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Echo and Harmony Hub- Advice please?

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Echo and Harmony Hub- Advice please?
« on: January 26, 2017, 05:09:17 am »
Hi all,

 I have messed around with home automation for a long time, the dream is to have a working voice controlled solution but I haven't been able to find one yet :-)

 I have been doing a lot of research around the Logitech Harmony Hub and echo dot, and this in theory should be able to do what I want. I already have in place Philips Hue lights, and a Nest thermostat, so those working with Echo should not be a problem.

 The question is around the Harmony hub, I have had a read of confliciting reviews, some say that the echo and the Harmony work really well together, some say they do but there are limitations, and some say they don't work at all.

 I was wondering if anyone in the UK has this set up already, and if so, would be able to share their experiences of how well this works?

 Any info would be gratefully received.

Thanks

Dan

Re: Echo and Harmony Hub- Advice please?
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2017, 09:01:56 am »
Dan,

I tried the Harmony over the weekend. Here's a review I just put up on Amazon:

This is more about the hardware that the Skill. Bought the hub last Friday to work with Alexa and returned it on Saturday. I spent the whole evening and following morning trying my best to get it working to a point I could say it had value but unfortunately, no joy. The software on the laptop is a pain and has not moved on since I last used a Harmony remote about five years ago. The editing of Activities is unfriendly and limited often ending with the only option of delete and try again. Many times the hub would stop controlling the options requiring app restarts, would ignore my settings such as "Smart TV" and just decided I actually meant the "AV" input. Linking the Harmony account for the Skill took several attempts and then you need to try the red and blue Skills before it decides on which one you can use.

The value of a hub like this is immense for Smart Home projects and could be the go to product for modern living but Logitech seem to be recycling their stodgy software rather than investing in providing an efficient ands satisfying 2017 type user experience. Right now I find the interface frustrating and so I returned the hub and will give it another six months or so before checking in to see if they have pulled their finger out. I have other Logitech products that I enjoy very much but the excellent Squeezebox range seem to have been the last products from their glory days.


Bottom line is that, much as I want this to work, I wouldn't go for it until they get their act together on the implementation and software.

Cheers,

Nick

Re: Echo and Harmony Hub- Advice please?
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2017, 03:48:21 pm »
Hi,
I have the Harmony Hub and Nick is right, the hardware is really good, but the fact I have to say 'alexa, tell harmony to turn on the tv' is a pain. If I say 'ask harmony' it does not work.

I have used IFTTT to 'trigger tv', but the more clouds involved, the slower and more unreliable it is.

There is a Broadlink RM Pro Wi-Fi Smart Home Automation device for a fraction of the cost, and it can be setup to work (via IFTTT or Yonomi, can't remember), but again, I'm betting the various devices it has to pass through will cause a delay.

Th Harmony Hub is laborious to set up, so much so that I have only basic functionality after having this for about a three weeks. I'll configure it properly when I have time.

I guess it's like the Hue Lights, after asking a couple of times, if it isn't working for some reason, it's easier to just press a button that argue with Alexa.

Kenny.

Re: Echo and Harmony Hub- Advice please?
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2017, 06:06:53 am »
i just say turn on tv

if you search on line you  can see how to remove the harmony tag from the naming

add it to smarthings and you have total integration this is the best solution

although its costly as you would need smarthings


Re: Echo and Harmony Hub- Advice please?
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2017, 12:39:19 pm »
Thanks all. For some reason I've got notifications switched off, so was not being rude.
 Thanks. I think you've answered my question. I've seen promising things in the past, that haven't worked in the implementation.
Interesting that it works well integrated with smart things. That might make things a bit pricey though.
Thanks again everyone for the response.

Re: Echo and Harmony Hub- Advice please?
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2017, 03:36:58 am »
I disagree - I think Harmony works well if you take a practical view of its use. I use it to control groups of av equipment, primarily for switching on devices, setting appropriate inputs etc, selecting smart/Apple TV apps to select etc, but only occasionally to switch channel or change volume as I normally have my Ipad on in front of me and use the harmony app. Others still prefer a remote for handiness in addition to Echo. I have a setup doc on my fb group page if you want to read further https://www.facebook.com/groups/159242814558958/