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Harmony Users: Please add comments to this Logitech thread


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#1 fjwelte

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 02:54 PM

Please add your comments / support to this thread on the Logitech Harmony forum board:

http://forums.logite...thread.id=17187

I'm trying to convince Logitech to include automatic support for multiple Apple remotes as an option for the Mac Mini, without users needing to program them by hand, which is error-prone and buggy. Ideally, then a more comprehensive Remote Buddy Behavior could be put together and made available for download. This would help to simplify the process ingeniously described here:

http://funwithcomput...ilt-in-ir-port/

Few seem to have successfully been able to get the above process completely working, but I see no reason why it shouldn't in theory. My own experience with this process has been fairly glitchy, with many buttons not working, slow responses, double commands being sent, etc.). Simplifying and standardizing the process will likely require support from Logitech, Plex/XBMC, and the Remote Buddy teams, so this might be a start.

Any Plex developments for more expansive remote support?

Thanks for a great program!

-FJW

#2 jag0

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 06:05 PM

Great idea! Maybe starting an online petition would be a great idea too!
In any case will register for logitech forums and voice my support

#3 fjwelte

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 07:03 PM

Great idea! Maybe starting an online petition would be a great idea too!
In any case will register for logitech forums and voice my support


Thanks! The more they hear from us, the more likely they'll add this as an option.

#4 rogersmj

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 07:12 PM

Yes!!!!! I bought Remote Buddy but I'm STILL having problems with the Harmony sending a double Enter command for the Select/OK key. The Remote Buddy support guy thinks the Harmony is doing it, because we've done everything we can to eliminate other possibilities. My problem now is that I'm going to have to relearn and reassign the entire logical Apple Remote that contains that Enter command, because I can't set the Apple remote back to a specific ID. (Any other ideas, btw?)

If Logitech would provide built-in support for multiple Apple remotes, that would be a big step forward...but I wouldn't hold my breath. Although I love their hardware, their software support has always been horrendous.

#5 astr0b0y

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 11:16 PM

Would be nice, hopefully someone from Logitech does see it, but my experience with the Logitech forums is that they do not...
BTW, can you edit your post to fix the first URL? Need to remove the first nine characters...

#6 fjwelte

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 11:43 PM

Would be nice, hopefully someone from Logitech does see it, but my experience with the Logitech forums is that they do not...
BTW, can you edit your post to fix the first URL? Need to remove the first nine characters...


Thanks for the heads up! The link is fixed now...

#7 fjwelte

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 11:45 PM

Yes!!!!! I bought Remote Buddy but I'm STILL having problems with the Harmony sending a double Enter command for the Select/OK key. The Remote Buddy support guy thinks the Harmony is doing it, because we've done everything we can to eliminate other possibilities. My problem now is that I'm going to have to relearn and reassign the entire logical Apple Remote that contains that Enter command, because I can't set the Apple remote back to a specific ID. (Any other ideas, btw?)

If Logitech would provide built-in support for multiple Apple remotes, that would be a big step forward...but I wouldn't hold my breath. Although I love their hardware, their software support has always been horrendous.


Yeah - I'm still a little shocked that there's now way to manually enter Hex codes for various devices. It's annoying that to add something, you have to e-mail tech support and have them manually enter the Hex codes you send them for your account only. It's also surprising that the whole database for my remote is stored on some server at Logitech. I've heard of people losing their whole configuration when the file(s) get corrupted.

#8 fjwelte

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Posted 25 October 2008 - 04:04 AM

Logitech tech support tells me that they can't add multiple Apple remotes as a new device, because they don't have the codes...

Anyone know where to find a set of remote Hex codes (5-10 would be fine) or the pattern they're coded in? I know any given remote sends both it's own ID# as well as one of the 6 basic command codes, but I don't know the order or what format they're in...

#9 davilla

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Posted 25 October 2008 - 04:38 AM

Sounds like Logitech tech support is a bit clueless about the Apple IR format. Here's some web pages to help them gain understanding.

http://code.google.c.../UpdateIRDriver
http://code.google.c...ther_IR_Remotes
http://www.barchard....e_analysis.html

If they don't get it after reviewing the above pages, tell them take an Apple IR Remote, increment the device ID and look at the IR signal, increment the device ID again and look at the device ID. Holding menu+play/pause for a few seconds will increment the device ID. This ID is incremented with possible integer values between 1 and 252.

And Google is always good for researching things like this. First hit.

http://funwithcomput...ilt-in-ir-port/

#10 fjwelte

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Posted 25 October 2008 - 11:26 PM

Sounds like Logitech tech support is a bit clueless about the Apple IR format. Here's some web pages to help them gain understanding.

http://code.google.c.../UpdateIRDriver
http://code.google.c...ther_IR_Remotes
http://www.barchard....e_analysis.html

If they don't get it after reviewing the above pages, tell them take an Apple IR Remote, increment the device ID and look at the IR signal, increment the device ID again and look at the device ID. Holding menu+play/pause for a few seconds will increment the device ID. This ID is incremented with possible integer values between 1 and 252.

And Google is always good for researching things like this. First hit.

http://funwithcomput...ilt-in-ir-port/



Yeah, I was a little surprised that they claimed to not have the hex codes... I sent them a set of codes for several remotes and will report back if they're able to add them as a new single device.

#11 fjwelte

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 11:52 AM

Yeah, I was a little surprised that they claimed to not have the hex codes... I sent them a set of codes for several remotes and will report back if they're able to add them as a new single device.


Also - I am hoping that if Logitech adds support for "Mac Multi Remotes" or similar, then Plex users can just select that as a device, rather than train their remote for 2 hours via the link you mentioned (I had tried going through that twice, with mixed results).

They do seem to have added the hex codes I sent them to my remote... I'll try to test them out this weekend and report back. If they work, I'll try to convince Logitech to release them to the general public.

-Frank

#12 Jam

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 04:26 PM

I really hope they add this - if we could know exactly what combination of button ID + remote ID were mapped to the Harmony buttons then we could probably add remote ID detection to Plex, removing the need for RemoteBuddy and making the keymap much more versatile. Until there's an official keymap that can be added by all Harmony users, there's not much point in this unfortunately :(

#13 fjwelte

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 12:29 AM

I really hope they add this - if we could know exactly what combination of button ID + remote ID were mapped to the Harmony buttons then we could probably add remote ID detection to Plex, removing the need for RemoteBuddy and making the keymap much more versatile. Until there's an official keymap that can be added by all Harmony users, there's not much point in this unfortunately :(


If they do adopt it, then in the interim, people could use a pre-made Remote Buddy behavior to automatically map the right codes. It would be smoother to have it built in to Plex though!

#14 phrehdd

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Posted 09 November 2008 - 08:05 AM

If they do adopt it, then in the interim, people could use a pre-made Remote Buddy behavior to automatically map the right codes. It would be smoother to have it built in to Plex though!



Someone elsewhere wrote how XMBC was troublesome on Windows and Linux because of all the variations of hardware. Seems remotes for Plex have this issue as well. Perhaps it would be wise if the folks at Plex did the following -

Run a quick poll on what remotes people would like to use to control their Plex box, and other equipment
investigate the remotes to see which is a good candidate

finally -

help put together a template or listing of codes to help quickly set up some remotes.

Obviously, Harmony seems a popular candidate and maybe the 600 / 800' series and Plus One Model to start. The idea again, is to help Plex be that turn key system it is intended to be and can be. The results perhaps can start with a standard mapping, and this in turn be listed in Logitec's database.

Any thoughts?

- Phrehdd

#15 fjwelte

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Posted 09 November 2008 - 02:46 PM

Someone elsewhere wrote how XMBC was troublesome on Windows and Linux because of all the variations of hardware. Seems remotes for Plex have this issue as well. Perhaps it would be wise if the folks at Plex did the following -

Run a quick poll on what remotes people would like to use to control their Plex box, and other equipment
investigate the remotes to see which is a good candidate

finally -

help put together a template or listing of codes to help quickly set up some remotes.

Obviously, Harmony seems a popular candidate and maybe the 600 / 800' series and Plus One Model to start. The idea again, is to help Plex be that turn key system it is intended to be and can be. The results perhaps can start with a standard mapping, and this in turn be listed in Logitec's database.

Any thoughts?

- Phrehdd


I agree this would be nice. Some more robust remote solution needs to be configured. Since Plex runs on the Mac platform, this would involve either using the codes for multiple Apple remotes or multi-step commands with more than one Apple remote. Once this internal support is set up - basically the same as what's there already, but expanded for more than a single apple remote, programming various universal remotes, including the Harmony series, should be straightforward.

Logitech seems willing to add codes for multiple Apple remotes, unfortunately my tests so far only work intermittently. Some of the commands work perfectly, while others don't work at all. It looks like some of the hex codes I sent them are incorrect, although there doesn't seem to be an obvious pattern so far. Anybody have a set of codes that they know work for at least 2 Apple remotes? About 8-10 sets of codes would be ideal for programming more complete built-in support in Plex using single step commands.

-Frank

#16 Jam

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Posted 09 November 2008 - 05:56 PM

Run a quick poll on what remotes people would like to use to control their Plex box, and other equipment
investigate the remotes to see which is a good candidate

finally -

help put together a template or listing of codes to help quickly set up some remotes.

Obviously, Harmony seems a popular candidate and maybe the 600 / 800' series and Plus One Model to start. The idea again, is to help Plex be that turn key system it is intended to be and can be. The results perhaps can start with a standard mapping, and this in turn be listed in Logitec's database.


I wouldn't really describe Plex's remote support as "troublesome", it's more a case of being limited by the internal IR sensor & having to use command sequences to simulate more buttons. Adding multi-remote detection to Plex wouldn't be of any practical use until there's a keymap available from Logitech that all Harmony users can use (manually programming a Harmony remote to use exact Apple remote IDs would be an absolute nightmare).

#17 phrehdd

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 12:00 AM

I wouldn't really describe Plex's remote support as "troublesome", it's more a case of being limited by the internal IR sensor & having to use command sequences to simulate more buttons. Adding multi-remote detection to Plex wouldn't be of any practical use until there's a keymap available from Logitech that all Harmony users can use (manually programming a Harmony remote to use exact Apple remote IDs would be an absolute nightmare).



I'll stand by the word "troublesome" and not intend it to be negative about Plex itself.

You made a valid point about the internal IR sensor. My thoughts were more about "turn key" baseline set ups. This might very well include not using the internal IR sensor but opting for a 3rd party solution via USB etc.

It might go something like this -

Harmony 800 series
Requirements : 800 series remote, brand X usb IR
1) instructions for setting up the IR
2) prebuilt template for popular mapping etc. along with instructions on doing the actual setup and also how to remap or do combo with other hardware such as turning on receiver, TV etc with the Plex box.

The goal is to keep Plex as simple a solution for end users as possible and if accessories are pretty much in the mix, then it does serve well to make sure we can have some consistency and ease of incorporating these items. Universal remotes are obvious accessories that we can expect to see with a media center. The more friendly and easy things are to set up the more people will find interest in Plex.

#18 fjwelte

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 01:32 AM

I wouldn't really describe Plex's remote support as "troublesome", it's more a case of being limited by the internal IR sensor & having to use command sequences to simulate more buttons. Adding multi-remote detection to Plex wouldn't be of any practical use until there's a keymap available from Logitech that all Harmony users can use (manually programming a Harmony remote to use exact Apple remote IDs would be an absolute nightmare).


Agree - the Apple IR setup is pretty limited. I'm going back and forth with Logitech to try to craft a "Mac Mini Plex" Device that has support for 8 remotes. Then everyone with a Harmony could just specify this as their device and get all the correct codes imported.

Ideally then, if this works, the Plex dev folks could incorporate these codes directly into Plex (Maybe an additional entry after Apple Remote, Universal Remote... Harmony Remote), which would eliminate the need to have Remote Buddy running all the time. They could use either the single Hex code sequences or, like the current Universal support, combine ones from these 8 remotes to create a mapping for every keyboard function available in Plex. Users could then pick and choose which they'd like to put on their remote. Logitech could provide a base setup once we sort out the hex codes, from which it would just be a matter of modifying a few that you want to customize. The single keycode setup should be enough to do many of the most common functions though.

I just need to have Logitech sort out a few more hex codes that don't seem to be working. There's probably enough working already to just ignore these, but it might be confusing down the road (... Why aren't these 3 mapped to anything that works?), so I'll see if they can fix them. They were successful in fixing one that I found wasn't working a couple of days ago, so I'm hopeful.

#19 Jam

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 01:43 AM

I'll stand by the word "troublesome" and not intend it to be negative about Plex itself.

You made a valid point about the internal IR sensor. My thoughts were more about "turn key" baseline set ups. This might very well include not using the internal IR sensor but opting for a 3rd party solution via USB etc.

It might go something like this -

Harmony 800 series
Requirements : 800 series remote, brand X usb IR
1) instructions for setting up the IR
2) prebuilt template for popular mapping etc. along with instructions on doing the actual setup and also how to remap or do combo with other hardware such as turning on receiver, TV etc with the Plex box.

The goal is to keep Plex as simple a solution for end users as possible and if accessories are pretty much in the mix, then it does serve well to make sure we can have some consistency and ease of incorporating these items. Universal remotes are obvious accessories that we can expect to see with a media center. The more friendly and easy things are to set up the more people will find interest in Plex.

But... if there's going to be a Harmony template for Plex, why not use codes that can be detected by the internal sensor? It seems pointless to have a custom Harmony keymap available if users have to go & buy a third party receiver when the built-in sensor is perfectly capable of doing what we need it to. I can't imagine anything more user-friendly than "get a Harmony remote, download the Plex keymap and start using it with the default settings & hardware you already have" :)


Agree - the Apple IR setup is pretty limited. I'm going back and forth with Logitech to try to craft a "Mac Mini Plex" Device that has support for 8 remotes. Then everyone with a Harmony could just specify this as their device and get all the correct codes imported.

Ideally then, if this works, the Plex dev folks could incorporate these codes directly into Plex (Maybe an additional entry after Apple Remote, Universal Remote... Harmony Remote), which would eliminate the need to have Remote Buddy running all the time. They could use either the single Hex code sequences or, like the current Universal support, combine ones from these 8 remotes to create a mapping for every keyboard function available in Plex. Users could then pick and choose which they'd like to put on their remote. Logitech could provide a base setup once we sort out the hex codes, from which it would just be a matter of modifying a few that you want to customize. The single keycode setup should be enough to do many of the most common functions though.

I just need to have Logitech sort out a few more hex codes that don't seem to be working. There's probably enough working already to just ignore these, but it might be confusing down the road (... Why aren't these 3 mapped to anything that works?), so I'll see if they can fix them. They were successful in fixing one that I found wasn't working a couple of days ago, so I'm hopeful.

That's my point - if we knew exactly what combination of remote & button ID each key on the Harmony was mapped to, adding a "Harmony Remote" option wouldn't be too difficult. This would (in my opinion) provide the best possible solution for most Mac users who aren't happy with the Apple remote, since the only extra purchase would be the Harmony remote itself (no Remote Buddy or USB IR sensor needed).

#20 phrehdd

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 07:14 AM

But... if there's going to be a Harmony template for Plex, why not use codes that can be detected by the internal sensor? It seems pointless to have a custom Harmony keymap available if users have to go & buy a third party receiver when the built-in sensor is perfectly capable of doing what we need it to. I can't imagine anything more user-friendly than "get a Harmony remote, download the Plex keymap and start using it with the default settings & hardware you already have" :)



That's my point - if we knew exactly what combination of remote & button ID each key on the Harmony was mapped to, adding a "Harmony Remote" option wouldn't be too difficult. This would (in my opinion) provide the best possible solution for most Mac users who aren't happy with the Apple remote, since the only extra purchase would be the Harmony remote itself (no Remote Buddy or USB IR sensor needed).


Well for the sake of brevity - It doesn't matter which route you go as long as it is consistent, good use of controls whether a simple task or a complex task (macro style or cumulative commands together) etc. If the solution is the internal IR, going with external or bluetooth to IR (akin to PS3) so be it. Again, the goal is to optimize the experience for using Plex in a multi-media set up.

- Phrehdd




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