Scenario: I bought a Logitech Harmony 300 programmable universal remote as a christmas gift for $28.95 from Officeworks. Due to the recipients of the gift being non-technical people, I had to set up the gift myself to work with the various devices they have in their living room.
Experience: After getting the remote out of its box, I briefly read the manual. I honestly first thought that I could find a way to add the devices to the remote using the computer by visiting the Logitech website. After poking around for around 5-10 minutes, I failed to find any mention of where you should go to carry out the setup procedure. In the end, I noticed that the manual said that you have to visit a website with the address myharmony.com
After going to the site, I was greeted with an account setup screen. I filled in all the necessary details (email, password, etc, etc) and then I clicked next. After the account creation step was successful, I was told that the setup procedure would only work through Safari 3 or Firefox on OS X.
I felt that this part was a bit of a let down, since I had come to the site using Google Chrome browser and was not warned of any impending doom until after I clicked next in the setup procedure. This meant that I had to launch Firefox (I prefer Firefox to Safari) and login again before being able to continue. It is a minor issue, but I feel that a company such as Logitech should try to make the experience as smooth as possible even for non-technical users. Telling a user that the browser being used is not compatible is not necessarily bad, but letting them know after the process had begun (in this case in the third step), is a little annoying and confusing. I would have preferred to be told in the very first step that the browser I was using was incompatible.
Despite the little hiccup, the process as a whole was quite smooth and orderly. You put the batteries in the remote and then you plug it into the computer’s USB port when prompted during the setup process. Once the software can see the remote, it then prompts you to add devices. I added the following devices to the remote:
- Sharp Aquos LC-37D85X Television
- Rowa RDV650 DVD player
- Samsung DVD-R155 DVD recorder.
After the setup process finished, the remote seemed to work just fine with all three devices.
Verdict: I would recommend this device to others, even though the Harmony 300 is limited to only 4 devices (reasonable for most homes). The setup is quite quick and straightforward and the software used in the setup is quite intuitive.
What’s in the box: 2 AA batteries, remote, manual, warranty card, USB cable.
Merry Christmas people.