Posted November 3, 2005
Before, if I wanted to watch a DVD, I had to turn on the TV with the cable-box remote, turn on the DVD player with its own remote, then toggle through a confusing "video source" menu (I never could remember if the DVD player is "Component 1" or "Component 2" or "Video 1" or "Video 2"). But thanks to the Harmony Advanced Universal Remote 880 from Logitech, now I just hit "Watch DVD" on my remote's full-color back-lit LCD screen, and I'm done. "Harmony" is a great name for this baby, because it's truly soothing to use. You'll need a PC (Windows or Mac) to set it up, but that's because the Harmony's vast software database knows all about the specific control codes of literally thousands of TVs, DVD players, VCRs, stereo components, etc. (The list is updated every day, and the Harmony software automatically downloads control codes for brand-new components right off the Internet.) Answer a series of simple questions about your gear (a one-time process that takes about 15 minutes) and from then on you'll have a series of individualized, one-button shortcuts to home entertainment nirvana. The 880 ain't cheap, but it's worth it.
$230 at amazon.com.