I know I'm not going to be alone when I say I hate remote controls. I hate them with a passion. My husband is a complete techie and we seem to have more or less every gadget going and all of these gadgets seem to come with their own remote control. I swear they seem to breed in this house with more and more of the damn things appearing in my living room. I am forever getting confused with what turns on what and generally end up using the wrong remote to operate the wrong device (much to my husbands annoyance!). I reckon that it is one of the common causes of disagreements between a husband and wife.
Me: *Tries to turn on TV with remote*. Surround sound booms from speakers.
Husband: 'What the hell are you doing?!*
Me: 'Trying to turn on the sodding TV and used the wrong blinking remote obviously!'
Husband: 'How hard is it to use the right remote???'
Me: 'Very when we have fifty thousand of the things lying around'
So you can see my predicament, me and multiple remote's just don't get on. I needed a solution and quickly otherwise the divorce papers are likely to be issued with the cause of divorce being they argued over remote controls ( you think I'm joking!).
In steps the Logitech Harmony Smart Control, the end to all my remote control woes. The solution to all my issues, a hub that uses my Smartphone to create a universal remote. Amazing. I cannot tell you how much this excited me!
Now I was going to write this review from my husbands perspective but thought it would be beneficial to write it from my perspective. I am someone who likes a gadget but generally (and I don't mean this in a sexist way) don't ever have to set them up as I have my man to do that side of things! He loves doing things like that so I'm not going to complain I just let him get on with it.
First things first, lets start with the box. The hub and remote are packaged securely in a smart and sleek box, it's got a what I would deem a typically 'gadgety' feel to it in my opinion. There is plenty of information on the outside so that you know what you're purchasing and what it does. Inside this little box of greatness are the following items:
- The Harmony Hub
- Remote control (with battery)
- IR mini blaster
- USB cable
- AC adapter
- User documentation
- 2 years manufacturer's guarantee
Sooo, basically inside the box you get a standard remote (gahhh, but then I won't be using that will I as I'm going to be using my Smartphone to create the magic!) that you can use as well as the hub. The Smartphone app will be where I'm controlling everything from and according to the box I can control up to 8 devices, marvellous I thought as we have a fair few things that I want to control. You can, of course use the remote that is included but the beauty of this is being able to pair it with a Smartphone and control everything via that.
As with alot of these technical products, I admit that I had a little bit of fear about how to set this up but I needn't have worried as it was actually super simple. Firstly plug the hub into the mains and then download and install the 'Harmony' app from the app store (Google Play for me). You then launch the app when ready and follow the instructions given to complete the setup and you can then start using your phone and the hub to control your devices.
The app is so cool, I love the fact that I can now control all of our devices just by using my phone, not only that but there are options to control lighting, close blinds and operate thermostats. However, you need specialist features to enable this such as infra-red switches which we sadly don't have but it sounds an awesome feature to have. What I can do is listen to my music, watch TV, operate the surround sound and change the channels with the swipe of a button and no faffing around trying to use the right remote for the job. One of things I absolutely love is being able to programme in my favourite channels so I don't even have to type in numbers or scroll through the channels I can literally just tap the channel that I want and the control will do that for me. There is also no worrying about what channel does the TV need to be on for various devices as this is also all just programmed in on the app to enable me to just tap the choice that I want.
Ultimately this is the gadget that surpasses all gadgets in my opinion, it has saved me alot of stress and arguments with the hubster. It saves me time, it makes my life easier and the best thing I will use the wrong remote or misplace a remote as I know that I can use my app to turn everything on.
The Harmony Hub retails for around £79.99 (which is the one I am reviewing), or you can spend a little more money and get the all singing all dancing version the Harmony Ultimate which comes with a remote that is basically the equivalent of using your phone, very swanky.
If you are after a gadget to make your life simpler then this is the device for you. It's simple to set up, easy to use and is functional. Coming from a non technical person I'm really pleased that I've have had the opportunity to test this out, it's an actual god send!
Would you consider using the Harmony remote?