[mythtv-users] USB IR receiver for Harmony remote (Jay Mallar)

Calin Brabandt cbrabandt at yahoo.com
Tue Aug 7 17:31:09 UTC 2007

david at segall wrote:

> The Harmony database does not contain receivers 
> it contains transmitters. 

Yes, of course.  My offer to other list subscribers
was to program my Harmony remote to "mimic" a remote
available in the database and see if it works with the
MCE receiver.  So far, the MCE receiver has proven to
be quite "universal."  However, not having access the
native target devices, (STBs, etc.) I cannot confirm
that the MCE IR blaster will work correctly with other
receivers that I don't own.

> You can install a Microsoft receiver and tell your >
> that it is a Hauppauge remote as long as you tell >
MythTV that it is
> listening to a Hauppauge remote by using the >
appropriate lirc files.

>> I also have a Harmony remote but choosing the 
>> optimum configuration for MythTV is a real 
>> challenge. It is clear from the "real" devices 
>> I have programmed it to talk to there is a wide 
>> range in its ability to emulate them. Similarly, 
>> the sample lirc files indicate a wide range in 
>> their ability to listen to various remotes. 
>> The search for the best lirc configuration to 
>> listen to the best Harmony emulation is too big 
>> for a human and I can't see how to apply a 
>> computer to the task.

Setting up the Harmony is pretty straightforward once
you give up on using the online database exclusively. 
  Sometimes, it's best to "teach" some unsupported
keys using the original remote or even an alternate
remote, rather than use the database key mapping. 
This is why I suggested that the MCE remote control is
useful--if for no other reason than having it around
to "teach" unsupported or alternate codes to the
Harmony, even though the MCE remote codes may be
downloaded to the remote from the Harmony support
web-ap site.  I've found the standard mapping to be a
good start on most of my remotes, but they are not
always correct or exhaustive.  On the upside, the
database provided me with some functions that aren't
even available on my Samsung TV remote, but they still
work on the TV when programmed to my Harmony!  For
example, my original Samsung remote provides no means
to switch the TV to an A/V input directly. (The user
must cycle through the inputs).  The Harmony provides
at several "direct to" codes to switch to most A/V
inputs.  Because the Harmony does not "close" the
loop, when configuring equipment for an activity (it
simply assumes the state of the device to be whatever
it was after the last command), "direct to" codes are
very useful.  You won't "lose state" for an activity
if a code gets dropped or "overloaded" (supplied
outside of the activity mode) to some piece of A/V
equipment.  Harmony users will know what I'm talking
about here!

Sometimes custom lirc config files ( /etc/lircd.conf
produced with irrecord captures and/ or .lircrc) are
required to get the best functionality.  If you don't
like the LIRC config files you download, just make
your own.

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