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nbat58

Flirc and Harmony One Remote

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I posted this same post in the Kodi forum and had multiple replies however, I still think that there isen't a quick and easy answer, ever so frustrating as all the other devices I have set up on my Harmony one work flawlessly except Flirc xbmc.

 

When I got my Flirc initially, I have setup the Harmony One for Flirc and XBMC, worked OK apart from the back button.

Then I decided to upgrade the Flirc software from version 1.6 I think to the latest version 3.3 and now have lost the use of waking the Aus Chromebox from sleep and shutting it down, is there a way I can regain this back.

Somehow the back button on my Harmony One does not send a signal when pressed, can I add a button on the harmony software then get it mapped in Flirc GUI? or how should this work?

 

Edit:

 

The sugestion given by wrxtasy #3 in the Kodi forum work pretty well, now the only thing missing is the wake and suspend, hope someone can help with this.

Edited by nbat58

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There is a bunch of issues with the native support for XBMC keycodes, I hope Jason will start looking at this soon :-) 

 

It's both issues with mapped native codes in FW (can be workaround by manually adding the mapping) but also problems with the Flirc profile in Harmony config tool.

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I've been wondering if having a built-in profiles in current form is really a good idea. I know that it allows a fast start if all someone wants is to control XBMC with Harmony (it only requires from the user to set up the Harmony remote with correct profile), but on the other hand it probably takes some space in the flash memory which could be used for some other functionality, given that the micro used in Flirc doesn't have it that much.

 

There are also other problems like for example differences in key shortcuts between software versions - like right now there are differences between XBMC and Kodi so it would require a new Harmony profile with at least some codes different from current one.

 

I think it would be better to remove built-in profiles and ship Flirc with pre-programmed one for XBMC/Harmony setup (if this is main reason for the built-in profiles to exist in the first place). Profile definitions could be defined in some file format loadable by the Flirc software. It would be even better if the profile definition could be in some easily editable format like ini, so the community can create new profiles by themselves. There could be two types of ini files: remote definition and application definition. Remote definitions would assign a set of names to hex hashes of IR signals each button creates (with an ability to assign multiple hashes to a single name for MCE/RC6 remotes and other similar) - one file per remote model. Application definitions would assign a name of function in the app to a key combination (could be in the same format as for record_api). It could also provide default remote button name (from remote definitions). Flirc app would need to allow selecting a remote profile and app profile pair (or even more pairs if capacity still allows to store multiple mappings).

There will be of course situations that some remotes can have more or less buttons or even different button names so the Flirc app itself would need to allow customization of function to button mappings (for example by displaying available functions and providing dropdown with button selection). Changed mappings could be saved as new app profile in user profiles dir (given that there are Flirc provided profiles and user profiles kept separately).

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I think it would be better to remove built-in profiles and ship Flirc with pre-programmed one for XBMC/Harmony setup (if this is main reason for the built-in profiles to exist in the first place)

Sounds like a good idea.

 

Personally i'd be in favour of removing the pre-programmed XBMC stuff as users seem to each require a small change which invariably is quite awkward to do. Also Flirc is quite powerful once users realise they can program *any* keyboard key - users who aren't exposed to the programming may miss out on this.

 

Though I get the feeling that there isn't going to be one single right answer

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Actually the best way may be by doing both. Since flirc itself has no control on how keys are mapped between different version of XBMC?Kodi, one thing for sure certain core keys will always or should remain the same. Now i myself have not played with Kodi yet so don't know the differences yet but there may be some.

 

One of the major reasons i purchased the flirc was due to the fact that it already had a logictech harmony profile as that was a major selling point for me as it would not only allow me to customize the buttons to my own likes (which the flirc software interface also does) but the fact that i can then utilize the services of harmony to control all of my devices by setting all the correct inputs based upon all devices involved within an activity with one button press of an activity function (which the flirc does not provide this functionality and not designed to do so) was the one thing that made me click "Add to Cart" button and in your forum now there are lots of posts of folks using a harmony remote and thus a big additional major selling point of the flirc as they like to keep this feature also. As your market grows im sure more and more harmony remote users will be grateful for this feature to be taken advantage of....

 

I also do like what yawor mentioned about having some externalized profiles that could be created and loaded in via your software and it be in a ini like format that can be user modified and community supported which gives a lot of flexibility. So there are benefits to both being in place for several reasons. First the logitech profile profiles simplicity for existing and new harmony users to get onboard very quickly. Once i got my harmony profile setup and synced, 95% of the functionality worked without any modifications on my part and that is a BIG Selling point. So all time told less than 10 minutes on my part adding the addtional buttons i wanted to customize to myharmony. If you got rid of it, then everyone would have to use the interface within the tool and thus need to for one know more on the actual keyboard shortcuts than they care to know and then spend much more time in setting up, along with the fact that this remote no longer works with the harmony remote and thus remove a big selling point for those who have harmony remotes.

 

In time Logitech will most likely be discontinuing their legacy remotes more in favor of their new Hub related interface which for one solves many problems they have had. Their new Hub approach is much better in the fact that now they also offer limited home automation along with exiting activities of which the flirc XBMC profile would be a involved as an activity for its area of expertise and function, along with like it or not the smartphone/tablet app for the Harmony Hub as an additional benefit and this is in my opinion where the largest bulk of remote sales will be made in the future is the integration of entertainment/home automation remotes as the market matures.

 

My suggestion would to be first be sure the existing profile is sending the right keys for XBMC as that is where the largest market is for now and less customization as that caused a lot of my personal frustration when the keys sent were not correct in couple instances and i have to go and create a special keyboard.xml file to handle the wrong keys being sent. Kodi is still in release candidate status and not everyone is going to abandon their existing setup unless Kodi offers them something new that they really want and need to justify the upgrade hassles and reconfiguring stuff after the upgrade. Heck they just stop supporting Eden just recently.

 

Right now u seem to capture the majority of keys for the XBMC profile that worked right out of the gate and btw thank you very much for that. Second, later on you could add an XBMC-Kodi profile if you saw fit, but there may be a way to not have to do that as third, you could create a special keymap app much like you do now with the flirc software tool and as an addon or part of this same software provide the option to take any set of remappings due to version levels of XBMC-kodi and remapped the differences between XBMC and Kodi (or let the customer remap) and then create a keyboard.xml that the user can then substitute as a new map layout for Kodi by overriding the meaning of certain keys to map to Kodi correctly or even new mappings for XBMC versions for those who need the extra customization and then upload those customizations to harmony as a custom command thru another remote. Now yes i know there is an addon within within XBMC that can added to do this mapping but that once again requires more advanced knowledge on the user's part on the internal setup of the keyboard.xml file and how things work, of which many may not want to go down that route but still allows the advanced users to customize to their delight.

 

Finally i would suggest making a video that shows how to teach the harmony new commands and thus allowing customers to see first hand how to do it and how simple it really can be programmed once they understand. Most advanced users will figure this out quickly but for the bulk of non technical users it will be a confidence booster. As they say a picture is worth a thousand words, but a video is worth a million words and requires less support. Anyway this is my two cents worth.

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Kodi is still in release candidate status

It's stable now. There are very few differences between the keymappings - I don't think the pre-mapped harmony remote settings use any of these, though we may have to change the controller in the GUI.

 

Videos are quite hard to make, i've tried making them before - they take a lot of time and effort. At the moment i'm targeting help documents at less tech experienced users (as you mentioned). It may be worth pursuing in the future but I don't imagine they'll be coming anytime soon

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