The remote doesn’t have to be directly pointed at a device to send commands. You can just press “Watch TV” while preparing a meal in the kitchen and it will turn on your amp, satellite box, switch to your favorite TV channel and adjust the volume.
The Harmony Elite is a high-end remote: it offers excellent performance and modern features, but it comes at a very high price. If you're on a budget, you could easily find a remote under $100 that gets the job done.
If you want to go beyond simple turn on/off, adjust the volume controls, but combine several functions in one macro, for example, turn all your devices off, it will take a little bit of tinkering and very likely reading the forums.