Ugh -How to make Harmony enforce state??? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 7 Old 04-30-2020, 01:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Ugh -How to make Harmony enforce state???

I have a Harmony 665 remote.

I can't find a way to make it enforce state, even when it could/should easily.

Example - I have two activities. "Listen to CD", and "Watch TV". My audio receiver is a Marantz Combo Amp/CD player. Watch TV uses the "Analog In" input on the Marantz.

Here's the problem. Sometimes I like to use the Marantz remote if I'm just going to listen to music, network music or internet radio, etc. OR I might AirPlay from my phone to the Marantz. These activities change the state of the Marantz so that it's selected input is out of sync with what the Harmony remote thinks it is set to.

So this sequence of events inevitably breaks things:

"Watch TV activity on Harmony" - Sets Marantz input to Analog In (the first time after a sync).
"Turn off activities on Harmony" - Turns off Marantz and TV
I listen to music from phone on Marantz using Airplay - Turns on Marantz and sets it to Airplay input mode
"Watch TV activity on Harmony" - BROKEN - The Harmony remote turns on the TV and Marantz, but it thinks the last set input was "Analog In". So it doesn't bother to set the input because in the remote's point of view, it never changed. FAIL I have to manually fix the input back to "Analog In".

I can't find a way to say, "Hey Harmony Remote, you're not the center of the universe, can you just always set the input even if you _think_ it doesn't need to be changed?"

Anyone know how to make it set the input source EVERY TIME, no matter what for a device? I can understand that it needs to maintain state say, if the only way to change inputs is to cycle through them or something. But for a device where the input can be set explicitly, it should push ALL state to the device that it can every time, in my opinion. Do everything it can to ensure it isn't out of sync. That's just good design.

As it is, I just have a button to set the input to Analog In on the Watch TV activity in the soft menu, for all TV-based activities. Waste of a soft button! But then if it doesn't work I just press the button instead to spending 3 minutes with the assistant or going into the devices menu to find the right input change command.

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post #2 of 7 Old 04-30-2020, 06:41 AM
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I do not have a 665 or Marantz AVR so these comments could be off base.
First, assuming that the Marantz has an input selection command, can you add that command to the end of the activity startup, i.e., Input Analog at the end of the Watch TV?
Also, you should put the Marantz remote in a drawer and only use the 665, and use the 665 to setup the AVR before starting AirPlay from your phone.
This is not perfect but some workarounds may be needed when there are constraints.
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post #3 of 7 Old 04-30-2020, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BPlayer View Post
I do not have a 665 or Marantz AVR so these comments could be off base.
First, assuming that the Marantz has an input selection command, can you add that command to the end of the activity startup, i.e., Input Analog at the end of the Watch TV?
Also, you should put the Marantz remote in a drawer and only use the 665, and use the 665 to setup the AVR before starting AirPlay from your phone.
This is not perfect but some workarounds may be needed when there are constraints.
What he said - try adding the input selection command at the end of the startup sequence. If that doesn't work, try it with a delay inserted before the command. If that doesn't work, maybe try adding a different input command (e.g., HDMI 2) and then adding the Input Analog command so that it switches away and then back.
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post #4 of 7 Old 04-30-2020, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielrg View Post
As it is, I just have a button to set the input to Analog In on the Watch TV activity in the soft menu, for all TV-based activities. Waste of a soft button! But then if it doesn't work I just press the button instead to spending 3 minutes with the assistant or going into the devices menu to find the right input change command.
You actually have the button input, as you stated. It just needs to be added to the startup sequence. However, you may find that the desktop software does not give you the option to use that command. This is a quirk and hat you have to do is "learn" the command and give it a name that does not start with Input, so something like MyAnalog.
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post #5 of 7 Old 05-02-2020, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BPlayer View Post
I do not have a 665 or Marantz AVR so these comments could be off base.
First, assuming that the Marantz has an input selection command, can you add that command to the end of the activity startup, i.e., Input Analog at the end of the Watch TV?
Also, you should put the Marantz remote in a drawer and only use the 665, and use the 665 to setup the AVR before starting AirPlay from your phone.
This is not perfect but some workarounds may be needed when there are constraints.
Quote:
Originally Posted by koan View Post
What he said - try adding the input selection command at the end of the startup sequence. If that doesn't work, try it with a delay inserted before the command. If that doesn't work, maybe try adding a different input command (e.g., HDMI 2) and then adding the Input Analog command so that it switches away and then back.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BPlayer View Post
You actually have the button input, as you stated. It just needs to be added to the startup sequence. However, you may find that the desktop software does not give you the option to use that command. This is a quirk and hat you have to do is "learn" the command and give it a name that does not start with Input, so something like MyAnalog.
Thanks everyone. Great suggestions. Yes one of the first things I tried to do was add it as part of the activity startup, but it is already in there and can't be controlled, and can't be added again. I think it is part of the desire to "maintain state", so the remote controls when the command is sent. In fact, it doesn't make available any power or input commands when editing the startup activity. That was the saddest part

Yeah we should just use the 665. One interesting thing with airplay is that there isn't actually a command to put it in airplay mode before sending my phone to it. But that did give me an idea - I could create a "Use Airplay" activity and set it to an input I never use. Then when my devices send their music to it, it switches to airplay mode. But since the 665 thinks its on a different input that no other activities use, it will always send the input command when I start up another activity.

So I am leaving a soft button to fix the activity input. I even created a very complex "fix activity" sequence (all commands are available to create sequences to assign to buttons), that fixes most any problem imaginable with our most common activities. My wife now just presses that if she gets confused or something happens. She loves the 665 BTW.

We had a weird case where I'd set "sleep" on the TV and Marantz and fall asleep, and the 665 doesn't actually know that the TV and receiver will eventually turn off with that command. So going to another activity it doesn't turn them back on. AND the TV gets in a wonky state so even if it did know it might still fail other activity startups. Had to create a special fix sequence for that.

Even with all the bumps, I still like the remote quite a bit. It's WAY nicer than the Sony TV remote so for smart TV viewing, the 665 is worlds above in ease of use and layout. And I decided having a soft button to fix a couple common issues on page 2 of the soft menu is still easier than juggling a bunch of remotes :-)

Thanks everyone!

I also know that I can call their support and they can do things I can't, like possibly force the state better when starting an activity. I haven't tried working with them yet, but I heard they are pretty supportive.

Hardware and System engineer. Enjoy theaters, automation, media and the outdoors.
Love the hobby, but always have to remember to keep family first!
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post #6 of 7 Old 05-02-2020, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielrg View Post
Thanks everyone. Great suggestions. Yes one of the first things I tried to do was add it as part of the activity startup, but it is already in there and can't be controlled, and can't be added again. I think it is part of the desire to "maintain state", so the remote controls when the command is sent. In fact, it doesn't make available any power or input commands when editing the startup activity. That was the saddest part
Daniel: that is explicitly why I said you need to "learn" the command from the original remote and give it a unique name. Then it be can be added to the end of the startup sequence under that name.
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post #7 of 7 Old 05-02-2020, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BPlayer View Post
Daniel: that is explicitly why I said you need to "learn" the command from the original remote and give it a unique name. Then it be can be added to the end of the startup sequence under that name.
Ahh yes. I missed that point. Thanks for the great idea! I didn't know you could create custom commands for a device. I'll definitely look into that.

Hardware and System engineer. Enjoy theaters, automation, media and the outdoors.
Love the hobby, but always have to remember to keep family first!
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