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tamanaco
2013-01-23, 21:41
I wonder what this will mean for the Squeezebox/UE line

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-57565558-92/logitech-to-unload-harmony-line-after-disappointing-quarter/

servies
2013-01-24, 00:41
My wild guess would be that the UE line will be dead within a year...

chill
2013-01-24, 01:29
I wonder what this will mean for the Squeezebox/UE line

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-57565558-92/logitech-to-unload-harmony-line-after-disappointing-quarter/

"Divest" - interesting word. Presumably they're planning to sell the Harmony remotes product line. Could this be a silver lining for the Squeezebox brand? Up till now it seems they've not been prepared to let go of the rights, but could that change in light of this?

servies
2013-01-24, 02:27
As we articulated when we started the third quarter, continued weakness in the global PC market was the primary factor in our disappointing Q3 results
Yeah... I completely understand your logic then to sell the Harmony division... A division that has nothing to do with PC's...
Personally I wouldn't be surprised if in 10 years we'll say: "Stopping their Squeezebox line marked the beginning of the end for Logitech"...

bpa
2013-01-24, 03:16
"Divest" - interesting word. Presumably they're planning to sell the Harmony remotes product line. Could this be a silver lining for the Squeezebox brand? Up till now it seems they've not been prepared to let go of the rights, but could that change in light of this?

Divest only for remote - discontinue other lines.


"As a result, we have initiated the process to divest our remote controls and digital video security categories, and we plan to discontinue other non-strategic products, such as speaker docks and console gaming peripherals, by the end of Calendar Year 2013"

chill
2013-01-24, 03:49
Divest only for remote - discontinue other lines.

Ah yes, you're right. Still, if UE gets the chop, their objections to passing on the rights to Squeezebox might no longer apply. I understand that previous approaches for the Squeezebox rights have been turned away, and it seems like this might have been because so much of the UE server code is common and because of the competition issues, but neither of those would be an issue if they kill the UE Radio.

maggior
2013-01-24, 06:19
The rebranding of squeezebox to UE is pretty lame, but UE's headphones are very good and are quite respected. You can get custom shells made from molds of your ears, which is geared mostly to the professional musician. UE had great products before Logitech bought them (sound familiar). So I would be really surprised if they shutdown UE and didn't spin it off. Logitech makes a lot of computer and dock speakers under the Logitech name, so it could be that they are dumping those, not the UE branded products.

The silver lining here would be UE gets spun off on its own or sold to another company and since squeezebox is now part of UE, it goes along for the ride. It could still turn into a bad situation, but no worse than it is now (essentially dead, at least no future).

erland
2013-01-24, 10:01
Is it just me who find this:


the company said it plans to focus more on mobile computing, specifically tablets and smartphones.

a bit in conflict with this:


and we plan to discontinue other non-strategic products, such as speaker docks


Isn't the purpose of a speaker dock a bit related to smart phones and tablets ?
Maybe they are just saying that they will focus on wireless speakers (bluetooth, AirPlay) and plan to discontinue speaker docks which you physically dock your phone in ?

Regarding UE:
- UE headphones is definitely related to tablets and smartphones, so I would be surprised if they are talking about the end of the UE brand.
- UE Smart Radio isn't mentioned at all, which could either mean that it's not big enough to be mentioned or that they are still evaluating its potential. I can't see any indication about it's future/end in the announcement.

The Harmony remotes are still the best remote controls I've ever owned, they have revolutionized my remote control operation in the same way as Squeezeboxes have revolutionized my music listening. The fact that they talk about selling Harmony line and not discontinue it is a positive sign, it shows they are aware that it's a great product and I'm pretty sure there are other companies out there who will be able to manage the Harmony products better than Logitech have done.

neilcoburn
2013-01-24, 10:53
The Harmony remotes are still the best remote controls I've ever owned, they have revolutionized my remote control operation in the same way as Squeezeboxes have revolutionized my music listening.


I agree wholeheartedly, Erland. And just like Squeezebox, Harmony wasn't properly supported by Logitech both in prodect development and marketing.

dyohn
2013-01-24, 12:11
Logitech = illogical tech product decisions

chenrikson
2013-01-24, 13:36
Erland -- We really like our Harmony 900 and I do hope someone will pick up the line, but I recall that Philips wasn't able to find a suitable buyer for its very high-end remote line and they dropped the whole thing. This was sad for us who had really enjoyed our touch-screen remotes from them.

I suspect that Logitech is aware of the move to using mobile devices as remote controls - as was Philips - and sees the handwriting on the wall. iPeng is MUCH better for controlling my Squeezebox than my Harmony 900, and the DeRemote app runs my Denon AVR very well - again much better than the Harmony.

Increasingly there are comprehensive remote control programs for iOS - and probably Android - that replace devices like the Harmony, and that also do a lot of other things as well.

I wonder if the programmable hand-held remote may not be an obsolete concept.

Sinkdrain
2013-01-24, 20:46
I use my phone to control my squeezebox but would never want to control my whole system with it. The beauty of a remote is keeping your eyes of it and using it by feel. Its great to push one tactile button that immediately starts a sequence of commands for a single activity. No unlocking a screen, finding an app and worse switching between them. The idea of using phones and tablets as remotes is new and fun but not long lasting like a well designed dedicated remote.

Squeezebox is different as your dealing with album covers... But I'd never control the volume of my receive with squeezecommander!

erland
2013-01-25, 00:00
I suspect that Logitech is aware of the move to using mobile devices as remote controls - as was Philips - and sees the handwriting on the wall. iPeng is MUCH better for controlling my Squeezebox than my Harmony 900, and the DeRemote app runs my Denon AVR very well - again much better than the Harmony.

It depends on the use case:
- if I just want to start a smart playlist I use the IR remote all the time.
- if I want to browse my library to find something to listen to I use the iPad with iPeng or SqueezePad.

I know people who have Samsung TV's and many/most of them still use the IR remote when changing channels/volume even if there is a smartphone app for it.

IR (with hard buttons) have a lot of advantage compared to a touch screen remote because you can look at the TV while controlling it, you don't have to look at the remote control as you have to if you are controlling it with a smart phone/tablet app. Also, with a smart phone app you can typically only control a single device with a specific app, so you need to switch between apps to turn on the amplifier, change the right channel on the TV, turn on and hit play on the blueray player. With the Harmony, it's a single click on the "Watch blueray on TV" activity and everything is setup in a couple of seconds and you are ready to go.

I guess the situation is going to be different in 5-10 years when we start to get universal remote control apps for smart phone/tablets which can control multiple devices, but before that happens IR remotes like the Harmony line will still have a future. If you select the right equipment you can maybe get this experience already today, but if you have equipment from many different manufacturers it's usually not that easy to accomplish without a universal IR remote.

JJZolx
2013-01-25, 00:18
Just the latest chapter in the story of a company with no direction.

Have they gotten rid of the iPod docks ("speaker docks") already? I can't find them anywhere on either the Logitech or UE web sites, yet I still see them for sale at places like Amazon.

Pascal Hibon
2013-01-25, 01:49
I use my phone to control my squeezebox but would never want to control my whole system with it. The beauty of a remote is keeping your eyes of it and using it by feel. Its great to push one tactile button that immediately starts a sequence of commands for a single activity. No unlocking a screen, finding an app and worse switching between them. The idea of using phones and tablets as remotes is new and fun but not long lasting like a well designed dedicated remote.

Squeezebox is different as your dealing with album covers... But I'd never control the volume of my receive with squeezecommander!

Totally agree with that.

I have used my iPad and iPod Touch as a remote for a while before I bought a Harmony One +. Although the iThinges had nice user interfaces and capabilities, I couldnít get around the tactile feel one gets from a hardware remote. There were plenty of occasions where I pressed the wrong buttons on the iThings. Or even pressed buttons by accident. That was the main reason for me to switch to a hardware remote.

Once again Logitech shows that it has absolutely no vision. Sure that UE will have a very short life at Logitech as well. Logitech is only great at killing great products.

Pascal Hibon
2013-01-25, 01:56
I guess the situation is going to be different in 5-10 years when we start to get universal remote control apps for smart phone/tablets which can control multiple devices, but before that happens IR remotes like the Harmony line will still have a future.

You donít need to wait that long for such apps.
I used Red Eye and Beacon (the latter is a piece of crap by the way). Both of these are capable of remote controlling different type and brand of equipment. Both have IR learning capabilities too. They work very much like the Harmony remotes. Yet, the hardware remote works a lot better in my hand for the reasons already mentioned.

Sakkerju
2013-01-25, 06:33
Why are all fine engineered products dicontinued :-(
It happens to me all the time...Squeezebox, Harmony....

erland
2013-01-25, 09:53
You donít need to wait that long for such apps.
I used Red Eye and Beacon (the latter is a piece of crap by the way). Both of these are capable of remote controlling different type and brand of equipment. Both have IR learning capabilities too. They work very much like the Harmony remotes. Yet, the hardware remote works a lot better in my hand for the reasons already mentioned.

I'm not talking about a IR blaster system accessible from a smart phone, that's totally useless, I have to look at the touch screen but the feedback is shown on the actual device I'm controlling. For a universal remote control solution for smart phone/tablets to work, it needs to show the feedback of the action directly on the touch screen and that means all devices need to be connected to the network and expose some kind of API which can be used by the app on the smart phone/tablet. Unfortunately we are no where close to a solution like this, there is just too many manufacturers and no standard, so based on this I think we will really have to live with IR based solutions where the Harmony is excellent for another 5-10 years, at least.

This is also why a IR based solution really need hard buttons on the remote, which you can feel without looking at the remote, without hard buttons you will end up with the same problem as the IR blaster based solution you describe.

erland
2013-01-25, 09:54
Why are all fine engineered products dicontinued :-(
It happens to me all the time...Squeezebox, Harmony....

Harmony isn't discontinued, they are just trying to sell it, if they succeed to sell it to the right company that could be great news to Harmony users.

Mnyb
2013-01-25, 10:31
I'm not talking about a IR blaster system accessible from a smart phone, that's totally useless, I have to look at the touch screen but the feedback is shown on the actual device I'm controlling. For a universal remote control solution for smart phone/tablets to work, it needs to show the feedback of the action directly on the touch screen and that means all devices need to be connected to the network and expose some kind of API which can be used by the app on the smart phone/tablet. Unfortunately we are no where close to a solution like this, there is just too many manufacturers and no standard, so based on this I think we will really have to live with IR based solutions where the Harmony is excellent for another 5-10 years, at least.

This is also why a IR based solution really need hard buttons on the remote, which you can feel without looking at the remote, without hard buttons you will end up with the same problem as the IR blaster based solution you describe.

iRule can use feedback if the device are providing it , i have not tried myself yet .
iRule with iTach (global cache devices) is what i use I like it because it removes the clutter of remotes and used on a iPad it's visible enough i just keep it in front of and see both the tv and the pad and it can use the hard buttons for volume .
iRule can use ip and http control to for some devices I use serial and ir . I supose serial or ip devices can give feedback .

As the iTach devices are network i can controll my main hifi from any room (or the internet) . They also have a relay box , but i never tried that one but I would if I owned a house . Turn on sauna open garage and similar stuff .

But imho i dont think normal devices need that much feedback . Squeezeboxes are another thing with the whole context changing and browsing and stuff thatís a lot of information .

dougc
2013-01-25, 12:33
Try skipping commercials or pausing a DVR with a smartphone remote. It is too slow to find the right spot to touch and too slow to react. This is a problem even with the new Harmony Touch, which doesn't have hard buttons for skip, FF, and RW. I can't envision a non-button technological solution for that short of a motion controller. Wave arm, skip commercial. Leap controller, maybe? Wii?

Squeezemenicely
2013-01-26, 05:12
Well as crazy as I think selling the Harmony division is, I wished they had done that with SB instead of killing it off and replacing it with this strange UE line.

jimbobvfr400
2013-01-27, 05:32
Wasn't the Harmony line another company that Logitech bought rather than designed from scratch? From, my admittedly poor, memory I seem to remember they were Canadian but I might be wrong.

Mmm there seems to be a pattern there :-)

Sent from my HTC Vision using Tapatalk 2

aubuti
2013-01-27, 09:34
Wasn't the Harmony line another company that Logitech bought rather than designed from scratch?
Yes. Some of Logitech's better known acquisitions are Harmony remotes, Ultimate Ears headphones, and Squeezebox network music players.

JJZolx
2013-01-27, 09:46
I wonder what they'll do with Ultimate Ears. The high-end in-ear moniors have virtually nothing to do mobile computing, which Logitech claims will be their new direction. I suspect that a buyer of Ultimate Ears would not want the cheap consumer products that Logitech inexplicably tossed into the brand, like the wireless speakers and Radio.

Now that I explore this a little more... Logitech has a web site for "Ultimate Ears", which still has only the higher end in-ear monitors.

http://ultimateears.logitech.com

But they also have a site branded "UE", which has all of the consumer junk products like the wireless speakers, headphones and the Radio.

http://ue.logitech.com

No wonder they lost $180 million in most recent quarter. Absolutely directionless.

bpa
2013-01-27, 11:02
No wonder they lost $180 million in most recent quarter. Absolutely directionless.

More - it was their video conferencing (!!) unit which caused the problem this time.

Reuters - Logitech, the no.1 maker of computer mice, said it will charge $211 million against third-quarter earnings for its video conferencing reporting unit.

epoch1970
2013-01-27, 11:33
Logi bought SD 5 years ago now. I guess the management can write-off the asset quietly without calling too much shareholders attention. Plus, "technology failed to gain traction on the market, despite significant investment in marketing" (or some bs to the same tune.)

I don't know if UE is going to stay, but I'm ready to bet the end is nigh for UE Radio.

NFLnut
2013-01-28, 14:36
I wonder if Sean Adams would be interested in taking back the Squeezebox property for a token pittance rather than Logitech throwing it on the ash heap for nothing? It makes no sense that a company that acquired the property for $20MILLION would want to kill it without trying to get something back. They obviously never knew well enough to make the $20MILL back (I would guess). I would think (il)Logitech's shareholders would prefer to see them get something back as well.

Then again, NOTHING much makes sense in this world anymore, from business to politics. Animal Farm, indeed.

I'm on to the Olive ONE ..

ftlight
2013-06-20, 17:29
Logitech have announced that they're keeping Harmony and introducing a new $99.99 "hub" so a smartphone can be used as the controller for up to eight devices.

http://www.iclarified.com/entry/index.php?enid=31295

mikerob
2013-06-21, 02:41
I've been using an iPhone/iPad app called Roomie Remote (www.roomieremote.com) to control my AV kit and this works with an adaptor from www.globalcache.com for devices that still use IR. I think Roomi is great - really easy to set-up and use.

I think the future of dedicated remotes like Harmony is quite limited.

GeeJay
2013-06-22, 17:20
I can't stand using my iPhone as a remote. I had to do so when my Harmony broke and I was awaiting another. The lack of hard buttons, the need to click the home button to turn the thing on...I can't be the only one that prefers a dedicated universal remote?

ftlight
2013-06-22, 17:31
I've had a Harmony 659 since 2004 and am still very happy with it. The equipment database has been constantly updated and I've had no trouble adding new components. Like you, I prefer something I can keep near my AV system and pick up whenever I need it; I also like hard buttons.