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SepticSceptic
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  #443035 24-Feb-2011 13:14
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Lizard1977:
After about 90 mins of playing around and experimenting I was about to give up in exasperation, but I remembered your tales of people who had returned their Harmony's because they "didn't work", and decided to perservere. In the end, I started to get a better handle for the way it operates (devices vs activities) but nothing in the enclosed literature or the website really explains this adequately. I've left it for now, and will sit down with the original remotes and draw up a plan of which buttons to map and where, and then construct custom screens of other buttons for each of the activities.

But I have to say I'm a little disappointed with it. I imagined it would be more intuitive and have a better keymap that more closely aligned to the original remote. I'm also stunned that with 5000 brands and 225,000 devices, it didn't know about a fairly common and popular TV such as mine. It's obvious that other TVs in the same range are there, but it wouldn't recognise my model number. But I will try again tonight and hopefully get it working properly...


Your first para hits it on the head - initially it's all over the place until you figure out what functions are all on the additional screens, and you can re-order them.

Ideally, you shouldn't need to go into the devices displays for normal viewing. Eg, if I choose to "Watch Tivo", the standard Tivo buttons are correctly mapped to the hard FF/Play / Rewind buttons, and the additional popular buttons are mapped to the first screen, like thumbs up/down. The second screen ( whilst still in Play Tivo mode, not Devices mode) allows a couple of changes to the sound field of the AV receiver - THX / Pro Logic / DTS settings. You shouldn't need to go into Devices mode.

Do have a look at the Harmony forums, you may get an understading of what is achieveable - the old 80/20 rule applies.

As for the 5000 brands, etc - it's like the Antivirus vendors - " we can detect 10 gazilion virii", but 90% are all variants ...

PS, I don't like the 785, and disliking it more I use it. The hard Play/pause/FF/Rewind etc buttons are just too small, badly laid out and not back lit.




My thoughts are no longer my own and is probably representative of our media-controlled government


richms
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  #443060 24-Feb-2011 14:44
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Biggest issue I have is that there is no way to go between activities in another, and it doesnt have any record of current playback status (would be hard since you can start playback by menu etc anyway)

EG, if I am watching dvd/something on the old xbox and want to look at the front door cam, I would like one button to pause what I am watching, switch the tv to the analog tuner and have the softkeys and numbers for the quad (or DVR when I finally get one) controls, and then one button to switch back to whatever I was doing, back it up a little if possible and resume playback.

Not possible. Harmony has such a minimal level of automation to it that it really is limited.




Richard rich.ms

 
 
 
 


Jaxson
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  #443065 24-Feb-2011 15:00
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SepticSceptic: Ideally, you shouldn't need to go into the devices displays for normal viewing.
+1

Often people come from experience with other basic universal remotes that simply recreate 5 individual remotes.  The harmony can do that, but the real power comes from the activities where you map individual buttons directly to different devices.  This means it's like a custom remote just for your gear, none of this switching between the whole remote being for the TV and then the whole remote being for the DVD player rubbish.

Thing is it takes a long time to go through and map the buttons, and the custom screen ones too, for your liking on that activity.  Once done though you should only rarely have to use the devices mode, and you should never ever have to reach for the original remotes.

Richms, you can do that but obviously in a very manual way, ie switch to devices mode, TV to change the TV input and then devices again, DVR to make buttons behave like DVR remote etc.  Then devices again to revert TV input etc.  At the end of that you just press the activities button twice and you're back to where you were.

I know what you mean though, sometimes you want a quick jump and switching activities will turn off the DVD player etc and then start the DVR input etc.  You can't quickly jump back to the DVD from that.

Actually you could add those additional devices to the activity and then only call them from the custom buttons.  Ie have a custom button that toggles/switches to the different TV input etc and custom buttons on a screen for the main DVR commands you might need.

That needs to be another improvement for the Harmony Software.  Why can't i use any device in any activity?  Oh actually I guess that's because it would then want to turn them all on every time you start that activity.  There really are pros and cons to every decision the Harmony software has made!

SepticSceptic
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  #443070 24-Feb-2011 15:12
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Jaxson: I know what you mean though, sometimes you want a quick jump and switching activities will turn off the DVD player etc and then start the DVR input etc.  You can't quickly jump back to the DVD from that.


Ahh, that's one I haven't nailed down yet. Watching DVD, quick change to see what is on TV ( in case it needs to be booked), and then back to watching DVD.

By default, the DVD gets turned off when changing to a different activity. Needs to be an Activity to setup a "Check TV" type setting, where the DVD is paused, not powered off. Pressing Play DVD again should pick up from where it was, hopefully not starting at the beginning of the "setting up devices" for that DVD session, where you would end up back at the beginning of the DVD.

Interestingly, if you have a Tivo, and press the pause for the Tivo, and then go to Play DVD, and when you have finished watching the DVD, and go back to Play Tivo, the tivo is in the same place where you originally paused it. 
So it would seem the functionality can be there, so it may just be a matter of assigning the correct key sequences.




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Jaxson
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  #443086 24-Feb-2011 15:34
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It also has a lot to with whether you configure your devices to switch off between activities or not.

Lizard1977

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  #443620 26-Feb-2011 12:06
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Just a quick update. I've been through it more systematically and developed a keymap for each remote, and setup screens for each activity, and it seemed to be working alright. However one activity still doesn't work right. I've setup the Listen to Music Activity to turn on the TV, turn on the receiver to iPod input, and leave the Blu Ray off. The TV is on HDMI1, which is getting its signal from the receiver, and displaying the iPod's image output. However, when I choose this activity, it starts out alright, but after a few seconds it switches to the Blu Ray input on the receiver. The Blu Ray player is still off, though (which it should be). If I press help, it switches the input back to iPod, but I don't really want to have to do this everytime.

I managed to find the desktop software, but I have to say it's extremely underwhelming. This time, it not only didn't know about the TH-P50V20Z model of television (so I just used the P54 model instead), but it didn't know about the Blu Ray model DMR-BW880. It asked for some learning codes, which started out alright, but then it asked for keys which aren't present (Functions, OSD) and when I said it didn't have them, it threw a wobbly and gave an error message along the lines of "Can't display data" or something like that. In the end, somehow, I got it to accept the remote, though it grumbled that it might not work. Once in the software, I found it to be pretty temperamental, and reckoned the remote wasn't connected (it was), tried to reboot the remote and crashed, and froze once or twice. I can see why so many people might give up on these remotes. I'm sure they are powerful, but I'm not a n00b when it comes to technology, and I found it to be frustrating to setup, to say the least. In many ways, the web software seems to have most of the functionality with less of the frustration, but even there I'm astounded - the desktop software and the web software seem to be written by different companies. The login details for one don't work with the other, and the approach to programming the remote seems to be different as well. Don't get me wrong - I'm going to perservere with it (waste of money otherwise) but I would sum up the remote as extremely over-hyped and probably not worth the hassle, unless Logitech can sort its stuff out, develop a properly usable and consistent interface for its software, and iron out the bugs.

/rant

Jaxson
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  #444041 28-Feb-2011 10:17
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Ha, thanks for the rant, it's always good for a read.

The software is good for the basics I think.

The software is severely limited and borderline frustratingly poorly constructed for any in depth/technical parts you need to access.

I think the hardware is very good and the final outcome is good too. It's just the pain and tears you have to go through to get there. Hopefully you'll forget that part with time though!

If need be delete that ipod activity and start again.
Did you find the receiver codes in the database of did you have to train the remote with these off the original?
If it really fails then teach the remote the ipod command direct off your original receiver remote and use this command in the activity instead etc. Agree it's weird though.

 
 
 
 


Lizard1977

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  #444670 2-Mar-2011 08:29
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I've made a discovery, which I'll post here in case someone has the answer, but I might have to email Logitech for a solution. And I'll promise not to rant. :)

I've discovered that if I turn on the receiver and change it to the ipod input, and then turn on the TV, the receiver will switch itself to the Blu Ray input. It happens a few seconds after the TV switches on, and I think I can hear the HDD on the Blu Ray player spin up, even though it's switched, and stays off (and should be off).

If I turn on the TV first, wait about 5 seconds, and then switch on the receiver to the ipod input, it's fine. No switching. So it sounds like something on the TV or the Blu Ray recorder or the HDMI controls is telling the receiver to change inputs.

I've tried to set up the activity on Harmony to turn on the TV, wait 5 seconds, and then turn on the receiver, but even when I try and customise it, it insists on turning on all the inputs first before executing any other commands, like "wait 5 seconds." I can't see anything in the software (desktop) that allows me to re-order the commands for an activity?

Any ideas?

clevedon
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  #444673 2-Mar-2011 08:44
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Lizard1977: I've made a discovery, which I'll post here in case someone has the answer, but I might have to email Logitech for a solution. And I'll promise not to rant. :)

I've discovered that if I turn on the receiver and change it to the ipod input, and then turn on the TV, the receiver will switch itself to the Blu Ray input. It happens a few seconds after the TV switches on, and I think I can hear the HDD on the Blu Ray player spin up, even though it's switched, and stays off (and should be off).

If I turn on the TV first, wait about 5 seconds, and then switch on the receiver to the ipod input, it's fine. No switching. So it sounds like something on the TV or the Blu Ray recorder or the HDMI controls is telling the receiver to change inputs.

I've tried to set up the activity on Harmony to turn on the TV, wait 5 seconds, and then turn on the receiver, but even when I try and customise it, it insists on turning on all the inputs first before executing any other commands, like "wait 5 seconds." I can't see anything in the software (desktop) that allows me to re-order the commands for an activity?

Any ideas?


Ring Logitec, tell them what you want to do and they will set it all up how you like.

Jaxson
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  #444695 2-Mar-2011 09:58
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As above, ring Logitec and they will do this for you.
This is yet another problem with the software, you can't insert power on delays. I think you can rearrange the order, but essentially they all get turned on and then you can do other stuff.

Logitech can add a delay for the device though and I think it will then crop up in every activity. It's becoming more important as some devices change display resolutions if the TV isn't on and ready first etc.

Are you sure you don't have any 'viera net' or similar hdmi control turned on on anything? This can really stuff your harmony setup if the TV is sending it's own commands to the receiver etc because it's picked up that the bluray is turned on etc. Might pay to check this hdmi control or whatever brand name they are giving it is turned off on the bluray and TV etc. Just an idea.

Lizard1977

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  #444766 2-Mar-2011 13:30
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Jaxson: As above, ring Logitec and they will do this for you.
This is yet another problem with the software, you can't insert power on delays. I think you can rearrange the order, but essentially they all get turned on and then you can do other stuff.

Logitech can add a delay for the device though and I think it will then crop up in every activity. It's becoming more important as some devices change display resolutions if the TV isn't on and ready first etc.

Are you sure you don't have any 'viera net' or similar hdmi control turned on on anything? This can really stuff your harmony setup if the TV is sending it's own commands to the receiver etc because it's picked up that the bluray is turned on etc. Might pay to check this hdmi control or whatever brand name they are giving it is turned off on the bluray and TV etc. Just an idea.


Well, that's what I wondered. I turned off HDMI control on the TV but didn't think to check the blu ray. It's not switched on at any point, but I heard the HDD spinning so maybe it's "on" without actually being on. I just figured that HDMI control was necessary, but if it's not then I will turn it off for both the TV and blu ray.

Lizard1977

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  #445086 3-Mar-2011 09:59
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Thanks for the suggestion - I gave it a quick try last night and it seems to be working. I turned off Viera-Link for both the TV and the Blu Ray recorder, and when I manually turned on the receiver, set it to ipod input, and then turned on the TV, it didn't switch the input. So it looks promising. I'll finish the setup tonight, and fingers crossed it will all go well...

Jaxson
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  #445088 3-Mar-2011 10:03
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Good stuff, glad I could help.

That's most of it now isn't it?
Are you in harmony control heaven now?

Lizard1977

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  #445255 3-Mar-2011 18:58
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Sadly, no...

I got home and set about finishing the configuration, setting up the activities. Now, when I choose an activity, it doesn't change the input on the receiver. In other words, whatever input the receiver was set to when it the receiver was turned off, is what it stays on when I choose an activity. So when I choose "Listen to Music" it doesn't change to the ipod input, unless I use help. And the same when I choose "Watch TV", it just stays on whatever input it was on before.

When I troubleshoot the problem using the desktop software, the only suggestion it makes is to adjust the delay settings. I tried a longer delay (2000ms) and a shorter delay (500ms) but it doesn't make any difference. Any ideas?

chiefie
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  #445257 3-Mar-2011 19:13
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You might not configured the inputs correctly yet.. it takes a bit of effort to get the system set up correctly. But once set right, it is a bliss! Trust me, getting the first Harmony set up was the difficult part then soon you'll know what to do to get the best or most for the configuration.




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