Learning how to program a universal remote used to be one of those frustrating steps for those who have decided to take a step forward into streamlining their home theatre experience.
We’ve covered our best remotes depending on your setup, and even provide you with the best universal remotes to buy and here at Home Theatre Life, we are massive fans of the Logitech Harmony remotes, and for a good reason. They offer an “Activity” based system, allowing you to push a button to watch a Bluray rather than needing to switch between different device remotes to turn on and set up each device individually.
This guide will explain how to program a universal remote using the Logitech MyHarmony software.
How to program a universal remote known by MyHarmony?
1. Download and Install the MyHarmony Software
First, go to setup.myharmony.com and download the software by clicking “Download Now”. Accept the Licence Agreement and the download will begin.
Once the download has completed, double-click on the installer and MyHarmony will automatically install itself.
2. Run the software
Find the MyHarmony app in the Start Menu and click on it
3. Create/Log In to your account
Click on “Create Account” or log in if you already have a MyHarmony account.
4. Add your devices using MyHarmony
Click on “Devices” then “Add Device”, then enter the Manufacturer and Model number. This can usually be found on a sticker on the back of the device.
Repeat this process for each of the devices that you have.
5. Create your Activities
Once all your devices have been added, MyHarmony will ask you to create all of your activities. Activities are basically groups of button presses that you would normally do to get your equipement set up correctly. For example, turning on your TV and Bluray player and setting the TV to the correct input.
The software will use the devices you have added to try and determine the activities that you require. You will need to specify which inputs need to be selected for each activity. i.e. TV to HDMI1.
Additional activities can be added by selecting Activities>Add in the menu.
6. Sync your remote
Click the Sync button to ensure all the commands that you have just set up are sent to the remote and you are good to go.
How to program a universal remote using the Logitech Harmony’s learning function?
There are some situations where your device may not be in Logitech’s device database. In these situations, you have two options. The first is to seek out similar devices online and see if they are in there. For example, the remote that we recommended for a HTPC can be found as a “Chinavasion” remote.
If you cannot find an alternative device, your only option is to get the Harmony remote to learn the commands manually from the remote that it is going to replace.
1. Add the unknown device in MyHarmony
Go and add a device as before (Devices>Add Device) and enter the Manufacturer and Model Number
When it is not found, tell MyHarmony what the device does. For example, is it a TV.
2. Learn the functions from the original remote
MyHarmony will ask if you have the original remote (which you should!) and will then ask you to connect your Logitech Harmony Remote to your computer.
Point your remote at the IR port on the Logitech Harmony Remote and press the button you want learned for 1-2 seconds. When it is learned, follow the rest of the Wizard to correctly configure the buttons.
3. Sync your Logitech Harmony Remote
Once all the commands have been learned, synchronize the remote and give it a spin.
That’s it! Now you know how to program a universal remote. How did you find the process? Let us know in the comments below. And don’t forget to like and share this article if you found it useful.