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Harmony 650 Remote Not Cooperating with the CEC/ARC Features of My Vizio TV

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I hope someone out there can solve this problem. I spent hours today trying to correctly program my Harmony 650 to no avail. I have an extremely simple set up: Vizio 60' LED flat panel connected with one single HDMI (no optical) cable to an Onkyo AVR, a BR player and Apple TV device both connected to the AVR via HDMI. I have the CEC/ARC features of the t.v. and the Onkyo AVR turned on to enable the single HDMI cable to work send both audio and video both directions on a single HDMI cable. All other devices are connected to the Onkyo AVR. T.V. viewing is via an OTA antenna connected directly to the Vizio TV.

Pushing the "Watch T.V." button on the Harmony 650 works perfectly. No problem there. The problem lies with pushing either the "Watch a Movie" or "Watch Apple T.V." buttons. The sequence for "Watch a Movie" is: Vizio t.v. on, then BR player on, then Onkyo AVR on to HDMI 2. Initially, everything works fine, but the Vizio's CEC/ARC set up overides the Harmony and switches the Onkyo AVR from HDMI 2 back to the TV input. Does the same thing when I push the "Watch Apple TV" button.

I've tried delays, but no matter how long I set the delay, once the Onkyo AVR comes on, the Vizio eventually switches the input to from whatever I programmed the Harmony to, back to the TV input.

I am thinking the simple solution is to add an Optical cable from the Vizio TV to the Onkyo AVR and turn off the CEC/ARC features of the TV and AVR. I can do that, but it will be painful as I will have to fish another cable through the wall.

Is there a way to keep the CEC/ARC features "on" with a single HDMI cable AND get the Harmony Remote to work? As it is now, whenever I want to watch anything other than simple TV, I am forced to do extra manual steps on the Harmony remote.

The entire purpose of buying this Harmony 650 remote was to make my new set up wife friendly. Help!
post #2 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by LukeHo View Post

I hope someone out there can solve this problem. I spent hours today trying to correctly program my Harmony 650 to no avail. I have an extremely simple set up: Vizio 60' LED flat panel connected with one single HDMI (no optical) cable to an Onkyo AVR, a BR player and Apple TV device both connected to the AVR via HDMI. I have the CEC/ARC features of the t.v. and the Onkyo AVR turned on to enable the single HDMI cable to work send both audio and video both directions on a single HDMI cable. All other devices are connected to the Onkyo AVR. T.V. viewing is via an OTA antenna connected directly to the Vizio TV.

Pushing the "Watch T.V." button on the Harmony 650 works perfectly. No problem there. The problem lies with pushing either the "Watch a Movie" or "Watch Apple T.V." buttons. The sequence for "Watch a Movie" is: Vizio t.v. on, then BR player on, then Onkyo AVR on to HDMI 2. Initially, everything works fine, but the Vizio's CEC/ARC set up overides the Harmony and switches the Onkyo AVR from HDMI 2 back to the TV input. Does the same thing when I push the "Watch Apple TV" button.

I've tried delays, but no matter how long I set the delay, once the Onkyo AVR comes on, the Vizio eventually switches the input to from whatever I programmed the Harmony to, back to the TV input.

I am thinking the simple solution is to add an Optical cable from the Vizio TV to the Onkyo AVR and turn off the CEC/ARC features of the TV and AVR. I can do that, but it will be painful as I will have to fish another cable through the wall.

Is there a way to keep the CEC/ARC features "on" with a single HDMI cable AND get the Harmony Remote to work? As it is now, whenever I want to watch anything other than simple TV, I am forced to do extra manual steps on the Harmony remote.

The entire purpose of buying this Harmony 650 remote was to make my new set up wife friendly. Help!
Why do you have to have the CEC/ARC features on to watch a movie or watch apple TV?
post #3 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by LukeHo View Post

I hope someone out there can solve this problem. I spent hours today trying to correctly program my Harmony 650 to no avail. I have an extremely simple set up: Vizio 60' LED flat panel connected with one single HDMI (no optical) cable to an Onkyo AVR, a BR player and Apple TV device both connected to the AVR via HDMI. I have the CEC/ARC features of the t.v. and the Onkyo AVR turned on to enable the single HDMI cable to work send both audio and video both directions on a single HDMI cable. All other devices are connected to the Onkyo AVR. T.V. viewing is via an OTA antenna connected directly to the Vizio TV.

Pushing the "Watch T.V." button on the Harmony 650 works perfectly. No problem there. The problem lies with pushing either the "Watch a Movie" or "Watch Apple T.V." buttons. The sequence for "Watch a Movie" is: Vizio t.v. on, then BR player on, then Onkyo AVR on to HDMI 2. Initially, everything works fine, but the Vizio's CEC/ARC set up overides the Harmony and switches the Onkyo AVR from HDMI 2 back to the TV input. Does the same thing when I push the "Watch Apple TV" button.

I've tried delays, but no matter how long I set the delay, once the Onkyo AVR comes on, the Vizio eventually switches the input to from whatever I programmed the Harmony to, back to the TV input.

I am thinking the simple solution is to add an Optical cable from the Vizio TV to the Onkyo AVR and turn off the CEC/ARC features of the TV and AVR. I can do that, but it will be painful as I will have to fish another cable through the wall.

Is there a way to keep the CEC/ARC features "on" with a single HDMI cable AND get the Harmony Remote to work? As it is now, whenever I want to watch anything other than simple TV, I am forced to do extra manual steps on the Harmony remote.

The entire purpose of buying this Harmony 650 remote was to make my new set up wife friendly. Help!

What happens with the Vizio TV if you switch its inputs manually? Will it go to the correct input for BR/Apple TV?

I am unclear about your "Watch TV" set up; how is your audio run through the AVR? Or does it?

It sounds like you may need to add another "action" for Watch a Movie" & Apple TV: add the action to switch the Vizio TV input back to HDMI. This may require some tweaking with adding a delay for the action.
post #4 of 17
It looks like you need to look at whether your Onkyo AVR is ARC compatible. Also, check your HDMI cable to ensure it is multi directional.

Another approach is that you really do not need CEC, since you are using the Harmony as the remote. You may want to try turning it off and seeing how the Harmony works.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your responses. The ARC feature of the Onkyo will only work if the CEC feature of the Vizio is "on". Since I only have a single HDMI cable running from the Onkyo to the Vizio, the only way to get audio out of the Onkyo is to have the CEC and ARC features "on". I can, and likely will fish a digital audio cable through the wall and connect the Onkyo to the Vizio with audio that way, then disable the CEC/ARC feature. I really don't want to do that. Was hoping the Harmony can get around all this. I am switching through the Onkyo, so the Vizio only has one input. TV on the Vizio comes directly from an antenna, so no other cables are needed.

This one has me stumped.
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by LukeHo View Post

Thanks for your responses. The ARC feature of the Onkyo will only work if the CEC feature of the Vizio is "on". Since I only have a single HDMI cable running from the Onkyo to the Vizio, the only way to get audio out of the Onkyo is to have the CEC and ARC features "on". I can, and likely will fish a digital audio cable through the wall and connect the Onkyo to the Vizio with audio that way, then disable the CEC/ARC feature. I really don't want to do that. Was hoping the Harmony can get around all this. I am switching through the Onkyo, so the Vizio only has one input. TV on the Vizio comes directly from an antenna, so no other cables are needed.

This one has me stumped.

Please excuse me for some basic questions, but something does not seem correct in this set up (relating to the Harmony remote a well):

Am I correct that your TV "signal" comes ONLY from the antenna? (no cable box, etc.), and how is it connected to your TV?

What is the model number of this Vizio?
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
We have the Vizio E601i-A3 LED model. The Onkyo AVR is the TX NR-414 model. The t.v. signal is an OTA antenna connected directly to the t.v. I talked to customer service at Onkyo and they confirmed that the ARC and CEC features were a "All or None" deal. When I get the chance, I am going to run an optical cable through the wall connecting the Vizio and the Onkyo, then trurn off the ARC/CEC features. Hopefully that will work with the Harmony remote.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by LukeHo View Post

We have the Vizio E601i-A3 LED model. The Onkyo AVR is the TX NR-414 model. The t.v. signal is an OTA antenna connected directly to the t.v. I talked to customer service at Onkyo and they confirmed that the ARC and CEC features were a "All or None" deal. When I get the chance, I am going to run an optical cable through the wall connecting the Vizio and the Onkyo, then trurn off the ARC/CEC features. Hopefully that will work with the Harmony remote.

Running the optical cable is one option, so as to disable the ARC/CEC functions. But, you could try going back into the Harmony activity programming and under "Activity", add the "option" of switching the TV input back to HDMI. Do not adjust the original set up sequence, just add the action of switching input (on the TV). This may take, and prevent having to run the optical.

Also, try changing the order of turning on equipment (for all other activities beside Watch TV); turn on the Onkyo AVR first, then the rest, with TV last. It seems like the TV is searching for its signals, and not seeing any defaults back.

I'll have a look at the manual as well.
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by LukeHo View Post

We have the Vizio E601i-A3 LED model. The Onkyo AVR is the TX NR-414 model. The t.v. signal is an OTA antenna connected directly to the t.v. I talked to customer service at Onkyo and they confirmed that the ARC and CEC features were a "All or None" deal. When I get the chance, I am going to run an optical cable through the wall connecting the Vizio and the Onkyo, then trurn off the ARC/CEC features. Hopefully that will work with the Harmony remote.

Hi LukeHo,

Before running any cable, let's try an experiment:

1) Turn on Onkyo AVR (use "device" mode or original remote),
2) Set AVR input to "HDMI 2" (or whichever input used for Blu Ray)
3) Turn on Blu Ray player (again original remote or Harmony device mode)
4) Turn on Vizio TV: now TV should already be set to "ANT" input, or "switch back" per your problem description

5) Using Vizio TV remote, change TV input to HDMI (per instructions in manual for switching inputs). Does the TV stay on HDMI input?

If the Vizio stays on HDMI input, then we can get the Harmony to control the other activities correctly, and errorproof it to switch between all of them.

This is very important, as this will show if the Harmony has a problem switching inputs on the Vizio TV. Sometimes the programming misses a step. I had a similar problem with my Hitachi TV. I think the issue is that the Harmony is not switching the TV inputs as the Vizio manual calls out. The Vizio method is lengthy, and the Harmony may be missing a step, or more.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
bizwiz41, the Vizio is always on HDMI 1. It never changes. I switch through the Onkyo AVR. So, in your experiment above, once I turn on the Vizio, the CEC/ARC features force change the ONKYO AVR from the HDMI 2 inpyut back to the TV setting. Vizio drives the switching on the AVR, not the Harmony.
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by LukeHo View Post

bizwiz41, the Vizio is always on HDMI 1. It never changes. I switch through the Onkyo AVR. So, in your experiment above, once I turn on the Vizio, the CEC/ARC features force change the ONKYO AVR from the HDMI 2 inpyut back to the TV setting. Vizio drives the switching on the AVR, not the Harmony.

Sorry LukeHo, but I'm a little confused here on your connections. In your original post you stated "T.V. viewing is via an OTA antenna connected directly to the Vizio TV."
However, you state "...the Vizio is always on HDMI 1"

Could you please further detail the connections. We're missing some detail in this puzzle which will probably solve it. Also, did you try the suggested experiment?
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
bizwiz41, The HDMI 1 port on my Vizio TV is connected to the HDMI Out on the Onkyo AVR. The DVD player is connected to HDMI 1 IN port on the Onkyo AVR and my Apple TV is connected to the HDMI 2 IN port of the Onkyo AVR. In your experiment above, all goes well until step 5. At step five, the Vizio TV turns the Onkyo AVR from DVD HDMI 1 port back to TV (ARC feature). Where I think you are getting confused (all my fault), is that the inputs on the Vizio TV do not change as there is only the one single HDMI cable going from the Vizio HDMI 1IN port to the HDMI OUT port of the Onkyo AVR.

The purpose of the CEC/ARC technology (I am guessing at this) is to enable people to have one single HDMI cable connecting their TVs with their AVRs and move audio both directions. In this case, it doesn't work well with the Harmony remote.
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by LukeHo View Post

bizwiz41, The HDMI 1 port on my Vizio TV is connected to the HDMI Out on the Onkyo AVR. The DVD player is connected to HDMI 1 IN port on the Onkyo AVR and my Apple TV is connected to the HDMI 2 IN port of the Onkyo AVR. In your experiment above, all goes well until step 5. At step five, the Vizio TV turns the Onkyo AVR from DVD HDMI 1 port back to TV (ARC feature). Where I think you are getting confused (all my fault), is that the inputs on the Vizio TV do not change as there is only the one single HDMI cable going from the Vizio HDMI 1IN port to the HDMI OUT port of the Onkyo AVR.

The purpose of the CEC/ARC technology (I am guessing at this) is to enable people to have one single HDMI cable connecting their TVs with their AVRs and move audio both directions. In this case, it doesn't work well with the Harmony remote.

Hi lukeho,

Sorry about this confusion; my question is "to what, or where, is the OTA antenna connected?" Does the antenna run to the Vizio directly? My point is that the Vizio is "switching inputs"; from "Antenna" to HDMI 1, back to "Antenna".

Also, per your above description of my experiment, the "switchback" is step 4, not step 5. I'm wondering if the Vizio "stays" on HDMI input if you manually switch it "back" to HDMI. The problem here is that the CEC/ARC is designed for the HDMI to run audio in two directions, but it also is the feature that allows your original Vizio remote to control other devices connected to the Vizio TV.

Here's another experiment to try; disconnect the OTA antenna, then try "watch tv" as an activity. If it "stays", then try hitting "Watch DVD" or "Watch Apple TV" activity buttons. I'm thinking that the Vizio is sensing the OTA signal, and switching the TV back. We just need to get around this "feature".
post #14 of 17
Typically the issue with CEC is that the devices automatically switch to the proper inputs, then harmony changes the input, unaware that it's already been done.

There are some possible workarounds.

First, if it's possible to use method 2 (discrete inputs), that will solve the problem. CEC picks the right input, then harmony sends a discrete input command which has no effect. Unfortunately, not many Vizio's have discrete input commands, so this likely isn't an option.

Second, if you can rely 100% on CEC switching the inputs properly, then you can simply take all input commands out of the equation by learning bogus commands on top of them. For example, on top of Vizio's input command learn some other command from some unrelated remote that won't have any effect.

Third, get a different remote. Harmony works well without CEC but not very well with it because you have no control over the content of the activity macros. Most other universal remotes give you full control over the content of macros. I use THIS Xsight 12G in lieu of the 650. Not only does it give me complete control over all my macros and works perfectly with CEC, but also has 12 device capacity rather than just 5, and the sequence macros are not limited to 5 steps and can have press-and-hold durations for each command.
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
thanks mdavej, I am just going to add an optical cable for audio when I get the opportunity, turn off the CEC/ARC feature and reprogram the Harmony.

In my current setup, when I use the Harmony remote to watch just, simple t.v., everything works correctly. No problems. When I want to watch a DVD and use the Harmony remote "Watch a Movie" single button push feature, the Vizio comes on, the Onkyo correctly switches to the correct HDMI input for DVD, then after a few more seconds, the Onkyo switches back to t.v. I am certain the Vizio CEC/ARC feature is causing the problem. I've tried long, time delays, no good.
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by LukeHo View Post

thanks mdavej, I am just going to add an optical cable for audio when I get the opportunity, turn off the CEC/ARC feature and reprogram the Harmony.

In my current setup, when I use the Harmony remote to watch just, simple t.v., everything works correctly. No problems. When I want to watch a DVD and use the Harmony remote "Watch a Movie" single button push feature, the Vizio comes on, the Onkyo correctly switches to the correct HDMI input for DVD, then after a few more seconds, the Onkyo switches back to t.v. I am certain the Vizio CEC/ARC feature is causing the problem. I've tried long, time delays, no good.

LukeHo,

Running the optical audio will probably be the best option, but have you tried "disabling" the ARC/CEC in the Onkyo AVR? You should be able to do this under Set Up/Hardware. I don't know for certain whether or not this will disable the audio (from TV to AVR). It may be worth a try.
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
bizwiz41, yes, I have tried disabling the ARC feature of the Onkyo. Get no sound at all from the AVR. Onkyo customer support told me that it was an "all or nothing" deal. ARC must be on for it to work.
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