Tech Days of Christmas – Day 6

My tech gadget for the holidays is my Harmony Remote Control

These devices have been around for years to high end but were unaffordable to all but the high end marked. What is new this year the introduction of a new affordable series leading with the Logitech Harmony remote which was on sale for $29 the week before Christmas at Futureshop. If you have a lot of devices, I would recommend the model 650 which lists for $99 but goes on sale for about $75.

The reason I think it is the coolest thing is that I love other high tech gadgets such as my wide screen TV, with its surround sound system, bluray player, high def PVR and of course the kids Wii (well I do have Tiger Woods golf for me).

The problem was that if I was watching a movie on a Friday night and went to bed the kids would wake at 7 AM the next morning and couldn’t get the system to convert to cartoons, what with 5 remotes to choose from. Sure you can program the PVR or the surround sound to work to change volume or channels, but no one device could do everything.

So I started looking a fully programmable remotes. Sony had a great model but it didn’t support bluray plus it was a bit of chore to program. So one lunch I was down at Circuit City and they were blowing out Harmony model 550’s to make room the newer models mentioned above.

I went home that evening, loaded the software on my computer, told it which devices I owned and which ports they were plugged into. Simply plug attach the remote to your computer with the USB cable and upload the programming to the remote and EVERYTHING works first time. It even has a little help screen where it guides you through corrective questions and answers if everything didn’t work as expected. (usually because my daughter points the remote at her feet not the TV).

So I now live in bliss with only one remote and can sleep in on Saturday mornings. The only time I need another remote is if need to access custom menus to change brightness etc. Even then if you are always tweaking a setting, it’s easy to assign that setting to un-used button.