Logitech Harmony 200 universal remote control
Owners of expansive home cinema systems will understand the frustration that comes with searching for the right remote control for each piece of equipment. One way to deal with this is to buy a universal remote, but these can be expensive. Not so with Logitech’s new entry-level Harmony remote, which can simplify your home cinema setup for the price of a Blu-ray film.
The remote's simple glossy black finish might not look particularly impressive, but the Harmony 200 feels solidly built and is comfortable to hold. We would argue it feels better than many original remote controls we’ve used, especially those from some budget manufacturers.
A universal remote isn’t much use if it doesn’t support your equipment, but that shouldn’t be a problem for the Harmony 200; it’s compatible with over 225,000 different devices. To set it up with your kit you need to connect it to a computer and download unique profiles for your own equipment. The MyHarmony website makes setup very simple; type in the model number of your AV products and the profiles are automatically synced to the remote control using the supplied USB cable. The website uses a Silverlight plugin to communicate with the remote, so should work on any computer with Silverlight installed. If you want to check that your equipment is supported before you buy, Logitech has a helpful website that lets you look your kit up.
We had no trouble configuring the remote control to recognise our reference LG TV, Samsung Blu-ray player and Onkyo A/V amplifier; all the buttons worked as expected straight away. Although we didn’t need to, you can easily tweak the function of each button individually using the web interface. The remote control worked just as well as the official remotes, so we had no qualms about swapping our regular remotes for the Harmony right away.
There’s very little not to like about the Harmony 200; admittedly it can only sync with three devices at once, and it uses AA batteries rather than a rechargeable docking station, but it's still incredible value at £20. If you want to simplify your home theatre on the cheap, this is one of the best ways to do it.