Bluetooth trouble after latest update, 5 seconds until the Vero 4k is responsive on Harmony actvity start

I also experience this 5 second delay with Vero 4k and harmony hub. But…I also use the hub with my PS4 via Bluetooth, and there is no delay (or at least a much shorter delay)

It does seem to me to be something specific to Vero.

Does anyone have a Pi they can test with?
We use the same BT chipset, so I’d expect the same results. I want to see if it can be produced on other platforms.

I’ve had a check tonight and we can definitely cut this down, but I think the battery drain may not be tolerable.

@jmccrack: Same here, PS4 bluetooth connection is ready before the TV.

@Sam: The issue was always present, it was just masked because if someone only had one device (the Vero 4k) connected with the harmony hub via bluetooth, the connection would always be active even after ending the harmony activity, so no delay. Now that this is gone, expect more people noticing the delay. Of course if people had 2 or more devices, they would have noticed the 5 seconds delay before, since the harmony hub only holds one bluetooth connection… and probably noticed that the Vero 4k was by far the slowest = longest delay.

I can not judge that mysterious battery drain but if Android, ios and some playstation OS manages to establish a connection very quickly without a power drain of the connected device (like headphones or remotes), then surely it should also be possible with linux.

This is absolutely not true here. My PS4 takes just as long and I’ve always had these two activities with Bluetooth in use. Both take about 5secs to pair after the other BT activity had been activated before… :man_shrugging:t2:

Agreed. It’s not been an issue until now however, so we never looked in to it. Conversely, battery drain issues have been.

It’s on the list, but it will be a while until I can look in to this properly.

Guys, I have found something truely incredible that lets you use the Vero 4k via RF instead of Bluetooth/IR.

I actually once bought the harmony hub combined with a keyboard (Smart Keyboard) because it actually was cheaper than the hub alone. Never used the keyboard because it is clunky and used the desired harmony remote of my choice, the little smart remote. Anyway, what I never paid attention to was that there were two usb dongles in that hub/keyboard package. I always thought those are bluetooth dongles… they are not, they are RF dongles… ok then I had a look and it stated those can only be used on Windows or Mac machines, so my guess is that they need drivers to function.

Guess again, those dongles work with anything! They just need power and they have to be added to the harmony setup once… and once that is done, the dongle will receive everything that is sent to them as keyboard commands, which is exactly what we do in our setups.

Now my Vero 4k is connected via RF with my hub and they communicate perfectly obviously, since they are specifically designed for each other. The input lag - or lack of - is incredible. It works instantly, no delay whatsoever. The Vero 4k feels even snappier than my shield tv.

I am currently working on getting all key maps working again, which is a bit tricky for some reason but I am confident I get it worked out… exit: the direction keys and other baic stuff like „back“ and „ok“ work out of the box tüwith the remote but you need to remap everything else if you used letters or numbers before… I now use F1 to F10 for keymaps of my choice. Now I have everything working, the basic 6 directions keys and the keymaps of my choice.

The dongles are not RF. They are IR extensions. You’re not communicating with the Vero over RF.

No they are RF! Don‘t confuse the dongles of the smart keyboard package with the IR extensions of the hub.


The dongles on the right of the hub are RF, the cable on the left is the IR extension.

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My guess is that the RF dongles are fast because we don’t identify them and push them through the eventlircd layer.

In theory there’s no need to do this because the keys are completely remappable.

RF is very fast and reliable, which is why we use it on the OSMC remote. Bluetooth would be hellish; particularly when different devices have different capabilities.


Interesting! Learn something new everyday!

Yeah those dongles are not well known since they only come with the keyboard, I think. But they have quite some value now that I realized how to use them. And there are even two, so I could control a second device via RF too.

They work like the USB dongle of the xbox 360 controller for windows. Everything it needs is in the dongle itself (incl. software), so it works like the controller (remote) is physically attached and therefore will work on anything. The Vero is not involved at all, as far as the Vero is concerned, there is a keyboard physically attached to its USB port.

I am still testing reliability but this could be the ultimate media center remote combination.

Great find! I might get myself the keyboard then… :+1:t2:

You’re able to use the Harmony remote with the RF dongle connected to the Vero - with mapped keys, etc. - and the Harmony Smart keyboard as well (keys and mouse)?

Yes, you can use both, simultaneously even… it is obviously designed to work as a keyboard, so the keyboard is fully functional, no remapping needed unless you want to… the remote works as well but for some reason you don‘t have letters and numbers available to remap, which is why I used the F-keys to remap.

I think it is actually a glitch that the remote works as well. I recommend that when you setup the activity, you select bluetooth at first and change it to RF later. I actually discovered the whole thing by using the dongle at first on my PC, which worked like you could expect. Then I put the dongle into the Vero and it just continued working. I deleted the bluetooth pairing f Vero to make sure it is really working over RF.

So far, it is stable and always working. Crazy if you ask me but who cares.

I’ll do that as well. My activity is setup with BT and it would just have to be switched to RF. Handy :+1:t2:
As the smart keyboard is only 40€ here now, it’s a good option to get a keyboard and seemless RF connectivity for my devices - also for my windows PC. Thanks for the hint :slightly_smiling_face:

BTW: Do you have a PS4 as well and if so, could you test whether the RF dongle also works with the PS4?

I will try PS4 with the other dongle.

Cheers! :slightly_smiling_face: Especially whether it can control apps (Netflix and Amazon Prime Video) and the Blu-ray player app as well as the PS (home) button… if it’s working at all.

It works, kinda. Direction keys work and the OK key starts a game or an app. I added an activity as a Windows PC. The basic direction keys incl. ok work, back key does not work since it is circle on the PS4 and that does exist on a Windows PC… I will try to add an activity with a real PS4 profile i stead of a Windows PC.

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If you want to use the PS4 profile it will only let you connect via bluetooth. Everything works perfect then, back key is circle and you can remap everything. Keyboard works simultaneously as well.

There is also no option to change it to RF afterwards. This seems to be only possible if you use the Windows PC profile. But this comes with limitations as you have not decice specific inputs. This is not problem with the Vero/Kodi since you can remap everything inside the device/application but for a PS4 and other devices with device specific input without a remapping tool, you need to use bluetooth to get full functionality.

Since you probably already use bluetooth to connect the hub to your PS4, there will be nothing new besides the added keyboard,

Thanks for the info! This means it’ll have the same limitations as the normal smart remote paired via the hub and BT with the PS4.

So, back on topic: good news indeed for the Vero :+1:t2:

Yes nothing new for anything other than a Windows PC profile. It is still great value though considering two dongles and a keyboard. I actually use the keyboard from time to time when I add Kodi repositories and stuff, which obviously worked before as well over bluetooth. People pay 20 bucks for a flirc dongle just to have IR working with a harmony and you get 2x RF dongles here.

But the whole thing is really for a few people because bluetooth already is pretty good (besides the current sluggish behavior caused by Logitech, which might be fixed soon… or not) and RF just adds another option, that is slightly more performant. Only a very few people will probably notice a difference.

The greatest use I get is from my alternate libreelec box, which has no bluetooth built in. That device will now be controlled with my second RF dongle, which makes me very happy :slight_smile: