I've used harmony remotes for about 7 years now, really like them. But I've got a slightly different component/cabling arrangement lately and I'm having trouble finding a good way to get the harmony to work well in this setup.
First, I used to ALWAYS use my AV receiver for sound, my tv didn't even have speakers was one reason, but I liked it that way, didn't have kids so crank it. Nowadays, with a different tv that has speakers, and kids at home, I had been using separate activities, for example "watch tv quiet" uses the tv speakers and "watch tv loud" uses the AV receiver. That worked ok and I was fine with that.
But now, I got a new AV receiver that does HDMI pass thru and so I reconfigured all my cables to use that feature. I really like it the simplicity of it, and as far as I understand is a requirement for getting the higher resolution audio tracks, since they are too bandwidth heavy for optical or coax. Problem is, the quiet and loud activities don't necessarily work anymore, since the AV receiver won't switch inputs when it's off (well, standby). So you can't go from "watch tv quiet" to "watch movie quiet" since the receiver will stay on the tv input.
So I'm wondering if there's some standard method that is used to deal with this? Currently, I added a step to the power on routine, so that the AV receiver is powered on, so that the input can switch, and then it turns off again right away. Then I put a custom button on each activity, on the display screen, that allows you to power on the AV receiver easily, if desired. This works great, the hdmi features on the tv even route my volume commands from the tv to the AV receiver if it's turned on, so I don't have to mess with that in the remote, which is very nice. But then turning off is a problem, because now the harmony doesn't know if the AV receiver is on or off. If I could get a discrete off command for a sony AV receiver, I could add that to the shutdown routine and be happy. But all I have is the power toggle command. I searched but didn't find one.
What are you guys doing about this? Is there another remote that handles this better? Am I an idiot for typing all this instead of just asking first, "does anyone know how to get a sony discrete off on my harmony"?