I have this small TV in my house that shows my security cameras. I want that TV to turn off when I’m away and turn on when I’m home.
I have a Harmony hub set up and it’s all integrated with SmartThings. I set up an activity in Harmony to turn on and off my TV. However, in the SmartThings Harmony app I can only start an activity based on my presence, there is no way to end it (so to turn off the TV). Is there another way I can accomplish what I want with the current state of ST/Harmony integration?
You can use something like CoRE or even IFTTT for this since it’s not an automation that needs to occur right away (such as turning a light on when a door opens).
I mention IFTTT as it has a small delay.
Actually, since the Harmony activities are added as switches, even Smart Lighting could do this.
I guess I can use the All Off activity. However, I assume that will also turn off my other devices. So let’s say my parents are home visiting and they’re watching TV when I leave, Harmony will shut everything off. I haven’t tried it, but it sounds like an option.
The first step anytime you’re working with harmony is to create a harmony activity that does exactly what you want. Once you have that, it’s easy to activate from SmartThings.
So in this case, just set up a separate activity that turns off only the devices you want turned off in different modes.
When your parents are visiting, you may want to set up a guest mode which will then keep your leaving from turning off the TV. Or you can create a virtual presence sensor for your parents so that SmartThings knows there’s still somebody home. Both ways work, they are just different approaches.
Each Harmony activity should show as a separate switch in SmartThings. You can set it so that it just turns your camera activity off when you leave rather than everything. If the camera activity is already off then nothing will happen.
I totally forgot to select any activities when I first set it up! Now they are showing up. However, still couldn’t accomplish my original goal since only one activity can be active at any given time. Therefore I cannot have my cameras TV on while my main Watch TV activity is on. It’s getting one step closer though.
At one of my locations I have harmony hub set up to Watch Tv and it turns on 4 tvs, a cable box and a my receiver the audio runs through. Two of these are security camera tvs. Two tvs in two different rooms. They are close enough I could buy an extension for the ir dongle through the ceiling and drop down in the next. When setting up watch tv just select both tvs. But select your main tv as the one you watch tv with and use that one to select the input then set up the rest like you have it now. On your goodbye routine just set it to turn everything off when you leave.
Yep, as said above, just add the cameras TV to each of your other activities and have it power on with all of them. You can even go as far as to have two versions of each activity, one including the cameras TV and one without.
For example, let’s say you have an activity called Cable TV. Add a second Cable TV activity, identical to the first except for the addition of the camera TV. Call this Cable TV with Camera.
Now you can use CoRE to set up rules around these activities. So if Cable TV is on already and you arrive at home, then turn on Cable TV with Camera. To someone watching TV, nothing should change, but your camera TV would come on. Then if you leave and Cable TV with Camera is on, then turn on Cable TV. Again, should be transparent to someone watching TV, only change is that your camera TV would turn off.
I just got my Harmony hub and I’m quite excited about it but haven’t hooked it up yet.
That being said, some of the things in this thread seem very disappointing but your help is very much appreciated. Quick questions if I may:
To clarify, from the Harmony’s perspective, you can only have ONE activity ‘active’ at any one time?
If I have in one activity - turn on the TV and I press this first, then I have another activity which I might then use a little later that turns on the TV (which is already on from the first activity) AND turns on a bunch of lights, when I press the second activity, will it turn the TV off and then on again or will it just stay on between those activities because it was set to turn on in both?
Just adding what I do for this use case. I also have a tv in my kitchen that I have displaying my cameras when I am home. That is all the TV does. I don’t use it for anything else. I have it plugged into a wemo plug (but any smart plug will do). It is a Samsung. When the tv loses power it turns off (obviously) and when it gains power, it turns on without me having to use a remote / ir sensor. From there the CoRE config is straightforward.
That’s what I was going to do before I got the harmony hub. I was really hoping there’s a simple way to turn a device on/off using IR, but it seems like one has to jump through hoops with activities to simply turn a device on/off. The only thing I worry about using a smart plug is it could shorten the life of the TV.