Today’s modern lounge room has a lot of entertainment products that each come with their own remote control but Logitech’s Harmony Ultimate One can rule them all.
This Logitech touchscreen IR (infra-red) remote can control up to 15 devices as well as create one-touch activities.
The controller itself fits nicely in your hand and has a number of physical controls along with a touchscreen.
It has a motion-activated backlight with the screen positioned in the centre of the device so it’s easy to control with one hand.
The device comes with a wireless hub and two IR mini blasters so that the controller will still control devices inside cabinets.
In fact, the hub is connected to the remote using wi-fi so it can control your devices from anywhere on your wireless network.
There’s also vibration feedback whenever you press a key to let users know when a command has been received.
And you don’t even need to be looking at the Logitech remote to control it with the touchscreen allowing swipe and tap controls to do the simple things like adjusting the volume or changing the channel.
One complaint was that the touchscreen on the remote wasn’t always as responsive as we’d like but this was only a minor issue. And having the play, pause and fast forward keys at the top could have been more conveniently located.
The good news is the Logitech Harmony Ultimate One is really simple to set up.
Users connect the hub near their equipment and plug in the two mini blasters to the hub and position these small IR sensors near your equipment.
The next step is to connect the Logitech remote to your Mac or PC using the included microUSB cable and log in to the myharmony.com website to register.
From here you download and install the MyHarmony application and are taken step by step through the process.
During this stage you also connect the Harmony hub to your home wireless network simply by typing in your password.
From here you identify the equipment you’d like to control through Logitech’s vast database of more than 225,000 products from more than 5000 brands.
To do this you’ll need the brand and model number of your devices which are then recognised and added to the Logitech remote’s settings.
If your product is not on the list you can upload the necessary commands by aiming the original controller at the Logitech remote and pressing a few specific buttons you’re asked for.
And when all of your devices are programmed in to the remote you can also create activities where you can activate several products at the same time with one command.
For example, we set up an activity to watch a Blu-ray Disc. We had to list the products involved – the TV and, of course, the Blu-ray Disc player.
All we had to do was identify the input the Blu-ray Disc used for the TV.
Other activities could be Watch TV, Watch Foxtel, Listen to Music or Play a Game.
And once these are synced to the Logitech remote all it takes it one touch on these activities for you to be set up and ready to go.
So when we hit our Watch Blu-ray activity – the Logitech Harmony Ultimate One turned in the TV and put it on the correct input and also switched on the Blu-ray Disc player.
And the remote’s hard keys allow you to control playback as well as things like volume, directional keys, select and menu.
You can also personalise the frequently used commands and activities by adding your own images and logos if you don’t want to use the default icons already onboard.
When not in use the Logitech Harmony Ultimate One sits in a charging cradle so it will always have power when you’re ready.
Once you’ve registered your remote, set up the hub and added all of your devices and activities, you can also download the free iPhone and Android app and load all of those settings on to your smartphone which can then be used as another wireless remote control.
The Logitech Harmony Ultimate One is an excellent device that gives you complete control of your entertainment system and that’s a breeze to set-up.
Other solutions offering the same capabilities as the Logitech controller are far more expensive and require professional installation so you’re getting great value as well.
Logitech Harmony Ultimate One