30 Days of AppleTV – Day 27

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I don’t have a very complicated home set up anymore. It’s just the AppleTV, a DVD player, a VCR, an Xbox360 and a Wii. Now, I say that’s not complicated, because I can operate almost all of it with one remote. My Logitech Harmony 520. I love my Harmony remote, and have really gotten used to the customization options that it has for just about any device.

…but I can’t seem to make it work with the AppleTV.

If anyone has a 520 and has gotten to work with your AppleTV, please let me know…but as it stands, I don’t think that the AppleTV works with third party remotes….and I thin that sucks.

I like the Apple Remote. It’s compact, it’s slick, it’s tiny…but it doesn’t control the volume on my telelvision, and it makes me want to scream.

One of the cool things about the 520 is that it can LEARN remotes…so essentially is works with everything. In fact, it was worked with everything that I’ve tried so far….except the AppleTV.

Am I just not doing this right?

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11 thoughts on “30 Days of AppleTV – Day 27

  1. Michael,
    If you UNPAIR your Apple Remote from the Apple TV, then your 520 should be able to work.
    Good Luck,

  2. I don’t have an AppleTV but I do have the remote with my MacBook Pro. The MacBook Pro (and presumably the AppleTV) can be configured to pair with the remote and only work with that remote. See https://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=302545

    The MBP can likewise be unpaired to not just work with that remote, and I expect that is the case with the AppleTV as well. The unpairing for the AppleTV might need to be hacked if the functionality isn’t exposed.

  3. I got my Harmony 880 working. What problem are you having?
    On the apple support discussion boards there are instructions. Some people did it by going under devices added “Digital Music server” and under model entered “Apple TV”. Others (like me) used the post https://discussions.apple.com/message.jspa?messageID=4297717#4297717 as a basis.

    1 In your harmony Remote Software Click “Add Device”
    2 Click “Computer”, next, next
    3 Select “Apple”, next
    4 Now type in EXACTLY “Mac Mini 1.66GHz Intel Core Duo”, next
    5 Check “do not have a remote” and hit next again
    6 All info correct, next

    Back to Main Screen
    1 Click on the settings button for “Computer”
    2 Click adjust delays
    3 Change delays to 100 ms, done

  4. I have a Harmony 880 and I have no problems with my Apple TV (and even my Mac Mini). I just told the Harmony that I had a Mac Mini and that worked fine. I did tweak the mappings since I wanted certain keys to work the same way regardless of whether is talking to the Apple TV, XBox 360, cable, etc. The only think so far that I cannot control is my PS3 since that is Bluetooth so I had to buy their remote.

  5. I also have an 880 and am using it with Apple TV. Works like a charm. Like the earlier poster suggested, you need to set up the Harmony device as a MacMini (just use the model number that it suggests when you choose media server and Apple as your manufacturer. Set up an activity to control the volume via the AV receiver, or whatever your setup is. Make sure your Apple TV remote is not paired (mine wasn’t out of the box), and your 550 should work without any problems. Make sure the direction buttons on the 550 are set up to do the right functions (I think they were fine for me straight out of the database, I can’t remember) and you’re good to go. It was one of the easiest devices I ever had to set up with the 880.

  6. Here’s how mine is set up, buttonwise:

    Up – Volume Up
    Down – Volume Down
    Left – Rewind
    Right – FastForward
    OK – Play
    Menu – Menu

    Volume up and down are set to my receiver’s up and down volume controls.

    That’s all you need.

  7. Now you are showing off your fancy remote too?!!!


    I used to have a cheap remote (Onkyo) that learned other remotes by placing both remote controlers facing each other and pressing the corresponding keys together to program my onkyo. And it worked with everything flawlessly except when the batteries die and you lose everything. That was 15 years ago.

    If your logitech can learn other remotes (by the same method I mentioned above) then I guess you should have no problems.

    A QUESTION for you Michael:
    Can you (somehow) connect a bluetooth usb module to the Apple TV and get it to work (somehow) and then use a mobile phone with HID capability to control your Apple TV like I do with front row on my old PPC mac mini?
    If this is possible (somehow) then you can do a lot of nice stuff and you may be able to control the volume. Who knows.

  8. The pairing thing is an issue too.

    I think that after you program your logitech, you still gonna have to pair it with your Apple TV. Please notice that I have neither the Apple TV not the Logitech, I am just guessing here.

    Keep up the Good Work Michael. Too bad that this is going to end after 3 days 馃檨

  9. Thanks for all the help guys. I’ll get this thing working tonight, and talk about it tomorrow.

    @Wizard –

    Glad you’re enjoying it….but don’t worry, I’m going to be doing the same 30 Day thing with the iPhone in June, and Leopard in October.

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