Harmony Tips and Tricks: Customizing Your Remote to Perform Actions at the Start or End of an Activity

Would you like your DVD or Blu-ray player to automatically open the tray (eject) when you select the Watch DVD Activity on your Harmony Remote? Or how about automatically setting your favorite channel on the TV to ESPN each time you select your Watch TV Activity? Well, guess what? You can do this and a lot more.

The Harmony Remote Software allows you to send commands at the start (when you start the Activity) or end (when you switch Activities or Power Off) of the Activity. This week I’m going to show you how you can access this feature. Let’s get started.

To customize your Activity to perform additional actions at the start of the Activity is simple. In this example, I will add the “Eject” command, so that the DVD player automatically opens the tray when the “Watch DVD” Activity starts.

  1. The first step is to launch the Harmony Remote Software
  2. From the Activities tab, click on Settings
  3. Select Review the settings for this Activity and click Next
  4. Select Yes, but I want to add more control of options and devices for this Activity and click Next
  5. You will be provided with a summary of the devices that are part of the Activity. You have the option to add more. In our example we won’t add any other devices and continue by clicking on Save
  6. The next couple of pages prompt you to reconfirm the settings for the Activity. Click on Next to continue
  7. Once you get to the Custom Actions page stop. This page allows you to add additional commands when the Activity starts or ends. Since we want to have the DVD “Eject” when the Activity starts, we will select DVD next to Add Action when the Activity starts. We will then click Add>
  8. If you wanted to add additional commands to the end of the Activity, you would select the device next to Add Action when the Activity stops and click Add>

  9. You then have two options, “Send this infrared Command” or “Send this infrared delay”. Since we just want the Harmony Remote to send the “Eject” command to the DVD player we will select Eject from the list of commands next to “Send this infrared Command”, then click Next.
  10. As you can see the “Eject” command has now been added. If you want to add more commands, follow the same steps, otherwise click Save.
  11. You will then be taken back to the Activity summary page. Now that the command has been added you can select Yes, these settings are correct and click Next.
  12. The last step is to update your Harmony Remote.

This is just one example of how you can use this feature. I have personally helped Harmony customers use this feature to turn off the speakers on the TV, or to set the AV Receiver to a specific sound mode. My favorite was a customer that wanted his lights to dim and the popcorn machine to start when he selected the Watch DVD Activity.

Now that you know more about this feature, think of ways that you can use it to get the most out of your Harmony Remote.

We would love to hear from you on how you plan on using this feature, or if just want to provide feedback or requests for topics you want to see covered in future Harmony Tips & Tricks blog posts.


Product Specialist, Remote Control Business Unit