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Old 07-20-2006, 09:46 PM   #1
mtndave
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Which Harmony remote?

I have just updated my setup and am in need of a new universal remote.
For various reasons, a Harmony seems to be the best choice.
Here are the devices I want to control:
1) Panasonic PT-50LC13 LCD projection TV
2) Sony STR-K7000 receiver
3) Sony DVP-NC85h (2 & 3 from a Costco Hometheater set)
4) Sharp DV-RW2 DV recorder (used as a VCR)
5) Series 2 Tivo
6) Dish 622 DVR
7) Dish 322 (used by Tivo and guest bedroom)

The Dish receivers are set to different code frequencies so the remotes don't affect each other. Logitech says the Harmony remotes support this.
Note that I leave the Tivo and Dish boxes on all the time.

Anyway, I have been looking at the Harmony 520, 550, 659, and 680 and can't decide. What do you all think?

Thanks for any help.
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Old 07-20-2006, 11:34 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtndave
I have just updated my setup and am in need of a new universal remote.
For various reasons, a Harmony seems to be the best choice.
Here are the devices I want to control:
1) Panasonic PT-50LC13 LCD projection TV
2) Sony STR-K7000 receiver
3) Sony DVP-NC85h (2 & 3 from a Costco Hometheater set)
4) Sharp DV-RW2 DV recorder (used as a VCR)
5) Series 2 Tivo
6) Dish 622 DVR
7) Dish 322 (used by Tivo and guest bedroom)

The Dish receivers are set to different code frequencies so the remotes don't affect each other. Logitech says the Harmony remotes support this.
Note that I leave the Tivo and Dish boxes on all the time.

Anyway, I have been looking at the Harmony 520, 550, 659, and 680 and can't decide. What do you all think?

Thanks for any help.

Any of those will do everything you want. For me, it's all about the button layout, which is why I prefer the 676. The 659, 676, 680, and 688 have the "pic" and "sound" buttons.

http://www.remotecentral.com/cgi-bin...hread.cgi?4251
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Old 07-20-2006, 11:39 PM   #3
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The 880 has been "designed" for HDTV in mind. I highly recommend the 880 for your equipment set, you won't be disappointed. Also it is important to think of the number of "Activities" you will be doing. I will wager to guess that you plan on doing more than "Watch TV", "Watch DVD", "Play Music" & "Play Video." The 880 can custom tailor activities to meet your needs like, "Watch TiVo", "Watch Dish", Etc
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Old 07-20-2006, 11:41 PM   #4
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I'm lovin' my 880!
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Old 07-21-2006, 12:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terryfoster
The 880 has been "designed" for HDTV in mind. I highly recommend the 880 for your equipment set, you won't be disappointed. Also it is important to think of the number of "Activities" you will be doing. I will wager to guess that you plan on doing more than "Watch TV", "Watch DVD", "Play Music" & "Play Video." The 880 can custom tailor activities to meet your needs like, "Watch TiVo", "Watch Dish", Etc

The 880 can't do any more activities than the 659, 676, 680, and 688. It just has more one touch activity buttons.
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Old 07-21-2006, 07:20 PM   #6
mtndave
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Thanks for the help. I will have to look at the button layouts and decide which is best. Two more questions. I have big hands. Which one has the best-spaced buttons? And which has the best Tivo-centric buttons?
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Old 07-21-2006, 07:56 PM   #7
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I love my 628.
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Old 07-22-2006, 06:57 AM   #8
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I have the 676. I love it. It is excellent for TiVo because of the button layout. Any Harmony that you pick will work well. Just look at the button layouts and pick one that has the layout you like. I picked the 676 because the buttons are layed out like a "typical" vcr remote.
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Old 07-22-2006, 12:10 PM   #9
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I am bidding on an 890 on ebay, but have a 688. Can it be programmed for a series 2 tivo and the H10-250 HD DVR from Directv? I have set them up to work properly on the tivo remote using the 1 & 2 settings on the remotes. I cannot figure out how to change that setting on my Harmony.

thanks in advance kenny
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Old 07-22-2006, 12:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cherry ghost
The 880 can't do any more activities than the 659, 676, 680, and 688. It just has more one touch activity buttons.
Well, when you have more than one "Watch TV" activity, having only one "Watch TV" button makes these other remotes useless. I use the 880 and have more than one "Watch TV" activity - one is to watch SD thru a Series 2 tivo, one is to watch HDTV thru an HR10-250. Each one requires different inputs on the tv and different sound outputs and takes 4 native remotes to do correctly.

I also love my 880.
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Old 07-22-2006, 01:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annenoe
Well, when you have more than one "Watch TV" activity, having only one "Watch TV" button makes these other remotes useless. I use the 880 and have more than one "Watch TV" activity - one is to watch SD thru a Series 2 tivo, one is to watch HDTV thru an HR10-250. Each one requires different inputs on the tv and different sound outputs and takes 4 native remotes to do correctly.

I also love my 880.

The other Harmonys can also have more than one "Watch TV" activity. The 659, 676, 680, 688, and 880 all can handle up to 255 activities. I have 2 "Watch TV" activities on my 676, one to watch through my Tivo and one to watch through my Comcast DVR, both using different TV and receiver inputs. I have renamed them "Watch Tivo" and "Watch Comcast".
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Old 07-22-2006, 04:39 PM   #12
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Getting a 628 for $35 has me in remote heaven...where are my other remotes anyway? Who cares!
Watch Amazon for some great deals....and you can program a soft buttong for your TV aspect which should help with HDTV, and another one for the cable signal box as well.
Overall pretty slick.
I see why the other Harmony units cost more, and look as slick as they do, but for the money the 628 on sale was a steal.
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Old 07-22-2006, 05:43 PM   #13
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There's a plus and minus to just about every Harmony remote, so you really have to weigh your options carefully and determine what is most important to you.

I just picked up the Harmon-Kardon TC30, which is a meld of the 520 and 880, for $175 at etronics. I had the 676 before that, and must say I like the 676 button layout much better than the TC30. The "joystick" on the TC30 is too far down from the transport keys and LCD.

On the other hand, I love that I have 8 soft-keys on the TC30, versus only 6 on the TC30.

The TC30 also has back and forward navigation buttons for the LCD displays, while on the 676 you can only go forward.

One other important note: the TC30 (and 880) are rechargeable, which the 676 eats through batteries with as much gusto as Audrey II feeding in Little Shop of Horrors.
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Old 07-22-2006, 08:47 PM   #14
mtndave
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Update on Harmony remote search

I appreciate all the input, and since others are looking also, I wanted to pass on this link I found in the RemoteCentral forums:

Compare Harmony remotes
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Old 07-22-2006, 09:09 PM   #15
mtndave
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Going to get a 680

Well I decided to get a 680.
Main reasons:
1) the 880 layout does not work for me.
2) 680 layout is "Tivo friendly"
3) I am building an XP MCE computer for the living room and the 680 is best for that.
Downsides:
1) Battery life? Will see.

Again, thanks for all the help. If I can get it to work properly I will post later with the results.
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Old 07-22-2006, 10:11 PM   #16
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I'm suprised that nobody has mentioned the 550 yet - I just bought it tonight, had it working in about 10 minutes, and have no complaints so far. The transport buttons are up new the top, and well spaced out, a winner!!!

I really like the color screen on the 880 and the added soft keys, but it certainly wasn't worth the extra money...
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Old 07-24-2006, 06:48 PM   #17
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I think the 680 and the 688 have the best button layout for a DVR. I have owned a 688 for a couple of years and I love it.
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Old 07-25-2006, 10:59 AM   #18
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Are all these remotes capable of enabling and using the 30 Second Skip? and do they also have the 8-sec rewind?
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Old 07-25-2006, 02:18 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guyute1210
Are all these remotes capable of enabling and using the 30 Second Skip? and do they also have the 8-sec rewind?

yes
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Old 07-27-2006, 11:18 AM   #20
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Harmony remote confusion is an understatement. It's been mentioned before, but the Harmony 628 is currently $48 with free super saver shipping at Amazon.com. eCost has the Harmony 880 for $150-ish on a rather regular basis. Be forewarned that eCost is not as lenient on refunds as Amazon. Be very certain that you understand their return policy before buying there.
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Old 08-18-2006, 07:08 PM   #21
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I cant find the 8 sec rewind on the harmony 659, can anyone help me? I tried rewind but it did not work, is there another name for it?
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Old 08-18-2006, 08:53 PM   #22
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I had to program an LCD button on my 628 to perform the replay function, what you called 8s rewind.
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Old 08-18-2006, 11:13 PM   #23
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Thanks Jim. I setup the 30 sec skip right next to the 8 sec replay on the lcd.
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Old 08-19-2006, 12:46 AM   #24
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I have the 880 and I hate it. It does everything they say but the buttons are too small and too close together.
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Old 08-19-2006, 01:26 AM   #25
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Red face i agree

Quote:
Originally Posted by SNJpage1
I have the 880 and I hate it. It does everything they say but the buttons are too small and too close together.
yes, considering the price and the fact that all of the owners on this forum were so enthusiastic about it, i was quite let down after getting mine as well. the button layout and design are just awful. my 628 is no where near as badly designed, but i honestly don't really care very much for it either for different reasons.
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Old 08-19-2006, 09:16 AM   #26
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Because of the 880's button size and placement issues noted above, a few months ago I purchased a Harmony 720 instead. Very nice. Among other points, there is more space between buttons and transport controls fall right under the thumb when holding the remote.

Can be had new off eBay for just over $100 if you catch a deal.
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Old 08-19-2006, 09:24 AM   #27
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I like the "baby" H768

Tiny little remotes...I use one in the bedroom and one in the front room. They don't have as many buttons and are very easy to use "by touch" (I don't have to look at the remote to use the TiVo functions at night while in bed!). They also have free TV listings for life!
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Old 08-19-2006, 10:23 AM   #28
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I also like the 720, and think the button layout is the best of what Harmony offers. It does have one annoyance though -- the button labels "replay," "skip," etc wear off. I've heard new batches of the remote may fix the problem.



Last edited by bkdtv : 08-19-2006 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 08-19-2006, 11:08 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkdtv
I also like the 720, and think the button layout is the best of what Harmony offers. It does have one annoyance though -- the button labels "replay," "skip," etc wear off. I've heard new batches of the remote may fix the problem.
To the best of my knowledge I was the original reporter of having the text labels wear off rapidly -- rapidly defined as six days. I contacted Logitech, the remote was replaced no questions asked and the second remote has had no issues with the text labeling in two months of use. As you have noted, I speculated that there might have been some issue with the early batch(es) but not currently.

I note the photo of your 720 has some text labeling missing ...
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Old 08-19-2006, 01:46 PM   #30
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will the harmony remotes access and navigate the tivo menu?
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