Harmony Info/Suggestions Please


#1

It’s time for me to replace my 20+ year old Sony Universal Remote.

I might as well look for something that I can integrate with Smartthings.
Looks like Harmony is the logical choice.

Can anyone offer info on which Harmony remotes/hubs are compatible with ST?
I don’t mind using custom device handlers if needed. I’ve searched this forum for info, but it is not very clear which Harmony items work and which ones don’t.

Any helpful info would be appreciated.


(Mark) #2

You want a harmony hub. Couple different remotes that work with it.

Works with SmartThings, no custom device handler required.


#3

I recommend you jump into the harmony lone. Keep in mind that it is the hub that connects to smartthings. The remotes just kick off actions on the hub and instruct the hub to fire commands.

I have multiple hubs and remotes. With smartthings you are pretty much just stuck with working with the activities. If you wanted to do anything more advanced you may need to look into the kukuharmony DH and how to set that up.

I have the touch remote and the companion remote. Between the two of them I like the companion remote more. It doesn’t have a screen but it has the number buttons and responds fast. The touch remote has a screen and no number buttons which is a pain when you need them. It’s also a bit laggy from when you pick it up to firing the first command.

If you have Alexa the harmony integration is cool. Not only can you ask her to turn on and off things but can ask to change channels and other basic things like volume.

If have any specific questions fire away.


#4

Thanks you both, Mark and Gavin for your info.
I hope to make a decision soon.


#5

I found this on Logitech’s Harmony Companion page:
“To help keep your Harmony in sync with your devices, avoid turning your television, cable/satellite box and other devices on and off manually or by using their original remote control. If something didn’t turn on then use the help feature available from within the Harmony mobile app.”

What is there to get out of sync?
If I turn the TV on with this, and then my wife turns it off with the TV’s remote, so what? Will the Harmony send the wrong signal if I then try to turn it back on?


#6

That is how they work. These universal remotes have no way of knowing if your tv is on or off. So when you start an activity it starts and configures everything and keeps track of what state each device is in. If you then manually turn off everything the remote will actually think it’s still on.


#7

Doesn’t the power switch just act as a toggle?
If the TV is on, toggle it off, if off, toggle it on.
That is how other remotes I have used work, including the manufacturer’s remote.

I can see how the Harmony might get out of sync with something like temperature for an AC unit.
If you set a temperature with the AC’s remote and change it with the Harmony, (or vice versa), maybe both remotes won’t know the actual setting.


#8

It doesn’t work like that. The harmony remotes work around things called activities.

You can have a watch tv activity, it will turn on your tv and set the input, turn on your surround and set the input and then turn on your cable box. Then say you have a play Xbox activity and you press it, it will know (based on internal tracking) what state devices are in, so it won’t turn off your tv but just change the input, then turn on the xbox and set the stereo to the proper settings for game play.

The harmony remote is meant for more complicated and every tv is different. Some tv’s have dedicated on/off buttons and on other tv’s the power is a toggle button.

Once you get the harmony remote, you don’t need any other remote.


(gfbuyer) #9

Can the Harmony be used as a “scene controller” for Smartthings ? In one able to turn things like likes on/off or kickoff routines ?


#10

Yes.

If you want a specific scene to activate when you start ‘Watch TV’, that can be done via some automation in smartthings that kicks off when an activity is activated.

The activities on the hub are exposed as switches in smartthings. So they can be used in any type of automation.