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jimdunn



Joined: 29 Jun 2004
Posts: 544
Location: NSW, Australia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 8:23 am    Post subject: Harmony Reply with quote

This is definitely non-JP1

Very Happy

I was visiting my local JB Hi-Fi today and noticed they had a pile of (older) Harmony remotes at a great price.

They are certainly good looking units, but before I buy one, does anyone know the answers to these questions:

1 Can you program them without using the proprietary web interface - i.e. Is there a PC program which runs independent of Logitech on your own pc ?

2 Is there an "independent" programming effort like this one (JP1) ?

3 Does anyone know a better place to ask these questions than this ?


Before anyone thinks I'm becoming "disloyal" - I'm not - I'm just an inveterate "player" - and if it's worth grabbing one of these I'd like to do so while they are there.

And the reason I'm asking here is because "here" is for me where the opinions and expertise on remotes which I respect and value live...
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johnsfine
Site Admin


Joined: 10 Aug 2003
Posts: 4766
Location: Bedford, MA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 8:29 am    Post subject: Re: Harmony Reply with quote

1) No idea.

2) I'm pretty sure there isn't.

3)
http://www.remotecentral.com/cgi-bin/mboard/rc-harmony/list.cgi
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jimdunn



Joined: 29 Jun 2004
Posts: 544
Location: NSW, Australia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you John, but...

6 minutes - can't you answer quicker you slacker ?

Anyone would think you had a life elsewhere...

Laughing I think this smiley means I'm trying to be funny, but also nervous in case my humour is viewed as frivolous

Embarassed On reflection - it seems to just mean I'm drunk, tired, and shouldn't be posting

Thanks - the RC link looks good

(and I could have found it myself if I wasn't
[a] so lazy, and
[b] so sure that asking you guys would be a good idea...)
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greenough1



Joined: 30 Jan 2005
Posts: 659

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jim,
The only way I'm aware of for programming them is via the web-based tool. Lots of people love it. I tried it and had nothing but issues. And I wanted to like the remote.

Best,
jeff
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The Robman
Site Owner


Joined: 01 Aug 2003
Posts: 19066
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AFAIK the web based interface is the only way to program the remote from your PC, but of course, if the remote can be programmed this way, it should be possible for someone to develop a stand alone application, assuming they can figure out how to reverse engineer the communication protocol, etc.

I was given one of the very early Harmony remotes (the one with only 5 or 6 buttons) but could never get the interface to work, so I gave up. I recently picked up one of the more recent Harmonys, as amazon had them on special, with a view to trying it out myself just to see what everyone finds so "wonderful" about them, but as of yet I haven't even taken it out of the box!
_________________
Rob
www.hifi-remote.com
Please don't PM me with remote questions, post them in the forums so all the experts can help!
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jimdunn



Joined: 29 Jun 2004
Posts: 544
Location: NSW, Australia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback.

I think the major thing that puts me off is - if the only way to program it is through a web based interface, if for some reason that ceases to exist or work then presumably you have no way to reprogram any more.

The control is then pretty much junk from that point.

It seems silly that you can't at least have some pc based config software.

In fact that's probably why I'll give it a miss.
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beverlyhoward



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll echo Jim's response. imho, after springing for the harmony 720, I've concluded that the concept is valid, but logitech's implementation is seriously flawed.

It's good for someone that has a generic setup and doesn't want to go through the techie steps to establish a really good setup... you tell the interface what devices you have down to the model number and the web interface builds a series of "activities" where one button turns on all of the devices needed for an activity such as "watch a dvd" and programs the buttons it expects you will use during that activity.

If you want to do more than that, it's possible, but it gets hard in a hurry... the user does have customization options, but they are well hidden and the design of the interface shows that logitech doesn't expect them to be used.

The most serious flaw is that, unlike the jp1 protocols, you are essentially limited to what logitech "thinks" is the proper ir protocol with no way to edit or even report problems... example, my samsung terrestrial hdtv set top box is unusable with the harmony where the Robman's protocol for it has no control problems.

On the flip side, functioning "activities" along with buttons along side of a verbose backlit screen make it easier for my wife to use our complex av/tuner/projector system but I reverted to the jp1 devices when I felt I had topped out learning and configuring the harmony and could see what can't be done.

i.e. there are still two remotes on the table -)

Beverly Howard
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jimdunn



Joined: 29 Jun 2004
Posts: 544
Location: NSW, Australia

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Beverly,

I nearly got tempted again, because they really were a good price - but after browsing the RC forums, and Logitech's own forum - a few of the threads rung enough alarm bells that I could see myself ending up frustrated with a good looking remote which I couldn't tweak to be just the way I wanted it - so I resisted.

I guess we're spoilt with this JP1 magic - nothing else seems quite as configurable after you've used this. And I think you end up quite proud of your JP1 configs, in a way you could never be with a setup generated from an online applet like Logitech's.

Anyway, after all that, it was good to read your post which pretty much confirmed the conclusions I'd reached.
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beverlyhoward



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fwiw, if anyone is tempted, it's an interesting learning experience albeit a bit expensive... at least on my budget Wink

If so, the harmony user forum is the best source of help I found http://forums.logitech.com/logitech/board?board.id=general_remotes

I put together a tips page based on some valuable understandings which were not easy to find at
http://bevhoward.com/stuff/HarmonyAdvFaq.html

Beverly Howard
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RogerClark



Joined: 24 Mar 2010
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My 2c worth on the Logitech Harmony 525 remote.

I bought a Harmony 525 about 6 months ago, because I didn't think my old URC-7562 (B00) would work with my LG-5100P digibox - ( I wasn't aware of this excellent website and all the invaluable information and software that people have written.)

Anyway, like other posters to this thread, I found that although it was possible to do basic programming of the Harmony 525 to control my TV, digibox and PVR, the Logitech software, which is just a interface to their website, would not give me the level of detail that I needed for my devices.

For example, when using "Activities" e.g. "Watch TV" the Harmony would insist changing the input to the TV, and would fail to select the correct input. This is because the TV does not let you directly select an input, you have to cycle through the inputs.

I tried using the Harmony in "Device" mode, but this wasn't a lot better.
e.g. My Panasonic PVR needs specific controls to access the programs on the HD, and this was not fully supported by Logitech and I had no way to update the buttons or commands.

Fortunately while looking through the various Remote forums, I came across this one and after making the JP1 PC Parallel interface cable using an old disk drive cable etc - I realised that my old URC-7562 could be made to operate all my devices in exactly the way I wanted.

I guess in the end, it would be good if there was the same level of community support for the Logitech remotes, but its a big job to do all the reverse engineering again for this set of remotes from scratch (like it must have been for the original JP1 pioneers)
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