Logitech Harmony 655 £100

1st Jan 2005 | 00:00

The king of remotes

TechRadar rating:

4 stars

Requiring an internet connection may limit the market for the device slightly, but at least it's unlikely to go out of date

Like:

<p>Easy to set up</p><p>Built in macros</p>

Dislike:

<p>Fiddly to change devices</p><p>Looks cheap</p>

For those who like to keep things simple, this £100 remote enables you to control all your equipment from one zapper. The 655 links up to your computer (Windows 98 and later, and MAC OSX) and the internet in order to set up the remote as quickly as possible.

The 655 looks the part, with an ergonomic design and weighty feel. The buttons are fairly hard and don't look like they'll fade or get grubby with use. The remote's LCD screen greets the user and walks you through the simple set-up (which requires a computer).

Along the top of the remote are a number of macro buttons that combine the most common functions of your AV equipment. 'Play DVD', for example, will make sure your TV is on and turned to the AV channel, while also switching the player itself on and pressing play. What's really clever about this, though, is that the remote will remember if you have already switched the TV on and cut this part of the macro out.

Versatile

The 655 should work fine with most equipment. Logitech's online database includes millions of user devices and we certainly couldn't find a problem controlling the most obscure devices.

If you're used to a Windows interface, you'll find that your PC should pick up the device via USB immediately and the software only requires the name and model number from your devices. Thanks to the relatively small amount of information, you'll be okay even if you only have a slow internet connection, though Logitech promises future firmware updates to improve functionality and streamline features.

The only downsides with the 655 were that battery life is way shorter than on standard remotes, thanks to the backlight, and also it has to be said that some of the text is difficult to read even though the fascia isn't at all busy.

Despite these minor foibles though, with the ability to control up to 15 pieces of equipment, the 655 is the perfect device to leave around for anyone slightly weary of the mass of flashing lights and beige boxes that constitute a modern home cinema system. James Edwards

Home cinemaTVLogitech
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