How did I miss this thread?
We absolutely love, love, LOVE, our universal remotes.
Yeah, okay, we use them in a Crestron environment, but they are still URC MX-850 remote controls. Not sure, but I bet they are kind of a pain in the butt to setup. Some clients complain because they aren't as pretty and colorful as they may like. But, the MX-850 is a staple remote that I've given to dozens of my clients. I pick them up used, at a good price, test them, then sell them with a one-year warranty to my clients, and they love the ease of use and RF reliability combined with instant response time. RF is lightning fast, URC is fast, Crestron is fast. It all works out.
Most of all... phones suck. It is ASTOUNDING how many swear by using their phone as a remote. They spend hours, or days, programming some application they got for their phone. Then a year or two later are doing it all again because that company went out of business... and they STILL swear by it. Amazing. Have you tried to hit channel up, on a phone, in the dark, without looking at your phone? No, that button wasn't it, you just launched Pandora. Wait, you aren't logged into your phone. Wait, you are USING your phone... It's not a remote, it's a phone. Great for advanced setup of certain features, but it's lousy for channel surfing.
Tactile buttons are THE way to go for general TV viewing and streaming. Up/Down/Left/Right, channel up/down, fast forward/rewind. All at the touch of a button... and when you know the remote, it is easy to do it all without looking at a thing.
I'm sad that Logitech has discontinued the Harmony lineup. I'm somewhat saddened that they didn't simply allow the company to spinoff in some manner that made sense to those who worked at it for years. By all accounts, it was making a profit, but by those same accounts, it wasn't earning the profits that their conferencing solution products were giving them. Pretty simple if you can't expand, you convert, and Harmony took the hit.
It isn't the death of the universal remote for sure, but consumers definitely are losing out on this one.