ST with Harmony and Google Home

I have a Harmony Hub with two activities that were originally named “TV” (let’s call this “1”) and “AppleTV” (let’s call this “2”). Each activity works flawlessly from the Harmony controller to power on my television and set my Onkyo receiver to the right mode (and in the case of the AppleTV it also turns on the apple tv device). I almost exclusively use voice control to run “ok google turn on the tv”. Unfortunately after weeks/months of working fine, the integration suddenly went weird on me and now pretty much any command with the word “tv” or “television” runs the apple-based activity (#2).

I started playing with renaming things thinking “maybe there was a firmware update and the two names are too similar?” but now I’m noticing super weird behavior. The activities are now renamed as such:

1 = “television” (this helps me watch my cable tuner, which is 99% of my need)
2 = “streaming” (this activates the Apple TV)

Now the command “ok google activate television” audibly responds with “ok, turning on the streaming”!!

I’ve experimented with calling these “alpha” and “beta” too. When I use those totally unexpected terms things work as I’d want - I can individually choose the right activity using the intended word.

This makes me think some system is keying on what I’ll call a ‘magic word’ for “television” or “tv” (both seem to do it) and, when that term is present, the system is aggressively searching for an Apple-based activity. I have no idea why, but maybe Google or ST just reaaaaally wants me to use the Internet device?

Anyway, I have two questions now:

First, can anyone help me configure things with more normal terms so I can refer to my usual television activity plainly as “tv” or “television”? I’ll blindly accept a solution even if I don’t know why it works.

Second, does anyone know what the heck is going on?

Note that I’ve been going into all three systems and manually renaming things in all places because I have no idea how to force a sync, but maybe I should be renaming them in Harmony only and ST + Google Home will sync the names after some period of time? If so what’s that time period? Is there a “force sync” option? Further note that ST is the only connection between everything - Google Home does not explicitly know about Harmony (and vice-versa).

ST has nothing to do with this as you are activating your activities via Google Home. So this is only between harmony, google and maybe some new Apple TV integration in the google home ecosystem.

I am running alexa and fire tv and had similar issue. Before I got the fire tv, all have ran smoothly but after installing fire tv, all went bust.
I had to disable any hdmi-cec of fire tv so alexa is not creating smart devices for my TV and receiver. After this all went back to normal. I would think something similar is happening in your case with apple tv.

… Slight delay while I was out for the holidays! …

So I appreciate the info but I definitely disagree that Smart Things is off the hook. I can trivially show that the Google Home platform links to these things through Smart Things by looking in the Google Home mobile app. This is a screenshot of the Harmony Hub “Activity” that I named “Television” (as in “to watch a tv show”… as opposed to the flatscreen plasma device itself, which is named “Samsung TV”).

I was also pretty careful when I linked things together. Google Home got linked to Smart Things. Harmony got linked to Smart Things. I definitely never told Google Home anything about Logitech Harmony, or vice-versa . Also, there are no smart links between (HDMI-CEC) between these devices in my case.

So it’s possible there’s some voodoo I don’t understand right now, but I have no idea how to debug further. Let’s assume, for a minute, that I’m right about ST as a middleman for the voice commands - would commands from Google into my ST ecosystem get logged somewhere (for example I have a few native ST plugs that are voice controllable… commands for those must be logged, right?)? Where can I go look for that… I’ve tried the IDE debug but I can’t seem to figure out how to find anything useful.


WOAH… adding to my own post here because I just had some weird behaviors today that somehow basically fixed my problem… or at least this is diagnostically useful information.

I need to preface that I have two mobile devices (iPhoneX and Google Pixel 3XL) and a handful of ST locations (like, more than 5). Occasionally one of my two phones will require me to sign in again on the ST Classic app (I don’t bother with the new app), but I’m not sure why they log out (monthly? 90 days? dunno). Due to the restrictions on how user provisioning works I setup a fresh admin account for each location with an entirely new email (I provision a new address just for the purpose of being the admin at that location). I then share the location over to my primary personal user account so that my personal account has access to all the locations at once (I can also granularly share individual locations with family and friends that are relevant to each location without giving them access to all locations).

Anyway, I had to setup a new location today. I got a V2 hub and got started. My Android phone was asking me to reauth anyway, so I decided to use that device to setup the new hub with a new address. I did that and the new location was a breeze to configure and share with my personal account. I then logged out of the new profile and reauthed with my personal profile on the Android.

… time passes and I go to the location with the Google Home and entertainment system relevant to this thread…

When I get in I try “ok google turn on family room” (my verbatim phrase to activate the lighting in that location)… but I get a weird reply about the device not having power or something… so I tweak my language “ok google turn on family room light” and “ok google family room light on” and a few other permutations. All of those fail in strange ways, almost as if Google Home isn’t connected. I look on the Android app and I see that a bunch of Things are not properly assigned to Rooms, including the relevant lighting, so I fix that and my command immediately begins working again to activate lighting. I think nothing of this incident for the next few hours, however, when I go to turn off the entertainment center I issue the usual “ok google turn off tv” only to have the verbal response “sure, turning off the Samsung TV” (a specific device) instead of the expected “sure, turning off the Television” (the entire Activity, which involves two devices). Something immediately clicks and I realize Google must have resynced so I try “ok google turn on televison” and it works as I want it to, with both devices coming on and setting to the correct state!!

To me this is super clear evidence the problem lies with Smart Things as the middleman platform. I have no idea how things got disconnected (why my devices left my rooms), but thank goodness they did because it forced me to play with stuff and somehow get m Google Home interaction working again.

Anyone care to help figure out WTF is going on?