Oct 03 2012

News - Logitech Harmony Touch Announced (Officially)

Hey look, everybody! Logitech has announced a new Harmony remote control. That's right, the Logitech Harmony Touch that Best Buy started selling over the weekend now officially exists. While it is certainly nice of Logitech to acknowledge the existence of the new remote control, there was not much to announce that we hadn't already learned from the box that ashoemaker took a picture of. The Harmony Touch is a fairly traditional candy bar remote dominated by a 2.4 inch color touchscreen that supports taps and swipes. The touchscreen can be used to control activites as well as provide direct access to up to 50 specific channels, complete with channel numbers and customizable channel icons. The placement of the transport controls above the touchscreen, near the front end of the remote control will probably be a sticking point for anyone not interested in Logitech's vision of controlling the home theater from a touchscreen, though. The Harmony Touch will sell for $249, comes with a charging dock, and supports up to 15 devices via IR.

 Logitech Harmony Touch

One interesting note from the Logitech blog suggests that the MyHarmony.com website where users register and setup their remotes has been changed to allow users to swap out an old remote for a new remote. Given how inflexible the MyHarmony.com account system has been in the past, even this small change will be welcome for long-time Harmony users, though I suspect that MyHarmony.com still does not allow for more than one Harmony remote to be registered per account at one time.

It features a simple, streamlined design and a touch-screen that lets you smoothly swipe and tap your way to your favorite entertainment options, including one-touch activities such as “Watch TV” and “Listen to Music.” Channel icons and numbers for your favorite networks are automatically provided based on your location and TV service provider, and you can add, remove and organize your favorites right on the remote.

Logitech Blog

--Press Release After the Break--

Sep 30 2012

News - Squeezebox Squeezed Out, But Logitech Promises Support

About a month ago, Logitech announced its first lineup of Ultimate Ears products since buying the company. Although Ultimate Ears is best known for its earphones, the product announcement was dominated by Bluetooth speakers and a curious little radio that looked suspiciously like the Squeezebox Radio. As it turned out, it was the Squeezebox Radio, rebranded under Logitech's new Logitech UE label and attached to a new UE online service and controller software. Left unspoken at the time was that Squeezebox was dead. With the advent of systems like DLNA and Airplay and the growing capabilities of mobile devices, there is not as much demand for multi-room music systems capable of tapping into local and Internet music streams, but Sonos and Squeezebox had seemed to carve out pretty solid niches for themselves in recent years by hopping on the mobile app bandwagon and integrating the right collection of online music services. The Squeezebox Server software had also established itself as a popular addition for home servers and consumer-level NAS devices.

Squeezebox Squeezed Out

The demise of the Squeezebox brand was unexpected and created a great deal of consternation in the community that Logitech might prematurely disrupt the Squeezebox ecosystem by discontinuing support and closing down mysqueezebox.com, the website that powers the online services for Squeezebox devices. A representative from Logitech UE recently took to the Logitech company blog to reassure current Squeezebox owners that Logitech UE does plan to contine to offer active support and troubleshooting for Squeezebox devices, that mysqueezebox.com will continue to operate, and that Squeezebox Server and it UE replacement are able to run alongside each for a mixed environment. She also reiterated plans to allow Squeezebox Radio owners to update their devices to become UE Smart Radios in the future if they choose to do so. The post seems to be about a month late and fails to address some of the issues that the Squeezebox community is concerned about, particularly the need to have Internet access for local network streaming, so it will be interesting to see if Logitech can assuage the concerns of Squeezebox fans and convert them to become UE evangelists down the road.

Hello Squeezebox Fans,

I’m Ariel, director of products for Logitech UE, and I’d like to take a moment to provide some additional explanation about our transition from Logitech Squeezebox to Logitech UE Smart Radio.

First, we want you to know that Logitech values you, and we will actively support the service in its current form, so you can continue to enjoy the Squeezebox experience you love.

Logitech Blog

Sep 30 2012

News - Unannounced Logitech Harmony Touch Pops Up at Best Buy

Logitech HarmonyLogitech Harmony remotes are perennial favorites around these parts. Their programmability makes them an ideal solution in a home theater with an array of equipment, and their emphasis on activity-based usage can go a long way toward making a home theater easier to use, an especially important consideration for those of us with friends and family who may not share our geeky patience. It has been awhile since Logitech released a new higher-end remote control, but it sounds like that is about to change. Evidently AVS Forums member, ashoemaker, was cruising his/her local Best Buy and stumbled across an unexpected treat in the form of the Logitech Harmony Touch, an unannounced and previously unheard-of new Harmony remote control. Although ashoemaker posted some pictures of the box on the Best Buy shelf, there is not a whole lot to go on at this point spec-wise, but it appears that the remote comes with a charging dock and gets its name from the finger swipe-supporting touch screen that appears to dominate the upper half of the remote. If ashoemaker is correct on the $249 price tag, then the Harmony Touch looks set to settle into the Harmony lineup between the Harmony One Advanced and the Harmony 900.

A new Logitech Harmony remote control, the Harmony Remote Touch is now available for sale at retail. According to a post on the AVS Forum, the new remote control, was seen at Best Buy this morning. With a candy bar form factor and a touch screen in the middle, it appears to be a cross between the current Harmony One and the Harmony 1100 Advanced Universal remote (the one with the 3.5″ touchscreen).

Tech of the Hub


Feb 06 2012

News - Logitech Server Outages Taking Down Harmony Link

Harmony Link Sad

Logitech's Harmony remotes can control just about any device because they are programmed by communicating with the Harmony servers via MyHarmony.com, synching the remote and its functions to the gigantic database of devices and IR codes that the company has compiled. The Harmony Link takes the concept of the Harmony remote a step further by ditching the physical remote in favor of an iOS or Android app that communicates to a Wi-Fi bridge cum IR blaster. Unfortunately, the Harmony Link appears to differ in one other key way. The Harmony Link requires a daily check-in with the Harmony servers, which have been experiencing outages, rendering the Harmony Link inoperable. Based on the discussions in the Logitech support forums, this has been an intermittent issue for a while now. While requiring an Internet connection for setup would seem to be a given for such a device, the lack of an off-line mode after being setup seems like a inexcusable oversight.

You see while typical Harmony remote are only programmed via MyHarmony.com, the Harmony Link apparently requires a quick phone home to work at all. That's according to a number of users at Logitech's forums starting yesterday morning claiming their Harmony Link is now a "very nice and sleek paperweight," only showing an error when they try to turn on the TV for their not-so-super Super Bowl party tonight.


Jan 27 2012

News - Logitech Revue Sold Out, New Harmony Remotes in the Works

Logitech RevuewLogitech has released their financial report for Q3 2012. Mixed in among the numbers and trends were a couple of interesting nuggets. First of all, Logitech is stating that they have sold out of new Logitech Revue units. This does not necessarily mean that the sales channel is clear yet, but it does mean that they are getting scarce fast and there will be no more to replenish shelves. Despite having to issue profit warnings a couple of times this quarter, the company is operating in the black and expects to finish the year that way. This is sure to be a welcome relief given that the Logitech Revue was blamed for the big splashes of red ink on Logitech's ledgers last year and the company must be happy to be able to wash their hands of the whole thing.

The other tidbit was about Logitech's Harmony remote controls. If the current lineup of Harmony remotes has been feeling a bit stale to you, don't fret, because the company is also saying that the Harmony line will be receiving a refresh in the near future. There are no details at this point on what's coming.

Logitech's Q3 earnings for the 2012 fiscal year don't have many surprises since the company already revealed it was dropping out of the Google TV team. In prepared remarks, company management confirmed it is completely sold out of new units, closing the door on any users still trying to nab a $99 Revue (who shouldn't be too heartbroken, since Vizio is promising a second gen unit is on the way at the same price).


Dec 27 2011

News - Some Logitech Revue Units Failing Due to Corrupted Firmware

Logitech Revue

If Santa delivered a Logitech Revue and you've been experiencing some trouble getting through the setup procedure, it might be a good idea to check and see if the MAC address begins with 1C6F657. Logitech has disclosed that an indeterminate number of recently manufactured Logitech Revue units shipped out with a corrupted firmware that causes the device to fail to complete the setup. Evidently it drops its connection in such a manner that most folks affected thought the problem was related to overloaded servers on Logitech's end. The worst part is that the problem is not correctable and will require returning the unit either to Logitech or the retailer. It would seem that Logitech just cannot catch a break with Google TV.

 Logitech has stated that there is no fix besides physically swapping an affected Revue box with a working one, however. The symptoms are fairly obvious, but users can determine whether or not they own and problematic unit conclusively by checking the unit’s MAC address.

Boy Genius Report

Oct 11 2011

News - Logitech Harmony Link Reviewed

LinkLogitech recently jumped into the phone and tablet universal remote market with the Harmony Link. The idea is simple: Make use of a phone or tablet to communicate via Wi-Fi to a bridge device which translates the commands to infrared (IR) for use by most home theater components. Logitech also adds in its Harmony database and setup routines used in other Harmony lines, for better or worse. Check out Engadget's verdict on the product.

A first encounter with a multitouch device gets any active imagination running, so of course a home theater fan thinks it could make for the ultimate remote. But can any of that promise be realized in the dead zone that is the consumer remote control space? The leader of that dead zone is ready to give it a try with the Harmony Link -- a WiFi-to-IR bridge that allows you to control your TV from any room of the house via an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Android device. For $100, it's a setup that promises to blend ease of programming with network connectivity and multitouch control. So exactly how good is Logitech's attempt? We'll reveal that after the break, of course.


Jul 28 2011

News - Logitech Revue Price Slashed in Half

It sounds like May's price reduction of the GoogleTV-based Logitech Revue to $199 wasn't enough to goose sales of the struggling device because Logitech has decided to reduce the price again this quarter to $99. Apparently, the whole affair has been enough to cause Logitech and now former CEO, Gerald P. Quindlen, to part ways. Even with the new pricing, it's a bit difficult to imagine the Revue taking off in any meaningful way until the GoogleTV platform itself has been updated and considering that several content owners have blocked the device. What do you think? Can a $99 Logitech Revue compete with the likes of AppleTV and Roku?

This is becoming a trend. After a disappointing Q4 saw Logitech reduce the price of its Revue it revealed today that after a net loss of $29.6 million for the first quarter it is cutting the price of the Revue to $99, as well as saying goodbye to CEO Gerald P. Quindlen. Quindlen had been an outspoken supporter of the Google TV box (see the video after the break) but according to Logitech this price cut and corresponding $34 million hit to its finances are necessary to "remove price as a barrier to broad customer acceptance." In the midst of these results -- as well as lowered sales in several regions and key products like Harmony remotes -- Chairman and former CEO Guerrino De Luca will assume the role of acting CEO while a long term replacement is sought.

Engadget HD

Jun 23 2011

News - Google TV 2.0 Coming to Logitech Revue This Summer

It looks like Google has somehow managed to convince Logitech to stay on board the Google TV train for at least one more go around. I think this is a good thing, as I would hate to see it go the way of WHS where all the major OEMs abandon it without giving it more time to develop. I'm not sure I'm convinced on the changes that have occurred, so we'll see.


Loaded in the device is what’s known as Google TV 2.0 beta, the Android 3.1 based OS we’ve been waiting for, complete with apps. Unfortunately the only apps presently available are a Clock app and Live TV app, whose source is the HDMI input on the device. The interface retains Honeycomb’s blue and black theme and shows plenty of effective optimizations for the big screen. Fishtank is supported by a private Groups message board, through which the main request from the 50 or so participants is the ability to overlay video with data from an application. This feature is apparently available while on the home screen, but not open for developers to use.


Jun 14 2011

News - diamond design Dune Keyboard

I've been recommending the Logitech DiNovo Mini for quite some time now, but it's fairly expensive at over $100 so it's good to see finally an alternative worthy of being mentioned.


Using the keyboard with my Dune players was easy to , simply plug in the RF receiver into the USB port on the Dune, power up the keyboard remote, and you are ready to go. Navigating around was equally as easy. The trackpad can be used to navigate around the UI, or you can simply use the directional keys. One feature in particular that the Dune players come with is a web browser, something that the Dune Keyboard would seem perfectly suited for. I loaded up the web browser and to my surprise the browser combined with the keyboard worked extremely well. The keys felt very comfortable and I found it very easy to type without feeling like I was pressing multiple buttons at once. Since the keyboard can be backlit I never had to worry about seeing the keys, something that is a major failure with the Boxee Box remote.


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