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[WINDOWS] HOW-TO use a Logitech Harmony Remote with XBMC
Black993 Wrote:First of all, thanks for the great tutorial. Receiver should be here any day so hopefully everything works Smile

A quick question:

When programming items like the start key, or to close a program (alt f4 for example), does it need to be put in as a sequence like:

MCE Keyboard, alt
MCE Keyboard, f4

or should it be:

MCE Keyboard, alt
MCE Keyboard, +
MCE Keyboard, f4

No, that's not possible. The key combination are one signal push. So you'll program them the same way as other single key. They are available either in this MCE Keyboard device or in the MCE SE device (look for one of my post previously).

Thanks to vanOert who did a great job here Smile you'll find all the info you need in this thread.
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Thanks. Will give it a go. IR receiver showed up today and so far its been great! Works perfectly other than needed to adjust them to being a single keypress.

Thanks again for such a great how-to. Big Grin
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bodhi Wrote:No, that's not possible. The key combination are one signal push. So you'll program them the same way as other single key. They are available either in this MCE Keyboard device or in the MCE SE device (look for one of my post previously).

Thanks to vanOert who did a great job here Smile you'll find all the info you need in this thread.

Glad I could help.

I actually needed some commands, such as alt-enter for window resizing, too. Autohotkey or Texter (http://lifehacker.com/238306/lifehacker-...er-windows) can provide rather dirty solutions for that.

I'm quite convinced there are more elegant solutions available. We'll see.
katy: Silverstone LC19/AMD Zacate E350/4GB/7.5TB/Win 7 Pro 64/24/7/Shade (custom)
ATV2/iOS 4.2.1/Alaska Revisited Mod
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vanOert Wrote:Glad I could help.

I actually needed some commands, such as alt-enter for window resizing, too. Autohotkey or Texter (http://lifehacker.com/238306/lifehacker-...er-windows) can provide rather dirty solutions for that.

I'm quite convinced there are more elegant solutions available. We'll see.

Have you tried the Alt-enter in the MCE SE device? what other keys are you looking for?
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bodhi Wrote:Have you tried the Alt-enter in the MCE SE device? what other keys are you looking for?

Not yet, will check it out, thanks.

Apart from that, the most important thing is the taskbar shortcuts, e.g. Win + 1 for 1st window/application in toolbar, Win + 2 for 2nd ...

This is also how I start or minimize XBMC or get it back when something else takes focus (which admittedly almost never happens).
katy: Silverstone LC19/AMD Zacate E350/4GB/7.5TB/Win 7 Pro 64/24/7/Shade (custom)
ATV2/iOS 4.2.1/Alaska Revisited Mod
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vanOert Wrote:Not yet, will check it out, thanks.

Apart from that, the most important thing is the taskbar shortcuts, e.g. Win + 1 for 1st window/application in toolbar, Win + 2 for 2nd ...

This is also how I start or minimize XBMC or get it back when something else takes focus (which admittedly almost never happens).

Yes. I've found that's the most elegant way to set it up. No need to use any hot-key program. After you've pinned down XBMC to any of the Win+1, Win+2,... key, put that on the Harmony 1st page for convenient access, and going out to desktop and back in XBMC just a button press. It's similar to the Help button in Harmony (if XBMC is not running, start it, if it's already running then bring focus back to XBMC).
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bodhi Wrote:One specific set of keys combination that I've found very useful in this device is the set of combos Win+1, Win+2... These are automatically assigned by Win 7 when you have application shortcuts pinned down to the task bar. For example, I have Firefox, Window Explorer, XBMC, and Hulu pinned down to task bar, and they can be run with Win+1 through Win+4.

These Win+n combos don't loose focus like the Fn keys. A lot of time that whenever I exited XBMC to desktop, I've found the XBMC shortcut that was assigned to a function key such as F9 does not work any more. I think this is a problem that a lot of users have using Function key that binds to XBMC shortcut. Since I've started using Win+3 to run XBMC, I have been consistently in and out of XBMC to desktop without failing.

Sounds like a great solution, do you have any Harmony keys mapped to mouse movements for when you're in the browser?

bodhi Wrote:Here is how I setup the XBMC shutdown using Harmony Sequence.

- In MCE Keyboard "Advance setup", choose the option to execute several commands to power ON/OFF. And then assign the keys: S, Enter, Power Toggle to that power ON/OFF sequence.

Isn't it easier to just call 'End' to shutdown XBMC?
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dave77 Wrote:Sounds like a great solution, do you have any Harmony keys mapped to mouse movements for when you're in the browser?



Isn't it easier to just call 'End' to shutdown XBMC?

- I'm using Harmony 360, so I mapped the 4 color buttons to Left Up Down Right ( and use the thumbs to navigate like texting). And assigned first 2 soft buttons on the LCD screen to Left Click and Right Click. Those 4 color buttons are not used in XBMC or Desktop, so they are easy to get used to. I also assigned the Win+3 (for XBMC) to LCD soft button number 3, so it's always on the screen if I need to toggle between the XBMC and the Desktop.

- I have since abandoned those shutdown sequences Big Grin As I mentioned above, the Win+1 and Win+2,... buttons are much better to get in and out of XBMC. Currently, I just left XBMC running when pressing the Power down button, and this put the HTPC to sleep, and turn off all other devices. The next time when I start the XBMC activity, it'd only take a second to bring the HTPC out of the sleep mode and brought XBMC back into focus, while other device are powered on. So far it works great. Dharma version is quite stable, so I have not run into any problem using this approach. Basically only shutdown XBMC when I need to use the desktop for an extended period or need to run Windows Update.

- Problem with using the End key is this key executes different function depending where you are in XBMC. If you're in a list mode, then it will go to the end of the list. It only exits XBMC when you're at the main menu. So it doesn't work in all cases.

- I'll be glad to help. Let me know if you need more info about how I set up the XBMC activity.
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I have the Harmony 300. Just got it at radioshack for 29. I have it set as MCE keyboard which only leaves the F keys to launch XBMC. I am having trouble getting it to work all the time. Sometimes it works other times it does not.

How to you program pressing two keys for functions with XBMC? I cannot do that with the MCE Keyboard layout.
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bodhi Wrote:One specific set of keys combination that I've found very useful in this device is the set of combos Win+1, Win+2... These are automatically assigned by Win 7 when you have application shortcuts pinned down to the task bar. For example, I have Firefox, Window Explorer, XBMC, and Hulu pinned down to task bar, and they can be run with Win+1 through Win+4.

These Win+n combos don't loose focus like the Fn keys. A lot of time that whenever I exited XBMC to desktop, I've found the XBMC shortcut that was assigned to a function key such as F9 does not work any more. I think this is a problem that a lot of users have using Function key that binds to XBMC shortcut. Since I've started using Win+3 to run XBMC, I have been consistently in and out of XBMC to desktop without failing.

Once I'm in the desktop, I use a soft key "Start XBMC" that was set in Harmony LCD to Win+3 to go back to XBMC (if it's already running, then it will go back in, if not it will start XBMC).

This is the same problem I am having with the Function keys using MCE Keyboard. In the Harmony setup there is a remote MCE SE that has these combination buttons but i cannot figure out how to configure them in the Keyboard.xml.
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I'm having issues getting the Win+n keys set up. I can't make them work, it only opens the start menu and then selects something I'm not after.

I did have it working (win+1 to launch XBMC) but it has stopped as well. Using Harmony ONE.
What should the sequence look like? Any help is much appreciated!
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The device you'll need to add to get the Win+n keys combos is Windows Media Center SE . After you've added that device, set up the XBMC activity to include this MCE Keyboard device, and the MCE SE device.

Device type: Computer -> Media Center PC
Manufacturer: Microsoft
Model: Windows Media Center SE


Pin down the shortcut for XBMC to the task bar at the first position, and then use Win+1 key to run XBMC in the activity. Or whatever position you choose to pin it down to.

@rasstar,
The keyboard combo key such as Win+1, Win+2, Alt-F4, Control-A, .... are all actually single keys (Harmony sequence is not). These have signal code just like any other key such as A,B,C,... So that's why they have to be in the database, and we just select them like single key. You can see my posts previously in this thread for the discussion.

@Black993,
If it opened the Start menu then yours did not set up correctly. Did you use the MCE SE device?

This is the link to the Harmony site for the SE device:
http://forums.logitech.com/t5/Harmony-Re...844#M37810

Also, note that this MCE SE device is used only as a supplement to the MCE Keyboard. The majority of the keys already available in the MCE Keyboard. I just added this device so that that its combo keys are also available.

To answer question about keyboard.xml. In order to specify these Win+n keys in keyboard.xml, you will need to assign a Win+n to a key that XBMC recognizes (a,b,c,d, ...) and then use that key inside keyboard.xml.
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I am not sure what you mean but my Harmony 300 has no way to combine two configs. I have to chose one. I got it all setup and will stick with it for now.
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rasstar Wrote:I am not sure what you mean but my Harmony 300 has no way to combine two configs. I have to chose one. I got it all setup and will stick with it for now.

Glad you got it worked out.

The way Harmony remotes work is you would select multiple devices to include in an activity. Then in setting up the activity, you can choose set a button to execute any of the included devices button. For example, Vol+ and Vol- can be set to control the receiver, Transport buttons such as Play/Stop/Rewind/... can be set to control the XBMC in playing video and music,... The bottom line is you would mix the commands from various devices into an activity. That's really not combining configurations, just a way to control all devices the way you want to control in one activity.
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bodhi Wrote:Glad you got it worked out.

The way Harmony remotes work is you would select multiple devices to include in an activity. Then in setting up the activity, you can choose set a button to execute any of the included devices button. For example, Vol+ and Vol- can be set to control the receiver, Transport buttons such as Play/Stop/Rewind/... can be set to control the XBMC in playing video and music,... The bottom line is you would mix the commands from various devices into an activity. That's really not combining configurations, just a way to control all devices the way you want to control in one activity.

Not the case with the Harmony 300. The only thing I can change is which device controls the volume. I am still having trouble getting XBMC to launch. Sometimes it works other times it does not.
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[WINDOWS] HOW-TO use a Logitech Harmony Remote with XBMC13
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