CES: Logitech's Harmony One headed to Canada

By Ted Kritsonis, Special to CBCNews.ca

LAS VEGAS - Logitech introduced its latest Harmony universal remote control at the Consumer Electronics Show and confirmed that it's coming to Canada.

The Harmony One is the successor to the Harmony Remote 880, but does a better job of centralizing control of your entertainment devices. It uses software that connects to an online database so that the Harmony One recognizes the device you want to control.


So, for example, if you plug in the Harmony One to your PC via USB, you can input the model numbers of each of those devices to send the correct infrared-code information. About 5,000 manufacturers and 175,000 devices are supported, according to Logitech.

The Harmony 880's LCD touchscreen is also nice and vibrant, which is really the best visual aspect of this thing. It also displays virtual buttons that wouldn't otherwise physically be on the remote. For instance, you could see the same PVR buttons that you would see on your Bell ExpressVu remote displayed onteh 880's screen.

It's a pricey proposition, however, at $250 US (Canadian pricing has yet to be confirmed), and the slick piano-black finish is very prone to fingerprints and smudges. It might also take time for some people get used to pressing the right button on the touchscreen without having to look at it - there's something to be said for being able to find physical buttons on a regular remote by feel.

The author is a Toronto-based freelance writer