Harmony Elite and Fire TV - steps

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Control & Remote Controls' started by tenohfive, Mar 22, 2018.

  1. tenohfive

    tenohfive
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    I've recently setup my Harmony Elite. On activity I'm trying to setup is to get it to open a specific app on my Fire TV. It all looks theoretically possible but doesn't seem to be working in practice.

    3 main elements - TV (on a smart plug - it's an old thing, not CEC compatible.) AVR. Fire TV.

    One of my problems seems to be the TV. Ideally, I'd like it to be turned on first of all - before any of the other steps. But I can't put it to the top of the list. Any ideas why, or how I can?

    Seperately, I'm struggling with steps etc. I actually think the Fire TV is the issue - it doesn't like repeated inputs in quick succession, something I've long noticed using the remote alone. What I'd like to do is turn on/wake up, and from the default position go down 3 taps (into My Apps), across 2 and hit enter. I've got the steps setup correctly (3 down, 2 right) in the app but in practice it ignores the down steps, and just goes right 2.

    I've tried Back followed by Home as wake type starts (as 2 x Home takes you into something else.) No joy. I've tried incorporating a delay as I suspect that's what's needed, but if I add a delay I lose the ability to add extra steps and don't have enough to move the selection to the correct place.

    What am I missing, or how can I get this to work?
     
  2. logiciel

    logiciel
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    Give up and do it manually?
     
  3. tenohfive

    tenohfive
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    that. I'd rather spend 5 times the amount of time I'll ever save in button tapping to suss it all out, and be as lazy as possible.

    I seem to have sussed it anyway. Whilst the Android app seems to limit the number of steps and delays, the Windows app allows a lot more steps.

    For the sake of anyone else that has the same issues:

    HDMI lag (if such a thing exists.) Basically needing the TV on and awake before messing with inputs in order for it all to work. Simply, I added a 10 second delay early on - after the Power On actions and AVR Input selection action. That seems to let the TV warm itself up. I'm hoping with the next TV CEC will largely render this unnecessary.

    Selection of Fire app. Simply put, judicious use of delays between button presses. 1 second delay each time. It sounds slower, but in reality because it's all fire and forget (especially since I'm primarily activating it via an Echo Dot) it's actually not bad.

    The last thing I need to tweak is the final step for selecting my profile in the Netflix app. I don't want to put too long a delay between 'OK' to open the app and 'OK' to open the profile, but it seems that the Fire TV varies day-to-day in how long it takes to load the Netflix app - and that final 'OK' action goes in too early, it does nothing. Necessitating one whole extra button press manually.

    Two unanswered questions I currently have:
    1. Having activated the above activity, how I can get it to default to the Fire Stick remote Device so I can control it without manually selecting it in Devices.
    2. How I can get it to actually be a universal/composite remote. Currently, I have to switch between Fire TV Stick and Denon AVR in the Devices tab to turn the volume up or down. The Wife won't be on board with this whole thing until that's sorted.
     
  4. logiciel

    logiciel
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    The Harmony starts to Activities aren't meant to be used this way, but it's your choice.
    However Devices should never be used - they're for storage only and all commands should be available in Activities.
     
  5. tenohfive

    tenohfive
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    I don't understand what you're saying about Activities? Nor Devices - it doesn't make sense that they'd design something where one of the two touch screen items isn't designed to be used. So I think I may be missing your point on that too?

    I worked out the Fire TV remote/activity issue - in setting up the activity, I'd set the music to be controlled by the AVR rather than the Fire Stick. I changed that and now when I load Netflix or BBC iPlayer activities, it defaults to Fire TV control. I still have to switch to Devices manually to get my volume control though.
     
  6. logiciel

    logiciel
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    Activities are the way in which all Harmonys operate.
    Devices is the name of the area in which all commands for each device are stored.
    The display is for reference, not for use.
    All Activities are meant to contain all commands for all devices in them.
    Buttons should be assigned automatically to the appropriate devices, but if any are not then you are meant to Customise them.
     
  7. tenohfive

    tenohfive
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    Well I'm not sure what changed or jiggled loose when I was tinkering with activities, but I seem to have a combined remote now - I get the Fire Stick and AVR control in one when in the appropriate Activity.

    I still can't quite see your point in relation to Devices - it's every bit as accessible as Activities, I can't understand why a manufacturer would make something as prominent as that if there is no intention to use them. But since my above issues have been resolved I've not had the need to go into Devices. So perhaps when I've spent more time using and customising it I'll come to see things differently - it's still very new to me.
     
  8. logiciel

    logiciel
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    They do make Devices too easy to access.
    I am often get in there by mistake!
    The thing is that any device should be put into an Activity and if necessary Customised there.
    You don't use them but they have to be stored somewhere.
    If you want control of firestick and avr you leave it that way.
    If not you either remove one or Customise the Activity the way you want it.
     
  9. nrees87

    nrees87
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    It's super easy to customise the remote for activities to control several devices at once.

    My "Watch FireTV" activity has most of the buttons attributes to the fire stick, but the volume up/down/mute buttons are configured to the TV for short presses and to the Denon AVR for press-and-hold. The 4 shortcut buttons at the bottom will quickly switch between activities.

    Nate
     
  10. tenohfive

    tenohfive
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    I do like the ability to customise the remote buttons. The more I use it, the more useful it becomes. Where I struggle slightly is a) remembering the slight variation in customisation between different activities, and b) much more painfully - that when things go awry (as mine is currently - despite the command being there, it only intermittently turns on my TV) and you have to delete an activity, remembering what you'd done to customise the buttons when setting up it's replacement.
     
  11. logiciel

    logiciel
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    Which are the four buttons you're referring to?
    You change Activities with the touch screen.
     
  12. nrees87

    nrees87
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    The four coloured buttons on the bottom row. I've assigned them to the 4 main activities I use the most as it means I don't have to unlock the touchscreen and look at the screen to scroll and select the activity I want.

    Nate Screenshot_20180430-190312.jpeg
     
  13. logiciel

    logiciel
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    There's another two rows but I get it now!
    I don't know how you get to choose Activities with the colours but as you do, fine.
     

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