Review: Logitech Harmony 900 Universal Remote
Harmony 900 universal remote brings easy programming to audio/video enthusiasts.
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Logitech Harmony 900 Universal Remote
December 04, 2009 by Stephen Hopkins

Daily use also revealed some of the 900’s flaws. The most annoying was the insensitive tilt sensor. There were times when I would go to use the 900 after it powered off, and it would not jump to life until I physically shook it. It was much more responsive when I picked it up from a flat surface.

The touch-sensitive buttons on the edges of the touchscreen were also slightly less responsive than I’d like. And the right page scroll button was particularly finicky.

Streamlined RF Programming
The RF programming process is greatly streamlined. It’s handled on the remote and is as simple as selecting the devices you want controlled by RF, those you want controlled by IR, and then pairing the remote with the transmitter. One “puck” transmitter and two smaller IR blasters are included.

This setup works very well with multiple devices arranged horizontally (like in a TV stand), but is not well-suited for vertical setups and racks with components flush-mounted in front. Logitech says extra transmitters and blasters will be available for purchase soon.

One possible workaround is using the “puck” to output to individual “eye” transmitters used by other systems, though that is not officially supported by Logitech.

As Good as it Gets
All quirks aside, the Harmony 900 is as good as it gets in a universal remote that doesn’t require programming by a custom installer. And the addition of RF brings the updated Harmony One ergonomics to those who like to keep components out of sight. While RF support of home automation is missing, IR automation works well and is probably more in line with those going the Harmony route.

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Stephen Hopkins is chief technology editor for EH Publishing. He writes product reviews, features, and focuses heavily on 3D TV, iPhone and iPad apps, and digital content.

At a Glance

Specs:
- RF capability
- Gloss-black covering
- Deep and wide charging base
- Online guided setup
- Colored, back-lit hard buttons for added functions
- More than 5,000 brands and 225,000 devices supported
- Full-color touchscreen
- Ergonomic design
- Lithium-ion battery, charging station included
- $399

Pros:

  • Retains Harmony One styling
  • High-res screen
  • Adds RF control
  • Easy programming

Cons:

  • No RF automation, only IR
  • Insensitive tilt sensor

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