Thursday, November 1, 2007

Harmony 890

We just rearranged our living room, so now the TV is on a different wall than our AV equipment. Normally an IR remote , like the Harmony 880, would work find, as the IR signal would just bounce off the walls.  But we also moved the couches so, there is no direct line of sight to the AV equipment, unless you point the remote over the side of the couch.

The Harmony 890 solves this problem.  It has the same functionality as the 880, but it also a RF remote.  The box also includes a "remote extender" which converts the RF signal to IR.

The setup of the remote was as easy as the Harmony 880, but in the application, you can configure the remote extender, and specify the devices that should be controlled with it.

The one strange thing is the steps that are required to update the remote.  The update process requires you to connect the remote first, then the remote extender, and then the remote again. Those steps don't even to the pairing, and that is a separate process.  I don't know why it is even necessary to connect to the remote extender anyway,  Ideally you would still specify what devices are controlled by the extender, and which IR blaster port should be used, and the remote should just encode the IR signal in the RF signal.  This way you could send any IR signal through the extender without any special configuration.