Harmony 890 Universal Remote Control Reviewed

Harmony 890 Universal Remote Control Reviewed

With lots of buttons and a color LCD, the 890 from Harmony can control all functions of up to 15 devices. It can even learn commands from esoteric gear that may not be pre-programmed. An included RF relay lets the 890 control gear in cabinets.

harmony_890_remote.jpgThe Harmony 890 is the workhorse of the Harmony line. While it's not the cheapest at $350, it's not the most expensive, either. It offers the best of everything with its numerous hard buttons and large color LCD display. Capable of controlling up to 15 different components and sporting a large LCD display that can have eight macros or accessory functions shown at once, this is the remote for bigger systems. The 890 uses the simple Harmony software, which is Mac and PC compatible, allowing anyone to quickly program the remote to control even the most complicated system. The included RF relay allows it to control components without a line of sight between them - they can even be in a different room - while the rechargeable lithium ion battery and charging dock keep the remote at the ready. Should you forget to dock the remote, don't worry. The battery keeps its charge for days when left out.

Additional Resources
• Read more remotes and system control reviews on HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Find an AV receiver to program into the Harmony 890.

The large number of backlit hard buttons and the added space available on the LCD screen for eight extra commands per screen make this the logical choice for larger systems. Don't worry about your audiophile transport not being supported. Harmony has the largest database of IR codes on the planet, and should they not have your old Kyocera CD player, the remote is capable of learning its codes. The sleek peanut-shaped remote fits easily into the hand and the blue backlighting contrasts well with the silver body of the remote.

Read The High Points, Low Points and Conclusion on Page 2


High Points
• The Harmony 890 offers easy programmability for even complicated systems 

• Access to the world's largest database of remote codes
• Remote can learn IR codes
• Rechargeable battery and docking station included
• RF relay included
• Plenty of backlit hard buttons and eight additional buttons per screen available for each device or activity

Low Points
• Some will find $350 too pricey for a remote
• Lacks some of the cool factor of a touch screen
• Lacks capability to control devices via RS-232 (I'd like an RF to RS-232 add-on device).

The Harmony 890 is the most versatile remote in the Harmony lineup, and worth every penny it costs. The multitude of hard buttons and room for adding extra buttons makes this remote capable of controlling even the most complicated home theater and, with the addition of extra RF relays, could easily control an entire home. This is the remote I use in my reference rig, and the one I always recommend to others, hands down the best remote I've found. If Harmony ever makes an RF to RS 232 device, this remote would go from exceptional to perfect.

Additional Resources
• Read more remotes and system control reviews on HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Find an AV receiver to program into the Harmony One.

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