Wireless device and personal peripheral manufacturer Logitech announced an updated version of the Harmony One remote control, the Harmony 900, this time adding highly desirable radio frequency (RF) technology, which allows users to operate the remote from anywhere in the house because the remote does not require a line of sight connection to operate electronics. The rechargeable, full-color touch screen remote is expected to be available in the United States and Europe in September for a suggested retail price of $399.99, the company said.
As with all Logitech Harmony remotes, the newest addition to the lineup, the 900 offers one-button activity-based control. Users simply select what they want to do by choosing the appropriate on-screen icon - such as "Watch TV" - and the Harmony 900 remote does the rest. The remote will turn on the TV, the cable box, the A/V receiver and any other necessary devices. The remote ships with a recharging cradle, rechargeable battery, power supply, IR blaster and two mini blasters. Logitech plans to make additional blasters and mini blasters available online in some regions.
Ashish Arora, vice president and general manager of Logitech's Harmony business unit, said like all Harmony remotes, the Harmony 900 simplifies home entertainment, which is particularly relevant with more and more people staying home to watch movies on their big-screen TVs and enjoying surround sound and hi-def video from the comfort of the couch. "Unfortunately, more remotes and more wires tend to be byproducts of increasingly sophisticated home-entertainment systems," said Arora. "With the Harmony 900 remote's RF technology and ability to control up to 15 devices, you can say good-bye to the clutter while gaining better control of your devices."
The Harmony 900 remote's redesigned RF system gives users the ability to control, from up to 100 feet away, a closed cabinet full of electronic devices. Users just place the included IR blaster and one or two of the mini blasters on the cabinet shelves near the devices you want to control. Logitech notes unlike other RF remotes, there's no need to tape emitters to each of your devices. Then use the Harmony 900 remote's color touch screen to choose the devices users want to control with RF.
The remote's button layout is divided into four zones: numbers; traditional DVD controls; D-pad with volume and channel up/down; and on-screen menu buttons. Logitech also offers online setup, where the setup wizard guides users to enter the make and model numbers of their components. The Harmony software then programs the remote with the appropriate IR codes from Logitech's database of more than 225,000 devices from more than 5,000 manufacturers.