"Frustrating set-up experience"2.5 starson by recoveringgeek
Pros: great UI, ease of use after setup
Cons: ridiculous over-engineered security,
Summary: The upside is that the device works. It really does. The screen is bright and the graphics are intuitive. The buttons are big and tactile, and the response is good. My wife can use it, which is a miracle. Happily, all of the problems can be fixed easily with a little software written by someone with a modicum of common sense.
The problems are all about the over-engineered set-up and security process. Ultimately, we could not get the device loaded without several grueling hours of Level-2 support and a back-door fix that would make a dandy installation process.
The concept is great. You go to a website, pick out your devices, organize your activities (e.g. play a DVD, watch TV, etc), then download the "program" to your device through a USB cable. Seems simple enough, no?
Unfortunately, they've turned this intuitive and straightforward approach into a horror show of unnecessary technical complexity and user hostile troubleshooting. Ultimately, in order to get the program onto the device, the support folks at Logitech had to send me an email with a self-installing file containing the program I'd assembled on the website...which makes me wonder why they didn't use that approach in the first place! Instead, the way it works is that there's a website, a piece of client-side software for your PC, a driver for the device, and then code on the device. According to their support folks, they've designed the configuration process such that when the USB cable is connected, the Harmony 1000 obtains its own IP address, and then communicates directly with the website. Of course this means that Vista, Norton, Cisco and the network need to be configured in a manner to permit such communication ---not a task for beginners. If it actually worked, it might be the ideal virus delivery mechanism!
Dealing with support was interesting, as well. They were nice enough, but they won't let you talk to them without a user-id, a password, the serial number of the device [conveniently located under the battery, written in a tiny font, and in a particularly light shade of gray on a white background -- 'nuff said], and the names/device types of two elements of your media environment (e.g. SIM-2 projector and Rotel DVD). I think this is intended to prove that I am, in fact, the owner of the control program safely stored on their website. Like it contains a Nike missle launch sequence? There's less security on my online checking account!
Suggestions to avoid installation torture. 1) set aside a good amount of time. 2) Have someone with superb eyesight under the age of 40 on hand to read serial numbers. 3) Use a Windows 2000 or earlier PC without security. 4) connect without a router or firewall. It should work like a charm !