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Harmony Learning abilities?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Control & Remote Controls' started by G1OSE, Oct 15, 2005.

  1. G1OSE

    G1OSE
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    All

    I currently have a philips pronto which TBH i dont really like and the GF hates! but i realise it is very good in terms of customisation.

    I am looking with interest at the harmony 885 and was wondering this...

    I have a lot of x10 units in my house and other things like rf fan and rf lights does the harmony have a learning eye like the pronto and if not can you still use the x10 stuff with this remote as well as the lights and fans?

    i have read the forum but no one seems to have or mention x10 things

    Cheers
     
  2. Jules

    Jules
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    Yes, the Harmony does have a learning eye. So it should easily do what you want.

    I've got an 885, and I used to have a Pronto (actually a Marantz RC9200).
    The Harmony was intended to be stop-gap until I got a newer version of the Pronto...... but I'm sticking with the Harmony.

    It's a complete pain to program on the web (damn slow and cumbersome), but you can get it to do 95% of the things a Pronto can do with the added benefit of using hard buttons.
     
  3. Geordie Bry

    Geordie Bry
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    iv got to disagree i have an 885 set up thru web is a doddle and customer service is excellent
     
  4. av2diefor

    av2diefor
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    I have to agree, its a doddle.

    Very informative interface, user friendly guides.

    Initial setup around two hours, then a bit of tweaking for activities etc and i think its a Pronto beater.

    Why pay more.....................
     
  5. Jules

    Jules
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    I agree, its easy to get started. But the tweaking (which is what makes it so powerful) IS damn slow and cumbersome.

    For example, you have to navigate through about 20 screens answering silly questions to add an additional command from another device to one of your existing activities.
    Or if you need to change the repeat setting.... how do you get to it without answering loads of silly questions on different pages first?

    It is designed for novices which is sensible, but if you're used to programming a Pronto then get ready for many hours of frustration before it works exactly as you want it to.
    Logitech should release an alternative interface for advanced users.
     
  6. G1OSE

    G1OSE
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    Ok so what cant it do that the pronto can?
    i know it may sound silly but i wouldnt want to swap it if one of the things i already use it for it cant do

    other wise i think this badboy is going on my christmas list!

    Cheers
     
  7. Richard46

    Richard46
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    Could not agree more; Jules; An 'advanced' or 'customising' interface with a direct access to all features menu would make tweaking so much easier. The present system is fine for initial set up but some customising is usually neccessary and having to go through all the dialogue screens is a pain; especially when you go down the wrong route and have to go back to home and start again. Its like snakes and ladders but with no ladders.
    The flexibility is there but it could be quicker to access.

    Richard
     
  8. Jules

    Jules
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    Here's a few examples, but basically there are ways to get a Pronto to do almost anything you want.... with the Harmony you're working within somebody else's framework, albeit a good one.

    1) You can program a Pronto to work in device and / or activity mode, with macros assigned to every button in both modes. Each button can contain a mix of commads, page jumps, delays etc.
    With the Harmony, each button can only be programmed to send multiple IR commands.... and even then only in activity mode.

    2) The Harmonys 'smart state' is very clever, but if all your devices have discrete power commands, then using them in a Pronto is more reliable.
    If you turn a device off on its front panel or switch it off with a another controller, the Harmony won't switch it back on again automatically.
    You can program a Pronto to ALWAYS send discrete power commands at any time.

    3) I had a very comprehensive configuration on my pronto that prevented unathorised use of my projector by requiring a 4-digit PIN to be entered before the projector could be switched on.
    The Harmony is never going to be able to do that!

    4) You can add help files, user interraction, animation etc to a Pronto configuration.

    5) You can set 'timers' on a Pronto

    ... to name just a few.


    However, the Harmony is so popular because it does the basics very well, is nice to hold / use, costs alot less than a Pronto, and gets you going much quicker.

    Although so much is possible on a Pronto, achieving it takes some planning and skill. You need to treat it as a full design project and spend time learning the software.

    My wish is that someone builds a remote with all the hard buttons on the Harmony, with a touch screen that offers all the flexibility of Pronto.
     
  9. czzer

    czzer
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    The Harmony can do this too. If there is a discrete code available, you can tell the Harmony to use it for power, input selection, or whatever. If you have a discrete code in Pronto format Harmony tech support can add it to the Harmony database. Whenever you change activities the Harmony will resend all discrete commands, even if it thinks it is not required. ie if it thinks TV is already on, and you change activities to another one still including the TV, it will resend the TV power on command if it is a discrete.
     
  10. noel-pilot

    noel-pilot
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    Hmmm...guys...You wanna tell me how the harmony can do X10 stuff??

    Im guessing i need one of those horrendously ugly X10 infra red interfaces??!!

    Have heard lots about the pronto being used as an RF remote for x10 but the harmony is just infra red?!

    Thanks all

    Noel
     
  11. Jules

    Jules
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    czzer,

    Have you tried it? If you have and it works, please could you tell me how you did it.

    I think this only works if you have the Harmony set to switch off unused devices when switching activities. I don't want it to do this, and therefore it doesn't work.

    I've just checked the power commands for each device and run the following test:

    - Entered the 'Listen to MD' activity (MD powers ON ok)
    - Switched to 'Listen to CD' activity (CD powers ON ok. MD stays ON)
    - Manually turned OFF the MD.
    - Switched back to the 'Listen to MD' activity..... and the MD deck DOESN'T power on)


    ?? :confused:
     
  12. LFCRules

    LFCRules
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    As far as I know, the 885 is IR only. However Logitech do have an RF version, the 890 which should do the trick of controlling the X10 stuff. Not sure when it's out here though, check out the small review here

    Cheers

    Andy
     
  13. czzer

    czzer
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    Jules
    Firstly you need to make sure the device (MD) actually has discrete power commands in the Harmony database. This can be confirmed by trying different power commands in Device mode. If it doesn't, but you have them for your Pronto, you could either teach them to the Harmony, or get tech support to add them for you if you have the Pronto hex code.

    Second you need to make sure the Harmony is set up to use those discrete commands. In power settings for the device, make sure you have selected 'I have seperate buttons for "ON" and "OFF"' (or similar...can't remember the exact wording...just make sure it isn't "I use the same button for on and off(power toggle)"). Then you need to set the "On" and "Off" commands to the discrete commands from the first step.

    This should be all you need to do, as the Harmony should re-send any disrete commands it knows of whenever an activity button is pressed.
     
  14. Jules

    Jules
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    Thanks, but I've done all that and it definately doesn't work. I've also just double checked everything to be sure I've not made a mistake.

    I hope this doesn't come accross as rude or ungrateful (I'm very grateful for the time you took to reply), but have you tried it where the Harmony is programmed to leave unused devices on when entering an activity? (I hope nobody jumps on that statement to tell me that's why it isn't working.... if so, you've missed my earlier point).

    I'm pretty experienced with a Pronto and I'm sure I've dragged every last feature out of the Harmony, so this really puzzles me.

    Has anyone else tried this? if so, does it work?
    I'll eat a large portion of humble pie if I'm wrong here, but at the moment I'm pretty sure it can't be done.
     
  15. czzer

    czzer
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    No I haven't, sorry. It would be interesting if you tried temporarily changing your power settings to turn unused devices off and see if it works then. I know it's not how you want it to work, but at least it would confirm your theory.
     
  16. G1OSE

    G1OSE
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    on another point does the 885 work ok with media centre pc or can only to 680 be used well wth that as this will be another main feature of the remote for me!

    any ideas of date for the 890 coming to the uk and prices?

    cheers
     
  17. richardbarman

    richardbarman
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    Jules,

    I am missing the point, why don't you get the harmony to send a 'on' command (if you have the discrete) every time you start the activity? That way it wouldn't matter if you manually turn the equipment off after you've turned it on.

    Richard
     
  18. Jules

    Jules
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    Because whilst it is possible to add additional commands to an activity, the additional commands (in this case, POWER ON) are sent last.

    Therefore, for example, sending commands to your amp to switch input and switch sound mode is pointless unless it is already powered on.
    So whilst a good suggestion, it still doesn't work.

    Also, some devices will not respond to commands within a short time after the unit switches on (power on delay). This setting can be adjusted as part of the harmony's core activity set up, but you can't specify a delay as part of your additional commands.

    Seriously, I think the Harmony is a great remote but it is flawed in some areas.
    A Pronto is only as flawed as the user / programmer who designs the ccf. Fortunately (or unfortunately) I can design a Pronto CCF to control a Home Cinema anyway you'd like. That means I can pickup on what other remotes can or can't do pretty quickly.

    However, as I said before I'll happily eat a large portion of humble pie if I'm wrong, but I'm sure the Harmony can't do what I want it to.

    Next challenger?
     
  19. Richard46

    Richard46
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    Hi Jules
    Device Troubleshoot
    choose option 1 'Tv' not turning on properly
    again choose option 1
    this takes you to a screen to change delay times for that device;

    no doubt you have tried this

    Richard
     
  20. Jules

    Jules
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    Yes, of course. For example, I have my projector set to a 15 second delay using the same process you describe!

    But you've actually missed the point.
    You can't change the power on delay if the power command is issued as part of a string of 'additional' commands when starting an activity.
     

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