Logitech To Sell Harmony Remotes. All Of Them.

Dave Zatz —  January 25, 2013 — 18 Comments

harmony-category-page

Logitech continues to struggle with their identity and revenue, given another quarter of “disappointing sales“. To right this ship, the company intends to double down on mobile accessories while sustaining their PC peripheral biz. Simultaneously, they plan to unload their Harmony remote and Logitech Alert security camera divisions. Logitech may no longer be interested in those businesses, yet management obviously feels there’s still some intrinsic value.

We’ve covered Harmony from pretty much Day 1 of this site. But our ties stretch even further – to the early 2000s. Prior to Logitech’s acquisition, Harmony hailed from Canada when their cutting edge thematic universal remote powered my projector and Lutron dimmers, along with an ever rotating array of set-top boxes and HTPCs. And it really was one remote to rule them all. However, in recent years, Logitech has let the Harmony line languish as they diverted resources towards that Google TV debacle. Fortunately, they regained interest and recently pushed out the Harmony Link mobile companion and Harmony Touch (which would have been a more compelling remote in 2009). I assume they have additional product in the pipeline, which we’re anxiously awaiting, but Harmony will clearly need a new champion going forward. From CEO Bracken Darrell:

Logitech just publicly announced a plan to hold the Harmony business for sale. Logitech is not shutting down the Harmony business and certainly not the service. This corporate announcement does not impact Logitech’s commitment to our Harmony customers. During the sale, Logitech will continue to provide customer support for Harmony customers. All current warranties provided by Logitech for Harmony products remain unchanged at this time. We very much appreciate our loyal Harmony community and will continue to support and communicate with our customers.

As to possible suitors, we have no solid leads. And, without inside info, the possibilities are endless. Having said that, Harman Kardon has been a repeated Harmony licensee. Like TiVo Tebow, their names sound kinda similar … which might be just enough to do a deal. ;)

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

18 responses to Logitech To Sell Harmony Remotes. All Of Them.

  1. The sad part is this is probably the best Harmony news in years.

    I’m still confused as to how staying in the remote biz isn’t a good idea for Logitech in a world where everyone has six different boxes in their living room.

  2. I think I can see why it’s not compelling for them, they are probably getting hit hard by the universal remotes that cost $20. I bought my last remotes on ebay for $14, and they do everything a logitech can do. Granted, I had to do some JP1 programming to get it right, but most people will be happy with the $20 remote that does most things.

    Only the high end people, and HTPC crowd(and a few others of course) will spend the money for a Harmony remote. Granted, I would love one, but I can’t justify the cost, an area I feel MANY people fall into.

  3. I hope that whoever buys them will continue to support them with firmware and software updates.

  4. Love my Harmony remotes. Don’t know what I’d do if I had to go back to “normal” remotes. And yeah, I have nice JP1 remotes, but their not in the same league. The biggest problem is it doesn’t save state. Ease of use (both programming and use) isn’t even close. I have no problem using any remote, but my wife is another story. I was constantly “on call” when she’d try to use the home theater (and even the simpler other rooms). Now, I never hear a peep.

    I hope they find a good buyer.

    John

  5. Like others have said, probably good. Not a lot of innovation coming out of the company lately. Hopefully, we’ll see some improvement in that area going forward. Especially with respect to their PC software, which I consider abysmal at the moment.

  6. I love our Harmony remote. Like John I have no problems with remotes but making it easier for the rest of the family to use was key. And being able to reset devices to certain presets even if someone changed them. I hope Harmony sticks around.

    I would like them to add bluetooth to control the Roku.

  7. No shock Logitech is struggling. Great products, HORRIBLE software, poor customer service. They are non-responsive, and don’t update their software NEAR what the rest of the industry does.

  8. Count me in the “this can only be good news” camp. While the Harmony remotes are very flexible and have great setup software, their build quality has been atrocious since day one. I’ve been through several Harmony remotes at this point. When I had to throw out the Harmony 880 because it could no longer connect with its charging dock, I settled on the low-end 5xx units because they’re cheaper to replace.

    My current 560 is reaching end-of-life, as expected; the cheap buttons are wearing out, and I’m for the first time looking for Harmony alternatives. The $20 Sony universal remote at Amazon is looking interesting.

    Also, more devices (game gonsoles, Roku) are using Bluetooth as their remote control scheme, and Harmony seems to be really slow on the uptake addressing this trend.

    I can only hope to see improvement from Harmony in the future.

  9. What Frank and Michael P said.

    The reason people aren’t buying Harmony remotes isn’t because they don’t understand the value of the remote – most people with more than a cable box completely understand the value proposition – but because Logitech took a genre-defining experience and ruined it with software that can charitably be described as complete crap during the rare moments that it works and then refused to support it. No wonder the general opinion changed from “sell your kids to get one” to “what’s a Harmony?”

    What a failure; in the same category as HP and webOS.

  10. Michael, yeah you remind me of some hardware issues I had. Similar docking issue, a light issue once, some squirrely buttons. I had one Harmony replaced, but that might have been prior to the Logitech acquisition or shortly thereafter as the swap was done through Canada. I have a Harmony Touch review unit here and build quality seems good. But for 2012 or 2013, the remote should include WiFi and allow me to program it without a computer (for $250).

  11. I don’t get the hate on these things. No, really, I don’t!
    I’ve owned the 880 (I think that was the one right before the harmony one), and , while it had connection issues after a year or so, it was dandy.

    I upgraded to the Harmony One, and that thing is as awesome as it gets. I’ve had three (1 stolen, 1 broke because I accidentally sat on it, 1 current), and the thing is as rock solid as it gets.

    Software? If you can’t figure this software out, I hate to say it, but you shouldn’t be using an AIO remote. It works BEAUTIFULLY.

    I think one of the reasons people stopped buying is because the newer version (the new ‘touch’) is garbage. What do I know though, honestly.

  12. I wonder if there’s just a case of diminishing returns in this space? At a certain point, everyone in the target market for something like the Harmony either has one or isn’t going to bother.

    Unfortunately for them, I think the ubiquity of smartphones has also cut into the perceived acceptable price for something like the Touch. Sure, the phone is subsidized, but people can’t get past “paying more” for a remote than for a smartphone that’s obviously more capable.

    I can’t help but think they missed a huge opportunity with the Harmony Link. They should have had everything they needed to make it brilliant, and it…wasn’t.

  13. I’ve yet to have an issue with any of my Harmony remotes. I’ve used at least seven Harmony remotes over the years and they just keep on working. My Harmony One remotes are from when they launched and the only thing I’ve replaced has been the battery. Which is expected after several years of use. They still work and charge like the day I bought them.

  14. I owned the Harmony 1000 and it worked good when it decided it wanted to. A lot of glitches! I had to buy a new remote after 4 years because it finally died. I decided to buy the Harmony touch even after I heard some negative reviews on it. and I’ve got to say that it is the best remote I have ever owned. it does everything and more that the 1000 did. I can create my own touch screen buttons and reassign all physical buttons to what I want them to be. The touch screen is very responsive and the controller is very easy to program.
    I am very impressed by the Harmony touch.

  15. Alex wrote: “I would like them to add bluetooth to control the Roku.”

    Alex, the Roku can already be controlled by the Harmony remote, via infared. I have the Roku 2 XS and control mine that way.

    If you’re referring to game control though, the Harmony would not only need Bluetooth, but also a gyroscope. That’s just… unlikely.

  16. For the most part, my Harmony remotes got replaced when I got Control4. And while I have plenty of complaints with Control4 (including complaints about the remote), I really don’t miss the Harmonys at all. I never really found them satisfactory either from a software or hardware standpoint. Better than a pile of remotes on the table to be sure, but not ever something I was truly happy using. From the second or third day after I bought my first one, I was on the lookout for better alternatives. That’s not the mode you want your customers to be in…

  17. I too can’t understand negative comments regarding Harmony remotes. I have a Harmony 1100 tablet remote that works flawlessly. I find programming it on my computer to be a breeze. And, on the few occasions when i’ve needed to reach out for technical support, I’ve found the Logitech people to be superb. Baffles me. I can’t imagine life without it.

  18. Our Harmony 1100 just died last Friday. It was great and while there was an 1100 at the local BB we decided to go with the smaller form factor of the Ultimate. So far between the software improvements and the smaller form factor I’m happy. We got it this morning. Just nothing else compares to the Harmony in terms of ease of use. And the added IR blasters really worked out. Now to download the Android app…

Leave a Reply

*

Text formatting is available via select HTML.

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>