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harmony 885 more complex programming?

djdhrubs

Banned
Hi, my problem is i've got an old non-HD ready plasma screen, and a new HD ready projector connected via component cables. If i want to watch TV on the projector, I've got to first turn on the plasma screen, go to my Telewest on screen menu through my digibox remote control, go to the audio/visuals option, then select Hi-Def component, whereupon my plasma goes blank, then have my projector on and ready and it'll start showing TV, then switch off my plasma and pull my projector screen down (which by the way covers the plasma!). And obviously vice versa if i then want to watch TV on the plasma screen (i.e.open up my digibox menu, go to audio/visuals, select widescreen composite, turn off my projector, turn on my plasma!)

So i guess the question i'm asking is, 'is there a way of programming a sequence of commands from my digibox remote control onto one button on the harmony?
Thanks. Dhruba
 

Nick_UK

Banned
djdhrubs said:
So i guess the question i'm asking is, 'is there a way of programming a sequence of commands from my digibox remote control onto one button on the harmony?
Thanks. Dhruba

Yes, this is precisely what the Harmony is designed to do. You set up activities (like "Watch the TV" or "Watch the Projector") and then you programme the Harmony, telling it exactly what state each device has to be in during that activity. I don't think it can pull the screen down for you, though :)
 

djdhrubs

Banned
thanks...but it doesn't seem to have an option for this on the harmony setup menus. it asks me stuff like what mode does my plasma screen want to be on, AV or component, stuff like that. but there's no mention or option to go into the telewest digibox menu and select what mode of visuals i want.
 

czzer

Established Member
It is possible, and quite easy to do. However, since you have annoyed me by asking the exact same question in 4 diffferent threads, I can't be bothered telling you how :thumbsdow
 

djdhrubs

Banned
i'm sorry, i'm new to this! just trying to maximize the chances of a response! pretty please tell me...with a cherry on top...
 

hornydragon

Distinguished Member
yes it is possible, what you want is a "macro" a sequence of button presses linked to one button. This is what URC and Pronto remotes are designed for (they dont the intelligence of a hamrony and dont know device states) its possible to use a pronto or other macro remote to teach the harmony the sequence pretending its just one command.

It is also possible to add commands to the start and end of an activity so perhaps you could add the required commands to the start of the "Watch TV on plasma" activity
 

djdhrubs

Banned
Thank you. So its not possible to do it with a harmony alone? There's no way of my doing it without also forking out to get a macro remote?
 

clockworks

Prominent Member
You can have "pseudo" macros on a Harmony button. It's not obvious how to do it, but it's actually very simple. A button can only hold one command per device, but it can hold many devices with one command for each device.
If you want to send 3 commands to 3 devices from one button press, that's simple. If you want to send 3 commands to one device, you just create duplicate "dummy" devices, and send one command to each device. Because the codesets are the same, you're effectively sending 3 commands to one device.

You can also add extra commands to be sent when you start or finish an activity, but these aren't assigned to a button.

Things like switching on devices, changing to the correct inputs, etc., are handled when you start an activity.

Two examples from my 885:

I've added extra commands to switch my AVR to stereo mode when I start the "listen to radio" activity, and to switch back to 5.1 when I exit. I couldn't use the normal method, because the stereo/5.1 switching is a single button toggle.

I've added a "planner" button to my "watch sky+" activity. I created a second sky+ device, and use the button to send "guide" from the "real" sky+ device, and "green" from the "dummy" sky+ device.

The Harmony can do just about anything, with a little trickery. You can learn macros from a Pronto, but it isn't necessary.
 

czzer

Established Member
djdhrubs said:
i'm sorry, i'm new to this! just trying to maximize the chances of a response! pretty please tell me...with a cherry on top...

OK
What you need to do is set up 2 "Watch TV" activities. One will be called "Watch TV Plasma" and the second will be called "Watch TV Projector"(you can call them whatever you want).

I would pick one of these as a "default" setup, probably the plasma one as I'm guessing this would be the one you use most often. Set this up assuming the telwest box is already set to output widescreen composite. ie you won't need to send any additional menu commands.

Then set up the second activity with only the devices needed when the activity is running. ie don't include the plasma...you shouldn't need to see the commands being sent.

When the second activity is set up as far as devices on/off and inputs, re-run the activity setup wizard for this activity. When it has run through you will get a screen which asks "Is this setup correct?" Select "Yes, but I want to add more control". The wizard will run through again(just keep selecting next) until you get a screen where you can add commands to the activity start and/or end sequence. For the activity start sequence, add the telwest steps required to select Hi-Def component(Menu, Down arrow...whatever). Then for activity end sequence, add the steps required to return the telwest to Widescreen composite. If it doesn't work reliably you might have to experiment with adding delays between commands, or globally icrease the inter-key delay for the telwest device.

Of course, you can reverse this if you mainly use the projector to watch TV.
 

Nick_UK

Banned
The "activities" aspect of the Harmony isn't always easy to get your head around when you first see it, but strangely it is what makes the remote so easy to use, especially those who don't understand the interconnections of the different devices. The Harmony is the only "all in one" remote that my wife has really taken to. All the others gather dust in the cupboard.
 

djdhrubs

Banned
Brilliant. I'll try what you guys suggested tonight. I already had two activities for watching TV as you suggested - just hadn't noticed that 'activity start' business. Thank you.
 

DVDNUT

Established Member
May I ask here how I get my 885 to do the following.

After pushing the Watch TV activity the 885 goes to the TV device screen.

I want it to go the the SKY or SAT device screen.

I cannot find any way of doing this.

Other option would be to get the coloured buttons (red, green, yellow, blue) to work with SKY whilst on the TV Device setting.

Anyone?
 

czzer

Established Member
DVDNUT said:
May I ask here how I get my 885 to do the following.

After pushing the Watch TV activity the 885 goes to the TV device screen.

I want it to go the the SKY or SAT device screen.

I cannot find any way of doing this.

Other option would be to get the coloured buttons (red, green, yellow, blue) to work with SKY whilst on the TV Device setting.

Anyone?

It does not go to the TV device screen. It goes to the "Watch TV" ACTIVITY screen.

If you want to customize this screen, select "Customize" for the "Watch TV" activity, then "Change behaviour of buttons"

This is an ACTIVITY based remote, and when set up properly, you should pretty much never need to select an individual device.
 

djdhrubs

Banned
czzer, thanks for your help. got the harmony doing exactly what it needs to do...although once i'd programmed in the necessay delays, it takes about 25 steps to get there. however, the whole process takes less than a minute, so that's fantastic. what a cool invention.
 

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