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Announcement: Harmony Remote Manufacturing, Service and Support Update

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231 comments

  • Malagant 2009

    I am still on the fence whether to buy another Harmony Elite to have in reserve. Stock for this remote is diminishing at my local store, obviously more people (Harmony owners and potential owners) are thinking the same thing and buying the remote while they still can. I asked in the store what they thought regarding this all, if Logitech will be able to honour the commitment to support the Harmony remotes in the coming years, but they said they didn’t know.

    Considering options, I came across an alternative universal remote for up to 15 devices on the internet by a competitor which looked interesting (don’t know if it’s allowed to mention competitors here, so it will be unnamed for now) but I am not sure if it is a decent alternative or a poor substitute (though at least better than nothing when it comes down to it).

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  • Cavett2247

    My Harmony Companion with Hub is the only way I can control all the devices in an equipment closet with hidden cables to the TV and speakers in my home theater setup. Logitech never marketed this equipment properly and therefore it is a money loser. 

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  • klosz007

    Malagant 2009, the only real competition was Philips Pronto but this was available only to professional A/V installers and this product line ceased to exist long time ago. I am not aware of anything comparable to Harmony and not being poor substitute, if anyone knows then let us know :-)

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  • Malagant 2009

    klosz007, thanks for commenting. Since you mention another company (competitor) I guess it's alright to do so here. As I said above, might be it is a poor substitute, I wouldn't know; I have just gone for Harmony remotes for the past 15 years or so and been happy with them. But if the alternative now is to return to lots of separate remotes, I for one would be interested in any working universal remote alternative of decent level/quality. The one I came across but was unsure about is called SofaBaton U1, is the closest in functionality I have come across since looking these past few days. Perhaps you or someone else here know if it is something to consider or not as an alternative (long term)?

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  • Kelvin

    I'll toss in a couple other names I've found in addition to Sofabaton... Inteset and Sevenhugs. None of those require a Pro AV dealer or integrator though also none of those match Harmony in one way or another. Close but I'm also comparing to a Harmony hub setup, not just one of the IR handsets. When I had a Harmony IR handset, the family had too many problems getting things out of sync. If I had to go that way again, I'd put IR repeaters everywhere to try and pick up their flailings.

    Here's another thing Logitech can and should do if they find themselves under pressure to shut down the database & software development. Do one final build of the software that includes the entire database so users don't have to depend on that resource being online. Even if new things aren't being added, reprogramming or adding things based on that database's moment in time would still be possible.

    It's my impression that the iOS app currently reprograms the hub on the LAN so that part of the process shouldn't require an online connection. Once the hub is programmed, it's operating all locally, I believe. I do know I can access it from the outside but I don't think that's necessary.

    Further, they could add a capability to the software so that someone could create & program their own device and add it to their local database. For something that comes out after official database development stops. Maybe those could be shared as text or XML files.

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  • SAttias5602

    Certainly disappointing.  I do suspect that if they are keeping product support going as long as there are customers using these, they may out live me!!   I have 2 remotes on my Hub and an older standalone controller for another system.  My only concern would be for updating the controller software as new products, vendors and related devices enter the market. 

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  • BJBBJB

    Malagant 2009,

    I used to program my own Pronto remotes so it was user programmable.... when they went away I moved to Harmony....and now....

     

    BJBBJB

     

     

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  • Chris Romano

    I wonder how much Logitech would sell the business unit for. The purchasers could even subcontract out the manufacturing to Logitech and hire their programmers.

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  • SAttias5602

    Seems odd. They are always top rated in every survey for best remote controls (not considering the 4 digit professionally install home automation systems).

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  • Malagant 2009

    BJBBJB,

    Thanks. Since you have experience with the Pronto you are more of an expert than me.

    I have a question you can perhaps answer,

    If I buy a spare/reserve Harmony Elite now, configure it using MyHarmony so it is identical to my current working Harmony Elite, but then place the spare unit in a drawer,

    If my current Harmony unit bites the dust in say 3 years or so, will the spare/reserve unit from my drawer function properly 100% as my current unit when I take it out for use, or is the hub dependent on the Logitech servers still being up and running?

    And if the servers are down by then, so the hub does not work anymore, will that Harmony remote still work as an IR-device or will it be dead in the water?

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  • BJBBJB

    @Malagant 2009
    Ahhhhh, that is the question.
    I guess if we buy a second elite, configure the hub and then don't use it. When it emerges from its box in 5 years IF the servers are up it should work. But that's the question....my understanding is the servers are needed for it to run. But users that know more than me need to confirm.
    But even if it "works", if we can't add a new TV or receiver in 5 years does that matter?

    BJBBJB

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  • Quin at HRR

    There is a hardware-related risk in purchasing a 'spare' unit and keeping it unused in a drawer - the 'shelf life' of Lithium-Polymer batteries. These batteries tend to lose their capacity for charging over time and, even if brand-new, will discharge slowly during non-use. There are many, many factors that affect battery life, so it's not easy to make strict pronouncements about this, but if you buy an Elite, for example, and keep in unused for over 3 years, you may find that the battery is no longer usable. Same holds true for folks purchasing batteries now to try to protect against future sparsity. I've got 'brand new' Harmony 1100 batteries in a drawer here. Never been used and completely dead. 

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  • DaChief

    I would love it if Logitech would pull a reversal like Sony did today.
    https://blog.playstation.com/2021/04/19/playstation-store-on-ps3-and-ps-vita-will-continue-operations/

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  • swechsler

    Quin at HRR
    I wouldn't worry about that too much. There are third party manufacturers making replacement batteries, which will probably continue as long as there is a market for them.

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  • Quin at HRR

    swechsler - that is true, but not everyone can easily change out the batteries on these models. The battery replacement on the Harmony Touch/Ultimate can be especially tricky and even with the 950/Elite, many folks have stripped the small screws that need to be removed in order to access the battery. 

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  • Jed Darger

    Surely there’s gotta be a way to fire the executives that made this call? Consider making harmony open sourced please!!

    At the very least you should still offer logitech harmony pro models to dealers, even if that means pulling them from retail shelves.

    I work in home theater and it is my livelihood. I have tried just about every remote system on the market and I always come back to Harmony. I know harmony gets a lot of hate from DIY’ers who don’t understand that $300 for that remote is actually a bargain! And additional hate because they have nothing to compare it to.

    But there is literally nothing on the market like harmony! I have no idea what I’m going to do for my home theater customers now. Control4 is probably the next best option but given the price and the amount of times software & hardware updates are necessary... I can recommend it in good faith.

    What I love about harmony is the ability to fix things for my clients remotely. I can literally login to their harmony hub and add support for additional devices, make small changes, etc all from my phone with a connection to the internet.

    It was also a lot easier to teach clients how to use compared to anything else, as well as much easier and faster to program (even advanced programming like learning new codes). I’m mortified about this decision and what it means for my home theater business and my future clients.

    I would gladly pay $500 for a harmony elite. The MX home pro line costs at LEAST that much and is hot garbage looks like it was coded by a high schooler!

    Additionally, I use harmony in my own home. I have 2 surround sound systems and a bedroom tv with various devices and have 3 harmony’s total. The alexa/Google integration is unbeatable for setting up routines, using my voice assistant to search movie titles or play music, etc.

    It breaks my heart you made this choice. Please consider selling the harmony brand to Google or Amazon who will actually do something with it because it’s too valuable to just abandon like that. At the very least, make it open source and allow people to keep the product alive!

    I firmly believe harmony was something that would advance smart homes and the future of technology in general. Now I’m not so sure what the future will look like as it is nothing short of depressing to know this amazing home control died over night.

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  • swechsler

    It should be obvious to everyone on this thread (indeed, everyone who is affected by this decision) that the reason that Logitech is discontinuing the line is almost definitely because it's not making them any money; in fact, it may be losing them money. As a business it's their responsibility to increase profits, not to continue manufacturing items that detract from the bottom line. Obviously I don't know for sure if this is the case, but it seems likely. It doesn't make me happy, but it's difficult for management to defend to their board of directors that they're continuing to manufacture a line of products that's costing more to make and support than it receives in revenue. Increasing the price significantly to make up for this shortfall would almost definitely decrease the target audience, and so not improve the issue.

    Open sourcing the Harmony code would be of limited usefulness since it wouldn't be particularly helpful without the hardware. While theoretically a smart device could be substituted for a dedicated handheld remote such as the Elite, the Hub is a unique item of a type that as far as I know isn't offered by any other manufacturer.

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  • Kelvin

    In light of this, why would any pro installer get behind Logitech's video conferencing solutions?

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  • Mario3539

    Logitech... you are dropping one of your best products, and leaving your costumers behind. I was waiting for some years now for a new version of Harmony remote!

    I can tell you that Harmony has an important role in my home automations. I have my knx house integrated with apple HomeKit, and harmony scenes (with a 3rd party software), creates the perfect scenario and automations for the living room.

    Now that houses will be even more automated, Harmony could have a even more important role on this. People needs harmony to integrate AV devices with their home assistants, so I really don't understand why your are dropping this, where this new automation business that is just starting, could be a huge opportunity for Logitech!

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  • Steve Coopat

    Best universal remote i ever had!! The Hub/950 system worked perfectly to control everything in my theater setup. This is such a horrible decision. I fear support for these products will disappear sooner than later, regardless of what Logi has said. 

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  • GM

    Hello Logitech,

    I have had several generations of Harmony's over the last 15 years and they have always grown with my needs.
    Unfortunately in the last 5 years they haven't and you need additional products to get everything under one roof if you have complex setups.
    But nevertheless it is the remote you need.

    Continue to make appealing remote controls for the masses that are affordable. Here you must educate that this remote control can be set up by anyone because the support behind it is just great.

    Instead of giving up, take up the challenge and develop again a product that can control infrared, bluetooth, http and zigbee and serve the enthusiasts who don't want to watch TV without your remote controls...

    The market is there... wake it up with appealing prices for normal users and high-end products that cost a bit more...but what if I sit on the couch and can operate everything... without a smartphone... that's closing time!

    Greetings Gerd

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  • JB Bentz

    Logitech's earnings call is coming up tomorrow. It will be interesting to see how/if they address this... And the investor's responses.

    For reference, if you want to attend, the broadcast can be found here - https://ir.logitech.com/home/default.aspx

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  • Cavett2247

    The company's financials tell the true reason for the discontinuation of the Harmony products, their smart home product sales are only 0.000002% of total sales. The next smallest group, wireless speakers, is 3.3% of total sales. The Harmony products are immaterial to their bottom line.

    https://s1.q4cdn.com/104539020/files/doc_financials/2021/q4/Logitech-F4Q21-Press-Release.pdf

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  • swechsler

    Cavett2247

    You're off by several orders of magnitude. It's actually 0.55% (8418/1535925), or 0.65% if you go by the previous fiscal year.

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  • mirekmal

    This remind me story I heard years ago from my sales friend.

    It happened in Brussels, where as you guess was large international community from all around world. There was one small shop in area occupied by Koreans. Prospering very well, but they wanted to go to the next level and decided to optimize their portfolio. After running analysis they decided to scrap several insignificant from revenue perspective products, to increase shelf presence for best sellers. As result their revenue dropped by over 50%....

    The issue was with one of these insignifican items, korean sousages... They were the only shop in neigbourhood that sell them. Entire Korean community, despite not the most convinient location of store, was travelig just to buy these, at the same time doing big, weekly shopping. Once sousages dissapeared there was no longer reason to visit this particular shop...

    Sorry for sort of off-topic, but I see some analogy there...

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  • V Gonzalez

    Very surprised and disappointed that such a useful product is being discontinued. The rise of streaming in no way negates the usefulness of all in ones. There are still blu-rays, consoles, av-amps, sat/freeview/cable PVRs, apple TV to be controlled over and above a smart TV. Having invested in several devices I hope that support will indeed continue for many years to come. Can the app be changed such that tweaking and learning new commands can be done offline to extend the life of the products should online support eventually disappear? Better still can the whole range be sold to another vendor as there must still be profit in this product.

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  • sdnative1958

    What an awful decision - like many here, I've been a Harmony remote fan for many, many years, and the Elite series is as near to perfection as one can get. 

    What is this trend AWAY from hard-button control of devices? Doesn't the industry realize that tactile response is as important as visual? Not everyone will just run to their app on a phone or iPad to run their entertainment center - without even looking at the Elite remote I can adjust so many menu choices and items while looking at the TV as confirmation - that's the POINT of a hard physical remote.

    Yes, I've been tempted to rush out and get another Elite as a 'back up' when my current one dies, but as others have pointed out, will it still be 'good' after sitting in a drawer untouched for several years? I trust Logitech WILL keep up on the backend for these devices, but for how long? Harmony remotes were the end all be all of home entertainment control - but with like anything else, as well made as these devices are, someday I'll pull out my remote and part of it won't work anymore simply due to age and normal wear and tear. I dread that day coming. 

    Very disheartening. 

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  • Bryan

    This is very sad news i loved and faithfully used harmony remotes for 15 plus years the original harmony 550 worked flawlessly for 10 years until it got damaged then bought a 880 used then bought a new ultimate home hub remote it worked flawlessly too but had afew hickups in the app in last year the remotes always the best of the best why would anyone go back if its a money thing maybe logitech should charge a fee per year for the service and keep making the remotes becouse one of the best things logitech ever did

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  • Dustin P

    I am very disappointed in this decision and upset that the “continued support” doesn’t help you one bit if the hardware is shot. My 950 is less than 2 years old and looks in great shape. Recently the touch screen died and upon contacting support, they are so quick to tell me there is no remedy vs offering to repair or offer a rebate to purchase a new remote only. Terrible customer service. This is likely why they discontinued the product line, since they can’t seem to support their products. This is the only remote I’ve found that my kids can operate and now we’re back to 4 remotes to do everything. Sorry Logitech, you’ve lost this customer.

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  • V Gonzalez

    The demise of single remotes is far off the mark. Yes many folks will have just Smart TV with a sound bar but enough enthusiasts also have AV amp, blu-ray, sat pvr, terrestrial pvr, external streamer, games console & more. This product should have been profitable if it had been priced lower and marketed more effectively. Few people that are prepared to spend £200-250+ on the top models but having had a Companion at £100 and saw how brilliant the concept and operation was I bought an Ultimate (wrongly thinking it would be better with a screen) and eventually another Companion (to have as spare if my 5 yr old Comp eventually fails). Had the entry Companion been priced around £50-60 it should have sold like hot cakes. I control about 8 devices/6 activities with a Companion and actually prefer without screen because I can use the iOS app on rare occasion that I need another non-activity function. Battery also lasts for ages unlike screen models. The Ultimate had a naff screen and so bought the other Companion for backup). So Logitech please reconsider and keep a ‘Lite’ / Classic version going (re-using existing Comp. tooling etc.) and reduce the price. Alternatively sell the product line to another tech company who I expect could make it profitable. Also concerned that it needs on online connection to tune the remote. For button reassignment, updating macros & activities with existing devices, the App should be changed to allow most updates offline so that when support truly stops we can continue to tune existing config. The only update that should require an online update is adding a new device.

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