Be vewy vewy quiet, I’m hunting wotors!
So what should you do if you have a device that doesn’t seem to correspond to anything in the database? On a traditional learning remote you’d simply take an empty device and do a code search or learn the commands, but on the Harmony things are a little trickier since you have to correctly identify the type of device you have – and for some that’s challenge enough.
The first device that had stumped me earlier was a Velodyne subwoofer – and of course “subwoofer” or “amplified speaker” wasn’t one of the options. So, I decided to try the closest match, an amplifier. Sure enough, there was a listing for Velodyne under that category. Entering the model number caused the software to return directly to the main menu without any further feedback – so it seemed that it may have found a positive match. Browsing through the list of commands assigned to that new device, yes, everything was in order.
The second device that posed a challenge was a Channel Master antenna rotor controller. Unlike the subwoofer, there really wasn’t any underlying “core” device that felt quite right and no “other” category to fall back on. Does it have something to do with a digital set top box? Is it an A/V switch? A home appliance? In the end I selected the “Channel Master” brand while browsing “home appliances”, typed in the model number and the software appeared to be happy. Back on the main screen, I had a new “light controller” device complete with inappropriate lightbulb icon.
So the correct codes were available in the database, and the software was smart enough to find a match in an unselected category. But I had been under the impression that with a computer programmable remote it should no longer be necessary to unintuitively store something under the wrong category. And while it may sound here as though all brands are listed no matter what device category is selected, that isn’t the case, so there’s still a degree of guesswork required to figure out which inappropriate section something might have been stored under.
Adding to the code cornucopia.
With over 225,000 devices profiled in the Harmony’s database and counting, chances are you’re never going to have to create a new device entirely from scratch by learning each and every command. However it may still be necessary to add a function that’s missing from Logitech’s default command set, or revise the standard list of commands assigned from the database.
Adding a new command is done with “learn infrared commands”. This option presents a list of every command currently associated with that device, along with an indication of whether it’s a database or learned code. Commands are stored in three categories: “recommended” which reflects base capabilities, “optional” which adds common secondary functions, plus “other” for everything else available on that device.
New codes are added to the bottom of the list by filling in the name and selecting [Learn New Command]. Individual commands from the database can also be replaced by hitting the adjacent [Learn] button, or groups of codes can be easily learned in sequence by filling in the tickbox next to each one and pressing [Learn Selected Commands]. The [Custom] button in the bottom right corner of the window changes the command list to allow for “raw” learning, which disables the Harmony’s sometimes intrusive massaging of codes into their base formats and instead stores the actual raw infrared sequence.