I recently wrote a short review of the Harmony 1000 touch panel remote. Yesterday afternoon, that post received a suspicious comment entitled “Screw Harmony, the iconRemote Rocks!” from someone using the name illuminati and the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org. The problem is that the comment was posted by an employee of X10 Wireless Technology Inc and they did not divulge their affiliation. I’m not making baseless claims — I have proof and can share it if necessary. In my opinion, this is deceptive marketing and is in violation of the marketing code of ethics.
The comment told the story of how the person purchased a Logitech Harmony remote control for their mom and all of the problems they had programming it — and the problems their mom had using it. Their poor mom allegedly couldn’t press the buttons or read the text on the LCD screen. The Harmony Remote was supposedly too difficult to program or use. (In my opinion, the Logitech Harmony remotes are the easiest to program of any remote out there, given the level of functionality they produce.)
The comment went on to describe how they received a special e-mail from X10, allowing them and 100 other lucky customers to pre-order this new, soon-to-be-released remote. The commenter said they received one and it was supposedly far superior to the Logitech Harmony remotes. And their mom loved it too. Aww, how nice.
I did check out the pre-launch page for this new remote (of course, the link was included in the comment.) It includes even more “customer” testimonials from respected reviewers such as Dave G., Jay D., and Bill Z. I’d bet these people don’t even exist. Unless X10 can offer proof that these guys are real, non-affiliated customers, I’m going to assume that they are also falsified.
The commenter implied that the Harmony Remotes lose their memory when the batteries are replaced – this is false. Based on the content of their web page, the new X10 remote does lose its memory when the batteries are replaced – but don’t worry, it’s not a problem because “Mom” said it was really easy to reprogram the remote. The Harmony remotes use Smart State technology to automatically set each device to the proper power state and input state. If a component somehow gets to be in the wrong state, there is a help button on the Harmony Remote that will walk the user through fixing the problem. The X10 remote has no such features, plus the macros have to be manually programmed. These limitations were never mentioned.
Because of the lacking feature set and the deceptive and unethical practices of X10 Wireless Technology Inc, I maintain my recommendation of the Logitech Harmony Remotes — over the X10 universal remotes and pretty much any other.