Harmony branded remote controls have been in the market for many years now. They were originally made by Intrigue Technologies which were later acquired by Logitech back in 2004. Since the acquisition, we have seen a steady supply of new and improved Harmony remotes from Logitech. Each generation innovating a little more than the previous and the Harmony Smart Control is no exception.
The Logitech Harmony Smart Control as well as the Harmony Ultimate, differ from the previous remotes through the introduction of the Harmony Hub. The role of the Hub is to provide the one-touch access we are used to from the Harmony range across compatible Harmony remote controls and the Harmony Smartphone App available for iOS and Android. The Hub also enables the user to start dabbling with home automation.
“We’ve elevated the universal remote to the next level, taking a personalized approach to home entertainment,” said Joerg Tewes vice president of Logitech’s digital home business group at Logitech. “Furthermore, our Harmony product line is no longer just about entertainment access – we’ve designed the Logitech Harmony Ultimate so you can also control your home’s lighting. Now you can tune the TV, start a movie and adjust your lights to set the mood, with the touch of your finger.”
Opening the familiar Logitech packaging, we are greeted with:
- Harmony Hub
- Harmony Remote (non-display)
- Setup Guide
- Power Adapter
- MicroUSB Cable
No software is included as all the configuration is done in the “cloud” on MyHarmony.com but there are some minimum required specifications of the computer used to access the site:
- Windows XP, Vista, 7 or 8 with USB port
- Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later with USB port
- WiFi is required for the Harmony Hub
For the Smartphone app you will need one of the following devices:
- iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch running iOS 5.0 or later
- WiFi Enabled Android device running Android 2.3 or later
The app is available for download for free from the Apple AppStore and Google Play.
Configuring the Harmony System
Setup the Harmony Hub
The first thing that was required was to configure the Harmony Hub. This was done via MyHarmony.com and enabled the hub to connect to the local WiFi network.
Once the Harmony Hub was configured to work of WiFi, the rest of the configuration process was fairly simple. You have the choice of continuing the process via MyHarmony.com or via the mobile app. For this review, the rest of the configuration was performed on my Sony Xperia Z (Android 4.2.2).
The Logitech Harmony Smart Control was a breeze to install and configure. It worked straight up with my TV, iMac and XBMC combo. Another great feature was that the hub provided a seamless user experience across any remote device paired with it. You could start an activity with your phone, grab the remote and continue where you left off. The remote would already know (via the hub) what activity was currently selected and all the appropriate devices loaded.