Manage Two Harmony Hubs?

Here’s the deal. I want to manage my stereo and TV without a remote. My Stereo and XBox are in the utility room behind the TV. The TV is in the living room.

I can put a Harmony Hub in the utility room, but it won’t be able to IR activate the TV without running a IR receiver from the utility room, thru the ceiling, out the back of the TV wall mount arm, and then tape it to the front of the TV with enough slack for the arm to be extended. This is all doable in theory with the right extra cables.

So I had a thought. If I had a Harmony Hub in the Utility Room, and another in the family room somewhere, could I setup a sitemap so it turns on everything and the stuff in the utility room would automatically turn on thru the utility room hub, and the TV would turn on with the living room hub? This probably won’t work thru Alexa as she only supports on hub, but curious, 1, if I could do something thru OpenHAB, and two, with OpenHAB would there be a way to do something with Alexa to ask her to turn things on and OpenHAB would do the back end processing on both Harmony Hubs?



A quick look at the Binding readme seems to indicate it can support more than one Hub at a time so you are good from the OH side.

From the Alexa side, I think you just need to define a proxy Item tagged with “Switchable” or whatever is the proper tag to tell Alexa that it can control something in OH. Then create a Rule that sends all the right commands to the right Hubs to turn on/off your devices.

That’s brilliant. So even though Alexa can only handle one hub directly, she could handle multiple “items” from OpenHAB as long as they are types she supports.



Yes, that is what I do with my 2 harmony hubs.

The more I read about this, is the binding basically turn on and off an activity on the hub? So we can’t really manage changing channels or typing in numbers or fast forwarding or going back thru OpenHAB? Thought I could create a remote within sitemap or HabPanel but not seeing it here.



Correct u can start and stop the Activities, and ask which Activities is currently selected but no to using it as a remote. I use Kodi and the Kodi binding to do the remote side, but first the harmony is needed to turn on the tv and amps and select the right inputs by using the Activities.
It actually works far better this way as a dumb remote does not know if something is playing or not as some devices pushing PAUSE twice will actually cause the program to start playing again so you never really know if it is paused or playing. By using Kodi it correctly tracks and reports a huge amount for you to use, it even tells you if it is a MOVIE playing or a tv series and what the name of the movie is and far more.

So in my case I use a TV with XBox 360 and Windows Media Center. I have a PC with a TV tuner in it and basically what happens today:

  1. Harmony turns on TV
  2. Harmony turns on Denon receiver and switches to HDMI1
  3. Harmony turns on XBox 360 and it auto loads into media center

I then use the remote to navigate the menus and play/pause things.

Would the Kodi remote work in this case? Does it have to somehow be tied to the Harmony binding so it will send commands to the hub?



You should check out Kodi it is far more configurable and would replace your windows media centre software. Funny thing is Kodi used to be called Xbmc as in Xbox media centre.

Yeah, it really can’t. I have cable tv but do not have cable boxes (use a cable card in a server). WMC built into Windows 7 is the only one that supports digital pay channels and the security that is required to view them. Plus if I remember right, Kodi dropped their support for XBox devices and then I’d have to replace all my XBox devices with PC’s and everything that comes with that in order to even consider trying to use it. And the live TV capabilities isn’t quite there compared to the old WMC software.

That said, would the Kodi plugin even work in my case or should I dump the whole concept of automating my TV setup? If it would, curious what items and rules look like to allow it to talk thru the Harmony Hub. Keep in mind I was thinking no physical remote, I would just use the tablet as the remote with up/down/left/right, jump forward, jump back, record, stop, etc.



So why can’t you continue to use this approach? Create an activity in Harmony to do steps 1-3, then use the remote to navigate the menus.

I’m pretty certain that Kodi runs fantastically well on a RPi 3. I used to run openELEC (which was basically customization to the OS an Kodi) on a RPi 1B and it performed adequately (which means that a RPi0 might be adequate too). You do not need to purchase a whole new PC to run Kodi.

And it probably doesn’t have to be an either/or thing. Use your WMC as your DVR and use Kodi to view the recordings, as one example of what is possible.

Also, make sure you have a plan to protect your Win7 machine given the last security update for it that MS will release is a mere months away.

Plex might be an option for you as well. I’m happy with it, but I have Rokus at my TVs and no live TV to deal with.

Probably not unless somehow that REST API that Kodi implements is identical to what is running on your XBoxes.

However, if your old WMC/Xbox media code does have a REST API, you should be able to interact with it using the HTTP binding or sendHttp*Request Actions in Rules.

There are tablets that incorporate an IR blaster. The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 does for sure as I have one of these tables. You could use Tasker or something like that to implement that if that is what you wish. From a usability perspective, I gotta say this approach sounds like a nightmare, but everyone has their own requirements and desires.

I saw your post in the other thread on harmony hubs. I had forgotten about the ability to send commands with the binding as that functionality is far better handled via the KODI binding with 2 way communication between kodi and openhab. I am pretty sure there is no way for Openhab to know that the PLAY button was pushed on the real harmony remote, even if you could it does not accurately track if something is actually playing or not as per last post. This is why Kodi is used for all viewing at my place and just recently they added Netflix addons that work under Linux and ARM devices if using the latest Kodi version.

As for hardware, yes PI2 or 3 works well for 1080 only, for 4k 60hz (no HDR only SDR) you need an Odroid C2 which is what I use for both Openhab server and also Kodi… The NVidia shield is also an excellent device to run kodi on as it then supports 4k with true HDR but the cost jumps.

It would be worth checking out if Mythtv will work with your cable TV boxes.
Mythtv is what I use to provide Live TV viewing in Kodi but it also support sat and paytv boxes as Mythtv is a very mature project for getting all your TV needs onto the 1 box. Kodi then has an addon to control mythtv content. The mythtv and Kodi forums would be the place to search and post questions on how to get your setup working.

Managing two Harmony Hubs is possible and works perfect for me.