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joek

Harmony confusion -- which programming method to use?

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I have a Harmony (650) and I'm setting up Flirc with XBMC. But I can't seem to find any definitive answer on the best method to use. There is a pinned post that describes using a Panasonic or Samsung TV profile to control XBMC (http://forum.flirc.tv/index.php?/topic/22-harmony-remotes/), but that's dated from way back in 2011. Is it still the ideal way to go? Then there's the recent blog post about Flirc having it's own harmony profile now (http://blog.flirc.tv/flirc-has-a-harmony-profile/), and this is dated much more recenlty -- April 1st. However, following the link to the updated firmware that is supposedly needed shows a forum thread marked "(RETIRED)", which would lead me to believe this is no longer needed or supported (I'm not sure which). And when I use this method, nothing seems to work anyway.

 

So, I suppose the ultimate question is: At this point, which method is preferred for using Flirc with a Harmony Remote and XBMC?

 

I'm new here so I hope I'm not rehashing an old question. I might be missing something obvious, so apologies if I am, but I did look. Has there been discussion of creating a Wiki or something similar to consolidate information like this? Also, is there a page that lists the latest firmware versions (stable, beta, etc) so that I can determine if I'm up-to-date?

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Hi Joek, welcome to the forums,

 

I will admit it is a little confusing. The main reason for this is that I don't like to encourage everyone to use betas (which the flirc harmony profile currently is) - that's a personal preference though Jason hasn't mentioned any dislike of this practice.

 

When it's out of Beta my plan was to replace all the samsung/panasonic stuff with Flirc profile. But I might just write a note in the sticky regarding the situation.

 

Here's where to find current stable firmware for flirc: http://blog.flirc.tv/library-version-history/

Here's where to find current stable software for flirc: http://www.flirc.tv/downloads

 

For the harmony profile to work you'll need beta firmware and software (currenty on release candidate 2): 

 

Has there been discussion of creating a Wiki or something similar to consolidate information like this?

Indeed there has. Many a conversation.

Me and Jason talked about it and agreed that perhaps a wiki wasn't the way to go for Flirc (as we wanted to curate information in a nice, pretty and easy way). We looked into some 3rd party solutions but weren't sure. Then we started focusing back on issues that had cropped up from users in the forum.

 

In theory, Flirc should be relatively fool-proof and not need a wiki... we're not there yet but I can see that day coming.

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Awesome -- thanks so much Chris! for the super-fast response! I was able to get everything working very easily using the Harmony profile.

 

Just one note: It would be really great (if it's even possible) if there were some extra "custom" commands added to the Harmony profile. So, for instance, if I wanted to create a button to launch my Video listings directly: in my Harmony setup I could map one of these custom commands (say, "Custom1" or something) to my button, then use the Flirc software to map that button to the Ctrl-E keyboard shortcut. Otherwise I'll have to either 1) add an additional device to my Harmony and map a random button from that device (but I'm already maxed out because Logitech insists on arbitrarily limiting me to 5 devices on my 650); or 2) learn a random command from another remote I'm not using, and map that. Unless there's some easier way to do this that I'm completely missing? Is there somewhere I can file some sort of feature request for something like this?

 

Thanks again!

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Just one note: It would be really great (if it's even possible) if there were some extra "custom" commands added to the Harmony profile. So, for instance, if I wanted to create a button to launch my Video listings directly: in my Harmony setup I could map one of these custom commands (say, "Custom1" or something) to my button, then use the Flirc software to map that button to the Ctrl-E keyboard shortcut. Otherwise I'll have to either 1) add an additional device to my Harmony and map a random button from that device (but I'm already maxed out because Logitech insists on arbitrarily limiting me to 5 devices on my 650); or 2) learn a random command from another remote I'm not using, and map that. Unless there's some easier way to do this that I'm completely missing? Is there somewhere I can file some sort of feature request for something like this?

 

This is the reason I've not been recommending the Harmony profile - I don't know of any work around for it yet but as it's in beta I'm hoping we get it sorted so we don't need a work around :)

 

Once you're all set up, if you want to, please contribute to this thread so other would be buyers know what they're in for: 

(Don't feel you have to fill it out though :) )

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OK I have been on here for an hour and I have made no progress with my 650. My head is spinning from all the links in the various posts.

 

I downloaded the "release_package_6_23-2013" from Chris' reply above and ran the flirc setup.exe and then flirc_util.exe

 

Now when I open Flirc it just tells me that my firmware is unsupported

 

I downloaded the Flirc.1.0.0 beta firmware and ran the flirc setup.exe contained within and I'm not sure what happened, but it still tells me firmware is unsupported.

 

I was able to add the harmony profile through the myharmony.com site and it looks like the buttons are mapped, but when I start XBMC and start pushing buttons nothing works. 

 

Do I need to clear my button configuration first? I'm totally confused on what the procedure is to get this working. Please help because the wife is getting frustrated with all the remotes and buttons and if I don't get it working soon she's going to make me reactivate my Netflix, HBO, and Showtime subscriptions.

 

My brain hurts!

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Hmm...

I've just downloaded that release (for mac) opened the app and was present with this:

Blah.png

 

I upgraded and the harmony profile worked easy peasy.

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Edit: You don't need to use flirc_util.

 

Have you opened the flirc app after installing "flirc setup.exe"?

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First and probably last post here - I just wanted to say thanks, with this new beta firmware applied my remote started working immediately (this with the Logitech Harmony Smart Control). Flirc is a solution to a problem that shouldn't exist, but the start of IR in Linux is so poor (and has been for years) that I'm glad it does.

 

Please do remember to point out the "Flirc XBMC" manufacturer/product selection for those of us stuck with Logitech's hideous Silverlight web-app when it's released.

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Please do remember to point out the "Flirc XBMC" manufacturer/product selection for those of us stuck with Logitech's hideous Silverlight web-app when it's released.

Will do.

 

Thanks for the kind words :)

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What do you think guys?

 

 

Awesome! That will make it much easier for future Harmony users. Thanks Chris!!

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Thoroughly confused here.  Using a Harmony One and having no luck getting this to work at all.

 

I updated the Flirc using the beta software & firmware.

 

Followed the directions here: update the Harmony remote.  On my Harmony I now have a "Media Center PC 2" listed under devices; "Media Center PC 1" is the actual media center PC. 

 

I have the Flirc software fired up, the Flirc plugged into the computer, but I have no idea what to do next.  I go to Controllers > XBMC and then click on the Up arrow to program it.  I point the Harmony remote at the Flirc and press the Up arrow and... nothing.  I have "Media Center PC 2" selected on the Harmony remote when I'm doing this, by the way.  I'm not sure if I'm supposed to, but it sounded logical, and I can't find step-by-step directions anywhere on how to actually do this.

 

What am I missing or doing wrong?

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What am I missing or doing wrong?

It's pre-programmed. You don't have to assign the keys using the flirc gui - only upload the beta firmware.

 

Is it not working?

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It's pre-programmed. You don't have to assign the keys using the flirc gui - only upload the beta firmware.

 

Is it not working?

 

No, not so much.  So essentially I just plug this into my XBMC machine and it should just work?  Do I need to set my Harmony as a particular device?  It doesn't seem to matter what I set it to, I can't get the Flirc to respond to anything at all.

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I'm a bit puzzled.

I've wrote the steps required to do this in the post you've linked to.

 

Have I made a mistake?

You've followed the steps?: 

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Good to see I'm not the only one who's confused.  Yes, I followed the directions.  

 

Doesn't matter whether I plug the Flirc into my desktop or HTPC, it doesn't "react" to the Harmony at all.  The Flirc software can see it (that's how it updated the firmware) but that's it.  I can't reprogram buttons, or do anything at all with it, since it doesn't react to the Harmony.

 

Does it matter that I'm running XBMCbuntu?

You never answered my question about the setting for the Harmony.  Do I need to have the Harmony set in a particular way?  As I mentioned before, I added it as "Media Center PC 2" so that's what I had it set to when trying to control the Flirc, but it doesn't respond.

Is XBMC supposed to detect it as an input device?  Because mine does not.

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Gah! Just lost a massive response i'd just typed.

 

Will get to this when I get back from work (~8 hours)

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Does it matter that I'm running XBMCbuntu?

No. Should work on any platform

 

You never answered my question about the setting for the Harmony.  Do I need to have the Harmony set in a particular way?  As I mentioned before, I added it as "Media Center PC 2" so that's what I had it set to when trying to control the Flirc, but it doesn't respond.

Kind of why I referred you back to the post as it says you need to use Flirc's harmony profile.

 

Did Flirc previously work?

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Good to see I'm not the only one who's confused.  Yes, I followed the directions.  

 

Doesn't matter whether I plug the Flirc into my desktop or HTPC, it doesn't "react" to the Harmony at all.  The Flirc software can see it (that's how it updated the firmware) but that's it.  I can't reprogram buttons, or do anything at all with it, since it doesn't react to the Harmony.

 

Does it matter that I'm running XBMCbuntu?

You never answered my question about the setting for the Harmony.  Do I need to have the Harmony set in a particular way?  As I mentioned before, I added it as "Media Center PC 2" so that's what I had it set to when trying to control the Flirc, but it doesn't respond.

Is XBMC supposed to detect it as an input device?  Because mine does not.

 

Just to clarify: You should have added a new device to your Harmony Remote configuration (using the Harmony Software or the myharmony.com website) . This device would be identified in Harmony by having a manufacturer of "Flirc" and a device/model of "XBMC". We'll refer to this as the device "XBMC Device". Then you should have created an activity that uses the "XBMC Device". We'll refer to this as "XBMC Activity". The beta firmware for the Flirc device itself is preprogrammed to respond to the "XBMC Device" and send the appropriate key presses to the XBMC software. You should not have to use the Flirc software to program any keys. You may want to clear/reset the Flirc itself and redo all this just to be sure.

 

So now when you start the "XBMC Activity", or directly select tthe device "XBMC Device", you should then be able to control the XBMC software.

 

So to confirm: you've done all of that and it's still not working? Does the Harmony One indicate that it is sending an IR signal when you press the buttons (there should be a little radio-wave type icon that appears in the upper left next to the battery indicator whenever it sends a signal)?

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Just to clarify: You should have added a new device to your Harmony Remote configuration (using the Harmony Software or the myharmony.com website) . This device would be identified in Harmony by having a manufacturer of "Flirc" and a device/model of "XBMC". We'll refer to this as the device "XBMC Device". Then you should have created an activity that uses the "XBMC Device". We'll refer to this as "XBMC Activity". The beta firmware for the Flirc device itself is preprogrammed to respond to the "XBMC Device" and send the appropriate key presses to the XBMC software. You should not have to use the Flirc software to program any keys. You may want to clear/reset the Flirc itself and redo all this just to be sure.

 

So now when you start the "XBMC Activity", or directly select tthe device "XBMC Device", you should then be able to control the XBMC software.

 

So to confirm: you've done all of that and it's still not working? Does the Harmony One indicate that it is sending an IR signal when you press the buttons (there should be a little radio-wave type icon that appears in the upper left next to the battery indicator whenever it sends a signal)?

 

Thanks for the clarification.  I did add the device as instructed.  But I don't recall reading anywhere about having to create a new Activity.

 

So, I just did that.  It took me about an hour but I think I finally have everything figured out.  At first only a few of the buttons worked (and only when I was in Device mode on the remote), but I was able to reprogram them using the Harmony software so that they all now work when I'm in Activity mode.

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Thanks for the clarification.  I did add the device as instructed.  But I don't recall reading anywhere about having to create a new Activity.

 

So, I just did that.  It took me about an hour but I think I finally have everything figured out.  At first only a few of the buttons worked (and only when I was in Device mode on the remote), but I was able to reprogram them using the Harmony software so that they all now work when I'm in Activity mode.

 

Great. Glad to hear it's working!

 

Sounds like it was more confusion with the Harmony remote than the Flirc. The Activity part is *technically* not necessary, but that's really the whole idea behind those Harmony remotes: everything is activity-based, versus the more common device-based universal remotes. So instead of selecting your Cable box to watch TV, or XBMC to watch videos, you instead choose to just "Watch TV", or "Use my XBMC", and it makes sure the correct devices are turned on and set to the corresponding inputs, and configures your remote buttons so that they are sent to the correct device (channel changing goes to the cable box, volume to your reciever or TV, etc).

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