Replacement for Logitech Harmony 850

My Harmony 850 remote is becoming flakey and unresponsive at times.   Sometimes I have to press a button several time before anything happens.  Any suggestions for a replacement which is just as easily programmable for macros etc?  The latest Harmonies according to reviews on Amazon etc seem to have problems with speed etc and depend very heavily on having a live wifi internet connection.

Original Post

Hi Dungassin

I can recommend the Harmony Ultimate. I have two of these in my home each controlling five devices. Yes they do need wi Fi but they work very well. I have had no problem with speed. 

Programing is the same as other Harmony remotes wether using a PC or iPad.

philip

Agreed - we had the 850 which was excellent but this is in another league. So much better with the hub as you don't need to point the remote until a sequence has finished (a cause of problems in our house !). We're probably not using half of its capabilities yet but it works brilliantly. Highly recommended. 

The only downside I could point having lived with the Elite for some time now is that picking up the remote unit "wakes it up" and if it is on the activities screen any accidental touch of the screen switches to another activity which can be really annoying. I guess one should just learn to be careful when handing it but wife and kids are difficult to educate in that regard.  

Having owned Philips Prontos for many years, after Philips stopped supporting them I tried the Harmony Elite, & discovered it's by far the best universal remote you can buy. I've two of them now, one in our holiday home. No issues at all with delays. In our main residence one controls eleven different devices, with multiple macros switching everything, including our Philips Hue lighting, bluetooth devices etc. I cannot recommend the Harmony Elite highly enough.

Well, I'll give the 850 another couple of weeks to see if it gets 'better'.   I think the battery is failing as well, seems to need charging every couple of days now.  Looks like I'll be buying another Harmony.  Have they got rid of that stupidly temperamental charging station?  You know, the one where you lay the remote on it, and if you're LUCKY it actually starts charging.  More often than not I finish up trying various tricks such as metal foil between the contacts, weight on top of the remote.

Another vote for the Harmony Elite. I recently hooked ours up to an Amazon Echo. I'm finding it's quite convenient to use the Harmony with voice commands.

As well as the integrations already Harmony Elite can control Sonos streamers, amps and speakers. The forthcoming Sonos integration in Roon may provide some interesting new control options for those of us using both. 

 

Dungassin posted:

 Looks like I'll be buying another Harmony.  Have they got rid of that stupidly temperamental charging station?  You know, the one where you lay the remote on it, and if you're LUCKY it actually starts charging.  More often than not I finish up trying various tricks such as metal foil between the contacts, weight on top of the remote.

The Elite's charging dock takes the remote vertically. Works perfectly.

Well, the Harmony  remote is obviously knackered.  I had to press the pause button 5 times on my NDS activity before it responded.  Also I spent 5 minutes trying to get it to charge last night before succeeding.  So, I've just been on Amazon and ordered the Harmony Elite.   IIRC correctly, the 850 was no more than 6 years old.  Hence not impressed by its longevity.

Well, it arrived today.  Not very impressed with the software or transfer of data from my Harmony 885 (not 850 as I originally said).   Software seems VERY slow (Ieven went for a cuppa during one 'hourglass' bit, and it still hadn't finished before I got back!), but what really annoyed me was that none of my Custom Additional Button settings (the ones on the screen rather than reassignment of physical buttons) were copied to the Elite.  I finished up adding them again manually (taken me 2 hours due to the slowness of the software).  Also, when I did the copy from the 885, it generated TWO of each device and activity, and managed to lose my NAC 552 altogether.  Didn't appreciate having to go through deleting the 'extra' devices/activities, especially as it was taking about 30 seconds to delete each one.

Another niggle was that it has different software to the old device, and setting that up it wouldn't let me use my email address because that was 'already in use'.  Was nothing in the (inadequate) manual to tell me that I couldn't just use the old software.  I refuse to use Facebook etc to login (another potential layer for the hackers), so finished up going into BT Mail and setting up another email account just to set up this device.  Would have used my iCloud email, but can't remember the address, and it seems I didn't make a note of it.  Logitech help desk say that they can change the default email (my usual one) to the new device software, but that I will immediately lose the old software settings, and it will take 10 days.

The old software was much more friendly, and intuitive IMO.  Good point?  The charging dock is much better than the 885.

The only way I could use the wifi hub is to fix a shelf to the wall opposite to the system.  All other places do not have line of sight for its IR.  So I've changed the settings to make the actual remote send out the IR signals.   Not sure where I could have put the little IR extension thingies other than on the floor, where they would almost certainly be destroyed by my grandkids.

Just going to try it out properly.  Hope it behaves itself.  Got to make sure everything is working properly before I dispense with the 885's software/settings.

You don't need line of sight for the hub / extra emitters. They are powerful enough to use walls to bounce the IR signals around so worth experimenting a bit. I don't get the issues with the software - easy transfer for me and much easier to setup new sequences than with the old. Quick as well. 

Anyway, it sounds like you are on the right track...

Dungassin posted:

Well, it arrived today.  Not very impressed with the software or transfer of data from my Harmony 885 (not 850 as I originally said).   Software seems VERY slow (Ieven went for a cuppa during one 'hourglass' bit, and it still hadn't finished before I got back!), but what really annoyed me was that none of my Custom Additional Button settings (the ones on the screen rather than reassignment of physical buttons) were copied to the Elite.  I finished up adding them again manually (taken me 2 hours due to the slowness of the software).  Also, when I did the copy from the 885, it generated TWO of each device and activity, and managed to lose my NAC 552 altogether.  Didn't appreciate having to go through deleting the 'extra' devices/activities, especially as it was taking about 30 seconds to delete each one.

Another niggle was that it has different software to the old device, and setting that up it wouldn't let me use my email address because that was 'already in use'.  Was nothing in the (inadequate) manual to tell me that I couldn't just use the old software.  I refuse to use Facebook etc to login (another potential layer for the hackers), so finished up going into BT Mail and setting up another email account just to set up this device.  Would have used my iCloud email, but can't remember the address, and it seems I didn't make a note of it.  Logitech help desk say that they can change the default email (my usual one) to the new device software, but that I will immediately lose the old software settings, and it will take 10 days.

The old software was much more friendly, and intuitive IMO.  Good point?  The charging dock is much better than the 885.

The only way I could use the wifi hub is to fix a shelf to the wall opposite to the system.  All other places do not have line of sight for its IR.  So I've changed the settings to make the actual remote send out the IR signals.   Not sure where I could have put the little IR extension thingies other than on the floor, where they would almost certainly be destroyed by my grandkids.

Just going to try it out properly.  Hope it behaves itself.  Got to make sure everything is working properly before I dispense with the 885's software/settings.

Sorry you had so much trouble Mr D. It's rather weird - using my existing MyHarmony setup I just added the new Elite (I've now got two; one in our holiday home) & transferred all the settings from our old 850, including the on-screen ones, this for our holiday home. Maybe they've changed things since then, although I recently altered the programming to suit a change from Sky to Humax boxes.

 

As James has posted, the dual IR emitters are extremely powerful and reach every part of my scattered main system. In our holiday place the units are behind a settee & everything still works faultlessly.

BIGH47 : Didn't know there was more than one European model of the Elite, but it's the one costing £205 on Amazon

Tony : To be honest, with all the faff of adjusting the activities etc, I might as well just have set up all my activities from scratch.  Very disappointed that it didn't copy across the Custom Additional Buttons.

To continue the saga :

Almost got it right now.   Had/have a couple of problems.

1. The Oppo 103 activity was almost completely screwed up.  None of the transport controls worked.  Eventually deleted the Oppo device and reinstalled it from their database.   Decided I didn't like the fact that the new Elite didn't seem to have buttons to move to previous or next scene.  I know that this is a bit of the short press/long press business, but that isn't in the supplied manual (had to go online to find that out), Short/long press is far from ideal, so I've assigned these functions to the ch/pg keys (which I would never use).

2. Radio Activity (still not solved this one) - I listen to FM Radio from the Arcam AVR (not very often, I will admit), which means  switch on Arcam, set Arcam input to INPUT RADIO, then the other bits to switch on NAC552 (AV input) and nSub.  Can't get this to work properly at all.  Even deleted the activity and deleted/reinstalled the Arcam Device and set it up again.  The setup just switches on the Arcam, 552 and nSub, but I can't see any way of making it switch the Arcam input to RADIO (it's the Arcam's built in tuner).   Tried to set it up as a custom additional button on the Elite screen, but none of the Arcam inputs appear on the available options, although they ARE there if I look at the DEVICE itself.   Tried deleting and reloading the Arcam.  Didn't solve it.   Looks like I'll just have to do that activity by using one of the others involving the Arcam and just using the Arcam remote to switch to Radio (that works).   Worked OK.    Incidentally, just discovered another foible.  If I set the Arcam to Radio, then to get back to another input I have to either use its front panel controls or own remote.   Annoying, but at least I know how to work round it.

3. Looks like I'll have to pair the bluetooth on the Wii U and PS4 to the Elite to stop getting those annoying messages when I go into those activities.  Never bothered before - just switched the games consoles on with their own remotes - after all, I need to use those remotes anyway when playing.  Can't see any way of turning off those messages other than doing that pairing.  Don't want to control the games consoles from the Elite.

Off to B&Q this afternoon to pick up a little shelf to fit between my rear nSats.  This is put the Elite Hub on, so that it can 'see' the devices it will be controlling.

Also need to get some Rawlbolts etc so I can make my Tiger Paw Turntable Shelf mounting more secure (still think my grandkids will lean on it when I'm not looking and tip the LP12 on the floor).   Going to be 'great fun' (not) getting the supplied fittings out of the wall. (sigh)

On the Arcam issue, try asking for help from Harmony. When I first got the Elite I struggled with one macro (can't remember which now) & the very helpful lady at Harmony went into my settings & did it all for me. There are some very complicated things you can do with this device & some aren't always obvious, but I've managed to set up some pretty huge macros which all work perfectly. Honestly Mr D, once it's all set up it really is very good!

Just one question.  Is there any way of starting an activity without the 'info screen appearing?  I mean the one with the finger pointer on which you can use swipe gestures.  It's a 'feature' which I am finding very annoying.  I'd like it just to start up with the screen showing any custom 'buttons' etc I have progammed in.

Solved it. For those who want to know, the feature I was referring to is called 'swipe screen', and you disable it by touching the cogwheel on the remote screen > settings > activities.  There you'll find the startup options.

 Just wish they'd have a PROPER manual, even if only for download.   It's a PITA having to think what to enter into the logitech harmony search box on their website.

I've just been through the same Logitech upgrade torture. I have been using the old app to control my 650, but the I've got a new blu-ray player and the stupid thing stopped letting me add devices.

I got the new app working in the end, but only after using my wife's gmail email, because you can't use your existing account, as Dungassin discovered.

Keith

I got the 650 for around £30 from Currys and it is superb, but a nightmare to deal with if you have previously used the old app to control it. You have to set up a new account with a new email address.

I considered the Elite but I can't see enough reason to pay the extra.

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