Harmony Hub Update

I’ve been using my Harmony hub with remote for a month now, and it has been extremely successful. I have it controlling my TV, my DVD player, my YouView box, my Fire TV Stick and my stereo.

In the last month, I have had to resort to using an original remote just twice, when I found I was missing a function. However, each time, the learning ability meant I was able to plug each gap as I came to it.

What I didn’t realise when I first bought the hub was how to position it. I had imagined that you needed to position it somewhere that could see all your devices; I was planning to put it on the bookcase behind my chair. It is simpler than that – you simply put it on your TV unit, facing outward (i.e. facing you, not the TV). The IR signal is strong enough that it simply bounces off the wall and back to all your devices. I have kit on various shelves, and the hub works with everything – I didn’t even need to use the extra IR emitter they provided.

What I hadn’t considered when using setups that shove the TV audio through my stereo, is that while the remote is controlling the TV or BluRay, I didn’t have control of the stereo volume. Thinking about it, I realised that in most such instances (BluRay and FireTV), I had no use for the channel buttons, so I repurposed those as volume controls for the stereo, while the TV volume is controlled as normal. This lets me easily find a nice balance between TV and stereo that sounds really good, but also sounds like it is coming from the TV (something that irritates me about some audio solutions).

I later realised that when playing DRM content from Amazon and Netflix, the audio cannot play through the stereo – it just plays a noise. So I very quickly programmed in a mute switch.

The only thing I am currently lacking is a Subtitles button for YouView. I sometimes use Subtitles, so that is another bit of reprogramming I need to do, but it is easy enough to do.

But all in all, a big success.

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