updated 09:25 am EDT, Tue August 11, 2009
Logitech Harmony 900
Logitech on Tuesday brought some of its highest-end universal remote control features closer to the mainstream in the Harmony 900. It has the same color touchscreen and basic design of the Harmony One but adds an unusual RF to IR bridge system to improve its usefulness. The remote itself talks to an RF hub that in turn blasts an IR signal to one of two receivers. Doing so gives home theater and media center PC users the range and out-of-sight control of an omnidirectional RF signal but the compatibility with devices looking for an IR remote.
As before, the 900 has an activity-based menu system that can link different devices together, such as turning on a cable box and receiver along with a TV. A single remote can control as many as 15 different devices. Viewers can plug the remote into a Mac or Windows PC through USB to update it with codes for newer equipment as it gets added to Logitech's database.
Shipments start in September, when the new Harmony will go on sale for about $400.