"Logitech Harmony 890 Advanced Universal Remote Control" (Logitech)
Our love affair with entertainment gadgets has caused an unfortunate epidemic of remote controls. In my own house, there's a wicker basket on a coffee table with a jumble of remotes for a television set, a high-definition television tuner, a home-theater receiver and a couple of videogame consoles. And when that basket became flooded, I added yet another device to contain the clutter.
There are "universal" remotes that are designed to let you operate multiple electronics devices from a single control. But most universal remotes, if you can figure out how to work them at all, don't help much with the tedious sequence of button pushes often required to do simple tasks, like watch a movie. In my case, just turning on the TV can require up to six punches on two different remotes, depending on what activity I happened to be doing on my home-theater system the last time I shut it off.
Logitech International, the Swiss computer-accessory maker, has come up with an answer to the problems of remote-control clutter and excessive button-pushing with its family of Harmony universal remote controls that are relatively affordable and easy to use. The Harmony 1000 I tested two of the latest models of Logitech remotes, the Harmony 890 and 1000, and found that they greatly simplified using my home-theater system
The two models of remotes offered similar functions but in radically different industrial designs. The Harmony 1000 is a tablet-shape control about the size of a small picture frame, with a large touch-sensitive color screen that displays large buttons for accessing activities and other functions on your devices. The Harmony 890 is a more conventional wand-shape remote with a smaller screen.
I preferred the design of the Harmony 890, finding it easier and more natural to use with one hand, not to mention a better value. I have found the Harmony 1000 selling for as low as $272 and the Harmony 890 for $222 on Amazon.com. The 890 comes with a kit that lets you extend the range of the remote by using radio frequency, instead of infrared, signals.