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Logitech Harmony 1000 Review
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Watching what you like.
When Logitech discontinued the television program guide feature on the entire Harmony line, they left one small memento: the favorite channels capability. For the Harmony 1000 this means that each television-viewing activity can have up to 24 favorite channel macros spread over 3 pages, accessed by a heart-shaped icon in the top-right corner of that activity. Entering a new favorite simply involves typing in the name (5 or 6 characters is the displayable limit) and channel number – the Harmony will automatically add any other commands that need to be sent with the number, such as [0] before short numbers or [Enter] at the end, based on the profile created for your model.

For decoration each favorite channel can have a small custom network logo attached. The software allows uploading full color icons in JPEG, PNG or GIF format. None are included with the software, and the icon size is smaller than that of other color Harmony remotes such as the 880 or 890. Nevertheless I attempted using icons prepared for those models – resizing something smaller usually has acceptable results – but alas that was far from the case here, with icons appearing jagged and fuzzy. The online help indicated that the correct icon size was 27 by 23 pixels, however even pre-resizing bitmaps to those dimensions continued to produce unacceptable results on the LCD.

After careful analysis I determined that the space occupied on-screen by the icons was 36 by 32 pixels, however they were being resized smaller and compressed heavily before being crudely re-enlarged for display on the remote. Conveniently, as I was finishing the writing of this review Logitech fixed the issue by finally accepting images in 36 by 32 pixel dimensions... although the problem had already existed for over a year.

There are two other places where custom graphics can be uploaded. The first is the background image used by all screens – Logitech provides several alternates if the default wavy blue one doesn’t suit, and also allows you to upload a custom 320 by 240 pixel image.

The second place is the remote’s built-in slideshow feature. When docked in the charger the Harmony can be configured to sequentially display static pictures, much like a digital photo frame. Up to eight 320 by 240 resolution images can be used, with a customizable delay between each photo. Two caveats to this feature: the Harmony tends to make a noticeable buzzing noise if the screen is on while docked, and the slideshow will only play until the LCD normally times out (which could be 10-20 seconds).

Speed up your remote in 4 easy steps.
One device option that doesn’t get much attention is “adjust the delays”. This is used to tell the Harmony exactly how quickly your devices are capable of responding to infrared commands. Up to four settings are available depending on the device: the amount of time after powering on before your device will respond to a command, the minimum amount of time between two consecutive commands, the amount of time after selecting an input before it will respond to the next command, and the amount of time after a command to another device is sent before it will accept its own commands. Values can be between 0 and 25 seconds, in 100 millisecond increments.

As I have commented on in previous Harmony reviews, the default values selected by the software are, in most cases, extremely conservative. Almost all of my devices came with a 400 or 500 millisecond setting for the “inter-key delay”, when I know for a fact that they will respond correctly at 100ms or less. At 500ms, if you quickly tap “Volume Up” eight times it will take the Harmony on the order of 4 seconds to finish sending those buffered taps. If you own a Harmony and your activity switching macros are taking a long time to run, or the remote just seems to be slow to respond to your button presses, it can be worth experimenting with reducing these values.

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