Ever wanted to control your television and other devices with your smartphone or tablet? Maybe even use Alexa or Google Assistant to control those same devices? Well, this is all possible by the Logitech Harmony Hub!
Setting up the Logitech Harmony Hub is slightly confusing if you aren't technically inclined. There are many steps and lots of things that can be modified, but don't worry that's why we're here! So how do you set up the Harmony Hub?
Here are the general steps for setting up the Harmony Hub.
There is a lot more that can be done with the Harmony Hub. Next, we will go into detail about the individual steps for setting
The Harmony Hub allows you to control your entertainment and smart home devices using a smartphone or tablet. You can create activities in which you can control multiple devices through a single interface. By initiating an activity, the hub will power on multiple devices, set the inputs, and allow you to change channels, navigate, raise/lower the volume, and more.
The hub is capable of controlling many different devices. It can control devices by using IR, WiFi, and Bluetooth. Use this device compatibility search tool to verify if your devices can be controlled by the hub or not. It's also compatible with certain smart home devices. This list has slowly grown over time and will likely continue to grow.
The following devices produced by major manufacturers can be controlled by the hub:
Using one of the Harmony remote controls, smartphone, and/or tablet, the Harmony Hub sends out IR commands to different entertainment devices. The hub can also control different devices via Bluetooth or Wifi/IP. Connect the IR mini blaster to the hub to ensure IR commands are more likely to be received.
You can configure activities with the hub. These are a set of commands for powering on, setting inputs, and controlling devices. For instance, you can create a "Watch TV" activity. When turning on the "Watch TV" activity the hub will power on the television, cable box, and receiver (if applicable). It will also set the television and/or receiver to the correct input. The activity will then have a single page to completely control the cable box, control the volume, and much more.
The Harmony Hub is relatively inexpensive when compared to other universal remote control systems. Click to check the current price. I can't recommend this product enough! The set up is relatively simple and makes your system startup and shut down much more convenient. No more searching for the 3-4 different remote controls needed for your system. Use your phone to turn on all of your devices and control everything from a single app!
Connect the micro USB power to the back of the hub. Allow 30 seconds to 1 minute for it to fully boot up.
Sometimes you will not need the IR mini blaster. If the hub has a decent line of sight to all devices, then it should be okay. If all of your equipment is in an open cabinet, then you likely won't need the IR mini blaster. However, if your equipment is located in an enclosed cabinet or space, then you can place the hub inside of the cabinet and place the IR mini blaster outside to reach the TV or projector.
Download on IOS: App Store Download
Download on Android: Google Play Download
Once you have downloaded and installed the Harmony Control App, we can begin the setup process!
Note: There is a desktop application for setting up the Harmony Hub, but it is slightly outdated.
Download for Windows: MyHarmony for Windows
Download for Mac: MyHarmony for Mac
I suggest using the app on IOS or Android to complete the setup process.
Upon opening the app, you are given the option to "Set Up New Hub" or "Connect to Hub". Tap "Set Up New Hub" to begin the setting up your brand new hub.
The hub will automatically choose the WiFi network with the best signal, if you would like to connect to a different SSID, then tap "Re-Scan". Once the correct WiFi SSID has been selected, type in the password and tap "Join".
You will need to create a Harmony Account if you don't have one already. I used the Google login option and linked my Gmail account. This account actually saves all of your configuration settings in the cloud. If you change phones or need to add a new phone, you won't need to redo all of your hard work. You can simply restore the saved settings to the device during the initial set up process.
You may or may not be prompted with this message. If you have previously set up a hub you can restore all the activities and added devices by tapping "Restore". Otherwise, tap "Add as new remote".
If you have a different Harmony Remote, you can import the activities and devices into the app. Otherwise, tap "No, Set Up New."
Automatically Detected Devices
The Harmony Hub will automatically scan your network for devices that can be controlled via WiFi/IP or Bluetooth. In my setup, it found a Sony TV, Roku Express, and Amazon Fire TV. I unchecked all of these because I would like to manually add my devices, but if these apply to the room you are using, then leave them checked and tap "Next".
Manually Adding Devices
There are 4 different options for adding devices that can be controlled by the hub.
Entertainment Device - This includes televisions, projectors, receivers, DVD/Blu-ray players, media streamers, etc.
Home Control - Smart home devices are added from here. You are able to control your smart light bulbs, smart outlets with a lamp attached, thermostats, etc. This is pretty handy because you can add your lights to the activity and have them dim when you power on your system.
Computer - To be perfectly honest, I've never used the computer control before. I guess this could be used if you have a media server set up on a computer or something like that.
Scan for Wi-Fi Devices - These are the devices that the hub automatically discovered.
Adding An Entertainment Device
When adding an entertainment device, you will need to know the "Manufacturer Name" and "Model" of the device.
For my living room setup, I have a Mitsubishi HC4000 projector, Denon AVR-889 receiver, and a Fire TV. Simply type in the information and the app does a very good job of finding the closest fit! Once you have added all of your devices, let's move on to the next page.
For testing your devices, you may need to adjust the position of your hub and/or IR mini blaster. Be sure to use the "On" and "Off" commands multiple times to ensure the IR commands are being received properly. If the commands seem to have a weak signal and aren't working properly, then you'll need to adjust the position of your hub or IR mini blaster. Continue adjusting their positions until all of the commands are being received accurately.
If the On and Off commands aren't working at all, then tap "FIX" and it will guide you through a troubleshooting process.
Once the commands are working properly, tap "NEXT".
Again as mentioned, an Activity is a set of commands for powering on, setting inputs, and controlling devices. It also has a central page to control all devices involved in the activity. Tap "Add Activity" to begin creating a new activity. The app will automatically suggest activities based on the devices you added.
For my setup, the app suggested a "Watch Fire TV" activity which controls the projector, receiver, and Fire TV. You also have the option to create your own activity from scratch.
Select Devices to Include in the Activity
Next, you will need to select the devices to include in the activity. For this setup, I select the Mitsubishi Projector, Denon AV Receiver, and Amazon Fire TV. Navigate to the next page, and it will ask you to ensure all of the devices are powered on. Once all of your devices are powered on, tap "My Devices Are On".
Setting Inputs for the Activity
After this, you will need to set the input for your devices on this activity. We leave our projector on the same input and switch inputs through the receiver. The Fire TV is connected to the HDMI port labeled "HDP". So I will set the Mitsubishi Projector to "No Change" and the Denon AV Receiver to "HDP".
On the next page, it asks you if you are able to both hear and see whatever the Fire TV is displaying. Tap "Yes" if all is good. If for some reason you cannot see and hear the device, then tap "No" and adjust the input settings.
Connecting Bluetooth Devices (if necessary)
Depending on the media device in your set up, you may or may not need to connect the Harmony Hub via Bluetooth to that device. Fire TVs, gaming systems, and media streamers typically use Bluetooth as their control method. Some devices, such as Roku streamers will be controlled via Wi-Fi/IP. This control method works very well and is incredibly fast! Bluetooth is similar, as well, but the range is much more limited.
Now for the fun part! We get to see if the Activity actually works or not. I highly suggest selecting "Test Now" to ensure everything is powering off and on properly. When you choose to test the activity, it will power off all of your devices in that activity. Once everything has powered off, it will begin to power everything back on and set the inputs.
Watch this process closely to make sure everything is powered on and set up properly. After the process has finished, it will ask if everything turned on correctly. Tap "Yes" if everything worked, or tap "No" if something went wrong.
The activity summary allows us to do a few different things. It allows us to rename the activity, edit the start sequence, edit the end sequence, schedule the activity to turn on/off at certain times, and reconnect Bluetooth and Wi-Fi/IP devices.
Edit Start Sequence
The start sequence is the list of commands executed when turning the activity on. By default, this includes the power on commands for each device, setting inputs for devices, and a delay. You can customize this by adding custom commands to the devices if wanted.
Edit End Sequence
The end sequence is the list of commands executed when turning the activity off. This includes all of the power off commands for your devices.
Scheduling allows you to start and end this activity at a certain time of the day and on certain days of the week. For instance, you could schedule this activity to end at 2AM every day. This would ensure everything is turned off if you accidentally left something on. Or you could use it as a parental control to make sure your kids stop watching TV and go to bed. Use this at your own discretion.
As mentioned, this allows you to reconnect to different Bluetooth or Wi-Fi/IP devices if they have lost connection for some reason. I actually had some issues with the Fire TV disconnecting. I had to use this to re-pair the hub and Fire TV so that the activity would work again.
And that completes the setup for the Harmony Hub! Once you tap "Exit Setup", it will save all of the configuration settings you just made. The activity should appear and work properly. If you want to add more devices or activities, you can do so on the home page of the harmony control app.
The Harmony App does pretty well with automatically placing controls for activities. The controls for an activity will have a starting page used for the main controls of the media device in that activity. Then pages two and three are full of extra commands used to control volume, inputs, etc. But what if you want to modify the placement of these? Below you can find out how to modify the button layout for an activity.
On most activities, there will be a bar at the bottom with fully customizable commands and placement of those commands. These and other controls on the activity are very customizable.
Modifying the buttons on an activity is really simple! It's best to customize the controls that best fit your needs. Make it as simple as possible to control all of your devices.
There are more products in the Harmony product line! They include the Harmony Elite and Harmony Companion remote controls. They are both programmable to work in "harmony" with the hub. See what I did there? Pretty clever right?
If you prefer to have a dedicated remote control for your system, then I suggest getting one of these remote controls.
If for some reason your activity is not working properly, there is a great troubleshooting tool available in the app. While using the activity, tap the "?" at the bottom left. There are three options available on this page.
The Harmony Hub cannot connect to 5GHz Wi-Fi networks. It can only connect to a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks.
The Harmony Hub accepts commands using RF (radio frequency). This means you do not need a direct line of sight to control the hub with a smartphone, tablet, or one of the RF-enabled Harmony remote controls. The hub sends out commands via IR, RF (Wi-Fi), and Bluetooth. IR signals will require some sort of line of sight. The included IR mini blaster increases the power of IR signals. This means the IR signals are more likely to be received by the devices. RF (Wi-Fi) and Bluetooth controlled devices do not require a line of sight to be controlled.
In all, the Harmony Hub is an outstanding addition to any home entertainment system or home theater! It's such a powerful tool that integrates with so many different devices, and it's easily set up with little to no programming knowledge.
Checkout my step by step video guide on YouTube!
If you enjoyed this article and like the Harmony Hub, then