What's new
World Wide Stereo

Question on remotes and integration (1 Viewer)

Eric_L

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2002
Messages
2,013
Real Name
Eric
It has been more than a while since I last posted here. I’m not exactly new to the hobby but I’ve been away so long that much has changed and I have lost touch.

I should start by mentioning that my wife and I are home automation geeks. Not only do we control our lights with Alexa, we also control our garage door, pool pump, ac, shower and even fireplace. (Hubitat)

My question today is about how well modern HT equipment integrates between devices and home automation. This question could find a home in more than one sub-forum, so I figured it probably fits best in the newbie section - especially since any newbs may yet to have discovered what WAF means and this topic just might save a marriage :)

I recently bought an Amazon Fire Cube and got a little excited when it was also able to control my receiver. Our Living Room Harmony One has been temperamental lately so replacing it with the Fire Cube was appealing. I was, however, disappointed to find how limited the Fire Cube is - it cannot switch between out TV and our projector.

In my Man Cave I also have a Harmony One. I recently decided to ‘clean up’ and rearrange the inputs, but when I went to update the Harmony to match I could no longer access their website - so it is locked in to my old settings.

I’m thinking it may be time to update my system. I’d like to get Smart TVs in both rooms eliminating the need for the Fire TV and Apple TV boxes - and hopefully no longer rely on the Harmony One.

However controlling the systems concerns me.

In the Man Cave - will a Smart TV be able to automatically turn on the receiver? Can it change inputs should I want to play XBox or Wii?

In the Living Room - can I send video out from the Smart TV to my projector? Will it be able to turn on the projector? What about the receiver?

I do have an IR blaster in the living room to control some accent lighting and it could probably be programmed to control some items - but this seems sub-optimal. Same for the Hubitat.

I’ve tried downloading manuals to a few Smart TVs but found no answers. Am hoping some members here could assist.
 
Last edited:
Please support HTF by using one of these affiliate links when considering a purchase.

John Dirk

Premium
Ambassador
HW Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 7, 2000
Messages
6,757
Location
ATL
Real Name
JOHN
In the Man Cave - will a Smart TV be able to automatically turn on the receiver? Can it change inputs should I want to play XBox or Wii?

In the Living Room - can I send video out from the Smart TV to my projector? Will it be able to turn on the projector? What about the receiver?

The power-on/off functions could theoretically be handled by HDMI-CEC but it's a flaky set of protocols. Some brands can set inputs, etc. [especially] if all devices are from the same manufacturer. I'm not understanding why you'd want to mirror a TV screen to your projector? Could you elaborate?

Standalone streaming boxes like Apple TV's and Chromecast's are generally a better option than "Smart TV's" because their streaming apps will be regularly updated. Apps on TV's do not generally receive regular updates as there are just too many models out there. I have Smart TV's but rarely use the apps, except on my newer sets.

I know it's considered arcane by some but I use IR repeaters to control my HT. Once you have everything setup according to your needs, the technology is bullet proof.
 

Eric_L

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2002
Messages
2,013
Real Name
Eric
Yes, been using IR repeaters with Harmony. They worked most of the time but still temperamental.
I don’t want to mirror to my projector. Sometimes I’d rather watch a movie on the big screen instead of my lil ol 72” tv. With Harmony it was simple enough to swap displays. Fire TV Cube is a no go.
 

Type A

HW Reviewer
Joined
Apr 7, 2007
Messages
900
Location
Aurora Oregon
Real Name
Ty
I've been pretty happy with my Broadlink RM4. Technically I don't need a remote to control my theater. As long as its IR it can be voiced controlled with Alexa. When it comes to home automation and Alexa integration it's the best $45 I ever spent. I use an IR blaster, all my equipment is in a cabinet, but the Broadlink gave me voice control for Alexa.

Some of the routines I've set up for voice control it reads just like a routine on a remote but....it's all initiated by voice not by a remote button...

For example "Alexa lets game" powers on the projector, delay of 5 seconds (this was required for proper HDMI handshake with the AVR), powers on AVR, powers on Xbox, selects proper input on AVR and finally turns off all lights in the house (this last step is not IR from the the RM4 but rather a standard function of all the zigbee and/or wifi smart bulbs in the house).

Once the theater is on I've got functions like...

"Alexa receiver up 10": increases AVR volume by 10.
I also set this up for 5, and both up and down volume.

I've also got "Alexa mute receiver", "Alexa theater off" etc...

For music and video streaming I have all the transport functions, "Alexa pause" "Alexa next track" ect ect. I could stream with the Xbox but I wanted high res support so Im using the Shield pro. You'll have to drop an extra $23 for a flirc usb and sacrifice one of the two usb inputs on the Shield if you go with a Shield as it doesn't support IR natively (for whatever reason).

Bottom line since all my lighting in the house is zigbee and voice control using only Alexa it was sweet to get voice support for all theater functions with the dirt-cheap Broadlink RM4 blaster.

Don't get me wrong, I still have a big learning remote in my theater, mainly because I'm old school, but its really cool to know that I can do all functions with my voice if I choose. No screwing with HDMI control or another system when IR blasters are robust, cheap and the RM4 integrates with a smart home perfectly turning anything into a smart device. A remote is still better for navigating, you can program voice commands for "Alexa cursor right...cursor left....select" ect but obviously laborious and slow but all other functions are realistic using only voice.
 

sinadolat

Auditioning
Joined
Apr 25, 2024
Messages
2
Real Name
Sina Dolat
Modern Smart TVs are quite capable when it comes to integration with home automation systems like Hubitat. Many newer models support HDMI-CEC, which allows the TV to send control signals over HDMI to other devices, like your receiver. This means that turning on your Smart TV can also power up and control the receiver, and switch inputs automatically when you start playing on your Xbox or Wii.

For your living room setup, where you want to switch output between a TV and a projector, the integration might not be as straightforward with just a Smart TV. Most Smart TVs do not have native support to control projectors, especially for turning them on or switching signals. You might need an additional control system or a more advanced universal remote like the newer Logitech Harmony models or a higher-end home automation controller that supports complex scripting and scenario management.

In terms of replacing Harmony One, especially since you've experienced issues with updating it, you might consider looking into newer universal remote solutions or possibly expanding your home automation system's capabilities to include more comprehensive AV control. An IR blaster can indeed be used to control your devices, but as you mentioned, it might feel a bit clunky compared to integrated solutions.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Sign up for our newsletter

and receive essential news, curated deals, and much more







You will only receive emails from us. We will never sell or distribute your email address to third party companies at any time.

Latest Articles

Forum statistics

Threads
357,278
Messages
5,134,565
Members
144,340
Latest member
Phoneman66
Recent bookmarks
0
Top