Can use some more advice or a direction.....what would you d

Posted on
Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:54 am
Sharek326 offline
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Can use some more advice or a direction.....what would you d

Good morning everyone. As I continue to drill down and put I finer point on my home automation I have been finding myself working through a few separate problems. At this point maybe some of you can offer up some solutions to the following situations.

When I started my home project the main goals we to save energy (money) where possible and offer a level of convenience where I could. Now it appears the cool factor may have taken over.

One thing I am trying to get back if do the most I can with the least amount of equipment. Here is one example of where I am not. I want to offer music throughout the house. I use the Itunes Plugin. I have added a few Apple Express routers and Speakers to the living room and bedrooms. But now I would like to add some music to the master bath. There is a TV already in there with a Roku for nights you want to relax in the whirlpool. I was going to use a few of my Apple TV 3 units I don’t use anymore to bring music in. I tried Bluetooth and I just don’t get the range needed.

But with this current setup for music I think I am using far too much equipment to achieve the goal….multiple expresses, speakers and now Apple Tv’s. In addition I don’t want to mix media player types Apple TV’s for music and Roku’s for Movies….Seems overly complicated and moves away from simple and energy efficient.

Alexa or Siri?

When the Alexa plugin was released I was all about adding voice to my system so I ran out and bought 4 dots and placed them throughout the house. Again adding additional things needed to be plugged in and consuming energy to achieve my goal.

When the new Homebridge came out I like how well it sets up and works. My only problem is to do what I am currently doing with ALexa (having voice throughout the house) I would need to get a second mortgage to afford Homepods in all the same rooms.

I have considered the fact that adding a few Homepods could also solve the first problem with the speakers but the price. I am just not sure I can justify it.

ITach or Remotes

Currently I use ITachs in three separate rooms and a Harmony remote in one room. Again all the ITachs are additional pieces of equipment to achieve a goal. I have a few control pages setup to use the ITachs because currently in the Media room the AV is actually behind us sending IR Plaster commands through the rooms. Harmony remotes send IR signals and it won’t work with the location of the Roku’s

Any advice on other solutions I may be missing?

Posted on
Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:15 am
jay (support) offline
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Re: Can use some more advice or a direction.....what would y

[MODERATOR NOTE] moved to a more appropriate forum since it's less specific questions about the use of a particular device and a more general "how would you" sort of question.

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Posted on
Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:31 am
Colorado4Wheeler offline
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Re: Can use some more advice or a direction.....what would y

I deal with similar issues myself and can only speak to my own testing and what I end up with.

I was a die-hard Roku guy for years and have developed several Roku plugins as a result of that. Once Apple TV was able to talk to my Plex that all went away because I like having a single ecosystem in my home and Apple is what I went with. At this point in hindsight I would not have changed a single thing. The only thing Roku was still offering me was Amazon Prime video, which I rarely use but wanted access to, so when Apple TV got that was the final nail in the Roku coffin in my case.

Roku is great because it's cheap, but given that my Apple TV's can do everything that Roku can do plus stream AirPlay and act as a HomeKit server I don't mind spending a bit more. What holds you to Roku over Apple TV? If Roku is "it" for you then I would say to ditch Apple and Siri because mixing infrastructure and ecosystems like that and hoping for good results is going to be a headache. If you want simplicity then I would choose one or the other.

You don't need HomePods everywhere. I used Siri around my house pre-HomePod using spare iPhones or iPads and if I had an ATV4 then the Siri remote works great.

I still use Alexa but since HomePod she's mostly just doing the one main thing I want her for: adding groceries to Our Groceries. However, there are a couple of rooms that don't have HomePods so I use Alexa in those rooms to control my HA. No biggie, I already bought the equipment so might as well use it.

Another thing to consider is if you use Apple Music subscription (don't know if you saw but it just smashed Spotify in subscribers this month, now the largest music streaming service in the US and almost there worldwide, and is expected to be twice the subscribers in just six months more). Amazon's music library is a pimple on the butt of Apple's massive catalog.

Another factor is don't forget your dots are bluetooth, and can be used with Airfoil. You can only use one at a time but with some creative Indigo usage you can connect to a dot, play something and then disconnect to connect to a different dot. That's what I still do in rooms that don't have an Airplay device.

And now with Siri's new custom activities in iOS 12, Siri is getting a lot more powerful as Apple doubles down on voice control, I think we'll see lots of cool stuff happening.

One can complain that Apple isn't the Steve Jobs Apple and that updates are buggy or whatever, but there isn't a single software or platform on the planet that is perfect. Roku was the buggiest thing in the world for ages. Better now but I can say that I've only had to reboot an Apple TV once or twice due to some glitch versus rebooting my Roku a hundred times for the same reason in the same period of time.

It comes down to personal preference.

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

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Posted on
Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:43 am
Sharek326 offline
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Re: Can use some more advice or a direction.....what would y

In the beginning I was Apple TV everywhere but once I moved to Plex Roku seemed like affordable solution since Apple TV didn't offer a simple way to get it. After the 4th Gen came out I did purchase one to see if it was better and I use that 4th Gen for Homebridge.

I think aside from cost I stayed with the Roku because the remotes weren't IR and I could hide them anywhere.

I don't use Spotify or Pandora much and most of my music has just been copied of discs I own or iTunes purchases through the years. I was looking into the new Sonos One speaker since it offers Alexa and Airplay 2 in one unit.

The trouble I am running into with the Master Bath is Power and look. After all its a bathroom so where to plug anything in and not have it kill me in the tub should my wife be looking for a tidy exit strategy is limited.

Posted on
Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:59 pm
mat offline
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Re: Can use some more advice or a direction.....what would y

For bathrooms I have high voltage units outside with low voltage into the bathrooms themselves. In my case from the loft space above. Ceiling speakers are easy to fit, and are connected to Sonos units. No TV’s in the bathrooms though, but you can get ones suitable. If I were looking at tv,s I would have put the ruku or atv. In the loft and just run an hdmi in the wall.

Check your local regulations and that will probably provide only one or two options for you to achieve what you want.

mini 10.11.6

Posted on
Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:31 pm
Colorado4Wheeler offline
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Re: Can use some more advice or a direction.....what would y

There's the super cool TV's that are integrated into the mirror but, for me, I wouldn't put sensitive electronics anywhere near the general vicinity of steam if I want them to last. Even the cables will rust and corrode.

Now if it's that backup plan of "well, the wife really wants to watch the tube when taking her lavender bubble bath and if she burns the pot roast again I'm throwing the TV in the tub with her" kind of Dexter-esque murder plot then I think you should go with a Samsung TV, they tend to be a little lighter to throw IMHO. :wink:

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

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