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Review: Logitech Harmony 700 Remote

Written on Oct 21, 2009 by Brian and filed under Reviews

Most home theaters suffers from excessive remotes; until you invest in a universal remote. Logitech has been the preeminent leader in the universal remote space for some time, but their product offers to this point have been aimed more at the power home theater user. The Logitech Harmony 700 addresses the more mainstream space, those have a traditional home theater setup.

logitech harmony 700

Getting Started

Out of the box, the Harmony 700 comes with two Eneloop rechargeable batteries, charger, USB cable and installation CD. While the installation occurs on the computer, I suggest plugging in the remote to charge it. Also go make a list of the equipment you want to control, tracking down the model numbers as best you can.

Once the install is complete, the Logitech wizard will walk you through the entire process to set up each piece of equipment. In my test I configured a TV, DVD player, game system, dual zone receiver and DirecTV HD DVR. For each item, Logitech searches its database for the correct remote codes, something that saves a ton of time. They also frequently update the database, so if you buy a new Blu-ray player for instance, the code will probably be waiting for you by the time you get ready to reconfigure the Harmony 700.

logitech harmony 700 wizard

Once it determines the equipment, the wizard prompts you for several data points, like which input on the TV to use and whether or not to use the receiver for volume or the TV. You run through this cycle for each component and when complete, the computer updates the data to the remote. Of course the profile is saved so if you have to go back and make changes, or the batteries die completely, you won’t have to go through the entire process again.

Using the Harmony 700

After my configuration, I headed over to the home theater to give it a test. I have to admit I was expecting to have problems. I haven’t invested in universal remotes of this quality before and the claims seemed difficult to believe. It was absolutely flawless though. I swapped between the Wii, DirecTV and DVD player. All the proper components turned on and off when they were supposed to and the right inputs on the TV were selected.

logitech harmony 700 action buttons

The best part is these functions are all designated with single buttons. This helps “family-proof” its use. Want to watch TV? Then just push the “Watch TV” button and the proper equipment is turned on. Same goes for “Watch a Movie” and “Listen to Music.” There’s also a button for other activities, like activating game consoles. I used this with the Wii, which makes it a snap for my 6 year-old to fire up his games, without needing mom or dad to help change inputs and A/V receiver settings. The only complaint there is the Harmony 700 does not have Bluetooth, so it can’t power on the game systems.

logitech harmony 700 display

The Harmony 700 is flush with buttons too. There’s a small color display at the top for extra features that there,’s not a button for, but most things are accounted for. The only time I used the “soft buttons” were for the List function on the DirecTV box. The screen gives users more flexibility as well to customize the remote how they like.

logitech harmony 700 in hand

Conclusion

Now that I have the Harmony 700, I can’t imagine going back to my multi-remote cluster. The unit is well designed and the usability of the setup wizard is top-notch. In the end the remote does what it claims to do – and does it well. On the usability side, if my wife and 6 year-old can use it, anyone can. Logitech did a great job making the 700 easy to work with and configure. Our only complaint, and its minor, is the lack of Bluetooth support to power on game consoles.

Editor’s Rating – 5 out of 5 stars – Editor’s Choice

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