Harmony SST-659 Internet Powered Remote Control Review


Brian Mitchell
This review has been moved to a new location:

Click here to read the Harmony SST-659 Remote Control Review.

The archived discussion will remain below.

Todd in CA
Unregistered guest
I just got mine yesterday from Etronics. WOW! I was concerned about the "activity" based format, and of a couple reviews that implied the build quality wasn't very solid. These concerns turned out to be without merit, as the remote is well made, and by far the best universal remote I've ever used.

The website is more intuitive and functional than their "test drive" leads one to believe, and is extremely easy to use. I own an MX-5-- and MX-700, both of which I've struggled with for tens of hours to program. In 30 minutes at my computer, the Harmony is more functional than either MX ever was, and FAR more intuitive.

Highly recommended!

Unregistered guest
I got mine a couple days ago.
I have spent about 4 hours programming it.
Along with 2hours on the phone with support.
Support was great, and it finally works like it should.
Of course, I have 5 devices I am controlling, so I didn't expect out of the box performance.
I still think it's a little buggy, but better than handling 5 remotes.

As a installer I will never purchase Harmony remotes due to the fact that you can purchase them at DEALER COST on line! Installers can't make money with product that is not controlled by the manufacturer!Harmony has unleashed a monster and can care less!

Username: Admin

Post Number: 111
Registered: Dec-03

NEW FIRMWARE: Firmware version 2.5 resolves excessive battery drain

The Logitech Harmony Remote Team is pleased to announce the release of Firmware version 2.5 for H659, H688 & H655 (EU version). This latest firmware has been released to resolve the following issue:

Excessive Battery Drain: The unit displays "Replace Batteries" within 7--10 days of inserting fresh batteries.
Important Note: If your Harmony remote displays "Replace Batteries" within 5 days of inserting fresh batteries, then this firmware upgrade will not resolve the issue and you will need to return your remote for replacement under warranty.

To download the latest firmware, go to the Harmony Member website : http://members.harmonyremote.com

Enter your login ID and password, and click Login .

1) Click Support from your Harmony home page.
2) Click Firmware Updates.
3) Follow the online instructions.

For complete support of your Logitech Harmony remote, please contact the Logitech Harmony Support Team at 1-866-291-1505, (Monday through Friday 9 A.M. to 10 P.M. or Saturday and Sunday 12 P.M. to 6 P.M. Eastern Standard Time for assistance).

- The Logitech Harmony Team

Unregistered guest
Re: anonymous "As a installer I will never purchase Harmony remotes due to the fact that you can purchase them at DEALER COST on line! Installers can't make money with product that is not controlled by the manufacturer!Harmony has unleashed a monster and can care less!"

What an idiot. As an installer you should be getting paid for your installation services, however mediocre they are, not price gouging your customers. It's people like you that drive the D.I.Y. market. Thank God I don't have to buy this product from an idiot like you.

Bronze Member
Username: Rlschneck

Post Number: 49
Registered: Apr-04
i've looked at the picture of this remote and i don't see "skip" buttons. you know, the buttons that either skip to the next scene on the dvd player or skip to the next track on the cd player. there are only rw and ff buttons. can this remote still perform the skip functions, and if so, how??


Username: Admin

Post Number: 135
Registered: Dec-03
Any button can be re-assigned to do any function.

In fact, the Channel Up/Down get automatically assigned the Chapter Next/Previous function for my DVD player.

Unregistered guest
I love this remote! I wish I had gotten it sooner... all the daily things I do w/ my entertainment center are now just one click away. took a while to setup to get it working flawlessly, but it was time well spent.

Unregistered guest
Love it. But it eats AAA batteries at a rate of 4 per week. Even with Firmware 2.5. So I am trying 2.6.

Unregistered guest
Has any one used this remote with Scientific Atlanta DVR cable boxes? Are all functions supported? How a bout Onkyo surround receiver with separate on/ off buttons? I am currently using my Onkyo receiver remote but with the learning function, the DVR/cable commands double unless you tap the button quickly.

Unregistered guest
Great remote but battery usage is incredible. this thing is blasting through 4 batterys every 5 days and Im never home to use it. Per the post above, I just left a message with warranty support. I will let you all know how it goes.

Just purchased one and WE LOVE IT! It does EXACTLY what I bought it for. It lets me control pretty much every feature of my home theatre system without sitting with 4 different remotes in my lap, and it lets my wife watch TV, a movie, and/or listen to music without getting completely frustrated. It recognized all of my (fairly new) components with no problem.

The setup was not completely straight-forward (could have been a little easier) but the results are well worth the tinkering it takes.

What is really nice is that my sister, who is visiting for the week and is COMPLETELY non-technical, was able to learn how to use my system in about 10 seconds. I told her to "push the 'Watch TV' button to watch TV, then push 'Off' to turn everything off". How much simpler can it get???

Unregistered guest
I'm considering purchasing this remote, but wondered if I'd still be able to access the Guide on my DVR (which is through Cable and also how we access high definition). I haven't been able to find this information out, even on very detailed sites. The guide not only shows what's on TV, but enables us to record to the DVR.

Does anyone have a set-up like this or any information on it?


Unregistered guest
You want the Harmony 676 or 688. These models are better designed for use with DVR, TIVO and the like. While the 659 can control these devices, I think the other models have hard buttons dedicated to them (i.e. "DVR Record", etc.)

Unregistered guest
Battery life can be dramatically extended by turning off the backlighting... I've had my remote since December and haven't replaced the batteries yet.

Inquiring mind
Unregistered guest
i was just wondering if its a good idea to just take the batteries out? I just got the thing today and i see no way to turn off the LCD when its not in use.. soo should i just take my batteries out at night and things like that?

Unregistered guest
I have the H655 and I couldn't be happier with it. I am still on my original batteries after 2 months. Switching off the automataic back lighting will probably have helped.


New member
Username: Mrr275

West Nayck, NY USA

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jan-06
Setting up my Harmony 659 and I discovered that my Kenwood VR-510 is RF controlled unless I attach an external IR Receiver. Of course, Kenwood has discontinued their IR-9991. So, now I am on the prowl for a solution. It appears I may be able to use ChannelVision or Xantech products, except they are 12V DC powered and the VR-510 manual states that the "IR Rcvr IN" is 8V DC, 17mA. Don't think I need a connecting block since I'm not driving IR Emitters. Anyone have some background and feel for these IR products?

B/t/w - my VR-510 also appears to suffer from the posted VR-507 (& many other models) problem of it's remote not working. Next step is to pull the A/V Rcvr apart to resolder the suspect contacts.

Just another one of my "money pits".

New member
Username: Deluvia

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jul-07
Hi Mike,

Did you ever get your Harmoney 659 / Kenwood VR-510 problem solved? I have a Kenwood VR-4090 and just bought a Harmony 890, and I have the exact same problem. I am looking at the Xantech 172-94/RP - from the specs I've read, it sounds like it could make my receiver compatible to the remote. Any advice?

Gold Member
Username: Wingmanalive

A pic is worth 1000 posts!!

Post Number: 8241
Registered: Jun-06
It's been a year and a half man. Mike is probably no longer with us lol.

New member
Username: Splodge

Post Number: 1
Registered: Mar-08
The Harmony 688 is now available for £65 in the UK! http://www.electronics.bestbuyfor.me.uk/home-entertainment/remote-controls/logit ech__harmony-688.aspx

New member
Username: Kate_logitech

Post Number: 1
Registered: Dec-08
Hi, my name is Kate and I'm with Logitech. I just wanted to provide a quick update re: Harmony.

Logitech Harmony recently made changes to our customer service policy and we wanted to make sure that you have the most up-to-date information for your readers. You may want to update your Web site to reflect these changes.

Historically we have encouraged our customers to contact us by telephone when they have questions. As more and more people choose Logitech Harmony, however, we have developed more efficient ways to support our valued customers.

Beginning December 1, new Harmony customers have free, unlimited access to phone support for the first 60 days after they've created an account to set up their Harmony remote. (With the purchase of each additional remote, Harmony customers will have 60 days of additional phone support from the date of purchase.)

Those who've had an account for their Harmony remote longer than 60 days will continue to have access to online help, the forums and responses through e-mail submission in the Harmony software, but not phone support.

To save time and provide clear answers to a whole range of questions, we've created an active community forum, bringing together Logitech employees and Harmony users to answer questions publicly so that everyone can benefit from the answers. The forums have already resolved hundreds of troubleshooting questions.

We've also continued to build our online help, with user manuals and FAQs that allow people to find the answers to their how-to questions with a quick search -- without having to wait on hold. And they're all easily accessible through Harmony software.

If you have questions about our customer service policy, join the discussion on our online community forum through your Harmony software or at http://www.logitech.com/support.

New member
Username: Mrr275

West Nayck, NY USA

Post Number: 4
Registered: Jan-06
Well will wonders never cease -- I am still around kids.
Yes I did fix my Kenwood VR-510, and No I did not build an IR Receiver so the H659 would work. I'm actually considering a Harmony 890 since it can send using RF but I have not been able to verify if it sends a flat binary or wraps it with some other leading/trailing "protocol".
I just hate getting rid of stuff that works fine, but has a few quirks. I hope my wife feels the same way

B/t/w, here is where the VR-5xx fix is documented: http://resnet.uoregon.edu/~gurney_j/kenwoodrepair/

New member
Username: Mrr275

West Nayck, NY USA

Post Number: 5
Registered: Jan-06
The Kenwood VR-510 does indeed respond to IR remotes. I now use a Logitech Harmony H659 which is IR only.

Your issue is a problem with the VR-510, actually the whole series had a problem with cold solder joints on an assembly behind the front panel. Fix that and fix the problem. It frustrated me for 5 yrs.

Go here for the fix:

This site has the fix well documented: http://resnet.uoregon.edu/~gurney_j/kenwoodrepair/.

All is working great now!
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