Harmony RC With Two Different TV Receivers?

Phaedrus68

Active Member
NOTE: I was typing this post and my wife just rang to say there's a universal remote in Lidl for €8. How coincidental is that? :eek: I told her to get it to tide us over till we get our real AV set-up in the new year. €8 isn't a big loss if it doesn't do the job till then...

So to my query: I'm sure this is possible. I didn't really know what to search for, so this is a "from scratch" question, so I apologise if other threads or posts do cover this.

Ireland will be switching from analog to digital terrestrial TV broadcasts in the next year or so.

So we'll all need STBs that will receive MPEG4, and I'm sure they'll come onto the market soon enough (there are aparrently some available now that will do the job, though they're not officially recognised by the folks responsible for the DTT switchover).

The four Irish channels (and more to be added in the future) will be available free on this DTT. Some of the UK channels will be available for a subscription cost.

I personally will be using a Freesat or free satellite receiver for the UK channels - I don't want to pay for what is available for free.

There are combo STBs that will aparrently receive both Irish DTT broadcasts and free satellite broadcasts, some even with PVR functionality via external HDDs, but AFAIK, these only allow you to record what you're watching.

So my planned set up will include an STB for Irish DTT (PVR, if available) and a Freesat or free satellite receiver with PVR functionality.

My question (at last :rolleyes: ) is this:

How would the selecting of channels from the two STBs work if using a Harmony remote?

What I'd like to happen is that I'd use one "Watch TV" activity, within which I'd use numeric buttons 1 - 4 (for example) to select the four Irish channels from the DTT STB, and numeric buttons 5, 6, 7, etc (as well as the CH+ and CH- buttons, obviously) to select the free satellite channels.

I'd like this switching to be transparent to the viewer. I don't want to have to go through some messy procedure of manually (or even via the RC) switching between one STB and the other.

When I press numeric button 1, I want to see RTE1 on DTT. When I press number 5, I want to see BBC1 on Freesat. If I'm on channel number 4 (TG4 on DTT, for example), and I press the CH+ button, I want to go straight to channel number 5 (BBC1 on Freesat, for example).

I accept that I'd still have to use the two separate EPGs, and that there might be a delay between the two.

I live in the (probably vain) hope that a single, all-in-one product will come out before Spring 2009 that will:

1. Be able to receive both Irish DTT and Freesat channels.

AND

2. Have an EPG and favourites menus that can combine channels from both signals.

AND

3. Allow me to record one channel while watching another, whether they're both DTT or Freesat or one of each.

Till that product surfaces, it looks like it'll have to be two separate STBs.

I hope I've made myself clear and that my faff hasn't confused my basic question: will a harmony RC do what I want?


Thanks,

Mark
 

logiciel

Moderator
To cut a (very) long story short, any Harmony will control 2 receivers, or any number of any devices, at the same time.
Hope that helps - H H :D
 

Phaedrus68

Active Member
To cut a (very) long story short, any Harmony will control 2 receivers, or any number of any devices, at the same time.
Hope that helps - H H :D

Thanks HH.

I really looking for a little more detail . . .

Does anyone on here have a set-up similar to that which I described in my OP?

I understand that the Harmony remotes can control practically any IR device and make coffee and tuck you in, and I'm sure they can easily do what I'm describing, but what I basically want to know this:

Will switching between channels from a DTT (Freeview) receiver and channels from a Freesat receiver be transparent to the user / viewer?


Thanks,

Mark
 

clockworks

Well-known Member
The Harmony remotes can send a sequence of commands from a single button press. In your case, you would create an activity that uses the TV and the two receivers. Pressing the activity button would power on all 3 devices, and then set a default channel. The default can be whatever you choose, maybe channel 1 on the DTT box (TV input that's used by DTT box + channel 1 on DTT box).

You would add a sequence to each numeric button on the remote. The sequence would switch the TV to the correct input, then send the channel command to the correct box. For instance, button 1 would send "AV1" to the TV and "001" to the freeview box. Button 5 would send "AV2" to the TV and "101" to the satellite box.
AFAIK, this will work with the numeric buttons, although you will only be able to tune 10 channels this way, and manual tuning (by pressing 3 numeric buttons) won't work, neither will using the numeric buttons to select teletext pages.

It should be transparent to the user, although changing channels will take a little longer as the TV will switch inputs each time.

To get around these limitations, you could have 3 different "TV" activities. One as described, for simple use, then a further 2 for watching each of the boxes without the numeric button sequences.

Download the Harmony software and try it. See if the program will let you set this up the way you want.
 

logiciel

Moderator
I really looking for a little more detail . . .
Will switching between channels from a DTT (Freeview) receiver and channels from a Freesat receiver be transparent to the user....
It's quite normal to have more than one receiver, and then the usual way of handling them on any Harmony is to have an Activity for each of them.
Switching from WatchFview to WatchFsat is then effortless, and pretty transparent!
 

Phaedrus68

Active Member
Download the Harmony software and try it. See if the program will let you set this up the way you want.

Hmmm... Can I still download it even if I haven't bought my remote yet? That'd be great - I could spend time playing with it and be ready for when the day does arrive.


It's quite normal to have more than one receiver, and then the usual way of handling them on any Harmony is to have an Activity for each of them.
Switching from WatchFview to WatchFsat is then effortless, and pretty transparent!

Thanks for your posts guys. I'm better informed now to the point where I might accept that two separate activities may actually be the simplest way to go, rather than having to explain to my wife (who in fairness would probably pick it up more easily than me) and the kids a few different ways to do the same thing.


Thanks again,

Mark
 

logiciel

Moderator
OK Mark.

You and the family will soon get used to the Harmony principle of doing everything in Activities.

You do need a Harmony though before you can use the software.

H H
 

clockworks

Well-known Member
OK Mark.

You and the family will soon get used to the Harmony principle of doing everything in Activities.

You do need a Harmony though before you can use the software.

H H

Do you really need a remote to use the software? I downloaded it to a new PC last week - it installed and ran no problem, without connecting the remote. Although I've got 2 Harmony accounts (last used on a different computer), I logged on with a new user name as I was configuring a new remote.

OP, I personally prefer to use separate activities for each source (Sky, Freesat and Freeview, as well as DVD, PS3, PC and HD media player), but you can mix and match on one activity if desired.
 
Last edited:

logiciel

Moderator
I just tried again and it insisted on having a remote connected.
What version did you download, and where from?
 

clockworks

Well-known Member
Version 7.5.0, downloaded from the main Logitech website, support > downloads > universal remotes > Harmony 1000 > get software.
 

Phaedrus68

Active Member
Version 7.5.0, downloaded from the main Logitech website, support > downloads > universal remotes > Harmony 1000 > get software.

Could you post URL link?

Maybe it's different for the 1000? When I tried it for the 885 which I intend to buy, it said it couldn't detect the remote and wouldn't go any further.

I downloaded the software no prob, and it does run, but I can't get into any set-up screens.


Thanks,

Mark
 

clockworks

Well-known Member
Could you post URL link?

Maybe it's different for the 1000? When I tried it for the 885 which I intend to buy, it said it couldn't detect the remote and wouldn't go any further.

I downloaded the software no prob, and it does run, but I can't get into any set-up screens.


Thanks,

Mark

You've got me wondering if maybe the Harmony software recognised me as an existing user, maybe from my email address?, so didn't ask me to connect a remote.

When I registered the software (created the new user account), it was on a PC that I hadn't used before, but I used the same email and street addresses.

I've just tried again, using totally made up details, and it asked for the remote to be connected.

I'll try and create a dummy account, then PM you with the username and password. I think that might work.
 

clockworks

Well-known Member
PM sent
 

Phaedrus68

Active Member
PM received.

Clockworks - thanks a million for doing that.

I've spent maybe 45 minutes playing with it and it is indeed quite easy to use. Navigation is a little slow, but perfectly clear and easy to understand.

Straight off, I foresee problems where the software has assumed that for my 1st "Watch TV" activity (which I've named "Watch DTT"), I'm using the EX88 as the TV tuner, and I can't seem to undo that and select the PS3 as the TV tuner (which I'm hoping it will be when (if) Sony sort things out so that the PlayTV device will receive Ireland's DTT broadcasts) instead.

I'm not asking for help just yet - I'll keep playing and try to sort it out by myself.

I'v downloaded this on my home PC, but I'd like to be able to play with it on my work PC during the day too (on my lunch break of course... :rolleyes:) - do you think I'll be able to do that?


Many thanks again,

Mark
 

clockworks

Well-known Member
No problem - glad it worked.

When you've got more than one device in an activity that's capable of changing channels, the software will ask which one you want to use when you set up the activity. If you add an extra device with a tuner, just re-setup the activity.

Since the PS3 doesn't have a tuner, it probably won't offer to use the PS3 as the source during a "watch TV" activity. There are several ways around this. A "play DVD" activity might work, as long as you define the PS3 as a "console with DVD", or you can create a generic device and teach it the PS3 IR codes. You could even add a second, dummy, TV, and teach it the PS3 codes.

As long as you can get the software on your work PC, it should be fine.
 

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