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Harmony device limit question

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by macq, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. macq

    macq AllStar

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    Feb 19, 2006
    Hi all, hope you can help.

    I am looking at buying the Harmony 700 but am not sure what the implications of its 6 device limit is.

    All my video goes thru my AV Receiver so I figure that's 1 device. My TV makes 2. This would leave me with 4 other video devices. But, I have more than that.

    Can I "cheat" the limit? For example, I have a Vudu which uses an unusual RF remote. I don't need the Harmony to control the Vudu but it would be nice to have a "Watch Vudu" activity to setup my AVR and TV and then I could grab the Vudu remote to control it. In this case, would the Vudu still count as 1 device against the limit?
     
  2. Yoda-DBSguy

    Yoda-DBSguy Hall Of Fame

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    Nov 4, 2006
    A Galaxy...
    The 700 is not the remote for your application use then. You'll neet something like the harmony one (which can control up to 15 devices).

    But yes, you can program activities such as watch vudu in order to have everythign turn on and go to the proper inputm receiver source, surround mode etc (except for actually controlling the Vudu itself since as oyu mentioned it has its own proprietary rf remote.
     
  3. macq

    macq AllStar

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    Feb 19, 2006
    Thanks. But, I far prefer the hard color buttons on the 700. I'll probably just use it for my 4 main video sources and do the setup/control for the additional sources with the native remotes.

    But, for some of more lesser-used or unusual sources, like Vudu, could I instead not add the Vudu as a device but just create a sequence to change the inputs in my AVR?

    For example, if i press the usual "Watch TV" activity it will turn on my AVR, and my TV - which is almost all that's needed for Vudu. The Vudu is always on so I only need to switch its input to the Vudu input. In my AVR device menu, couldn't I just create a command labelled "Watch Vudu" to set the input (hopefully my wife wouldn't have to remember "Set HDMI 3").

    So, in the end, I'd do "Watch TV", Device and select AVR, "Watch Vudu" and then grab my Vudu remote and watch it. It seems I wouldn't have to "waste" one the precious 5 devices then for something like this.

    Is this possible?
     
  4. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

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    Sep 3, 2004
    Yes, this is possible and quite easy.

    Your receiver is your main switch, right? I would create an activity for your receiver called Play Other. You're going to have to manually set up the Activity, and it should default to your most likely Other source, but within this Activity, you certainly can set up sequences that could switch between the receiver's inputs.

    It could also switch other things in the sequence, for example if the video for one of your sources was plugged directly into your TV. A very big one to switch in the sequences would be power. Discrete power on and off commands for your sources would be helpful for this, and even still, I'd make sure I had power on/off buttons for each source programmed in the Activity commands. You're going to end up with things on when they should be off and visa versa. Not the end of the world.

    I use this trick to switch between Auto Digital and Analog In on an input on my Yamaha receiver so that I can bring two different sources into one input. Spiffy, huh?

    Nice thinking this out, macq. :righton: Even the cheapest Harmony remotes will stand up and dance if you program them creatively.
     
  5. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

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    Sep 3, 2004
    One more thing: As much as you can, I'd avoid having to go back to the other source's individual remotes for operation. You can put the basic commands for these other sources on the Harmony's screen. Have your Harmony learn the most common functions for each source, including on/off, in the same place as the receiver's commands. That way they would be available in other Activities should you need them.
     
  6. macq

    macq AllStar

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    Feb 19, 2006
    Why should I avoid using the device's remote? For a DVD with a crappy remote, or my DirecTV HR24 remote (which I hate), I think the Harmony would be a big improvement.

    However, with something like my Tivo DVR, I imagine I'd use the Harmony just to set the AVR input and turn on the AVR and/or TV if necessary but then use the wonderful Tivo remote to actually control what I watch.

    Perhaps one day I'd prefer the Harmony to the Tivo, but I've operated that remote for like 10 years and can operate each button without thinking and plan to still do that. I can't imagine any problems in this case. Something I'm not considering? In this case, the Tivo DVR doesn't have a power on/off to get out of sync since it's always on.
     
  7. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

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    Sep 3, 2004
    It's the last thing you mention, the sync issue, that's the problem. As long as you don't power things on and off or switch sources, you should be fine. Use whatever remote you want.
     
  8. mdavej

    mdavej Hall Of Fame

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    Jan 30, 2007
    Yes, you can cheat the limit, and no, the vudu doesn't need to be a device.

    The easy one is the vudu. Make a second "Watch TV" and rename it "Watch Vudu" and you're done. That's what I do with my HTPC, Wii, etc.

    The hard one is cheating the device limit. I've got 12 devices on my 700 but it's not easy and not very flexible. One way is to get another harmony config (or a friend's) and have harmony support clone the account. When you pick "replace remote" in the software and tell it you have a 700, it keeps all devices from the other account, no matter how many. But if you ever delete one, it's gone for good. Another way is to learn the commands for a 2nd device to another device, kind of making a combo device.
     
  9. macq

    macq AllStar

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    Feb 19, 2006
    Great - thanks. I know I'm in good shape now. I won't have to count my Vudu or my Tivo as a device so I can easily fit the other devices on the 700 and maybe even the 650.

    I must use the Vudu native remote and I prefer the Tivo remote and those devices are always on so I don't have to worry about sync problems. Since I won't have to count those against the device limit on the Harmony, I"m fine. I actually have 2 Tivos and 1 Vudu so I'll save 3 devices - cool.
     
  10. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

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    Sep 3, 2004
    What a nice trick. I didn't know about this one. I might need it myself. I was thinking about a 700 for a bedroom remote to replace a 659. As it would also need to control my whole house music system, I'd hit the device limit.

    Not only are you screwed if you delete a device, I'd bet you also can't add once since you're already over the device limit. Is that the case, mdavej?


    EDIT: Oops, I guess I won't get a 700. They're not lit buttons. That won't work in a bedroom. Otherwise, I really like the layout, including the color buttons. Too bad.
     
  11. mdavej

    mdavej Hall Of Fame

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    Jan 30, 2007
    No, you can't add more devices in that case.

    The 700 DOES have backlit buttons.
     
  12. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

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    Sep 3, 2004
    Cool...it doesn't look like it on any of the pictures and I couldn't find it specifically mentioned in any info I could find.

    Thanks, mdavej. :) My 659 will get moved to another room.

    The fact you can't change devices wouldn't bother me. I'll get that 659 all tricked out before I have it cloned. I won't need to change anything major after that, at least for quite a while.
     
  13. mdavej

    mdavej Hall Of Fame

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    Although cloning will give you all your devices, be prepared for a lot of tweaking. The upgrade process won't bring over your sequences and custom button mappings. So you'll have to re-do those manually. In my case, I opened the logitech software on my new account and the members.harmonyremote.com page on my old account for reference. It took me a couple of days to re-do all my custom buttons and sequences on my 12 devices and 15 activities.
     
  14. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

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    You're a wealth of info, mdavej. :) I didn't realize before now that I could sign onto my remote without using the Logitech software, but that's what that members.harmonyremote.com URL is all about. I've created elaborate screencap archives of my main remote when I've used some of its programming for customers. This would be a lot easier.

    There aren't many posters on this board that can make my life better. You just did. :righton:

    Yeah, I assumed the tweaks wouldn't come through from previous experience but I still want to get the 659 exactly where I want it. To get to that point will take a little longer. I've only had two major programming sessions with it, and having it control the whole house system with all its sources, in addition to the local TV, has made things interesting.

    I've tried to explain to customers there are three levels of Harmony programming. Programming a Harmony takes either 45 minutes, about a day or six months, depending on how persnickity you want to get. I'm sure you're a six month type of programmer, too, mdavej.
     
  15. mdavej

    mdavej Hall Of Fame

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    Jan 30, 2007
    ... 6 months to life :lol:
     

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