Bring Harmony to Your Home

At a Glance
  • Logitech Inc Harmony 676 Remote Control

Photograph: Marc Simon
What good is a home theater if it's a colossal pain to use? A universal remote like Logitech's Harmony Remote 676 makes controlling all of your components easy.

To program the Harmony, you log on to a Web site and tell a wizard what TV, DVD player, cable box, or other devices you have. You then answer questions about your setup (for example, what video input your DVD player is connected to), plug the remote into your PC with a USB cable, and download the codes to control your devices. Sound simple? It is.

1. Action buttons: With one press you can watch TV; play a CD, DVD, or video game; or listen to the radio. Custom setup options let you control what happens when you start any of those activities (for instance, you can tell it to set the surround mode on your receiver when you play a DVD). Now if they could only automate making popcorn....

2. Help button: Wow: a Help button that actually works! For instance, when the DVD action didn't switch to the correct input on my receiver, the help menu guided me in troubleshooting the problem.

3. Screen: Access less frequently used commands (like the volume-tweaking commands on a CD changer) from this screen. The Harmony can also download TV-program listings for your favorite channels via USB and display them here.

4. Command buttons: Finding key commands like Play, Fast Forward, and Change Channel by touch is easy.

5. Glow button: When you need to see what you're doing in the dark, the Glow button makes the other buttons on the remote light up.

Universal Remote

Logitech Harmony Remote 676

DW VERDICT: Slick, powerful, and easy to use.
PRICE: $160 (street)
Current Price (if available)

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At a Glance
  • Logitech Inc Harmony 676 Remote Control

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