Will a Logitech Universal Remote Control a Roku Box?
By Jacob Andrew
Unlike most universal remotes, Logitech's Harmony line of universal remotes is programmable through a USB connection to a computer. This allows the company to provide your device a regularly-updated database of codes that enable the remote to control new and old devices. Among these are the Roku, a set-top box which connects your TV to online services such as HuluPlus and Netflix.
How the Harmony Works
At its core, the Logitech Harmony remote is a traditional, infrared-signal remote. Traditional universal remotes came with a set of pre-programmed "codes," which were accessed through a series of key presses on the remote itself. If a device was not already present on the remote, then remotes would not work. With Harmony, however, the USB-connectable hardware allows it to be programmed on-the-fly by the Harmony remote client software.
The Roku Functions
The traditional Roku remote is relatively simple, employing large buttons for home, directional control (for navigating menus) and a few additional buttons to control video playback. By contrast, the Logitech Harmony includes an array of additional buttons suited to satellite receivers, computers, televisions and more. Though the Harmony supports the Roku system, it may take additional customization to accurately recreate the Roku buttons in the Harmony configuration.
Supported Roku Devices
Harmony supports virtually all of the Roku devices made since 2009. One of the earliest models supported by Harmony is the N1000. Other supported members of the N-series include the N1100, N1101 and the N1050. Harmony also supports the 2000-series boxes, including the 2000c, 2100x, 2400x and 2500x. As of January 2013, the most recent additions to the Roku line are the "Roku 2" boxes. These include the HD, XD, XS and the streaming stick, all of which are supported by all brands of Logitech Harmony remotes.
Brands of Harmony Remote
The Harmony line of remotes from Logitech includes a number of models. Models range from the 1100 -- which features a large touch screen and support for one-touch, activity-based controls -- to the more traditional 300 series. With a universally programmable interface, all of these remotes continue to work with any model of Roku. The only concern is that older models allow only a limited number of simultaneous codes.
Jacob Andrew previously worked as an A+ and CCNA-certified technology specialist. After receiving his BA in journalism from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2012, he turned his focus towards writing about travel, politics and current technology.