Harmony/Universal Remote?

Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
My Logitech Harmony Remote (520) seems to be hitting its last legs. Currently, the text on the LCD screen is fading away to being almost ineligible. The remote itself still works, but I want to plan ahead should things get worse.

I bought this remote on an EBay special years ago for around $30. I see that current Harmony brands run on Amazon for significantly more. So I could use any advice on the best possible specials, discounts, and so on, or even if it would be cheaper repairing the remote I have.

Should I decide on a new remote, I would like to have the ability to program several of my devices at once depending on a custom preset: for example, I'd like to set up an Xbox profile that A) turns on my 360, B) switches my HDMI switcher to the proper input, and C) switches my TV to HDMI 1 (HDMI 2 is my cable channels).

I should also mention that I have an iPhone and iPad, so if there exists some sort of app that would let me control all these devices as well, I'm open to the suggestion.

Professor Snugglesworth on
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  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    Man, that's exactly the kind of price I'm looking for, but that's a lower brand then the one I've got, isn't it (510<520)?

  • BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    They go on sale all the time

    You'll just have to wait a bit, because all those deals are dead right now, from what I can tell.

  • MadpandaMadpanda Registered User regular
    Look up what the actual differences are, I have the bare bones one and it is fine. It seemed the higher models added bells and whistles I didn't care about, color screen, bigger screen. More devices, mine can do 8 or something which is fine for me.

    I have to manually turn on the xbox via the controller, not sure if you can interface it with the harmony.

    What you want to do is easy to setup with the harmony software. My main "use computer" activity switches the tv to hdmi 1 (pc) the stereo to video 1 (pc again). Then once that activity is loaded I use the soft buttons to switch hdmi inputs.

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    Steam/PSN/XBL/Minecraft / LoL / - Benevicious | WoW - Duckwood - Rajhek
  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    Not being able to turn on the Xbox isn't a dealbreaker, but I was told it was possible.

    What I would really like is the option to display my desktop to my TV (HDMI 3), change the aspect ratio to Just Scan (something my Samsung doesn't do automatically, annoyingly enough), then switch the audio on my PC from stereo to 5.1 surround.

    And maybe automatically open up Steam and massage my feet while it's at it.

  • PirusuPirusu Pierce Registered User regular
    My Harmony One turns my Xbox on. It's just another controller profile, not sure why the lower models wouldn't. I can set (and I'm assuming with lower models) "activities" that tell the remote to make sure the teevee is on x input, sound is controlled using y receiver, etc. Even if you can't get the remote to change the aspect ratio to Just Scan automagically, you can assign custom buttons to it (again, with my One, not sure about lower models).

  • minor incidentminor incident Helen Keller to the bullshit Registered User regular
    I can also confirm that my Harmony One turns on my 360. It's IR, so any harmony remote should.

    Steam: minor incident || PSN: inter-punct
    You may not find all that you're after. In the end I hope it doesn't matter.
  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    Went with the 720, it was on sale refurbished on EBay.

    Hopefully with the bluetooth dongle I have attached to my PC, I can start creating some PC media profiles in addition to other stuff.

  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    I don't think the 720 send bluetooth signals, only IR. You would need an IR receiver.

    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    The 720 order arrived yesterday, and I immediately put it back in its box and returned it the next day.

    I don't know what counts as "refurbished" to the seller, but I would expect something beyond "covered in sticky shit that I refuse to put my hands anywhere near". I didn't even check to see if it worked, because the thing was so sticky and uncomfortable to hold.

    Seller's profile says buyer has to pay return shipping, but I was given a prepaid label, so hopefully I'll be spared that.

    Maybe I'll get lucky with a labor day sale. In the meantime, I could ask now if there are any Harmony remotes that support bluetooth connectivity (and thus, allow me to control my PS3 and PC as a result).

    Professor Snugglesworth on
  • PirusuPirusu Pierce Registered User regular
    There are no Harmony remotes that support Bluetooth. There are a few that support RF, but they are more expensive. In order to get your harmony to work with your PS3, you need the logitech adapter.

  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    And an IR adapter for your PC.
    Also, don't buy on eBay?

    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • AllforceAllforce Registered User regular
    Refurbished means it was sent back and inspected, fixed/cleaned, and verified to be in working condition BY THE MANUFACTURER. What you bought off some Joe Tuesday on eBay was "used".

    And yeah, no Harmony remotes use bluetooth so you're stuck with the 60 dollar PS3 dongle, which is shitty.

  • minor incidentminor incident Helen Keller to the bullshit Registered User regular
    It's worth pointing out that you can control your PS3 just fine with any Harmony remote if you buy one of those cheapo USB IR adapters (they usually come with a shitty DVD remote). It'll be less than half the price of the Logitech adapter. It'll let you do everything EXCEPT power on the system. That can't be die over IR. but if you keep a controller handy, it'll work we'll enough, if you're cheap.

    Steam: minor incident || PSN: inter-punct
    You may not find all that you're after. In the end I hope it doesn't matter.
  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    Pirusu wrote:
    There are no Harmony remotes that support Bluetooth. There are a few that support RF, but they are more expensive. In order to get your harmony to work with your PS3, you need the logitech adapter.

    Yeah, I'm not buying that.

    Assuming any cheap $5 IR dongle worked, I would consider getting one for my PC if I knew exactly what I could/couldn't control with the remote.
    Allforce wrote:
    Refurbished means it was sent back and inspected, fixed/cleaned, and verified to be in working condition BY THE MANUFACTURER. What you bought off some Joe Tuesday on eBay was "used".

    No, it was "Refurbished", detailed exactly as you stated by the manufacturer.

    The actual product instead was of "used" quality. Crappily used, at that.

    I've bought refurbished before and rarely had a problem.

  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    Its not "refurbished" if a consumer (the guy you bought it from) gets it before you. Otherwise, my car is brand new and is for sale.

    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    Logitech is having a sale right now for the "One" remote, $100 with free shipping: http://www.logitech.com/en-us/promotional-items/devices/7193?WT.mc_id=amr_affiliate_cj_us&ci=0&ClickID=bullmfdd1zn16ddkzs6l6qvzeeqqskmgsgkk&ClickID=d0rhrktzyr02z20czt22hmnnzzotnozchyoo

    I'm considering it, mainly because I think the remote looks real slick. It's refurbished, but since it's directly from Logitech, it shouldn't be nearly as bad as that EBay purchase.

    Thing is, I'm not exactly sure what makes the One Harmoy remote...the One. I've seen this and the 900 brand both go on sale for around $150. Which one is better, and what advantages does it have?

    Or does the One and 900 brands have a needless amount of stuff that aren't for me, and I should set my sights lower?

  • AllforceAllforce Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    900 has an RF system it comes with so if you're someone who has all their components in a closet or behind you (like me) you can still control shit without having to point at it.

    Allforce on
  • minor incidentminor incident Helen Keller to the bullshit Registered User regular
    The 900 is basically just the One with an RF receiver included in the box.

    The One is absolutely one of my favorite gadget purchases ai've ever made. Hands down.

    Steam: minor incident || PSN: inter-punct
    You may not find all that you're after. In the end I hope it doesn't matter.
  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    Decided to get the One through Logitech's sale.

    It's about $60 more than what I would have wanted to spend on a remote, so I hope it's worth it.

    Also, I'm told this will allow the remote to work with the PS3: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=10852495

    But what I'm really looking for is a dongle that'll let me control my PC.

  • minor incidentminor incident Helen Keller to the bullshit Registered User regular
    That should work, but it won't allow you to power on the PS3. That can ONLY be done with the official logitech adapter ($60).

    Steam: minor incident || PSN: inter-punct
    You may not find all that you're after. In the end I hope it doesn't matter.
  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    Its worth it

    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • bigwahbigwah Registered User regular
    What you need for the PC is an official MS MCE remote IR receiver, otherwise you have to worry about drivers/configuration(and it will be a pain).

    I bought mine from http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815144019(came with a remote that I just shoved in a box).

    This HP one will work as well. http://www.ebay.com/itm/EUC-HP-Media-Center-Remote-IR-Receiver-570-2584-/110740364274?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19c8a3dbf2

    That PS3 adapter most likely wont turn it on(but if on should be able to do everything).

    LoL Tribunal:
    "Was cursing, in broken english at his team, and at our team. made fun of dead family members and mentioned he had sex with a dog."
    "Hope he dies tbh but a ban would do."
  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    It was my understanding that no remote could turn on the system anyway.

    And even if it turns out that adapter listed earlier could, it's not worth the price.

    I'm currently bidding on that HP one, as it doesn't appear to be on sale anywhere else.

    Edit: Will this one work? http://www.amazon.com/Center-Remote-Control-Infrared-Receiver/dp/B001HBOJRQ

    I'm thinking I could keep the receiver and sell off the remote on EBay.

    Professor Snugglesworth on
  • minor incidentminor incident Helen Keller to the bullshit Registered User regular
    Just to clarify, the Harmony remote CAN turn the PS3 on with the Logitech Harmony adapter for the PS3. No other remote/adapter can, though

    Steam: minor incident || PSN: inter-punct
    You may not find all that you're after. In the end I hope it doesn't matter.
  • bigwahbigwah Registered User regular
    That IR receiver isnt doesnt use the MS drivers and will be a pain in the ass to setup (ie it WILL require 3rd party software, and a lot of time). I have one and after a week got one that uses the MS drivers.

    LoL Tribunal:
    "Was cursing, in broken english at his team, and at our team. made fun of dead family members and mentioned he had sex with a dog."
    "Hope he dies tbh but a ban would do."
  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    The One arrived a couple of days ago, spending quite a bit of time customizing it.

    So far it's everything I could want, with one rather glaring flaw: I have to have the remote directly pointed at my TV for it to work; with the 520, I never had to have it pointed directly, I could hold it vertically and it would still work fine.

    I don't think this is a specific remote problem either, because Logitech goofed and sent me two remotes (already got the return label to send one of them back), and the same problem persists.

    In any event, I also won the Ebay bid that was listed earlier: http://www.ebay.com/itm/110740364274?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649

    So my next question is: how do I get this thing to work? It installed just fine, but how can I make it so I can customize the remote to act with certain PC/keyboard commands?

  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    I guess the IR led has a narrower throw on the One. You could always replace it with a new LED, if that's your thing.

    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    That sounds complicated and expensive. If it turns out to be neither, though, I'm listening.

    Anyway, I was able to get the remote working on my PC following this guide: http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?t=77519&highlight=harmoney+remote

    The only issue I have is that for some reason turning the Activity on/off shuts off my PC (or specifically, puts it in Sleep Mode). This could probably be fixed with a simple command change, but I currently don't know what that would be.

    But yeah, it works as intended. As an added awesome bonus, I learned to set up shortcut keys for games in addition to programs.

    So I set it up so the number keys on the remote act as F1-F12 keys. Meaning I can open up Steam, Deus Ex: HR, Batman, and whatever else I want with the push of a button. As well as a button for F12 to take screenshots.

    Pretty awesome. :)

  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    Hmmm, I'm not sure you can remove the off command for your PC from the all off action. Maybe you can teach it the wrong off code for your PC?

    Changing the IR LED, if that's what would work I don't even know, would require opening the remote and soldering in a new LED. I'm thinking its not worth the risk i you don't already know how to do this.

    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    You could replace the PC-off command, that would work. There's also an option somewhere in the Harmony software to just leave a device always-on (in which case it shouldn't turn it off when you hit that all-off). Might want to look for that. If you never intend to use the PC's power button, however, killing the button might be the easier option.

    mcdermott on
  • DehumanizedDehumanized Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Yeah, when I set up my HTPC activities on my Harmony One I just told it to leave the PC on all the time.

    Dehumanized on
  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    I remember there being a difference in ease of use/control between the Harmony software and their web interface, with the web being superior.

    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    A web interface? You mean like settings you can apply on their site?

    Also yeah, all I had to do was set the Media Player (which is, in fact, my PC) to always on, so that took care of the problem.

    Another issue: I get some input lag when mapping the directional arrow keys. This is all for using XBMC by the way (which is the absolute standard for watching media off your TV/PC connection). Is there anyway I can adjust the input delay on that?

  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    Yes, through their website you can muck with your remote settings in more detail than their software.

    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • bigwahbigwah Registered User regular
    I leave my HTPC on all the time, so the remote doesnt turn if off (it will eventually go to sleep).

    LoL Tribunal:
    "Was cursing, in broken english at his team, and at our team. made fun of dead family members and mentioned he had sex with a dog."
    "Hope he dies tbh but a ban would do."
  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    can we sort of turn this into a Harmony thread? I bought a harmony remote to control all my stuff and my mac mini and plex but for some reason it doesn't do anything on my mini so it looks like i need to do a lot more customizing.

    nice tip on setting up the F1-12 as shortcuts, i was wondering how i could get it to launch apps. just need to figure out how to make the shortcut on the apple

    edit. trying to find out how to setup the remote online, it seems it will only work with certain remotes. unfortunately my 550 is not one of them

    mts on
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  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    Skoal Cat wrote:
    Yes, through their website you can muck with your remote settings in more detail than their software.

    Interesting. Can I get a direct link, or is it simply logging into Logitech with your member credentials?

    I'm wondering just how many shortcuts I can accomplish through my PC. In particular, here's something I was hoping to do:

    So as I've mentioned, I have my PC hooked up to both my monitor and my TV. With a simple flick of the HDMI switch, I can alternate between the two inputs. I've also set it so that when it switches to either the monitor or TV, it uses the sound from either as the default device for audio.

    Now here's where it gets a little tricky; I also have my Home Theater connected to my PC (through analog connections; could never get optical to work for some reason), and occasionally I want to watch things with 5.1 surround. The problem is for my Home Theater to receive the audio from my PC, it has to use the PC's sound board as the default device, which means having to manually set it when switching the input to my TV.

    So I was wondering if there was a way to enable all these steps to the remote for a "Watch PC with Surround" activity. It would save quite a few steps.

  • bigwahbigwah Registered User regular
    Write an Autoit script (or powershell if you fancy) to do what you want. Have Harmony hit a button to execute the script.

    LoL Tribunal:
    "Was cursing, in broken english at his team, and at our team. made fun of dead family members and mentioned he had sex with a dog."
    "Hope he dies tbh but a ban would do."
  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    I...have no idea how to do any of that. :(

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