Harmony Remotes and Home Automation - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: What home automation devices do you most value being able to control from a remote or smartphone?
Door locks 10 4.85%
Power strips & receptacles 18 8.74%
Fans 23 11.17%
"Plug-in" lighting 26 12.62%
Wall switches and dimmers for integrated lighting 57 27.67%
Thermostats 33 16.02%
Blinds, curtains, etc 23 11.17%
"Look-in" cameras such as security cameras or baby monitors, etc 13 6.31%
Other: tell us what you're interested in! 5 2.43%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 206. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 18 Old 08-26-2013, 05:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

I'm Sylvain from the Harmony Team at Logitech. Some of you may have seen my posts in the Harmony Ultimate & Harmony Smart Control threads. As some of you may know, Harmony Ultimate supports control of the Philips Hue lighting system. This a simple integration compared to many things discussed in AVS Forum, which leads me to a quick poll I'd like to post here.

This is less about the technology choices, and more focused on use cases that forum members are interested in.

Also, if any forum members are interested in more in-depth discussion with the Harmony Product Management team, please PM me. We're always looking for good discussion, and often provide free products in return.

Let the Harmony Team know you your thoughts!

Thanks,

Sylvain.

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For questions, help or support, please visit Harmony's support site
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post #2 of 18 Old 08-26-2013, 06:08 PM
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If you are looking to do home automation I suggest integrating all of them. Also, if you could do different scenes with groups. Even adding multiple commands for pressing one button such as when I pause a movie, the lights turn on dimmed. Little things like that go a long way.
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post #3 of 18 Old 08-27-2013, 05:19 AM
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please add macros / sequences (at least to the 900) - that will go a long way as well!
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post #4 of 18 Old 08-27-2013, 05:50 AM
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Put your efforts back into controlling A/V equipment. Bring back the One (or a slightly revised Two).

Don't waste your energies going down a new road. Stick with what you know and can do very, very well. We don't need yet another abandoned product line (like Harmony was to be, and Squeezebox is).

Mike
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post #5 of 18 Old 08-27-2013, 05:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Sargent View Post

Put your efforts back into controlling A/V equipment. Bring back the One (or a slightly revised Two).

Don't waste your energies going down a new road. Stick with what you know and can do very, very well. We don't need yet another abandoned product line (like Harmony was to be, and Squeezebox is).

Mike

Bad advice considering all of the new remotes are doing home automation and home automation is the future. This is why they lost a lot of customers because they all switch to the other remotes. I like the Harmony remotes and I am glad that they are doing something for home automation.

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post #6 of 18 Old 08-27-2013, 06:21 AM
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Add back in Z-wave support. Dropping Z-wave support after the Harmony 890 is one of the main reasons I switched to a different brand for my primary remote.

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post #7 of 18 Old 08-27-2013, 06:32 AM
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The biggest thing for me is lighting control. I just sold my z-wave dimmers and switched to IR dimmers so I could upgrade to the harmony ultimate and have smart phone control over everything. They work well, but controlling them is not as intuitive as I think it should be. When I start/stop an activity, the lights always turn on or change scenes, even when I don't want them to. I prefered how the software worked with my 890 with setting scenes based on an activity. Although I also like being able to change scenes within an activity.

Controlling/viewing my ecobee thermostat would be nice, but in reality I have it programmed so I don't ever have to adjust it.
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post #8 of 18 Old 08-27-2013, 06:59 AM
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Keep hard buttons for those who like to use a remote more by feel and easier one-handed operation
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post #9 of 18 Old 08-27-2013, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eecyclone View Post

The biggest thing for me is lighting control. I just sold my z-wave dimmers and switched to IR dimmers so I could upgrade to the harmony ultimate and have smart phone control over everything. They work well, but controlling them is not as intuitive as I think it should be. When I start/stop an activity, the lights always turn on or change scenes, even when I don't want them to. I prefered how the software worked with my 890 with setting scenes based on an activity. Although I also like being able to change scenes within an activity.

Controlling/viewing my ecobee thermostat would be nice, but in reality I have it programmed so I don't ever have to adjust it.

I always hated activity controlled light scenes. I don't always want the lights changing when I do something so I just make accessing the scene simple. Hit Watch a Movie and there is a Dim Lights shortcut nearby. With my URC remote I have the scene control as a press and hold which solves this annoyance. If I want the lights to dim when going to Watch a Movie then I simply hold down the button when clicking the activity and the lights will dim, if I just click the button then it just switches to the activity and leaves the lighting alone.

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post #10 of 18 Old 08-27-2013, 07:36 AM
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I needed a remote for my non-techie family members who easily took to the One. I don't think any of the new line of remotes would be accepted or understood by my low-tech friends and family members.
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post #11 of 18 Old 08-27-2013, 08:19 AM
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I mentioned dimmers and lighting, but I'd also include thermostats. That would be a nice gain, too. But I'll reiterate what others said here - I have a One and a 700, and I dread the day either one dies, and I have to get a Touch, particularly for the One, which is used for the home theater in a darkened environment. Buttons are not bad!
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post #12 of 18 Old 08-27-2013, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj View Post

Add back in Z-wave support. Dropping Z-wave support after the Harmony 890 is one of the main reasons I switched to a different brand for my primary remote.
Exactly. Z-wave was a great idea and had a lot of potential. Dropping it years ago then trying to reinvent the wheel now is puzzling. Although it has potential, Philip's system is far more limited.

Zigbee is another protocol that has a lot of potential and is very cheap to implement. If you're going to reinvent the wheel, I'd start there.
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post #13 of 18 Old 08-27-2013, 10:40 AM
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Zigbee AND Z-Wave would be ideal. Zigbee also has the RF4CE standard that would be great to support.

One huge thing that would be ideal for me is the ability to have a custom RS-232 and/or TCP/IPinterface that I could program to do anything I wanted. I've been looking for a hardware remote to integrate with a DIY home automation system. The Harmony remotes look like great products but I'm having a hard time being motivated to make the purchase until I know I can use them for what I want to use them for.

I like that the Harmony remotes can do what they can do, but I want to be able to have custom buttons and labels and program my own custom instructions for those buttons to send custom instructions out the RS-232 port. Then I can interface with anything else I want, be it a custom controller to zigbee or z-wave. Those custom buttons might be for shades or for a ceiling fan or "pour me a whiskey sour" wink.gif

I would also like to be able to have multiple remotes reporting back to a base station or something. Some way to differentiate between remotes. This might be possible already though.
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post #14 of 18 Old 08-27-2013, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim tressler View Post

please add macros / sequences (at least to the 900) - that will go a long way as well!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Thomas View Post

Keep hard buttons for those who like to use a remote more by feel and easier one-handed operation

Quote:
Originally Posted by eecyclone View Post

The biggest thing for me is lighting control.
I had used a 880 & 1000 when they first released many years ago, and currently, my house has 3 900 remotes. I've voted and also highlighted the above replies that also are on my "wish list" for your remote.

Macros is one of the biggest thing for home automation and the "wow" effect. I, also, am an user that prefer hard button than touch screen too. And I'm currently using Insteon solution for my lighting control need. A native Harmony dimmer switch that doesn't need any extra part to control from the remote would be much simpler & nicer.
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post #15 of 18 Old 08-28-2013, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for taking this poll everyone - and for the great feedback. Please keep it coming! smile.gif

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For questions, help or support, please visit Harmony's support site
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post #16 of 18 Old 08-28-2013, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj View Post

I always hated activity controlled light scenes. I don't always want the lights changing when I do something so I just make accessing the scene simple. Hit Watch a Movie and there is a Dim Lights shortcut nearby. With my URC remote I have the scene control as a press and hold which solves this annoyance. If I want the lights to dim when going to Watch a Movie then I simply hold down the button when clicking the activity and the lights will dim, if I just click the button then it just switches to the activity and leaves the lighting alone.

This is similar to how I have it set up now. I have a shortcut at the top of my harmony ultimate touchscreen for Lights on/lights dim/lights off. But I can't exactly figure out the power settings for my "lighting controller" device so they are constantly dimming and brightening when changing activities. I have the device set to "leave device on all the time" and I programmed dummy power on/power off commands but they still like to brighten or dim. I guess I'll have to play with it more but I still wish that the harmony would recognize that the lighting controller has different device settings than other components where you typically turn it ON when you turn all your other devices OFF, and turn the lights OFF when you turn your components ON.
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post #17 of 18 Old 08-28-2013, 02:44 PM
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Getting into home automation is an ambitious endeavor. There are a lot of companies doing it, but none of them do it with a simple and really slick interface. This forum has a lot of viewers who are comfortable doing modest set up for themselves. I'm one. Home automation is an intimidating area if you can't write code, which I can't. I'm struggling to find a controller I'm comfortable with. I think there is a big market for someone who can make it simple and with an attractive interface.
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post #18 of 18 Old 08-31-2013, 10:03 AM
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Z-wave!
Z-wave!
Z-wave!
Please.
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