2012-06-11

Overdue Tech Update: Part 2

So where was I?  Oh yeah, trying to hook up the new home theater system.

Church of Scope-Tech-01
Honestly, it wasn't too bad.  The wires were color coded, and since I'm not running wire for true rear speakers, I just set them out wider.  So it was all hooked up and ready to go in about 15 minutes, and that's when the pain started.

See, I have a great universal remote, the Harmony 1 (old post about it).  It's great.  It's "activity based" so you press, "Watch TV" and it turns on the TV, cable box, and home theater, and knows which to use for sound, which controls the channels, etc.  Same when you watch a movie.

The problem is, now sound system is pulling triple duty.  It's the sound system, and the disk player, and the control center routing everything to the TV.  Before, TV and Blu-Ray were on different TV inputs, and switching between the two was cake. (Not the band).

Annoying point made simple:

  • I can program the remote to "Watch TV".
  • I can program the remote to "Watch Blu-Ray".
  • I cannot get the remote to GO BACK to watching TV.
  • I spent 8 hours over that weekend trying to get it to work right.

Now, I've written my share of code in the last, oh, 30 years that I've had computers in my life.  I've written financial reporting systems for multi-billion dollar companies.  So, when I can't program something to do what I want, it's like a surgeon who can't carve a Thanksgiving turkey because the electric knife is too in-elegant of a tool.  They get cranky, fast.  Top that off with the fact that there's a 10 – 15 minutes cycle every time you make a change with using the interface on the computer, syncing the command string to the main server farm, and then having it blow the instructions in the the remote.  I got very unhappy.

So no, we are at a place where in normal operation, if you hit "Watch TV" it works fine.  If you hit "Watch Blu-Ray" it works fine.  But you will need the home theater remote to get off movie and back to TV.

I'm in the process of trying to create a new macro called "Back to TV" but need about 3 hours, and no one else trying to watch TV at the time.  I'm saving that project for some other time.  When I'm feeling more ambitious.  Right now, I'm like 80% done, and that's good enough for now.

Will there be an update Part 3?  Well, probably sometime in the future.  I've go to spend some time tinkering with the "Go Back To TV" bit.

Then comes the tricky part.  For an early Father's Day, Cora got me the WiFi dongle for the home theater.  We can then use it for streaming Hulu & Netflx and stuff.  (Not that we have a Netflix account yet, just sayin…).  And that will require another macro or more programmed into the universal.  Or, I just accept the fact that I'm going to need to start using the devices remote more than I want.

4 comments:

Cora said...

Oh, those pesky First World Problems. ;-)

Ellie Mae said...

Hey, that Harmony remotee thingy sounds pretty fancy. Good luck on getting all your electronical things synced. I betcha you can do it! Change (and upgrades) can be difficult. :P

So. Cal. Gal said...

Doncha just hate when that happens? And when it does, I pass the problem onto the boyfriend.

Moral of the story: get a boyfriend. ; )

Joshua said...

I'd go to that church. Communion Wafers are Funyons, Communion Wine of Red Bull or Mountain Dew. Plus, I'm pretty sure there would be electronics recycling all the time.