Has anyone managed to get their Shield TV loaded as a thing in ST? I know it’s capable of operating as a hub using an extender, but with it being my main source for my TV it’d be awesome if I could set it to turn on and launch an app within a piston using webCoRE.
What is your use case?
Some of that would depend on the capabilities, but the first few that come to mind would be:
- Open HD homerun app and turn on news in the morning on the family room TV
- Open Plex in my daughter’s playroom in the morning
- Trigger different events based on the power on/off status of the Shield TV throughout the day
- When doorbell rings, display camera feed on the TV (through shield if possible, else through another means)
Certainly more would come to mind once a known set of controls and attributes for its integration were known.
Some of that you can do now
#3 and #4 maybe can be done with SharpTools.
#1 and 2
Using Keyboard Shortcuts
It is based on remapping keyboard keys to launch an app. The idea is that you are probably not using a keyboard on your android TV device, and even if you are, there’s certain keyboard keys that you’re probably not using, like the F-number keys for instance.
What you do is:
- Register a Windows Computer device in your Harmony account.
– you will need to pair your PC with the Nexus Player. This means you need to put both PC and NP in pairing mode and have the NP pair with the PC. This is confirmed when you see the name of the PC in the BT settings for the NP.
This essentially behaves as a bluetooth keyboard that you can pair with your Android TV device. Make sure to choose Windows Computer, since this gives you a full keyboard layout. At first I tried ‘Other Computer’ which resulted in a very limited number of actions that I was able to send as part of an activity. Mac might work, but I didn’t try. Pair this keyboard to your Android TV device.
Sideload the External Keyboard Helper apk on your Android TV device. The free version works just fine, since you are only remapping a couple of keys. I think the space bar button is the only limitation of the free version.
Configure the External Keyboard Helper as your default keyboard
Go into the External Keyboard Helper settings, and go to the Advanced Settings. Next choose Keyboard mapping.
Going into Application Shortcuts menu and assign all the apps you are going to want to launch as part of an action to the A0, A1, etc fields.
Go back and select Customize Keyboard mappings.
You are going to need a mouse and preferably a physical keyboard for this next step!
- Select Add new key mapping and press the button on the keyboard you want to assign to launching the app. The reason you want a mouse is because next you need to populate the Normal-field. But pressing the tab, enter or arrow key (even on your shield remote or controller) overwrites the scan code value of the key you wanted to assign. So you’re going to want to click the Normal-field with your mouse. In the Normal key-field enter the A0, A1, etc value that you assigned these respective values earlier. Now click save (I think it may translate the value to another notation, that’s fine). You will see the icon of the referenced app appear in this list if you’ve referenced it successfully.
That’s basically it. You can now press the key on your keyboard to launch the app you assigned to that key.
All you have to do now is create a Harmony activity that uses this Windows Computer device and add a step > command in which you send the key you assigned to the app!
Sync your changes and test it out.
If you already have another windows computer in the harmony you will need to create another PC device for this to work.
If you’re already controlling your computer with the ‘Windows computer’ you added to Harmony, you will probably need to create an additional ‘Windows computer’ (which is nothing else than a virtual bluetooth keyboard that is emulated by the Harmony hub).
After creating it you need to add it as a bluetooth device on your device (add bluetooth devices from the settings menu on the Shield).
Harmony has preset commands that can be used. When you edit the activity and add a command look at the available commands to assign in step 7!
That’s a great write-up, thank you!! I currently don’t have a Harmony remote, I just use the remote that came with the shield to run most of my family room equipment. I assume for this you use the Harmony remote that comes with a hub? Seems like that opens up a lot of doors for customization.
Saving for when I buy a shield tomorrow.
Can you, say, dim the lights when Shield is in “play mode” and undim when it’s paused/stopped?
It’s on sale now. Get it. It is a great setup.
So my setup it more complex then the above. I use Alexa, SmartThings and my Harmony do do everything. I just picked up a few Google home minis too.
But if you had the ST dongle I’m sure you can use Google Assistant on the shield. I wanted to be free of being tethered to the shield having to be on which is why I use Alexa.
Bump… play the news on the bedroom shield when I wake up would enhance my use greatly.
Has this been ever solved without Harmony?
I would like to turn on the Shield when I get home for example. Or turn off/dim the lights when Kodi/Netflix is playing.
Probably could make it work with tasker/SharpTools installed on the shield
Any way to sideload Tasker? It’s not on Android TV
SharpTools didn’t work. It looks like they removed their support of Android TV and it didn’t move past the authentification page.
Or are you suggesting to have these on another android device (so not Shield TV)?
Yes, if you have the Tasker APK from another device you can install it using a file explorer.
If you want to use SharpTools on Android TV (for Tasker), you’ll can tell SharpTools to load in phone/tablet mode: