Logitech has developed a reputation for designing some of the best universal remotes on the market. The Logitech Harmony 650 is the lowest priced remote in the Harmony line ($69). It isn’t the type of remote you want if you have an abundance of home theater equipment. However, the 650 can be programmed to control up to 5 different components which for most people is more than enough.




Logitech Harmony 650 Setup & Programming

The Logitech Harmony 650 remote is time consuming to setup, however once you get it working properly you’ll love it. Like all of the remotes in the Harmony line, the 650 requires a computer. Once you download and install Logitech’s software you’ll have access to Logitech’s extensive database of equipment which supports up to 225,000 devices. The one flaw with Logitech’s current software is that it requires you to create a separate account for each Harmony remote you have. Hopefully, this is an issue that Logitech will rectify in the near future.

Once you connect the Logitech 650 to your computer and boot up the software it will ask you to input the pieces of hardware that you wish to control with the remote. The software will then walk you thru the setup by asking you a series of questions. The setup is actually quite simple since you just need to specify how the equipment is connected,  define which components are assigned to each activity (ie. watch tv, watch dvd, etc.), and what roll or function each piece of equipment has in the activity. Once you complete doing this the software will download the commands to the remote. Once programmed you’ll be able to activate all of your devices with the touch of one button. For example, by pressing the watch TV button, the Logitech 650 will know to turn on the TV, change the input to HDMI input 1, turn on your attached AV receiver, put it on HDMI input 2, and turn on your cable box thereby eliminating the need for 3 remotes.


Function buttons such as play, stop and fast forward are automatically mapped to the corresponding buttons on the Logitech Harmony 650. If there’s a function that the 650 is unable to automatically program, it’s capable of learning the function from the devices remote. Getting everything to operate the way you like it may take some time. For instance, for us to get the remote to control our equipment the way we wanted, took about 40-45 minutes.

Logitech Harmony 650

For activities such as “watch tv” you can add favorite channels. These favorites will appear on the LCD screen on the top of the remote. You can take the easy way out and just have the channel names appear under your favorites, but if you want to add some style you can have the channel logo appear on the LCD screen instead. The Logitech software has a limited supply of channel icons to choose from, however if you go to iconharmony, they have the logos of most of the tv networks that you can use on your Harmony 650.


Appearance & Button Layout

The Logitech Harmony 650 has a great ergonomic design. It fits nicely in your hand and the button layout works well. Along the top you’ll find your activity buttons such as “watch tv”, “watch a movie” and “listen to music”.  These pre-labeled activities will suffice for most users. However, if you need to program more activities into the remote you can. The “more activities” button across the top can be used to display any additional activities you have programmed into the remote. The LCD screen which sets below the activity buttons also displays the available programmed activities. The built-in accelerometer inside the remote automatically activates the LCD screen when you pick-up the remote.

Below the LCD you’ll find the majority of the buttons that you’ll find on your standard DVR remote, volume, channel, play, pause etc. The number pad on the Logitech Harmony 650 is located all that way at the bottom of the remote which sometimes makes it a little awkward to use. It feels as if it needed to be located a little higher on the remote. Any special buttons can be custom programmed and displayed on the LCD screen if needed.


The Logitech Harmony 650 is a great remote, but it does have a few weaknesses. It can be time consuming to setup and is limited to controlling 5 devices. However, once you get the remote setup it works great. If you have a home theater that has 2-5 devices we highly recommend you pick up a Harmony 650 and dump your other remotes.


Manufacturers Contact Information

Onkyo (800) 229-1687 onkyousa.com  Denon (201) 762-6665 usa.denon.com  Yamaha (800) 4-YAMAHA usa.yamaha.com

Pioneer (800) 421-1404 pioneerelectronics.comHarman Kardon (203) 328-3500 harmankardon.comSamsung 1-800-SAMSUNG samsung.com

Seiki Digital 1 (855) 697-3454 www.seiki.comSony (877) 865-SONY sony.comSharp USA 1-800-237-4277 sharpusa.com

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