Harmony remotes discontinued by Logitech. What next?

anonymouse
anonymouse Posts: 2,671
https://www.cnet.com/news/logitech-harmony-universal-remotes-discontinued/

Been using these for more than 15 years. Sad day for sure. I am buying a spare or two. Love my elite.

Are there any real competitors at their price point?

Comments

  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 2,965
    edited April 11
    There's not really any competitor to the Harmony remotes. There are still plenty of generic "universal learning" remote controls on the market though. For those with things like uncommon two channel preamps and cd players it may be a good idea to get a universal remote, let it do the learning thing from the gear's remote control, then stash the gear's remote control away with the batteries removed for possible future use.

    There is a SofaBaton and I have one of those. It's more like a learning remote because it doesn't have anywhere near the library of codes online the Harmony system has. I needed a new remote because the one on my Parasound JC2 stopped working so I bought a Harmony Elite a couple years ago. The SofaBaton didn't have the codes in their system at that time. Harmony had all of the codes, even the bypass button. SofaBaton may have the codes now, or may have in future if enough Harmony owners shift over to it.

    Logitech is weird. They develop tech that's so good it kills the competition and then they stop producing it once their competition is dead.
    1. Polk LSiM-707, LSiM-704C, LSiM-702FX; Dual SVS SB2000 subwoofers; Marantz SR7011 receiver; Parasound A31 and A23 amps; Oppo 205; Sony 65" 4K TV; FIOS; PS Audio Power Plant Premier; MIT S2 cables
    2. JM Labs Electra 920.1; Parasound JC2 and JC5; Sony HAP-Z1ES; Marantz SA8004 SACD; Music Hall MMF7 and Acoustech phono pre; PS Audio P1000; MIT S1 Cables
    3. Polk LSiM703; Anthem Pre-2L SE; Parasound A21; Sony 48" 4K TV; Wyred4Sound DAC 2; Oppo 203; Squeezebox Touch; PS Audio Power Director 4.7; MIT S3 cables
  • mdaudioguy
    mdaudioguy Posts: 5,152
    Emlyn wrote: »
    Logitech is weird. They develop tech that's so good it kills the competition and then they stop producing it once their competition is dead.
    Agreed. Nothing has made controlling my systems easier than my Harmony remotes. I've recommended them to many people, too. Logitech was ahead of the game with streaming with Squeezebox and could probably be outselling competitors if they tried. I think what killed Squeezebox was maintaining the software to integrate third party streaming services. I can't imagine they'd support the Harmony software for a very long time without selling any new hardware.
  • billbillw
    billbillw Posts: 5,895
    edited April 12
    I've probably had 5 or 6 through the years. Currently using a Harmony Hub in my living room. Not sure what I'll use if/when that dies. My old "spares" all have buttons that don't work (and yes, I've taken them apart and cleaned with isopropyl) so they won't be much help. Might be time to grab some new spares before the price skyrockets.
    Main 2-ch:
    Sony SS-M9; Amp: LSA Statement Integrated; VPI HW-19 Mk3/Sumiko Premier FT-3/Audio Technica AT15SA; Pass Labs DIY Pearl Phono; Sony SCD-C333ES SACD Changer; TEAC UD-301 DAC; Dell/WYSE 5010 (running Daphile); Sony ST-SA5ES Tuner; Nanotec Golden Strada speaker cables (SR+#79 Shotgun); Audioquest Coral interconnects
  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 2,965
    Other manufacturers are probably happy for Logitech to bow out so everyone has to go out and buy new gear that's controlled through Amazon Alexa. And custom installers who can charge a hundred bucks to add a new remote control to their proprietary control system. :)

    I tried using a Logitech remote years ago and found out I prefer using the individual remotes to each piece of gear. So I've done that for years. The only reason I bought a Harmony Elite was because one of the remotes died to my preamp and I didn't want to buy a replacement for it from the manufacturer that was probably going to break too. A $4500 preamp should have a better remote control with it.
    1. Polk LSiM-707, LSiM-704C, LSiM-702FX; Dual SVS SB2000 subwoofers; Marantz SR7011 receiver; Parasound A31 and A23 amps; Oppo 205; Sony 65" 4K TV; FIOS; PS Audio Power Plant Premier; MIT S2 cables
    2. JM Labs Electra 920.1; Parasound JC2 and JC5; Sony HAP-Z1ES; Marantz SA8004 SACD; Music Hall MMF7 and Acoustech phono pre; PS Audio P1000; MIT S1 Cables
    3. Polk LSiM703; Anthem Pre-2L SE; Parasound A21; Sony 48" 4K TV; Wyred4Sound DAC 2; Oppo 203; Squeezebox Touch; PS Audio Power Director 4.7; MIT S3 cables
  • Kex
    Kex Posts: 4,358
    I have a love/hate relationship with Harmony remotes.

    Yes, they have a huge database and are easy to set up for the basic functions, but...
    • I find myself having to press the "Help" button far too often, to resolve recurring issues that are difficult to investigate.
    • Trying to tidy up the setup, including which buttons do appear in the LCD screen layout for a specific device or activity, and which buttons do not, is a very time consuming and often frustrating exercise.

    My AppleTV remote is able to turn on connected devices without the Harmony (using CEC or something like that), and offers the ability to use a nearby iPad, iPhone or iPod as a keyboard, instead of spelling out words and passwords with Siri or navigating the on screen virtual keyboard.

    So for everything AppleTV, I don't need the Harmony. For everything else, I still do. If all other HDMI connected devices worked in the same way, the Harmony would be irrelevant.

    I've never found the remotes to be well laid out, in terms of balance and ergonomics. Universal have often claimed that their remotes are much better in this regard, but they keep their best software for installers only (unless that has changed).
    Alea jacta est!
  • anonymouse
    anonymouse Posts: 2,671
    I'm surprised at the lack of interest in this thread. I guess that is why Logitech discontinued the line - too few people who care. A great product with a tiny market.
  • audioluvr
    audioluvr Posts: 3,246
    edited April 13
    The problem with the Harmony's is people who use them absolutely love them and couldn't live without them and they are super reliable... Personally I'm sad this is happening. They have an excellent product that compares to none.

    Cambridge Audio 851N Streamer/DAC
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    Polk SDA 1C's modded
    Wireworld Silver Eclipse IC's and speaker cables


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  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 18,401
    anonymouse wrote: »
    I'm surprised at the lack of interest in this thread. I guess that is why Logitech discontinued the line - too few people who care. A great product with a tiny market.

    I've never used or thought I needed a Harmony Remote. The factory remotes worked fine. My Dish remotes can also control some of my gear. The Dish remote doesn't get deep into the factory remotes but it does operate the volume and off/on. There are also apps that you can download to your smartphone that control gear as well, example is Oppo.
    So Harmony stopping has zero effects on myself.
  • billbillw
    billbillw Posts: 5,895
    edited April 14
    Since I read this, I dug out my old Harmony remotes. I fall into the group of absolutely loving them. Yes, they take a little time to sort out and get everything working perfect but once you do, they are great. I do not find that I need to use the Help button very often.

    I started out with one 676 somewhere around 2005 or so. It replaced some gigantic Sony touchscreen remote that worked fairly well with Macros saved, but it was clunky and only had a few tactile buttons. It also didn't have the Help feature. Harmony was a marriage saver for me. My wife absolutely could not grasp the concept of changing inputs on a TV and a receiver. She grew up with a TV that you turned on and watched whatever channel it was tuned to. The VCR played over Channel 3. Suddenly she had to switch inputs for the cable box, DVD, VCR, etc. What? the receiver also needs to be on a certain input? Why is it so complex? She just wants to watch TV!!!! I got angry calls all the time at work. Eventually, Harmony and the Help button saved me from those types of calls.

    I got a second one for the bedroom system somewhere along the line. When the first 676 started to wear out, I bought a 700. At some point, I bought a second 700 and retired both the 676. One of the 700s started to get worn out and dropped on the hard floor too many times. It also wouldn't control bluetooth devices like the PS3, so I bought a Harmony Hub on clearance. The Hub has been great. The kids love using the Google Mini to control it by voice. I still use one of the 700 in my theater setup.

    So in the cupboards, I had two old 676 and one 700 that were no longer being used and are both somewhat worn. I had mostly written them off. A couple days ago, I took the worn 700 out and gave it a good cleaning and used some deoxit on the click buttons. I found this on ebay and it has a good video on how to clean the internals and the click buttons: https://www.ebay.com/itm/253117111418 The same seller also has a kit for my 676.

    To my delight, the 700 works very well after cleaning. There is maybe one button that is not 100%. The 676 also works well still, but I am not used to that button layout anymore, so I find it harder to use. The 676 also still uses the old Desktop software, which seems to be very clunky these days. I had to reconfigure the 676 because I've changed so many components over the last 5 years. Loading the manufacturer seems to bog down the computer on that old software, which is all Java based. Clearly Logitech is not focusing on that old software anymore. Luckily, the newer MyHarmony software is great.

    I will probably still order a couple of those kits just in case the buttons get more worn and need the new pads. Glad to have these "backups."
    Main 2-ch:
    Sony SS-M9; Amp: LSA Statement Integrated; VPI HW-19 Mk3/Sumiko Premier FT-3/Audio Technica AT15SA; Pass Labs DIY Pearl Phono; Sony SCD-C333ES SACD Changer; TEAC UD-301 DAC; Dell/WYSE 5010 (running Daphile); Sony ST-SA5ES Tuner; Nanotec Golden Strada speaker cables (SR+#79 Shotgun); Audioquest Coral interconnects
  • rooftop59
    rooftop59 Posts: 7,135
    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    anonymouse wrote: »
    I'm surprised at the lack of interest in this thread. I guess that is why Logitech discontinued the line - too few people who care. A great product with a tiny market.

    I've never used or thought I needed a Harmony Remote. The factory remotes worked fine. My Dish remotes can also control some of my gear. The Dish remote doesn't get deep into the factory remotes but it does operate the volume and off/on. There are also apps that you can download to your smartphone that control gear as well, example is Oppo.
    So Harmony stopping has zero effects on myself.

    Good for you👴! Those of us with a spouse and young children in the house and fairly complicated systems, harmony is almost a necessity. I’m like Bill, been using them for at least 10 years and can’t really imagine not having one. I have at least one back up but I might grab another...
    Living Room 2.1: Usher BE-718 "tiny dancers"; Dual DIY Dayton audio RSS210HF-4 Subs with Dayton SPA-250 amps; Musical Fidelity A308; NAD M51 DAC; Sony UBP-x1000es
    Game Room HT: Denon AVR-X4200w; Sony UBP-x700; Definitive Technology SM450; Definitive Technology LCR2000; Definitive Technology StudioMonitor350; Mirage Nanasats; Sub - HSU VTF-2 MK5
    Master Bedroom
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  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 18,401
    edited April 14
    rooftop59 wrote: »
    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    anonymouse wrote: »
    I'm surprised at the lack of interest in this thread. I guess that is why Logitech discontinued the line - too few people who care. A great product with a tiny market.

    I've never used or thought I needed a Harmony Remote. The factory remotes worked fine. My Dish remotes can also control some of my gear. The Dish remote doesn't get deep into the factory remotes but it does operate the volume and off/on. There are also apps that you can download to your smartphone that control gear as well, example is Oppo.
    So Harmony stopping has zero effects on myself.

    Good for you👴! Those of us with a spouse and young children in the house and fairly complicated systems, harmony is almost a necessity. I’m like Bill, been using them for at least 10 years and can’t really imagine not having one. I have at least one back up but I might grab another...

    My ex-wife and kids had all they needed with the Dish remote. Many friends had them (Harmony remotes) and yes I do agree with what has been said about them. Personally my family never had a need for one. No matter how easy I could have made macros and such my ex-wife would have fouled it up like nobody's business.
    About a year after our divorce she called and wanted me to program the Dish remote. It's super easy! So easy you pick the remote icon in the menu find your gear among the thousands listed. Like Yamaha rxv 992 etc. and pick it does everything else....
    I gave her the 1-800 dish number😆
  • displayname
    displayname Posts: 946
    anonymouse wrote: »
    Are there any real competitors at their price point?
    "There's an app for that"

    True, apps aren't even close...yet. But I wouldn't be shocked if they are selling less of these every year, and more products are moving closer full app control.
    Analog: MoFi MasterTracker > MoFi UltraDeck > Sutherland 20/20
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    Discogs
  • billbillw
    billbillw Posts: 5,895
    Although I love Harmony remotes, I think that the market for these is shrinking. We are in the minority with big AV receivers and multiple sources to switch. So many people now just have a Smart TV that streams all their various streaming services. If they are not a total cable cutter, they have a Dish/Xfinity type box and remote which does a pretty good job at integrating everything. Why on earth would they want a BluRay player when all their stuff is on Disney+, HBO Max, etc. Maybe they have a sound bar, but that is all controlled by the TV with ARC/HDMI CEC. Eventually, I may move in that direction too, but for now, I'm holding on to my separate sources.
    Main 2-ch:
    Sony SS-M9; Amp: LSA Statement Integrated; VPI HW-19 Mk3/Sumiko Premier FT-3/Audio Technica AT15SA; Pass Labs DIY Pearl Phono; Sony SCD-C333ES SACD Changer; TEAC UD-301 DAC; Dell/WYSE 5010 (running Daphile); Sony ST-SA5ES Tuner; Nanotec Golden Strada speaker cables (SR+#79 Shotgun); Audioquest Coral interconnects
  • BlueFox
    BlueFox Posts: 14,298
    I use the Sony TV remote, and the TiVo remote. Sometimes I use the Oppo 203, and then use the Oppo remote.
    Lumin X1 file player
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    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on source, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
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  • mdaudioguy
    mdaudioguy Posts: 5,152
    I agree that things are moving in a direction where universal remotes are less useful. I have 3 external devices connected to my receiver - sat box, Roku, and a pc. Everything is one touch action with the Harmony. When we had a disc player, that meant we had 5 remotes to misplace. Now I just have one remote to misplace, but because we have the Harmony Hub, I can also use my phone, when that's not also misplaced...

    But, considering many are cutting cable/satellite service, and they use the built-in smart TV apps for streaming, along with a CEC-enabled soundbar (if they choose to enhance their audio at all), using just the TV remote is a viable option. A lot of the cable remotes also have decent learning ability and can sense other connected devices, so yeah, I can see why and how the market has changed for Logitech. The more I think about it, the more I get it. Now, let's see how long they actually support the software!
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