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Logitech Harmony 525 Universal Remote - Logitech Harmony 525 Universal Remote

By Benny Har-Even

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

6

While it’s possible to tweak your settings to get round things like this it’s unfortunately something of a chore. The web based software is slow and it’s likely you’ll need to set aside plenty of time to get your system set up just right. The software is Java based and I also had to contend with one crash to add to the frustration.

The problem is that you really have to do make an effort, otherwise the benefit of the remote are limited. As it stood I found I had to put the other remotes away to make myself use the 525. After all I think the Sky remote control is something of a design classic, with all the buttons and curves in the right place, making it comfortable to hold and all the buttons placed just where they should be. In contrast the 525 just didn’t feel as good to use, though ironically, once tweaked, mimicking the Sky+ it actually what it did best. It even has four colour coded buttons at the bottom.

Ultimately, you have to weigh up such ergonomic considerations against the fact that you can dispense with a box full of remotes, with the 525 able to control up to 15 devices. One thing that I very much liked about the 525 was the volume buttons. My own universal remote, a bulky Sony unit that looks like Jabba-the-Hutt, has dedicated volume buttons but to alter the volume I have to stab repeatedly on the squidgy keys. On the 525 you just hold the button down and the volume changes smoothly.

What disappointed me most however, was that my Scart switch-box didn’t appear in the database at all. Occasionally, it selects the wrong input and the picture switches to composite, which looks dreadful on a 36in TV. To be able to make sure that the correct input was always selected would have been useful.

From my time with the device it’s true to say that if you persevere you can get it to achieve most things you need it to do but the errors and omissions in the database were disappointing.

If you’re worried about whether your devices are in the database you can find out before you buy on the Logitech web site. If you then login after you’ve bought the device this information will be carried over, so you can speed up the process of getting your device working with your kit. Logitech also offers a freephone support line in the UK, which is great.

Verdict

The 525 is a reasonable piece of kit but the software lets it down somewhat. It doesn’t look bad and build quality is reasonable but its quirks mean that it takes time, patience and effort to make the most of it.

Overall Score

6

Ian Nihcaj

October 26, 2008, 10:59 pm

Oddly the ONLY device it worked on at all for me was the Vivanco scart switch box! Apart from that, a nightmare experience is how I can sum it all up - in particular Panasonic equipment does not work with it, and I have spent what feels like a lifetime of trying before giving up, as even "working" codes for devices have many errors, and I can only assume it is because Logitech are distributing codes of keypressses made by users which are wrongly input, and/or have the wrong model numbers attached.


If anyone is in doubt of the problems users face, have a look at Logitech's own support site for thousands of bemused users!

WadeyA

April 24, 2010, 12:32 am

Very helpful and informative review, as always, but I think the low rating is a bit undeserved. I love this remote; the only trouble I had setting it up was (mirroring Ian N's comment) in respect of my Panasonic TV - however, once I turned the Viera link option off in the TV's settings, it worked like a dream.





Never had a universal remote before and this has changed my life (my OH was fed up of having to use three remotes to watch the news!).





I have a Humax 9300 PVR, Panasonic TV, Sony home theatre, Rotel CD, Xbox 360, and an iPod on a DMport, so all fairly mainstream stuff compared to the reviewer's - perhaps that's the difference?





Personally, for £50, I'd give it a good 9 out of 10.

Pani

August 10, 2013, 3:04 pm

Obviously you have to be slightly tech savvy. You probably own an iphone too, correct?

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