January 25, 2013 by Grant Clauser
Apparently demand for DIY universal home theater remotes took a hit with the economy and everything else. Logitech, which acquired the startup remote company Harmony several years ago, announced yesterday that it wants to sell off that business along with its surveillance camera business.
Last fall Logitech launched its first new Harmony remote in two years, the Harmony Touch. At a time when every new product has its own control app, and app-based remotes (including Harmony’s own remote app) have become popular and inexpensive, the challenge of selling high-end remotes apparently has gotten too difficult to sustain.
The newest remote from Logitech, the Harmony Touch.
We hope and assume the company will continue to support products currently on the market. Harmony’s database of control codes surely has value to some prospective buyers, so I don’t expect this will be the end of Harmony remotes.
Possibly one problem Harmony had is that it’s pretty-much stuck to an old model of IR control. So many of today’s devices now incorporate IP connection, and homeowners increasingly want to have their entertainment system integrated with other systems in the house, such as lighting. That’s a task that’s largely beyond the capability of a remote such as Harmony makes, but is possible with the more reliable control systems offered by companies like Control4, Crestron, URC,Savant, Elan and RTI. System like that require professional installation, but they also deliver professional results.
Related: Why Do Most Remotes Suck?
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Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. His latest book is Necessary Myths
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.
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