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Harmony One to power on media centre

rwttm001

Active Member
Hi all,

I have my IR Reciever/Media Center set up as a Windows Media Center SE device in the harmony software, which gives me PowerToggle and discrete Power On/Off commands. My original Philips SRM 5100 only has one button for toggling power on and off so I hoped that the additional buttons were supported but not actually on the remote.

The Power Off command works a treat but the Power On does nothing, and using PowerToggle when off does work. The thing is I can't use Power Toggle in an activity as I may inadvertently turn the media centre off!

Does anyone else have a Harmony One discretely sleeping/waking a Media Center?
 

davepuma

Distinguished Member
I'm not sure I understand the question. Why would you "use Power Toggle in an activity"? This is probably more appropriate in the remotes forum, there is a lengthy Harmony One thread there.
 

rwttm001

Active Member
I'm not sure I understand the question. Why would you "use Power Toggle in an activity"? This is probably more appropriate in the remotes forum, there is a lengthy Harmony One thread there.

I don't really want to use PowerToggle in an activity for the reasons explained above, I just want to make sure that the HTPC PowerOn command is sent when waking my amp and plasma in a sort of 'All On' activity. The reason I posted here was more down to the Media Center remote only having PowerToggle and I wanted to see if anyone had discrete On/Off working.
 

cram

Novice Member
I don't really want to use PowerToggle in an activity for the reasons explained above, I just want to make sure that the HTPC PowerOn command is sent when waking my amp and plasma in a sort of 'All On' activity. The reason I posted here was more down to the Media Center remote only having PowerToggle and I wanted to see if anyone had discrete On/Off working.

I use a Harmony to power on/off my HTPC. Like you I'm having to toggle. I went down the route of having a specific activity for power on/off items I then switch to a HTPC activity.
 

rwttm001

Active Member
Bah, I was afraid of that! Do you ever have issue with the power state then when using toggle to switch on (that basically switches off)? Please someone let me know if you have discrete on/off working?

There are a myriad of power options/troubleshooting within the Harmony software, think I'll 'format' the device and start again before resorting to those!
 

Dunkwho

Novice Member
My current implementation - I have my harmony issue the power toggle command only for a "htpc turn on" device state change, for "htpc off" I issue a live tv followed by a pause plus I have MST sitting looking for media centre idle activity on a timeout of 5 minutes. In effect this means that we use the watch tv button and everything turns on, when it comes to turning off the media center is then paused and turns itself off 5 minutes later. I'm using XP MCE and the problem I had was that issuing a power toggle while the machine is recording will display a "really, or keep recording?" dialog requiring more input ... something that isn't possible when the system off harmony button has just turned off the TV. Using my scheme MST won't standby during a recording but 5 minutes after the recording has finished will spot that there is no active video running (paused during by my system-off button) and so enters standby.

Just to confuse matters this all breaks :)() if you try to turn on the TV during those magic 5 minutes ... the power toggle toggles thus turning off the htpc when you wanted to turn it on. For this reason "pc power" toggle appears on my htpc activity's front page on the remote!

Sorry if that's all a bit confusing ... I should also add that I'm quite out of date with current software (old version of MST I'm sure, plus old XP MCE) ... and that this topic is something that I'm really hoping someone has cleaned up with W7 because I'm planning a new htpc build right now and want this fixed properly. All I want is either a discrete power on that I can use to avoid toggling off a recording-finished-less-than-5-minutes-ago state machine, or better still some proper logic about what w7 should do if it receives a power toggle command during a recording (for the record I think it should log as enter-standby-immediately-after-recording-finished but cancel that and stay running if a further power toggle command is seen).

Phew.

Duncan
 

rwttm001

Active Member
Hi Duncan,

Thanks for your reply. I've managed to configure the Harmony so that the power button turns off my HTPC, plasma and amp and all are powered on from standby by my Watch TV activity. 'Watch TV' when on never turns off the HTPC (ie it is not using power toggle) and the power button has no effect when the HTPC is off.

I did this by working through the setup for Watch TV (using Media Center) which by default ensures that all devices are powered on. When updating the Harmony to receive the new activity the last question is something like 'is all ok/as expected?' - at this point I unplugged the USB cable and hit 'Watch TV' (with all devices in standby) - which had no effect on the HTPC. I then hit the 'Help' button which effectively cycles through the buttons on the device until it hits the jackpot and (crucially) remembers this setting. You then need to replug the Harmony and complete the update process and the correct setting should be remembered.

I'm writing this from memory but it is definitely possible to power on and off the HTPC as part of an activity without any danger of the wrong power toggle option being chosen.
 

holtehero

Well-known Member
Could either of you tell me which IR receiver you are using for the PC

Just built a new HTPC and have a Harmony One, and would like to be able to control the PC power from the remote

Sorry for going off topic slightly
 

bryanchicken

Novice Member
Also slightly off topic, but slightly not.

If you have the money you can use a usb-uirt receiver to power on your machine (if you machine supports wake on usb of course). I had my harmony set up as a microsoft mce remote (i've never owned that remote or receiver) and could power things on/off.
Using the lrnhelper software you can set which button you want to power on your PC. If memory serves you can have up to 5 buttons, so you don't even have to have discrete on/off for your device, just use and unused button.

In windows you have to use eventghost to map the usb-uirt commands to you media centre software. It supports all the major ones and should only take 30mins or so to map everything.

In linux its a bit more complicated, but possible. Now using mine with xbmc live.
 

Dunkwho

Novice Member
I'm using the standard microsoft receiver with mine. I have a MS remote too but it sits in the draw when the harmony is in use.

Bryan - can you use the multi-tap scheme to enter search strings using your solution? I could never get a scheme to work that preserved that function in MCE.

rwttm001 - what happens when you try and turn off the PC when its recording? How does your solution cope with that state change?

Duncan.
 

bryanchicken

Novice Member
can you use the multi-tap scheme to enter search strings using your solution? I could never get a scheme to work that preserved that function in MCE

Its not something i've ever used, so can't comment on how well it works, but there is a plugin/script for eventghost for triple tap keys.
You should be able to use EG with your MCE receiver as it has a plugin to detect mce remote actions.
 

holtehero

Well-known Member
Thanks guys, seems my motherboard doesn't support Wake on USB unfortunately, not via a specific header anyway :(

So i guess only way would be to use S3 suspend instead and then i could use one of the cheaper MCE IR extenders to wake the PC
 

bryanchicken

Novice Member
Thanks guys, seems my motherboard doesn't support Wake on USB unfortunately, not via a specific header anyway
So i guess only way would be to use S3 suspend instead and then i could use one of the cheaper MCE IR extenders to wake the PC

I don't think many (any?) motherboards allow you to wake the computer from a full shutdown. I assumed you were talking about S3 (standby) or S4 (hibernate) waking.
Most new motherboards support waking from usb. If you can bring your PC out of sleep using a keyboard/mouse then it is waking via usb.
You have to select "allow this device to wake from sleep" (or similarly worded) in device manager.

Hibernate uses the same amount of energy as power off (assuming you don't turn off at the plug that is).
 

holtehero

Well-known Member
Think i need to go away and look at this more :smashin:

Its a brand new machine, so i think need to look at the Sleep/Hibernation item a bit more

Sorry for hijacking the thread, but was very interesting to me
 

Dunkwho

Novice Member
agreed - s3 sleep.
No away mode on my machine, that's something that w7 will bring to my house that I need to research and understand. How much power does your machine draw in away mode? Are all of the fans off etc making it silent?
 

rwttm001

Active Member
agreed - s3 sleep.
No away mode on my machine, that's something that w7 will bring to my house that I need to research and understand. How much power does your machine draw in away mode? Are all of the fans off etc making it silent?

I'm not sure on the power it draws (in any mode!) but when I put it together power consumption was a major consideration in terms of PSU and CPU. I have an Antec Earthwatts PSU that is more or less silent, a passive GPU with no fan and a Scythe Mini Ninja HeatSink that I can use without the fan. The only fans in the machine are 2 exhaust fans that came with my case and they are on low and I've never had an issue, in fact the case is cool to the touch unlike my Amp!

The fans are still on in away mode but are inaudible.:thumbsup:
 

bryanchicken

Novice Member
I'm not sure on the power it draws (in any mode!) but when I put it together power consumption was a major consideration in terms of PSU and CPU

While i don't have the figures handy i did use watt meter on my Ion box when setting it up.

Away mode uses pretty much the same power as fully on. The display is switched off so you would save some energy from the TV/monitor but nothing from the box itself. Its basically still up and running with power to CPU/RAM/harddrive.

Hibernate and off used the same. It was something pathetic like 1-2W. This is purely the power taken by the power supply to be able to respond to you pressing the power button i believe.

Sleep (the S3) cuts power to everything other than the RAM which requires very little juice. I think the reading was only something like 1W more than hibernate. This is what i went for due to the much faster resume time (10s compared to about a minute).

The S1 and S2 versions of sleep require more power. S2 leaves harddisk on (i think) and S1 leaves CPU(and fans) and hard disk on.

Idle wattage was about 20W.


(sorry, this is way off topic now)
 

holtehero

Well-known Member
My fault, sorry

Good to know though and i think i'll be looking more closely now as how i set my system/harmony one to resume from sleep rather than turn off fully
 

Dunkwho

Novice Member
Oh yeah ... there was a topic in here wasn't there (and a very interesting one too). I found this thread over at remote central which has some very interesting suggestions in it that I'll be trying out tonight :) !

RC Forums: Windows Media Center ON / OFF
 

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