Want some basic automation/ voice control - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 9 Old 12-14-2018, 10:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Question Want some basic automation/ voice control

I am looking for a way to walk into my room and say "lights on" along with a few other basic commands such as "dim lights" or "theater lighting" and it would be really cool to be able to see my live security cameras feeds (even if it was via a browser) and be able to say "listen to music" or "watch a movie" and have my receiver power up and such would be a plus. I am only talking about one room/building with probably some main lights and accent lighting. I don't need climate controls or alarms or door automation, just some basic stuff. One thing I do want is a touch screen that is wall mounted that looks cool. Even if I had to choose a movie or song via touch screen, that would be fine too. I don't want some custom system with proprietary equipment and where I have to learn some programming language or spend a ton of money. And I don't care about Alexa or google or anything else "collecting" my information. I will be using a plex server and a HTPC. And my Camera system is an old Zmodo Dvr system (https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16881523084)
After some research, I am thinking about either the Google Hub or getting a Fire HD 8/10 with Alexa. I like the idea of the trigger word "computer" much more than "ok Google" but it's not a deal killer. I am at the wiring stage so I don't know what recessed lighting cans to get, what wires to run or anything else. Can I get some direction or advise here? Or at least someone to tell me if I am looking in the right direction?
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post #2 of 9 Old 12-15-2018, 06:50 AM
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If you are looking for "simple" and "inexpensive" then look at Samsung Smarthings hub.
If you are looking for Voice, then Alexa and Google Home supported products. But, these are cloud services which you say you don't want (I get that). But they work good and are super inexpensive. You just give up your data.
HAL is an automation system that does quality VR for command / control and it is processed locally. But the UI is not up to snuff compared to some other products.

Touchscreen: You can glue a tablet / phone to the wall and call that a wall mounted touchscreen. And most all automation systems support iPhone / Android devices with an "App". If that's what level of quality you are looking to pay for, there are lots of mounts that can make the install easier.

If you are then talking about media control, the pack gets smaller.

myServer does everything you are asking for, but it will be more expensive than Smarthings (as one example) and will require someone to configure it to your specifics. We can do that for you for a fee. You can then tweek and support it ongoing...or pay us to do that for you. We have a full PLEX (and Kodi) integration which only a few really do well. Completely customizable user interface (that requires custom configuration if you want to modify it from the samples provided).

If you truly want all the elements you are asking for, there is no single product that does all exactly how you are asking. You are asking for a custom system without the custom system cost or complexity. You will have to compromise on what's most important. I think the largest issue is cost vs. cloud. The two don't go together. Non cloud systems are more expensive (and much better). Consumer electronics level systems (smarthings) are loss leaders to get your data and habits and to pull you into their ecosystem. That's why they are inexpensive. There are three levels of cost: Consumer electronics level (smarthings), software centric systems (myServer, CQC, Homeseer) and there is the expensive stuff (Crestron, Control4, Savant) that are dealer only installed systems. From your description, you are not remotely close to the expensive stuff. You just have to determine what your real budget is to decide on consumer or software based. All of your description points you to software based, with the possible exception of cost and you don't want to program it. Note: EVERY system requires configuration by someone.

With regards to wiring needs: First plan out what you are trying to achieve phase 1 and later...sounds like you are doing this now. Phase 2 is pick an automation system. Phase 3 is pick devices (including software devices like PLEX). Phase 4 is plan your wiring. Phase 5 is wire it before insulation and drywall. Phase 6 is install equipment. Phase 7 is Program it. Phase 8 is enjoy the system. You are ahead of the plan. There are MANY posts on generic wiring tidbits on this and many other forums. Without the specifics learned in Phases 1 - 3, you will have to overwire lots of stuff because you really don't know what you will need. But you only get one shot at doing wiring efficiently.

Last edited by smoothtlk; 12-15-2018 at 07:01 AM.
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post #3 of 9 Old 12-16-2018, 07:29 AM - Thread Starter
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No, actually, I don't care about my data. I don't have anything to hide and my life is pretty lackluster so I don't mind if it is cloud based. I would have to run some cat 6 to the building but that wouldn't be a big deal. After some researching, I am thinking a Fire 8 and openhab. I am researching Homeseer now and it looks pretty promising. I want to have it flush in the wall or at least something beyond taping or gluing and I don't mind doing a little DIY on that end. I will keep researching. I had no idea how deep this rabbit hole is...
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post #4 of 9 Old 12-30-2018, 02:01 PM
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I don’t do anything commercially with video integration, etc...., but I do lighting & audio.

I wanted to share with you a recent product for lighting controls that are compatible with Alexa, Google Home & Smart Things;

https://www.legrand.us/categories/sm...ing/wi-fi.aspx

These WiFi switches from Legrand are simple to setup through an Artik Cloud account, and reasonably priced. A switch is just under $40, and dimmers are around $60.

Legrand also makes Nuvo for audio, and it also works with Alexa. A couple of things to note; Spotify doesn’t work with Alexa, and Amazon Music ONLY works through Nuvo with an Alexa. Prob not quite what you’re looking for but just an idea. But the WiFi switches could work for you.


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post #5 of 9 Old 12-31-2018, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brantmacga View Post
I don’t do anything commercially with video integration, etc...., but I do lighting & audio.

I wanted to share with you a recent product for lighting controls that are compatible with Alexa, Google Home & Smart Things;

https://www.legrand.us/categories/sm...ing/wi-fi.aspx

These WiFi switches from Legrand are simple to setup through an Artik Cloud account, and reasonably priced. A switch is just under $40, and dimmers are around $60.

Legrand also makes Nuvo for audio, and it also works with Alexa. A couple of things to note; Spotify doesn’t work with Alexa, and Amazon Music ONLY works through Nuvo with an Alexa. Prob not quite what you’re looking for but just an idea. But the WiFi switches could work for you.


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Just one point of clarification, Spotify does works with Alexa. I think what you're trying to say is that Spotify doesn't work with Alexa when you're using Nuvo. I wanted to clear that up for any new person that may wander into this thread and forum from other places around the web.

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post #6 of 9 Old 12-31-2018, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahard View Post
Just one point of clarification, Spotify does works with Alexa. I think what you're trying to say is that Spotify doesn't work with Alexa when you're using Nuvo. I wanted to clear that up for any new person that may wander into this thread and forum from other places around the web.


Yes, that is correct. Thanks


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post #7 of 9 Old 01-08-2019, 06:55 PM
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you might look into apple homekit items.
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post #8 of 9 Old 02-15-2019, 04:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agent8 View Post
No, actually, I don't care about my data. I don't have anything to hide and my life is pretty lackluster so I don't mind if it is cloud based. I would have to run some cat 6 to the building but that wouldn't be a big deal.
Alexa etc are wifi based. No need for wires... and it works perfect. I've bought it just to see what all the fuzz was about, not intending to actually use it and talk to my appliances... i mean come on... but i've been using it eversince,haven't touched an actual lightswitch in 6 months now i'm talking to my hue lights, my curtains, my tv, my stereo (using harmony skill) and my nest thermostat. Also added a range of Stringify and IFTTT flows. Fun!

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post #9 of 9 Old 02-20-2019, 01:13 AM
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Universal Home Automation Controller

Yes, home automation system with one single hub allows you to control all lightings and devices around with just a single command. It also provides support with Google Home and Alexa. One can control all devices with only one single hub or controller called B One Eazy. This system has a wide range of connectivity with IR and all wifi devices. This smart home automation enables features like security, motion sensors, luminous adjustments, solar power automation, etc.
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