The Ultimate Hub, initially bundled with the Harmony Ultimate and Harmony Smart Control, will be sold separately by the Swiss manufacturer of peripherals. If you’re thinking of throwing away all the remote controls and replacing them with your smartphone, now’s the time!
There are plenty of apps that connect smarphones to smart TV sets, but Logitech’s Ultimate Hub means to outperform all of them. Using classical remote controls has become a hassle recently, and not even Logitech’s Harmony line does not provide the ultimate experience. Using a smartphone instead of a remote control, on the other hand, will instantly provide more functions that can be accessed easier.
The Ultimate Hub uses WiFi b/g/n to connect to your local area network. Upon doing so, it will send whatever commands you give from the smartphone to the TV, Blu-Ray player or AV kit via IR. In terms of connectivity, besides WiFi, the hub also features Bluetooth, which means that modern consoles, such as the PS3, could also be controlled via your smartphone. On top of that, IR blasters can be connected at the back of the hub, so that commands could be sent to devices found in closed cabinets.
Logitech was smart enough to make the Ultimate Hub compatible both with iOS (5.0 or later – iPhone 4S, iPad 3 or iPad mini, iPod Touch Gen 5 or later) and Android (2.3.3 or later). The iOS app will be available in the iTunes App Store as soon as the hub is officially launched. Android users can download theirs for free on Google Play Store. If it weren’t for the proprietary app, Windows Phone and Blackberry devices could’ve been used with the hub, too. Hopefully the Swiss manufacturer will consider making such apps in the near future.
Are you concerned about compatibility? Well, you shouldn’t be! Logitech claims that its Ultimate Hub is compatible with 225,000 home theater devices. The app-powered remote control will enable people to command up to 8 devices. For typical homes, that shouldn’t be a problem. Besides typical functionality, the hub also enables users to pick up to 50 TV channels and set them as bookmarks for easy access.
The device will be available for sale in the US and Europe for $99.99 starting in August. It may seem expensive, but Logitech’s Harmony remote controls are none the cheaper, and they certainly don’t pack as many functions.