Win HOW TO - Configure a Logitech Harmony Remote for Kodi

By now, a single device should be added in the Harmony software based on the remote's manufacturer and product number. The next step involves preliminary work to retrieve a list of commands output by the remote. Remember, we are starting with a remote that outputs Windows Media Center commands. You need to translate those commands to Kodi functions. The goal is to determine what key presses are output by each button and use these key presses to create a customized keyboard.xml. This is a three-step-process:

Step 1 – Download ShowKey

ShowKey is a great little app designed to provide a textual display of key commands received by Windows. This app will show both key presses and Windows Media Center app commands.

Download ShowKey

To use, simply point your remote at the receiver and press a button. The corresponding command will appear on the screen. I suggest using the program's copy function to retrieve each key press and put it into an Excel spreadsheet or Word document along with the name of the pressed button.

ShowKey Interface:

The completed ShowKey for an Ortek VRC-1100:


Step 2 – Translate Key Commands to Kodi Functions

Once we know the commands for each button, the next step is to translate choice commands into Kodi functions. Any command that is not a native Kodi keyboard or app command can be used to create a custom function in Kodi.

Using the VRC-1100 as an example, nine chosen commands will be converted to Kodi functions:

VRC-1100 (Harmony database) --> VRC-1100 Keys --> Kodi Command

Yellow --> Cntrl + Shift + T --> fullscreen
RecordedTV --> Cntrl + O --> codecinfo
* --> Numpadtimes --> lastpage
Guide --> Cntrl + G --> menu
Green --> Cntrl + I --> info
Blue --> Cntrl + M --> contextmenu
Red --> Cntrl + E --> togglewatched
# --> Alt + 5 --> Action(MoveItemUp)
Live --> Cntrl + T --> ActivateWindow(shutdownmenu)

Click here for a complete list of Kodi Action IDs.
Click here for a complete list of Kodi built-in functions.

Step 3 – Create a keyboard.xml

The final step involves taking the translated commands and adding them to a keyboard.xml that can be read by Kodi. The basic formatting of this document is shown below:


<t mod="ctrl,shift">fullscreen</t>
<o mod="ctrl">codecinfo</o>
<g mod="ctrl">menu</g>
<i mod="ctrl">info</i>
<m mod="ctrl">contextmenu</m>
<e mod="ctrl">togglewatched</e>
<numpadfive mod="alt">Action(MoveItemUp)</numpadfive>
<t mod="ctrl">ActivateWindow(shutdownmenu)</t>

This file should be created in a text editor such as Notepad or Notepad++ and saved as keyboard.xml. The .xml must be stored at the following location:


More information on the formatting and contents of a keyboard.xml can be found here.

Adding an Activity

  • Choose Custom activity and follow the on-screen instructions.

Legacy Software:

From the Activities tab:
  1. Select Manual Activity;
  2. Choose Utility;
  3. Generic Activity;
  4. Add Required Devices;
  5. Complete Set up.

Customizing Buttons – Harmony Keymap

The Harmony keymap will be a combination of native commands recognized by Kodi and those defined in the keyboard.xml. The Harmony database treats non-eHome receivers as Windows Media Center devices. Accordingly, the name of each button references its function in Windows Media Center (e.g. Browser) not its combined key presses. Sometimes, a process of elimination is required to determine the origin of button names on the original remote and cross-reference it with its name in the Harmony database.

Below is a starter keymap for a Harmony 650 used in conjunction with a VRC-1100. This keymap covers most of the essential commands for navigation and playback and is a good launching point for a more elaborate key design.

VRC-1100: Basic Keymap – Harmony 650:
Green Items: Commands set via keyboard.xml


Basic Keymap Command List:

Harmony --> Kodi Command --> VRC-1100

*Cust (Start) --> Start Kodi --> AutoHotKey
Cust (Quit) --> Quit Kodi --> Close
Cust (Full) --> Fullscreen --> Yellow
Cust (Codec) --> Codec Info --> RecordedTV
Menu --> Sidebar Menu --> Guide
Exit --> Back --> Backspace
Info --> Info --> Green
Guide --> Contextual Menu --> Blue
Up Arrow --> Jump to Top --> Browser
Down Arrow --> Jump to Bottom --> *
Cust (Watched) --> Watched Status --> Red
Cust (Item Up) --> Move Item Up --> #
Up --> Up --> DirectionUp
Down --> Down --> DirectionDown
Left --> Left --> DirectionLeft
Right --> Right --> DirectionRight
Channel Up --> Page Up --> ChannelUp
Channel Down --> Page Down --> ChannelDown
OK --> OK --> OK
Prev --> Shutdown Menu --> Live
Play --> Play/Pause --> Play
Stop --> Stop --> Stop
Rewind --> Rewind --> Rewind
Fast Forward --> Fast Forward --> FastForward
Skip Back --> Skip Backward --> SkipBack
Skip Forward --> Skip Forward --> SkipForward
Pause --> Pause/Play --> Pause
0 to 9 --> Number Keys --> 0 to 9

*Start Kodi – In this example, Kodi is started through the use of an AutoHotKey script, which is covered in Section 7. The command Start (Windows Key+Alt+Enter) (or #!Enter if referenced directly in the script) is used as the hot key to initiate the script, which opens Kodi.exe.
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Windows - HOW TO - Configure a Logitech Harmony Remote for Kodi - by Warner306 - 2015-03-08, 07:46

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