Harmony Companion best approach?

The built in Harmony Hub Remote component only works to let HA control the harmony. But I have a Harmony Home Companion remote with Home Automation buttons that I use all the time for my current SmartThings setup.

Moving to HA I would like to configure them now for HA. Reading the various posts here I see I can use either emulated hue or emulated_roku to do this.

I don’t have any roku devices currently so I don’t know what its capabilities are, I do have a hue hub which is currently configured for HA, alexa and google home.

So my questions are

  1. Are these two methods still the only ways to integrate the Harmony Companion home automation buttons?
  2. If I use hue emulation and expose zwave lights and switches won’t alexa see them twice now. Once from HA and again from the emulation? If yes what is the best way to prevent this?
  3. If I use roku_emulation does alexa see that also? Since I don’t have roku I don’t have my alexa configured to scan for it unless it just does out of the box.

I currently use my harmony remote to control 3 lights and a virtual switch on my SmartThings which controls my split AC unit. So not too fancy just basic light and switch controls.

Emulated_roku is just to control HA from Harmony, no link to Alexa. Someone said you can’t reassign the smart home buttons to anything else with the companion remote though. Works a treat on proper Harmony remotes.

Read the component specific threads, it’ll tell you all you need to know.

emulated_roku looks like the better choice for my need. Not sure what you mean about the buttons. If you mean that the HA buttons on the harmony companion can not be mapped to anything other than HA that is correct. You can’t map them to other devices. However nothing stops you from mapping them to something in HA which then in turn takes harmony actions through an automation. I don’t mind that the buttons are HA only because that is what I use them for, lights, AC etc

You’ve misunderstood, Roku is a media player which isn’t a smart home device so can’t be added to the bottom buttons on the crippled Companion remote as you’ve confirmed.

HA is Home Assistant not home automation if that’s what you were thinking?

OH, that’s no good. OK so I have to use hue-emulation then. So now I have to deal with the issue of duplicate devices in Alexa since it will find the hue-emulation as another hue hub. That is unfortunate.

Thanks for correcting my mistake here. I read the roku thread and misread

Since is said “map all the buttons on the harmony” I thought it would work. But they are probably talking about a normal remote not the home companion version.

I understand that. I did use it to mean both when I said HA buttons on the remote but I knew what I was thinking even if what I wrote was confusing :slight_smile: my bad

Thanks again for the help. So far I have hit obstacles on every device I try to move over. HA is quite challenging but I think it will be worth it in the end.

HTH :smile:

When I was in your situation I’d just have to remember to go into the Alexa web page, not app, and ‘forget’ the duplicates intended for Harmony when I changed things. There was a hacked version of emulated_hue which would allow you to set up multiple instances of it and dictate which devices could see each instance but unfortunately I don’t believe that works anymore.

It’s certainly a challenge but that’s what I like about it, gets a bit boring when everything works perfectly so you just go looking for new things to tear your hair out over.

The app used to have forget. I don’t know why they removed it. The app used to pretty much mirror the web but not anymore.

Looking at the hue_emulation I am wondering if I can use the hidden attribute to hide the devices I add to the emulator from alexa.

hidden (Optional): Whether or not the emulated Hue bridge should expose the entity. Adding hidden: false will expose the entity to Alexa. The default value for this attribute is controlled by the expose_by_default option.

My thought is

  • set hidden: false (restart ha)
  • add device to harmony
  • set hidden: true (restart ha)

This way alexa will not see them when I discover devices. But I don’t know if the harmony will still work when I switch to hidden. I suspect this is NOT going to work. I think the feature is intended to let you use the expose by default = true and then hide a few devices.

That is a shame. I would like that version. As a programmer I am also considering writing my own emulator, I have done this for my flic_hub to talk to SmartThings (just realized that is another device I need to figure out how to get working with HA…dam…) I need to learn more about writing custom device integrations in HA. It was pretty easy in SmartThings but not sure how it is done in HA yet.

HaHa…I have plenty of things to pull my hair out over. SmartThings for one which was why I am making the switch. Not sure it is a Win yet :slight_smile:

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