So as I continue to work on ideas and suggestions to make my home smarter…ok, let’s be honest, it’s more toys to play with …I’m looking at options for better control of my “dumb” TVs. I’ve looked at Harmony and AnyMote. I know with AnyMote it will take multiple IR blasters to control multiple TVs. Is this the case with Harmony Hubs as well?
The Harmony hub itself is a pretty strong IR blaster. For out of the way devices you can plug in a couple of extension blasters (I think one comes bundled with the hub; I purchased an additional one as an accessory as well).
The other TV is on another floor, out of line of sight of the Living Room
Ah. The Harmony extension blasters are on cords that are probably no more than 6’ in length.
Sounds like the answer then is, need a 2nd Harmony Hub for upstairs.
There are also RF - IR repeaters that might do the job; probably a lot easier to maintain than two hubs but maybe not much cheaper than a $58 Harmony Hub on sale.
Hmm, further digging is showing that Alexa can only speak to one Harmony Hub. So that takes the option of multiple Harmony Hub’s off the table it would seem.
Can I control more than one Harmony hub?
“Amazon Alexa and the Logitech Harmony skill is currently only able to support a single Harmony Hub. If you have more than one Harmony Hub you will be asked to select one during the skill linking process. We recognize the strong desire to control entertainment systems in other rooms of your home — Amazon and Logitech are eager to solve this for you soon.”
Alexa can only speak to one Harmony Hub natively but can activate all Harmony Activities within SmartThings no matter how many Hubs you have.
I have 4.
It was a time where the Alexa and 1 Hub issue was actually an issue, but now, with an Echo Device and Alexa groups, that issue has been eliminated. I have total control of Play, Pause, Watch This or That, etc, with all of my Hubs and an Echo Device grouped for each.
Moreover, there is a custom DTH and App called KuKuHarmony that give you control of individual devices running a server on something like a Pi3.
I believe there is a skill for a second Harmony Hub… search alexa skills
So, Just to ensure I understand what would happen:
Harmony1 controls Living Room TV and related attachments (DirecTV, Xbox)
Harmony2 controls Upstairs TV and related attachments (DirecTV, Roku)
Create Harmony Activity to watch certain channel on Living Room TV and another Harmony Activity to watch Netflix on Upstairs TV.
Alexa will find both activities and be able to activate either one.
Am I missing anything?
Yep. That’s pretty much it. Harmony Activities show up as switches in ST.
The only thing is, from my experience, adding Harmony Hubs have not been an easy task. You basically have to delete the Harmony App and start all over again in order to add Activities. Which in turn you will loose your rules. As long as you take Screen Shots of your rules, you can re-add them pretty easily.
Well I be damn! Didn’t know that existed.
I believe from what I’ve read that it has limited/less functionality though. Just passing on what I’ve read - I can’t validate that yet.
That’s the old “Harmony red” Skill which was eventually replaced by the newer “harmony blue” skill. Then they brought it back as a workaround for a second hub And renamed it “secondary hub.”
The problem is the command terminology will be different between the two, so whoever wants to use it has to be able to remember which command to use with which.
With the red skill, you have to say “Alexa, tell Harmony” Which is not necessary with the blue skill if it’s within 15 minutes of when you activated the AV device. It’s not a big difference, but it’s a difference.
All of this gets a little clunky, so hopefully logitech will come up with a true multihub skill later this year. But we will just have to see.
If i’m correct, you can also add a harmony remote to the hub. You can program the upstairs tv to the remote and then control it via Alexa that way also. If you already have a hub, it would probable be cheaper to just get a second hub, but if you don’t have one yet, then you can probably get a package deal with hub and remote. I believe it would be the same concept as just running an ir blaster up there. (Which you can get extensions for, I have a 20ft extension on mine running to the garage.)
That’s a bummer, I just bought a second hub via the Walmart sale. I hope to use it to control 2nd TV and room window AC unit.
Not I realize it’s going to be more work and more experimenting and LOTS of self education.
That’s half the fun - the other half is the drinking that is necessary to make it all work out