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Logitech Harmony 880 Remote

A few weeks ago I mentioned that the Logitech Harmony 520 caught my eye. A friend of mine mentioned that he could get me the Harmony 880 for about the same price as the 520. I took him up on the offer.

Unfortunately, I may be returning it soon. The remote set up easily, but now hangs any time I try to connect it to the computer. It just sits there, the computer says it's trying to "initialize the remote," and nothing happens. For hours. I emailed Logitech support mid-day on Friday and have yet to hear back from them.

The remote was still set up, so I put it to the test this weekend. I was flipping through the Steelers game and then the 84 Lumber Classic, both recorded on TiVo, and was making ample use of the buttons. I discovered that the default button layout is pretty bad. "Thumbs Up" and "Thumbs Down" are not even across from each other on the screen. Several buttons (like slow motion playback) are simply missing, and without being able to make changes on the Web (it too is stuck at step 5 in the "setting up your remote" process due to the hang when initializing). The remote itself is pretty lame as well - row after row of buttons that feel quite similar. No round buttons, no plastic, etc. I'll take the plastic peanut (my TiVo remote) any day of the week - that thing is a marvel of human interaction.

Plus, the Harmony 880 seemingly won't let me set up both a PlayStation 2 and a GameCube. I can only have one "Play Game" command. How silly is that? Perhaps I could work around this in some way, but again, the Web interface is stuck at setting up my remote.

Frankly, I'm not sure I switch from using the TiVo to doing things like playing games or watching a DVD frequently enough that the Harmony is at all worth it. And, given its shortcomings, it may simply be worse than taking a minute or two to find the right remote when I do want to put in a DVD.

Maybe I can return it to Best Buy or Circuit City for store credit… at full price. 😛

5 Responses to "Logitech Harmony 880 Remote"

  1. I really like my One for All av Producer 8 (which may or may not still be available). Using programs found on the JP1 forums and a build it your self serial cable, you can program the remote any way you want.

    And the buttons have texture, along with different shapes.

  2. We use the TiVo 90% or more of the time. I think I'll just stick with the peanut.

    FWIW, I returned the thing to Best Buy today. They assumed it was unopened and I didn't bother to correct them. I now have $264.xx in Best Buy credit. 😛

  3. My Harmony 880 is working just fine, and you may have a bummer one. Only a few reviews of this out there worth posting a link to, but this review is pretty good. It also gives you a comparison:

    Of course, $250 is a lot of money for a remote, so if it doesn't work for you, then I would just buy something that works for under $30.

  4. I just bought the harmony 880 and absolutely love it. I just had a 10,000 dollar system set up and was using 5 remotes. This remote now works everything and has all the functions for every remote. Not to mention this remote was one of the only ones that will work your dvr functions. And was extremly easy to set up. Its all set up by the computer and if the remote doesnt work some of the functions the way you want it, its very simple to change it to what you want. I love this remote and recommend it for everyone.

  5. Complicated system and the 880 does a fine job. Maybe you have too much junk tied together or unrealistic expectations. You can easily spend $1500 on a remote and $1500 more on the software to run it!!!!! Maybe you need to spend more money to play with your toys!!!!!1