Plasma's Best Friend
Logitech Harmony 670 Advanced Universal Remote; $150; www.logitech.com
Adam Horowitz, Deputy editor, Business 2.0
Did you see the item on Gizmodo about the Velcro headband for attaching remotes to your face? I actually considered becoming an early adopter. That's because my universal remote required a Ph.D. in nonintuitive thinking: Just turning on the TV took a sequence of six buttons. (Don't ask.)
But then I found the Harmony 670, and after a mere hour of setup, my troubles were behind me. The Harmony comes with a CD-ROM and connects to your computer via a USB cable. You simply launch the software, enter the model numbers of your TV, stereo receiver, DVD player, etc., and answer questions about your system's setup. The app reaches out to Logitech's database of more than 200,000 devices, downloads the right codes into the remote, and programs it to switch between activities with the push of a single button.
Now I select the "Watch TV" key and everything whirs to life. Better yet, it knows when I hit the "Channel" button that I want it to control my satellite receiver, while "Volume" means turn up the stereo. As for my old remote? I did that six-button sequence one last time -- with a sledgehammer.