My new remote control

So I don’t usually do any kind of prouct reviews, and tell you what I’ve bought, but this one takes the cake.

As some of you may know, I’m incredibly lazy. In fact, so lazy that the idea of having to look for the remote corresponding to the activity I’m looking for tires my mental faculties.

Most of you out there that have a television typically know the scenario I describe:

You have a TV remote, that does the cool functions that your awesome TV can do. You have a cable/satellite set-top box that has all sorts of specialized functions, particular to your provider. You may have a DVD-player, gaming console of some sort, and more (I have an XBox 360).

So having all these remotes and controllers gets annoying, and your couch side coffee table gets cluttered, and you have to find the remote you want whenever you want something, and then the TV needs a screen tweak, so you have to find THAT remote, etc. Some remotes offer a little cross-functionality, for example: my cable box remote can be programmed to use the basic (power, volume, mute) functions of my TV. But not everything.

Did I mention that I’m lazy? 🙂

So the people over at Logitech have probably figured out that I exist, and so do many others like me, and created a whole line of remotes under the branding of Harmony remotes. That’s cool. And they went one step further and made a special one for my Xbox 360.
I bought it for a great price of $79.99 at J&R, and it took me less than 20 minutes to pop in the software CD, for it to update itself and the remote with upgrades, and download device profile lists off the ‘Net.

The guide was nice and simple, and walked me through a simple series of questions and answers, that I believe anyone of any technical ability could do. Then it took my devices and made a list of typical activities that I might use the devices for and built “Activities” – which run multiple commands, such as “turn on TV, set to Channel X and turn on set top box” all with one click. Nice and simple.

It works surprisingly well, and I just put all other remotes into the drawer for now. Hopefully I’ll forget that they are there!