Logitech introduces HARMONY ELITE remote. The Most Powerful Harmony Remote Yet

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Ronald Epstein, Sep 16, 2015.

  1. Hank_P

    Hank_P Second Unit

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    Which commands? And have you "Linked" both of the Harmony Apps to the Echo?
     
  2. DavidJ

    DavidJ Producer

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    Yes, I installed both apps and linked them. I may look at it again. One of the things I've found a bit frustrating with Alexa is how precise you have to be with word order and your phrases---they still have a ways to go to catch up to Siri and Google in that regard. Maybe I just haven't asked the exact right way yet. I still am using IFTTT triggers to turn the system on and off. That works well.
     
  3. Hank_P

    Hank_P Second Unit

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    I agree with having to be very specific in what you are asking Alexa to do. I know you have seen this page, but it lays out how to ask Alexa how to do it. https://support.myharmony.com/en-us/harmony-experience-with-amazon-alexa

    "Alexa, tell Harmony to ...." is the trigger word.
     
  4. DavidJ

    DavidJ Producer

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    I thought that was what I was doing, but I'm obviously doing something wrong. I'll give it another try when I get a chance.
     
  5. George_W_K

    George_W_K Screenwriter

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    Did you watch my video in Post 82 of this thread? Just wondering if you phrase like I do.
     
  6. DavidJ

    DavidJ Producer

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    I don't remember. I'll have to go back and look at it.

    I'm beginning to think I'm going to have to disable the skills and try to enable and connect them again.
     
  7. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Are there any rumors of new Harmony remotes coming out? I'm thinking of replacing my One in the living room and wonder if now's the time to buy?
     
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  8. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Not yet. However, the Harmony seems to be the heart of Logitech's business model so I am merely guessing that *something* will be forthcoming.

    I don't know how much better these remotes can get. Their ELITE is the best of the best. The only thing I can see them incorporating into their remotes that would make it even better is voice commands.

    It sucks that you are in a waiting game hoping for something that may or may never arrive.
     
  9. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I'm waiting more for $400 to appear with no purpose but to be spent on a new remote...not so much waiting for a new model :)

    In the meantime, On my wishlist of features I'd like to are:
    • Better control of the cats-and-dogs remotes: AppleTV, PS4, and so on.
    • Better programming software.
    • IR blaster features (this is exists, but you have to take a chance of a third party solution)
    • Step up to custom-installer level features including wifi and Ethernet control, actual hardware state, and so on. (I want to replace a URC remote.)

    I haven't used the last two versions with the touchscreen. So I'm always hopIng for best of breed and improved design to control everything as if it were built specifically for that purpose.
     
  10. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    David,

    I wanted to follow-up on your ventures with Harmony and Alexa.

    I have gone a bit crazy automating everything in my home lately with my Amazon Echo Show

    I am thinking of buying the Logitech Hub ($90) to add to a second display. I don't yet want to mess with the one I have hooked up to my projector, though it would be smart to test it on that first.

    My question is....

    How well is the hub working with Alexa? Is it effectively turning on and off your display? Can you tell it to turn to a certain channel or even by channel name (such as "Alexa turn on CNN")?

    There are a lot of mixed reviews as to how well the hub works with Alexa. I am also reading you have to download both skills that are available in Alexa for it to work properly.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  11. George_W_K

    George_W_K Screenwriter

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    Those using Alexa to do anything with your Harmony, you should no longer have to say, "tell Harmony to..." when giving a command.
     
  12. Race Bannon

    Race Bannon Supporting Actor

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    I got an Echo just in time for this improvement. Looks like "Turn on . . . " is the preface for all my home theater related commands.
     
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  13. Race Bannon

    Race Bannon Supporting Actor

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    I'd be interested to hear what components are most integrated with the use of Harmony and Alexa together for home theater. Right now, all my "boxes" can be turned on or selected by Alexa (because Alexa associates well with a Harmony "Activity" and employs the pre-programmed Harmony procedure). But beyond channel, volume, and mute, most other actions require me to pick up the remote.

    Let's choose a simple example -- going straight to Netflix, or Plex. Has anyone yet used Alexa voice to get their entire system going on Netflix or Plex, or some other service?
     
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  14. Raul Marquez

    Raul Marquez Supporting Actor

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    Is there a manual or video regarding Harmony and Alexa (Echo) integration available for us?
     
  15. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Yes, many videos on YouTube. I also posted instructions on Amazon how to integrate the hub to Alexa:

    I copied and pasted it below:

    ======================

    If you are looking at the Logitech Hub, chances are you are either meaning to purchase this to work with your srmartphone or table -or- integrate it with Amazon Alexa.

    If you are looking for smartphone or tablet integration, let me say up front that it works great. You can be up and running in no time. This tutorial will help you get started.

    If you are looking to integrate with Alexa, be prepared to spend a significant amount of time to get it working. I have been a die-hard Logitech remote owner for well over a decade. Have bought every one of their remotes, and am thoroughly educated in setting up their products. This wasn't a difficult product to set up as far as its basic functions, but when it came to integrating with Alexa, there was a lot of trial and error. I hope to give potential buyers an easy tutorial on setting up their device.

    1. Upon receiving your Logitech Hub, the best way to get started is with a desktop or laptop computer. Log on to: myharmony.com and click on the Sign in/Setup icon to begin. What you ultimately want to do here is download the Harmony App for Mac OS X or Windows. I am using Mac OS X.

    2. Sign into the app either by creating a new account, or, using an existing account. You will want to add a new product. Have your hub and the included USB connector ready to hook up to your laptop. Once you sync the hub to your computer, it will find your WiFi network. You will also have the opportunity to give your hub a name.

    3. Adding devices to your Harmony Hub via desktop software couldn't be easier! All you need is the manufacturer and model number of each device. Add your television, Blu-ray/4k/DVD player, receiver/stereo, Tivo/DVR, Apple TV/Roku to devices. When you add each device the software will ask you specific questions regarding how you control each device.

    4. Next, you will have the opportunity to add Activites such as "Watch Television," "Watch Blu-ray," "Watch Roku." When adding each of these activities, the software will give you the opportunity to link up those activities to each device. Do remember that most televisions are actually controlled by cable company DVR devices so be certain to add those devices and indicate (if applicable) that changing channels are controlled by the DVR box.

    5. This is very important: Go to FAVORITES in the Harmony desktop software app. Be sure to put in your Zip Code, select your local cable provider, and enter your absolute favorite TV channels. These are channels you will ultimately be telling Alexa to TURN ON.

    Find the Sync button on the Harmony desktop Software App and sync the settings to your connected hub.

    Now disconnect your hub from your computer and plug it into the wall near your display and components. Plug in the IR blaster to either one of the two inputs on the back of the hub and place that blaster in a centralized location within your system so it can reach all devices.

    6. Install the Harmony App on your smartphone or tablet. Log into the account you created on the desktop software. The smartphone or tablet app will download your configuration. You now have a remote on your portable device.

    This is a good time to test all your functions from your mobile device to make certain each of the commands (such as WATCH TV) are working correctly before moving on to the next step...

    If you are planning to integrate with Alexa, you will need to do the following additional steps...

    1. Download the Amazon Alexa app on your smartphone or tablet. If you already own Alexa, you already have this app downloaded.

    2. Go into the app. Open the side panel (click on the 3-lines on top left of app) and select Smart Skills

    3. Do a search for: Harmony

    4. The two main apps you want are the BLUE "Harmony - Optimized for Smart Home" and "Yonomi." Now "Yonomi" may not be essential, but I could not get Alexa to recognize the hub without it.

    5. Download and install Yonomi first. It will ask you to create an account. It will then ask that you link your Amazon App. Don't worry about any of the settings inside of Yonomi. You really only want to link it to your Amazon.

    6. Next, install the BLUE Harmony App. It will ask you to link to your Harmony account -and- your Alexa account. The big thing you want to do here is giving all your devices and TV channels "friendly" names. These are names that you will give commands to Alexa. For instance, "Alexa, turn on CNN" or "Alexa turn on CBS"

    7. After you have completed setting up the BLUE app, make certain that Alexa discovers all your devices. You should be automatically prompted to have Alexa do a Discover.

    Go into the Alexa App side panel (remember the 3 lines on the top left), select SKILLS and then DEVICES and make certain that the hub is online (it should be tied to Yonomi)

    Now it is time to test Alexa...

    Say, "Alexa, turn on television."
    Say, "Alexa, turn on CNN"
    Say, "Alexa, turn on Channel 2"

    You can also have Alexa turn on and off your other activities.

    OPTIONAL....

    If this has worked successfully for you, the next thing to do is repeat steps #6 and #7 immediately above and install the RED Harmony skill. That skill enables you to control volume and other more advanced functions. What needs to be done diffferently with those commands is that you have to tell Alexa: "Alexa, tell harmony to turn up the volume." "Alexa, tell harmony to....."

    So, the red app is a companion to the blue app. It can be a little more complex with its commands as they aren't as straight-forward as the blue app commands but both these apps are designed to work together. Just remember which commands to use for which functions,

    This wasn't the easiest thing to set up, and really, I can't believe that Amazon and Logitech couldn't get their act together to make an app that is more straight-forward to use. Hopefully, in time both companies will put out another app that solves the problem of having to use two different apps and two different set of commands to control your entertainment system.

    Hope this tutorial helps.
     

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