For my television and with the default list of commands, I calculated that if I wanted to move just the “TwinView” command from its default position up to the very first spot, I would have to click the “up” arrow 118 times, moving the mouse each time to follow the command, and scrolling the window when it reached the top (roughly once every 6 clicks). Oh, how I long for a graphical representation of the screen where I can simply drag a command from the last page to the first... or even for the ability to use standard editing conventions such as cut, insert, paste!
Since it’s becoming apparent that Logitech really does prefer you to avoid accessing commands on a device level and instead use activities, let’s finish setting those up.
Finessing activities and macros.
As activities can only contain commands from devices officially assigned to that activity, before I could add a few functions from my rotor control to the “Watch HDTV” activity, I first needed to associate the rotor device with that task. Clicking on the [Settings] button, I selected “review the settings for this activity” followed by “I want to add more control of options and devices for this activity”. The next screen contains a list of the devices used by that activity at the top, and all other unassociated system devices below. Just click the [Add] button next to a new device and now any command from that device will be available for inclusion in that activity.
After clicking [Save] and navigating once again through the mandatory input selection screens, a new screen not available during the initial setup wizard appears. It contains a partial list of commands that will be sent every time that activity runs (as power commands are managed solely by the Harmony they aren’t shown here). Basically, these are the activity switching macros. It’s possible to add commands to run at the beginning or end of an activity, for example if you want your remote controllable lights to dim or the DVD player’s tray to automatically eject. Depending on the device selected to add a command from, the software will also let you insert a manual delay, add an input command, or change to a specific channel number.
One feature initially missing when Logitech changed to their current programming software was the ability to create custom macros – stringing together your own sequence of commands on a single button. A limited form of this has recently been re-introduced under an activity’s “customize buttons” option, where the new “add sequence” button will allow the creation of a key with up to 5 commands from any system devices. Short, yes, but macros still. It’s also possible to create a sequence of up to 6 custom commands from a single device when customizing the “power on” and/or “power off” macros.
If a greater number of steps are needed for any macro, it’s unofficially possible in Raw learning mode to record a “micro macro” – which is tricking the remote into learning more than one command at once. These can be difficult to capture reliably, but when you need them they’re well worth the effort!
Since the Harmony 1000 is a color touchscreen remote control, users will have some expectations as to the level of customization that will be achievable. Granted, it’s understood that the Harmony concept is trying to appeal to a general audience that wants a plug-and-play experience with minimal fuss, but this is an expensive “advanced universal remote” and as such should at least offer some basic customization of the activity screens that will be used every day, right?