Logitech Harmony Home Hub – Review of hub for “smart home”

Logitech Harmony Home Hub – Review of hub for “smart home”

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    Logitech has already noted the creation of one of the best universal wireless remote control for home theater, so a deeper dive into the world of “smart home” did not surprise anyone. New product has become a hub for “smart home” Harmony Home Hub, which is positioned as an affordable solution for independent creation of a home automation system. Let’s discuss this in more detail in our device overview.

    The composition of the new solutions, in addition to the hub, includes two different control panels, as well as a special adapter to support wireless Z-Wave and Zigbee – Harmony Hub Extender. In this case, Logitech offers two starter kit: Harmony Ultimate Home and Harmony Home Control.

    The first set, priced at $ 350, includes a hub and advanced version of the console, equipped with a 2.4-inch touch screen. To this kit, you can connect up to 15 different devices.

    The second set differs from the first only a simplified remote control (it does not have the screen) and a lower limit on the number of gadgets – they can be no more than eight. But the price at Harmony Home Control lower by as much as $ 200.

    By the way, craftsmen have learned how to make this option and hub control 15 devices, here you can get a taste of how it is done.

    Limiting the number of devices is concerned, mainly, home entertainment systems, and relates to control devices such as light bulbs or thermostats, their number is not limited (according to Logitech).

    Hub itself can be bought separately, the cost is $ 100.

    In terms of functionality Harmony can compete with systems such as SmartThings ($ 98) and Wink ($ 50), and taking into account its ability to centralize the management of home theater, it is probably even the best of them. But for the price it is clearly not a rival, but more on that a little later.

    Design

    Harmony Home Hub looks almost identical to the Harmony Hub, which appeared last year as a part of the solution Harmony Ultimate, priced at $ 320. It is a small black and white box with rounded edges dimensions 12.5 x 10.5 x 2.5 cm.

    Hub supports both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, it is also equipped with an infrared transmitter. Logitech has included in the supply of even cable (IR mini blaster), transmitting an infrared signal components of a “smart home” in order to control them if they, say, hidden behind a bookcase.

    As for home multimedia devices, the Home Hub can now work with approximately 270 thousand devices from about 6,000 manufacturers. This list includes televisions, different types of players, media centers, amplifiers, set-top boxes, as well as many other gadgets, which are not integrated competitive devices. Each month, the list includes an additional approximately 1,100 devices.

    You can use a Bluetooth or infrared connection to communicate with the wireless gaming consoles like the Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii U and Sony PlayStation 3, and this, too, you will not find in other hubs. By the way, here’s Sony PlayStation 4 in the list of supported devices is not entered. But it’s probably just yet.

    And, of course, Harmony Home Hub can control all connected home devices and systems. It supports such popular gadgets as “smart” lock August, bulbs Philips Hue, Nest thermostats and Honeywell. It also works well with other major brands on the market of “smart homes”, such as Lutron, Peq and SmartThings (a full list of compatible devices can be found on Logitech site).

    The problem of supporting devices operating on the basis of such popular communication standards like Z-Wave and ZigBee, as mentioned above, solves a special adapter that will be available soon at a price of about $ 130.

    And the price is only this device is more than two times higher than that you have to pay for the hub Wink Connected Home, which supports Bluetooth LE, Lutron ClearConnect, Wi-Fi, Z-Wave and ZigBee.

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    Although in the market there are still similar hubs for the same price (for example, Revolv – $ 299), the modern trend is connected just with more affordable prices, and Harmony Home Hub with extension will cost you $ 230 (and that’s without the remote control), so that’s where his weak spot, which does not allow us to prefer it to other systems of “smart home” in this class.

    Operation

    Harmony Home Hub works with all current models of the iPhone and iPad, as well as devices based on Android 4.0 and above. After connecting the hub to the network, you must download the mobile app, and then the whole process of setting up to do with it.

    Setting the device is simple, although the application will have to tinker a bit to figure it out. You can also use the Web application Harmony, but if we want to use your smartphone to control your smart home, it is better to use the mobile version.

    When the hub connected to the network WiFi, it automatically detects all compatible devices connected to the network. Everything else can be added manually by entering the company name and model number, which is then connected, and you can try to connect even devices that are not in the database Logitech.

    It should be noted that the application can configure Logitech attached devices, but their own applications all of these devices make it still better. However, this general rule: we already know from our own experience, that the data collected in the same block different systems is always less quality work than similar systems separately.

    Although the hub does not support IFTTT, the application provides the ability to create such “applets” or, in other words, the scenario by which programmed the ability of different devices to work together.

    For example, you can create a program “Watch TV”, which simultaneously turns on the TV and set-top box. Or, for example, more complex program “Watch a movie”, which in addition to the TV, includes a media center and an audio receiver, while turning off the light in the room.

    This is the main advantage of the application Logitech – possibility to include all of the devices in the script, allowing them to work in harmony and interact with each other, and in that its primary purpose.

    This is where the Home Hub is really great, so it is in control of a home theater setup. It allows you to instantly switch to your favorite channels, memorizing up to 50 configurable bookmarks.

    It is also easy with the help of mobile applications are running simple tasks such as setting up sound and switching channels. For each component of the home theater Harmony can automatically download commands for all functions. And these teams can 50 or more.

    Conclusions

    If you are looking for an opportunity to combine all control various home entertainment systems in one place, without having to worry more about where is this or that remote control, the Harmony Home Hub is an excellent choice.

    [easyazon_block add_to_cart=”default” align=”right” asin=”B00N3RFCBE” cloaking=”no” layout=”top” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”gadgethelp-20″]If you still lean more towards home automation processes, the device is slightly inferior to their rivals. It does not support standard Z-Wave and ZigBee, or rather you will have to pay $ 130 for this support.

    Although they may say that everything is relative, and you can just pick up all the domestic systems operating on the basis of, say, WiFi, we agree with you. But, I confess, is still much easier to not care much about such compatibility, and select home systems in terms of functionality, not to meet certain standards.

    For the money – $ 230 ($ 100 for the hub and $ 130 for the adapter) – you can buy two hub SmartThings, which according to its functions, at least, no worse. This hub supports Z-Wave and ZigBee, and IFTTT, and the ever-growing community of developers of this system is constantly adding to it the support of more and more devices.

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