View Full Version : Review: Harmony 880 Remote Control

05-07-2006, 10:35 PM
I've recently upgraded to a Harmony 880 remote for our main TV/Surround Sound/DVD/Satellite remote controller.

Sometimes you buy an item and you don't realize how good it is until after you use it a few times. The Harmony 880 is one of those items. It is very good, perhaps the best remote I've ever encountered.

Most multi-device remotes force you to select the device, then they function for that device, then you select another device and they function for that one, and then you select another . . . -or- . . . they offer some limited "macro" programming so you can hit one button and turn everything on/off and even do some simple command chains.

The Harmony series remotes are different. They set up "activities" and then run complicated strings of macros for each activity. But since even the basic Harmony remotes do that, I won't get into the functionality of the basic features.

What impresses me about the Harmony 880 over the other units from Harmony I have owned, are the details. Like the charging base that has a blue glow so you can find it in the dark. Or the fact that it exists at all since many remotes are battery powered and seem to fail when you least expect it, the 880 is always ready to use because it is fully charged each time you set it back into the cradle.

I really like the auto-glow feature. Somewhere tucked inside the remote is a motion switch. Pick the remote up from wherever it is sitting and it automatically lights up. No need to touch a button, but touch the unit and the command screen and all the buttons illuminate!

Now as with all Harmony remotes you can custom configure the unit to do anything, and as with all Harmony remotes you program it on your computer and download the data into the unit. You can, if you so wish, download TV schedules, favorite channels, etc. But with past remotes I found those to be pointless when the satellite has the same features.

The units are expensive, but if you have invested big bucks in a HDTV, surround sound, etc, then you owe it to yourself to check out the Harmony 880 remote.