Pros Feels nice
Cons Inaccurate database
Summary Even though my tv's exact model number was in Harmony's database, the remote was unable to control my tv! It was unable to change the input (it just caused the menu to be displayed), and what it was trying to do wasn't even close to how my tv works! Plus, it only knew of a sub-set of my tv's buttons, and a couple of those buttons were swapped.
Fine, the remote is supposed to be programmable. However, even though I know perfectly well how to use the remote that came with my tv, Harmony's software would not let me simply enter that information. Instead, it lead me through a series of questions that were so dumbed-down that they are vague. And the remote kept losing sync with the software (the software would finish "learning", but the remote would still say "learning" on the screen), so I was constantly needing to unplug and plug in the remote.
I eventually gave up and called tech support, but first-level tech support didn't even try to resolve my problem and opened a ticket for second-level tech support to call me back... which they never did. After another 45 minutes in two hold queues and talking to a first level techie again, I finally got through to second level support, where we spent yet another 45 minutes of him remotely changing the profile, and me downloading it to the remote and testing it, and repeating about 5 times before it got all of my tv's functionality. The tech support guy admitted that they don't test most equipment! Instead, it seemed like they were using me to add my tv to their database!
Pros Controls Sony HD TV, Pioneer Elite Receiver, Directv Sat , Sony DVD, Panasonic VCR, & Sony LD flawlessly. Activities control is a winner!
Cons PC setup takes some doing. Be patient.
Summary After taking the plunge into HD in Janurary, and purchasing a new Sony Bravia XBR40 LCD TV, a Pioneer Elite 72vsx Receiver, Sony DVP-NS70H DVD player, & a Directv H-20 Sat receiver and adding them to my Panasonic VCR & Sony LD player, my remote situation was most intimidating...especially for my wife.
Heard about & read reviews on Harmony remote products. I was intrigued but skeptical.Then read CNETs review of the new 550. Sounded too good to be true. Read several other reviews, all of which convinced me to go to Best Buy & look at a 550 & its stabelmates 1st hand.
The 550 looked great & felt great in hand. Spending nearly $150 for a remote may seem crazy, but after a weekend of living with my new toy, I can't praise it enough!
It works just as advertised!The 'Activities' button has brought all my electronics gear under control. I can now control 'everything', from listening to AM/FM, to DVD movies, to the Direct TV Program Guide, etc, etc.
One beautiful looking 550 remote now sits on an 'uncluttered' end table, making my whole HD setup work the way it was intended. While leaving the Family Room looking neat as a pin.
My only issue was in the PC setup. Took about an hour, including a call to Logitech tech support. They walked me through an issue I created by going a bit too quickly through the setup proceedure. They were very helpful and once the 550 was programed, all has worked like a dream!
I love it.
"Buy one today."on by lstockett
Pros price, ease of programming, compatibilty
Cons No RF capability, Software ran a little slow
Summary This product exceeded my expectations in almost every way.
It only took about 15 minutes to get it programmed so I could use it with my Denon AV receiver, DirecTV HD DVR, Panasonic Plasma, and cheapo $35 DVD player. Basically, everything just worked. After another 30 minutes of tweaking and generally playing around with advanced features I had it doing exactly what I wanted.
Compatibility is impressive. I assumed I'd need to go through some kind of painful "learning" process to get it to work with my cheapo Tru-Tec DVD player. But no, I entered the model number and it just worked. It can even control my iPod Touch via Apple's Universal dock. Functionality for that is limited to what the Apple remote could do, but I'm impressed that it can even do that.
I can't imagine a more intuitive design. It's almost as good as a user interface designed by Apple. I'm pretty sure that family members and other guests will finally be able to turn on the TV all by themselves instead of puzzling over four or 5 remotes.
It would be nice if it had RF capability. The setup utility ran a little slowly, even on my dual core laptop.
OTHER MODELS CONSIDERED -
I thought about buying the Logitech 670 instead because it looked more ergonomic in the pictures online. After I got to the store and played with both of them I was sold on the 550. It's slightly less expensive, looks and feels more solid, and has a better display. The button placements feel better to me too.
Pros There are none
Cons waste of time and money
Summary I bought this remote and was all fired up and ready to rock. I opened the box, loaded in the software, loaded up my devices and I was rolling along for a week then it died! No biggy, I just took it back and got another. After going thought the process again I was fat dumb and happy until a few weeks later the display died! Now I am getting a bit mad, so I called Logitech to just send it back and let them look at it. Logitech wanted me to use on I.E. for TS the remote, they wanted me to turn off ALL security features on my network and computer, no firewalls, no pop-up blockers, no spyware, no virus protection... all must be turned off just to TS the unit. Well I was unwilling to turn off my firewall and expose my network to the world. Logitech said "until you turn off all your security systems we are unable to help you TS your unit". So I said OK, I'll just send it to you guys, just give me an RMA and they said NO! They said until we check your unit out over the net we can NOT issue you an RMA, we must TS via the net before we RMA. So I said that is nuts, my remote is broken, it is a few weeks old and the display died in my hands, you are telling me unitl I spend 30+ min. turning down cisco fire walls, turning all my security features off you will not fix my new unit... They said YES! I said well just say you can't communicate to the unit at all and then give me an RMA, she said NO! So at the end of the day I have a broke unit a few weeks old that Logitech REFUSED to fix!!! I am taking it back today and will buy another MX-500 remote, a fare better remote with much better cutomer/tech service. Logitech gets F- as a grade and I'll never buy from them again, I am not going to expose 10 Sun Ultra-1000 boxes to the world for a remote. Oh by the way did I tell you that they wanted me to go to a friends house it and it there! REALLY what kind of third rate crap is that!Updated
Sorry for the spelling issues etc. I am steaming over this!
"Great Universal"on by Kiadii
Pros Size, and user interface
Cons Can be intimidating
Summary The Harmony 550 is like a Porsche 911 Turbo compared to the Cadillac Escalade like Marantz RC 2000 MKII I used to use. Both are very nice, but one is pretty big and clunky. The Harmony software is user friendly (Mac OSX) and the user interface on the remote is seamless. I don't have many components: 6.1 surround AV receiver, DVD player, plasma TV, Comcast DVR and an iPod connected to my receiver. The 550 controls every aspect of every device and I imagine it could handle much more.