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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That said, it took only 5 minutes to program my Harmony 700 since my home theater setup has become slightly more basic (Due to me being in a modern glass condo building, I no longer use a projector...) It even came with discrete on/off signalling for the Sony TV in its database. The only tweak I had to do was to rename the A/B/C buttons of the VIP1216 database to named buttons like Settings/VOD/Recordings/Favourites on the color LCD. And changing a few settings of the Logitech.

I really do like the quick programmability of Harmony remotes, I never was able to get my pronto fully SAF (Spouse Acceptance Factor) in less than an hour. Fun remotes they were, for tweaking, but I wanted something more traditional with touchy-feely buttons.

I had a Harmony One, but its button got gummy and direction pad stopped working, and I had difficulty getting the buttons cleaned (touchscreen stopped working as a result). So that turns full circle back to the Harmony 700, just because it's cheap and I care less about it failing in a few years from spilled food and sticky hands. At least until there's a disassembly-friendly high-end Harmony remote similiar to Harmony One...
 
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