Logitech Harmony Link is Probably the Coolest Universal Remote You’ve Seen [Video]


Logitech has unveiled their Harmony Link remote control system that aims to make universal control simple, powerful and very cool. You get a WiFi-enabled Harmony Link unit that can control up to 8 devices including televisions, cable and satellite set-top boxes,  Blu Ray players and audio systems. You’re then able to use the Android (or iOS if you’re into that sort of thing) application to control it all from your already existing device.

At first glance it’s a lot more than your traditional universal remote or the digital Logitech Harmony remote app that came before it. The coolest feature is being able to get TV listings within the app, meaning you don’t have to go channel surfing on the TV and you don’t have to know what you want to watch before using the remote. The app will let you select whatever show you want to watch and your TV and set-top box will get you over to the right channel.

The interface makes it dead simple to use your other devices, too. Instead of showing a list of model numbers and names, it asks you if you want to “Watch TV”, “Listen to Music” or “Play a Game.” The link can learn commands from your existing remotes so you’re never left having to look for an old remote for a feature the Harmony Link doesn’t support. Finally, because it uses WiFi it doesn’t have to sit out in the open.

As everyone strives to make everything smart (I long for the day when my toaster will tell me my toast is just about done) we’re not surprised by this logical step for Logitech’s Harmony line. For $100, this could be the best universal remote control you’ve ever owned (granted you don’t need to control more than 8 devices at a time). You can preorder it at today.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. What app is the companion to this? I’d like to toy around with the app to see if I like the interface enough to have it replace my remote.

    edit: Nvm – found it –

    1. I don’t believe that is the app. That is for the Logitech Revue or Google TV.

    2. That’s not the one; this is the Revue companion. Logitech probably haven’t released the app for this remote yet.

  2. Do all your devices have to be wifi enabled

    1. This still uses an IR blaster. Wifi is only used for connecting to the device you are using as a remote control.

    2. Nope, the device it self ( the Harmony Link ) stands alone in front of your devices as it will transmit the IR signal, the WiFi meant to be used between the Harmony Link it self and the remote which is your Android or iOS powered device, being a phone, tablet or even a portable audio/media player ( like Galaxy S WiFi, iPod Touch or even the new Sony Walkman powered by Android…

  3. I’m going to go ahead and predict FAIL on this one. I’m all about mobile and TV, but using my mobile as my TV remote? Nah. I’ll spend my battery power elsewhere.

    1. I like having the option, but you are right…my battery power is needed elsewhere

    2. what about your tablet?

      If you’re already sitting on the couch..

    3. I think its great and look forward to owning one. I always have my tablet in front of me when watching TV, so this will work great for me. Time to throw out the old remotes and have just one, on my tablet.

    4. i got the logitech revue now and i love it.

      i just had a brainstorm too.

      i’m going to load the logitech ANDROID app on to my galaxy tab and see how it flies.

    5. I agree that tablet users may benefit most. I just feel that a $100 device shouldn’t require me to use not only something that I have to purchase separately–especially when tablets and phones cost upwards of $200–but that the phones already have limited battery life. I’d be lucky to get a full days worth of normal use out of my phone (the battery isn’t brand new), so at the end of the day when I can finally sit down in front of the TV, I don’t want to use the last valuable drops of energy on controlling my TV.

      At home, we use a Logitech Harmony remote that I bought for $30 on clearance. It controls my TV, Receiver, DVD player, Bluray player, Xbox, and DirecTV all with the same physical buttons on the surface of the remote. I can even use it in the dark because I know where the buttons are. My family loves it… my son learned how to use the basic functions by age four. Our babysitter thinks it’s “the coolest thing.” It is. I’ve bought several as gifts to friends and family.

      By the way, my kids don’t own their own mobile phones. They may be able to use a tablet if we had one. In fact, since we don’t have one, how will my guests change channels on the TV when everyone is over for Thanksgiving? Will I have to hand over my phone? Stay in the room with them? Have them call me whenever they need something? Buy a tablet (probably would want a high-end one if at all)?

      MIKEEEEE: I have a Revue, too, and it’s great! I can’t wait for the upgrade. It’s supposed to bring the Android Marketplace!

  4. I love the idea of this app/hardware but I hate having to use my phone, with no physical buttons, to control my entertainment setup.

    I don’t want to have to turn on my phone, unlock it, open the app (if it’s not already running in the foreground) then find the option I want (ie. pause). It seems much cheaper and quicker to just use a dedicated Harmony remote (or my cheap $7 Windows Media Center remote that has worked great for 3 years)

    1. Agreed! I ran a Boxee setup for a while, and I now run an XBMC setup. I already had the ability to control everything (except volume) from an app on my phone, and I hated it. I went out and spend like $150 on a Harmony One and and Media Center Remote IR receiver. Now I LOVE the setup. Getting this would be a huge step backwards. I like using my big screen TV to look at my media library, why would intentionally move this to a smaller screen? And I like being able to quickly hit the 15 second back button, or, if I am watching a recorded show, fast forward without needing to turn on another device and look at it to find the software keys for fast forward.

      Bravo to Logitech for making something that will definitely appeal to some gadget junkies out there, I am sure they will sell a number of these, but I assume they realize that a physical dedicated controller is really vastly more convenient. Maybe this functionality will eventually be integrated into the Harmony 9000 series, where they already have an IR blaster to convert RF to IR anyway, and this could just be a good alternative option.

      1. I think for most, a dedicated physical remote is the best option, but I could totally see buying one of these and using my phone until I could save up for a much more expensive ($200-$300) mega remote. And who knows, maybe they’ll discover the key to making this practical.

  5. If this thing supported both IR and RF, it would be pure win.

  6. Looks like a great idea, I have a Harmony remote which IMHO it’s the best low cost universal remote (if you have money to spare the top Philips Pronto is king). However this is way better as it’s more like the XBMC Remote that I use on my phone/tablet to control my media centre.

    I guess it needs a EPG that is country specific so will this launch in the UK soon?

  7. spend some cash and lots of time and take it a step further:

  8. When I first built my pc, i forgotten about tv already.

  9. Yeah this wouldn’t work for me. Having to unlock my phone, launch the app, then physically having to look at the screen to do whatever action I want to do. That’s waaay overkill.

    It’s much easier to just use The Force…which is very easy to manipulate using the Logitech Harmony 700. I love it! It replaced all 3 of my remotes (tv, cable, and blu-ray player). Plus I’ve got mad muscle memory with the physical keys and it even lets me control the Death Star from my couch. I can change channels, blow up planets, adjust the volume and I never have to take my eyes off the TV.

  10. For everyone that only has like 3 devices (TV, bluray, one other thing)… calm down, this is not for you. It is however for me with lots more things plugged in and needing to be switched to get working. Hell if my Sony AV receiver did it’s friggin job I might not want this so badly. If you remember the Pronto remote, yup I cried the day it died on me.

    Peace. Love. Andy.

  11. Directv already has this for the ipad and it’s awesome. I can use my ipad as a fully functional remote complete with the tv guide. It works through wifi and is impressively responsive. Also in the market, there is an app (not by directv) that allows you to control the box and, I may be wrong, let you view the tv guide as well.

  12. Using you phone as a remote…make it a helluva lot easier to find it when it gets lost. I just lost the one I have that came with my receiver….so this is right on time.

    Combined with Widget Locker, it can be already on the lock screen, so thats one less step. Someone who has more than 1 lil kid running around, 1 just turned a y.o..having this will be great. I still dont know what in the world happened to my universal remote!!! lol.

  13. I already have apps to control my Verizon Fios set top box and my Sony Blu Ray player. They’re more trouble than they’re worth. A simple Universal remote that works on AA batteries is a lot more useful and convenient.

    However, I can see some fun to be had changing channels from another room.

  14. Or spend 99 and get a harmony and get all the befits of it and the soon to be SOP market.

  15. I don’t see how this is that much different from the current harmony app that I use occasionally to control my Logitech Revue. I mean, the remote functionality is basically the same. My HTC Sensation can control my whole home theater setup through the Revue. Only thing different I see is that it has some UI features that allow you to view a guide or programs and say watch and it will then make it happen.

    I would expect this to be in the next rev of the Revue. :-)

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