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Logitech® Harmony® 880

Universal learning remote with PC interface

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  • Logitech® Harmony® 880

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Item #: 596AUR880
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Logitech® Harmony® 880

by Ralph Graves
Logitech

The Harmony 880 universal remote lets you easily control even a sophisticated home theater system. Built-in rechargeable batteries and a charging cradle mean you're never stuck with a dead remote. A color screen makes icons and labels easier to read. Best of all, Harmony's innovative Internet-powered setup makes programming your remote a breeze.

Just connect the remote to your computer with the supplied USB cable and go to the Harmony Remote website. Answer a few simple questions about the components you have and how they're set up. When you're done, your remote's programmed — just like that. The site remembers your setup, so reprogramming the Harmony is easy, as well. Just add the new components, delete the old ones, and download your new settings.

"Activity" buttons on the remote give you intuitive one-touch control of your system. For example, to play a DVD, just press "play DVD." The remote instantly evaluates your system, turns on or off the appropriate components, selects the proper settings, and starts the DVD player. The Harmony 880 is versatile enough to not only control your home theater components, but even peripherals like light dimmers and curtains.

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Highlights:

  • easy Internet-based setup
  • 8 dedicated on-screen activity buttons
  • color LCD screen
  • interactive display
  • navigation controls with extra keys for TiVo® and ReplayTV commands
  • learns IR codes from existing remote controls
  • 2MB flash memory
  • USB cable and software included
  • built-in rechargeable lithium ion battery
  • recharging cradle
  • 2-5/16"W x 8-1/16"H x 1-3/8"D
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Computer requirements:
  • USB port
  • For PC: pre-installed Windows® 98SE, Me, 2000, or XP
  • For Mac®: pre-installed OS X 10.2 or later
  • an Internet connection

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Charcoal universal remote
  • Base station
  • AC adapter with 6' power cord (8 volts/500mA)
  • Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (3.7 V/950mAh)
  • 5' USB cable with in-line noise filter (has a USB Type A connector on one end and a mini-USB "Version 2.0" connector on the other end)
  • "Work Play Communicate" booklet
  • Logitech Harmony Remote 4.4 CD-ROM for Windows and Macintosh
  • Installation booklet

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features

Overview: The Harmony Remote provides simple, intuitive control of even the most elaborate entertainment system for anyone in the family. The remote setup is accomplished through Harmony's interactive web site.

Setup: The Harmony Remote Activities are configured through unique Web Wizard tools on HarmonyRemote.com. Using Logitech's Smart State Database of electronic devices you can easily customize the remote to your system. The database, together with IR learning, ensures support of all infrared-controlled devices made by any manufacturer, including TiVo, HDVCR, HDTV, Plasma Displays, Monitors, Projectors, Lighting Control, CD/DVD-R, PVR (Personal Video Recorder), Satellite Radios, Amplifiers, DVD Players, Receivers, Dual VCRs and even combination devices like DVD-VCR components.

Backlighting: The buttons and LCD display are backlit for easy nighttime use.

Lithium-ion Battery/Recharging Docking Station: The Harmony 880 includes a removable rechargeable Lithium-ion battery, which provides up to a one-week charge under normal use. The remote comes with a docking station that keeps the remote fully charged. Because the docking station is horizontal, it allows the remote to be used while charging.

Learning function: In addition to the devices which can be entered using the web interface, this remote can also learn most functions of other infrared remotes.

Activity Buttons: The Harmony Remote is equipped with Smart State Technology Activity Control. You can press an Activity button such as "Watch TV" or "Watch a Movie", and the Harmony Remote will automatically set-up your entertainment system in seconds without you ever having to program a 'macro'. There are eight activity buttons.

Interactive Multi-color Display: Depending on the Activity you are enjoying, the Interactive Display offers additional commands or options allowing you to fully control the Activity or component.

Help: If you have a problem completing an activity function, the help button will guide you through the fix using the interactive multi-color display.

Flash Memory: The settings are stored in 2MB of non-volatile flash memory so they will never be lost, even when changing the batteries.

System Off: One push of the off button turns off all the equipment in your system.

 
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Logitech® Harmony® 880 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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2 out of 5

Supprised at the high raiting

Written By Steve, Anaheim, CA on Saturday, October 27, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I had a little trouble setting it up using windows xp, but eventually got it working. When it is charged, I think it is great, I'd rate it 4 stars. Only problem is the charging cradle. I've had my unit for almost 2 years. I have been unable to use it for the past year because I cannot get it to charge reliably. I contacted tech support and received a replacement cradle, but I don't see any difference and I still have a problem. The hi tech solution of using tape is not working anymore, so it's out of juice and just a book end now. I'm really surprised that out of the 25 reviews, only one mentioned the charging problem.
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3 out of 5

Should be better for the price

Written By Bill, Edgemont, AR on Monday, September 10, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I had some serious problems getting my remote set up correctly. First few calls to the Logitech Help Desk got disconnected after long waits. Finally got through to a real person - but she was unable to solve my problem. I started to pack the remote back up for return to Crutchfield, but I decided to try the Logitech Help Desk one more time. This time I reached a true professional who helped me solve the problem. Seems there was some error in the 880 software that was preventing all my changes from being recorded and downloaded back to my remote. The Help Desk lady was able to make the changes in my program from her computer - after that the remote programmed correctly.

The 880 now appears to be working OK. My only other complaint is the small size of the buttons. To keep from pushing two buttons at a time, I usually use a pencil head eraser, so it is a 2-handed operation (which I hate).

I probably should have called Crutchfield's for help with the remote, as they have NEVER let me down. But I wasn't sure if they could fix a software problem on the 880, so I called Logitech.

In summary, I don't think the 880 is worth the price nor the trouble of having to deal with their Help Desk. Unfortunately, I now have too much time invested in setting up the remote to return it.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Worth every penny

Written By Andrew, Lakeville, MN on Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Although expensive, it is worth every penny. Logitec does a great job! Their website keeps track of your equipment should your remote ever lose it's memory. The battery power lasts forever (10 times greater than a cell phone) and it is nice to have the power station. The wizard was too simple for me, I like to be an advance user to extreme settings and tweaks, but I was up and running within minutes.

The IR signal was twice as strong as my other manufacture remotes! I can use it through cloudy bubble glass and no longer have to have the doors open.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Logitech® Harmony® 880

Written By Andy, Columbus, NJ on Sunday, June 10, 2007
 
I have read alot of reviews on this remote and were worried about it
basicaly this remote could not have been any easier to operate or setup of coarse if you arent familiar with the PC then i can see a problem
everyone of my componets from directv dvr to denon AV worked fine.
also very smart remote will fix most little problems
when i set it up the tv wouldnt power off so i told the remote it wouldnt and it fixed it. Great remote i recommend it
1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Outstanding Control

Written By David, Fort Wayne IN on Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This is an outstanding remote. It is very easy to program (on your computer), it works as promised, rechargable, and simple to use. For those who have problems using the programming site- sometimes it locks up or jams, just exit and restart.

I am especially thrilled that this remote will turn on/off my PS2. Even the stock remote does not do this!! I intend to also program this to operate my infrared controlled ceiling fan.

It's a little pricey, but it has tons of macros, it's super easy to use, very easy to program, and easy to make changes. I LOVE not having to do everything on the remote.

The only problem a technophobe could have upon initial setup is knowing how your components are connected. You will need to know these facts. I knew because I had hooked my own system up, and I had this whole thing set up with customized buttons in about 45 minutes.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Logitech® Harmony® 880

Written By Noreen, Richmond,VA on Saturday, February 17, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Now that I have the remote set up, I am enjoying its functions.

It was not a painless setup however. As others have mentioned, the software isn't really compatible with XP: it works, but it took me a while just to figure out how to advance the pages because I couldn't find the buttons. Now that I am used to it, I can work with it. There is a lot of wasted space in the windows though. It was frustating. The directions to setup the remote are not simple either. I called tech support which got me restarted, but I stumbled around quite a bit and then called back because I wasn't sure how to get it connected to my HD Cable box-it wouldn't work. I finally figured out that you have to click on cable being on all the time since I leave it on. Actually I am not sure why it works now, but it does. I agree that tech support is good, but it really does take trial and error. It would be helpful to those of us who are not computer "geeks" to maybe outline the steps of setup more clearly. The company ought to have regular people assist them with developing their software.

Now that I have it though it really does enable you to put away all the other remotes-I had 4. So far I have not needed to use any of the others for anything, so it does do what it says it does. Can't complain about that.
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5 out of 5

Great Remote, with minor flaws

Written By Shotster36, Morris IL on Sunday, January 21, 2007
 
This is a great remote once you have it programed and tweeked to your systems needs. I took all my 7 remotes removed the batteries and stuck the remotes in a drawer.I have no need for any of them and I'm even considering selling them on Ebay.

Once you figure out the software which takes you to a web site for costomization it's a little difficult at first but you will get the hang of it. If you have any problems don't let yourself get fustrated, CALL SUPPORT. The wait time is minimal and the support rep who in my case spoke perfect english (try finding that these days)and made sure all of my issues were resolved. Support is excellant!

On the down side some of the buttons are rather small, the remote doesn't always seat in the charger with ease to resume charge, and the software could be a little more user friendly. None of these issues are serious enough to call this a bad remote.

In fact all the things this remote does and does well makes it a GREAT product.
1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Excellent Remote

Written By Leif, Corona, CA on Thursday, November 16, 2006
 
For the most part, I love this remote. It takes a while to get it configured using the software and you will undoubtedly make several connections to the software before you are happy, but once it is set up, it's great. I have a HD-DVR cable box, and I was able to configure the remote so when you are advancing with the frame advance, it will go ahead 30 seconds at a time (to skip commercials), something the original remote won't allow you to do. In general, it should be able to do almost anything you want it to and I can't imagine finding a more capable remote for any amount of money.

For the drawbacks, they are few and far between, but perhaps the only one that really bothers me is the keyboard layout and feel. You almost need to look at the remote to tell which key you are pressing, while I prefer to be able to just hit the buttons without looking. I almost bought a Harmon Kardon TC-30 (a very similar remote also made by Logitech), which has fantastic key layout, but the one thing that prevented me from buying it was the lack of the Up/Down buttons that the 880 has which allows me to navigate through my TV guide by page instead of scrolling by channel. If Logitech were to change the 880 so that it were laid out like the TC-30 but retained all of the buttons, it would have gotten 5 stars from me. And about the bad reviews for the charging problems, some 880's did come with a defective charging base, but all it took was a call to Logitech customer service and I had one in my mailbox in about a week. If you did get a bad charger, lay another remote on top of the 880 to weigh it down so it will charge.
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Logitech® Harmony® 880

Written By Dominic, Annandale, VA on Wednesday, September 27, 2006
 
The 880 is a great remote. Couldn't undetand the negative reviews as I have found the tech help great and always helpful.This is my second Harmony and I'm looking forward to my third when the new 1000 model comes out in October. Check out the website. My 880 controls everything perfectly and with ease. The charging base is a wonderful improvement and saves money on all those batteries. Bravo, Logitech!
5 out of 5 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Good but not perfect... 3 1/2 stars

Written By Nate, Orlando, FL on Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
One of the reasons I wanted this is so I could make my parents life a little easier... They are a little older and have a hard time trying to figure out which remote to grab for which task. The Harmony remote can be a little confusing unless you study it, plus the buttons are kind of small and hard to see. It didn't do much for them, I'm afraid to say.

On the other hand, I (personally) find it a lot easier in most cases. It wasn't instictive, but once I got the macros programmed in, it really does a pretty good job for me. Like another reviewer mentioned, don't toss out your other remotes - you might need them for a few of the finer functions of whatever your controlling. On the other hand, the Harmony really does manage 90% of the workload and I think it's a decent product!

If you're expecting a miracle, don't get one - If you're expecting a convenience, it's certainly worth it.
4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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2 out of 5

Remote nice, software horrible

Written By Eric, MN on Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The remote works fine. The problem is the software on my PC. On one of my computers (XP) I get the blue screen when I run the software and even worse I get the blue screen when I tried to uninstall the software.

I finally got the software to load on my work laptop but the background application uses over 20mb whenever the computer is running (even when Harmony is not running)

Until they fix the software I can't recommend the remote.
6 out of 10 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

Logitech® Harmony® 880

Written By Norman, Seattle,Wa on Sunday, March 19, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
One of the better "universal remotes" I've seen,but you still have to keep your original remotes handy.
Try archiving something from your DVR to your DVD recorder and edit out the commercials with this remote and you'll understand what I mean.
The internet programming is better than looking through endless lists of control codes,but much of the control codes you get with this unit are generic,meaning they are not specific to your machine.
It is well built but I think 250.00 is to much.
I'd give it 3 1/2 stars .
4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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1 out of 5

Flaw in Charging Base

Written By Jay, Alexandria, VA on Friday, February 03, 2006
 
A poorly designed piece of trash. Put the unit in the base and it won't charge. No information about this on the Logitech site but a web search reveals a large number of similar complaints. Evidently, there is a design flaw that won't allow the unit to seat properly in the base and keeps the charging pins from making contact. Supposedly, if you contact them, they'll send you a new base. No wonder they leave you to find that out on your own. Sent an email to their tech support and never got an answer. So, if you want to shell out $250 for something with a design flaw and no tech support, this is the unit for you.
15 out of 24 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Excellent Universal Remote

Written By Eric, Painted Post, NY on Sunday, January 15, 2006
 
I bought this remote 3 months ago. I do not have any complaints. It controls all of my components and is easy to set up. It took about an hour online and a few more downloads to get everything running just as I wanted. But since then, I haven't had to connect the remote to my computer. I would consider getting another one for my bedroom setup.
8 out of 8 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Logitech® Harmony® 880

Written By nick, winchester oregon on Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Awsome! that is all you can say about this remote. I have programed this baby to run 5 components and a light dimmer, anyone in my family can now run the entire sytem at it's full potential with out dad running for five remotes and making sure everything is set to the proper settings. Now my kids (and wife)can use the activities button that sets up everything for watching movies, playing games, listening to a cd..you get the idea. The setup was easy once the website you use for programing the remote came back online after crashing during the holiday's, which of course is when I got my remote. I programed the remote with favorite channels, this remote also lets you attach pictures to your favorite channels, I went online to yahoo images and was able to pull all the channel logos and program them into the color screen, talk about cool. I then programed the remote to run the screensaver with my favorite college team logo. Now not only is this the only remote on the coffee table it is the centerpiece.
6 out of 6 people found this helpful
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1 out of 5

The Remote That Ruined Christmas

Written By Cheech, Yorktown, NY on Sunday, December 25, 2005
 
I got this thing for christmas, today. I went to the website to configure it and the website crashed. I've been attempting for over eight hours now to get this thing working and BUP~KIS. No one is there today to offer any customer support either. Maybe I'm being a Scrooge about this, but if I based a product on the premise that all you have to do is go to the website and "Presto" you're setup, I'd make sure that the website worked. I can't even configure the thing manually, because they don't even give you an owners manual, get this, it's on the website. (The one that crashed!). Last time I buy anything from these guys. I recommend that all of you out there in cyperspace stay away from this product.
4 out of 32 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Logitech® Harmony® 880

Written By gene, abingdon, va on Saturday, November 26, 2005
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This is too expensive for what you get.... but is addictive once you get it up and running. Procuct support was very good & this a considerable plus.
6 out of 8 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

The one remote solution

Written By emyung, Los Angeles, CA on Wednesday, October 26, 2005
 
Really a cool product. Even controls my Lutron lighting and my Hampton Bay fans and air conditioner. Works with Bang & Olufsen products and thousands of other high and low end electronics. What it doesn't understand, it learns through trial and error.
One cool feature is the internet setup. You can get help from your AV installer or guru friend without paying for a service call! Just log in and download a new configuration to the remote.
Best feature is the customization options for the full color display. Makes this the last remote you'll ever have to buy.
9 out of 9 people found this helpful
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1 out of 5

Don't Waste Your Money on this

Written By Richard, Wellington, FL on Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This remote is an awful substitute for a TiVo remote. Aside from not using the intuitive controls (i.e. in similar location to those on the TiVo remote) to fast forward and rewind, the overall control of TiVo is not nearly as intuitive as the TiVo remote. I returned it as a result.

I hoped to find a remote to let my in-laws go to town on my home entertainment system when they visit. The ads and reviews made this sound like the one. No chance.

Also, I have an older CD player that was not recognized by the remote. I assume I could have resolved it with tech support, but wouldn't that defeat the "simplicity" concept of this product. Wasn't that scenario what I was supposed to be able to avoid by buying this product? I didn't bother trying support, since I was returning it anyway.

6 out of 34 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Meet the remote solution

Written By Steve, New York, NY on Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I bought the Harmony 880 to replace a Sony touchscreen remote, so I wasn't totally averse to a $250 remote. Still, I'd read some negative customer reviews and felt a bit skeptical. As I opened the box, I was thinking, 'If this thing doesn't control EVERYTHING, I'm sending it back.'

Man, it's awesome. The 880 does a great job of remembering the state of your system, avoiding broken macros (and the resulting cell-phone conversations with your girlfriend about what's wrong and how to fix it.) Even better, the LCD screen contains page upon page of those buttons you hardly ever use but still keep the factory remote around for just in case. I'm running a one-remote operation now, and it feels great.

People have complained about the button size and placement, but it's really nothing to sweat. All the major commands -- guide, directional, select, play, pause, rewind, scroll, etc. -- are all big and centralized. After that brick of a Sony, I'm just glad the thing looks like a remote instead of a Pocket PC.

The web interface could be a little more nuanced, but it's definitely simple to use. Compatibility with my equipment was seamless. It even handles the weird commands for the Scientific Atlanta DVR that Time Warner gave me (which I think is only used in a handful of cities at this point).

In all, I would tell anyone to get this remote. I don't even think about which inputs and remote modes apply to my system anymore -- I just push a button and I'm good to go. If you're thinking about it, buy it.
20 out of 21 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great Remote

Written By Derek, Pittsburgh, PA on Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This remote is unbelieveable. I went from having five remotes to one. The initial set-up does take a little bit of time depending on how you would like your system set-up, but it is well worth it. You are also able to customize any settings within the LCD and set the most frequently used items on the remotes 'hot-keys'. I have purchased universal remotes from Sony previously for close to this remotes price, but would end up returning them because they did not have the functionality available to work in the same manner as the original remote controls. And this was to control their own equipment. This remote works wonders!
3 out of 4 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Logitech® Harmony® 880

Written By eric, Westminster, MD on Friday, September 16, 2005
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
One word, awesome. Best feature of the remote is the "activities". This remote is the bomb, hands down. Controls everything, even my subwoofer. One note, set aside a few+ hours to set everything up. Buy it.
5 out of 10 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Fantastic Product! Worth the Money!

Written By Michael, Dallas, TX on Tuesday, July 26, 2005
 
This is the best remote I have ever used. It is intuitive and very easy to set up. I had 6 remotes that I was able to consolidate into one. Now, all of my components (TiVo, Sony VCR, Sony Plasma TV, Bose 3-2-1, Dephi MyFi XM Radio, AND Sony Playstation) can be controlled with one remote. The "one button" control work very well. Very much worth the $250.
1 out of 5 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Truly Universal

Written By Frank, Buda, TX on Monday, July 18, 2005
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This remote does everything you need it to do. I have a TimeWarner HD DVR/Cable box, DVD Player, big screen TV, A/V Receiver and it is all controlled with this one remote. It does most of the work for you on setup, although I did have to customize a few things. The customization of buttons is what makes this remote so valuable. The remote is a pretty nice size, very eclectic, lights up very well in the dark. The remote will automatically light up if you pick up or move the remote, which is excellent. The rechargeable batteries are awesome. The LCD is very nice and in color. The Help menu is an extra nice feature, it helped both my parents and parents-in-law through working everything by asking simple and easy to answer questions.

I do have a couple drawbacks. The other night the electricity went out and my TV settings were reset. When I turned on everything (one click) the TV was not on the right setting, so I had to do this manually. Not too bad a problem because I could use the remote to do it. It seems to forget settings sometimes, I'll hit the off button (which turns off all components) and every once in a while one component won't turn off. I'm sure this is a minor software glitch. The lower buttons are a bit smooth and are not easily "felt out" without looking because they are so close together. There are some nub pointers that help a bit...but you have to slowly slide your fingers across the buttons and feel the small grooves to know that you are to the next button.

Overall, this was a great purchase and I'm glad I have it. Worth the $250...
13 out of 14 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Works as Advertised BUT...

Written By JJB, Suburban Philadelphia, PA on Saturday, July 09, 2005
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The remote works as advertised. Since I have Comcast cable with its remote which controls the cable box, I didn't need the Harmony 880 remote to turn on the TV, cable box, and receiver with one button. For the VCR, CD, DVD, and radio functions, having the "one button" remote is great. Additionally, it is easy to configure and very intuitive. My criticism is the size and location of the buttons. The buttons are very small, especially the ones on either side of the screen, as are the channel and volume buttons. Also, to change channels and other functions that need the "number" buttons, I find it necessary to use both hands since these buttons are so close to the bottom of the remote. Not a major gripe, but I haven't had to use both hands with any of my Sony remotes or the Comcast remote. Otherwise, no complaints.
5 out of 7 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

WOW!!!

Written By dbsgreenhornet@hotmail.co, Weston, FL on Friday, July 08, 2005
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This is a fantastic product!! The setup process is simple, fast and thorough. My system now functions EXACTLY like I want it to!! Forget all the so-called multi-function remotes supplied with all your equipment. Go with this!!! It's worth every penny you will pay!!!
4 out of 5 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

ABSOLUTELY AWESOME

Written By Dave, Atascocita, TX on Saturday, June 25, 2005
 
I have owned several universal remotes in the last 15 years, the Logitech Harmony 880 is the best I've ever seen. Programing is a snap online, but you do need to have at least a basic idea of how your system is configured. Technophobes wil probably want their installer to set up the remote for them, however, for the rest of us, it is a very simple matter to set up with Logitechs online setup wizard. I just set mine up today, and so far, it has worked flawlessly in every test I have run it through. I highly recommend the Logitech Harmony 880 remote for anyone interested in getting rid of ALL your other remotes, it really is worth the price. Besides all that, it is one of the coolest looking remotes I've seen, and you don't have to replace batteries every month or two. It's the best $250.00 I've ever spent.
35 out of 46 people found this helpful
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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Logitech® Harmony® 880, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_596AUR880/Logitech-Harmony-880.html ).