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

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sufreak Offline
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Thumbs Up  [WINDOWS] Official HOW-TO use a Logitech Harmony Remote with XBMC
Post: #1
All,
vanOert and I have been speaking. The previous Harmony thread had gotten a bit long in the tooth and our methods have evolved and grown over time. We will be taking the next few weeks to create this thread properly, including properly step by step instructions, featuring screen shots.

In addition to the general setup, we will have "How To"s for optional things such as sleep, advancedxml tips (SMSkeys), Hulu integration, and other perks. The idea will be to use a clean Win7 system, with as little extra software as possible. (my setup has no extras).

Thank you for your patience. Please post your suggestions in the Old Harmony Thread while we build this new one.


IN PROGRESS
Status
Basic Setup - Complete
Button Customizations - Complete
Keymap file - Complete
Advancedsettings.xml - Complete
Hulu Integration & Activity Switching - In Progress
Sleep & Wake Up - In Progress
Alternative Hardware - In Progress


Basic Setup
So, here’s a guide to setting up Logitech Harmony for XBMC.

Requirements
Italics indicate the hardware we used. We will have a post about alternative options further down.
Hardware:
PC Acer Revo 3610
Harmony Remote Harmony 880/890, Harmony 555, Harmony 650
IR RC6-capable receiver
[INDENT]The receiver
Any RC6 capable receiver. It will say it is Media Center Compatible
Let Ebay Be your Guide

Software:
Windows 7 Home Premium
XBMC installed and configured Dharma 10.x or Eden 11.0 Stable

The setup process
(1) Pin XBMC to your task bar so it can be launched with a WIN+# key.
if you press Win+1, it will launch the first item pinned, WIN+2, the second item, etc

(2)Plug the RC6-IR-Receiver into your XBMC.
You’ll want a line of sight connection to your couch.


(3)Configuration of the Media Center profile
Start the setup for your Harmony Remote as usual and configure all of your devices except for the media center.
In the devices tab, click ‘Add Device’

[Image: uHUVs.jpg]
Select: Computer – Media Center PC – Microsoft – “Windows Media Center SE

Add this as a device and name it XBMC (sw)
the SW identifies this as the Software, not the activity we will set up later

Now, repeat the ‘Add Device’ process, this time select:

Select: Computer – Media Center PC – Microsoft – “MCE Keyboard
(You'll have to type in MCE Keyboard)
Add this device and name it MCE Keyboard (or whatever youd like to name it)


(4)Go to activities tab, then select ‘Add Activity’
Go through the steps selecting:
Do not Automatically add an activity based on your device
[Image: rW6uV.jpg]

When prompted, added a "Utility" type of Activity
[Image: URhwg.jpg]

Accept the only choice "Generic Activity"

Now, you need to add your devices. This depends on your configuration.
You’ll have to select both XBMC(sw) and MCE Keyboard.
[Image: L4M5P.jpg]

Obviously you'll need a TV, and you can also select a A/V-Receiver if you have one.
Continue through the input selection process.

(5) Now, go back to the activities tab and select ‘Customize Buttons’ on your generic activity.

You can now select an action for every remote button.

Our mapping layout is below

When finished, click "Done" in the lower right and synchronize the profile to your remote.
Change the activity name to XBMC.

(6)Setting up Power Buttons to start/end XBMC
Many people prefer to have XBMC start up and end when they're done watching and turn off the TV.
Click on the Devices Tab, and select Settings, under XBMC (sw).
  1. "Adjust Power Settings"
  2. "I want to turn off this device when it's not in use"
  3. "A button on the remote for On, and a different button for Off"
  4. "I don't have the original remote, but I know the command that is used:"
    Select the WIN+# that you enabled above when pinning the shortcut to the start menu
  5. "I don't have the original remote, but I know the command that is used:"
    Select ALT+F4. (A single option, not 2 different buttons)
(This post was last modified: 2012-04-15 16:17 by sufreak.)
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sufreak Offline
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Post: #2
Custom Button Layout for XBMC Activity
Select the Activities Tab, and select Settings from XBMC. This is for a system with just a TV, so if you have an AV receiver, make changes as needed.

Standard Buttons
Most of the buttons are fairly obvious, but some do need customization. Everything on the Standard Buttons page is for the MCE Keyboard. Some of the keys can also be controlled with XBMC (sw), such as Play, Stop, etc. Use your own preference.

Button Device Command Explanation
Down Arrow MCE Keyboard End Jumps to the bottom of the page
Up Arrow MCE Keyboard Home Jumps to the top of the page
Channel Down MCE Keyboard PageDown Jumps down 1 page
Channel Up MCE Keyboard PageUp Jumps up 1 page
Prev MCE Keyboard Backspace
OK MCE Keyboard Enter
Menu MCE Keyboard Esc Returns to main menu
Exit MCE Keyboard Backspace Back to previous screen
Guide MCE Keyboard M Displays the guide
Info MCE Keyboard I Displays the info screen
Stop MCE Keyboard X Stops playback.
Skip back MCE Keyboard SingleQuote This is a 7 second rewind, like Tivo. Can be customized in Keymaps.
Skip forward MCE Keyboard . 30 second skip. This is a period.
Play MCE Keyboard P Play button
Record BLANK
Rewind MCE Keyboad R Rewind
Fast Forward MCE Keyboard F Fast Forward
Pause MCE Keyboard Space Pauses playback.
Plus MCE Keyboard Delete Delete function in library mode
E BLANK

Additional Buttons
These are additional buttons you can program if you have a display screen like the 880 or 550.

Label Device Command Explanation
Start XBMC XBMC (sw) Win+# - I use this as a backup for starting up XBMC. You never know when you need it.
Exit XBMC XBMC (sw) Alt+F4 - I use this as a backup for exiting XBMC. You never know when you need it.
Update Library MCE Keyboard K In order to update the library with a key press.
Now Playing MCE Keyboard Tab Many times a menu key will be hit, and the easiest way to get back to the full screen picture
RW - Big JumpMCE Keyboard LeftBracket A 10 minute jump backward in playback.
FF - Big JumpMCE Keyboard RightBracket A 10 minute jump forward in playback.
Watched MCE Keyboard W - Toggles watched status of a video
Context Menu MCE Keyboard C - Brings up the context menu for an item. VERY HANDY!

ALTERNATE MAPPING
vanOert had a slightly different choice for keyboard mapping. Use your own discretion
Exit MCE Keyboard Esc - Returns to main menu
Previous MCE Keyboard Backspace - Back to previous screen
Menu MCE Keyboard C - Context menu
(This post was last modified: 2011-03-01 17:22 by sufreak.)
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sufreak Offline
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Post: #3
Keymap File updates
The keymap file allows you to reprogram the default key mappings for a custom purpose. The file does not exist by default, so it has to be created. Official XBMC Wiki

Create a text file named keyboard.xml in
Code:
C:\users\<USERNAME>\AppData\Roaming\XBMC\userdata\keymaps\

Paste the following:

Code:
<keymap>
  <global>
    <keyboard>
      <k>UpdateLibrary(video)</k>
      <w>ToggleWatched</w>
      <two>JumpSMS2</two>
      <three>JumpSMS3</three>
      <four>JumpSMS4</four>
      <five>JumpSMS5</five>
      <six>JumpSMS6</six>
      <seven>JumpSMS7</seven>
      <eight>JumpSMS8</eight>
      <nine>JumpSMS9</nine>
    </keyboard>
  </global>
</keymap>
Explanaton
k - a key that I use to force a library update
w - Toggles the 'watched' indicator
2...9 allows the number keys to type letters like an SMS message on a standard phone
(This post was last modified: 2011-02-23 20:03 by sufreak.)
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sufreak Offline
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Post: #4
Advanced Settings
The advanced settings file will allow some more custom controls as needed. Fully available details can be found here: Advanced Settings

Create a file in Users\[user]\AppData\Roaming\XBMC\, named advancedsettings.xml. Copy and paste the following:

Quote:<advancedsettings>
<videolibrary>
<hideemptyseries>true</hideemptyseries>
</videolibrary>
<fullscreen>true</fullscreen>
<useddsfanart>true</useddsfanart>
</advancedsettings>
(This post was last modified: 2011-03-01 17:18 by sufreak.)
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sufreak Offline
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Post: #5
Hulu Desktop Integration - In Progress
This is a bit tricky. It involves creating shortcuts, some work-arounds, and using a couple scripts, but once done, it seems to work pretty good.

(1) - Download and install Hulu. Note, it generally installs in the %LocalAppData% directory of the account, so make sure you are installing as the account which will run your media center.
(2) - Log into Hulu Desktop and configure the software. Detailed configurations coming soon
[INDENT]Pin the software to the taskbar. (It should be launched with Win+#)[/INDENT]
(3) - Launch Logitech Harmony software and go to the Device tab to add a new device.
[INDENT]A. Select: Computer – Media Center PC – Microsoft – “Windows Media Center SE”[/INDENT]
[INDENT]B. Add this as a device and name it Hulu (sw)[/INDENT]
(4) Create a new Activity named Hulu. Follow the same steps as setting up the XBMC activity, except you don't need the MCE Keyboard
[INDENT]A. Once setup, go to the Customize Buttons screen.[/INDENT]
[INDENT]B.Custom Button Mapping - There are very limited buttons. Some are redundant or non-functional. TESTING STILL IN PROGRESS.[/INDENT]

[INDENT]Button Device Command

Prev Hulu (sw) Back
UpHulu (sw) DirectionUp
DownHulu (sw) DirectionDown
LeftHulu (sw) DirectionLeft
RightHulu (sw) DirectionRight
OK Hulu (sw) Enter
Menu Hulu (sw) Back
Exit Hulu (sw) Alt+F4

Stop Hulu (sw) Stop
Skip back Hulu (sw) Replay
Skip forward Hulu (sw) Skip
Play MCE Keyboard P Play button


Rewind Hulu (sw) Rewind
Fast Forward [Hulu (sw) FastForward
Pause Hulu (sw) Pause

Additional Buttons
These are additional buttons you can program if you have a display screen like the 880 or 550.

Label Device Command Explanation
Start Hulu Hulu (sw) Win+# - I use this as a backup for starting up Hulu. You never know when you need it.
Exit Hulu Hulu (sw) Alt+F4 - I use this as a backup for exiting Hulu. You never know when you need it.[/INDENT]


At this point, you should be able to launch right into Hulu OR XBMC. You'll notice that if you try to switch activities, they won't properly close or run. XBMC and Hulu are not actual independent devices, so the power on/off commands are actually impacting Windows. We're 'fooling the system.' I have written some scripts that will make this work.
(This post was last modified: 2011-03-04 22:50 by sufreak.)
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sufreak Offline
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Post: #6
Sleep and Wake Up
Unfortunately, I've had numerous problems getting the sleep/wakeup commands to work as I would like.
I programmed a custom sleep button to my TV sleep function, and a custom wake up button to the Power Toggle for the TV.

The end result has been that the Harmony keeps thinking the remote is not working properly and tries to "Help" all the time.
Trying to sleep XBMC was not successful. It would confuse the remote.

At this point, I've switched to an "always on" setup for the TV, and the sleep/wakeup functions to the TV, The occasional help assistant is quickly dismissed.
(This post was last modified: 2012-11-17 18:12 by sufreak.)
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balforth Offline
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Post: #7
Reserved
(This post was last modified: 2011-02-23 13:15 by balforth.)
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sufreak Offline
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Post: #8
balforth..I can't PM you yet. Can you please copy all this into the old thread. This new one is meant to be cleaned up.

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=77519
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sufreak Offline
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Post: #9
Hardware Choices
Remotes
Harmony 880/890
Harmony 550
Harmony 650

IR RC6 Receivers
Standard Microsoft IR Receiver
HP OVU400103/00 Media Center Receiver
(This post was last modified: 2012-04-15 16:18 by sufreak.)
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henningdalgaard Offline
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Post: #10
great guide

Suggestions:
explain how to use advanced buttons and how xml files work for dummies (like me)

explain the sortcut trick for those who don't want to edit xml to launch xbmc:

"Create a shortcut to XBMC. Assign F6 or another hotkey to that shortcut in the Shortcut properties, then map that key to a button on the harmony."
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sufreak Offline
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Post: #11
henningdalgaard Wrote:great guide

Suggestions:
explain how to use advanced buttons and how xml files work for dummies (like me)

explain the sortcut trick for those who don't want to edit xml to launch xbmc:

"Create a shortcut to XBMC. Assign F6 or another hotkey to that shortcut in the Shortcut properties, then map that key to a button on the harmony."

I appreciate your feedback. I will post the hotkey trick for launching XBMC, but if you read the guide, you'll notice that its geared at Win7 which used the Windows button and a number (Win+#) to launch things from the task bar.

As for using XML, please read the wiki.

I will be asking an admin to move your post and mine the other page
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Freakish Offline
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Post: #12
sufreak Wrote:I will post the hotkey trick for launching XBMC, but if you read the guide, you'll notice that its geared at Win7 which used the Windows button and a number (Win+#) to launch things from the task bar.

I too have the same question on the (Win+#) key with the Harmony, I'm not aware of how I can send two keystrokes at the same time. ?

How would i program it to use Win+# or Alt+F4, I am using Win7. Confused Thanks for any help.
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bodhi Offline
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Post: #13
Freakish Wrote:I too have the same question on the (Win+#) key with the Harmony, I'm not aware of how I can send two keystrokes at the same time. ?

How would i program it to use Win+# or Alt+F4, I am using Win7. Confused Thanks for any help.

See this
http://forum.xbmc.org/showpost.php?p=749...tcount=364
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Freakish Offline
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Post: #14
bodhi Wrote:See this
http://forum.xbmc.org/showpost.php?p=749...tcount=364

Yes that seems to require an MCE Keyboard, which from what I've read before about the harmony, is the only way to achieve multiple keystrokes.

I don't have the actual MCE Keyboard, only the Harmony with the MCE KB profile. So i don't believe it's possible to start or close XBMC without a physical MCE KB. I can think of renaming, registry entry or eventghost as possible workarounds, but thought the OP may already know of one. Thanks for the link anyway.
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bodhi Offline
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Post: #15
Freakish Wrote:Yes that seems to require an MCE Keyboard, which from what I've read before about the harmony, is the only way to achieve multiple keystrokes.

I don't have the actual MCE Keyboard, only the Harmony with the MCE KB profile. So i don't believe it's possible to start or close XBMC without a physical MCE KB. I can think of renaming, registry entry or eventghost as possible workarounds, but thought the OP may already know of one. Thanks for the link anyway.

No. You don't need a keyboard. You need a MCE SE profile (Not MCE Keyboard profile). Look at posts previously in that thread.
(This post was last modified: 2011-03-30 19:15 by bodhi.)
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