[mythtv-users] FYI: harmony 650 37.99 @ costco (instant 17 rebate)

Gabe Rubin gaberubin at gmail.com
Wed Nov 30 17:18:30 UTC 2011

On Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 3:07 AM, Mike Perkins
<mikep at randomtraveller.org.uk> wrote:
> On 29/11/11 20:05, Kris B. wrote:
>> On Tuesday, November 29, 2011 11:11 AM, "Gabe Rubin"
>> <gaberubin at gmail.com>  wrote:
>>> How would the remote know which device is on or off and which power on
>>> codes to resend (which is typically the same as a power off code)?
>>> I can't imagine how else this could be accomplished by a universal
>>> remote (other than individually turning on the receiver by switching
>>> the remote to device mode or using the help functionality -- both
>>> options of the remote).  Without the receiver and tv giving the remote
>>> some feedback, which afaik, is impossible, there is no other way to do
>>> this.
>> Most devices have "hidden" remote control codes - Your TV remote has
>> Power, which is a toggle on and off, but there are usually hidden codes
>> for Power On, pressing it once or twice or fifty times only turns the TV
>> on, never off.  The Harmony depends on that type of code in this
>> circumstance.  Same with input, you might have a button that cycles, but
>> there is a "hidden" button/code Input 1 and the Harmony uses that.
>> Pretty cool, actually, because I hit "Watch a DVD" and it will send a
>> Power On TV command (which will either do nothing if I already have the
>> TV on, or actually turn on the TV), change to the specific input on my
>> TV, then power up the DVD player.  When I switch to watch my computer,
>> it will Power Off the DVD player, send the TV On command again (if it
>> forgot that I had the TV on, like if I drop and accidentally reset the
>> remote), switch to the correct input, wake the computer with a keypress
>> (program shift button to do this so it doesn't lose your spot if you had
>> already had the computer on), and go about its' business.
>> However, if I miss aim and the device is finicky (like one that doesn't
>> have a power on only command, just a powe cycle) you can get in these
>> loops where you have to intervene or switch between devices to get back
>> on track.  Rare, but annoying to explain to the wife :)
> I think that the remote works a little simpler than you describe. I have a
> Harmony 600 remote which *almost* works the way I want it, and it is possible
> that other Harmony remotes may work differently, YMMV.
> I believe that the Harmony keeps an internal state for each of the programmed
> devices, so that it 'knows' when something is supposed to be on or off. This is
> why when your TV is already on and you switch inputs it doesn't send another
> power-toggle command to the TV but only sends them to the other devices as required.
> So, if a cushion gets in the way and a command gets missed the remote "thinks"
> everything has worked and you therefore need to use the "Help" button to
> resynchronize it with reality. Although some devices may use hidden codes I
> don't think they all do.
> I keep all the other remotes in a drawer out of sight. This means people aren't
> tempted to use them and confuse the 'system state' but it means I can get one
> out and fix any odd problems without going through the Harmony's help cycle.
> Sometimes it's just quicker that way.
This is exactly what I was trying to say.  You just did it in a lot
less confusing way than I did.

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