That is Logitech’s new common distant, the Concord Categorical. Notice the large honking Alexa button on the prime there.
It comes with this hub that works with IR, Bluetooth, and WiFi, in addition to a mini IR blaster for extending that vary if wanted.
Except for the directional pad across the Alexa button, that is it from a bodily button perspective.
It fees over micro-USB as a substitute of USB-C.
You will hear Alexa reply by this little speaker on the again.
Logitech’s new Concord Categorical app makes organising the distant pretty simple, although it would not do any controlling of its personal.
Logitech on Tuesday introduced the Concord Categorical, a brand new common distant that options the Alexa voice assistant.
Amazon’s more and more ubiquitous helper comes constructed into the gadget and is accessible by way of a big round button on the prime of the distant. The concept with the Concord Categorical is to make use of Alexa to regulate the assorted units in your house theater. Previous Logitech Concord remotes have been usable with an related Alexa ability for these with separate Echo units, however right here the voice controls are baked in.
The Concord Categorical prices $250 and is offered beginning Tuesday.
All about Alexa
The distant itself is small, gentle, and minimalist from a design perspective, emphasizing the newfound concentrate on voice instructions. There’s no built-in show and solely a handful of bodily buttons: simply fundamental playback, quantity, and navigation controls. There’s a microphone and speaker constructed into the gadget, naturally, and the Alexa button glows its acquainted shade of blue when activated. The few bodily buttons are all backlit.
In some methods, using voice controls with the Concord Categorical is just like what Amazon has achieved with its Fireplace TV Dice streaming field. As with that gadget, you should use Alexa on the Concord Categorical to tune to particular channels on a cable field; saying “go to ESPN,” as an example, will instruct the cable field to enter the channel numbers related to that channel by itself. You don’t need to say “Alexa” to activate the assistant, however the Concord Categorical solely understands a restricted set of phrases—saying “swap to ESPN,” to proceed the instance above, gained’t do something. The assistant can flip a TV or streaming gadget on or off by voice instructions, in addition to entry a cable field’s DVR recordings. Logitech says you should use related instructions to tune to particular channels by an antenna as nicely.
This being a common distant, you can even use Alexa to regulate varied different house theater units. At launch, Logitech says the Concord Categorical will have the ability to instantly launch Netflix and “related apps”—together with Amazon Prime, Hulu, and HBO Now—on an Apple TV (4th gen or later), Roku, Fireplace TV, Sony Android TVs, and a choose variety of Samsung and LG TVs. It gained’t have the ability to do that on recreation consoles just like the PlayStation four or Xbox One, although you’ll be able to nonetheless use voice instructions to change to HDMI inputs linked to these units after the right setup.
Because the Concord Categorical is an Alexa gadget, it additionally works considerably like a transportable Amazon Echo. You may use the Concord Categorical to reply common data questions, element the climate, see what’s developing in your calendar, or different typical Alexa duties. It will probably management varied good house units, too. The primary exclusion, in line with Logitech, is that it doesn’t assist music and audiobook instructions, because it’d be a drain on battery and the built-in speaker isn’t designed for music.
Relating to battery life, the corporate says the Concord Categorical ought to final no less than a month per cost. (You cost it by way of a micro-USB port, and we’re just a little dissatisfied it lacks USB-C.)
Logitech says it plans so as to add extra voice management capabilities post-launch. Throughout a demo in New York Metropolis earlier this month, the corporate talked about it’s wanting so as to add the flexibility to launch particular reveals or tune to particular sporting occasions by identify, amongst different issues.
Nonetheless a Concord
Having the built-in voice performance is the large purpose you’d purchase the Concord Categorical over one among Logitech’s extra normal common remotes, however the firm says the gadget works with all the identical units as previous Concord remotes, sans voice instructions. That features a ton of TVs, A/V receivers, Blu-ray gamers, audio system, recreation consoles, and the like, although it’s price looking the corporate’s compatibility listing should you’re uncertain in case your gear would work.
The distant comes with a puck-shaped blaster that makes use of infrared, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi to regulate all these units, in addition to a mini-blaster for extending IR vary if wanted. Having Bluetooth and Wi-Fi permits the Concord Categorical to regulate units just like the PlayStation four that aren’t controllable by older Concord remotes that rely solely on infrared. While you’re paired with a suitable gadget, the Concord Categorical’ on-device controls will robotically map to the gadget at present in use. The distant doesn’t want line-of-sight to regulate these units, both.
All of that is set by a brand new Concord Categorical app made particularly for the brand new distant. This implies the brand new distant isn’t suitable with Logitech’s current Concord app or the hubs which might be designed for older Concord units. However it does make the setup course of a bit extra simple: the app will scan for the units in your house—although you might have so as to add one or two manually—then have you ever drag and drop little icons for every discovered gadget onto the corresponding HDMI ports in your TV. It then has you affiliate streaming apps with sure units, in order that once you inform the distant to “go to Netflix,” it is aware of which gadget to gentle up. Sadly, you’ll be able to’t use the app to really management your private home theater; it’s primarily there for setup and the nifty capacity to set off an alarm on the distant if it ever goes lacking. Once more, Logitech actually desires you to make use of your voice right here.
For what it’s price, Logitech says it isn’t taking any information for promoting functions itself and that the Concord Categorical doesn’t file something when the Alexa button isn’t being held down. However you’ll be able to anticipate Amazon to do the identical information assortment it sometimes does with Alexa units right here.
When you have little interest in being part of that, or in utilizing voice controls firstly, it’ll in all probability be protected to miss the Concord Categorical in favor of the cheaper Concord Companion. When you desire having a touchscreen, the higher-end Concord Elite is a greater match. Personally, on condition that Alexa is already baked into so many good house units today, my first impression is that the Concord Categorical market might be a distinct segment one. It’s not arduous to think about the voice instructions right here getting blended up with different Alexa-enabled units in a house theater. At $250, the distant actually doesn’t come low cost, both. However when you’ve got an advanced house theater and good house setup and would like to make use of your voice greater than bodily buttons, right here you go.
Itemizing picture by Jeff Dunn