Use Designer based on default remotes from discovered devices

Longer description below, but the short version is that each app for AV devices in my Family Room is either missing some key functionality for overall everyday use, or the app’s usability is crap (Hi Harmony companion app!)

Because I have a Logitech Harmony Hub, I was actually able to very quickly build a functioning remote in the Home Remote app just by letting it discover the receiver and the hub, and then adding the various existing devices. Now I have one app with all the needed capabilities. If I tap on “Watch TiVo”, this triggers the Harmony activity that powers things on and selects the right source, and then presents me with a functionally solid TiVo remote. What I wish is that I could “export” that remote layout into Home Remote Designer and adjust layout and imagery there, rather than rebuilding it from scratch.

My family room AV setup is not that exotic:

  • Denon receiver - for source-selection and volume
  • TiVo and AppleTV as the main playback devices
  • Sony TV (we pretty much use it as a dumb display)

We have a Logitech Harmony Hub to tie it all together. Its physical remote does everything we need, and I give it a “B” for usability. I just want a glorious app, and I’m only half-way there.

You can actually do exactly what you’re proposing. Just navigate to the settings within The Home Remote app on your mobile device and choose the “Backup” option. Then just open that .hrp file using the designer on your computer. I’ll leave the specifics of how to transport that file from A to B (email, dropbox, USB, etc) to you.

Best of luck!

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I did that, but when I poked around my .hrp file using the Home Remote Designer, it wasn’t able to discover the remote control layout.

So just now I looked at the Devices.xml inside my HRP file and I see it referencing MediaControllerDetails.xaml so I guess the remote layout I am interested in is not embedded in my project, but is a separate thing referenced by it, which makes sense.

So that suggests I could clone MediaControllerDetail.xaml then modify it until I’m satisfied with it, and then I’d have what I wanted… right? The Designer is fairly daunting but having a running start like this will make all the difference…

So thanks for the nudge and hint. What I’d love to end up with is a single screen remote (none of the tiles), with activity selection and “turn everything off” across the top, a. TiVo-remote inspired layout below, with bigger and more stylized visuals (and scrolling to get the the “bottom half” of the remote).

I want to eliminate the activity-tiles as the gateway to the remote, and especially the fact that If you tap the tile of the non-current activity you get the remote with an overlay that says “Watch Apple TV is Off”, rather than switching to Apple TV.

Check out the MediaControllerDetail.xaml that should already be in your file. You’ll probably find it in the Pages->Templates folder. I believe that page uses some visibility tricks and controls to display different things so it may be a bit difficult to modify for a novice, but everything you want should be there.

If you do clone it to modify - just make sure your device is pointing to the correct one.

I have lots of programming experience, so I’m not afraid of the intricacies. I was just the blank slate that was daunting, but now that it’s no longer blank I should be in great shape.