Perhaps the best upgrade to your Home Theater system you can make for under $100.00 is the addition of the Logitech Harmony 650 universal remote control. A universal remote control combines the functions of multiple remotes into one unit. This means that the different devices in your home theater will work together seamlessly with the press of a button.

The Harmony 650 remote works so well that you will be asking yourself “Why didn’t I get one of these sooner?” The best part of this upgrade may be never again hearing your significant other, children or guests to your home, whine about how complicated they find running your prized Home Theater system.

How easy is it to use?
After setup – see below – a single press of the “Watch TV” button turns on your TV, cable box and Sound Receiver. The receiver even has the proper input selected! Now you simply watch TV as you did before. Every function you had on the remote supplied by the cable/satellite company and TV manufacturer is duplicated on the Harmony remote.

Logitech Harmony 650 Universal Remote Control

$79.99 msrp
$73.99 online

Low price; Easy set-up; Combines multiple remotes into one

When dropped, the remote might lose it's state. The fix is to push the "all off" button, then push whatever function button you were using — all while hiding the remote from your devices. This sets the remote back to the state it was in before it was dropped.

Wanna watch a DVD? Just push the “Watch a Movie” button. The TV, DVD (Blue–ray) player and sound receiver all turn on and the receiver switches inputs to your DVD (Blue–ray) player. All that’s left for you to do is put a disc in and hit play. If you push the “Watch a Movie” button when watching TV, the sound receiver switches inputs, the DVD (Blue–ray) player turns on, and the cable/satellite box turns off.

Say you just want to listen to some music. There is a “Listen to Music” button. It turns the sound receiver on and switches to whichever input you programmed during set up (Radio/iPod/CD, etc). Volume, channel select and / or track select all work just as they do with your sound receiver remote.

When you are done, push “All off” and everything turns off at once. No more searching for 4 different remotes to turn each component off separately or accidentally leaving the sound receiver on all night, running your power bill up.

Set up
Setting up the Logitech Harmony 650 is ridiculously easy. Log on to Logitech’s site (the URL is conveniently provided in the instructions, create your profile, and follow the on screen instructions. When prompted, plug your Harmony into your PC with the supplied USB cable and hit “Sync”. That’s it! The most difficult part of the set up is gathering all of the model numbers of your various components and writing down what component is plugged into which input on your sound receiver. Logitech gets top marks for this set up procedure.

The Logitech Harmony 650 is possibly the single most user friendly upgrade to any home theater system – period.


About Brian Hill
Brian Hill is a home theater enthusiast who has an extensive background in sales. His interests include music & movies, F1 & NASCAR auto racing, hot rods (he has a '56 Nomad) and hockey — Go Sharks!
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