HOWTO: Whole House Audio With HomeKit

Posted on
Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:52 pm
Colorado4Wheeler offline
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HOWTO: Whole House Audio With HomeKit

Introduction

I thought it might be nice to write up some cool implementations with HomeKit (and Alexa too since I link to both). This topic came up today so I thought I would go over the setup and functionality and how it all is put together to put whole house audio into voice controlled effect.

Components Used

  • Indigo (duh) Version 7
  • Airfoil Pro running on the Indigo "server"
  • Airfoil Pro Indigo plugin
  • Homebridge Buddy ( :shock: )
  • Apple Music subscription
  • iTunes running on Indigo "server"
  • iTunes plugin enabled in Homebridge Buddy

Speakers

  • Apple TV 4's in four rooms
  • Amazon Echo Dot's in four rooms
  • Amazon Echo in two rooms
  • Airport Express's in three rooms
  • AirPort Extreme in one room

Case Study

So, years ago I put together my whole house audio using Airfoil and Airport Express devices. As Apple TV's expanded this further and then add iPads/iPhones and every other Apple device that ties into Airfoil via Airplay things really expanded. Now bluetooth speakers get added to Airfoil and really expand the whole system without spending a mint on a Sonos (or similar) setup and I get outstanding sound AND the added benefit of getting Indigo to talk to me as things happen ("someone is at the door").

Once voice control came into the picture then I really needed ways to creatively control this, and it's one of the reasons I wrote HBB and the main reason I wrote HBB Wrappers. I needed to move audio around my house using voice commands.

HBB Wrappers are a lot more involved than just a means to turn on and off stuff, the underlying library I wrote actually goes out to every Indigo plugin that you have and allows you to tap into those plugins just as you would natively in Indigo. So, like with Airfoil, all of the Airfoil actions are published and available inside wrappers just like they are inside your actions, schedules and triggers.

Tech Overview

  • "Hey Siri, turn on Office Echo": tells Airfoil to connect to the Office Echo speaker
  • "Hey Siri, set Office Echo to 50%": tells Airfoil to set the volume to 50% on the Office Echo Speaker
  • "Hey Siri, turn on Playing State": tells the iTunes HBB plugin to start playing iTunes on the Indigo server
  • "Hey Siri, turn on Track Skipper": tells the iTunes HBB plugin to, well, skip a track.... :shock:
  • "Hey Siri, turn on Album Skipper": tells the iTunes HBB plugin to move on to the next album
  • "Hey Siri, turn off Office Echo": tells Airfoil to disconnect the Office Echo speaker

I'm working on new and interesting ways to do even more with this, but this ain't bad for now.

Homebridge Buddy Wrapper Device For An Airfoil Speaker

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On Command
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Off Command
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Dimmer 1 Command
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Dimmer 2 Command
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Dimmer 3 Command
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Dimmer 4 Command
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Posted on
Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:43 pm
matt (support) offline
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Re: Case Study: Whole House Audio With HomeKit

Great example of how to put together a complete solution – thanks for sharing!

Image

Posted on
Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:35 pm
Colorado4Wheeler offline
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Re: Case Study: Whole House Audio With HomeKit

Thanks Matt. I have done what I think is some pretty cool stuff with HA and Indigo is the cornerstone of that entire thing, I figure sharing is caring and I care :lol: . Besides, there are a lot of folks on here that don't know what they don't know, maybe this will help someone do a bit more. I'm hopefully going to do more of these as I think of them and if you are the only one that reads them then I'm OK with that :P.

My Modest Contributions to Indigo:

HomeKit Bridge | Device Extensions | Security Manager | LCD Creator | Room-O-Matic | Smart Dimmer | Scene Toggle | Powermiser | Homebridge Buddy

Check Them Out Here

Posted on
Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:26 pm
Colly offline
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Re: Case Study: Whole House Audio With HomeKit

Seeing as I keep bugging you on other threads I said I might as well keep going. :)
At present I've a couple of Sonos Play 1's & 2 Echo Dots which are hard connected to some old Bose portable speakers to enhance the sound! How exactly are you using the Echo's to play other than how I do at present by voice control while in the room? In the screenshot you show a device for an Echo - I'm obviously missing something in how and where you're creating this! At present I've no Airport Express or Extremes so hopefully that's not a requirement! As usual thanks in advance for your time.

Posted on
Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:26 am
Colorado4Wheeler offline
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Location: Colorado

Re: HOWTO: Whole House Audio With HomeKit

Colly wrote:
How exactly are you using the Echo's to play other than how I do at present by voice control while in the room?


I use Airfoil to distribute sound, that is how I use the Echo's.

My Modest Contributions to Indigo:

HomeKit Bridge | Device Extensions | Security Manager | LCD Creator | Room-O-Matic | Smart Dimmer | Scene Toggle | Powermiser | Homebridge Buddy

Check Them Out Here

Posted on
Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:18 pm
noel1983 offline
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Joined: Oct 17, 2014

Re: HOWTO: Whole House Audio With HomeKit

For clarity you mean by connecting to the echo’s via Bluetooth?

Where is your Mac in relation to the echo’s? How do you find the range?
Thanks
Noel

Posted on
Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:21 pm
Colorado4Wheeler offline
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Re: HOWTO: Whole House Audio With HomeKit

noel1983 wrote:
For clarity you mean by connecting to the echo’s via Bluetooth?


Yes, exactly.

noel1983 wrote:
Where is your Mac in relation to the echo’s? How do you find the range?


Not sure how you find the range of anything, a tape measure maybe. For me my Indigo Mac is ~20 feet from most of my Echo devices.

My Modest Contributions to Indigo:

HomeKit Bridge | Device Extensions | Security Manager | LCD Creator | Room-O-Matic | Smart Dimmer | Scene Toggle | Powermiser | Homebridge Buddy

Check Them Out Here

Posted on
Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:41 pm
mlooss offline
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Joined: Sep 05, 2013

Re: HOWTO: Whole House Audio With HomeKit

noel1983 wrote:
For clarity you mean by connecting to the echo’s via Bluetooth?

Where is your Mac in relation to the echo’s? How do you find the range?
Thanks
Noel


:lol: I think he meant to say, how good is the range for the relative low range of Bluetooth devices working out for you. But a tape or a laser measurement type device is certainly an option, but if you know how far you can spit, you could use that too LMAO.

Posted on
Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:42 pm
noel1983 offline
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Joined: Oct 17, 2014

Re: HOWTO: Whole House Audio With HomeKit

Lol yes sorry poor wording!! I’ll test out tomorrow and see which of my echos my Mac can reach. One is one floor down and the other I’d want to reach is two floors down which I suspect may be pushing it!
Cheers

Posted on
Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:50 pm
Colorado4Wheeler offline
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Location: Colorado

Re: HOWTO: Whole House Audio With HomeKit

mlooss wrote:
but if you know how far you can spit, you could use that too LMAO.

LMAO!

noel1983 wrote:
the other I’d want to reach is two floors down which I suspect may be pushing it!

Probably, but if it's straight down then maybe not. Don't forget that any wireless technology is based on 90 degree angles, if your speaker is downstairs and three rooms over then it doesn't have to go through a 6" sheetrock wall but because it's at an angle, that 6" wall could be 5 feet. I would suggest some AirPlay devices for that distance (HomePod anyone?) because you'll be pushing it. Just running bluetooth on the Echo's pushes anyway because they disconnect often (they'll auto reconnect though).

My Modest Contributions to Indigo:

HomeKit Bridge | Device Extensions | Security Manager | LCD Creator | Room-O-Matic | Smart Dimmer | Scene Toggle | Powermiser | Homebridge Buddy

Check Them Out Here

Posted on
Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:53 pm
noel1983 offline
Posts: 349
Joined: Oct 17, 2014

Re: HOWTO: Whole House Audio With HomeKit

Great cheers, it’s funny, I love the echos and love voice control however there’s areas and times that I want to trigger from a simple button and therefore from indigo. Just trying to avoid more devices that are inevitably expensive, sonos or HomePod or possibly the new sonos one as a blend of sonos and echo.

Cheers

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