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2011/09/08

Configuration Joys

I just got a new remote. I don't suppose I really needed one. I have three in my bedroom (four if you count the wireless keyboard) and I'm more than fine with handling them. It wasn't "Hey, I need a new zapper in the bedroom" that lead me to jump on this.

It was my RSS feed.

I have Radio Shack stuck in there, mostly to see when Radio Shack starts selling the Arduino. What I saw was an announcement of Logitech's Harmony line of remotes. I had heard about them. A friend has a fairly advanced one that has a screen and allows you to combine button-presses for several devices into one action, such as "play movie" starting the DVD player and moving to the composite input.

I got the Harmony 200,  a much less complex and cool remote. Also, at $20, much much cheaper. It can control three devices, which works well for the bedroom (TV, DVD, Cable) but the living room has TiVo too and the four-device Harmony 300 is $10 more.

The selling point, the thing that made me go out and get it, was the programming. Well, the price, too, but that just meant it was possible. You plug it into USB and there's a quick-and-easy screen which lets you tell it this is my TV, this is my DVD player, etc. You can then customize the buttons. Then you sync the settings and you're done. No more messing with the "Press the Mode button for 4 seconds, look for the flashing LCD, then punch this four-digit number in" or the worse "Press Power then Down again and again until the TV goes off".

I'll mess with finding different combinations, but this is a solid, well-made remote whose ROM I flash to bend it to my will.

We live in the future.