Amazon echo and media closet

(Michael Moore) #1

So here’s the rub. New to smart things and amazon echo. I have a media room with a media closet just outside the room. Inside the closet I have a harmony hub and IR blasters to all my devices. I use the Harmony Touch universal remote with the closet doors closed and it controls all devices seamlessly. I set up my ST hub and linked it with Alexa and have everything set up correctly I believe. Problem is, when I ask Alexa to turn on the TV she triggers my HH and turns on my receiver to the correct mode and my cable box but she does not turn on my actual TV (I can hear the TV audio through my surround sound). I assume this is due to a lack of IR signal from Alexa and the IR blasters not reaching the TV from the closet. Suggestions?

(Michael Hess) #2

Alexa has no ir so you need a blaster from the Harmony that is visible to the TV. Your ultimate remote is sending ir to the tv right now which is not optimal. Try to launch the activity without the remote in the room and the tv wouldn’t turn on either.

(Michael Moore) #4

How is my remote using IR not optimal. As of now it works perfectly but I assumed there wasn’t a test workaround for the IR issue. Not sure if there was a better setup initially if the IR remote (the Ultimate) isn’t ideal. Thanks for the info.


Having the remote send the IR is optimal for the remote. :sunglasses:

But since Smartthings doesn’t have any way of controlling the physical button remote directly, you need another IR blaster controlled by the harmony hub in range of the TV so that SmartThings can request that the IR signals be sent.

(Michael Hess) #6

Yeah what JD said. Any home theater setup that uses automation should never rely on the remote doing the IR. If it’s covered, has a dead battery, or something blocks the signal, it can fail. Having RF or IR blasters right in front of the receivers or in a location that won’t get direct sunlight or interference from say a fan spinning, is the best solution.

Even though I have three Harmony setups with harmony remotes, not a single one uses IR from the remote. Never have a failure that way. Reliability is key, especially with Harmony where a stray or misunderstood command can throw devices out of sync.

Edit: My wife still points the remotes at the TV sometimes, I still give her sh*t for that! :slight_smile: