Originally Posted by bodhi78
Just some food for thoughts. These are my experiences in setting up XBMC activity on Harmony remotes. They might help you, and perhaps others too, avoiding some headaches along the way!
- I had a XBMC shortcut, and assigned Win+3 key to that (on Win 7, when you pin a shortcut to the task bar, its position determines the Win+n key, my XBMC shortcut is pinned to 3rd position).
I actually figured out this works when I tried mapping my shortcut key to Win 1 and found that it was opening one of my other applications on my taskbar in Win7. That's pretty cool, but after my last post I found an even simpler way of starting up MediaPortal. I found that I can actually start MediaPortal via Widow Media Center SE's "Media" selection. This appears to be working out better than the short cut key I added for starting MediaPortal up now.
- My HTPC Power is set to go to Sleep when the HTPC power button is pressed.
Right, and that would make sense if I was using MediaPortal as my primary front end, but as I mentioned earlier I don't really want my PC to go to sleep when I power off MediaPortal. All I want the remote to do is close MediaPortal out but keep the PC on. That's why I mapped the Alt F4 button to "off".
- I've tried adding this Win+3 command to the HTPC power ON and OFF in Harmony devices so that it's automatically executed when the power button is pressed. But the result was inconsistent. I think because a delay is needed between Win+3 and the power ON/OFF command.
- My solution was to add Win+3 to the end of the XBMC activity start, and to the beginning of XBMC activity stop. This way when the power All Off button is pressed, XBMC is minimized, and the HTPC go to sleep. When the XBMC activity button is pressed to start the whole system, Win+3 maximizes XBMC again.
I think I'm going to have to mess around with my activity start list a bit more, because one of the issues I'm currently having when I start everything up is that I'm finding that pressing say... "Watch TV" starts the projector, the receiver, and MediaPortal, but then it doesn't always automatically tune in to the correct input. So essentially what happens when Watch TV or Listen To Music is selected, everything starts as it should except that I'm dumped into the base Media selection screen rather than the actual TV input or the Music input. If I click the TV or Music input again on the remote, then it takes me there.
- I also set up a HTPC Desktop activity. The only difference between this activity and XBMC activity is no Win+3 command. But I rarely used this, since I can always press Win+3 (soft button) to go to the desktop while inside XBMC, and then press Win+3 again to go back into XBMC.
Hmm... Not a bad idea. Since my PC is always running, I don't know if I need an activity like that just yet, but I may choose to set something like that up in case I ever decide (in the future) to set up my computer to go to sleep after x amount of hours.
One of the issues I'm running into now has to do with how I set MediaPortal to close. Like I mentioned I mapped an alternative button (specifically the blue button) to also close with Alt F4, which is the normal command to close out most any program. This works, in that it does close out MediaPortal, which is exactly what I want it to do, but when I close the program in this way, and click on one of the activity buttons later, its not opening MediaPortal back up. I have a feeling that the remote thinks that MediaPortal is still on, so therefore its not attempting to turn it back on again (unless I go through the Help prompts). Basically it looks like its doing the same thing it would do if I were to click on, say, Watch TV and my projector was already on. It knows the projector is on, so doesn't attempt to turn it on, instead it goes through the devices it knows aren't on and turns them on.
Now this isn't that big of a problem, because I have a button (the red button) already mapped to "Media" which does turn MediaPortal back on. Still, it'd be nice to be able to click on "Watch TV" or "Listen to Music" while at my desktop, the remote recognizes MediaPortal is currently off, turning it on, and then selecting the correct input.
Its not a big issue, but thanks to your help I'm just now tweaking little things to get them as close to perfect as I can. I'm assuming the issue has to do with mapping my "off" button for MediaPortal to Alt F4. I'm thinking if I could figure out a good alternative way to map the exit out of the program to another key I probably wouldn't have any issues. I was able to add key board short cuts with a cool MediaPortal plugin I found tonight called ShortCut'er which allowed me to program in certain inputs in MediaPortal not apparently native to the Windows Media Center SE configuration.
Anyways, I'm getting there, and thanks again
for all your help.