You Can Now Tell Your Google Home To Tell Your Logitech Harmony To Turn On The TV

Image: Supplied

Smart home geeks, this one is for you.

Here's a list of things you can say to your Google Assistant, to tell your Logitech Harmony range to do. Because only plebs use light switches. Or remote controls. Wait.

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You can use:

  • Google Assistant on Google Home
  • not-heaps-old Android phones
  • not-heaps-old iPhones

Woohoo!

"Voice has a powerful role in simplifying our home entertainment experience and people across the world continue to enjoy this," said Rory Dooley, head of Logitech Smart Home.

"We are focused on bringing even more hands-free control experiences to customers, so we're very excited to introduce this latest integration with the Google Assistant to Australia. It truly makes home entertainment even more seamless and fun."

Okay, so what can you actually do now, with the Harmony range?

Well, you use Google Assistant to launch Activities from your Harmony remote with the usual "Ok Google, ask Harmony to turn on my TV" kind of commands. We're talking visual, audio, lights - whatever you have your hub-based Harmony remote hooked up to.

Want more examples? Here's a list.

"Ok Google, ask Harmony to.."

  • "...turn on Netflix" (this will directly launch channels like Netflix on your Roku device)
  • "...turn on SBS or Ten" (any of your favorite channels set up in a Harmony account can be triggered)
  • "...turn on my 'Good Morning' Activity (get your mind out of the gutter - when you set up an Activity such as "Good Morning" in your Harmony account, you can set Philips Hue lights to warm colors, turn on the TV, and play music from your Sonos speakers)
  • "...mute the TV" (mute, raise, and lower the volume)
  • "...go to channel number 15" (the Google Assistant and Logitech Harmony let you to directly change to the channel you want)

If you're even lazier (this is me) you can even skip "ask Harmony to" through Google Assistant shortcuts. You can find a whole bunch more info on that here.

Oh, and if you don't have one already - you can get a Logitech Harmony Elite for $449.95 online. It's...not cheap. But it does make you feel very fancy.

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Comments

    Sounds promising.

    Without testing it I won't know exactly, but after purchasing my Harmony a few weeks ago I've been somewhat disappointed on the limitation regarding the activity driven voice commands. For example, my "Turn on the TV" voice commands starts the activity which turns on the tv, the amplifier and sets the channel. However often it misses a step (doesn't turn on the amp) or if I want to change from "Turn on the TV" activity to "Turn on Foxtel" it's not a smooth transition, even though most of the devices don't have to change.

    I just want to be able to turn control a specific device (i.e turn the amplifier/projector on).

    Oh, and foxtel channel favourites.

      Is something blocking an IR somewhere? Generally I find when one device isn’t turning on there’s something in front of the IR port, or blocking the bounce somewhere in the room.

        I'll move the IR dongle more towards the front and see if that makes a difference. The main hub is directly in front of my TV which didn't turn on yesterday when I tried with my voice which left me incredibly surprised.

        I just wish the Harmony gave the option of controlling a specific device with voice in addition to the activities. i.e "Change TV source to HDMI 3".

          It does...

          You can use the activities button to use activities, or you can use the devices button to have the harmony control just one device.

    Xbox On seems waaaaay easier. Unfortunately before it’ll do all that other smart stuff it’ll degrade to the similar “hey Cortona turn my Xbox On”... At least once you’re in there it’ll just be at worst “Hey Cortana Watch SBS”, not “ok google, ask harmony to turn on SBS”.

    That seems like a frustrating mouthful.

      You can customise the shortcuts to your liking, i.e instead of saying "Hey Google, ask harmony to change the channel to 504", you can make it so you can just say "Hey Google, turn on the footy"

    One wonders how humanity has survived prior to this groundbreaking announcement..

      Personally I got the same outcome by using Google Home to trigger IFTTT which then controlled my Harmony. This removes one cloud service from the equation! :)

    Yep, been around a while.

    With Amazon Alexa you don't have to say harmony, e.g. "Alexa, turn on the TV", "Alexa, watch a Bluray", "Alexa, turn off the TV" etc. Works even better. :)

      Yep, I've had an Alexa at home for a few years now (shipped it from the states, used some tricks to localise it) and have done what you've described. This story is about Google Assistant integration with Harmony though - something we haven't officially had here yet.

        Does Harmony now understand Aussie?

          I have an echo dot with Harmony and use things like "Turn on the Nine" or "Turn on the ABC"
          It's pretty good with an Aussie accent, however if you turn on a bit of a yank accent it works a lot better.

            Was just asking because when I first got my Home Harmony wouldn't work if you had the Home set to Australian language...I had to use the USA one

    Just bought the Harmony Hub with the shiny "Works with Google Home Assistant" sticker. Unfortunately, it does not work. There are no instructions in the box. Harmony is not listed as a service you can add like "Hue bridge" which is where the process should start. You have to search the internet for solutions which direct you to browse for "link my account", That does work. I have Google Home Mini but had to install not Home but the Google Assistant and search for link harmony (there was no actual command within the software). Safari takes me to the Harmony web site. I go through the dialogues until i click the button to ACTIVATE and the wheel just goes round and round and round. I have plenty of (cheaper) universal remotes. I only bought Harmony for the voice controls. Trawling their support boards multiple suggestions are allow pop ups, change browsers, clear cache etc. Nothing works. This should be much easier and the burden should be on the seller to fix problems not the user. DO NOT BUY.

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