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Mussels does a user review - Logitech harmony 525

Mussels

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#1
Its been a long time since i did any form of review, so let me know what i miss as i go and i'll fix it into this post.

This will be edited as i go, i'm too lazy to do it all prior to posting it up!
To do list
1. Fist impressions (done)
2. Software/packaging (Done)
3. Use/impressions (Done)
4. Final comments/score (done)

*pictures for all of the above!



1. First impressions:
Seriously, the box was sexy. Shiny green packaging in a tightly packaged box, and this reflective silver and glossy black remote... looks were sexy indeed.

Reading the box calls it a 'universal remote' saying that it can learn from any remote (or download from a pre-existing database) and remember upto 15 devices. Whats not very clear is that changing ANYTHING on the remote requires an internet connection - its basically ran through a webpage, dial up users should beware
(it only needs net for setup, but that can still be a problem for many)

2. Software/packaging.
In the box was a manual, a quickstart guide, and various bits of paper in foreign languges. I think i got a euro model somehow. Also included was 4x AAA Duracell batteries (in the remote), ANOTHER 4 AAA duacell batteries (in the packaging) a driver CD, and a USB cable.

3. Use / Impressions
Ok seriously, the software is like banging your head on a wall at first. :banghead:
Once you get used to it, its VERY powerful however. I'll give a basic walkthrough on how it runs.

Step 1: add devices.
Go through, list all your remotes. Even my cheapass HDMI switch was in there, so there is a LARGE database. If its not listed you can add it yourself, at which point its uploaded for anyone else who wants it. Handy that.

Using the remote you *can* just go into 'devices' and control them as the original remote would. Any buttons that arent there (for example, my Logitech speakers have three input buttons) appear on the LCD display in groups of four (4). Its a very good way to do it, instead of adding millions of buttons with no label to the remote.

step 2. Add applications!
What you do here is choose an 'application' i'll use my 'media PC' profile as an example.
My media PC profile is set to use my samsung TV as the screen, and my logitech speakers for audio. Seems simple, heres how it actually works.

Step 3: Hit done, plug the remote in via USB and hit the big yellow 'update remote' button. It will then upload your settings to the remote.

Step 4: test it!
With everything off, i hit the "activities" button on the remote - it shows me the activities i programmed in. I hit the applicable button (Media PC) - my TV turns on and switches to HDMI2, my speakers turn on and switch to Co-ax input, and my HDMI switch changes to channel 3. All from two buttons on the remote! :eek:

Hitting the power button on the remote does this in reverse, powering everything off. Its handy, to be honest.




3.A - there is an option to manually edit these profiles as well, in case the wizard that guides you messes up. See the 'bonus' section for more on that :)

4. After learning to use the software, this device is damned handy. It seriously can learn any remotes settings and combine them into very handy profiles.

Pros:
*Can learn any infrared remote
*Can combine devices into a single profile (using up/down for TV channels, while volume controls seperate speakers)
*Only really needs one setup
*Great looks
*LOTS of included batteries - and a good brand too!
*INCREDIBLE emitter power. This thing rebounds off every wall in my room, it doesnt even need to be aimed at the devices.
*Once setup, even your grandma could use it.

Cons:
*requires internet to setup
* setup program is confusing at first
*wasnt free (although i got mine for $35 brand new :) )

Overall score: 9.0/10



********BOOOOOOONUS********

Well i got curious as to just what i can do with this remote, and managed something i find very, VERY awesome. I had an old creative remote control around the place for my audigy 4 pro, so i went and found the USB receiver.
I used the "Intellimote" software available for purchase on the web, linked it to the creative receiver and then added the creative remotes settings manually to my media PC profile.... and now my winamp, VLC player, media player classic and Vista Media Center are all controlled at the same time as my Logitech speakers. seriously, its awesome :)

What i mentioned earlier with the 'custom' thing was that i opened the media PC profile, and then added settings - its all drop down menus, so you look for the corresponding entry. For example i found the "skip ahead" button on the remote, selected "creative USB" (what i'd named it) and then selected "next track" - that lined up with the software i was using, and now the next button skipped tracks in winamp :) brilliant!

Update!
Long term impressions!
Theres actually an unadvertised feature of this remote, in that it has a motion sensor in it. If you leave the remote 'off' (start an activity, and then turn it off via the remote), leave it alone for several hours. When you come back, the slightest movement causes teh remote to glow blue indicating its presence. Could be really, really handy for those times you lose a remote in the couch! (also good for scaring the crap out of me when i get up in the morning at 5am and my room is glowing blue, lol)
 
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#2
nice review mussels now I want one but don't need one
 

Mussels

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#3
nice review mussels now I want one but don't need one
anyone with say, more than 3 remotes should look into one of these.
 

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#4
I bought intelliremote ages ago,to use with my old creative remote.It is a very good program,and you get updates forever if you buy it.
 

Paulieg

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#5
Nice review. My only question is...how did you get it for $35. I want one at that price!!!!
 
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#6
Paulieg I'm with ya.. $35!!! My Parents have it, and love it! Great review my man! Great review
 

Mussels

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Memory 16GB 2133 generic @ 2800
Video Card(s) MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X (BIOS modded to Gaming Z - faster and solved black screen bugs!)
Storage 1TB Intel SSD Pro 6000p (60TB USB3 storage)
Display(s) Samsung 4K 40" HDTV (UA40KU6000WXXY) / 27" Qnix 2K 110Hz
Case Fractal Design R5. So much room, so quiet...
Audio Device(s) Pioneer VSX-519V + Yamaha YHT-270 / sennheiser HD595/518 + Corsair Void RGB
Power Supply Corsair HX 750i (Platinum, fan off til 300W)
Mouse Logitech G403 + KKmoon desk-sized mousepad
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#7
i was in the local cash converters, and they had a heap of media remotes for $50-$80. As i left thinking their prices were total ripoffs, i saw this one behind the counter for $35... couldnt resist buying it :)
 
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#8
Nice review! I'm wondering, do you know if this model (or others) work with the Motorola HD-DVR boxes from Comcast? Both of my parent's birthdays are coming up, and right now they're having to juggle about 5 remotes. So... where'd you get it again? Only ones I'm finding online are the Harmony 550 for about ~$80.
 

Mussels

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Cooling Fractal Celsius S24 (Silent fans, meh pump)
Memory 16GB 2133 generic @ 2800
Video Card(s) MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X (BIOS modded to Gaming Z - faster and solved black screen bugs!)
Storage 1TB Intel SSD Pro 6000p (60TB USB3 storage)
Display(s) Samsung 4K 40" HDTV (UA40KU6000WXXY) / 27" Qnix 2K 110Hz
Case Fractal Design R5. So much room, so quiet...
Audio Device(s) Pioneer VSX-519V + Yamaha YHT-270 / sennheiser HD595/518 + Corsair Void RGB
Power Supply Corsair HX 750i (Platinum, fan off til 300W)
Mouse Logitech G403 + KKmoon desk-sized mousepad
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#9
i got mine from a second hand store, more or less.

Basically it works with *any* IR remote, if theres no ready made profile you can make one yourself... and once its made, its easy to use.