Choose between Harmony and Broadlink RM Pro+


#1

My HE is on the way and I have a couple of choices still to make, so hopefully I can get some great insights from you guys.
In terms of IR control, I'm considering either a Logitech Harmony hub or the Broadlink RM Pro+

Pro for the Broadlink is that it runs local (I think) and supports RF so I can easily add a couple of non-critical, cheap RF plugs if I would like. The hub itself is pretty cheap too.
Con is that the app required to set it up is quite pervasive but I assume after setup I can get rid of it.

Pro for the Harmony is that it is more widely supported (though not officially but apparently the integration with HE is working quite well).
Con is that it's a lot more expensive and that a recent change from Logitech has made this cloud-only. I don't know if the firmware downgrade that exists for users that updated their existing Harmony would apply to the latest hardware incarnations if I buy one now, so not sure how easy it would be to go back to local usage for the Harmony if I buy one now.

Personall leaning towards the RMPro for now, but look forward to hearing your thoughts on this or any other alternatives that I'm overlooking.


#2

Don't forget to take a look at the IP2IR devices. More info here :wink:


#3

Just a couple comments. First, while the Harmony hub is more expensive, it isn't unreasonably expensive. I found one at Walmart for $60 including the remote.

Second, it can be controlled locally without a firmware downgrade.


#4

I have tried them all!

Currently have 2 broadlink rm mini on ancillary tv’s using this

It’s working great and I can mute,go to channels, do complex macros etc.

I have my main tv using harmony hub

The broad links are easy and cheap but there is no way (without a custom echo skill) to pass variables via echo devices eg Alexa turn tv to channel xxx (you could program every combination but phew that would be a lot)

The harmony hub supports that but is a bit flakey in my experience.

I tried the global cache device but was just not a fan, had a heck of a time learning and issues with the integration, @bptworld excellent contribution not with standing.

Overall the simplest/fastest for me was the broad link device.


#5

@bptworld Yes I've been aware of these for some time, but they're pretty pricey down here in Oz at about $190 AUD so didn't really take them into consideration.
For the price I could get the Harmony hub with a decent remote.

Great that you've implemented this though. I'm sure it'll help quite a few people!


#6

@aaiyar similar to the IP2IR, Oz isn't blessed with the same low pricing unfortunately. It's around $150 for a hub down here, but it's still more compelling than the IP2IR.

I read that Logitech abandoned local, have they had a change of heart and gone back on this? In that case it may become an option again


#7

Yup. The customer feedback was so negative that they reversed their decision within a week.


#8

@rob121
While I'm a big fan of voice control, I'm anything but a fan of the cloud-based connection nature of it. Problem is the Mrs is pushing me towards it so it would be great if there was better support for that for the Broadlink.
It would probably be a no-brainer if there was good support for that (more specifically, leaning towards considering my Google Mini's for this purpose as opposed to just using them as TTS devices).

I'm assuming that Harmony is better supported in this regard?


#9

Check out this guy, he figured it out, and he's funny too. Broadlink control for all devices

this too


#10

Well, my software plus Hubitat and Hubitat echo skill let’s me do pretty much everything I want through a broadlink device.

I setup a virtual device for a tv, that gives me off/on as a switch, same for mute etc. These then get exposed to Alexa for voice control.

I setup a virtual button for channels and send a macro command to the api ie press 1,2,2,5 for channel 1225. In the Alexa app I setup a routine that just pushes the button. So when I say go to history channel it just pushes that button.

I can’t do adhoc channels via voice control because there is no way to pass that through.

The harmony hub does let you do adhoc commands via Alexa but then won’t let you do more mundane things via Hubitat like mute the tv. Tv on/off etc are supported.

They both have their strengths and weaknesses.


#11

I am looking to replace my sensibo V1s - would a broadlink work for this.
I just want to blast the on/off command, I can control the temp/fan off the app easy enough.


#12

Apparantly there is a new version of the Broadlink coming out as well:
https://www.ibroadlink.com/products/ir+rf


#13

Sorry - assuming all broadlink devices can be used with the linked driver @rob121 including the black bean ?


#14

Most of them work, the bean is what I use and it will definitely work.