You will need a universal remote control for your home theater system. Pardon the paraphrase of The Lord of the Rings quote “One Ring to rule them all” but that’s what a universal remote does — it replaces the cluster of remotes for the many components in your home theater system. I highly, unconditionally and exclusively recommend the Logitech Harmony line of remotes for the reasons outlined below.
The Logitech Harmony remotes are the most user-friendly and easily programmable remotes available to date. I have owned the basic H659 model for over three years and it is my favorite of the many models that Harmony offers. There are fancier models for sure — but I prefer the functionality and feel of the H659 over the slicker models.
The newest model from Harmony – the Harmony One would also a very fine choice for those who prefer a sleekly designed, more ergonomic feel and color touch-screen model. I like the touch screen feature and it also has nicely raised buttons for those (like me) who navigate the remote by feel. If I ever retire my H659 it will be for a Harmony One model.
Harmony remotes are programmed via an internet browser based interface. You simply load the programming software from the supplied CD, connect the remote to your computer with the supplied USB cable, connect to the internet, enter the brands and model numbers of your devices into the programming interface and tell it what you want it to do and then it updates your remote making it ready for use. The initial setup and programming takes about a half hour or so but it is light years easier than punching device model code numbers into other universal remotes.
The Harmony remotes are extremely versatile as well — you can customize the buttons for any function and the remote can learn commands for devices not found in its extremely deep database of device codes. There are even codes for remote household items such as ceiling fans, automatic blinds and lighting systems. If you ever need to delete or add a device an update is just a few minutes away by connecting the remote to your computer, entering the new info and click the update button to transfer the new info to your remote. Another great feature is that the remote will remember your settings while changing batteries. Some new model Harmony remotes (like the Harmony One) include a rechargeable, cell-phone type battery with a charging/docking-station cradle.
Check features, owner reviews and pricing of the Logitech Harmony Universal Remote Controls . Or you can browse model info and pricing below with Amazon’s nifty new product widget – click and hold the arrows in the lower right to spin the “carousel”, hover over for model and pricing info and click the pic to check the full description and owner reviews at Amazon.