Logitech presents Harmony 890 Pro and 895

Posted on Thursday, September 08 2005 @ 11:13 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Logitech unveiled the Harmony 890 Pro and 895 advanced universal remote controls, the first in Logitech's award-winning family of Harmony remotes to use both radio frequency and infrared wireless signals to deliver powerful and complete control of multi-zone home-entertainment systems and the most advanced home-theater setups. With the Logitech Harmony 890 Pro and 895 remotes, no line of sight is needed -- the remotes can control sophisticated home-entertainment systems with equipment in multiple rooms or hidden behind closed doors. For example, one can stand in the kitchen and turn off a TV in the den before switching on music from an audio receiver located in the living room. The Harmony 890 Pro remote will be available in North America and the Harmony 895 remote, which features dedicated Teletext buttons, is designed for Europe.

The Harmony 890 Pro and 895 remotes enable custom audio/visual system installers to save valuable setup time and to provide their customers a remote with unmatched versatility. The remotes work as part of a modular system that may include any number of Harmony RF base stations -- typically one for each room, or zone. With a wireless range of up to 100 feet, the Harmony 890 Pro and 895 remotes send RF commands to a base station, which then blasts infrared signals to any components in that zone. An installer can create a system that involves multiple remotes and/or base stations to deliver complete control of many entertainment zones throughout the home. A Harmony 890 Pro or 895 remote can also navigate photos, videos, and music on a PC by using the optional Harmony USB wireless PC transceiver, which plugs directly into a computer.

The Harmony 890 Pro and 895 remotes also include support for the Z-Wave wireless technology standard, used by manufacturers of advanced lighting, climate control, and security systems. Initially, the Harmony 890 Pro and 895 remotes will be able to control the advanced lighting systems using this standard, and they will eventually support other categories of home-automation systems.

Time-Saving Setup, Fewer House Calls
One of the staples of the award-winning Harmony family of universal remote controls is the easy online setup. Logitech's comprehensive online database features discrete codes and characteristics of more than 80,000 different devices models from more than 2,500 different manufacturers. This online database of detailed information is updated daily with the latest devices. As installers set up a Harmony 890 Pro or 895 remote for a client, they enter component or appliance model numbers using the online interface, and the Harmony setup wizard matches the component with the appropriate infrared codes. This simple process alleviates the need for an installer to program a remote with dozens of individual infrared commands. The Harmony 890 Pro and 895 remotes plug into a PC so that these codes can be easily downloaded to the remote. Once programmed, the Harmony remote sends wireless signals that automatically update all the Harmony RF base stations throughout the house with the latest control information.

The online setup also makes it easy for installers to update a remote without having to make a house call. When a customer wishes to alter the setup of a system, or in the event of any difficulties, the installer can remotely access the customer's online account and make any adjustments needed. The customer needs only to log into the account and click update to automatically download the changes to the remote.

Logitech Smart State Technology
The Harmony 890 Pro and 895 remotes deliver powerful activity control by using Logitech's patented Smart State Technology, which allows a remote to track the operations of the various components it controls. Harmony 890 or 895 remote users can effortlessly switch between watching home theater in the living room and listening to music on the porch, by selecting a single activity button. Each time a new activity is selected, the remote establishes the proper state of all of the components needed for the current activity, and turns off the components not needed.

The Harmony 890 and 895 remotes use one-touch activity buttons that include any combination of entertainment components, and even light settings. The simplicity of Logitech Smart State Technology makes it easy for customers to operate the remote, which results in less support and fewer house calls.

Designed for State-of-the-Art Home-Entertainment Systems
Maintaining the same popular comfort-grip design featured on previous Harmony remotes, the new Harmony 890 Pro and 895 remotes include a vibrant color display that serves as a personalized activity control center. Colorful icons accompany text on the LCD screen to allow for quick and easy command of home-entertainment equipment and household appliances. The remote is fully backlit so it is easy to navigate in the dark, and the finely sculpted primary navigation controls -- such as play, pause, record and the number buttons -- are easily identified by touch due to their varied size, shape and location. The remote's sleek polished chrome directional pad and buttons are contrasted by the remote's glossy black finish.

The remote also uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, eliminating the need to change batteries. When the remote is not in use, it rests on an attractive charging platform.

Pricing and Availability
The Harmony 890 Pro advanced universal remote will be available in North America beginning in November, and will be primarily sold through custom installers and audio/video dealers. The components will be sold separately. The suggested retail price of the remote will be $449.99 in the U.S. The Harmony RF Base Station will carry a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $99.99, and the Harmony USB wireless PC transceiver will be available for a manufacturer's suggested price of $99.99. The Harmony 895 remote will be available in Europe beginning in November.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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