Regardless….it appears that I AM causing the unit to boot into a different mode….because when I've done this, the unit won't fully boot up and connect to Emote. If I restart the unit…then within 2 minutes it does boot up and connect to Emote. I already am using a hard wire ethernet connection to my Mac Pro. So, as to why I cannot boot into Recovery Mode and connect is indeed concerning.
Indeed I think the recovery boot is being activated. I suspect the issue may be network-related, since the recovery partition actually downloads the system either from the internet or from a USB stick (this allows us to 'update the updater' in a failsafe way). You may need to enable internet sharing on your Mac for the H9000 to see this. If that fails, you can try making a USB installer through these instructions:
With the USB installer plugged in, doing the pinhole key boot should allow you to boot into recovery mode with no internet connection.