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Logitech Harmony Link turns your smartphone or tablet into a universal remote

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 20 Sep 2011 14:57 User comments (14)

Logitech Harmony Link turns your smartphone or tablet into a universal remote In October, Logitech will begin selling a new product to turn your Android or iOS device into a remote control.
The Harmony Link is a small piece of hardware which performs the standard functions of a universal remote. It requires an iPad, iPhone, or Android device running the accompanying Harmony Link app to give it commands via Wi-Fi.

A single Harmony Link can control up to eight devices, and even take commands from multiple tablets or phones.

The iPad Harmony Link app will include a personalized program guide provided by Rovi. The iPhone and Android versions of the app will not have this feature initially, but will be able to control the Harmony Link hardware.

Ashish Arora, vice president and general manager of Logitech's Digital Home Group said:

Our research revealed that many iPad owners are using their iPad on the sofa while watching TV, many of them seeking ways to find out what shows are on. We set out to make this experience easier. Using Logitech Harmony Link and the Harmony Link App, iPad users can browse for what is on television, and with one touch of "watch now" icon next to the show of their choice, they can automatically turn on their TV and other electronics, and tune directly to the show they want to watch.


The Harmony Link will have a suggested retail price of $99.99.

Watch the video for a demonstration of the iPad app.

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14 user comments

120.9.2011 20:29

Yes!

220.9.2011 21:46
llongtheD
Inactive

This might be a good thing as long as it isn't just another device to track your viewing habits for direct marketing. I had their harmony one and it worked great until it died suddenly after about a year of use.


If your fish seems sick, put it back in the water.

320.9.2011 23:56

So how will this connect to the "up to 8 devices?"


OS: Kubuntu 12.10/Windows 8 -- CPU: Intel Core i7 2600K -- Motherboard: MSI P67A-G45 -- Memory: 2x4GB Corsair Dominator -- Graphics Card: Sapphire 4890 Vapor-X -- Monitor: Dell 2208WFP -- Mouse: Mionix NAOS 5000 -- PSU: Corsair 520HX -- Case: Thermaltake Mozart TX -- Cooling: Thermalright TRUE Black Ultra-120 eXtreme CPU Heatsink Rev C -- Hard Drives: 1x180 GB Intel 330 SSD/1xWD 1 TB Caviar Black/1xWD 2 TB Caviar Green/2xWD 3 TB Caviar Green

421.9.2011 0:09
llongtheD
Inactive

Originally posted by Xplorer4:
So how will this connect to the "up to 8 devices?"
Seems pretty obvious. You'll have to install an app that will communicate with their receiver. Once you install the app on your device you'll have some kind of a virtual keyboard that will communicate with their hardware, which in turn will communicate with your a/v equipment. I could be wrong though, just guessing.

If your fish seems sick, put it back in the water.

521.9.2011 0:10

Quote:
Seems pretty obvious. You'll have to install an app that will communicate with their receiver. Once you install the app on your device you'll have some kind of a virtual keyboard that will communicate with their hardware, which in turn will communicate with your a/v equipment. I could be wrong though, just guessing.
You pretty nailed it on the dot; but whether or not it works as well as Logitech hopes it will is another thing altogether.

621.9.2011 0:18
llongtheD
Inactive

Originally posted by Mysttic:
Quote:
Seems pretty obvious. You'll have to install an app that will communicate with their receiver. Once you install the app on your device you'll have some kind of a virtual keyboard that will communicate with their hardware, which in turn will communicate with your a/v equipment. I could be wrong though, just guessing.
You pretty nailed it on the dot; but whether or not it works as well as Logitech hopes it will is another thing altogether.
I like the idea, but I'd have to read that EULA thoroughly. Do I want corporate head quarters knowing every time I switch the channel?

If your fish seems sick, put it back in the water.

721.9.2011 0:26

Originally posted by llongtheD:
which in turn will communicate with your a/v equipment.
This was the only relevant part of your response, but it does not answer my question. Let me be more clear. For example, if I want to use this for my TV and PS3 for Blu-Ray playback, how does it communicate with the PS3 and TV? Will the Link connect via USB? Wi-Fi? Ethernet(not sure if TVs ship with Ethernet ports or not)? HDMI(not sure commands could be issued via HDMI but just stating connection various connection methods)?

OS: Kubuntu 12.10/Windows 8 -- CPU: Intel Core i7 2600K -- Motherboard: MSI P67A-G45 -- Memory: 2x4GB Corsair Dominator -- Graphics Card: Sapphire 4890 Vapor-X -- Monitor: Dell 2208WFP -- Mouse: Mionix NAOS 5000 -- PSU: Corsair 520HX -- Case: Thermaltake Mozart TX -- Cooling: Thermalright TRUE Black Ultra-120 eXtreme CPU Heatsink Rev C -- Hard Drives: 1x180 GB Intel 330 SSD/1xWD 1 TB Caviar Black/1xWD 2 TB Caviar Green/2xWD 3 TB Caviar Green

821.9.2011 0:39
llongtheD
Inactive

Originally posted by Xplorer4:
Originally posted by llongtheD:
which in turn will communicate with your a/v equipment.
This was the only relevant part of your response, but it does not answer my question. Let me be more clear. For example, if I want to use this for my TV and PS3 for Blu-Ray playback, how does it communicate with the PS3 and TV? Will the Link connect via USB? Wi-Fi? Ethernet(not sure if TVs ship with Ethernet ports or not)? HDMI(not sure commands could be issued via HDMI but just stating connection various connection methods)?
My apologies if my response wasn't that relevant. If your other equipment is connected through a compatible A/V receiver, then everything can be controlled through a single remote. My guess is that Logitechs' receiver will have to be placed where it can send commands to your equipment via infrared remote. And hey, I'm just guessing. Sounds like a good idea, just don't like the big brother aspect of it. I'm not tech support, just commenting on an article.

If your fish seems sick, put it back in the water.

921.9.2011 2:24

Good point about Infrared. I guess I overlooked the most obvious solution lol.

As for big brother, depends of the data is sent anonymous or not. If it helps provide statistics for things like Nielsen ratings and helps networks gauge what kind of new shows to produce, or what shows to keep on the air, then I do not see the harm. I do think they should make this more known upfront and disclose more details about it(may have done so but can't be asked to read the EULA), but I really do not see the harm. What is there to hide? Don't want Logitech knowing your watching that porno? :p


OS: Kubuntu 12.10/Windows 8 -- CPU: Intel Core i7 2600K -- Motherboard: MSI P67A-G45 -- Memory: 2x4GB Corsair Dominator -- Graphics Card: Sapphire 4890 Vapor-X -- Monitor: Dell 2208WFP -- Mouse: Mionix NAOS 5000 -- PSU: Corsair 520HX -- Case: Thermaltake Mozart TX -- Cooling: Thermalright TRUE Black Ultra-120 eXtreme CPU Heatsink Rev C -- Hard Drives: 1x180 GB Intel 330 SSD/1xWD 1 TB Caviar Black/1xWD 2 TB Caviar Green/2xWD 3 TB Caviar Green

1021.9.2011 6:25

Probably have to program the app by pointing the remote of each device into the logitech receiver to assign buttons. Then switching devices would be as simple as hitting a virtual input switch. That's how my universal programmable remote worked, minus the virtual button.

1122.9.2011 3:55
llongtheD
Inactive

Originally posted by Xplorer4:
Good point about Infrared. I guess I overlooked the most obvious solution lol.

As for big brother, depends of the data is sent anonymous or not. If it helps provide statistics for things like Nielsen ratings and helps networks gauge what kind of new shows to produce, or what shows to keep on the air, then I do not see the harm. I do think they should make this more known upfront and disclose more details about it(may have done so but can't be asked to read the EULA), but I really do not see the harm. What is there to hide? Don't want Logitech knowing your watching that porno? :p
LOL, I could care less if they know your watching porn, but that's a classic response. Maybe you should let them put a camera in your house? There's nothing to hide right? Why do we even need privacy? :D
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 22 Sep 2011 @ 3:56

If your fish seems sick, put it back in the water.

1222.9.2011 16:27

Dumb, my phone doesn't need to be abused as a remote. Also Harmony's suck! I'd never buy another one and sold the first one a month after buying it. Yuk!

1323.9.2011 7:23

This is a great idea, I organise my life using my iPhone 4, so to control tv with it is cool, and as for programming the devices, my guess is it will be done via USB through a computer, the line between consumer electronics and computer becomes ever more blurry!


"Trying is the first step towards Failure" Homer.J.Simpson

1423.9.2011 12:18

That is exactly what makes Harmony so crappy is that you always have to be connected to Logitech to change you remote funtions. They snoop on what your doing and can sell it to advertisers. And why in the world would you need to always be connected to logitech? Much better remotes sure don't need to be? Of course people don't wake up unitl it is too late and this is a prime example. Why would I want to use a tablet or smart phone for a remote in the first place?? For that matter my notebook too??? I'm perfectly fine just using a remote that I can replace cheap, if it's not a Logitech, when it gets broke. Why do I want to abuse a fragile $500 tablet or smart phone???? Wake up people or not... LOL Of course I don't use a phone to organise my life either so what can one say. :D

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