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Anyone Have a Harmony Remote? (659 or 676)

Old 03-14-05, 09:13 AM
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Anyone Have a Harmony Remote? (659 or 676)

Here's the 659
and here's the 676

The 676 is $50 more (or $80 more at Circuit City for some reason). I got the 659 yesterday and it was a snap to setup and it seems to work tremendously. It does everything it claims it could do (and I was plenty skeptical).

Really my only complaint is the location of the play/pause/stop/ff/rew buttons--WAY at the very bottom. They feel totally out of place and it's pretty annoying. Maybe I'll get used to it, but so far I dislike this enough to consider returning the 659 and paying $50 more for the 676 which has--faceplates! (couldn't care less)--AND those same buttons are where they should be--up in the middle where one's fingers generally are.

Anyway, just checking to see if anyone has either one of these and has some input. Thanks--
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Old 03-14-05, 09:24 AM
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I don't have one, but I'm interested in one. I haven't found a sub-50$ universal one that will do what I want it to, on the components i have, and I'm glad to hear your setup was relatively easy.
That placement did look somewhat odd, but on my DVR remote, they are toward the bottom as well, so I'm somewhat used to it.
Faceplates are sort of a non-feature for me.
It's odd that they have such different button layouts for being from the same manufacturer. Personally, I don't know if that layout would be worth a 50-80 buck upgrade, but admittedly, I haven't used it yet, and it's all up to the user. You'll probably get used to it somewhat quickly, but just have to prioritize which is more important--the layout of those keys or those dollars.
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Old 03-14-05, 09:41 AM
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I have a 659, and I had the same problem as you: the 'Tivo' buttons at the bottom are in the wrong place. I also considered ditching it, but ended up keeping the remote. It gets better, but it's still a pain in the ass.

The Tivo remote the greatest remote ever in the history of the world. Great ergo shape and the buttons right where you need them. Are you coming off of a Tivo remote also?
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Old 03-14-05, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by gcbrowni
I have a 659, and I had the same problem as you: the 'Tivo' buttons at the bottom are in the wrong place. I also considered ditching it, but ended up keeping the remote. It gets better, but it's still a pain in the ass.

The Tivo remote the greatest remote ever in the history of the world. Great ergo shape and the buttons right where you need them. Are you coming off of a Tivo remote also?
I am, in fact, coming off a Tivo remote [along w/3-4 others]. And you're right that it's top notch, which is maybe why I'm having trouble adjusting to this one. It FEELS like a Tivo remote, actually, and is great in every way and can do everything the Tivo remote can--it's just a matter of whether or not I can adjust to those buttons at the very bottom. It may just take time.

Other than that, again the Harmony remote rules. The setup was amazing easily--and not only easy but also complete and well done. Had one issue of it jumping to the wrong video inputs, but realized it was somehow counting the ones that were not connected, so I hooked it back up the computer, found the right screen w/ease, unchecked some boxes, and now it's working to perfection.
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Old 03-14-05, 11:28 AM
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I own a 659 and I love it. Yes the buttons at the bottom are inconvenient but not enough to make me spend more to replace it but than agai, I only paid about $100 plus shipping for mine when they were on sale

You though should probably exchange yours otherwise you'll be unhappy each time you use it.
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Old 03-14-05, 11:37 AM
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I got the 659 from buy.com for about $90 a few months ago and love it. But, agree the buttons at the very bottom are poorly placed. A lot of times I'll get around that by flipping the remote upside-down when I need to use those buttons. It's easier to grip that way.

That's just about the only complaint I have with it: 8 remotes down to one makes the coffee table much less messy.
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Old 03-14-05, 11:38 AM
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Although not as cheap as when I got it, it's still under $100 at Buy.com
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Old 03-14-05, 12:12 PM
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I had the 676 for about a week before returning it for a Sony 3100. I liked the 676 but I prefer the larger screen on the 3100.
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Old 03-14-05, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by kayak99
...You though should probably exchange yours otherwise you'll be unhappy each time you use it.
I think I'll have to. I see the 676 also has chapter forward/rewind buttons (instead of needing to do that on LCD), so I may as well switch it. Will Circuit City let me make the exchange even though I've customized it (had it 2 days)?
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Old 03-14-05, 01:47 PM
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I recently bought the 680 for this very reason. Most of my viewing is DVDs and although I don't currently have a DVR I know I'll be getting an HD DVR from my cable company soon that will be used for 90% of my TV watching. So the placement of the transport buttons was very important to me. In my hand those buttons are exactly under my thumb around the directional joystick and I can access them without sliding my hand up or down and without even looking down at the remote. The difference between the 676 and the 680 is basically just swapping the location of the transport with the pic, sound set of buttons. Since I felt I would want the transport buttons more accessible I opted for the 680. Other differences are the 680 doesn't have A-B buttons labeled (but they can be programmed in), the 680 has gem style buttons rather than rubberized on the 676, and comes out of the box ready to use with a PC media center. Functional operation is the same across the whole line but user functionality is where they show their differences. The only thing I wish is that my 680 had the directional buttons like the 659 rather than the joystick since that is more what I was used to on my DVD player's remote.
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Old 03-14-05, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by uteotw
Will Circuit City let me make the exchange even though I've customized it (had it 2 days)?
Don't know for certain. If you can box it back up as new, just take it back with the receipt and tell them you would prefer a different model. If I were you I would not mention its been programmed.
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Old 03-15-05, 11:26 AM
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Well, I made the switch last night and am 100% glad that I did. CC didn't have the 676 but was totally cool with giving me a full refund.

Then I went to BB and got the 676 and took 'er home. There were a few problems with setup--somehow the website still thought I had the 659 and I think that screwed it up--so I called tech support @ 8:55 p.m. CST (or 5 min. before they close). I got a smart guy who worked with me for 1/2 hour, 25 min. past their closing time, until all issues were 100% resolved and everything's now working perfectly. Seriously TOP-NOTCH tech support.

Then I tried it out while watching my Tivo'd "24" and I loved it. It now fits like a glove, and I'd recommend it to anyone. It does everything it claims to and more. It controls everything and has every feature from every remote I used to use.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 03-15-05, 02:25 PM
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I don't own the models asked about but I have owned the 680 for a couple of months and can't say enough good things about Harmony. One of the few products I own that actually lives up to the hype.
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Old 03-15-05, 04:54 PM
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Old 03-17-05, 09:14 AM
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Is there any way to specifically set the light-up buttons that come up on the LCD when selecting a particular device? For example, when I select Tivo, the first four buttons that come up on the LCD are 4 I rarely use, while I have to sroll through "Next" to get to List, Live TV etc. Any way to make those come up first?

I'll check w/Harmony too but I thought I'd ask here first. Thanks.
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Old 03-17-05, 10:16 AM
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I don't know if your model is like mine, but you can do that on the website update page. Just select the device you want to edit and then there should be all kinds of dropdown boxes. You can rearrange the order however you like, including deleting what you don't need. It requires a lot of manual work to change, but should be worth the effort.
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Old 03-17-05, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Chew
I don't know if your model is like mine, but you can do that on the website update page. Just select the device you want to edit and then there should be all kinds of dropdown boxes. You can rearrange the order however you like, including deleting what you don't need. It requires a lot of manual work to change, but should be worth the effort.
EXCELLENT--thanks.

This thing just keeps getting better and better all the time...
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