Moving on to the black keys, the [Power] button in the top-left corner fares similarly to its silver brethren, while the large [Activities] key below the screen proves another sticking point. It protrudes no more than the thickness of two sheets of paper above the case (if you were curious, 0.008 inches or 0.22mm), and has almost no perceptible key travel or tactile feedback. It almost feels like it’s being pushed into the remote. On the plus side, the Harmony 1000’s slim and lightweight case is held easily in either hand, with the sculpting on the back providing a comfortable and secure grip. A small amount of lateral twisting is possible when enough pressure is applied, but the case nonetheless feels solid with no creaking.
The printed documentation included with the Harmony is slimmer than the remote itself. The only significant piece is a “Getting Started” guide written in four languages that unfolds much like a roadmap. The guide plods through mundane steps like plugging the AC/DC adaptor into a wall outlet and creating an online account, and then has the Harmony completely programmed and operational in 3 steps. There’s no real preparation for exactly what’s going to be involved in configuring the remote; no helpful list of questions and answers to refer to during programming. A full online user manual that can be optionally printed out is available, but it can only be found after users have registered with Logitech and completed initial setup. I understand that printing costs money, but I’d rather have a hard copy of that documentation in the box than... well, a magnetic latch on the box.
Through the opaque glass.
The Harmony RF Wireless Extender (which obviously went through the Department of Naming Redundancy Dept.) is an optional accessory for Harmony 1000, 890 Pro and 890 models that adds true non-line-of-sight operation over all of your infrared equipment from up to 100 feet away. The wireless extender operates at 900MHz, above the norm of 418MHz or 433MHz typically used for remote controls. Due to the less busy frequency, this should result in reduced interference and more reliable control from greater distances. Technically Harmony uses the Z-Wave communications standard, however Logitech has not enabled any third-party Z-Wave capabilities into the 1000 so, for now, it’s a moot point.
Priced at $99 USD MSRP, the extender is a small half-moon shaped device that measures 3.3” wide, 3.1” deep and 1.0” high (8.4cm by 8.0cm by 2.5cm). In that compact space it manages to pack in four 3.5mm IR emitter ports labeled A through D, a USB port, a [Connect] button, and a wide-angle infrared blaster. Three LEDs indicate Status, Power and RF reception. The antenna is completely internal.
The extender’s built-in IR blaster can be used to cover a number of devices in close range, while the four bundled dual-head wired emitters can reach up to eight additional components. The extender allows individual addressing of its four IR ports, so multiples of the same model of equipment can be discretely controlled even if they lack separate IR codes.