Nuvo G Concerto, Essentia, MPS4, ... Integration, modernization and preservation
This thread focuses on solutions to modernize all the successful but now ageing Nuvo installations out there! Hopefully we can share some best practice in one place.
I would imagine that most solutions fall under a few categories such as:
1) Integrating with modern equipment such as streamers, voice control, apps, etc...
2) Using all the possibilities that exist already, but are less known
3) Maintaining and repairing current equipment
Any contribution is welcome, especially by the very Nuvo experienced people present on AVS Forum.
MPS4 & Nuvo GC/Essentia is now better than ever before...
Below is a summary of solutions to be found in this thread
Furthermore we have explored how to use the Nuvo Dock as a bridge between apps and the GC
Integration with other (modern) equipment
Broadly speaking the Nuvo system gets analog audio on 6 different inputs to distribute to 16+ zones.
Control is done through four interfaces:
2) Remote controls to keypads
3) iOS App
4) a serial 232 port
In the future, we need to integrate the Nuvo system with various devices such as:
- newer systems from Nuvo, Sonos or other
- music servers
- streamers and tuners
- voice control
- home automation
Without getting too technical, the Nuvo system communicates through four different protocols:
1) IR with an extensive library for music sources; tools exist for IR coding
2) Nuvo serial protocol and some ascii NuvoNet extensions on RS232 and Telnet to MPS4; published
3) NuvoNet protocol on RS485; unpublished but somewhat understood:https://www.avsforum.com/forum/36-ho...-protocol.html
4) IP between iOS App and MPS4; unpublished
The MPS4 in its turn uses both Nuvo and NuvoNet
The Keypads and Tuners use only NuvoNet.
Furthermore, the elusive NV-NNA combines both Nuvo and NuvoNet protocols to enable external sources to provide rich Nuvo-like functionality: source based menus, artwork, etc...
Resolving the NuvoNet protocol could provide a seamless integration with the new Nuvo Players, Sonos, etc... Furthermore it could enable the expansion of the keypads’ functionality beyond music into home automation or other.
However, the Nuvo protocol provides quite rich functionality for integration already now!
First of all, just plugging a source into the amplifier and choosing it as source on the keypads works great (and always has)!
One easy and common solution will be to buy e.g. a ChromeCast Audio for each family member and then assign them one source each. Music selection and control done through apps, on/off through keypads or MPS4 app.
GC volume and input gain is set at some standard level that corresponds to the usual smartphone/earphone level and then fine tuning of volume is done from the phone. Easy.
For richer integration a few set-ups are possible, besides from bottom up programming:
0) A few music software firms possibly still have integration with Nuvo, but they rely on the NV-NNA for a richer experience: Autonomic, CasaTunes, ?
1) Someone makes a small, but sharp and specialized integration hub, like the promising music gateway, MG1 by www.iotobox.com (Hope it comes out soon!). Integration with new Nuvo equipment, Sonos, Alexa, ...
2) Professional A/V and automation specialists like Crestron, Russound, Control4, Allonis, CQC, etc...
3) DIY home automation platforms dependent on a large community to help provide scripts and plug-ins: Home Assistant, Homeseer, Vera, Indigo, etc... and long term Google, Amazon, Apple, Samsung will all have good home automation platforms
I have most probably missed dozens of providers in categories 2 and 3 above! Huge fragmentation is a big issue for SW maintenance as interfaces are evolving rapidly and the size of supporting customer base/community is essential for a good system and long term survival.
A successful DIY solution for metadata and transport control!
My belief is that:
1) original apps such as Spotify, Pandora, etc.. provide by far the best user experience when it comes to music selection and discovery. It is also a well known interface when mobile.
2) keypads are an important part of my music experience. I like reading what’s “playing” and at a 2m distance; like in the kitchen. Furthermore, on/off and volume control with a pad is efficient as I know where it is...
3) voice will be a natural way to control a music system.
4) I may have some favorites (stations, playlists, ...) that I want to access quickly.
1) ChromeCast Audio is ideal to stream music and a likely pillar in the replacement of my ageing MPS4.
2) I need some integration platform as I am not capable of coding everything from scratch
3) I need a community/company that has developed and maintain integration scripts / plugins to:
- Nuvo GC
- ChromeCast Audio
- Alexa,Google or Siri.
In my search, I started looking for Nuvo plugins as I thought they were the most rare and difficult. It turns out that there are few of them to be found: CQC, Allonis, Control4, Indigo, as far as I know. Homeseer had an abondoned plugin that did not work.
All platforms have working plugins for voice control! Mainly Alexa and Google
Very few communities have ready plugins for Chromecast, but Several projects. Apparently the Google code is quite straight forward.
The Nuvo protocol is trivial to understand; almost plain English! Due to lack of Nuvo plugins, my next priority thus became to find automation platforms with easy 2-way serial port handling and hack a script myself. My needs are simple enough.
So, having looked around, I decide to download Homeseer on a 30 day trial. I am still hesitant to the community’s long term strength (may have peaked a few yrs ago), but I wanted to give it a try!
I am more than happy!
- After 1.5 hrs, from download of Homeseer to a successful “wife test”, I had produced a solution that gave me full metadata on my Nuvo keypads from Spotify via the Chromecast Audio devices.
- After another half day I could also control play, pause, next, rewind (and volume) and get the progress bar moving on the pad,
The responsiveness blows me away and it’s really cool to notice that when I press “pause” on the keypad, my iOS Spotify app changes to “pause” immediately as well. Same goes for Next, Play, etc.. Needless to mention that the music changes just as fast.
With a good automation platform in Homeseer, a Chromecast Audio plugin by an experienced independent programmer (beta testing) and my limited scripting skills of less than 50 lines of code, I now have a Nuvo solution that is more future proof.
During my 30 day trial period (roughly April), I will be testing stability and report back to you.
Despite my apparent success, I still believe that a very focused product like the MG1 could be ideal for people wanting a stable plug&play solution.
I look forward to:
- giving each member of the family a ChromeCast Audio
- connecting voice control from Amazon, Google or Apple
Will be happy to provide my simple scripts to anyone wanting to try Homeseer. The more the merrier!
i just installed 3 p200's today. i didn't do a 3 zone unit cause 2 zones are down in my rack for the pool and pool house and the other zone is up in the closet with my GC. it's my other outside zone. the patio. figured made sense to keep all the outdoor zones on one setup and all my indoor on the GC until it dies. then I will just add 3, 3500 3 zone players to the closet to replace my whole GC setup. so right now I got 2 systems going on.
actually i do't even think i will abandon my GC if my music port dies. I will just add a p300 which is a preamp unit to be a source for the grand concerto and control it through the profile app on my phone or whatever and use the keypads in the house as volume controllers pretty much.
i also bought a p30 keypad. it's going in my kitchen so i can control the outdoor profile 3 zones from inside and i'm adding another p30 to the pool house for when outside.
thats where i'm at night now. i got to order my middle atlantic rack faces for the 2 p200's that are in my downstairs rack.
https://farm1.staticflickr.com/885/2...2171ba47_z.jpgUntitled by Jim, on Flickr
https://farm1.staticflickr.com/818/4...b372f3f4_z.jpgUntitled by Jim, on Flickr
https://farm1.staticflickr.com/864/2...b974cfe7_z.jpgUntitled by Jim, on Flickr
https://farm1.staticflickr.com/866/4...12e922ec_z.jpgUntitled by Jim, on Flickr
https://farm1.staticflickr.com/876/2...4c233785_z.jpgUntitled by Jim, on Flickr
https://farm1.staticflickr.com/797/2...4570cbdf_z.jpgUntitled by Jim, on Flickr
https://farm1.staticflickr.com/877/4...673c9470_z.jpgUntitled by Jim, on Flickr
https://farm1.staticflickr.com/892/4...a1915083_z.jpgUntitled by Jim, on Flickr
https://farm1.staticflickr.com/900/4...b7d6f6a3_z.jpgUntitled by Jim, on Flickr
a lot of apps work on the tablet so far. i'm pretty happy wit the tablet keypad. it's slick. screen is like a 6 out of 10 vs an iPad. first time i ever used android today.
so that's my story so far. i feel like i'm cheating on my GC. lol I have had it since the day it came out and got he music port as soon as that came out.
my plan is a p300 onto the GC when the MP craps the bed. cause I know the GC will prob run forever. they r built so well.
Until now I have made $0 investment as I already had the hw and am on trial with the sw. 😁
What I needed apart from my current Grand Concerto system:
- 1 ChromeCast Audio, plugged in as source to GC that I already use
- 1 old Win7 machine that I had around
- 1 USB-RS232 that I use for configuring the GC
- 1 HomeSeer SW downloaded on 30 day trial (no questions asked)
- 1 ChromeCast plugin downloaded on 30 day trial (no questions asked)
- The ChromeCast costs $35.
- I may continue with my old machine or get a fanless piece of hw for either Windows or Linux
- Homeseer SW is unclear, probably their basic level for around $150
- the Chromecast plug-in $25
Interesting path forward that you have chosen with the new Players for the new zones.
I noticed that Legrand have made a Homeseer PI available for free.
You might manage to get everything integrated pretty fast with the PI and some simple scripts.
Would love to hear/help if you give it a try!
The reason I went wit the profile for those 3 zones were cause I live in the NE so we close the pool and pool house in the winter so the profile zones will only be used in the summer. So for most the year my GC still gets used. In the summer things might get dicey. lol but i figured once the GC dies I would just cover the whole house to the profile line so figured this was step 1.
I do like it so far. What stinks is now only having 1 stream of Spotify on the cheap vs the music port. lol
I would really like if you can set me in the right direction with the home steer and integrating. I will up front tel you I have zero experience with scripts or writing anything. I just checked out the link u sent. So this is a plugin for the profile line? and u r using a plugin for the GC line right now, so that would mean on the HS setup they would be 1 pretty much?
So right now the HS gathers info about the chrome cast and feeds it to the GC keypads in the most simply sense?
I am not a programmer.
Scripts in vb.net are pretty easy to read once you get used to it and adapting a script is not so difficult.
If you have set-up a home automation system with some events and triggers, you will be fine. Otherwise too! 😁
There is a Nuvo Player plugin made by Legrand that I know nothing about.
There is a ChromeCast plugin by a skilled 3P programmer that works fine.
There is not a Nuvo GC plugin, but I could help you with my simple scripts to get you started with Chromecast integration. Basically:
- one to write metadata to the displays
- one to capture and process keypad activity
Then 3 main events on Homeseer firing off the same write script.
Obviously there are some other steps to do as well.
Noticed a funny bug that you asked about: I can start casting Spotify to the CCA from my smartphone and then fire up a Spotify playlist on the MPS4 from the same account. Two for one!
ChromeCast Audio - Nuvo integration
This is awesome. Glad to see folks hacking the GC platform for the future.
Getting GC or the Player Portfolio to talk and share metadata with a Plex server would be the holy grail for me.
Anyone here using Plex + Nuvo in any way?
myServer has drivers for both the GC and Plex.
And has it's own streaming apps (Pandora, Google Music, Internet Radio, TuneIn)
And local media player.
So, it can pretty much do whatever you want.
I don't use Plex, but I found that you may have two alternatives:
1) there is a free plugin-in for Plex on Homeseer. It currently works for metadata, but not (yet) for transport control.
2) furthermore it seems like Plex has a Chromecast interface. Not sure which direction... With a Chromecast Audio, you could possibly have metadata AND transport control within reach (Not sure if you would get an audio loss?)
Both cases are worth looking into.
A Revolving menu system
Accessed by holding the play/pause button to get the HPLAYPAUSE response code on the serial port.
Several pages can be created like this.
Going into this special "mode" enables us to use the PREV/NEXT, HPLAYPAUSE and even and UP/DOWN keys relatively freely.
If you do not like the revolving concept, one could just as well make a multi-line (four visible) menu system.
A few thoughts on a multi-line menu:
- Up/down still regulates the zone volume, but button action can be tracked while automatically maintaining the volume (countering commands). Perhaps easiest realized through a slave?
- highlighting the selected row by inserting/deleting a ">" character (should be responsive enough)
- selection with NEXT, menu up with PREV.
- normal PlayPause kept as is for transport control
- Exit without action through HPLAYPAUSE (or PREV on top menu)
I think I'll give multi-line a try...
Re: Nuvo GC integration with Spotify
Sorry for not noticing your message earlier!
Yep, still using Homeseer on a simple test PC and happy with my solution.
I am not a programmer, but reasonably tech savvy and quite persistant. You will need very basic programming skills to adapt by scripts.
The fundamentals are:
- Homeseer platform running on e.g. any old PC
- Chromecast plugin (Homeseer ecosystem)
- Nuvo GC serial protocol
- a usb-serial 232 device between PC and Nuvo GC
- a Visual Basic script that I hacked sending Nuvo commands
I would be happy to share my hack(s). The original very lightweight hack as evolved for various functions that I use. I now use 2-3 scripts and a handful of events/scene triggers in HS.
It’s really a bare bones hack, but it has been very stable.
The ChromeCast plugin is still in “beta”, but is working quite well. Some users report dropped connections, but that is mostly with complex set-ups with many CCAs and groups.
You can set up a HS trial for a month for free including the plugin.
Currently on vacation. Cannot access my server and all scripts...
Maybe we should continue the forum thread, it helps other users.
In response to your above response to my PM, I understand that you mention that you are using a trial version of Homeseer, once the trial version expires can you please advise what software should be purchased? I've checked the Homeseer wesbite but am uncertain as to what software I should use. Is it HS3 or HS3 Pro or...?
With regard to the Chromecast plugin, can you please advise where this can be obtained from?
I would really appreciate if you could please send me through the hacks. I assume that these can be emailed or can I download them from any particular site?
Hi Glenn and Robert (had a similar question),
The people at HomeSeer are very nice and understanding. I am still in trial for their software and have not yet chosen HW.
My understanding is that the most basic SW version will work fine. (Even on a Ras-pi and Linux if you want, but I am not familiar with this and read somewhere that VB becomes slightly slower on Linux. Should hardly be an issue for us though...)
For your trial you may want to start with the HS3 Pro version as you get access to everything and don’t need to worry about restrictions when testing the SW. That’s what I did as I am also testing the home automation functionality in parallel to eventually replace my VeraPlus.
The HS3 Pro also includes an app creation module (HS3Touch Designer). Since the the MPS4 is shutting down, I wanted a contingency to replace the Nuvo app which I use today. I have fooled around with HS3Touch and have basically proven that I could make a Nuvo app clone reasonably easy. Responsiveness was good.
The Chromecast plugin can be downloaded from HS’s forum, follow the “Installation” instructions carefully:
Next steps :
- set up your hw and plug in the usb-rs232 and hook it up with the Nuvo GC to make sure the serial connection works outside of HS today (on Windows, use the Nuvo GC config sw as you will need this anyway to make a minor change to the GC later)
- start installing HS & plugin and get familiar with it
- I will be able to send you the script(s) early next week.
I have the GC configurator software installed and it can control the GC without any issues via an RS232 to USB cable.
I have also installed the Homeseer software Pro trial version. I have installed the Chromecast plugin and when I follow the step "click the "Download and Install" button", an error appears stating 'Install/Update of package Chromecast failed', even though I followed the previous steps outlined in the instructions. I have done the installation several times over from the beginning and the same error appears.
We have a 30 day free trial.
Thanx for asking!
Not sure what your set-up issue is...
It could be because the zip file is emptied each time you try to install. Not evident.
(Don’t forget to remove the beta plugin helper file to access other apps after you succeed)
Send me a private message with your email address and I will send some scripts to you.
I stumbled upon this thread by accident and I'm so happy I did!!! Like others, I love the hardware but I've felt abandoned by the Nuvo/Legrand. I'm currently trying to integrate my Nuvo GC & Music Port into a Control4 system (my installer has gone MIA but luckily left me with the Composer Pro software), and will try this integration with Chromecast next.
I'm excited to be a part of this group and hearing more ideas!
Sorry, don't remember where I discovered this.
Probably when fooling around with the configurator or deciphering the NuvoNet protocol...
I have successfully copied Bobones' "hack" of integrating Nuvo essentia/homeseer/chromecast. I have zero programming skills but as bob said, if you spend some time reading through the scripts you get the basic idea of what is happening.
Big thanks to Bob for all your help, there is no way I would have been able to do this myself....
If anyone is thinking about purchasing the Homeseer software they often do a 50% off deal, the last 2 years they have done them during May and November...
My next step is creating my own touch screen interface using the HSTouch designer. My first draft seems to be working great.
Thanks again Bob
Do you have the chromecast configured as a Nuvonet or non-Nuvonet source?
If non-nuvonet have you mapped the play/ff/rw to nuvo macros or how did you handle that?
I am currently integrating Chromecast into the MG1. Working with it is a little strange and actually more difficult than integrating Sonos or Nuvo Players. I did find a project on Git that translates the interface from a CCA into a REST api. If interested it is called cast-web-api
How do you handle the PlayPause/Prev/Next? If I have it set to non-nuvonet and press one of those, I get a message that pops up that says "No Macro Defined". Do you define macros for the source and then just listen for the macro over the serial port and map that to the appropriate action?
Are there any tricks to getting track status to show up on the Nuvo.
For example, I will send this message: "*S5DISPINFO,12000,1000,6", while a zone is on source 5 and nothing will happen in the track status area. Messages like this one: *S5DISPLINE1"Foo"' work fine and update the display line for that source.
The DISPINFO is very particular. For the time fields you need to multiply the seconds by 10. Nuvo for some reason uses 10th of a second. Also, it must be an integer. The 6 also looks high to me. Maybe its in the docs, I cannot remember. I only use 2 or 3.
- Sorry to hear that it is tricky! I have no idea if this might help: https://github.com/openhab/openhab2-...ing.chromecast
- how do I include my VB files? Using the code function #?
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