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Logitech Harmony 1000 Universal Remote - Logitech Harmony 1000
On the down side, you'll need to set aside a good couple of hours to get the thing up and running, as the default settings are rarely 100 per cent correct. In single device control mode everything seems to work first time - some of the buttons have different names, but I was able to control each device individually without once having to resort to the original remotes. Getting the automated activities to work seamlessly takes a little more work, however.
In my setup, for example, the TV wasn't initially switching source correctly when I skipped from watching my Sky box to the DVD player. It also took bit of trial and error to figure out which input was which on the amplifier control. I found it a little irritating as well that the remote inserts a half second delay in between infrared signals by default which results in sluggish performance until you go in and reduce this by a few hundred milliseconds.
The good news is, however, that if you're prepared to invest a little time and effort, the wizard-like simplicity makes every setting accessible and reasonably easy to understand. So when the remote doesn't work perfectly, you won't need to get your mate with a degree in rocket science around to help you work out how to fix it.
Even more impressive is the degree to which you can customise the remote. Once you become familiar with the Harmony software, you can add custom buttons, assign control sequences to those buttons, change the names of the on-screen buttons and, for those missing commands, you can do it the old-fashioned way and 'teach' it using the original remote.
The only question remaining is that of value: £250 is a lot of money to spend on a remote, however good it is. But if you have a complicated hi-fi and AV setup, there's no more powerful way of controlling everything at once.
It's a bit of a fiddle to get the perfect setup, but the sheer flexibility of what you can do with it and the ease with which such complex operations can be programmed in is to be highly commended.
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