Harmony 650 Remote


#1

The Harmony 650 Universal Remote is pretty amazing. I’d had a Harmony 200 laying around in a drawer for several years & recently pulled it out to config for my Toshiba Fire Edition TV (works GREAT).

I have two boxes that are of some concern, as they’re not identifiable by any of the generic appliance terms (TV, DVD, etc.): (1) Channel Master Stream+ and (2) AIRTV Player from Sling.

Setup was easy, both boxes are in the (vast) Logitech repositories and identified instantly when typed in. Selected, synced and done. I then tested and ran through the functions, everything worked on both the Stream + and the AirTV Player.

While at it, I added one of my TVs, a Sound Bar and a 4K Blu-ray player. What I’ve learned from this: Harmony 650 Remote doesn’t rely on input codes, manual or “learned” programming methods or Category of appliance. You simply plug it into your computer, enter the device’s Model number, click OK and Sync. This may not seem like a big deal to many people, but if you have an item that’s not configurable to a conventional remote, this will save your life (and device).

Photograph is actual size of the remote. Logitech has this at $79 on their site, it can be found elsewhere for less (Amazon, Walmart, etc.)


Caavo Unified Remote / HDMI Switch
Roku remote for Tablo
#2

I bought two of them from Best Buy during the Amazon Prime days at a nice price. I have used other Harmony remotes, and while I like the ease and functionality of these, the battery life is unusually low, even if not used much. They might last one month, two at most.


#3

My biggest surprise was the fact it was able to identify these two odd, non-conventional devices of mine and assign all the right tasks, etc… They take things a step further by allowing the creation of “tasks”, such as Watching a Movie, and will launch all the right devices, assign the proper inputs, etc. for that specific task. I’m experimenting with tasks now.


#4

Or for $60 you could get a Harmony hub with Harmony remote. You can then control your entertainment system with either the remote or a smartphone app or using your voice with Amazon Echo / Google Home.
“Alexa, turn on Tablo” is awesome.


#5

I’ve got one of those. $59 on Amazon, still in the box in a closet.


#6

I bought one at Sam’s some time ago. I think I paid about $40 for mine. It controls my TV, DVD player, Roku 4 and my sound bar. Setup was easy, but if I remember right, there was one thing I needed to use the learn mode on, programming that function with an existing remote, but I’ll be darned if I can remember what it was. Anyway, liked it so much I bought a second one from Amazon about a month ago, again paying about $40.


#7

You can add or change a specific function to the remote by Logging into the “My Harmony” app, naming the function, then dragging & dropping it to an unused button on the remote. I tested this, using the blank / colored buttons, worked well for me, because I’m not smart enough to program into it.

I’m going to set this up with my Roku as well. You’re right on with the pricing, you can get it at Best Buy, Amazon or Sams / Walmart for $40 but it looks and seems like a much more expensive remote.


#8

Best Buy has the Harmony “Ultimate One” on sale for $79 today. That’s $170 off It’s regular price of $249, something I’ve always thought way too high for a remote, but (for me) worth every dime of $79.

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/logitech-harmony-ultimate-one-15-device-universal-remote-black/3721047.p?skuId=3721047

Up until I bought my Harmony 650, I hadn’t thought much of their product line at all. Had an old 200 laying in a drawer for several years until I pulled it out to use as a spare for my new Toshiba Fire Edition TV. I am now learning and understanding the value of Harmony product. This is one of their flagship models, for the price of their middle tier, great opportunity here.


#9

That Harmony Ultimate One doesn’t get exactly rave reviews.

I know a lot of people swear by their Harmony remotes, but the reviews usually scare me away.

We just have two remotes to deal with (TV and Roku)… Harmony might just mean “mess” for us.


#10

cjcox: If all you have is a TV and a Roku, the Harmony would be a total waste for you. It’d just replace your TV remote.


#11

I have no interest in anybody’s review on any product, I make my own decisions (and mistakes), based upon my personal interests and ideas. For me, the entire world of online reviews has become a cesspool of inaccuracies, falsehoods, user error and sometimes outright (or unintentional) malice.

Best Buy, for example, offers Points for reviews, to anybody who buys a product, which waters down the credibility of the review pool greatly. Ninety percent of all youtube reviewers hate 90 percent of everything they see, and reviews from tech sites (and tech snobs) are even worse.

Products on Amazon get One-Star slams for the fact they didn’t understand how to turn the appliance on, Chase gets One-Star slams on Rewards Visa from people who either couldn’t or wouldn’t pay the bill & got it yanked. Just a few examples, of why I pay no heed to any of it.


#12

Hmm… I thought that certain Harmony remotes would even work with the private wifi based Rokus. I’m ok if not so of course.


#13

While some of that is true, how do you research a product? I mean, product marketing is usually not a good indicator of real world performance…


#14

I love Harmony remotes.

I’ve had the Harmony One for maybe 7 years now, and still going strong. I had to replace the battery once though (known problem). It controls my TV, Roku, AVR, and BluRay player. Love it.

I bought a 2nd Harmony remote for my basement viewing area, it controls variants of all the above plus a dehumidifier (turns it off when I’m watching something, turns it back on when I stop watching) and my Nest thermostat (though I never use the temp functionality on it). Once I upgrade my lights to be “smart”, it’ll control those too.


#15

You have to realize that my phone (ah, the good ole days) has an IR blaster. I can control both my TV and Roku with it, just different apps. HTC One M8, one of the best phones ever made (and yes, that means it likely does more useful stuff than your phone does… isn’t that sad?).

So… still skipping the whole Harmony thing… don’t need the extra device :slight_smile:


#16

You can tell from the Harmony 650 picture that my dog would love this device. They would think it would make a great chew toy.


#17

It boils down to convenience. Also has a high WAF.

I have an app for my TV, AVR, BluRay and Roku on my phone too. But that’s 4 different apps. And/or 4 different remotes (let’s say I can pair it down to 2 for general usage)


#18

I’ll go along with you on this. After just three weeks of on-hands experience with the 650, I’m completely sold on the quality, design and functionality of Harmony product. I picked up the “Ultimate One” yesterday, will now relegate my 650 to a bedroom TV.

All over the internet, I’m now reading about how Harmony remotes “Don’t work with Roku”, and how the batteries die after a few weeks or months. Wrong and wrong. Like you, I had configured the 650 remote to control an AVR system, Roku, BluRay player, etc., adding a Fire TV and a “Watch Fire TV” Activity.

Was able to transfer all functions and activities from the 650 over to the Ultimate One, I’ll be adding new activities as I learn more. It had not occurred to me to set this up with a Nest or other smart home device, I’ll be exploring those ideas as well.


Shield Tv Remote
#19

Getting a little bit carried away with the Logitech Harmony thing … bolstered by my excellent experience with the 650, I went out and scored an “Ultimate One”, finally got to break it out of the box and set it up. It’s fantastic, I love the form, the looks and the overall excellence.

The Touch Screen makes a difference, it is a joy to operate. Transferred all Devices and Activities from the 650 in the “My Harmony” app and added a few more. Unlike the 650 and remotes of it’s ilk, this one comes with a charging cradle, which (in my view) is another added bonus.

Hoping to leave well enough alone at this point, but I’ve seen how that goes.


#20

Next up the harmony hub. Then smart plugs. The smart lights. Then smart blinds. Sooner or later you’ll need to sell your home and get a smart home. All due to the harmony remote :wink: