Have you ever been using your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch while watching TV and wished you could control your TV, home entertainment center and other devices with it? You can, but since most of those devices uses IR signals you will need an additional piece of hardware. That’s where the Harmony Link comes in.
The Harmony Link is a hockey puck sized device that connects to your WiFi network. It converts signals from your iOS device into infrared commands that can control your TV and other home entertainment devices.
A free Harmony Link app can be download at the App Store for all of your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. You will also need to plug the Harmony Link into a computer to configure the devices you want to control (cable is included).
Will your TV and other devices be supported? There’s an excellent chance because the Harmony Link supports over 5000 brand and more than 225,000 different models. Logitech adds more devices every day, so future devices you purchase should also be compatible. The Harmony Link is also capable of “learning” commands from other remotes.
One of the best features of Harmony remotes is one touch activity controls. This means you can configure your Harmony remote to turn on a TV, cable box and surround system by pressing one button. It will even set your TV to the correct input setting.
Many other activities can be configured. I have an activity setup for Apple TV. It automatically turns on my Apple TV, sound system, television and sets the TV to the correct HDMI setting. Activities can also be setup for things like, play Xbox, watch a DVD, listen to music, etc.
Harmony Link Apps
The apps for Harmony Link are decent, but they do crash occasionally. The iPad offers a channel guide that has data for local providers. You can browse yhe TV guide to view what’s on and read details about the content. When you find something you want to watch you can tap “Watch Now” and your TV will change accordingly. The controls slide out from the side and slide back to reveal more of the TV guide.
The iPhone app doesn’t have a TV guide feature, but due to the size it feels more like a traditional remote. Controls can be moved and customized. This means you can put the controls you use most often where they are easy to access. This is a much appreciated feature that helps compensate for the small screen size.
The suggested retail for the Harmony Link is $99. I have used it for about a year and although it’s not perfect, I have found it to be a worthwhile purchase. I have several iOS devices and often use them while watching TV. The one touch feature saves times and keeps me from having to use several remotes.
If you already have a remote that has a one touch feature, then spending the money on a Harmony Link might not make sense for you. If you are in the need of a universal remote with one touch activities and you want that remote to be an iOS device, the Harmony Link may be just the device you need.