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User reviews for the Harmony 688 / H688 from Logitech.
Average: 3.64/5.00 Median: 4.67/5.00
The Harmony H688's futuristic design includes a wide range of buttons including PVR support, bright backlighting and an interactive LCD screen. Program the H688 over the Internet through the Harmony's unique Web Wizards.
The reviewer has used this remote control for more than two years.
Review 13 made on Saturday November 8, 2008 at 6:53 PM.
Numerous universal remotes, Sony RM-VL900, several early Harmony models, and just about every All-In-One.
Very flexible, easy to use, easy to program, automatically creates logical connections between equipment and activities possible with that equipment.
A bit pricey, the web site occasionally hangs up, and LogiTech's support hasn't been as good as Harmony's.
This (and the entire Harmony line) is an incredibly flexible universal remote. The library of supported equipment is very large and quite current.
The on-line programming is a bit tedious and often redundant, and the downloads proceed slowly. However, it's still faster than attempting to program any other universal remote with the same degree of complexity.
My remote supports a full rack of audio-visual equipment (not quite a "theater") and two zones of video and audio -- both fully customizable. The on-line programming takes a list of equipment model numbers and suggests a set of activities possible with that equipment. Additional activities can be created, and auxiliary equipment can be added to existing activities (e.g., using the TV to display the CD or XM-radio programming).
I have most activities set up to work in either of the two zones (living room and bedroom) with all of the main equipment (via a remote extender) but with control of the TV local to the zone I'm in -- or to track across both zones at the same time.
The reviewer has used this remote control for more than two years.
Review 12 made on Friday August 11, 2006 at 4:03 PM.
Various inexpensive Sony, RCA, and All4One remotes
Ease of use Versatility and flexibility
Battery life number pad
I orginally purchased this remote to quiet my vistors complaints over the number of remotes in my den. Also, because I was disappointed by the previous universal remotes I had used in the past. When I first heard of the Harmony remotes I was intrigued. As an owner I couldn't imagine going back.
While the first week or so with Harmony remotes is overshadowed by the setup process, living with this remote has been easy. With the exception of erratic behaviour as the batteries become low, and difficult to press 7 and 9 keys on the number pad, I have found this remote to satisfy my needs.
Everyone seems to be able to pick up the remote and figure out how to use it. It consistently switches between TV, DVD, Tivo, VHS, Radio, and PS2 without error. In fact, it works so well I've forgotten where the orginal remotes for some of my hardware is stowed.
A year ago I bought a second 688 and bought and setup an 880 for a relative. Other than the Tivo remote they had never operated any other devices using a remote (DirectTV, DVD, VHS, Radio)
Was very easy to setup online (except for the test drive issue covered in other reviews). Also had an issue with "Replace Battery" on the display, and inoperable remote until I pulled and replace the supplied batteries five times. Not sure what was going on here.Operated fine after that.
But... I can't honestly believe anyone at Logitech spent any time actually using this remote and thought the keypad layout and design were worthy of a $100 plus remote. I would rather use all my existing remotes than have to suffer with using the H688
The reviewer has used this remote control for 6-12 months.
Review 10 made on Sunday August 14, 2005 at 4:22 PM.
Replaced 4 remotes with one. Easy to use.
Buttons could be better
Just upgraded my satelite receiver and TV to HDTV. I spent a few minutes on the Harmony website updating to the new equipment and then a few minutes more to learn three infrared commands that weren't already on the website. Worked like a charm. This remote is easy to use and does what is says.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 9 made on Monday November 22, 2004 at 4:10 PM.
-very easy to use once setup -no delay between input on remote and result on the device -macros at top of the remote work really well.
-little to none when it comes to instuctions -the display constantly stays on draining batteries -still not sure about custom button setup
SETUP: This is where patience comes in. It didnít recognize all of my devices and I had to manually teach the remote buttons on my DVD player and also my digital cable remote. What made it worst was the digital cable box remote was generic and I had to program almost everything manually. Then you have to test it, my computer is in a different room and go back and forth until it worked.
The good news is once I put the effort in I have about 90% of all the buttons on all the remotes working; more importantly I have all the main important ones working. It did take about 3 days to figure out which buttons I was missing and which ones needed to be programmed so for me at least, I had to put in some time.
USAGE: The macros at the top watch TV, listen to music etc work really well. I love the fact that it turns on the TV, my receiver cable box and sets it too input2. When changing the volume it knows to use the receiver not the TV. The list goes on and on. I do have to admit the buttons are small, if they were larger the remote would be pushing the large side, after a while a got use to it and donít even notice it.
One thing I noticed is it sucked the first pair of batteries and I had remote for about a month. I was using check radio shack ones so that could have been the problem. Itís something I have to watch for.
As a FYI if you start to lose some of you functionality you may want to change batteries first. The OFF command wasnít turning off my TV which messed the sync up with everything else. I reprogrammed and set it back to factory defaults and it still didnít work. I decided to change batteries and viola it worked.
Overall I am very happy with the remote. It is a bit expense $249.99 CDN but it is a really good product. I experienced some the problems the first user did but not as severe, maybe I lucked out or my stuff isnít as complicated. Email support is very weak I had to call them about the cable but once I got a hold of them they sent me a new one fairly quick.
I think for what my family uses it for it fits fine, its comfortable to use, easy to use once its setup and the website setup page is nice if you ever want to add of change settings.
I was originally intrigued by the innovative web-based programing. The Java applets support both PC and Mac and the web site is well designed. I got my account set up, organized my device programming and downloaded the programming to the remote. Then the problems began. After reporting a sucessful download, the remote locked up, stuck in the "Welcome" screen. Battery removal didn't help so I followed the web troubleshooting guide and reset factory defaults. A second download resulted in the same problem. A third actually resulted in a working unit. So, after three hours, I was a happy camper.
... for about ten minutes. While trying to change the chapter on a DVD, the remote powered off and wouldn't respond to any keypresses. Assuming the original batteries had died, I replaced them. Twice. The unit remained completely dead. Then the REAL fun began.
Harmony customer support is evidently overseas. Abrevieted weekend hours meant I had to wait a day to contact them. After a very gruelling telephone call, the technician agreed to have an RMA issued. But the help desk IS NOT EMPOWERED TO ISSUE RMAs. He would send an email to the "RMA Department" who would contact me. Two more phone calls and a week later, I finally got an RMA issued. The original unit was to be returned only via international parcel post to Canada (no UPS or Fedex). And, of course, it was "lost" in transit. Harmony (Roxio) charged my credit card full retail for a new unit.
But prior to realizing they'd charged me for it, the replacement unit arrived. The programming worked correctly the first time and I got to actually use the remote.
The macros worked reasonably well. The remote tended to get my Tivo power control out of sync, turning it off when I switched to TV. Navigating to the correct screen to get it turned back on is a hassle. Also, since there doesn't seem to be a way to support volume control pass through, I have to change devices to change the volume. A real pain.
I find the ergonomic design of the Harmony 688 VERY poorly executed. The top row of colored fuction buttons are labeled with tiny black lettering and, since the color layer is opaque, are not illuminated by the backlight. Evidently the designers never tried to use the thing in a darkened home theater room. You need to turn on a bright light or use a flashlight to read these button labels. Very dumb design. The rest of the buttons are tiny and densly packed. I find them quite difficult to use. Also, there's no dedicated "advance" button for the Tivo, requiring navigation to a second LCD screen. Hardly what you want to do when trying to advanve through programming.
But... in general, the remote has been pretty functional. Until today. After operating for about two months, the replacement unit tonight went blank. A battery replacement resulted in the unit hanging at the "Welcome... press the 'next' button" screen. The rmote button assignments are now confused (the "glow" button doesn't work but the "media" button lights the backlight. The mute button seems to work but the "menu" button also sends a mute command. I have reset the unit to factory defaults, re-downloaded the programming twice now with the same result. The unit communicates with the web applet and reboots when the software tells it to. But the result is the same. Completely non-functional.
I now have paid $500 for one non-functional remote. I don't really want to go through this cycle again. If I order another exchange unit, they'll no doubt charge me another $250 and I'll still have a piece of junk. I'm done with Harmony. My next $500 is going to another company. I'll probably get the Pronto I should have bought in the first place.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 3-6 months.
Review 7 made on Monday October 11, 2004 at 4:08 PM.
PC setup Good number of buttons Easy setup of macros
Product reliability Battery consumption
I have had the remote for 4 months. In that time I have had severe difficulty in getting it to properly work with my Tivo unit, yet all other components worked fine. It was to the degree where I would have to point the remote away from the tivo for the commands to be picked up. Now the remote has locked up, and died. Needs to go back to Harmony.