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My Harmony 880 Review - Page 2  

post #31 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by WesN
2. Recognition Of Equipment: Yes, the Harmony website does *seem* to recognize almost everything. However, I found this does not guarantee it actually has a correct database for the controls. The control is provided for my Philips TV was about 90% wrong! (Showed the wrong buttons and/or control functions that were not supported by my TV/remote control.) My call to Harmony leads me to believe they have no intention of correcting this (and the tech confirmed they sometimes substitute a generic control configuration for less popular equipment, such as my Philips TV.)

-Wes
Problems with programming Philips TVs into a universal remote are not exclusive to the Harmony line. The problems can be attributed to the brand name confusions associated with the "Philips" and "Magnavox" name brand. If your TV is "Philips", and only a "Philips", then there really isn't any potential for confusion. But when your TV is a "Philips Magnavox", confusion abounds. Why? Because most universal remote control manufacturers recognize "Philips" and "Magnavox" as independent TV manufacturers. If your TV is a "Philips Magnavox", then it might be that you are experiencing similar difficulties.

At any rate, I solved the "Philips" and "Magnavox" problem by simply entering a random string of characters as my television model number when asked by the Harmony application. Of course, Harmony couldn't find that TV model number, and then asks me if I have the original TV remote. I did, followed the directions given by the Harmony program, and it found the correct remote information. It was a painless solution. This procedure is not limited to "Philips" TV scenarios. I use the same method for programming my Harmony remote to control any device where I do not know the model number, yet still have a remote.
post #32 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by minus_3
Problems with programming Philips TVs into a universal remote are not exclusive to the Harmony line. The problems can be attributed to the brand name confusions associated with the "Philips" and "Magnavox" name brand. If your TV is "Philips", and only a "Philips", then there really isn't any potential for confusion. But when your TV is a "Philips Magnavox", confusion abounds. Why? Because most universal remote control manufacturers recognize "Philips" and "Magnavox" as independent TV manufacturers. If your TV is a "Philips Magnavox", then it might be that you are experiencing similar difficulties.

At any rate, I solved the "Philips" and "Magnavox" problem by simply entering a random string of characters as my television model number when asked by the Harmony application. Of course, Harmony couldn't find that TV model number, and then asks me if I have the original TV remote. I did, followed the directions given by the Harmony program, and it found the correct remote information. It was a painless solution. This procedure is not limited to "Philips" TV scenarios. I use the same method for programming my Harmony remote to control any device where I do not know the model number, yet still have a remote.
You can also accomplish the same thing by taking whatever remote configuration the Harmony website provides and using it as a starting point, reconfiguring whichever buttons or commands are necessary. There are a lot of ways of doing this. Probably the easiest is (from the Home Page) selecting the proper Device and then executing: More Options -> Customize Device Mode for this <> -> Learn Missing Command. Select the device you wish to customize commands for and then you will be presented with a complete list of the current commands which you can edit to suit your preferences. Once you've cusomized the list, just check the boxes next to the commands you want to retrain your Harmony to and the program will step you through each one in sequence.

The advantage of this approach is that you start with a list of useful (and sometimes properly working) commands and build from there, rather than entering each command from scratch. It can also avoid the problem of the infrared learning process mis-interpreting the signal, giving you a non-working command (though this can be overcome sometimes by using the 'learn raw command' mode - just click the "Custom" button on the bottom of the screen and you will be given the option of learning any/all commands in "raw" mode).

-Wes
post #33 of 156
Please be aware that there's an issue with renaming Activities for the Harmony 880:

If you rename an Activity (such as "Watch TV") and include special characters such as (), the Harmony compiler may generate errors and prevent you from reprogramming the remote. If this happens, rename the Activity again, deleting any special characters and the update should go without a problem.

Harmony support is aware of this problem and is working to resolve it.

-Wes
post #34 of 156
I have a HP z545 media center 2005 PC, and a Denon AVR-5800 receiver. When I am watching a video on the PC, and I press the volume+ key, I want the receiver volume to increase. However, pressing the volume+ key currently instructs the PC volume to increase, resulting in no change in the volume. I have to manually switch the Device in order to change the receiver volume.

How can I adjust my settings such that when my activity is Home Theatre PC, my volume is still controlled via my receiver?
post #35 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by DNW
I have a HP z545 media center 2005 PC, and a Denon AVR-5800 receiver. When I am watching a video on the PC, and I press the volume+ key, I want the receiver volume to increase. However, pressing the volume+ key currently instructs the PC volume to increase, resulting in no change in the volume. I have to manually switch the Device in order to change the receiver volume.

How can I adjust my settings such that when my activity is Home Theatre PC, my volume is still controlled via my receiver?
This is one of the oddities of the Harmony 880. The Harmony configuration program insists on retaining certain button functions - even when you choose different Activities. The only strategy I can suggest is to enable the +/- volume function on *both* under PC column and the receiver column. The Harmony remote will send both PC and the receiver volume control codes when you press the Volume key on the remote.

I've discussed this (repeatedly) with Harmony support. They say this cross-Activity 'linkage' was implemented intentionally. They consider it a feature, rather than a bug. Strange but true. All I can suggest is keep calling Harmony and pointing out the error in their ways.

-Wes
post #36 of 156
you don't have to create a screensaver with black images. you simply just press the glow button when the remote is on the dock and the screen will turn off and stay that way until you move it.
post #37 of 156
How do the 880's activity functions handle devices that use discrete codes? When an activity button is pressed, say "Watch TV" for example, does the remote know what state each device is in and send the appropriate code (on/off, input 1-7) or does it use a macro of discrete codes?

I am interested in finding a remote to simplify the uise of my HT for my family and this one looks pretty good, but it has to be simple enough for them to use, or I can't justify the expense.
post #38 of 156
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by orijonl
I am interested in finding a remote to simplify the uise of my HT for my family and this one looks pretty good, but it has to be simple enough for them to use, or I can't justify the expense.
Not sure I can completely answer your question. But I would say this is one of the best uni remotes I have used as far as ease of operation goes.

All my friends can work my equipment, and they usually have lots of trouble knowing what to turn on and to what function. For those that aren't good with HT setups, or don't know what device you have hooked up to what setting on the TV/receiver, this really makes things uncomplicated.

All they have to do is hit the appropriate Activity button and everything goes to the correct settings. You don't have to deal with single devices at a time. And if something goes wrong there is the easy "Help" button that asks you the problem and then corrects it based on your response.
Should be easy for the wife and kids to learn how to use with a brief tutoring.
post #39 of 156
[quote=orijonl]How do the 880's activity functions handle devices that use discrete codes? When an activity button is pressed, say "Watch TV" for example, does the remote know what state each device is in and send the appropriate code (on/off, input 1-7) or does it use a macro of discrete codes?

[quote]

It can use discretes if available (preferred option), or if the device doesn't have discretes it keeps track of the state of the device and only sends the required commands. If it gets out of synch the Help button will fix it all up.
post #40 of 156
I just purchased the new Harmony 520 and it works great. The only thing I don't like is that the rubber buttons are a little mushy for my taste and the plastic volume/channel buttons takes more effort to push compared to the OE remotes. I was looking into the 880 and was wondering what you guys think about the feel of the buttons and has anyone ever tested how long the batteries last without a charge?
post #41 of 156
I would prefer a little more gap between buttons, and if the buttons didn't feel as cheap and light.

I did get used to the new positions and the tiny buttons for the lcd. I do hope the slipperiness of the remote gets worn down after a few more weeks of usuage.
post #42 of 156
You think rubber buttons would have been better on the 880?
post #43 of 156
Just ordered my 880 yesterday. Found a good deal under $190. For a long time I resisted buying a Harmony remote but my wife and mother in law have such problems using my current Radio Shack universal remote that I bit the bullet and went with an 880. I love my current Radio Shack remote - great feel, backlit, JP1, learning, the works, what it lacks is enough memory to hold everything I want it to do. One of the main reasons I went with the 880 other than WAF is that it should control my MCE 2005 HTPC. The 880 should get me back to one remote for all my equipment. My wife even suggested I buy a new receiver because of some problems I'm having with my audio auto switch, that is until she found out how much a decent lower end HT receiver would cost.
post #44 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by S1DIMMER
until she found out how much a decent lower end HT receiver would cost.
You can get an Onkyo txsr602 for the almost the exact same price as your Harmony 880. Ecost has it refurbed.

Or maybe I don't understand your definition of "lower end".
post #45 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by tangfoot
You can get an Onkyo txsr602 for the almost the exact same price as your Harmony 880. Ecost has it refurbed.

Or maybe I don't understand your definition of "lower end".
Lower end around these forums would probably be sub $1,000. I'm looking right around the $1,000 mark. Probably the Denon AVR-3805 or 3806 that just came out which would be around $1,300. I need to have at minimum 4 digital audio inputs, and would prefer 3 component in's as well. My wife's idea of a lot of money on a receiver is $400-$500 which wouldn't get me very far in terms of the inputs I would need.
post #46 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by S1DIMMER
Lower end around these forums would probably be sub $1,000. I'm looking right around the $1,000 mark. Probably the Denon AVR-3805 or 3806 that just came out which would be around $1,300. I need to have at minimum 4 digital audio inputs, and would prefer 3 component in's as well. My wife's idea of a lot of money on a receiver is $400-$500 which wouldn't get me very far in terms of the inputs I would need.
Well, I guess I DID misunderstand you. ;)

I'm more of a budget hobbyist. I go for the rock bottom price that has the quality I'm looking for.
TH42PWD8UK and the Onkyo 602 for under $1,750 and I couldn't be happier than a pig in shite.
post #47 of 156
Hi guys, I just picked up the 880 last week, and so far it has been incredible, everything works except for one thing. I have Time Warner here in Socal, and to enable slow motion on my DVR, you hit play twice on the original remote. I cannot get the harmony to do it, I used the slowforward command that is listed for my DVR in the harmony setup, I tried teaching the command in regular mode as well as raw mode, i called Harmony and spent 45 minutes on the phone, he created two custom commands, and those didn't even work...has anyone successfully gotten the slo-mo to work with the SA 8300HD??? Thanks a lot!!!
post #48 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by slickshoes
Hi guys, I just picked up the 880 last week, and so far it has been incredible, everything works except for one thing. I have Time Warner here in Socal, and to enable slow motion on my DVR, you hit play twice on the original remote. I cannot get the harmony to do it, I used the slowforward command that is listed for my DVR in the harmony setup, I tried teaching the command in regular mode as well as raw mode, i called Harmony and spent 45 minutes on the phone, he created two custom commands, and those didn't even work...has anyone successfully gotten the slo-mo to work with the SA 8300HD??? Thanks a lot!!!
So what happens when you hit play twice in a row on the harmony remote? It doesn't do slow mo? Or are you trying to assign a special button that would accomplish the "hit play twice" action in a single button press and that's what is not working?
post #49 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by dslunceford
So what happens when you hit play twice in a row on the harmony remote? It doesn't do slow mo? Or are you trying to assign a special button that would accomplish the "hit play twice" action in a single button press and that's what is not working?
When I hit play twice on the harmony remote, it just brings up the progress bar on the screen and continues in play mode. I have also tried assigning the "slowforward" function which is listed for my DVR on the harmony programming site and that doesn't work. AND I have also physically tried to teach the harmony play twice, and that doesn't work either...I'm totally stuck...
post #50 of 156
My 880 arrived yesterday and I got a little time to play with it last night.
I've never used a _true_ universal remote before, and certainly nothing with macros, so it's going to take a little time to get used to the fact that the remote must remain pointed at the TV until everything has finished.

But other than that, WOW!
post #51 of 156
i agree, have my 880 now too.... pros far outweigh any cons.... one touch activities rule and i love the colour screen and overall feel.

a sweet item, i can only recommend.

krlock2
post #52 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmulder
Actually, you can get the MX-850 for $260 plus another $60 or so for the RF unit from Mike from Surf Remote. So its actually as cheap or cheaper than the 880.
How do you get that?

surfremotecontrol

shows it at $399.

EDIT:
why can't I add urls?
post #53 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by tangfoot
My 880 arrived yesterday and I got a little time to play with it last night.
I've never used a _true_ universal remote before, and certainly nothing with macros, so it's going to take a little time to get used to the fact that the remote must remain pointed at the TV until everything has finished.
- Spend some time in each devices options. You should be able to reduce the interdevice and interkey delays down to 300ms or lower. That will speed things up a lot.

Simple test. Try at 300ms, reduce it to 200ms. If the commands still work, keep the lower setting, if it doesn't, increase it.
post #54 of 156
I've got a new Magnavox DLP set and was thinking of getting the 880, but I've learned that the logitech site does not have the codes for my model number. Before I bite the bullet does anyone know if I can program the 880 manually to accept my new TV? My TiVo remote won't even work with it. Thanks.
post #55 of 156
Came down to the media room for the first time in a week or so and was dismayed to find my Harmony screen broken/cracked -- or so I thought. When I went to remove it from the charger, there were uneven "stripes" up and down the face of the screen -- think a ragged uneven barcode-like pattern running north to south on the screen face.

I thought my 3-year old may have gotten to it and broken the remote, but that wasn't too likely given the remote was still docked, so I removed and replaced the battery and the screen returned to normal.

However, the screen looks washed out, especially on the right hand side and in the middle of the screen -- in short, following where the screwed up screen pattern was.

Before RMA'ing, I might simply leave off the charging dock for a couple of days, so the screen stays blank, in hopes of reversing the process, as described on page one of this thread.

I really don't understand why Harmony doesn't just reprogram the dang thing to stay off when in the dock.
post #56 of 156
dslunceford

I've had the same problem with my Harmony 880. I RMA'd it and the new one arrived looking great but after about a week or so the same washed out lines appeared on the right side of the screen. Considering Harmony forces the user to send the old remote back to Canada on their own dime ($8.50 from Florida) I'm not sure if I'm going to send this one back.
I'll call Harmony next week and see what happens.

-Jody
post #57 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by slickshoes
When I hit play twice on the harmony remote, it just brings up the progress bar on the screen and continues in play mode. I have also tried assigning the "slowforward" function which is listed for my DVR on the harmony programming site and that doesn't work. AND I have also physically tried to teach the harmony play twice, and that doesn't work either...I'm totally stuck...
While a total PITA, your best bet may be calling back tech support until they get a correct fix.

I wonder why the DVR doesn't have it's own Slowforward button?
post #58 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jodeus
dslunceford

I've had the same problem with my Harmony 880. I RMA'd it and the new one arrived looking great but after about a week or so the same washed out lines appeared on the right side of the screen. Considering Harmony forces the user to send the old remote back to Canada on their own dime ($8.50 from Florida) I'm not sure if I'm going to send this one back.
I'll call Harmony next week and see what happens.

-Jody
Have you tried the process listed earlier in the thread to "erase" the image? I'm wondering if I read correctly that leaving the screen blank will help, or if I'm better off running a solid black background on the screensaver...
post #59 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by wacki2

EDIT:
why can't I add urls?
You have to have a minimum number of posts first (not certain of number)
post #60 of 156
I just uploaded to blank GIFs to try for the slide show during charging. The default screensaver does change images every few seconds, you would think that would be enough to stop the problem. Guess I just don't know enough about this. It's a shame, the remote works great and actually when the Activities screen is up or the device options, that looks fine it's more when the 'Keep Pointing at the Device' screen or the 'Help' screens that you really notice the white lines.

-Jody
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