The Harmony hub is great, but like everything, it has its limitations. The BlastIR Wireless can add a lot of functionality to the Harmony Hub, though understanding it can sometimes be a mental workout since it uses the BlastIR differently than the standard setup… in fact, sometimes it feels downright backwards.
We’ll try some descriptions and diagrams of the common scenarios to see if we can make sense of it all. We’ll start with the simplest case, which is also probably the least common.
The BlastIR can be used to extend the range of the Harmony Hub
Harmony has a lot of connection options, including the app and third-party controllers (like Amazon Alexa or Google Home) but the traditional Harmony remote has a limited range where it can still talk to the Hub. It has a pretty good range, but once you extend beyond that range, your Harmony remote will work inconsistently, or not at all. If that happens, you can place the Hub at a central location where it still has a strong connection to the Harmony remote, and then use the BlastIR wireless to extend the rest of the way to your equipment.
The BlastIR Wireless can make the Harmony Hub work in multiple rooms
This is based on a standard limitation of the Harmony Hub. The Hub is designed to flood a space with IR signals, so it can control all of the devices in a room. However, it only floods a single space. If you want to control anything that is in another room, or if you want to put the Hub in an enclosed space like a closet, then the Hub can’t ‘reach’ it.
Enter the BlastIR Wireless. You can put a single receiver near the hub, and an emitter next to anything else you’d like to control in any other space. You can see a more detailed description in our article about whole house control with the harmony hub.
The BlastIR Wireless can help if the Harmony Hub doesn’t control your TV
This is probably the most common scenario we see. If you have all of your AV equipment in a closet or in another room, then the Harmony can’t control the TV. Simply put a BlastIR Wireless receiver by the Harmony and an emitter in front of the TV (It might look better if you put the emitter puck behind the TV, and one of the dual-head emitters on the TV’s IR target).
The thing that can be a little confusing is that it has the blue puck in your closet and the orange puck by your TV--exactly opposite of what we normally show. But since that ‘normal’ case is solved by Harmony, we are using the BlastIR just for the TV.
The BlastIR Wireless can help you control more things with the Harmony hub and Alexa
Which is in some ways just a re-statement of what we’ve already discussed, but it’s worth mentioning specifically. We have a lot of customers recently who have linked Amazon’s Alexa to their Harmony Hub. It’s great because it can make virtually anything with IR control respond to voice commands, everything from ceiling fans to old stereos, TVs in different rooms or an AC unit in your garage – anything in the Harmony database. Alexa + Harmony Hub + BlastIR Wireless is a powerful equation that gives you unparalleled access to things that you already have all over your house. Plus, you can still use the proprietary remotes (if you haven’t lost them😉)
And of course, it’s not just Alexa, you can use Harmony App, the Harmony Remote, Alexa, Google Home, IFTTT or any of the other many devices that work with the Harmony Hub, and the BlastIR Wireless can help it reach into so many other spaces.