Harmony 555 activities

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Control & Remote Controls' started by jwindley, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. jwindley

    jwindley
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Messages:
    218
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +12
    I'm starting to get used to my new 555, but there's one thing I can't quite work out:

    I have an activity set up as "Watch Sky" which uses my TV and my SKY+ box.
    Usually this is all I need, but if there is a movie on, I like to turn my AMP on, and have DD 5.1

    Is there a way to have optional devices in the activity, so the Harmony doesn't turn my AMP on by default, but I'm still able to turn it on and control it if I want? The only way I can think of, is to duplicate the activity, and have one activity for "Watch Sky" and another for "Watch Sky with AMP".

    It would be nice if I could just hit the "Sound" button while in "Watch Sky" and be able to control the AMP volume etc.
     
  2. gcogger

    gcogger
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2002
    Messages:
    407
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Southampton
    Ratings:
    +57
    If you want to stick to one activity, go into Devices, then the AMP and change it's power settings. Set the option to leave it on all the time. Now, if you add the AMP to the 'Watch Sky' activity it will not try to turn it on or off, but you will be able to use it as part of the activity. You will, of course, need to add an AMP power toggle command to the custom buttons so you can turn it on!

    The disadvantage is that the remote will no longer switch the AMP power on/off for any activity.

    One more hint :) If you want to use the AMP controls when you press the Sound button, you need to run the wizard again for the activity after you've added the AMP. Don't worry - it shouldn't lose your existing button mappings :) When it asks you which device you use to control the volume, choose the AMP (even though it will be off most of the time). This choice determines which device is available for the Sound settings. You will still be able to control the TV volume/mute etc. in the normal activity button configuration.
     
  3. systems

    systems
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Messages:
    102
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +9
    Alternatively, add an item to the "Sound" menu of your "Watch Sky" activity.

    Go to the customise buttons screen for "Watch sky" and change the drop-down list to say "Sound" (not "Activities" or "Picture"). Then set yourself the usual buttons you would press to toggle the amplified on and off etc.

    Now you will have a special set of options when you press the "sound" button on your remote and can use the amplifier.
     
  4. jwindley

    jwindley
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Messages:
    218
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +12
    Ah, thanks guys, I didn't think of changing the AMP power settings! That should do the trick
     
  5. czzer

    czzer
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Messages:
    719
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Ratings:
    +105
    The best option is to create a second "Watch TV w/amp" activity.

    Doing it any other way will just add confusion and is bound to end in tears. eg if you set the Power Options to "Always On", then the Harmony will not try to control the amp's power at all, and it will be ALWAYS on....leaving you having to always turn it on or off manually. Kind of defeats the purpose of having a universal remote.

    Having a second activity means a LOT less button presses when you do decide you want to use the amp.
     
  6. Pincho Paxton

    Pincho Paxton
    Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    14,128
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +635
    It would be easiest just to have the TV sound turned up, and the amp on all of the time, then just turn the amp volume down when you don't want it. Leaving the tv sound still audible. That is my oppinion anyway.
     
  7. jwindley

    jwindley
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Messages:
    218
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +12
    Thanks for the advice!

    I configured the "Amp on all the time" option last night, and it seems to do what I want. Under the "SOUND" configuration I've put all the amp audio options, including a power toggle on the first custom button. I think this is going to work best for me, as I only really turn the amp on when watching a movie, which isn't that often compared to watching other programs.

    Now that's solved, I have a couple more questions though!

    On my "Watch a DVD" activity, the configuration tool allows me to set up buttons under "Activity", "Picture", and "Sound", but on my "Watch Sky" I only have "Activity" and "Sound". I want to use the "Picture" so I can play with TV settings while watching sky, so how do I get that option?

    I've had problems with putting the TV on the correct input from turning it on, usually when I've been messing with my HTPC, so I set an action, so when I use "Watch TV" it selects the digital tuner, and turns to channel 001 (my wife's choice!). It's now always selecting the correct input, but if I turn the TV off from AV4 (The HTPC), I initially get no sound. If I switch inputs to eg AV2 (Sky) then back again, the sound returns. Any Ideas why??

    Cheers again!
     
  8. shnoodle

    shnoodle
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I'm having a similar problem. I'm tempted to buy some flavour of Harmony to replace an aging Pronto, but I don't like what I'm reading about how it controls power. My audio system is in a different corner of the room to the TV, Sky box etc, so I currently have two power buttons assigned on the Pronto - one to power up the TV corner, and another to power up the audio corner. Sometimes, I find the IR misses a device due to the placement of equipment, and I like the ease with which the Pronto enables me to power an individual device up or down. I'm concerned that the Harmony looks a little inflexible in the way it handles power states - I'm not sure if the "activities" based system will be flexible enough for what I need. Any thoughts?
     
  9. Pincho Paxton

    Pincho Paxton
    Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    14,128
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +635
    You can assign buttons as power toggles.. I would use a couple of the coloured buttons.
     
  10. jwindley

    jwindley
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Messages:
    218
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +12
    Actually, the power settings are really flexible when you start playing with them.
    I'd suggest that with the harmony, if you set all devices up so they are "always on" then you could set up activities that include a power on sequence for the set of devices you want. You can also set the activities up so they don't mess with the power state of devices not used, so you may have:

    Activity 1: (startup command turns on all audio devices) Controls all your Audio kit. Set a custom button to switch them all off.

    Activity 2: (startup command turns on all TV devices) Controls all your Audio kit. Set a custom button to switch them all off.

    I'm pretty sure you could get it to do exactly what you want, but it may take a little thinking / experimenting.
     
  11. shnoodle

    shnoodle
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    If I leave one activity though, doesn't it attempt to power off all the devices in that activity? I'm not 100% clear how it works.

    Also, can one custome switch be programmed to send more than one command? So, for example, if I had a "watch tv" activity, could I simply set it to ignore power states for devices, and then have a couple of custom buttons for toggling power? One to do all the TV kit, and another to do all the audio kit?
     
  12. systems

    systems
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Messages:
    102
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +9
    You can leave one activity for another and it will only power down the devices NOT used by the new activity (unless you manually override this in the power settings).

    For example, I have a "Watch Sky" activity which powers up the TV, amp and Sky box. Then if I press my "Play games" activity just the Sky box turns off and the console turns on.

    Re: Activities/Picture/Sound menu, you should have all three of these on the remote (Activities at the top, Picture/Sound side-by-side in the middle). Press any of these three buttons and you get a customised menu just for that topic.
     
  13. czzer

    czzer
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Messages:
    719
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Ratings:
    +105
    You could do it, but it would be much easier to just get an RF Harmony 895 so you don't need line of sight to your equipment. That way you'd have just one button to press, and no missed commands.
     
  14. shnoodle

    shnoodle
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I did think about that option, but there's nowhere easy that I could place the IR transmitter. Plus I dislike the lack of control... I want to decide when to turn devices off. I don't want my remote deciding it for me. I may decide to listen to some music without turning the TV off, so I can see when a program starts. I don't want to switch from "Watch TV" to "Listen to Music" and find that the remote has decided that I need to have my TV turned off.
     
  15. jwindley

    jwindley
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Messages:
    218
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +12
    Hi Systems,

    Any idea why there is no option for "Picture" on mine when I try to update my "Watch Sky" activity in the config program? There is when I go into the "Watch DVD" activity...
     
  16. Pincho Paxton

    Pincho Paxton
    Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    14,128
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +635
    I actually have this on my remote already. Two versions of listen to CD, one with the TV on, and one without.
     
  17. shnoodle

    shnoodle
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    That's exactly the kind of heavy-handed solution I want to avoid though. I just want two buttons to control my power "Audio Power" and "TV Stuff Power". If that's not possible, I guess I'll be saving for a new Pronto.
     
  18. jwindley

    jwindley
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Messages:
    218
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +12
    shnoodle, I think that is possible.
    If you set the power settings for all your devices to "Always On" then the harmony will not attempt to automatically turn anything on or off.

    Under what ever activity you like, you can then set a sequence of commands to power on whatever devices you like, and assign that to button in the LCD screen.
     
  19. shnoodle

    shnoodle
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Thanks. That's what I was hoping. I might give it a shot if only as a backup then. :smashin:
     
  20. uncle.rs

    uncle.rs
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I have set my Harmony to leave all devices on. At first if I was watching Sky and then switched activities to watch DVD or PVR then it would turn Sky off. I did not want this as my sky and PVR are connected around the house so SKY and The PVR can be watched in other rooms. I did not want SKY or the PVR to turn off/On when selected another activity so these are now set to "Allways On" and the Harmony no longer decides what to turn on or off I do.

    The harmony is very versatile and can be programmed to do about every thing you want it just takes time in some cases but its a lot easier than using a universal remote and JP1.

    Uncle.rs
     

Share This Page

Loading...