Logi Legend
Posts: 12,385
Registered: ‎08-25-2006

Harmony Remote FAQ, Misunderstandings, and Tips

Introductory Information from DonHarmony

Extensive Harmony Remote Database: 
The Harmony Remote control database currently contains over 250,000 devices from over 7,000 manufacturers.

The constantly evolving Remote control database is updated on a daily basis.  Therefore, the chances of your device being our database are extremely high.

Adding to the Harmony Remote Database:
If you own a device that is not in our database, you will still be able to control that device with your Harmony Remote as long as you have the original remote for that device.  During the setup of your Harmony Remote, the remote control software will guide you through the process of teaching the Harmony Remote 3 commands from the original remote, for your device.  From these 3 commands the software will be able to determine what infrared codes and settings your device uses.  Within minutes you will be able to control your device.  Your device will then be added to the remote control database for others to use.

If you do not own the original remote, all is not lost.  The remote control database is primarily customer driven.  Since there so many new Harmony customers every hour of every day, the probability of another customer adding that same device and adding the infrared codes to our database with their original remote in the near future is very likely.

Learning Infrared Commands from the Original Remote:
Given the fact that the remote control database is so large, this isn't likely necessary.  However, in this case you could teach the Harmony Remote every command from your original remote using the remote control software. Once this has been done, you will have full control of your device with the Harmony Remote.

Samsung LCD HDTV (UN65KS8000), Comcast X1 HD DVR Cable Box, Panasonic BluRay Player (DMP-BD55), Onkyo Receiver (TX-SR806), XBox 360, Nintendo Wii, SlingCatcher, and Apple TV (64GB 4th Gen.)....all with my Harmony Ultimate Home
Samsung LCD HDTV (LN40B640), Comcast X1 HD DVR, Panasonic Blu-Ray Player (DMP-BD60), SlingCatcher, and Apple TV (3rd Gen.) Monoprice HDMI Switch (HDX-501)....all with my Harmony 900 w/ 2 Blasters

(Note: I am not affiliated with Logitech®, Inc.) Have you seen the FAQ Sticky? Useful Links Definition of Delays
Logi Legend
Posts: 12,385
Registered: ‎08-25-2006

Re: Harmony Remote FAQ, Misunderstandings, and Tips

[ Edited ]




1. Which remotes can control my devices? 

All Harmony remotes utilize the same database of commands/devices. While some remotes are advertised as being DVR or TiVo friendly, the truth is that all Harmony remotes can control a DVR or TiVo. If your devices are in the database (which you can check by taking the test drive), there is a good chance that the Harmony and device will interact well together. You may be required to learn some/all of the commands if they are not in the database or do not function correctly. Furthermore, you may need to change some of the timing settings, well. There are a few exceptions to note. The Harmony remotes can not learn RF commands, so learning is limited to IR signals. Also, due to recent announcements, the harmony 1000 remote is not capable of controlling Z-Wave RF devices. The Harmony 890 (pro) and 1000 can still be paired with the Wireless Extender to control IR devices that do not have line of sight to the remote and the 890 (pro) can still control Z-wave dimmers and switches (not thermostats). With the 890, the wireless extender is included, with the 1000 and 890 Pro, the extender is not included.



2. Do I need the Harmony 360 to control the Xbox 360? Can I use the Harmony 360 if I don't have an Xbox 360?


Similar to number 1, all Harmony remotes can control the Xbox 360. Furthermore, you can use the Harmony 360 even if you don't have the Xbox 360.



3. Is there a list of devices that the remotes can control?


Logitech has created a new tool that will allow you to check if your devices are in the database. Please note that this is a new tool and there are still some tweaks being made to it. Also, just because a device is in the database, this does not mean that 100% of the commands will work automatically. You may still need to learn or confirm some commands from the original remotes. What you basically need to know is that if your devices are in the database, then chances are you won't need to learn many of the commands from the original remote. If your devices are not in the database or the commands to not function correctly, you can learn the commands from the original remote. The harmony remotes are capable of learning IR commands from original remotes, so compatibility with IR based devices should not be a problem.



4. I need to learn commands from the original remote, but the original remote is broken. What do I do?


If you can't get your hands on an original remote, you can try to contact the company that makes your device. They may be able to send the commands directly to you or Logitech so that they can be added to the database.



5. I just got my remote and charged it, but now what do I do?


You will need to create a user name/account and program the remote via your computer. Have the model numbers of your devices ready. Be careful to enter the numbers exactly, as it's possible to accidentally get a different profile for the device that doesn't work correctly. After entering your devices, you should proceed to setup activities.



6. My Harmony 880/885 or 890/895 won't charge. What's wrong? 

From what I've read, the shape of these remotes was changed close to their launch. As a result, the shape of the base also needed to be changed and the fit was not optimal. So what might be happening is that the remote might not be making constant contact with the base.  Two tricks worth trying before contacting Tech Support:


a. Using a Q-tip and rubbing alcohol, clean the contacts on the bottom of the remote and the base.

b. Open the battery cover on the remote and place a small, folded piece of paper between the battery and the battery cover (not under the battery).


When your remote is placed in the charger base, you should hear a beep, and the current screen on the remote should change to the screen saver and then shortly after it should dim considerably. If you continue to see odd behavior when attempting to charge your remote, contact Tech support.



7. I'm confused and need more direct instructions, where is the user manual?


There are a few ways to get to a 'user manual,' but it should be noted that it is not a step-by-step guide of programming options. It's more of a guide than a manual. Unfortunately, due to the astronomical number of possible combinations of devices, there isn't a way to put together a manual that details the setup step-by-step. The wizard, while constraining to some, is a good guide to getting your remote programmed.


Method 1: Under the Support section of the Logitech website, search the troubleshooting section for manual after selecting your remote model from the drop down choices.

Method 2: Log in to the web interface and along the top there should be a link to "User Manual."



8. What's better, the web interface or the desktop application?


It's really a matter of preference, and perhaps what you used first. I prefer to make my changes via the web interface, but the desktop application is still required to actually update the remote. It should be noted that the web interface is not the officially supported user interface.



9. Is there a way to reorder devices and/or activities?


For remotes that have physical buttons for activities, you are not able to reorder the activities listed under the "More Activities" option. Remotes that only use the LCD display and soft buttons for their activities can order your activities in any way you wish.The order of devices on the remote appears to vary based on the activity status, and is at times unpredictable. Reordering the devices on the remotes is not possible and should not be necessary. The remotes are intended to be used via Activities. If you frequently find yourself going into device menus to use commands that are not mapped to physical keys on the remote, you can (and should) customize the LCD screen for the activity and add the command there. The remote has Smart State technology that tracks what the power/input status of the devices are, but this only tracks changes that are expected based on the activity programming. If you change the power/input status of a device manually, using the original remote control or using the device menu, the Harmony activity does not know that a change has taken place. As a result, the remote may get 'out of synch.' Typically, using the help button will help synch the remotes expected status with the status of each device.



10. Sometimes I use the receiver for sound and other times I use the TV. How do I set this up?


First, you'll want to make sure that you've setup separate activities for each sound option (i.e. Watch TV with receiver, Watch TV). During the setup, you'll be asked what device is used to control the sound. Since you likely won't want the TV outputting sound while using the receiver, at the end of the setup for Watch TV with receiver, you will want to select option 2 (yes, but I want more control). This will make you step through the wizard again, but then allow you to add/delete commands to the start and/or end of an activity. At this point, add the internal speaker mute command (if available), the mute command (if it doesn't display a 'mute' box on your TV the whole time), the sequence of commands to use the TV menu to toggle the internal speaker mute or as a last option, several volume down commands. Keep in mind, that you'll want to undo any changes that you add to the start of the activity by adding commands to the end of the activity (Off does equal exiting an activity). Also, please keep in mind that the more commands you add here will mean the longer you need to hold the remote pointing at the devices (unless using the Wireless Extender with a capable remote).

Message Edited by WannabeActuary on 11-24-2008 05:17 PM

Samsung LCD HDTV (UN65KS8000), Comcast X1 HD DVR Cable Box, Panasonic BluRay Player (DMP-BD55), Onkyo Receiver (TX-SR806), XBox 360, Nintendo Wii, SlingCatcher, and Apple TV (64GB 4th Gen.)....all with my Harmony Ultimate Home
Samsung LCD HDTV (LN40B640), Comcast X1 HD DVR, Panasonic Blu-Ray Player (DMP-BD60), SlingCatcher, and Apple TV (3rd Gen.) Monoprice HDMI Switch (HDX-501)....all with my Harmony 900 w/ 2 Blasters

(Note: I am not affiliated with Logitech®, Inc.) Have you seen the FAQ Sticky? Useful Links Definition of Delays
Logi Legend
Posts: 12,385
Registered: ‎08-25-2006

Re: Harmony Remote FAQ, Misunderstandings, and Tips

11. The activity didn't start correctly, the help button worked, but the activity didn't work right the next time. What's going on? 

When an activity doesn't start correctly, it can be for several reasons. If it's happening on a regular basis (and not due to something blocking the IR signals from getting to the devices), this is likely due to a timing issue. The most likely culprits are the inter-device delay and the power on delay. The inter-device delay corresponds to the time a device needs to process IR signals it sees and determine if it's intended for that device or not. Since the device can likely see the IR signals intended for all devices, it might be busy processing commands for other devices and miss commands actually intended for it. The power on delay corresponds to the time needed for the device to power on and ready itself for commands. The Harmony remote will send commands for other devices during the power on delay, but it will not send any other signals for that device until the power on delay time has elapsed. It should be noted that the help button does NOT reprogram the remote in any way. It's simply a way to get things back in synch.



12. How do I control the PS3/Wii with my Harmony remote? 

Because the PS3 and Wii do not have IR receivers, they are not directly compatible with the Harmony remotes. However, you can still create activities to turn on your other devices for those activities and set them to the correct inputs. There is the 'original' workaround to get some control over the PS3 using your harmony. Nyko has released a PS3 accessory that is a remote and IR receiver. With this accessory, you can now receive IR signals and you can teach the IR commands to the harmony remote from the original remote (until the commands eventually make it into the database). More information can be found in this thread.  With both of these options, you can control the PS3 with the exception of the power on/off.  Other devices like the IR2BT, are more expensive and hard to find.  However, they do allow for full control of the PS3.



13. Why isn't my Bose or DirecTV box responding to commands?

These devices are typically controlled by RF signals by default. It should be noted that they use proprietary RF signals. The Harmony remotes (including the Harmony 890), and no universal remote that I know of, are not capable of controlling devices that use proprietary RF signals. Unfortunately the Harmony 1000 is no longer capable of controlling Z-Wave RF devices directly with the remote. It can control IR devices without line of sight via the Wireless Extender. Fortunately, many Bose and DirecTV boxes can be switched over to be controlled via IR instead of RF. Doing so should allow you to control them with your Harmony remote. Certain fans, like HamptonBay, are also controlled via proprietary RF signals. Unfortunately, these typically do not have an IR mode that you can switch to.



14. I want to control my computer with my Harmony remote, do I need an IR receiver or an IrDA receiver?

You would need an IR receiver.  Most USB based IR receivers come with a remote as well.  This is actually a good thing because it provides an ‘original remote’ in case you need to learn any commands.



15. I want to add lighting controls to my setup, what do I need?

A common choice for the remote controlled lighting that will work with any Harmony remote is x10 lighting. To control x10 lighting with the Harmony remotes, you will need the IR543 to receive the IR signals. This thread is extremely informational on x10 lighting. The harmony 890 and 890 Pro (along with their non-US equivalents) can control Z-Wave lighting (dimmers and switches). Another option is the Lutron Maestro IR Dimmer with the Silver button remote. Setup is easy, just add a Light Controller>Lutron>Maestro and you'll have all of the Lutron IR codes. Simple since all you do is replace the original light switch with the IR dimmer and add it as a device.



16. I want to set up my favorite channels with logos, do I need to make them or can I get them somewhere?

Randy has his new site up and running with a lot of great logos for the Harmony One and is also making logos for the 1000.

Different model remotes use different aspect ratios for the favorite channel logos.

The Harmony 880 and 890 use a ratio of 64x32. The Harmony 1000 uses a ratio of 36x32. The Harmony One uses a ratio of 75x44. Each has a size (kb) restriction as well, but for an image this size, using a .jpeg extension shouldn't run into a size problem. The logos on Squareworld are designed especially for the 880/890. The logos on LyngSat are 132x99, but you can easily open a new project in MS Paint and change the attributes to something like 112x99 for the 1000 or 169x99 for the Harmony One. Then just copy the LyngSat image and paste it into the project and center it. This will cause the image to stay in the correct aspect ratio for your remote.

Should someone be really ambitious, they could go ahead and make the logos in each ratio and host them somewhere so that each person isn't having to resize images. Just think of the greater good you would be doing.



17. Can I customize the icons for my activities?

Currently you are not able to customize any icons for your activities.



18. How do I setup the wireless extender to control my devices?

Here is what you need to know:  


  1. You must first add the wireless extender as a device. 
  2. Only when you do this will the software allow you to select the wireless extender from the drop-down menu on the remote control page. That's the page that shows the list of the remote controls you are replacing (tv, amp, sat, dvd, etc.). There is a drop-down menu next to each item. If you only have one choice in the drop-down menu, you have to do step #1 listed above.
  3. Typically, you'll want to tell the Harmony remote to use the "Harmony remote" to control the television. Then, be sure to select the "Wireless extender" to control the devices that are out of the direct line of sight. You'll do this by by selecting "Wireless extender" from the drop-down menu on the right
  4. When everything is saved and you are ready to update your Harmony remote AND wireless extender by connecting both to the computer (only connect one at a time, when prompted). Be sure that the wireless extender is NOT plugged in to a power source during this update.
  5. With the new firmware, the pairing is automatic upon updating the remote and extender. There is no longer any need to use the connect button on the extender and the RF network option is no longer available on the remote.





19. I thought you only had to update the wireless extender when there was a change to the extender, why am I always asked to update the extender?  Is there a way around this?

The wireless extender does have a 'Smart Update' feature that only requires you to update the extender when needed.  However, the way the software presents this to you is confusing.  When you make a change to your setup and then click on 'Update Remote,' you will be prompted to connect the wireless extender first.  However, if you connect the remote first, it is able to check and see if an update to the extender is necessary.  If your change does not require an update to the extender, you will be given the option to either skip the extender update or update it if you choose.  If you select 'Skip,' it will let you proceed to update just the remote.  It should be noted that it does recommend you update the extender as well to make sure the setup is up to date.



20. I'm having trouble learning commands on with my Harmony One, what's wrong?

The first thing I would recommend is trying to learn the commands in raw format if you've only been trying to learn them in the default method (analyzed). If you're still having problems, try reducing the light in the room. The Harmony One actually has a new and improved learning port that is much better at learning commands than previous models. The only problem with it right now is that it is too sensitive and picks up too much interference from other devices. People with laptops seem to be able to learn if they are running on battery power instead of plugged in.
Logitech is aware of this and is working on finding a way to lower the sensitivity of the port so that it's not getting too much noise from other devices. A replacement remote is not the recommended fix, as the underlying issue is the 'noise' from nearby devices. Support can put in any commands someone is missing if needed until this is sorted out.  

Samsung LCD HDTV (UN65KS8000), Comcast X1 HD DVR Cable Box, Panasonic BluRay Player (DMP-BD55), Onkyo Receiver (TX-SR806), XBox 360, Nintendo Wii, SlingCatcher, and Apple TV (64GB 4th Gen.)....all with my Harmony Ultimate Home
Samsung LCD HDTV (LN40B640), Comcast X1 HD DVR, Panasonic Blu-Ray Player (DMP-BD60), SlingCatcher, and Apple TV (3rd Gen.) Monoprice HDMI Switch (HDX-501)....all with my Harmony 900 w/ 2 Blasters

(Note: I am not affiliated with Logitech®, Inc.) Have you seen the FAQ Sticky? Useful Links Definition of Delays
Logi Legend
Posts: 12,385
Registered: ‎08-25-2006

Re: Harmony Remote FAQ, Misunderstandings, and Tips

21. I need to update my remote's firmware in safe mode, how do I do it?



  1. start the software on your computer
  2. remove battery from remote
  3. press and hold the off button
  4. connect the remote to the USB cable
  5. when remote is connected it should show "Safe Mode" in the LCD (power is provided by USB at this time)
  6. release the off button
  7. initiate a firmware update in the software
  8. after successful firmware update, update the remote with your settings
  9. disconnect the remote from the USB cable
  10. reinsert the battery in the remote
  11. wait for the remote to come up





22. What's the best process to replace a device in your setup?

First, you will want to add the new device to your setup.  At this point, it's recommended to NOT delete the old device.  Next, in the setup, on the activities tab select the option to review the settings for the activity.  Select the third option, to setup the activity again.  This option stores keeps all the current settings from the activity, but because it asks each question again, you can change the answer to any of the questions as needed to use the new device instead of the old one.  Repeat this for each activity where the new device is replacing the old device.Once you have completed this, go to the devices tab in the setup and verify that the old device is not involved in any activities.  At this point it is safe to remove the old device.  Depending on the device, you won't have much to setup again.  If it was the device that you have setup to control the favorite channels, you may need to setup the favorite channels again.  Otherwise, you shouldn't have to setup anything again other than commands on the LCD of the activity that were from the old device.



23. I have a BluRay or HD-DVD player that I want to setup, what category is this under?

Both of these types of devices are essentially a specialized subset of DVD players.  As such, to add the player to your setup, you can select it under the DVD player category.  Similarly, when setting up your activity, select the 'Watch DVD' option.



24. I can't remember my login name/password, but I need to make changes. Can I upload my account from the remote, or do I need to start from scratch?

Unfortunately, you cannot upload the current settings from the remote. However, you may not be completely out of luck. At the login screen, select the "I forgot my password" option and say that you have the remote. Plug in the remote and it will be able to determine the username that was used to program the remote; write this down. Now request that the password be emailed to you and you should have the username and password to your account. Login to your account and you should find all your settings ready for you to make further adjustments. However, if for some reason you're unable to do so, you will have to start from scratch.



25. The backlight on my Harmony One stays on sometimes, what's wrong?

This issue was resolved in the end of March/beginning of April update. It’s not a few firmware, just update your remote with whatever remote assistant setting you want and all should be well.



26. Do you have any general recommendations?

a. When setting up your activities, select the option to setup the activity manually and then select the appropriate activity type.  This option allows for more flexibility in setting up your activity and will result in less tweaking after the setup.  Please note that this is different from the ‘Utility’ Activity option which is very generic and does not automatically map commands for you.  While this option gives a LOT of flexibility, it does not allow for any icon with the activity and means a lot of manual button/command mapping.

b. Go into the device menu on the remote for each device and try each command listed there. Keep notes on which commands work, which don't, and what they actually do. You may find additional commands that were not on the original remote that do in fact work. It's helpful to test the input commands with the other devices on because some tvs won't view the HDMI inputs as active unless the device using them is powered on. Most commonly, you may find: - Discrete (separate) power on and power off commands that you can use instead of power toggle. This will help activities run more smoothly. - Discrete input commands that you can use instead of your current input selection method. If you find some that work, but not one for each input that you are using, you can set the activity up using the closest direct input that does work and add additional commands (see #10) to the activity the scroll one or two inputs as needed. 

Samsung LCD HDTV (UN65KS8000), Comcast X1 HD DVR Cable Box, Panasonic BluRay Player (DMP-BD55), Onkyo Receiver (TX-SR806), XBox 360, Nintendo Wii, SlingCatcher, and Apple TV (64GB 4th Gen.)....all with my Harmony Ultimate Home
Samsung LCD HDTV (LN40B640), Comcast X1 HD DVR, Panasonic Blu-Ray Player (DMP-BD60), SlingCatcher, and Apple TV (3rd Gen.) Monoprice HDMI Switch (HDX-501)....all with my Harmony 900 w/ 2 Blasters

(Note: I am not affiliated with Logitech®, Inc.) Have you seen the FAQ Sticky? Useful Links Definition of Delays