The Harmony 880 is Logitech's latest remote offering, taking the flagship position of the company's selection of remotes. The 880 has been totally redesigned both internally, and externally, revealing a completely new design.
Features: The first Logitech-designed remote, with 64K color LCD screen, 53 buttons, 8 on-screen Activity buttons, powered by a Li-Ion rechargeable battery.
Official Website: http://www.logitech.com
Current Price: Check Price / Buy from Amazon
Taking the 880 out of its packaging, I could immediately see improvements. Gone are the worries of running out of batteries. The Harmony 880 now has its own rechargeable Li-Ion battery and charging station. The buttons have been rearranged, simplifying the remote process even more. The buttons themselves have been redesigned to "integrate" into the shell of the remote. The overall size and shape of the Harmony 880 has remained the same as previous models. Sometimes you just can't best a good thing.
As late as 2002, complex home theater setups were entirely the problems of a Home Theater Guru, who owned several components, and had thousands of dollars invested in those components. At the same time, the average person owning a stereo, television, and VCR, was not too inclined to purchase a remote which controlled everything. Why? It just wasn't necessary, and since there were few options from a handful of manufacturers, consumers could not justify the price of such a product.
As components became less expensive, such as the DVD player beginning to sell below the $100 price point, widescreen televisions with professional features available for under $1000, and DVDs themselves were available for under $10, the HT Craze began. Consumers, once used to the stereo sound coming out of a cheap receiver they held on to from college, began to get involved with the idea of...THE HOME THEATER. The mere mention of it in conversation, brought attention and debate. With the crisp audio and crystal-clear video quality of the DVD, consumers wanted their component equipment to be of better quality as well. They wanted the full experience. They wanted a theater in their homes, with the same sounds and visual quality they experienced in the commercial theaters. The typical consumer was now on the search for something which could control all of their new toys.
Logitech entered the remote scene in early May 2004 by purchasing the privately held Intrigue Technologies of Canada. It was Logitech's mission to further their presence in the digital living room.
Today, Logitech has online support for over 80,000 devices and from more than 2,500 manufacturers. Logitech maintains their remotes are "Internet Powered", and this is certainly an accurate description. The 880 is special, because it's the first remote to be completely designed by Logitech, after acquiring Intrigue Technologies in May 2004.
DigitalDingus Addendum; 9-13-2005
I've added a comparison page to the review, after a few emails requesting this. Thank-you to those who emailed me.