Harmony activity tracking in ST

I have recently hooked up my Google home + ST + Harmony hub. My activities show up in ST plus a HUB, and I can even start them with voice commands by name (or nick name in GH). This all works, but I have 2 questions I am hoping someone here will be able to clear up for me. First to clarify, I’ll list what each device has setup.

Harmony Activities
-Disney Junior
-Disney Channel
-Watch TV

SmartThings (integration with Harmony):
-SmartTV [Harmony Activity]
-Chromecast [Harmony Activity]
-Disney Junior [Harmony Activity]
-Disney Channel [Harmony Activity]
-MythTV [Harmony Activity]
-Watch TV [Harmony Activity]
-Harmony Hub

-Google Home (integration with ST)
-SmartTV [Harmony Activity]
-Chromecast [Harmony Activity]
-Disney Junior [Harmony Activity]
-Disney Channel [Harmony Activity]
-MythTV [Harmony Activity]
-cable TV (Watch TV [Harmony Activity]) nickname set in GH for more natural activation when speaking.

So onto my questions that I hope someone can clear up.

  1. When I want to shut everything off, I just say “Hey google, turn off the living room TV”. I was surprised this works, since I didn’t specify a single activity and I don’t see the Hub in the GH list of devices received from ST. I can only assume that there is some intelligence here that just tells the harmony hub to shut off, but it isn’t very clear to me what is happening. From the names above, there are multiple that have the name TV in it, so it can’t just be choosing one of those, plus it tells me the number of devices it is going to turn off. So something must be telling it that right?

  2. When I pull up the ST app, I can see a hub in addition to all the activities. If I go to any single activity, I can look at the recent list and get a nice list of when it was started/stopped. This is off by a few minute if I use the remote before ST finds out, but that is fine by me. What is annoying is that I can’t see all the activities in one place. I go to the hub and the recent events doesn’t ever show anything. So I find my self clicking through multiple activites to look at the logs to see what has happened. Is there any way (or a correct way that I missed) to get the Harmony Hub “recent” tab to show logs from all Harmony activities so I can more easily track what has been happening?

thanks for any help!

It does occur to me that (in reference to question 1) I do have 3 things with the word TV in the name. When I ask GH to turn off my living room TV, it COULD be deciding there are 3 devices and turning all 3 off. It would just be coincidence that all my activities involve 3 devices (TV, Receiver, Video of some sort) and therefore I thought it was accurately telling me what was on. To find out if this is the case, I can add “TV” to the end of my Chromecast and see if it starts telling me there are 4 devices. If that is the case, I guess I can sort of use that as a work around to ensure it always turns everything off. As long as it has TV in the name. But that is speculation I’ll have to test more tonight.

Assumption: Harmony GH integration is just like the Harmony Alexa integration with “friendly names”/nick names.

I think what’s happening in question 1 is: GH is simply telling Harmony to turn off the Watch TV activity, which probably has nick names of “Television” and “TV”.

This causes 2 things to happen (assuming devices are all set to the power option to turn off when not in use): 1) Turns off the current activity; 2) Since turning off any activity is usually just the generic Off command (versus switching to another activity), all devices under the control of that Harmony remote/hub are turned off.

It works really well for me, especially in Alexa where I have included each home theater setup in a respective location-based group just as the “Watch TV” Activity or the “TV” nickname. When I tell Alexa, “Turn off downstairs”, Harmony receives the command to Turn off Watch TV as part of the Downstairs group devices.

Ah interesting. So how does GH (in your case alexa) know which is the active activity to issue the off command to? Right now I don’t see a hub in GH for it to intelligently send a generic off to and there isn’t an on/off status in GH for each activity like there is in ST. So I don’t know what it actually would tell ST. It appears that it just has the activities (which I call with on and off like a switch) and hence my confusion as to how it actually works.

Once again I’ll have to test my previous theory about it turning off all activities with “TV” in the name, and see if the count it provides goes up.

In my particular case, there was a Harmony Skill that installed into Alexa and created the nick names by default. So when I told it to “Turn off TV”, I believe it just issues a “dumb” command to Harmony (bypassing ST altogether) to turn off “TV” nickname, which is translated to the appropriate Hub and Activity in the Harmony app/cloud. BUT, I don’t thinking it’s sending an “Activity Off” command. I think it is sending an “All Off” command, since the Hub in an off state (though the hub obviously never turns off) means that no devices are being used.

Does this make sense? I don’t think it’s intelligently choosing when turning Activities off. However, it is mapped to an association to the Activity when turning it on.