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Old 08-29-2005, 02:18 PM
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Default Logitech Harmony Remotes

I know one person with one, and have read great things about them.

My question is that some reviews I've read said that even some of the lower models will work with DVR devices, while the logitech site lists the 688 as the first model that works with DVR. Anyone have experience with a lower model and a DVR device? Anyone like one particular model?

I'm leaning towards the 688 (after tax and shipping from Newegg it's about $120 - suggested at $200).

I do have to say the newest one (the eight hundred series) looks sweet, but I can't see spending that much on a remote.
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Old 08-29-2005, 03:07 PM
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I just got the Harmony 659 and I LOVE it. I use it with a Scienfitic Atlanta DVR (the one available with Rogers Digital Cable in Canada). It works with the DVR just fine. The difference I think with higher models is that the 659 doesn't have any hard-buttons that are specifically for a DVR. The generic pause, fast-forward, etc . . . work fine, but DVR specific buttons like "List Programs", "Replay" and the A, B and C buttons that the DVR uses have to be accessed using the buttons next to the display screen. For me, this hasn't been too much of an inconvenience. It just took me a few tries to get the features I used the most on the first page of the display.
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Old 08-30-2005, 10:07 AM
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I just got the Harmony 659 and I LOVE it. I use it with a Scienfitic Atlanta DVR (the one available with Rogers Digital Cable in Canada). It works with the DVR just fine. The difference I think with higher models is that the 659 doesn't have any hard-buttons that are specifically for a DVR. The generic pause, fast-forward, etc . . . work fine, but DVR specific buttons like "List Programs", "Replay" and the A, B and C buttons that the DVR uses have to be accessed using the buttons next to the display screen. For me, this hasn't been too much of an inconvenience. It just took me a few tries to get the features I used the most on the first page of the display.
Thanks for the input. I figured since it can learn other buttons it wouldn't be a problem, but more of a slight speed bump in setting it up.

I'll have to do more research and look into what other benefits the 688 might have over the 659 that would warrant getting the higher model. It might be worth it for the stand alone DVR buttons to help the g/f avoid confusion.
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Old 08-30-2005, 10:47 AM
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I had a quick look at the 688 on the Logitech website and from what I can see, the only buttons that the 688 has that the 659 does are dedicated chapter advance buttons (mainly for DVD I guess) and dedicated Page up and Page down buttons (which would be useful for my DVR).

The major selling point for me on this remote was useability for my wife. I had another universal remote that had a few macro buttons to get from TV to DVD, etc, but my wife frequently got frustrated when it didn't do the right thing. The Harmony has really solved these problems. Even if the action button doesn't do quite the right thing, there is a help button that steps you through possible solutions.
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Old 08-30-2005, 11:00 AM
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the 659 would be 99.32 after tax and shipping on newegg.com
the 688 (silver) would be 118.40
the 688 (black) would be 132.18 (go figure)

so it's an extra 19.08 for some dedicated buttons...also, compared to the suggested retail from the logitech site, it's a 'better' deal (although all MSRPs are inflated anyway).

I've checked pricegrabber, and newegg is the lowest bottom line cost for the 688 silver.

I'll keep reading about these and see if I can determine if the 688 is worth it.

Thanks again for your insight.
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Old 08-30-2005, 11:07 AM
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If you can get your hands on them before you buy, check them both out. The button layouts are quite different.

I wish newegg shipped to Canada. Even with the exchange, $99.32 is much less than I paid for mine about 2 months ago ($199 CAD).
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Old 08-30-2005, 11:09 AM
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If you can get your hands on them before you buy, check them both out. The button layouts are quite different.

I wish newegg shipped to Canada. Even with the exchange, $99.32 is much less than I paid for mine about 2 months ago ($199 CAD).
You should get a US contact, possibly someone on here to order things like that for you and ship it to Candada for a small convenience fee.

Hands on is the problem. I've been to most of the major electronic stores and they just don't have most of them. I saw ONE 659 (no other models) in Best Buy, Tweeter didn't carry them, and I've yet to check Circuit City.
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Old 08-30-2005, 11:14 AM
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Note, with the exchange rate, 199 Canadian is about 166.32 American Dollars.

So you pay 100 for it on New Egg (would be slighly less - 93.98 - if it were to a state that didn't charge tax as my state does for Newegg), and pay the 10-15 bucks to have it shipped up to canada, and add in 10-15 bucks as a 'fee for the favor.'

You end up spending 114-130 bucks depending on the details instead of 166.32 US.

Man, you need a friend down here.
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Old 08-30-2005, 11:20 AM
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the 659 has 3 dedicated 'action' buttons
the 688 has 4 dedicated 'action' buttons....


is the additional action button 'watch DVR/PVR'? or is it something else?

Watch TV, Watch DVD, Listen to Music are the 3 on the 659, right?
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Old 08-30-2005, 09:33 PM
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Just my not-so-quick 2 cents:

I just love the whole idea of activity-centric remotes. In terms of set-up time, if you are anal (OK, you're an actuary, so you're anal), give yourself a full Saturday to set it up just how you like it. Any time spent learning custom commands will pale in comparison to your repeated tweaking and syncing, tweaking and syncing... One of my components was not in the database, though I started with something similar from the database, and many of the commands were the same. It didn't take long for the learning commands part at all. Regarding the tweaking, I say this only in a positive way, because the device is so flexible, it can do just about anything you want. I haven't touched the setup since the first week of owenership.

Oh yeah, one big help was finding some help on the website to simply modify the html code for changing radio station tuning (not changing presets) so that holding down the button continues to send the command to go up or down. It was really simple to do, but it was also 2.5 (?) years ago, so it's long gone from my brain.

Customer service was awesome during that time, too, both in answering my many picky questions and in replacing my unit that had the battery compartment too tight so that the door would bulge.

I have an older model without as many hard buttons. I wouldn't mind having a few more, but I just mapped some of the ones not used for a certain function to what I needed. For example, "Disc Choose" in DVD mode is triggered through channel down. My wife will never care to remember that, but she can always get up and push the button on the DVD player, too. Which leads to...

Wife compatability: I thought that this would be a slam dunk, but unfortunately it did not turn out so. First, she is too impatient for all of the commands to get sent before putting the remote down somewhere. So, something inevitably doesn't turn on or get the right setting. Then, she hates, for some reason, to try to read the LCD screen either to fix the situation or to guide actions during normal operation.

Anyway, it was a rousing success for me, even if it did not eliminate the phone calls to me during the day about how to "fix" the TV.
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