September 22, 2011
| by Rachel Cericola
Logitech struck remote gold with its Harmony line. However, with so many control apps available, having a separate controller seems about as high-tech as CRT. Now the company is putting its easy-to-use interface into the Logitech Harmony Link.
The Logitech Harmony Link combines hardware with your Wi-Fi setup and the free Logitech Harmony Link App for iPad. The hardware portion is about the size of a hockey puck, so it’s small enough to squeeze into your overcrowded AV cabinet.
Once the whole thing is set up, the Harmony Link package let users browse and choose favorite shows, channels and other info, all on the iPad.
It also packs in Harmony’s activity- and device-based control, which allows you to choose a variety of commands with one button. For instance, “Watch a Movie,” may be able to fire up the receiver, TV and Blu-ray player, as well as dim the lights.
“Logitech Harmony Link extends our vision of removing barriers between people and their entertainment by replacing the clutter and confusion of multiple remotes and different program guides with a single intuitive touch interface,” said Ashish Arora, VP and GM or Logitech’s Digital Home Group. “Our research revealed that many iPad owners are using their iPad on the sofa while watching TV, many of them seeking ways to find out what shows are on. We set out to make this experience easier. Using Logitech Harmony Link and the Harmony Link App, iPad users can browse for what is on television, and with one touch of ‘watch now’ icon next to the show of their choice, they can automatically turn on their TV and other electronics, and tune directly to the show they want to watch.”
The Harmony Link setup can control up to eight devices, and works with more than one iPad simultaneously. It’s also compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and Android smartphones.
Logitech will start selling the Harmony Link this October. The $99.99 package includes the hardware and an IR mini-blaster accessory, so you have the option to stuff that hardware into a closed AV cabinet. The free Harmony Link App will be available around the same time, from the iTunes App Store and Android Market.
Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.