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Gibbo
2007-07-25, 05:44
Whilst we seem to be on the topic, how do they deal with buttons such as browse and search as these aren't actual buttons on the remotes themselves? I'm thinking of one of the low level ones such as the 555.

geoffb
2007-07-25, 06:24
On 7/25/07, Gibbo wrote:
>
> Whilst we seem to be on the topic, how do they deal with buttons such as
> browse and search as these aren't actual buttons on the remotes
> themselves? I'm thinking of one of the low level ones such as the 555.

As far as I can tell, the 555 / 550 works the same way as the 880;
extra functions are in the database on Logitech's site, and you just
assign them to soft buttons (the ones up by the LCD screen).
On the 880 you get 8 'slots' per page (for 8 buttons of your
choosing), and on the 550 I think it's 4. Either way you get a button
to move forward and backwards through the pages of buttons you've
defined, so there's no problem getting them all in there.

Cheers,
Geoff

Gibbo
2007-07-25, 06:34
Cheers, what I needed to know!!!

Anyone who owns any of them, is it really worth paying twice the price of a 555 for the 885 (or 550 and 880)? does it mean anything other than the cradle, colour screen, and more "slots" (as above)?

geoffb
2007-07-25, 07:00
On 7/25/07, Gibbo wrote:
>
> Cheers, what I needed to know!!!
>
> Anyone who owns any of them, is it really worth paying twice the price
> of a 555 for the 885 (or 550 and 880)? does it mean anything other than
> the cradle, colour screen, and more "slots" (as above)?

For me, the cradle is the biggest differentiator, but there's also a
bunch of small things that (for me) incrementally make a big
difference... like having 8 soft-buttons; having 8 of the most
commonly used functions at hand is pretty useful, and I think that
dropping it to 4 would be limiting.
I'm sure that someone who has the 550 / 555 can comment further, or
maybe there's someone out there with both?

Cheers,
Geoff

badbob
2007-07-25, 07:12
Cheers, what I needed to know!!!

Anyone who owns any of them, is it really worth paying twice the price of a 555 for the 885 (or 550 and 880)? does it mean anything other than the cradle, colour screen, and more "slots" (as above)?

I would seriously re-consider not buying a Harmony remote

1) Require a net connection
2) Can't save your profile locally
3) Have to rely that Harmony servers are up

You can't do a thing unless you have net.

Other remotes have ability to configure locally and save the file to your HD.

Gibbo
2007-07-25, 07:37
I would seriously re-consider not buying a Harmony remote

1) Require a net connection
2) Can't save your profile locally
3) Have to rely that Harmony servers are up

You can't do a thing unless you have net.

Other remotes have ability to configure locally and save the file to your HD.


Whats wrong with needing a net connection? isn't this just to set up the remote when you first get it or a new device?

not being able to save your profile, ie if ou want to change the devices you have to search for them again? or have I missed the point?

Are the harmony servers that much of a problem? and how often do you really need to connect to them? surely as before, only when you want to add a new device?

can you only set up and change the soft buttons around by connecting?

Just out of interest then, can you reccomend any decent alternatives? (just to clarify, universal, not just a SB controller).

Cheers for your responses, very much appreciated.

geoffb
2007-07-25, 07:41
On 7/25/07, badbob wrote:
> I would seriously re-consider not buying a Harmony remote
>
> 1) Require a net connection
Only for the initial setup (and the occasional reconfig) - and for
many devices this is common. The first thing I did when I installed
my squeezebox is download the latest slimserver and firmware.

> 2) Can't save your profile locally
True - this would be nice, although I've never had a problem getting
to Logitech's servers. I can't think of any time that I've actually
needed a locally saved profile.

> 3) Have to rely that Harmony servers are up
>
> You can't do a thing unless you have net.
Actually, the remote works fine 99.9% of the time without a network
connection... it's just when you want to reconfigure it that a web
connection is needed. And for my money, the added benefit of all the
user-contributed profiles is well worth the requirement of online
configuration.

Cheers,
Geoff

badbob
2007-07-25, 08:57
Whats wrong with needing a net connection? isn't this just to set up the remote when you first get it or a new device?

not being able to save your profile, ie if ou want to change the devices you have to search for them again? or have I missed the point?

Are the harmony servers that much of a problem? and how often do you really need to connect to them? surely as before, only when you want to add a new device?

can you only set up and change the soft buttons around by connecting?

Just out of interest then, can you reccomend any decent alternatives? (just to clarify, universal, not just a SB controller).

Cheers for your responses, very much appreciated.


I understand that if you have a DSL connection it isn't a problem. I do have DSL, but even so I don't like the idea of Harmony design. If you're a CI this required net connection is stupid, my local dealer had to configure a Harmony remote for a client, but the Harmony servers were updating, so couldn't configure it. Also many bulds are half-way through re-wiring, so no phone line/network setup yet. He had to go back to next day for a 5 minute job. Luckily it's local.

A mate has a learning remote, but he doesn't have net connection at home, only at work, or round mine. So he couldn't change anything until the next day!

You can't save the profile locally. So if Harmony loses your config you're stuffed, you'll need to start again. A while ago Harmonys server did in fact wipe customers profiles. If you had a copy locally at least you could upload it.

I would be totally furious if that happened, configuring my remote from scratch takes a couple of hours (controls two systems, lots of macros, shortcuts, discrete IR codes etc)


This is my remote btw. The Editor is off-line, you don't need net connection, so you can configure it in situ on a laptop with serial port. It's a older model but probably URC have new one

http://www.remotecentral.com/mx700/index.html
You can also configure it how you like. The Harmony config looks incredibly clunky (I used the demo and hated it)

I also have MX-500's, good value but not PC configurable, no macro function per button, also pretty poor built-in database. If you have another high end remote with discrete codes just learn onto the MX-500, that makes it a far more powerful remote. Also have MX-200 sidekick, nice and simple for Hi-Fi setup.

Secret Squirrel
2007-07-25, 09:08
I got an 880 for Christmas and LOVE it. It cleared the table of five remotes, and very rarely do I need to pull one out of the darkness.

Having Harmony store my setup is no issue for me. I have a cable connection and set up was a breeze. Okay, it took me two tries to get everything perfect but that consumed all of about fifteen minutes total (a lot of the was walking back and forth to from basement to my office). As a result, I have no concern if my set up were lost on the Harmony as it would just take moments to setup again.

One note: Sitting the remote on the cradle is a little bit of a challenge because it can be easily done so that contact is not made (so take your time and listen for the beep). I came back from vacation to find a "dead" remote, and I thought I'd have to set it up again. However, after a five minute charge in the cradle all was back without need to link up to the Internet.

I think it's a GREAT remote and recommend it highly. Your results may vary but Harmony (Logitech) has had breat support in my experience.

HTH,

SS

geoffb
2007-07-25, 09:35
On 7/25/07, badbob wrote:
> I understand that if you have a DSL connection it isn't a problem. I do
> have DSL, but even so I don't like the idea of Harmony design. If you're
> a CI this required net connection is stupid, my local dealer had to
> configure a Harmony remote for a client, but the Harmony servers were
> updating, so couldn't configure it. Also many bulds are half-way
> through re-wiring, so no phone line/network setup yet. He had to go
> back to next day for a 5 minute job. Luckily it's local.
This is true if you're an installer. Just a guess, but I'm pretty
sure the OP isn't looking for something to use in an installer
business - but I could be wrong. I have a cable connection, but even
with a dial-up I can't imagine this being a massive issue.

> You can't save the profile locally. So if Harmony loses your config
> you're stuffed, you'll need to start again. A while ago Harmonys server
> did in fact wipe customers profiles. If you had a copy locally at least
> you could upload it.
This hasn't happened to me yet, and I've had the remote for a year.

> I would be totally furious if that happened, configuring my remote from
> scratch takes a couple of hours (controls two systems, lots of macros,
> shortcuts, discrete IR codes etc)
Do you mean configuring the MX-700 (the link you provided) takes a
couple of hours? You might want to switch to the 880 ;-)

Seriously though, overall I think the most common criticisms that come
up in reviews are valid:
- The software is a bit finnicky at first (but it has improved a lot IMHO)
- The cradle had some connection issues (apparently resolved with
later hardware- and Logitech's replacement service was VERY efficient
here, at least for me)
- The price. This is an upper-end remote, but for me this is well
worth for the WAF, the ease of setup and the overall seamless
experience. YMMV...

Cheers,
Geoff

sander
2007-07-25, 15:02
I'm not sure where you're ordering from but you should also look at the 670 as a middle point between the 550 and the 880 in terms of functionality, but just a little more than the 550 in price.

For me the fact that it was half price opposite the 880 (in the US on Amazon) was the difference.

It has backlighting, letters for lazy search and 6 soft buttons. I know the 880 has the charging cradle (not sure whether this a plus or minus based on the reviews :) ) motion sensor, and color buttons, but I just felt wrong about a remote costing more than some of the components it controls. :p

mvalera
2007-07-25, 15:29
Jim C loves the 670, it's all about the buttons for him.

I prefer the 880. The buttons never bothered me, and I love the recharge cradle and the color screen's ability to hold more text, and it's two extra buttons.

Mike

WhaleOil
2007-07-25, 15:47
I have a Logitech 555 and am very happy with it. I have had it since Christmas last year and the batteries are still going strong - I can live with changing four AAA batteries every nine months or so, so having a charging cradle isn't a big deal for me. It would be nice to have more 'soft' buttons, but I have programmed mine to give useful functions to the 'hard' Menu, Exit, Guide and Info buttons that do the job for me for just about everything I need to do.

I set it up using the website, and after a few goes got a set up that worked for me - haven't had to go back to the website since, so again that is not a problem.

Overall, highly recommended, and for my money the 555 seems to be at the sweet spot of value for money vs features.

sclamage
2007-07-25, 16:22
I have a 550 also and I really like it. It's far from my perfect remote - I'm still waiting for the successor to the current generation of Harmony remotes, which (I assume) will incorporate the new Jive platform and will (I hope) allow me to browse my library directly on the remote. But I needed a new universal remote sooner than that, so I got the least expensive Harmony currently available. When the fancy one comes out, I'll buy that, and move my 555 into the bedroom.

I don't like the online programming either, but it works OK and I live with it to have a remote with such a high WAF.

In regards to your original question, I have one other thing to point out: You can also reprogram the hard buttons, some of which will have no meaning when the Squeezebox is your current "activity". I have the "Guide" button programmed to bring up the Search menu, so I don't have to page through the soft buttons. There are also four more hard buttons along the bottom ("Sound", "Picture", "A", "B") that can be repurposed, if you have a good memory. With all of those buttons available I haven't regretted not having the 880.

Gibbo
2007-07-26, 00:26
Cheers for all the advice, i'd obviously love to get something as advanced as the 880, but can't really justify spending that kinda cash on a remote, no matter how much it can do, as for the 670, it doesn't seem to have an equivalent in the UK at the moment, http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/remotes/universal_remotes/&cl=gb,en just the 555 then the 785 which is only 10 less than the 885 (amazon).

JoyrexJ9
2007-07-26, 08:17
I've a 555 and got it setup beautifully with the Squeezebox...

SteveEast
2007-07-26, 08:44
The "ancient" 659 is still available too. Same MSRP as the 555. I've used one for a couple of years now and it's a great remote. I especially like the hard buttons for Music, TV and Movies which pretty much cover my needs.

Steve.

Gibbo
2007-07-26, 09:21
I know logitech don't comment at all on future products etc, but are they likely to update them soon? When is Jive due and whats it likely to mean for the already out harmony remotes?

Rick B.
2007-07-26, 10:42
The "ancient" 659 is still available too. Same MSRP as the 555. I've used one for a couple of years now and it's a great remote. I especially like the hard buttons for Music, TV and Movies which pretty much cover my needs.

Steve.

I still use the 659, as well. Works well with the SB.

msherman
2007-07-26, 10:48
Rick B. wrote:
> SteveEast;217277 Wrote:
>> The "ancient" 659 is still available too. Same MSRP as the 555. I've
>> used one for a couple of years now and it's a great remote. I
>> especially like the hard buttons for Music, TV and Movies which pretty
>> much cover my needs.
>>
>> Steve.
>
> I still use the 659, as well. Works well with the SB.

Is there a feature comparison table available anywhere on the net? I
have a hell of a time figuring out what the differences are between all
the different versions from just the logitech website product pages.

- Marc

iPhone
2007-10-29, 10:27
I am using the Harmony 1000.

Love the large LCD color touch display. It has huge WAF! If something does not work properly (which isn't often) the better half can press help and the remote finds the problem for her and corrects it. No other universal remote I tried did this. Speaking of remotes, they are all gone. No more buying batteries! The charging cradle is a great place to find the remote, no more searching. Everybody puts the remote back on the charging cradle when they are done so we always know where its at.

I have had it several months and am yet to find something I dislike. So far so good. There is room on the remote to add some soft keys that might be nice for advanced users. I guess because unlimited keys can be added to the large LCD display it was felt this was not needed. But I think advanced users would have liked to program a few most used keys without going into a menu to get to them.

Crazyquilt
2007-10-31, 09:50
I have a 550. Works fine with my SB; I don't miss any significant functionality that was available on the SB remote. The batteries do last a long time, and, when they do go out, it's just overnight in the charger. Big deal.

I think I've had to reconnect to the Harmony server once in the nine-ten months I've owned the thing. Yeah, I'd be pissed if my profile got lost, but I could recreate it in a comparatively short period of time. I suspect that Logi's servers are more stable than most of my PCs, in any event...

I used the saved dough for more cool music (making, not listening) gear. Win-win situation for me, and even my amazingly techno-illiterate teen stepdaughter can use the 550 without fear or mishap.

Rick B.
2007-10-31, 11:54
Just set up my son last night with the 670 model - basic A/V receiver, DVD, flatscreen, PVR and Squeezebox. Took less than 30 minutes start to finish. Works pefectly

OffBeatMammal
2007-11-03, 13:50
IMO the 880 is okay, but far from perfect... mostly not Logitechs fault though.

Mine has problems charging unless totally accuratly positioned in the cradle, and within a month or so of purchase the paint started coming off. Sadly because I'd moved countries between buying the the problem occuring I'd had no luck getting it fixed (the charging issue bugs me way more than the paint).

The web UI to program the thing is really clunky. A native PC app would be a lot better. An improved Web experience would help considerably in the meantime.

My biggest gripe with the unit though is a failing of every remote. Actually there are two. The first is that because communication is almost always one-way the remote can't query a device to find out its status and make intelligent choices (eg actually turn something on if it's off rather than just toggle status which can end you up in a bad place, or find out what mode the TV is in if it doesn't have direct access to inputs but has to step through them). If someone would come up with a standard for two way remotes for consumer electronics I'd be very happy (after all, we've got 2 Bluetooth, 2 USB, 4 Wifi and some random ZigBee etc stuff... one more protocol won't hurt!) - Logitech could start the process off with a next generation Harmony, Squeezebox/Transporter and their speaker setups. The devices could even use this to talk amongst themselves and be smart (eg amp powers down, it's the only input to the speakers so they power down)

The second gripe is kinda related to the first... having two devices that respond to the same IrDA signal. My LG DVD player picks up signals meant for the Squeezebox and does random annoying things (volume up on the squeezebox ejects the disc on the DVD player!) - not good for WAF (especially if the DVD was recording something)