Harmony update 7/24? Not ST related


(Chris) #1

Anyone know if there was an update released today? I’ve been using sushilks alexaHarmonyApp for direct Alexa/Harmony integration and it’s been working fine until today. Starting today the app has errored out a few times, and when it doesn’t and I run a command the Harmonyhub refuses coconnection, or it makes the remote disconnect from the hub until I reset the hub by unplugging and replugging. Worked fine all morning (and has been for the past few weeks) but started having issues this afternoon. Anyone know if any Harmony updates have been released today?


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #2

I honestly do not know. I just got my harmony system yesterday and set it up last night. I’m using the Harmony Connect stock smartapp and everything is working great for me so far.

Got a question… what all do you have yours set up to do?

I just have mine doing this using AskAlexa:

  • Watch TV
  • Watch movies
  • Watch Netflix
  • Exit Netflix

(Chris) #3

I have mine set up to run all of the activities through the stock ST/Harmony integration. Also, using the alexaHarmonyApp by sushilks I was able to use Alexa to issue individual commands like pause, play, volume up and down,enu, back, etc…until this afternoon.


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #4

do you have a link for that smartapp?


(Chris) #5

It’s independent of ST. Here is the link https://github.com/sushilks/alexaHarmonyApp

Requires a FQDN (I used noip.com) and internal node.js server. His instructions aren’t great and code requires customization for commands.


#6

Check out this project also… I know you’re heavy into Alexa :blush:, needs a dedicated PC/Mac tho.


(Chris) #7

I got this up and running before the alexaHarmonyApp. It seemed like a good deal, but I though going direct from Alexa to Harmony and leaving ST out of the mix would be better, at least for the individual device commands. I still use ST to run activities.


(Michael Hess) #8

I used j64Harmony for a bit, but honestly find trying to use voice to control my media stuff is more of a PIA than picking up a remote or phone. I use built in support to turn on and off activities, via alexa, that’s about it. I do have the harmony activitys dim/turn off/turn on lights as I start/stop activities.


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #9

I feel the same way and I’m using mine the same way.

I needed to replace an aging harmony one remote do I got the harmony start control.

I really only want it so I can say watch tv or watch Netflix or watch cartoons when my hands are full (usually with the baby).

Other than that… I do not see it being practical.


#10

“Your use case is not my use case.” :sunglasses:

There are definitely people who would benefit from fully granular voice control. I need it, so I use it even though it’s clunky.

But I agree most people would be happy if they could just use voice control to switch from Netflix to HBO without having to hit six buttons on the remote. :tada:


(Michael Hess) #11

I too would love to have voice control for volume, set channel, ff, rw, etc. But my problem, I hate yelling at alexa, and when she’s playing music or there’s too much noise from the TV/kids, she kinda sucks at understanding me half the time. If I could remember to keep the voice remote next to me, I’d use her more I’m sure, but then the remote is right there.

Sometimes I wish I could put one of my echo’s on my side table…Or have a chip with her interface embedded in my head.


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #12

I couldn’t agree more and I’m very grateful that the tech is available to those that need.

While it isn’t perfect, it does exist.


(Chris) #13

This is why I like the AlexaHarmonyApp I linked to above, with some customization I can do the things that I generally would actually want to use voice control for, like when I get up to get something and leave the remote on the couch, I can say “Alexa, tell remote to pause”, or if I’m doing something else and my daughter is watching TV and it’s too loud, I don’t have to dig through the couch cushions to find the remote, I just say “Alexa, tell remote volume down five”, etc etc. It’s natural speech patterns (not telling a volume switch to turn on and off, for example), and easy to remember basic stuff.

That is…when it was working.


#14

Yeah, this is been my problem with most of the granular options out there. Since I can’t physically use a button remote, I really need something that will work reliably.

Again, my hope is that when the official harmony/Alexa integration comes out it will have granular volume control. But we’ll see. :sunglasses:


(Chris) #15

Have you heard any news about the beta testing progress? I hope it’s not just activities like we already have with ST/Yonomi/IFTTT/whatever.


#16

I haven’t heard any details. So I don’t know if it’s just going to be activities or not.


(Chris) #17

It worked pretty well for the better part of a month. Just started causing problems yesterday for whatever reason. I killed the node window on my internal server last night when I got tired of it locking up my hub and haven’t tried again since. Might try again later tonight depending on how I’m feeling and what the wife is up to, between her and my daughter it’s hard to get a few minutes where the TV isn’t being used so I can experiment with it.


#18

I understand. My requirements for home automation are an MFOP (maintenance free operating period) Of at least six months, and preferably more like 12. That’s because I have to pay someone else to do any maintenance, even just rebooting or taking the batteries out and putting them back in.

I’ve been using the echo/Ifttt/harmony integration since it came out last fall, and I use it every day for several hours. It hasn’t failed me yet. :sunglasses:

(I did try Yonomi and it was a little faster but it was also more fidgety and again required some maintenance that I just didn’t want to pay for. )

All the server-based implementations look really cool, I just can’t afford them.


(Chris) #19

Gotcha, that makes sense. I completely understand about the reliability standpoint…given that condition I definitely could not recommend this as a solution.

For the record, when I say “server” I mean “old laptop that I dug out of the drawer and now leave turned on in the corner”. :sunglasses: Other than several hours of code tweaking I didn’t spend anything on getting this set up.

I just fired it back up and the first two volume commands worked fine. Maybe something weird was happening last night. Who knows


#20

Right, my problem is that I have to pay someone else to do the several hours of code tweaking. And to do anything that needs to be done after it’s set up the first time. So it just ends up not being worth the money to me. If I could physically do it myself I’d definitely be using a lot more of that kind of code. :sunglasses: