Windows - XBMC together with Logitech Harmony Ultimate

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Jean Coudert Offline
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Location: Colmar-France
Post: #1
Hi Everyone,
I'm trying to configure my Harmony Ultimate together wit my XBMC installed on my HTPC. I've the following installation:
1- IR USB Dongle IR605Q
2- XBMC 12.3
3-Logitech Harmony Ultimate
Logitech's support has proposed me many configuration that still not working properly. In fact many of the commands seems to drive MS Media Center and not my XBMC.
In logitech I've added a nez Device with name "MicroSoft MCE Keyboard" but many commands are not addapted for XBMC.
Does someone knows what to do step by step, to make this working properly?
Thanks to all for your replies
Have a nice day from France
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scarecrow420 Offline
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Post: #2
I reccomend adding these 2 devices to your harmony remote

"Microsoft" "MCE Keyboard"
"Microsoft" "Windows Media Center SE"

Then setup the Logitech harmony mappings to send standard keyboard letters, as per the XBMC keyboard commands http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Keyboard_controls

(eg Play=P Stop=X Rewind=R FastForward=F Info=i Guide=E Menu=C LiveTV=H RecordedTV=K OK=enter return=backspace Exit=S) and so on

Other useful commands you may want to have mapped are fullscreen=\ (backslash key) Subtitles=T WatchStatus=W

Also there will be IR commands in the Media Center SE device which can be useful so you dont have to resort to using a keyboard such as Alt-Tab to swtich focus/programs, Alt-F4 to kill an unresponsive program, Win+1 Win+2 etc to launch pinned taskbar shortcuts (ie to launch XBMC pin it to the taskbar in position 1 and then have a XBMC command send Win+1 command)

Hope that helps
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WeirdH Offline
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Post: #3
Seconded. At least on Windows it works like a charm, don't know about any other platforms.

After adding both MCE keyboards, you can assign any keyboard letter or combination to a button on your remote.You will then also have to edit your keymap.xml to give a command to that letter (but most letters already have one, as mentioned)

For example, set it up like this:

[Image: H1_zpsb1ca6cb1.jpg]

Then, go into your keymap.xml and assign those keys to specific XBMC functions. Beware of redundant commands!

The radio function in the above picture looks like this: <exclaim>XBMC.ActivateWindow(MusicFiles,Radio)</exclaim>
Eject function like this: <greaterthan>EjectTray</greaterthan>

- For the names of the command your Harmony sends (like <exclaim> and <greaterthan>, you can use a little program called ShowKey
- To assign XBMC functions to those commands (like XBMC.ActivateWindow and EjectTray), use this list.


Now, suffice it to say, these are XBMC commands only, so if you press your newly customized 'Eject' button outside of XBMC, most likely nothing will happen. I run my HTPC as a dedicated XBMC machine, so this is adequate for my needs. YMMV.

EDIT: There's also some more info on this trick over here.
(This post was last modified: 2014-02-27 14:44 by WeirdH.)
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Jean Coudert Offline
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Location: Colmar-France
Post: #4
Many thanks for your replies but YOU'RE NOT SPEAKING OF Logiech Harmony Ultimate wich is quiet diffrent of all other Logitech. On this Logitech Harmony Ultimate I don't understand how to synchronize a command from the Logitech which can be understood by my XBMC.
I'm not a specialist and I would like to know step by step what I've to do in my Logitech Harmony Ultimate on one hand and in XBMC (keymap.xml) in the other hand.
On my side F is for FILMS, M for MUSIQUE, P for PROGRAMMES etc… on the main screen of XBMC.
Perhaps can someone help me, because your previous replies were not very clear for me.
Thanks
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bek1 Offline
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Post: #5
I've got the same problem, Jean. Did you ever find a solution?

Mostly, I'd like to map the I (Info) and the C (Context Menu) keyboard commands to the Ultimate. Can't seem to figure out how, though.
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bek1 Offline
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Post: #6
Jean, if you're still here, WierdH and Scarecrow have mostly given us the solution. Set up your XBMC device as "Microsoft" "MCE Keyboard". Then remap buttons as you see fit... I changed the Info button to "I" and the Menu button to "C" for the Context Menu.

It works perfectly as a single device. Really nicely. However, for some reason when I get out of the device menu and go back to the Activity menu, it loses the extra buttons that I just remapped. Not sure why that would be.

But this is getting us close to a solution.

Thank you WierdH and Scarecrow.
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scarecrow420 Offline
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Post: #7
You have to set the buttons how you want them in the activity. When a device is in an activity only the default button assignments carry over to the activity on initial setup. any custom things you setup like I, C etc (particularly if you do that after the activity was already created) wont be in the activity (it cant automatically do it, since that might overwrite something you had already set in the activity which we definitely dont want happening!) so you have to go into the activity itself and set them up how you like. Since the activity is a congloimeration of devices that is where you would set say, the volume/mute controls to operate your AVR, but the other buttons to operate your HTPC or whatever. Device mode is just for that one device and really you dont ever use device mode if you have your activities setup nicely.

I was confused, because this is just basic harmony remote stuff applicable to all models, but from jean's response it sounded like the ULTIMATE might somehow be strange/different to other remotes, and not owning an ULTIMATE myself, i didnt reply anymore as I didnt want to offend someone by going over basic setup info if it was infact a case of this new model being totally different to the way the old ones worked.

But yeah, sounds like it is just a normal harmony remote concepts ie define devices, configure activities to include devices, then customise buttons for the activity (and for device mode if you want, though all device commands should be there on the soft touch screen anyway just perhaps not allocated to hard buttons). As i say, device mode should be rarely used anyway

good luck Smile
(This post was last modified: 2014-03-07 07:32 by scarecrow420.)
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bek1 Offline
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Post: #8
Thanks, Scarecrow... your instructions worked for me... thank you so much!!

I do have one minor issue left, but it's not really remote related. Windows boots up fine, but then I have to use the keyboard to click on the XBMC tile/icon to actually run XBMC, and the remote won't do that. I don't want to put XBMC in my startup because I did that once and had a "black screen" video problem, and had to end up rebuilding my PC!

Do you happen to know if there's a way to program a button to run XBMC? That would be perfect.
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scarecrow420 Offline
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Post: #9
In windows, the shortcut to run apps pinned to the taskbar is windows key + (1..9)

The HTPC Extended device I told you to add to the harmony, has these key shortcuts as IR codes, so just pin XBMC to the task bar then have a button on the remote screen send win+1 (assuming 1st pinned location)

You can also add this command to the "on entering activity" event (I also program a stop command for "on leaving" the activity)
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bek1 Offline
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Post: #10
Great advice, Scarecrow, but weird as this sounds (and I've looked 4 times now), I don't think the Harmony app shows the Windows Key as an option in the list of keys you can assign.
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scarecrow420 Offline
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Post: #11
if you add the devices I mentioned, then the "Windows Media Center SE" device should have command called Win+1 Win+2 etc?
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bek1 Offline
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Post: #12
(2014-03-09 13:30)scarecrow420 Wrote:  if you add the devices I mentioned, then the "Windows Media Center SE" device should have command called Win+1 Win+2 etc?

Yikes. I think I have a device called "MCE keyboard" by Microsoft. I'll go check. Back soon.
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scarecrow420 Offline
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Post: #13
(2014-03-09 18:06)bek1 Wrote:  
(2014-03-09 13:30)scarecrow420 Wrote:  if you add the devices I mentioned, then the "Windows Media Center SE" device should have command called Win+1 Win+2 etc?

Yikes. I think I have a device called "MCE keyboard" by Microsoft. I'll go check. Back soon.

Add both devices I mentioned, the keyboard gives you most of what you need and the "SE" one gives you the special combox like Alt-Tab Alt-F4 Win+0 - Win+9 etc. Add both devices into your "Watch XBMC Activity" and make sure under the power settings of the SE device to set "always remain on" so that only your MCE Keyboard device sends any power on/off/sleep commands if you have configured such
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bek1 Offline
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Post: #14
Whoa, it worked like a charm. It never entered my mind to create another device just for a command or two that I needed.

Wish I could create a script now to remember all this programming I've done, just in case it gets reset someday, but I am sure that's beyond the capabilities of the remote and software.

Scare, you are the greatest... thanks, man!

Wow, this trick is going to come in handy... with the next major update of Windows 8.1, they're going to let you pin modern apps to the taskbar. So I'm going to pin Netflix and on there so it can be accessed by a remote button. Probably will use those colored ones at the bottom that I'm not currently using for anything.

Neat... thanks again, Scare.
(This post was last modified: 2014-03-10 05:22 by bek1.)
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Jean Coudert Offline
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Location: Colmar-France
Post: #15
Hi everybody,
From my part nothing help and my Harmonw still not working properly with my XBMC. I've endless Email discussions with Logitech to try to get a solution, but not really succesfull.
What is really strange is that XBMC works fine with my Logitech K400 wireless Keyboard and with the XbmcRemote App on my iPhone but the guys of Logitech are not able to find the way to send exactly the same commands like the K400 does…. Logitech keyboard on one hand and Logitech Harmony Ultimate in the other!!!!! Seems to be internal logitech communication issue.
I will inform you on progress
Bye
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