Control 4 to Harmony - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 29 Old 03-09-2018, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Control 4 to Harmony

I'm wondering has anyone switched over or reverted to a Harmony Elite setup from C4.

I have had C4 and Phillips Dynalite installed since 2015 and have never been happy with the way the system has performed.

My dealer has made multiple visits, and each visit seems to break as many functions as it solves problems, and in the meantime I continue to receive ongoing bills. Tonight for example, I can't even change satellite channels after having had a Sky satellite driver installed.

I'm therefore thinking I best take control back to myself and install a means of control, such as Harmony, which I at least can control myself.

I'm thinking my biggest problem is lighting control - can the Harmony system integrate with Phillips Dynalite?

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post #2 of 29 Old 03-09-2018, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AidenL View Post
I'm wondering has anyone switched over or reverted to a Harmony Elite setup from C4.

I have had C4 and Phillips Dynalite installed since 2015 and have never been happy with the way the system has performed.

My dealer has made multiple visits, and each visit seems to break as many functions as it solves problems, and in the meantime I continue to receive ongoing bills. Tonight for example, I can't even change satellite channels after having had a Sky satellite driver installed.

I'm therefore thinking I best take control back to myself and install a means of control, such as Harmony, which I at least can control myself.

I'm thinking my biggest problem is lighting control - can the Harmony system integrate with Phillips Dynalite?
I would pair the Harmony Elite with an automation hub. The Harmony by itself won't control Dynalite, but the Harmony can integrate with hubs... which you can then integrate Dynalite.

For example, some people on the SmartThings developer forums developed some code to operate Dynalite devices over TCP/IP by sending commands to a URL internally. If you google "SmartThings Dynalite " you will see some people talking about it. I'm not sure how savvy you are with python scripting, but if you look at the code you can kind of see how it works. I think the problem though is you may not get feedback of the light status.

The nice thing also is that you can slowly expand your lighting and automation using zwave or a more reliable less proprietary platform.

The Harmony controls SmartThings lighting very well.

If you only have a few switches installed it might be easier to just switch everything all together.

Last edited by weboperations; 03-09-2018 at 07:48 PM.
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post #3 of 29 Old 03-10-2018, 04:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weboperations View Post
I would pair the Harmony Elite with an automation hub. The Harmony by itself won't control Dynalite, but the Harmony can integrate with hubs... which you can then integrate Dynalite.

For example, some people on the SmartThings developer forums developed some code to operate Dynalite devices over TCP/IP by sending commands to a URL internally. If you google "SmartThings Dynalite " you will see some people talking about it. I'm not sure how savvy you are with python scripting, but if you look at the code you can kind of see how it works. I think the problem though is you may not get feedback of the light status.

The nice thing also is that you can slowly expand your lighting and automation using zwave or a more reliable less proprietary platform.

The Harmony controls SmartThings lighting very well.

If you only have a few switches installed it might be easier to just switch everything all together.
I googled that, seems to be old threads and posts though.

I'd say Dynalite is supposed to be a more CI solution, to integrate with a home automation setup, like Control 4. I really hate that I've spent so much money on this stuff, only to have to abandon it, but I have totally lost faith in Control 4 dealers and their system.

It would be nice to have control back myself.

I could replace my standard lights with Hues, but they are on dimmable circuits in the panel, so id have to replace them , and that means more expense.

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post #4 of 29 Old 03-10-2018, 06:30 AM
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I’m not familiar with Control 4, but I have been using a series of Harmony remotes for years. I currently have two Harmony Hub controlled systems (Harmony Elite in media room and Harmony Ultimate Home in living room).

I not familiar with Phillips Dynalite but I do have four different rooms lit by Phillips Hue color bulbs. The Harmony Hub devices, Amazon Alexa, Apple Home, and of course the Hue app for IOS all work fine. Harmony also can call up all preestablished Hue scenes.

My Elite Hub controls 11 devices and 14 activities including a Bluetooth controlled PS3 and a quite complex Classé SSP 800 surround sound processor, with very few misfires.

It has taken quite some time to become proficient in setting up/programing Harmony Hub remotes, but I believe my investment in time has been worth it.

I especially like using the closest available iPhone or iPad to control which ever system I’m currently using.

I too would be frustrated with paying someone and still not have the issues solved.

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post #5 of 29 Old 03-10-2018, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AidenL View Post

I'd say Dynalite is supposed to be a more CI solution, to integrate with a home automation setup, like Control 4. I really hate that I've spent so much money on this stuff, only to have to abandon it, but I have totally lost faith in Control 4 dealers and their system.
How many switches would you have to replace?
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post #6 of 29 Old 03-10-2018, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weboperations View Post
How many switches would you have to replace?
About ten, but the panellised lighting would need altering, plus I'd need to run standards cables to the switches instead of Cat 6.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JDEATON View Post
I’m not familiar with Control 4, but I have been using a series of Harmony remotes for years. I currently have two Harmony Hub controlled systems (Harmony Elite in media room and Harmony Ultimate Home in living room).

I not familiar with Phillips Dynalite but I do have four different rooms lit by Phillips Hue color bulbs. The Harmony Hub devices, Amazon Alexa, Apple Home, and of course the Hue app for IOS all work fine. Harmony also can call up all preestablished Hue scenes.

My Elite Hub controls 11 devices and 14 activities including a Bluetooth controlled PS3 and a quite complex Classé SSP 800 surround sound processor, with very few misfires.

It has taken quite some time to become proficient in setting up/programing Harmony Hub remotes, but I believe my investment in time has been worth it.

I especially like using the closest available iPhone or iPad to control which ever system I’m currently using.

I too would be frustrated with paying someone and still not have the issues solved.
I was happy with Harmony when I was using it.

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post #7 of 29 Old 03-10-2018, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AidenL View Post
About ten, but the panellised lighting would need altering, plus I'd need to run standards cables to the switches instead of Cat 6.
You can install (as example) RadioRa2 switches at the home run wire location at the current C4 lighting panel. All of the switches in a large bank of switches.
You can then use Pico remotes in wall (wireless / battery powered) as your wall switches.
There are quite a few ways to do this.

You can then put a myServer control system in to do what C4 was intended to do. You can program the system yourself, or we can do it for you or a blend (at your choice).
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post #8 of 29 Old 03-10-2018, 04:26 PM
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Experience with Harmony is disastrous. I can't believe that a knowledgeable Control 4 integrator can't set the system up appropriately? I normally use RTI or ProControl with discrete macro commands. RTI is preferred, you can retrieve programming from the unit itself and upgrade components when necessary.
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post #9 of 29 Old 03-10-2018, 04:56 PM
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The Harmony hub is the shiznit of control systems. Combined with Alexa [phone, Dot, Echo, etc...] it has literally been flawless. Yes, it indeed does lighting, and I do believe Philips is the first on the list of things it can control in a smart home.

Having said that, I originally started replacing lights...but the switches kept being turned off out of force of habit. So, before I bought too many lights [I only have 3, 2 color changing/dimmable and 1 standard & dimming, soft white bulb] I started buying the touch wall switch replacements. Waaay less expensive than replacing all the bulbs in the house, and force of habit doesn't matter, they work flawlessly. I also got some Sonoff Switches and absolutely ADORE them as they splice directly into the wiring to control that object. Same thing with the Nexx Garage Opener. All go thru Alexa [as well as their own app] and I can't imagine your high priced C4 system can surpass it. ESPECIALLY for the cost.

Again, I highly recommend the Harmony hub. Definitely worth it. And the programming only takes 10 minutes, it's easy, peasy.
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post #10 of 29 Old 04-07-2018, 05:50 PM
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I am struggling with the price tag of a Control4 vs the price tag of Harmony. What am I missing?
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post #11 of 29 Old 04-07-2018, 06:06 PM
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Well, they aren't even remotely comparable really, so that's why the price tags are very different.

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post #12 of 29 Old 04-08-2018, 09:14 AM
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Thoughts?

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Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
Well, they aren't even remotely comparable really, so that's why the price tags are very different.
Given they are remotely different...what is the differences then? Why should I spend significant more? I am not opposed to spending it just need some guidance as to why.

Thanks
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post #13 of 29 Old 04-08-2018, 10:43 AM
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That's such a huge topic that I don't think anyone is going to sit here and type it out for you. Here is one of a set of posts of mine:

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/162-ho...l-pro-con.html

This one is about voice control, but the 'What is it not good for' section is quite relevant to remote controls as well. They both have similar limitations of being one way only, so no feedback.

You might find some of the other posts linked to in there useful as well.

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post #14 of 29 Old 04-09-2018, 11:00 AM
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other than local AV equipment in 1 room (TV, AVR, sound bar, blu ray, cable box, HTPC, etc) harmony remotes/hub can control: https://support.myharmony.com/en-us/compatibility

That is a fraction of what Control4, Crestron, Savant, URI, etc can control.

If you are looking to control your AV equipment in 1 room and that's it, harmony could be fine.

It all depends on your usage. C4 has remotes, touch screens, apps, voice control, etc. You can coordinate security (alarm, cameras, locks/gates, sensors, etc), audio, video, lighting and misc stuff like pool control or aquariums or a water sensor leak detection. It is more than just AV and changing inputs/channels on a TV.

in my eyes Harmony is more of a 1 room solution, whereas Control4, Crestron, Savant, URI are whole home solutions. Control4 has the EA1 which is targeted as a 1 room solution to get into the home and penetrate new customers. They believe you'll like the offering so much you'll grow your system.
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post #15 of 29 Old 04-11-2018, 09:27 AM
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in my eyes Harmony is more of a 1 room solution, whereas Control4, Crestron, Savant, URI are whole home solutions. Control4 has the EA1 which is targeted as a 1 room solution to get into the home and penetrate new customers. They believe you'll like the offering so much you'll grow your system.
I would be extremely weary of EA1. Crestron did the exact same thing with the Prodigy line. It was intended to be a lower cost option. They literally sold off the line to a not Crestron company and it killed all the value the Prodigy line offered. In addition, the prodigy line was so hamstrung that it couldn't do much more than the simplest of things. It couldn't even use the Prodigy hardware properly. It was supposed to be a stepping stone to the full Crestron line, but didn't even do that. In the end I had to throw away all the prodigy products and customization and start again from scratch.

Going to a weaker Crestron product was a terrible mistake that the dealer and Crestron themselves sent me down. It cost me a lot of money, time and frustration.
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post #16 of 29 Old 04-11-2018, 09:37 AM
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I would be extremely weary of EA1. Crestron did the exact same thing with the Prodigy line. It was intended to be a lower cost option. They literally sold off the line to a not Crestron company and it killed all the value the Prodigy line offered. In addition, the prodigy line was so hamstrung that it couldn't do much more than the simplest of things. It couldn't even use the Prodigy hardware properly. It was supposed to be a stepping stone to the full Crestron line, but didn't even do that. In the end I had to throw away all the prodigy products and customization and start again from scratch.

Going to a weaker Crestron product was a terrible mistake that the dealer and Crestron themselves sent me down. It cost me a lot of money, time and frustration.
comparing apples to oranges. Pyng did not have much interaction with the rest of the Crestron lineup - it was mostly a stand alone item to attract people to an ecosystem at a lower price point but not offering them access to the full ecosystem.

The ea1 can do pretty much anything the Ea3 or Ea5 can do. it just has a slower processor and therefore is recommended to support only 1 room or a very small installation (maybe a simple apartment set up). Any device that can be hooked up to the Ea3 or Ea5 can be hooked up to the Ea1. Ea 1 can do 1 audio stream, Ea3 can do 3 and the EA5 can do 5 at a time. The only difference in the 3 models is horsepower.

https://www.control4.com/solutions/products/controllers

the CA-1 has limitations. It cannot do audio/video. I think they are gearing it to security or electricians to do simple installs to control lights, alarms, hvac, etc. Less complex set ups. That is likely more of a comparison in some respects to Pyng - a more stripped down controller locking you out of some of the features of the full ecosystem.

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post #17 of 29 Old 04-11-2018, 09:46 AM
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comparing apples to oranges. Pyng did not have much interaction with the rest of the Crestron lineup - it was mostly a stand alone item to attract people to an ecosystem at a lower price point but not offering them access to the full ecosystem.

The ea1 can do ANYTHING the Ea3 or Ea5 can do. it just has a slower processor and therefore is recommended to support only 1 room or a very small installation (maybe a simple apartment set up). Any device that can be hooked up to the Ea3 or Ea5 can be hooked up to the Ea1. Ea 1 can do 1 audio stream, Ea3 can do 3 and the EA5 can do 5 at a time. The only difference in the 3 models is horsepower.
That just isn't true. Prodigy was sold to me as a lower powered Crestron system that gets me into their ecosystem. Not only was it 100% mutually exclusive of the full Crestron line of products, but the software was so hamstrung that they couldn't effectively use the Prodigy hardware. As a result, I bought a system that couldn't do what the hardware said it could do and when I needed to replace one piece, I had to replace it all. The most frustrating thing was that the limitations in the software were there because it was Prodigy. Crestron could have removed them to live up to the promises that were made to me, but wouldn't do it.

The bottom line is that Prodigy was very poorly thought out, not well implemented, was not well understood by the people selling it and caused lots of clients to be left holding an empty bag. I feel really sorry for whatever company bought it.

Whether or not EA1 is the same for CA4, I have no idea. What I can tell you is that everything you just said to me about EA1 vs EA3 vs EA5 was exactly what Crestron told me all those years ago about Prodigy vs the main line of products.
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post #18 of 29 Old 04-11-2018, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
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That just isn't true. Prodigy was sold to me as a lower powered Crestron system that gets me into their ecosystem. Not only was it 100% mutually exclusive of the full Crestron line of products, but the software was so hamstrung that they couldn't effectively use the Prodigy hardware. As a result, I bought a system that couldn't do what the hardware said it could do and when I needed to replace one piece, I had to replace it all. The most frustrating thing was that the limitations in the software were there because it was Prodigy. Crestron could have removed them to live up to the promises that were made to me, but wouldn't do it.

The bottom line is that Prodigy was very poorly thought out, not well implemented, was not well understood by the people selling it and caused lots of clients to be left holding an empty bag. I feel really sorry for whatever company bought it.

Whether or not EA1 is the same for CA4, I have no idea. What I can tell you is that everything you just said to me about EA1 vs EA3 vs EA5 was exactly what Crestron told me all those years ago about Prodigy vs the main line of products.
well maybe your dealer didnt explain it properly. https://www.electronichouse.com/smar...mation-system/
clearly says upon release it has limited functionality around specific lighting, shades, thermostats and I/O devices. maybe lack of adaption let Crestron abandon the system for future development, I really do not know.

I cannot speak for Crestron/Pyng or C4, I am not an employee of either. I am just stating a fact that the Ea1 has less horsepower and less onboard inputs/outputs compared to the Ea3 and Ea5. But you are not limited to compatible devices, if a device has a C4 driver, it will work on an Ea1 out of the box. It is meant for a 1 room installation or used to increase the Zigbee mesh and give an onscreen UI to TVs around the house. Larger C4 installs will have 1 main controller (an ea3 or ea5) and potentially a few EA1s around the house behind TVs for the onscreen UI, inputs/outputs and increased zigbee signal. As an example, I have the older line of controllers - HC's. I have 1 HC800 as my main controller (like the EA3/Ea5) and then I have 2 HC 250's behind 2 of my TVs (those are more like the Ea1's). They all work together, in the same project, running the same software, etc. If you just had an Ea1 it would work, just doesnt have the horsepower to run a full home.

Sorry your experience with Pyng wasnt up to par but it should not be compared to an Ea1. Different animal, different target market and different application.
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post #19 of 29 Old 04-11-2018, 11:22 AM
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This is one of the great benefits to a software based automation system, which a lot of installers don't really seem to appreciate. Unlike with a hardware based system, you don't have to sell a crippled system in order to get in the door with a reasonable price. And, when it comes time to try to up-sell, you don't have include the cost of throwing out what you sold them to begin with and selling them something else. It's all very scalable over time.

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post #20 of 29 Old 04-11-2018, 11:23 AM
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and 1 more point about ongoing support. Control4 used to call their controllers "HC" (Home controller) and now its the EA series.

Either way, they just made the HC-200 EOL. An HC-200 needs to be removed from a project if you want to go to 2.10 or higher.

the HC-200 is almost 10 years old. I cannot guarentee your Ea1 will be supported for 10 years, but Control4's track record does show they do support legacy systems. Except for the new CA-1 I referenced earlier, anything that is "EA" is a regular product and I am assuming you can easily get a good 5-7+ years out of it if not longer based on C4's track record.
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post #21 of 29 Old 04-21-2018, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garet Jax View Post
That just isn't true. Prodigy was sold to me as a lower powered Crestron system that gets me into their ecosystem. Not only was it 100% mutually exclusive of the full Crestron line of products, but the software was so hamstrung that they couldn't effectively use the Prodigy hardware. As a result, I bought a system that couldn't do what the hardware said it could do and when I needed to replace one piece, I had to replace it all. The most frustrating thing was that the limitations in the software were there because it was Prodigy. Crestron could have removed them to live up to the promises that were made to me, but wouldn't do it.

The bottom line is that Prodigy was very poorly thought out, not well implemented, was not well understood by the people selling it and caused lots of clients to be left holding an empty bag. I feel really sorry for whatever company bought it.

Whether or not EA1 is the same for CA4, I have no idea. What I can tell you is that everything you just said to me about EA1 vs EA3 vs EA5 was exactly what Crestron told me all those years ago about Prodigy vs the main line of products.
Ok... to be clear...There is NOTHING different in processors between the three EA Control4 controllers. You can google a comparison if you like. The difference is in project nessessity and I/O AV needs. The EA-1 is simply limited amount of zones, Zigbee and A/V devices when hosting the project. It otherwise has the full capabilities and power of Control4 system and gives you the ability to use it as a complimentary unit if you want to add on later to your system.
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post #22 of 29 Old 05-02-2018, 06:21 AM
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I continue to be milly frustrated only by the fact that harmony can't take over all the functions of an apple tv remote, particularly the speech to text component of siri for putting in passwords and search terms.

What I really think is that Apple Ecosystem users need a much better siri/homekit remote, but then again homekit lacks enough controllable products now compared to alexa. Apple still makes the best streaming and music service in the form of appleTV so I don't think I am about to switch away from that, especially with airplay2 coming soon.

I am hoping that with airplay2 someone creates a multiroom amplifier device using the protocol (for around 10 rooms if anyone is listening). Something like a Russound multiroom amp with all the bells and whistles, but married to airplay2 out of the box.

Other than that, harmony looks great even though I would have just as many remotes as with control4. At this point, I am just using the app for blu-ray player since appleTV remote only has a volume control. I eliminated video input switching altogether and made turning on my system work by voice.

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post #23 of 29 Old 05-04-2018, 03:46 PM
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I am hoping that with airplay2 someone creates a multiroom amplifier device using the protocol (for around 10 rooms if anyone is listening). Something like a Russound multiroom amp with all the bells and whistles, but married to airplay2 out of the box.
Control4 does this now with Airplay1...

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post #24 of 29 Old 05-04-2018, 08:49 PM
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Control4 does this now with Airplay1...
yeah ive got it, but I mean without having to have control4 which i find to be far too pricey for what it does given what is out there now.

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post #25 of 29 Old 06-01-2018, 10:45 PM
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i've had a great deal of success with Simple Control (I was considering harmony).

Optoma projector, motor screen, receiver, bluray, - on/off with a belkin wemo switches and 12v transformers for 12v triggers.

ip based control of bluray and receiver functions

completely replaces the apple tv remote (with all functions actually available without changing apps).


my problem with harmony is its inability to fully replicate the apple tv control experience but otherwise is a highly competent choice.

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post #26 of 29 Old 10-04-2019, 10:16 AM
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I’m not familiar with Control 4, but I have been using a series of Harmony remotes for years. I currently have two Harmony Hub controlled systems (Harmony Elite in media room and Harmony Ultimate Home in living room).

I not familiar with Phillips Dynalite but I do have four different rooms lit by Phillips Hue color bulbs. The Harmony Hub devices, Amazon Alexa, Apple Home, and of course the Hue app for IOS all work fine. Harmony also can call up all preestablished Hue scenes.

My Elite Hub controls 11 devices and 14 activities including a Bluetooth controlled PS3 and a quite complex Classé SSP 800 surround sound processor, with very few misfires.

It has taken quite some time to become proficient in setting up/programing Harmony Hub remotes, but I believe my investment in time has been worth it.

I especially like using the closest available iPhone or iPad to control which ever system I’m currently using.

I too would be frustrated with paying someone and still not have the issues solved.
I have had a difficult time getting my Harmony Ultimate to control my Classe CT -SSP and get the activities set up where the correct turn on for devices, settings to correct inputs on devices and the inputs in the processor. Are there delays that need to be set up? Thanks for any recommendations.
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post #27 of 29 Old 10-04-2019, 03:42 PM
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I have had a difficult time getting my Harmony Ultimate to control my Classe CT -SSP and get the activities set up where the correct turn on for devices, settings to correct inputs on devices and the inputs in the processor. Are there delays that need to be set up? Thanks for any recommendations.
Is your Harmony Ultimate a Hub based Harmony remote like the Harmony Ultimate Home for example, or is it a non-hub based Harmony Ultimate One? Nonetheless, I don’t recall having to adjust delays to get the Classé to respond appropriately.
The only thing I can think of off hand is perhaps your CT-SSP is not getting a consistent infrared signal. As you can see from the thumbnail photo below, I have one of the Harmony blasters (connected to the hub) in a very favorable location relative to my SSP.
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post #28 of 29 Old 10-06-2019, 01:47 AM
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i've had a great deal of success with Simple Control (I was considering harmony).
Which hard button remote are you using with it? (if you are)

I had a look at it and if it can be combined with nice remote controls then it seems interesting. It just worries me a bit that it is a subscription service from a not so well known company.
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post #29 of 29 Old 10-06-2019, 09:44 AM
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Which hard button remote are you using with it? (if you are)

I had a look at it and if it can be combined with nice remote controls then it seems interesting. It just worries me a bit that it is a subscription service from a not so well known company.
To my knowledge there is no hard button remote which is compatible with Simple Remote, which is it's major shortcoming imo.
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