In Praise Of Logitech Harmony

Since Philips stopped supporting the Pronto programmable remote, I've been using Harmony Ultimate remotes with hubs. Much as I enjoyed the flexibility of the old Pronto, the Ultimate is a considerable improvement, and with the recent addition of Alexa voice control I can run very complex macros that switch TV, processor, sources, blinds, and lighting by just saying "Alexa, watch a movie/TV/Sky" etc.

I've used Apple TVs in the past, but went over to Amazon FIRE TVs because they worked so much better, as well as offering latterly 4K and HDR. However, with the introduction of the 4K Apple TV I thought I'd buy one since it integrates well in our all-Apple household. I duly programmed the Harmony via the excellent web-based app., and all was well, but then I discovered when switching the system off that my sound processor remained on. A check on the macro showed the correct command was present, and despite my best efforts to sort the problem I couldn't correct it. So, a call to Harmony's support line. A couple of rings and I was on to a very pleasant young lady (in Bulgaria) who explained the Apple TV, which doesn't actually have a power off command,  was preventing the processor from going to standby. She then logged onto my stored configuration, changed a couple of commands (I'd selected the wrong Apple TV version, which probably didn't help), downloaded the new configuration to my Harmony hub and, bingo, all was well.  

I was very impressed with the expertise demonstrated by the Harmony lady, and the fact that the support is open-ended. There's copious information available on-line, and the configurations of our various Harmony remotes (we've two Ultimates with hubs, one in our holiday home, plus a 650 for the kitchen) are stored in the Cloud and can be readily recalled and easily changed using the excellent software. I'm a big fan!

Upper Sheeps Bottom, Suffolk.

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Fully agree. I have an Ultimate One with Hub... it communicates with Hue lights, Amazon Fire TV and Nest Thermostat/Smoke detectors too.  If you're so inclined you can get it linked to Google Assistant and set up IFTTT (If This Then That) shortcuts too.

As cool as it is to say to your phone "Fire up Fire TV" when getting out of the car and you can walk in to a powered up system, the most impressive cross-tech facility is for safety.... if my smoke detector went off and I didn't hear it because of loud music or  a movie, Nest can tell Harmony to mute or put an activity into standby if the smoke detector isn't silenced within a minute of going off.

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james n
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