original remote because I didn't want to go through all the differant screens to get to the button I wanted. With this remote you just hit 1 button to get to get to what you want. The SST technology really works. It knows what state all of your components are in and controls accordingly. It takes a long time to get setup if you are a perfectionist but thats because they have so many options to choose. But when your done you will find it was worth it. I bought one for my theater and now I am going to buy one for my den. I don't have much equipment in my den but I like the remote so much I want this to be the only one I use.
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Written by Robert Steck from Pipersville, PA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 6 made on Saturday January 17, 2004 at 5:45 PM.
Strengths:USB setup was easy and the list of devices on their website is awesome. The one-button activities idea was my wife's favorite feature.
Weaknesses:Could not get it to work with my Dish 501 PVR the way I wanted it to. Did not like the button feel and the LCD buttons especially required too much force to activate.
Review:While I was very excited about the promise of this remote and I received one of the first units, eventually I returned it to Harmony. I was unable to program my Dish 501 PVR correctly. No matter which setup I selected, a feature that was important to us was either missing altogether or burried under several levels of LCD soft screens. Fot $199 plus shipping I was not going to spend hours on the phone with tech service to get it right. If my family liked the "feel" of the buttons I probably would have spent the time to get the programming the way we would like. While I returned mine, I am pretty certain that Harmony tech would have helped if I had the patience to do so.
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