[WINDOWS] HOW-TO use a Logitech Harmony Remote with XBMC - Printable Version
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[WINDOWS] HOW-TO use a Logitech Harmony Remote with XBMC - vanOert - 2010-07-20 14:09
I wanted to contribute something here, since you guys really helped us with our XBMC-Setup.
So, here’s a guide to setting up Logitech Harmony for XBMC.
- I’m not going to reinvent the wheel here, though being German, I probably could.
- I’m sure everything in this guide has been done and explained before; I just wanted to make it more beginner friendly.
- All suggestions are quite welcome, just drop me a pm, or better: post here, I’m happy to include good ideas.
- Our living room isn't that nice yet. We just moved in. Suck it.
So, let’s get started:
You’ll probably need:
- A fully set up XBMC installation (probably got that already
- Some sort of Harmony Remote (probably got that, too)
- An infrared Receiver (RC6-capable)
Maybe a picture will help:
(2) The receiver
Any RC6 capable receiver will do, we’ll use an HP Media Center receiver, since it’s cheap and easy to get on eBay.
The RC6 point is especially important, as non-RC6 ones won't work with your Harmony.
On a side note: My receiver is from an eBay-Guy in Hong Kong, delivery to Germany took 3 days, so that's fine.
(3) The remote
You probably already have one, if not, you should go for one with a display, the smaller models mostly differ in how
many devices you can control. You’ll need 2 devices for XBMC. We’ll be using our 555 model.
(4) The setup process
Plug the RC6-IR-Receiver into your XBMC. You’ll want a line of sight connection to your couch.
Start the setup for your Harmony Remote as usual and configure all of your devices except for the media center.
(5) Now let’s get to the configuration of the MC profile
Start the Logitech Harmony Remote Software. In the devices tab, click ‘Add Device’
Select: Computer – Media Center PC – Microsoft – “Windows Media Center”
You’ll have to enter the last bit by hand.
Add this as a device and name it MCE Remote.
Now, repeat the ‘Add Device’ process, this time select:
Computer – Media Center PC – Microsoft – “MCE Keyboard”
Add this device and name it MCE Keyboard
The missing images above, along with additional notes by jjd-uk, may be seen here
- vanOert - 2010-07-20 14:09
(6) Now let’s create an activity
Go to activities tab, then select ‘Add Activity’
Go through the steps selecting:
Now, you need to add your devices. This depends on your configuration.
You’ll have to select both MCE Remote and MCE Keyboard.
In my case, additionally, we’re going to select the TV and the A/V-Receiver.
Continue through the input selection and try to be honest about everything. It should work.
When done, select done. ;-)
(7) Now, go back to the activities tab and select ‘Customize Buttons’ on your generic activity.
- vanOert - 2010-07-20 14:10
You can now select an action for every remote button. For Remote functions like ‘play’, ‘skip’
or ‘fast forward’ select the MCE remote, for Keyboard functions like Arrow-Keys, I-Button,
M-Button or ESC select the MCE function and pick the correct action.
When finished, click done in the lower right and synchronize the profile to your remote.
You may also want to change the activity name.
All done! :-)
- Handa - 2010-07-20 15:02
Thanks a lot for this, got a Harmony 525 when I ordered my cable subscription but never used it. Having a hard time finding any IR receiver here in Sweden that aren't bundled with other remotes or other hardware so will probably order one from eBay and hope it doesn't take forever to ship it.
- Brad P - 2010-07-20 17:09
There's a bunch of RC6 receivers on ebay now, by the same seller.
I have one by SMK I found used on ebay but seems overly sensitive at times especially where I use a RF remote extender. I picked up this one for the sake of a few $$ to try instead. I haven't received it yet as I only bought it a few days ago.
- vanOert - 2010-07-20 20:06
Handa Wrote:Thanks a lot for this, got a Harmony 525 when I ordered my cable subscription but never used it. Having a hard time finding any IR receiver here in Sweden that aren't bundled with other remotes or other hardware so will probably order one from eBay and hope it doesn't take forever to ship it.
The one we bought on eBay (hp, as seen above) was from a Hong Kong seller, but delivery took just 2 or 3 business days if I remember correctly. No big deal.
Also, I'll be adding my current key configuration shortly, if anyone needs ideas.
- gswarriorfan - 2010-07-20 20:27
Thanks for the visual guide!
- Mallet21 - 2010-07-20 20:29
Wow !! Thanks a lot for doing this. IMO the pictures are extremely helpful.
- Handa - 2010-07-20 20:57
vanOert Wrote:The one we bought on eBay (hp, as seen above) was from a Hong Kong seller, but delivery took just 2 or 3 business days if I remember correctly. No big deal.Hm, did you buy one of those that had free shipping? Those say that it takes 10-20 days and I don't feel like paying $30 for better shipping when the receiver only cost $13. I ordered one atleast so let's see how it goes, didn't feel like taking a chance on the random receivers I found online here in Sweden.
I just started using the Harmony 525 by the way, can't believe I haven't used it before. Took me 10 minutes to configure for two TV's and two receivers and it's working great.
- vanOert - 2010-07-20 21:21
Handa Wrote:Hm, did you buy one of those that had free shipping? Those say that it takes 10-20 days and I don't feel like paying $30 for better shipping when the receiver only cost $13. I ordered one atleast so let's see how it goes, didn't feel like taking a chance on the random receivers I found online here in Sweden.
I bought one of these (this is the exact offer I purchased):
Took the standard shipping option and used paypal.
Also says 10+ days. That's an enormous exaggeration. :-)
Be aware that your 525 only supports up to 5 devices. I'm currently looking for a Profile with Keyboard actions and Media Keys, so we only have to use one. Maybe i'll drop Logitech a call tomorrow. Will report back.
- Handa - 2010-07-20 22:18
vanOert Wrote:I bought one of these (this is the exact offer I purchased):
Just tried with 6 devices and it is working fine and from the information I can see it works with up to 10 devices.
I ordered from the same guy so that is great news, thank you.
Only bad thing is that the Harmony doesn't work with my amplifier, but doesn't really matter, will just put it at a higher volume and change volume directly on XBMC.
Is there no way to use the power-button on the Harmony button through this program though? Would be nice to bind it to a Autohotkey-script to shutdown XBMC (bind the script to like F12 and then make Harmony-application press F12).
- vanOert - 2010-07-20 22:44
I'll look into the power button issue, should be doable. Edit: I dont like the whole autohotkey thing. Will try to do it without 3rd party software.
What model of amplifier are you using? Try calling logitech support. They are extremely helpful with this kind of stuff and have loads of custom profiles that are not yet in the db.
- Handa - 2010-07-21 07:58
vanOert Wrote:I'll look into the power button issue, should be doable. Edit: I dont like the whole autohotkey thing. Will try to do it without 3rd party software.
Pioneer XC-L77, when I add it it seems to think it's some kind of homecinema with DVD etc. And yeah, I would like to get everything working without autohotkey but I don't think it's possible to make one button restart XBMC without it for example.
Thanks for the tip about Logitech support anyway.
Paid on Jul-20-10
Shipped on Jul-20-10
- sufreak - 2010-07-21 14:47
First things first... VanOert..this is great. I only wish this was up a week ago when I just finished my Harmony setup. I did it slightly differently than you though.
Because I'm running it on Windows, I also have WMC installed. (I'm testing both for WAF).
I used pure keyboard controls for XBMC to avoid conflicts. If you'd like, I'd be happy to post my key mappings. I don't want to stomp on your parade here.
- vanOert - 2010-07-21 15:40
thanks, i really appreciate that. maybe we can work out a keymap together, i planned to add one anyway. just post yours here and i'll check it out. :-)