Life with Harmony Home

(Mike Maxwell) #1

Just wondering how the Harmony Home has been working for all you that have one of these.

I’m not having fun with it, in addition to the following rant, the hub continues to stay red, configuration via android is hit and miss, mostly miss.
When I can connect to the hub, the app is painfully slow, fetching switch states from SmartThings is always a bet to see if I’ll die first…

The sync process on the remote takes forever…

Harmony’s support forum’s membership apparently consists of a bunch of mutes… , OR I’m the only dude having these issues.

(Convinced ST will never be unbroken…) #2

I was a big fan of Harmony for years, but gave up on the ‘hub’. The position of the transport controls on the ‘Ultimate’ was a deal breaker for me, as were the arbitrary device limits on the ‘Standard’, and the poorly done app. They rolled it out too soon and actually limited functionality compared to the old setup app.

If you don’t mind tinkering, you may find as I did, that the Global Cache iTach is a much better way to go. I control three rooms of A/V gear (26 components in all), and it has been rock solid for me, with two of my emitter runs exceeding 50 feet over single twisted pairs of plain old CAT5.

I can control it from iRule (or Roomie, MBH Remote, etc.), python scripts, even directly from SmartThings.

(Beckwith) #3

I have the same issue with the Harmony hub using the phone app. Sometimes it would get better and others worse. Never got a response from Logitech so just set it aside.

Interestingly, when they came out with Home they upgraded the app and seems a little more robust but not close to being reliable.

The remote works with the hub most of the time.

(Mike Maxwell) #4

No issue tinkering, when I have to, and can’t find what I’m looking for “already baked”…
While I enjoy being a maker, it’s more to achieve project goals vs the making being the project in it’s own right.

(Ron S) #5

I added all my favorites and can barely see or make out what those are on the remote. The resolution sucks like hell on the remote. The harmony one was crisp.

(Net Geek) #6

Other than size is there any difference with the he new Roomie Blaster Complete and the Global Cache iTach ? I was looking at it and the relay before I deployed overseas smaller can be convenient as long as you do not lose functionality…

(Morten Berg) #7

Im also using iRule to control 2 rooms.

iRule doesnt support scheduling of commands. Id love to be able to use SmartThings or a script running on a server to issue commands to turn on a TV I use as a digital picture frame at specific hours during the day.
Also being able to trigger Chromecast since it powers on the TV thru HDMI CEC would be nice.

Do you have any info regarding how to send IR/IP commands through SmartThings?

(Convinced ST will never be unbroken…) #8

The roomie looks like a rebranded iTach Flex.

(Convinced ST will never be unbroken…) #9

Yeah… I’ll share some of it later today when I’m in front of a computer.

(Convinced ST will never be unbroken…) #10


For the most part, I use HAM Bridge to do the heavy lifting (it is just much easier to edit complex scripts on my Mac then inside of SmartThings). For instance, I have a SmartApp that, if I return home after 5pm, fires up my main A/V system (as well as the garage/deck system), sets the proper inputs, and instructs the TiVo to play the last recorded show (which would be the 5 o’clock news). I have a similar SmartApp that shuts all this gear down (along with everything else) when I leave.

The SmartApp just sends an “HTTP GET /?playNEWS” to HAM Bridge. HAM Bridge then runs an AppleScript that sends an ON command to a SmartThings endpoint to turn on an appliance outlet that the main system amps are plugged into, runs a Python script that sends all of the IR commands to the iTach, and then another Python script that sends the commands to the TiVo via TCP.

There are some examples of all of these scripts as well as the SmartThings code linked at the bottom of the HAM Bridge page.

But you can also send commands directly to the iTach from SmartThings using the sendHubCommand:

sendHubCommand(new physicalgraph.device.HubAction("""$theCom\r\n""", physicalgraph.device.Protocol.LAN, "${deviceNetworkId}"))

Where ‘theCom’ is the IR command string to send to the iTach, and ‘deviceNetworkId’ is “IPAddressOfiTachinHEXFormat:1386”


(Joshua Lyon ( Dashboard)) #11

I completely agree about the movement of the Media (transport) Controls to the top of the remote being a bad idea. With my Harmony One, I primarily only used the touch-screen for starting activities and on the rare occasion I would use it to access a special button for one of devices. I would note that the Harmony Home Control has these buttons at the bottom of the remote and includes a physical number pad as well.

After cracking the touch-screen on my Harmony One, I was deciding between the Harmony Ultimate Home and Harmony Home Control. The positioning of the transport controls and the inclusion of physical number buttons are what pushed me to the Home Control and I’m happy with the decision. If I ever need to access special controls (which is very rare), I just grab my phone and make the adjustments.

I was happily surprised that my wife loves the simplicity of the new remote and really appreciates the physical buttons. I haven’t had any of the problems that @Mike_Maxwell has had, but I know the pains of technology not working like it’s supposed to so I can relate!

I also have Global Cache devices in my home and the Harmony Hub has effectively replaced the Global Cache in my Living Room. I loved the integration of the Global Cache with Roomie Remote, but I found the integration with other systems (including custom coded solutions) quite tedious.

For my particular setup, I ended up coding a custom Python web-app which allows two-way communication with a Denon/Marantz AVR and Samsung TV. This allows me to run custom Tasker commands that set the volume and other settings to exactly the values I want or react accordingly based on the existing state of my Home Theater devices. Now that I have the Harmony hub, I’ll probably start interfacing with it instead of directly to the devices. One of the benefits of this approach is all of your remotes stay in sync if the changes are done directly on the hub (eg. each remote knows what activity it is in and what state each device is in).

(Convinced ST will never be unbroken…) #12

If I am not mistaken, HomeControl still has the eight device limit, which was the deal breaker for me with the Smart ‘Standard’.

For me, the absence of physical buttons only comes into play when viewing TiVo’d programming (as you are constantly skipping commercials). For that process there is still the old TiVo peanut under the sofa arm. (c;

I really did want to like the new Harmony setup… heck I had been using (and recommending) it for years. But it just felt too constricting. While I agree the iTach codes can be tedious at first, you only have to do it once per component (and much of what you need is online). For me it is worth it to have the ability to use it from practically anything.

(Bobby) #13

My review on Google Play for the Harmony Hub says it all…

The problem is somewhere in the middle. Because I have two Harmony Hubs, when I reset ST on one, it breaks on the other. But I spent way too much time trying to fix these hubs so I just gave up trying to solve the mystery.