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[WINDOWS] HOW-TO use a Logitech Harmony Remote with XBMC - Printable Version

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+---- Thread: [WINDOWS] HOW-TO use a Logitech Harmony Remote with XBMC (/showthread.php?tid=77519)



- Gingerbread Man - 2011-09-07 23:10

Pressing the off button on my Harmony One while in XBMC closes XBMC to windows, I'd prefer it to put the computer to sleep.

Can an option or program remap this button?


- Calcvictim - 2011-09-08 03:45

bodhi Wrote:What you should do is to use a mix of both Media Center Keyboard and Media Center SE. Only use Media Center SE for buttons that are not available on MCE keyboard such as Alt+, Ctrl+, Win+, Fn... keys. The Win+n keys are very reliable to start XBMC if you're on Win 7. For other systems, use Alt+, Crtl+ keys, don't use Fn keys (tends to have problems).

I wish I could, but I am at my 5 device limit.


- bodhi - 2011-09-08 05:51

Calcvictim Wrote:I wish I could, but I am at my 5 device limit.

Ah, too bad!

But there is a way around the device limit. If you had a Harmony remote that supports 12 or 15 devices before, and then "upgrade" to a Harmony that has less number of devices, then you will be able to keep all devices. So let's say you have purchased an older model like Harmony 360, or 550, and set it up with 12 devices. Later you get Harmony 650, and transfer the account to the new Harmony 650, all 12 devices are transferred. The caveat is when you delete a device, it will be gone, until you get back to the devices limit. The older Harmony models are available refurbished about $US 50 at various stores such as Tiger Direct, Overstock, or Amazon.

Just some suggestion for people who are going to get another Harmony remote, or buying the first one!


- jhsrennie - 2011-09-08 10:32

Gingerbread Man Wrote:Pressing the off button on my Harmony One while in XBMC closes XBMC to windows, I'd prefer it to put the computer to sleep.

Can an option or program remap this button?

We need to know what IR receiver you're using, how you've configured the harmony i.e. what handset it's emulating and if you've done anything to configure the IR receiver e.g. EliteGamer360s scripts or the MCERemote addon.

I would guess the off button is sending an alt-F4 keypress. If you're using an eHome receiver the best option is to configure the receiver to send the power toggle signal instead of an alt-F4 keypress.

JR


- Calcvictim - 2011-09-08 19:14

bodhi Wrote:Ah, too bad!

But there is a way around the device limit. If you had a Harmony remote that supports 12 or 15 devices before, and then "upgrade" to a Harmony that has less number of devices, then you will be able to keep all devices. So let's say you have purchased an older model like Harmony 360, or 550, and set it up with 12 devices. Later you get Harmony 650, and transfer the account to the new Harmony 650, all 12 devices are transferred. The caveat is when you delete a device, it will be gone, until you get back to the devices limit. The older Harmony models are available refurbished about $US 50 at various stores such as Tiger Direct, Overstock, or Amazon.

Just some suggestion for people who are going to get another Harmony remote, or buying the first one!
U da man, thanks for the tip.

I bought the 650 to replace a 520 that had a broken screen. I went back to the 520, added 3 more devices(360, Windows Media Center and MCE Keyboard)and then switched back to the 650. Now I have 8 devices, which is pretty awesome but I have to redo my buttons.


- bodhi - 2011-09-08 20:54

Calcvictim Wrote:U da man, thanks for the tip.

I bought the 650 to replace a 520 that had a broken screen. I went back to the 520, added 3 more devices(360, Windows Media Center and MCE Keyboard)and then switched back to the 650. Now I have 8 devices, which is pretty awesome but I have to redo my buttons.

Cool some buttons always have to be reprogrammed anyway when we transfer the remote for the first time.


- Gingerbread Man - 2011-09-08 20:57

jhsrennie Wrote:We need to know what IR receiver you're using, how you've configured the harmony i.e. what handset it's emulating and if you've done anything to configure the IR receiver e.g. EliteGamer360s scripts or the MCERemote addon.

I would guess the off button is sending an alt-F4 key press. If you're using an eHome receiver the best option is to configure the receiver to send the power toggle signal instead of an alt-F4 key press.

JR

The receiver is a cheap eBay bargain (or maybe not so) that works perfectly well for turning on the media centre (custom build windows 7 machine) and navigating WMC and XBMC.

I haven't tried any set up programs trying to alter it's workings. The Harmony is emulating the Microsoft MCE 1039 controller.

What receiver would you recommend, bearing in mind that I don't need a controller with it?


I will admit that I had a shut down/ sleep issue in WMC too. Pressing off on the Harmony made a box pop up asking to which method I would like to shut down the computer (sleep, shut down, switch user, etc...). So it's hardware related I suspect.

I just tried your Alt-F4 suggestion to check what it did and if it came up with a similar box. Instead it closed down Firefox, so I'm writing this reply out for the second time now!


- bodhi - 2011-09-08 23:24

Gingerbread Man Wrote:The receiver is a cheap eBay bargain (or maybe not so) that works perfectly well for turning on the media centre (custom build windows 7 machine) and navigating WMC and XBMC.

I haven't tried any set up programs trying to alter it's workings. The Harmony is emulating the Microsoft MCE 1039 controller.

What receiver would you recommend, bearing in mind that I don't need a controller with it?


I will admit that I had a shut down/ sleep issue in WMC too. Pressing off on the Harmony made a box pop up asking to which method I would like to shut down the computer (sleep, shut down, switch user, etc...). So it's hardware related I suspect.

I just tried your Alt-F4 suggestion to check what it did and if it came up with a similar box. Instead it closed down Firefox, so I'm writing this reply out for the second time now!

All you'll have to do is to set the power saving settings on your PC (WIn 7 or XP). Choose the Sleep option when the Power button is pressed. And when you press the All Off button on the Harmony remote, it will try to turn off the HTPC, and thus putting the PC to sleep. And also should check the power saving setting inside XBMC (Shutdown Function should be set to Quit).


- jhsrennie - 2011-09-09 09:56

Gingerbread Man Wrote:I just tried your Alt-F4 suggestion to check what it did and if it came up with a similar box. Instead it closed down Firefox, so I'm writing this reply out for the second time now!

That sounds as if it is sending alt-F4. You can check by grabbing the ShowKey applet from http://xbmcmce.sourceforge.net/. Run Showkey and press the button on the remote and ShowKey will report what, if any, keypresses are being sent.

Have a look at http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Using_a_Microsoft_remote_control_in_Windows and see if your receiver is using the eHome driver. If so you'll be able to reconfigure the button actions. If not, you're probably stuck. If you do want to get a new receiver look for a Microsoft or HP receiver on eBay. Actually Amazon often have these receivers as well.

JR


No EventGhost and still slow :/ - babca - 2011-09-11 11:03

1. elitegamer360's (great) Registry config, Win7 & XBMC

2. Logitech Harmony 650

2. HP Media Center IR Infrared USB Receiver OVU400103/00
from luoluohun (ebay) bought 2 months ago

3. 'MCE Remote' device in Harmony setup

4. tweaked delays (100ms, 100ms) and decreased the setting in Device > Troubleshoot > HTPC responds too many times or only occasionally


After step 4, the remote is usable, but there is still annoying IR queuing when scrolling in menus (=multiple presses send too slowly after each other).

What has to be done to improve performance? I haven't found any further advice than "don't use EventGhost" etc.

Thanks to all who will try to help

SOLUTION:
There's no solution for this. Sadly, it's a Harmony hardware limitation (minimum possible delay of 250ms) and sw limitation (current IR code queue implementation). For rapid XBMC menu browsing I use original HP remote (s/n 5070-2584) with my HP receiver (p/n 5188-1667 or 5070-2584).


- bodhi - 2011-09-11 14:54

babca Wrote:1. elitegamer360's (great) Registry config, Win7 & XBMC

2. Logitech Harmony 650

2. HP Media Center IR Infrared USB Receiver OVU400103/00
from luoluohun (ebay) bought 2 months ago

3. 'MCE Remote' device in Harmony setup

4. tweaked delays (100ms, 100ms) and decreased the setting in Device > Troubleshoot > HTPC responds too many times or only occasionally


After step 4, the remote is usable, but there is still annoying IR queuing when scrolling in menus (=multiple presses send too slowly after each other).

What has to be done to improve performance? I haven't found any further advice than "don't use EventGhost" etc.

Thanks to all who will try to help

Using the Harmony on Win 7 for XBMC, you don't really need to do any thing fancy. Just use MCE Keyboard and MCE SE devices as described in this thread (don't use MCE Remote). No lag, no IR queuing!

The correct names for these 2 devices are MCE Keyboard and Windows Media Center SE.

If you ever run into a snag then think about Event Ghost or Registry Config.

That's how I've set it up and never have lag or queuing problem (probably for more than a year, don't recall when I installed XBMC the first time). I've never adjusted the inter key delay, either.

That's my recommendation. Some time we try to do much, and end up making it worse. The Registry Config is a great tool, but we don't need to go that far using Harmony remotes for XBMC.


- HiSoC8Y - 2011-09-11 17:06

Thanks for the guide.

I managed to get my Dell RC6 work with my Harmony 900.

However, when I press power on the remote, Windows Media Center starts, not XBMC.

How to resolve this?


- Gingerbread Man - 2011-09-11 18:40

bodhi Wrote:All you'll have to do is to set the power saving settings on your PC (WIn 7 or XP). Choose the Sleep option when the Power button is pressed. And when you press the All Off button on the Harmony remote, it will try to turn off the HTPC, and thus putting the PC to sleep. And also should check the power saving setting inside XBMC (Shutdown Function should be set to Quit).

All power settings are set to sleep.


- Gingerbread Man - 2011-09-11 18:48

jhsrennie Wrote:That sounds as if it is sending alt-F4. You can check by grabbing the ShowKey applet from http://xbmcmce.sourceforge.net/. Run Showkey and press the button on the remote and ShowKey will report what, if any, keypresses are being sent.

Have a look at http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Using_a_Microsoft_remote_control_in_Windows and see if your receiver is using the eHome driver. If so you'll be able to reconfigure the button actions. If not, you're probably stuck. If you do want to get a new receiver look for a Microsoft or HP receiver on eBay. Actually Amazon often have these receivers as well.

JR

Right, a quick look in the device manager looks like my infra-red receiver isn't running eHome. I'm guessing you cant make a receiver run like this, it either does or doesn't!?

Secondly, I've installed ShowKey and it seems to say Alt F4 as you guessed.

So new receiver needed!?

Would any of these do -

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Windows-Control-Infrared-Receiver-Ultimate/dp/B003ZV3J72/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315759746&sr=8-1

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/microsoft-media-centre-remote-and-receiver-/300598415676?pt=UK_Collectables_InputDevices_RL&hash=item45fd0fd13c


- babca - 2011-09-11 20:53

bodhi Wrote:The correct names for these 2 devices are MCE Keyboard and Windows Media Center SE.

That's how I've set it up and never have lag or queuing problem (probably for more than a year, don't recall when I installed XBMC the first time). I've never adjusted the inter key delay, either.

Thanks for your advice, but it's completely the same, "queuing" is still there.

There is an icon in the bottom right corner on the remote's display indicating active transmit of IR command. When I press 15 times for example 'arrow down' button, the icon stays on for at least 2 seconds. Does your remote behave like this?

ThanksSmile