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Alexa and Harmony - Some Harmony commands stop working

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Alexa and Harmony - Some Harmony commands stop working
« on: January 11, 2019, 03:21:06 pm »
I have a strange situation happening and I'm wondering if anyone else is experiencing this:

I have a Harmony Hub connected to Alexa.
I have an Alexa Routine that turns on all my home theater equipment, some Phillips Hue lights, etc. It works perfectly.

Problem is - After a while, Alexa stops controlling the lower level home theater commands, like "Volume Up", "Go to CNN" etc. These commands are working fine at first, but after some time, they stop working. Here's the kicker - if I tell Alexa to "Turn On TV" (the same command used in the routine),  she does so, and then the volume and other commands work again, for a while.

It's almost as if Alexa reverts to a different mode after a period of time, and that the "Turn On TV" command puts her back into Harmony mode?

Anyone out there know what's going on here? Cause I'm stumped.

Thanks all!

Offline jwlv

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Re: Alexa and Harmony - Some Harmony commands stop working
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2019, 04:22:05 pm »
I don't know if this applies to the Logitech Harmony, but I use a Tivo skill (for my Tivo DVR). With the Tivo skill, they mention bringing the Tivo device "in focus". In other words, Alexa has to know that the device is currently being used.

To quote the Tivo instructions, "...if there's been no activity on the TiVo device for approximately 60-90 minutes (e.g., if you have been watching a single show or channel for a long time), you will need to add “TiVo” to the command (“Alexa, Pause on TiVo”)."  I can see why this is important. If I were to say "Alexa, pause." She wouldn't know if I'm talking about streaming music, my Tivo, or some other device.

In your case, if you told Alexa to "turn on TV" and nothing else for a while, and then when you say "volume up" Alexa probably wouldn't know if you wanted her to change the volume on the Echo speaker, the TV, or something else. I would guess that your TV is no longer "in focus" for the Harmony skill.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2019, 04:55:11 pm by jwlv »

Re: Alexa and Harmony - Some Harmony commands stop working
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2019, 06:37:45 pm »
That sound exactly like what’s going on. And it makes sense why it would need to happen. But, it would be nice if Alexa would give us the option of either - Revert back to Alexa focus, or Stay focused on latest input. OT at least ask us.

Thanks for the reply. Makes sense.