AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
748 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A well-known limitation of Harmony remotes is the inability to create "macros." I know the "activities" address most power macros and you can trick the remote into doing simple 2-button macros but that's it. Here is a specific example of something I have not been able to do with the Harmony remote...


I have a Scientific Atlanta Explorer SA8300HD with Cablevision. I like to browse channels starting with the HD offering and then work my way down. When I use a URC remote I have the GUIDE button fire the following macro:

GUIDE > SELECT > 7 > 8 > 0

This allows me to open the guide, select channel guide (as opposed to OnDemand, Enhanced TV, etc) and then turn the guide to TMCHD so I can work my way down.


If you can tell me how to do this with the Harmony I'd be forever grateful
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
224 Posts
you should be able to go in to "add an activity" and manually add another watch TV activity. It should automatically name it watch TV 2, which you can rename to anything you want, like "guide." From there, set it up just like you are setting up the original "watch PVR or Watch TV" activity, except at the summary screen where it tells you what commands it is going to send out and what is going to be on or off, tell it that you want to add more commands. From there you can specify exactly which codes to send out after the initial switch on phase from activity and how long to delay them so that they work properly...that should fix the problem. If need be I can help adjust your setup for you also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
748 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
roosta- thanks for bringing this public. I have given thought to setting up a new activitiy like the one described but decided not to for the following reasons:

1. It's not a true macro since you still have to press 2 buttons. "Activities" followed by "Get Guide" or whatever I call the new activity. 2 is still better than 5 but still not a perfect hack.


2. IMHO, Setting up nested activities like this contradicts the most important features of the remote. Ease of use and WAF. If I have an activity that launches the guide the way I like then my wife, family and babysitter will have 2 problems. First, they will either have to be told that they have to go back to the activities menu to launch specific features. And, when they start up the remote they are going to be given a lot of activity choices along with the standard "Watch TV", "Watch DVD", etc. which may confuse them. A lesson that I have learned in my house... choices are bad.


3. Finally, Another problem I see with the nested activities is that you would also be circumventing Harmony's Smart State Technology. SST tracks which units are powered on and what mode they are in. The more activities you add a device to the greater the chance that you will misconfigure something or that SST will get confused. In your scenario wouldn't you have to hit "OFF" in the "Get Gude" Activity and then again in the "Watch TV" Activity? Or is there a way to configure the OFF key as an ALL OFF for all running activities?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,789 Posts
then use the normal guide for now (if anything your wife/babysitter dont want to view just HD anyways). harmony is usually pretty good about adding needed features and Im sure eventually they will get real macros done (probably already working on it)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
748 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by jagouar
then use the normal guide for now (if anything your wife/babysitter dont want to view just HD anyways).
It's all about what I want. Nothing bothers me more then to walk into my living room to see my wife watching CSI on channel 02 with the "zoom" on because she hates the black bars when the same show is available on channel 702 in HD formatted for widescreen & with surround audio ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jagouar
harmony is usually pretty good about adding needed features and Im sure eventually they will get real macros done (probably already working on it)
I hope they are working on macros and I honestly do believe their next gen products will have the features but I have not seen any history to make me agree that they are good about adding features.

* They originally advertised the 880 with TV listing support but they still don't have it.

* Intrigue (the original Canadian mfr) used to allow XML editing with the 768 but then disabled that with newer units.

* Earlier this month Logitech removed the IR Analysis feature from their web programming that allowed you to enter hex codes. Now you must email customer service and wait for them to add the new ir commands to their database. In the end this benefits all users but it's a PITA for the person who needs the code. The better solution would have been to find a way to export your hex codes from the IR analysis center to add to the public database.

* The 6xx series remotes had 3 ir transmitters where the 880 has only 1 and (IMO) has a noticeably decreased signal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,721 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by jagouar
harmony is usually pretty good about adding needed features and Im sure eventually they will get real macros done (probably already working on it)
I would hope so. I've only been telling them about it at every trade show for the past 3 years. However, every new remote that is released doesn't support independent macros. Ironically, as Jim mentioned, you used to be able to do this with the 768 through the XML access.


The addition of RF is coming this fall to their new Pro series, so supporting macros other than activities is the final thing keeping Harmony from expanding their business among custom installers and hobbiests. We'll see what they have to say this year at CEDIA in two weeks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
224 Posts
Quote:
3. Finally, Another problem I see with the nested activities is that you would also be circumventing Harmony's Smart State Technology. SST tracks which units are powered on and what mode they are in. The more activities you add a device to the greater the chance that you will misconfigure something or that SST will get confused. In your scenario wouldn't you have to hit "OFF" in the "Get Gude" Activity and then again in the "Watch TV" Activity? Or is there a way to configure the OFF key as an ALL OFF for all running activities?



you should be able to manually override the SST...you can turn it off or you can go into the activity summary page and alter what it turns on or off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
280 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by roostacaster
you should be able to manually override the SST...you can turn it off or you can go into the activity summary page and alter what it turns on or off.
Not to pick nits, but I don't think you're actually overriding the SST. Every 659, 676, and 880 I've configured has been set to leave ON unused devices when changing activities, only turning everything off when OFF is pressed. This makes it easy to do things like listen to news on the radio while watching to see if there's any more-interesting news on TV.


It's easy to do. For each activity, choose Customize>Change Options, and then set "Turn off unused devices" to "Leave On".


The SST will still remember what it turned on and make the Off key an All-Off key.


And Jim, I understand your frustration, but I wouldn't fault Harmony or any other remote for not being able to fix the multiple stupidities of the SA 8300HD UI :D (Don't get me started on that!)
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top