Pros ?Backlighting is terrific
?Key layout is mostly very good
?Can operate the remote with one hand
?Touch screen works very well
?"List" key for my DVR!
?RGBY keys for my Blu Ray!
?Key-command assignment is very easy via the software
Cons ?The website is slow
?Cannot change order of device soft keys!
?Cannot move command soft keys from one page to another!
?The learning process needs improvement
?Learned commands should not be overwritten when editing other soft keys on the same page.
Summary I read many reviews before I bought this remote. From what I could see in the reviews, the software is cumbersome, but it appears to be a good deal for the money compared to the Harmony One or the Harmony 900. I bought the AR-RX18G at Best Buy on Sunday to replace my old Sony RM-AV3000. I started setting it up that night. I spent about three hours on it before I figured out that I couldn?t move devices so that the most frequently used ones are on the first page and also that I couldn?t move soft keys for a device from one page to another. So I decided to give up for the night and start over the next day.
Monday night, I deleted all the devices and started adding them again. To my surprise, they didn?t appear in the order I added them. I reset the remote to factory defaults (Settings > Reset > 981 > Factory Reset) and added the devices again. This time, they appeared in the order I added them. The web pages for searching for a device are VERY slow. However, once the devices were added, I was able to go to the Advanced button and see an image of the remote. This allowed me to click a button on the computer screen and select what function I wanted on that button. I was pleasantly surprised to find many more commands than what were available on my original remotes? including my RM-AV3000.
For the commands that were not on the website? I had to disconnect the remote from the USB cable in order to learn those commands from my original remotes. It would have been easier to do this via the website, but the learning function on the remote is not too difficult (it?s MUCH easier than the learning process on my old RM-AV3000!!!). The real problem with the learning process on the AR-RX18G is that I had to logout of the website and log back in so that I could upload the new commands from my remote. This is not an intuitive process and I might not have known about it without reading the reviews online. I think many users would miss this. It would be much easier if there was a button on each page to upload from the remote. This button should appear on the website right next to the ?download? button.
Also, there were a few inconsistencies with the learned commands. For example, if I learned a new command on a soft key, then edited any keys on that page via the software, my learned commands sometimes stopped working. In order for the learned commands to work reliably, I had to finish all my editing of the soft keys before doing any learning.
There was one strange thing about the device setup for my TV. When I added my RCA HD61LPW42 television via the software, none of the commands worked. However, when I tried adding the TV via the remote menus, it worked fine? and it was using the same T1447 remote code that the software had picked. Evidently, the commands for T1447 on the website are incorrect, but the ones stored in the remote work fine (with the only exception being the input selection? but I was able to learn those commands from my original remote).
As for all the reviews that mention how the Harmony remotes keep track of device states? that would be a nice feature to add to this remote. But, I?ve lived without it for years so I don?t think it?s a show-stopper. I have discrete on/off commands for my TV, receiver, and DVD changer. My other devices have power toggle commands. Basically, my ?All ON? activity turns on my TV, receiver, and cable box and sets them to the correct inputs for watching cable TV. From there, other activities set the correct inputs for other devices and stop short of actually turning on/off the device unless it has discrete on/off commands (like my DVD changer). It?s really no big deal to press the power button after the activity has done its thing. Besides, when I open the tray of the Blu Ray player, it turns on anyway. My ?All OFF? activity turns off the TV, receiver, DVD changer (it has a discrete ?off? command), and cable box. If other devices are left on, it?s really no big deal because they don?t draw much power and it?s easy enough to turn them off when I?m done using the system. The only one that might draw some power is the amplifier for my 2nd room audio, which goes to my back porch, but I don?t use 2nd room audio very often anyway.
To summarize, the setup process is frustrating. I spent three hours on Sunday only to find out that I had to start over in order to get my most frequently used devices listed on the first page. Then, I spent five hours on Monday night and an additional three hours on Tuesday night. I setup all my devices, all my favorite channels, three profiles, and most of my activities. The activities will probably require a little tweaking in the coming days, but I?m mostly satisfied with the remote. The IR is a little weak compared to my other remotes, but I plan to buy the RF extender anyway, so hopefully it will take care of the problem.
Pros easy to use, rf blaster rocks, can create multiple activities, the user interface is as good as logitech web interface.
Cons nothing i know of yet!
Summary I tried replacing my 890 remote with a 900, i had dropped the 890 too many times. After realizing that you are limited to 6 activities and the old blasters couldn't be used with 900. I took the 900 back the next day (today) and picked up the Acoutstic Resaerch XSight Touch! This thing was easy to setup, love the remote shape and feel much more, the dock to recharge beats the logitech easily.
I was able to use the individual ir pieces of the 890, so i didn't have to hook up new ir-blasters to the rf to ir converter box of the Acoustic REsearch. This thing replaced my 890 the way i expected the 900 to replace it.
The one thing I love is that the blaster doesn't have to be programmed everytime I update my settings.
I hope everyone gets this awesome remote instead of the Harmony 900.
Pros Easy to use, easy to set up. Looks great, responsive touch screen.
Cons Software isn't great, but it seems like they may have updated it since many of these reviews were posted. I had NO problems whatsoever on Win 7 or with USB connections.
Summary Took it out of the box, began adding devices. It picked up my TV and DirectTV HD-DVR on the first try, but while it had codes for my Sony receiver that worked for volume and other controls, none of the out-of-the-box codes would change the input (pretty important!). That being the case, I took it over to my PC, installed the drivers and registered for the website, and began configuring it through the software. In about 25 minutes I had added 4 devices and created the All On and All Off activities. It took me about 30 minutes to add channel favorites (some logos were missing, which makes the screen look less pretty, but oh well). I am disappointed I can't rearrange the order of the favorite icons, but I just read in another review that it may be possible, so I'll have to check that. I haven't set up any macros yet, but if they are as easy as the rest of the setup, I'll have it all up and running in under 2 hours. Very pleased so far, great product for the price!
Pros So far so good. It was easy to set up using the usb cable and a computer. Like a lot of people, my girlfriend and I have different favorite channels. We each have our own profile with our favorite channels.
Cons It is a smudge magnet and because of the touch-screen it can be hard to wipe clean.
Summary I've had dozens of universal remotes and this is the only one that I say met all my needs. It controls everything (TV, Stereo, Blu-ray, Receiver, DirecTV and DVR).
Pros The idea is good.
Cons Code library doesn't contain common devices. Setup process is tedious (and incomplete). Software and website is slow.
Summary If you want to spend $250 on something that won't work, just donate it to charity. Absolutely horrible execution of a product. The remote, nor the software, nor the website will deliver a code to set up my Samsung Cable/DVR or HK receiver. At this point, this thing isn't even more functional than the free remote from the cable provider. RIP OFF.