The Harmony 880 is an InfraRed (IR) remote, which means it needs a line-of-sight to the devices it is controlling. Consequently you can never control devices in other rooms, and - theoretically - you can't have the remote start an "activity" when the devices are not near to each other (since you can't have a direct line-of-sight with two devices who are on opposite sides of a room for example). Logitech acknowledged this problem, which is why they came out with the Harmony 890
. The Harmony 890 uses RF (Radio Frequency) to communicate with a "A/V Bridge Receiver
", a small device that translates the RF signal to IR commands. The bridge receiver is what needs a line-of-sight with your devices, but the Harmony doesn't need a line-of-sight with the bridge receiver. This way you can control anything, anywhere. The problem is that for this convenience, you pay a premium price. The Harmony 890 retails at US$ 399.99
- a hefty US$ 150 more than the 880!
Fortunately, the IR transmitter on the Harmony 880 is a very powerful one. You don't really need to point it directly at a device to control it. In fact, I was even able to point the Harmony in the complete opposite direction or hide it behind my back and my devices still picked up the IR commands! Of course it helps the walls in my house are white (-ish) but I'm not able to do that with any other remote I have.
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