"Great remote and features for the price"4.5 starson by jamesrbruner
Pros: Programming the remote via computer from device model numbers, learned buttons automatically update the centralized website database. Remote lasts about a month between charging. Being able to assign macros and control room lighting.
Cons: Can be troublesome if your devices do not have a button dedicated to a specific input. If the remote needs to cycle through your device inputs, it could be hit or miss if it lands on the right one when turning on the TV or Receiver.
Summary: Overall this is by far the best universal remote I ever owned. Programming was simple, just look up the model numbers of the items I wanted to control and it automatically downloads the buttons into the remote after downloading the software and registering the remote at the Harmony website. You get 90 days of free technical phone support from the time you register. I love the color screen and the ability to program up to 23 favorite channels and even download their logos right into the remote. Harmony has a website for it and you can even use logos meant for the other remotes in their series.
The remote lights up when you move it or shake it and all of the buttons light up except the ones above the computer screen (activity buttons), very easy to use in the dark. You can even control the light duration and turn off the motion feature. The batteries seem to last a month between charges, and it only needs to be charged for 3 to 4 hours.
I spent a lot of time tweaking the remote during the first week I had it. Afterwards, I only had to update it when coming across buttons I forgot to add or reorganize the existing buttons to make it more efficient when different situations came up. I just had to modify my existing settings on their website and download it again into the remote, takes about 5 minutes each time. The remote can also control my lighting, and other items such as appliances.
The color screen is clear and easy to read. It contains 4 quadrants with 2 buttons on each side controlling the items that are not listed as stand alone buttons. You can even duplicate the other stand alone buttons on the remote and organize what button shows up in each quadrant and page if several of them exist. The 3 buttons at the bottom of the screen allow you to page over to additional screens if needed, the middle button allows you to select between Devices and Activities. Devices are the modes like any other standard remote. If in DVD mode, the remote only controls DVD functions, if TV is selected, it only controls the TV functions. The Activities option is a mode where you can blend different devices together for a certain purpose. When I select Watch DVD...my TV turns on, flips to HDMI1, Receiver turns on, flips to HDMI2, Blu-ray player turns on, tray opens, overhead lights either turn on or turn off after several seconds, channel up and down become Chapter Up and Down on the Blu-ray player, Volume Up and Down control the receiver volume, all with the press of the Watch DVD activities button. To switch to different activities, you need to hit the All Power Off button, and everything turns off, then press the next activity button and those devices will turn on and the remote will be configured to work in that mode. It sounds complicated, but the software allows you to set this up fairly easily, and tweaking it is simple after you get use to the process.
If you had someone set up your system for you, make sure they are the ones programming the remote because you'll need to know what inputs are used in each device and how each of them were wired. An example would be TV is connected to the Reciever's HDMI 1 port and the TV's audio out is connected to the Reciever via its TV In Input, VCR works on Channel 3 on the TV, etc.
If there is a button missing after downloading everything, you can have the remote learn the missing button from the original remote. The neat thing is that the learned button also goes back to the Harmony website and if anyone else has that same device in the future, your button will be available for them when they do their download. I thought that was very interesting. Overall a very good remote and a definite improvement from the older ones I use to use.