Harmony Remote and the Apple TV

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Now that a faithful reader has an Apple TV, he would like to simplify his remote control setup. He writes:

I purchased the Macworld Apple TV Superguide, and it says we can program Logitech’s Harmony Universal Remote to use it with the Apple TV. I have the 880 remote (with up-to-date software). How can you do this as the Apple TV is not listed among the devices available?

Ah good, after a stressful week of banging on the iPhone, a question not about Apple’s mobile phone, plus one that’s easy to answer.

Logitech’s pretty good about updating the Harmony database to include new AV devices—receivers, TVs, DVD players, etc. But I’ve noticed that it’s a little slow about adding new Mac models to its lineup of supported devices. Fortunately, the Apple Remote issues the same commands regardless of whether you’re using it with a Mac mini, a MacBook Pro, an iMac, or an Apple TV.

The trick, therefore, is to look for a specific profile for the Apple Remote rather than the Apple TV. If you don’t find one, look for the profile of a Mac model that supports the Apple remote—a Mac mini or iMac is a good choice as they’ve been around for a good long time. When you configure the profile prior to downloading it to your Harmony remote, you can change its name to Apple TV, if you like. That’s what I did with my Harmony remote and Apple TV and they work very nicely together.

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