I don’t like universal remotes. I never have. They are a pain to program because you have to look up a magic code that can be anywhere from four to four hundred characters long and then enter it into the remote while a colored LED is flashing a specific pattern that you initiated by pressing certain buttons in a specific order. Inevitably, the LED will stop flashing when you are only half way through entering the code and then you need to start all over again. After going through this a few times, you come to find out that you needed to enter one of the other codes for your TV/VCR/DVD player. Ugh…
I recently received a new Logitech Harmony One remote control from work. I’ve had it long enough to familiarize myself with it a bit and have to say that I absolutely love it. When I first saw it, I couldn’t have cared less. Then I came to discover that there’s no codes to enter; everything is done using your computer and the internet. Now that’s what I’m talking about!
Configuring the remote is simple; just enter in the make and model of your devices and then follow the on-screen instructions. The software asks how you use a particular device and if it’s used in conjunction with any other devices then sets everything up.
The remote even has a favorites feature. It works like speed dial but gives you the option to upload icons to represent the channel. I found some great looking icons and use this feature more than anything else on the remote. My only complaint is that it limits you to 24 favorites. I flip between a lot more channels than that but somehow I’m managing to survive.
Right now I have my remote configured to run everything in our family room and bedroom. Once the basement is finished, I’ll set it up for that as well.
If you’re thinking of getting a new universal remote, I strongly suggest a Harmony One. It’s a bit pricey at $200+ but it’s definitely worth it.