Vera Plus and Alexa ~ Harmony Hub Only? Or Elite Required? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Forum Jump: 
 4Likes
  • 1 Post By NickTheGreat
  • 1 Post By NickTheGreat
  • 1 Post By NickTheGreat
  • 1 Post By GRIMMACE
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 13 Old 08-13-2017, 07:36 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
Sammy2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Right next to Wineville, CA
Posts: 10,576
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 550 Post(s)
Liked: 262
Vera Plus and Alexa ~ Harmony Hub Only? Or Elite Required?

Getting ready to upgrade my Harmony 900's (starting in Family Room) to go to Alexa Voice Control combined also with my Vera Plus Controller.

Do I need the Elite remote? Pretty sure the 900 won't work with the Hub but I hate the lack of numbers on the Elite for fast tuning.

Will it control my wall mounted Plasma without a blaster dangling on the side of the TV?

Even for my AVR, the blaster would have to be slightly outside the cabinet.

Can the blasters work over WiFi or Bluetooth or do they need to be wired to the hub?

Any good guides on set up and control along with HA Controller integration?

TIA

Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk

Sammy2 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 13 Old 08-14-2017, 12:47 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
Sammy2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Right next to Wineville, CA
Posts: 10,576
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 550 Post(s)
Liked: 262
Bueller?
Bueller?
Bueller?
Anyone?
Bueller?

Sammy2 is offline  
post #3 of 13 Old 08-15-2017, 11:11 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
NickTheGreat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Posts: 2,672
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 424 Post(s)
Liked: 304
I don't have any direct experience with the 900. I had the "One" when it came out, which was the IR version of the 900, right? Which I then replaced with an Elite, and added an Ultimate for my theater in the meantime. I think the 900 is a different hub than the two I have, but I very well could be wrong. It has happened before.

Anywho, I had a Vera 3 until I replaced with a Homeseer system in late 2016. But I had fairly decent success with reneboer's Harmony Hub plugin for both setups.
http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/board,83.0.html

I can't remember the nuts and bolts of it, but I believe it created devices/scenes in Vera for each device and activity. Maybe just devices? It's been a while, and I speak Homeseer now . . .

But I have had favorable experiences with the Harmony Hubs and blasters. They are hardwired, no wireless solution that I'm aware of. For both rooms, I have my equipment in a "stack" and have no problem with the Hub/blasters hitting everything. In fact, in my living room setup, above the fireplace TV, I have one blaster on the mantle pointed in the vicinity of the TV, and one blaster at the bottom of the stack. I don't have my photos off Photobucket yet, but I'll try to post a picture later explaining what I mean.

Furthermore, I wouldn't let the lack number buttons dissuade you from the Elite. I really don't ever need numerical keys, what with the graphical shortcuts on the Elite's screen, and my Tivo's on screen guide. And perhaps Alexa would help you with that? The Elite is a far better remote than the Ultimate, and I personally prefer to the One. Mostly for the RF of it, which you already are accustomed to.
Sammy2 likes this.
NickTheGreat is online now  
 
post #4 of 13 Old 08-15-2017, 11:30 AM
Member
 
GRIMMACE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 87
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Liked: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post
Getting ready to upgrade my Harmony 900's (starting in Family Room) to go to Alexa Voice Control combined also with my Vera Plus Controller.

Do I need the Elite remote? Pretty sure the 900 won't work with the Hub but I hate the lack of numbers on the Elite for fast tuning.

Will it control my wall mounted Plasma without a blaster dangling on the side of the TV?

Even for my AVR, the blaster would have to be slightly outside the cabinet.

Can the blasters work over WiFi or Bluetooth or do they need to be wired to the hub?

Any good guides on set up and control along with HA Controller integration?

TIA

Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk
I have the Elite and Vera hub. Its a little quirky but it works once you add everything and figure out which device is which. I don't think you need the Elite. You probably just need the Harmony hub and the Harmony hub extender (this talks to vera) but if it were me I'd get the remote too. Alexa can't do everything and sometimes its just better to push a button to do something. I have it programmed in my theater for example when I press watch movie it turns on the step lights, candy counter light, movieposter tv, etc. and turns off the soffit and rope lights in theater while turning on the step lights. The harmony hub itself is a giant blaster. Its meant to sit in the closet where all your equipment is. The mini blasters are used for anything outside the closet. It has pretty good range so if it can "see" your tv you will probably be ok. The blasters are wired to the hub and there are two connections. As an example I ran a cat6 from the closet to my tv and spliced in one of the blasters on each end. You cut the blaster wire in half and attach the 3.5mm side to one end which plugs into the harmony hub and the blaster to the other side by the tv. The harmony app does a pretty decent job of walking you through everything. Hope that helps.
GRIMMACE is offline  
post #5 of 13 Old 08-15-2017, 11:32 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
NickTheGreat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Posts: 2,672
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 424 Post(s)
Liked: 304
Here's an outdated picture of my setup, but I tried to mark in MAGENTA where my blasters are. The hub itself actually sits on the very top of the equipment stack, but isn't shown in this old picture, I believe.

Sammy2 likes this.
NickTheGreat is online now  
post #6 of 13 Old 08-15-2017, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
Sammy2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Right next to Wineville, CA
Posts: 10,576
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 550 Post(s)
Liked: 262
With the lack of number buttons my dream would be to say, "Alexa, tell Harmony to tune WMC to channel 1505" and have it change the channel of WMC to channel 1505 without ever touching a remote, "Alexa, Tell Harmony to turn the AVR Volume up"...

Dream anyhow. If the Hub and Elite cannot do this then what's the point? I can have Alexa dim the lights through Vera already. To add the Harmony Hub and Elite and not be able to control the AV stuff with Alexa is a waste of money because I already have a perfectly functional RF remote, hub and blasters to do this. In order to make it worth buying a new remote, I need to add new functionality beyond what the 900 already does.

Sammy2 is offline  
post #7 of 13 Old 08-15-2017, 01:20 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
NickTheGreat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Posts: 2,672
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 424 Post(s)
Liked: 304
I'm pretty sure that you can do that.

https://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-l...on-alexa-echo/

I don't know, I don't have an Alexa and won't. But it sounds promising.

I like being able to control my HT setup through Homeseer (or Vera before). Especially with the projector, I push one button on my phone, and HS turns my Watch Projector Activity on, turns on the lights, dims them, sets color, etc. It only takes a couple minutes for the projector to warm up, but I like this ability.

I haven't figured out how to go the other way, to use the Harmony to control my lights. Especially when pausing the DVR or movie. But that's just because I haven't gotten around to it yet

But yeah, if you're happy and don't have any benefit, you don't need to waste the $$$
Sammy2 likes this.
NickTheGreat is online now  
post #8 of 13 Old 08-15-2017, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
Sammy2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Right next to Wineville, CA
Posts: 10,576
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 550 Post(s)
Liked: 262
The added benefit for me would be tying it into Vera or better yet, Alexa.

The link you provided.. I didn't know whether to bookmark it in Home Theater or Home Automation!

Sammy2 is offline  
post #9 of 13 Old 08-15-2017, 06:45 PM
Member
 
GRIMMACE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 87
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Liked: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post
With the lack of number buttons my dream would be to say, "Alexa, tell Harmony to tune WMC to channel 1505" and have it change the channel of WMC to channel 1505 without ever touching a remote, "Alexa, Tell Harmony to turn the AVR Volume up"...

Dream anyhow. If the Hub and Elite cannot do this then what's the point? I can have Alexa dim the lights through Vera already. To add the Harmony Hub and Elite and not be able to control the AV stuff with Alexa is a waste of money because I already have a perfectly functional RF remote, hub and blasters to do this. In order to make it worth buying a new remote, I need to add new functionality beyond what the 900 already does.
You can do that. You save your favorites and then can tell alexa to do it. The volume through harmony is a little less intuitive. It works but I beleive only a small amount each time you do it. So you have to tell alexa to do it multiple times. You should really look into Ha Bridge. Its basically a virtual phillips hue sytem which gives you the ability to use the on, off and dim functions. The dim function can be used to set the volume. You can then add whatever you can think of if you are willing to put in the time. The benefit is it talks to vera and to the harmony hub. The harmony hub will recognize the virtual hue system and import every alexa command you create.
ahard likes this.

Last edited by GRIMMACE; 08-15-2017 at 06:48 PM.
GRIMMACE is offline  
post #10 of 13 Old 08-16-2017, 05:38 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
Sammy2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Right next to Wineville, CA
Posts: 10,576
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 550 Post(s)
Liked: 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by GRIMMACE View Post
You can do that. You save your favorites and then can tell alexa to do it. The volume through harmony is a little less intuitive. It works but I beleive only a small amount each time you do it. So you have to tell alexa to do it multiple times. You should really look into Ha Bridge. Its basically a virtual phillips hue sytem which gives you the ability to use the on, off and dim functions. The dim function can be used to set the volume. You can then add whatever you can think of if you are willing to put in the time. The benefit is it talks to vera and to the harmony hub. The harmony hub will recognize the virtual hue system and import every alexa command you create.

I have been looking into HA Bridge as recommended in the micasaverde forums. Need to look some more. Can it work side by side with the native vera / alexa skill?

Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk

Sammy2 is offline  
post #11 of 13 Old 08-16-2017, 06:50 AM
Member
 
GRIMMACE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 87
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Liked: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post
I have been looking into HA Bridge as recommended in the micasaverde forums. Need to look some more. Can it work side by side with the native vera / alexa skill?

Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk
It can but the beauty of the Ha Bridge is it makes it so much easier to create things for Alexa. It has a build function which does a lot of the work for you. You can label them whatever you want for Alexa. I have no idea how to write luup code for vera but the Ha Bridge gives more options. You need to have the bridge running all the time though. I installed mine on my NAS. A windows computer will work too but it needs to be on all the time.
GRIMMACE is offline  
post #12 of 13 Old 08-17-2017, 06:33 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
Sammy2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Right next to Wineville, CA
Posts: 10,576
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 550 Post(s)
Liked: 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by GRIMMACE View Post
It can but the beauty of the Ha Bridge is it makes it so much easier to create things for Alexa. It has a build function which does a lot of the work for you. You can label them whatever you want for Alexa. I have no idea how to write luup code for vera but the Ha Bridge gives more options. You need to have the bridge running all the time though. I installed mine on my NAS. A windows computer will work too but it needs to be on all the time.
My HTPC and PC are on all the time for various reasons.. WMC, Emby and Blue Iris to name the main reasons.

Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk

Sammy2 is offline  
post #13 of 13 Old 08-22-2017, 05:15 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
Sammy2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Right next to Wineville, CA
Posts: 10,576
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 550 Post(s)
Liked: 262
Sorry, been on vacation but back now. Looking forward to having time to check this out.. I'll report back my results. Thanks.

Sammy2 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply Home Automation

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off