By Ian Crowe // Product Manager, Harmony Remotes Business Unit on August 11, 2009
58 Comments + 16 Replies
My name is Ian Crowe and I’m a product manager in the Harmony Remotes business unit at Logitech. When I’m not working with our design and engineering teams to develop new products, I enjoy sports, including mountain biking, golf, ice hockey and snowboarding.
Do you love home entertainment but hate the mess of all the devices and wires? If so, you’re not alone.
Announced today, the Logitech Harmony 900 Remote takes clutter-free home entertainment to a new level by using radio frequency (RF) technology. RF signals can travel in all directions and through walls and doors (just like a cordless phone) so you can hide all your gear inside a cabinet or closet and control it all without having to point the remote.
The remote’s physical design is based on the award-winning Harmony One, but we’ve added a higher-resolution screen, a more sophisticated user interface and four additional programmable buttons for STB/DVR/teletext controls. And, like all Harmony remotes, it offers the benefits of one-touch activity-based control and online setup.
The coolest thing about the Harmony 900, however, is the bits that go inside the cabinet to receive the RF signal and send the IR commands to the AV devices. Most RF products require you to attach small IR emitters to the front of all your devices. If you’ve ever tried this, you know how frustrating it can be to find the IR sensor on a DVD player or AV receiver, not to mention getting the emitters to stay in place. And good luck if you need to move anything around later on.
Harmony 900 takes a different approach to in-cabinet control. Our new RF System includes an IR blaster and two mini blasters that sit on the shelves in your cabinet and can each control multiple stacked or side-by-side devices. They are simple to set up and move around as your system evolves and are a lot more attractive than the stick-on emitters. And they won’t leave you looking for tape or hot glue to keep them in place! If you want to control equipment outside of the cabinet, like your TV or video projector, etc., just leave one of the mini blasters on top of the cabinet.
The flexibility of an RF system is hard to appreciate until you try it. Even if your devices aren’t behind closed doors, just not having to point my remote makes a huge difference. In my case, I have an open system and with a single IR blaster I can pause my DVR from the kitchen or change the volume from my porch. It’s made a big difference for me, and my wife refuses to go back to the old ‘pointy remote’ since I brought home the Harmony 900.