|Logitech Harmony 890-Pro Advanced Universal Remote|
|Featured Reviews: Accessories|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 07 June 2007|
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Logitech Harmony Setup
Remember back in the introduction, where I said "what I plan to do in this review is explain why I think it's so great, show you just how easy it was to configure, and prove to you that it's well worth the price tag"? Well, we are up to that point. When I first unboxed the Logitech Harmony 890 Pro Advanced, I found the software packed nicely under the first tray. This came as no real surprise to me, since the Harmony 890 attaches to the PC through the included USB 2.0 cable. It was the experience afterward which had me concerned.
Logitech Software Installation
Let me begin describing the set and installation process by offering a little background on me. For the past seven years I have owned and operated Performance Computers Inc, which services and maintains small to medium sized business networks. Armed with my MCSA credentials, I approach tasks like configuring a universal remote control with a small amount of disdain. For the average Joe (or JoAnne), the process may need to be put into simple layman's terms. But for a guy like me, a guy who puts Nick Burns in his place, this experience should be a very short and sweet one. It wasn't.
But before I get into why exactly the configuration process wasn't as easy as buttering bread, we should make sure that you know what is needed to make it all work. Take a moment to really look at the system requirements below, because there is one particular requirement that is out of the ordinary. There will be a quiz later, so take notes.
Harmony System Requirements
For set up, a Windows compatible or Apple computer is needed with an Internet connection and available USB port. All Harmony remotes are compatible with tens of thousands of makes and models of home theater components.
The minimum recommended Windows system configuration is:
The minimum recommended Macintosh system configuration is:
So did you see something that you didn't expect? If you answered "Internet connection", you are correct. Well done; now go to our forum and sign up for an account so I can mail you a gold star. Seriously though, the Logitech Harmony 890 Pro Advanced is not your average universal remote. By utilizing the Internet, Logitech can offer users automatic firmware updates and current hardware device codes. In general, this is a great idea. I say this generally, because if some little old lady wants the Logitech Harmony 890 Pro universal remote to replace the "clicker" on her BetaMax, she had better have dial-up Internet at a minimum.
I wouldn't consider the requirement of an active Internet connection to be a flaw, or something which would detract for the overall score of the Logitech Harmony 890 Pro Advanced. After all, Logitech makes plenty of other universal remote controls which do not require the Internet for programming. But this is the Harmony 890, and the chance of the owner having access to an Internet connection is nearly certain. in fact, it's very likely that the average consumer looking to purchase the Harmony 890 is already a progressive enthusiast of technology.
After connection the remote to the computer and creating an account with Logitech for the Harmony software, I signed in and began the configuration process. The first thing I found once I began to get started was that the Harmony 890 was in need of a firmware update. This really pleased me, since I am a computer enthusiast who in addicted to having the latest BIOS or device firmware. Once the Logitech Harmony 890 Pro Advanced was brought up to date, I began the process of configuring my preferences.
When the Harmony software asked me about my equipment, the first thing I programmed was the Sharp AQUOS LC-52D62U. The software asked me to confirm my entry before moving on to the next step. However it wasn't until after I went to the next step that I noticed an error. The Harmony software somehow translated this entry as "Shark" AQUOS LC-52D62U (even though I pasted in the text), which of course doesn't exist. In any other software, I could have just pressed the "back" button. Not here, and not in this software. After the initial half-hour of frustration and submission I closed the Harmony software, and went out to dinner and drinks. The following morning, I think the Harmony software must have felt sorry for me, because it allowed me to wrap-up my configuration without further stress. In fact, I was stunned at how easy the setup became at my second sit-down. Once all of the components have been added using the make and model, the Harmony 890 is armed with the proper remote codes to communicate with the devices just as the original remote does.