FibeTV and compatible universal remotes (not compatible with old Harmony H659) - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 2010-08-21, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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FibeTV and compatible universal remotes (not compatible with old Harmony H659)

Hello,

I have an old Harmony H659 -- I've decided it's incompatible with the FibeTV box.

It's the Harmony H659 (the first ever Harmony remote, SST-659) from before Logitech bought Harmony -- the H659 has worked perfectly with all consumer devices until FibeTV. I try to teach the H659 to control the FibeTV box, using the usual method that has always worked, and the FibeTV box (Motorola VIP1232) doesn't respond to the H659 remote for commands I've manually taught to the H659 remote from the FibeTV remote.

What other newer Harmony Remotes work with FibeTV?

I am a fan of most Logitech Harmony Remotes (except for Harmony One, which isn't designed to be disassembled for cleaning sticky buttons and reported to break easily upon disassembling-for-cleaning -- so boycotting that specific model -- other Harmony models are easier to disassemble, according to Logitech forums. If I spend over $100 on a remote control, it better allow me to disassemble it for an annual cleaning of sticky stuff from rubber buttons!)

Thanks,
Mark Rejhon
www.marky.com/hometheater
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 2010-08-21, 07:16 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Toronto
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I've got the Harmony 900 (similar to the Harmony One, but has the RF too) and it works fine. I also have the older 890 and it too works fine. Not a single issue with controlling the Fibe STB.

One thing to take note of - I was FORCED to create a new account with the Harmony 900 remote - apparently the older accounts are not compatible with some of the newer remotes - a bit of a PITA since you need to setup all devices with the new account (not only STB, but also TV, receiver, BlueRay, etc).
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 2010-08-22, 08:43 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Prince Edward County
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My Logitech Harmony 1000 works fine with Fibe TV. The Logitech/Harmony site has both the VIP1200 and VIP1232E both defined in their database. I think the (e) is the European version of the 1232.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 2010-08-22, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
 
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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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I tried loading the VIP1232E from the Harmony database, and my VIP1232 wasn't recognized. I think it's a limitation of my 7-year-old H659 and I need to switch to a newer Harmony remote.

Thanks,
Mark Rejhon
www.marky.com/hometheater
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 2010-08-22, 09:43 PM
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Mark, I did a quick Google search on your Harmony remote and VIP1216 which is the 160GB version of your PVR and the most common model. I saw a number of people on the Logitech forums saying that the H659 was not compatible with the 1216. The VIP1200, VIP1216, VIP1225 and VIP1232 are all compatible as far as remotes go.

It seems the only solution is to get a newer Harmony remote (assuming you don't want to use the Moto remote).
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 2010-09-14, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
 
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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Just ordered a Logitech Harmony 700 remote off eBay for a smidgen under $100, I'll be receiving it and seeing how well it works.

Thanks,
Mark Rejhon
www.marky.com/hometheater
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 2010-09-14, 01:03 PM
 
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Location: Toronto - Bell Fibe TV
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ive got the Harmony 700 and it works great with my fibe tv
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 2010-09-15, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
 
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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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I'm going to replace the toggle ON/OFF with discrete ON/OFF codes to improve SAF.
(Spouse Acceptance Factor)

Does Fibe TV have a discrete ON/OFF?
There are some key combinations that guarantees the Fibe TV is turned on, such as transmitting a SELECT keypress immediately (which can be done as a custom button press in the Activity initiation sequence) after sending the ON/OFF. That means, if it was accidentally turned off when it was meant to be turned on, it will automatically turn back on with the select button press. This will avoid the frustrating state of out-of-sync power states that sometimes happen. (TV stays on, Fibe TV off -- then it's TV stays off, Fibe TV on -- ad nauseum)

Interesting aside for the eco conscious: I have measured a Fibe TV receiver with a Kill-a-Watt, and it does not save much power when turned "off". Power consumption is approximately 35 watts when off. So the only real purpose of turning it OFF is to free up Internet bandwidth for the Internet connection. It obviously stays mostly powered on, presumably to keep everything up to date and everything recording properly. Rogers Cable boxes are no more power efficient either, but 35 watts isn't too bad.

Thanks,
Mark Rejhon
www.marky.com/hometheater
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 2010-09-15, 12:01 PM
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As far as I know the Motorola box does not have discrete ON/OFF codes. You can use POWER as "off" and OK as "on". If the STB is already "on" and gets an OK, it will be ignored. If it is "off", it will turn on. ("OK" is the button in the middle of the directional arrows on the standard Moto remote, Bell may have labelled this as "Select".)

By the way did you test a PVR with the Kill-a-Watt or a standalone STB?
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 2010-09-15, 02:46 PM
 
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Just finished integrating the FibeTV remote with my 12+yr old Philips Pronto. I can't believe that it takes everything I throw at it. I had it learn all the new IR codes from the FibeTV remote. It's tested and it all works. The only problem is that I had to find a computer in the house that still has a serial port to do the data transfer!

If anyone wants my CCF file, I'd be happy to provide it.

Panasonic PT-AE2000U|Elite Cinetension2 100"|Yamaha RX-V3900|PS3|Paradigm Monitor 7|Bose AM-10s|Polk PSW350
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 2010-09-15, 08:20 PM
 
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I couldn't get the VIP1232E to work with my Harmony 900. However, VIP1216 worked perfectly.

Panasonic 50GT30 | Yamaha HTR-6063 | Energy Take Classic 5.1 | Oppo BDP-93 | Illico - 8642HD
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 2010-09-16, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
 
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wm_cheng, I used to have one of those Pronto's. Very neat that they still work very well today. You can also try a newer model of a USB-to-serial converter, such as one of those found off eBay, and see if it works with your Pronto.

Dr. Dave, I used a Kill-a-Watt with the Motorola VIP-12 (32 PVR, which is the only box I have. 35 watts for a PVR is not too shocking, though it could have been designed for less whenever not recording or watching anything. What surprised me was that my 2010 model Sony 46" LED HDTV uses much less power -- 0 watts in standby mode! It must be consuming a few hundred milliwatts to illuminate the standby LED and listen for infrared, but that's still less than a 5-year-old cell phone charger with nothing being charged! Oh, and it's still even listening to HDMI-CEC signals from my Blu-Ray player because the TV automatically powers up when I turn on the Blu-Ray. Almost no standby current draw. Even while on, the 46" TV uses an average of 80 watts and stays very cold to the touch all over the screen. Dips to about 50 watts for dim scenes and 100 watts for bright scenes (I thought I hated dynamic backlight, but the Sony LED HDTV's dynamic backlight is much better than I expected) That's significantly less power usage than my old 27" CRT TV...

Thanks,
Mark Rejhon
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 2010-09-21, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
 
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I got the Harmony 700 and it works fine with the Fibe TV box! I'm using VP1216 from Harmony's database, which works with the VIP1232.

Thanks,
Mark Rejhon
www.marky.com/hometheater
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 2010-09-22, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
 
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I renamed the A, B and C buttons to "Settings", "Favorites", etc, and also put "Recordings" on the screen of the Harmony 700. They are also mapped to the colored buttons, but the screen is easier to follow.

It's funny how Harmony 700 is in certain ways, lower-end than the 7-year-old Harmony 659 -- it does not let me adjust as many settings as I used to be able to with the 659, such as delay settings (which really would have been nice, to speed up things) or the addition of additional custom IR button presses to Activity buttons. (There are some workarounds documented in Logitech manufacturer forums though). But it seems to work good enough, and I got it for less than $100, and the buttons are easier to "feel out" blindly than the 659 was.

Thanks,
Mark Rejhon
www.marky.com/hometheater
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 2010-09-22, 06:24 PM
 
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I have to agree with you Mark. I was at my local FS today and all the Harmony remotes, except One and 900, felt a little cheap and flimsy. That's not to say the 900 is all that great because it usually gives me quite the headache when I have to program it. The lack of macros is really annoying, especially coming from a Boston Accoustics branded Pronto. If not for its lack of hard buttons, I would not even own a Logitech remote today.

Panasonic 50GT30 | Yamaha HTR-6063 | Energy Take Classic 5.1 | Oppo BDP-93 | Illico - 8642HD
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