Got a Logitech Harmony 650 in the mail today via eBay.
As noted previously, I removed the cable box from our bedroom, replacing it with an antenna and digital converter box, analog cable, Roku, and X10 receiver (the latter displays and controls the cable company DVR in the den).
We had a literal bagful of remotes to manage these devices. I was able to consolidate all these functions to the same Logitech Harmony 890 we use in the theater room. But my wife chafed at the need to go hunting for that remote at bedtime (less than optimal WAF=wife acceptance factor).
Enter the 650.
I couldn’t quite tell how well it might work from the online descriptions, but at $34 used from eBay, the experiment wasn’t expensive.
The results are in: it’s much better for the bedroom than the overworked 890.
All 4 “Activities” (antenna TV, analog cable TV, Roku, and X10 DVR) were given their own distinct set of controls.
I created icons for her favorite stations, both broadcast and cable, and added the sleep timer buttons to each activity.
A quirk of our setup had been a burst of TV static before the converter box booted up for broadcast TV. I programmed in a TV mute command upfront to silence it. Another quirk was the need to have the TV already on channel 3 before switching over to broadcast to avoid another static burst. Now it’s an integral part of the transition. (I hadn’t gotten around to addressing those quirks previously.)
Like the 890, the 650’s buttons light up while you are using it, ideal in a darkened room.
It has a light and balanced feel in the hand.
A small downside is that you cannot reorder Activities on the screen to your liking, a much complained-about point on Logitech’s forum. It wouldn’t hurt my feelings if the LCD screen stayed lit a bit longer after you jiggle the remote to wake it up. But neither is a dealbreaker.
(Later note: I found a workaround to reorder Activities. The Activities that appear first on the screen are ones you have NOT assigned to the top Activity buttons. Therefore, assign the ones you don’t want to see first. The top buttons alone are not lit, and thus not so useful in a darkened room, anyway.)
Bonus for my wife: it’s the same remote seen in the “Big Brother” “Head of Household” room.
It’s a success!