First Impressions of the Harmony One Remote – Wow Experience

imageA black Friday purchase of ours was a Harmony One remote.  Normally $250 we snagged one for $140 on Amazon.  This is the first time I’ve owned a Harmony remote, but I do have experience wasting hours trying to set up “universal” remotes that cost under $30.  I want all that time back now and I’m mad at myself for not doing this sooner!

  • The packaging was minimalist, but not a joyful experience like unboxing an iPhone.
  • The remote and base station, however, feel like they have a place in your entertainment center.  The proper weight and “shinyness” make it an attractive alternative to the 5 remotes you are about to put in a box. 🙂
  • The setup of the PC software took about 20 minutes to run before I could start configuring the remote. It seemed stuck on the part where it connected to the internet so it could have been an issue with my connection.
  • Once I could configure the devices the hardest part was looking up my model numbers.
  • I was shocked it had my 12 year old Sony amp and knew all the commands that the original remote had. I don’t have to get off the couch to set the base level now! 🙂
  • I was also shocked that I had to use my current Tivo remote to make it understand the Tivo button. 🙁
  • On the first pass it set up the proper macros for basic things like “watch TV” and they worked like a charm. 
  • It took me a long time to figure out how to create a truly custom macro. The option was hidden as a radio box choice.
  • The first thing my wife said was “I thought it would have a picture of Duncan (our dog) on it”. 
  • The second thing she said was “Why does it need a power cord?”  I’m personally hoping that it stays charged for decent stretches of time.
  • I realized I’m spoiled by the awesome iPhone touch screen so I wasn’t as impressed by the screen as I was hoping I would be.

Having said all this, I’m a big fan.  The configuration is 100x easier than entering all those arcane codes into remote controls.  Its unfortunate that Logitech doesn’t spend a little more time on the configuration software since you don’t get that first “This is awesome” experience until about an hour in when you test the “Watch TV” command.  I wish the software had that feeling as well. 

The lesson here is that you’ll get people to write blog posts about your product if you can get them to say “Wow” in the first hour of using it.  🙂

Now I’m just hoping that our dogs are past the whole “oh, a shiny dog bone!” stage so I can keep this thing around.