Benabik Alvar (benabik) wrote,
Benabik Alvar

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Best remote ever...

I just bought a Logitech Harmony 550 Advanced Universal Remote. Wel, by just I mean yesterday. And I didn't buy it because it was a shiny. Well, okay, I did. But it wasn't my idea. I described what it does to Becky and it suddenly became something we had to have.

What is it? USB programmed learning universal remote.

Why's it so neat? Pick it up, press the "Watch DVD" button and point it at the entertainment center. It turns on the TV, surround sound system, and DVD player. Sets the TV to Aux. Sets the Surround to DVD. Presses play on the DVD. It will skip turning on some of these if they were already on.


Basic setup is pretty simple. Download the software (driver and a program that appears to be a simple wrapper around a web browser) and run it. You have to make an account (only part I don't like). Tell it what remote you have. Tell it what devices you have. From what you tell it you have, it will suggest activities like "Watch DVDs", "Watch PVR", and "Play Video Game". It then asks you how they're connected. (Questions like "what do you use to control the volume?" and "what setting does the TV use?")

Doing detailed setup can be very irritating. It doesn't always know exactly what your systems can and can't do, so removing and changing buttons is key... But fortunately, fairly easy to do. If a button doesn't work, you can hit teach it the right code by using your old remote, and it fixes it everywhere it uses it. (Different layouts for different activities. Pretty cool.)

But now I have all the devices and activities laid out exactly the way I want it. Took a couple hours, but now I have...


Tags: gadget, remote

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