Amazon Echo

Discussion in 'Smartphones, Computers, Gaming and Networking' started by jasn, Nov 6, 2014.

  1. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Active Member War Zone Member

    I'm really tempted to get one but I need to really wait and see what Apple does with HomeKit, if anything. Otherwise, I'm interested in the SmartThings hub and possibly the Echo to go with it.
  2. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Active Member War Zone Member

    Digging this thread back up! I have several Hue lights have two of the new Echo Dots on pre-order. I can't wait to get them! Are you still using your Echo, Max?
  3. Max Yokell

    Max Yokell Well-Known Member War Zone Member Top Poster

    Yes still using the Echo not sure how the dots will work for music but for home automation I could see it.

    I keep my echo in the bedroom and I have a group called bedroom lights. Just like the Harmony stuff you can't change colors if you set a color you can turn them up and down without the color changing.

    Alexa Turn bedroom lights down to 25% is my go to line when laying in bed watching TV. :)

  4. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Active Member War Zone Member

    Yeah, I really have no use for the bluetooth speaker as I have some sort of sound system in every room. My HT setup in the living room serves the kitchen just fine as well and I have a 3.1 system in the bedroom, 2-channel in the office, and even my daughter has a little 2-channel setup in her room. I will probably order a 3rd Dot for her room. She will have an outlet device to turn her lamp on and off. I'm also going to make her a makeup mirror with the white Hue bulbs in it so she can easily control them. She will just have to use her phone to change the color temperature.
  5. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

    I didn't want to create a brand new thread but is anyone familiar with IFTTT? This is a website/app that allows you to perform macro commands through the use of Elexa, Harmony Hub, and a few more devises via IOS or Android.

    For example, I can use my Android Wear watch to turn on my TV, Receiver, Nvidia Shield through the Harmony Hub with either the "Do" or "If app. For those with Elexas already in the home, Nest or Ecobee Thermostats, then there are a large number of "Recipes" available for simple tasks around the home.
  6. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Active Member War Zone Member

    I've used IFTTT just to turn off and on my WeMo switches using Siri with my iPhone. My two new Echo Dots were delivered today and I can't wait to get them set up to control all my lights (WeMo and Hue) as well as my Harmony Hub.
  7. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

    I ordered a set of Phillips Hue Light Bulbs along with the Bridge and should be here by Friday. I would like to automate these bulbs along with my Harmony Hub. My Christmas gift to myself will be the Ecobee 3 Thermostat system which is also support by Ifttt. I'm going to hold out on getting a system like the Echo or Google Home to see which one pans out better for my needs.
  8. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

    I have the Hue System Installed, one bulb in the living room and one in the kitchen. Took some time for the system to connect to my Harmony Hub but I can now control the lights with my Harmony Remote.

    Still debating to go the Google Home or Amazon Echo Route. The Dots from Amazon will perform the same tasks as the Full blown unit but much cheaper, coupled with the fact that I have a sound system in my living room.

    As for Ifttt, I have a few recipes running, one of which turns on the living room light when I arrive home. I may get a few more lights, one of which will be used outside when I come home during the night.
  9. Saurav

    Saurav Active Member War Zone Member

    I got an Echo as part of a referral bonus. Set it up today. Not sure I would have bought one with my own money, but it's kinda fun. The kids are getting a kick out of it. We'll see how long we use it. I swapped out the Play:1 in the kitchen with the Echo. I agree with CJ, the bass on the Play:1 is better. There's a Sonos:Echo integration effort under way, I think it's in private beta now. If that works out well, I imagine this will become more interesting, since it'll basically give me voice control over Sonos across rooms.

    Don't have a Nest or other fancy thermostat yet, but I have started thinking about that...
  10. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

    Just ordered a Dot and should arrive tomorrow evening. I had two additional Phillips Vue lights shipped and I will set them up tonight via ifttt, but Alexa may take care of the configurations for all of my lights. Now with Harmony and Alexa integration, it will be interesting to see how things will go.
  11. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Active Member War Zone Member

    I got my two Dots last week. I'm using it with my Hue white bulbs and Hue Blooms and Nest. I was really excited that they added native integration with the Harmony Hub yesterday. I can now say "Alexa, turn on my TV" without having to use IFTTT, which requires you to say "Alexa, trigger turn on my TV." So far so good. I need to play with it a little more to see if I can get it to do everything I want.
  12. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

    Just set up my Amazon Echo Dot with my Harmony Hub and Phillips Hue lights. Once you get the rhythm of configuring Alexa, it's a breeze. Very convenient to have in my set up now. Still some tweaking to do but overall, every command for both my system and lights is working.

    Sent using LG G5
  13. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Active Member War Zone Member

    I'm enjoying mine as well. Have you found an easy way to go in and edit a skill? For instance, I have not setup any favorite channels in the Harmony skill. So far it looks like the only way to do that is to delete the skill and add it back. Or am I missing something?
  14. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

    I haven't set up Favorite Channels. I have two live TV setups, the Nvidia Shield, and TiVo Bolt. I know this cannot be accomplished using the Shield because of the way Android TV works with the Harmony Remote. This might work with the TiVo however.

    Sent using LG G5
  15. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

  16. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

    Here's something I'm going to try. Use my echo dot as an Alarm to stream one of my playlists from Spotify. I try to get up around 6 am to check BP, take meds, and cook breakfast before my commute to work but this time change messed up my internal clock. I did have the Runtastic "Sleep better" app installed on my phone, but the phone would get hot and I would have to have it under my pillow and plugged in to maintain a charge. Not a big fan of of the "Ghost Rider" look. I don't have the Dot connected to my system with an audio cable but with Bluetooth I should be able to just allow Alarmify to stream music from my phone to my receiver with ease.

    I had to resurrect my Nexus 5 and place it back into the mix because of the LG G5's lackluster GPS. This is an known issue that I was not aware of until I started playing around with these automation apps. I had the updated Android Auto app installed on the G5 but the GPS would constantly lose connection, where as it's very stable on the Nexus 5. With that said, I installed ifttt and Yonomi for GPS activities such as turning on the outside night light and living room light when I arrive at home. The Nexus uses my car's 4G LTE Data connection so those activities will work as long as there's an internet connection available. I'm testing out both Ifttt and Yonomi to see which one is more dependable for now and it appears that Yonomi is winning.


    It appears that the Echo is not needed with this task, it's just an option. The Bluetooth device you want to use as an audio output device is your choice. For me, Yonomi worked great once I got all of the kinks removed. The app is set to turn on my Receiver/Amp using an "Alarm" Activity created in the Harmony Hub Software, which sets the Receiver to the Bluetooth input. Alarmify wakes up the phone and streams whatever music I want via bluetooth to the Receiver.

    I also discovered that in my set up that I had to set Alarmify to activate a minute later than the setting I created to turn on the Receiver/Amp/Harmony Hub with Yonomi. The app has an option to force your mobile device or tablet to use Bluetooth, plus an option to have a gradual increase in volume, so to not startle anyone.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 15, 2016
  17. John Celardo

    John Celardo Well-Known Member Donor

    Maureen ave me an Echo for Christmas last year. I don't have fancy wifi lighting or thermostat, so I don't use it for that. I do listen to NPR on it, and since it's in the kitchen, I play my Amazon music library when cook. When we got back from Europe, I said, "Alexa, I'm home!" Alexa greeted me and actually sounded glad I was back. ;)
  18. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

    I have an app called Alexa Listens on my phone. Yesterday while at work, out of the blue I said "Alexa, turn on Television", the App said Ok. When I got home, the TV was on and turned to the correct input. An hours drive away and it worked. There's some humor somewhere in this.
  19. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

    I have the Echo Dot working with Plex now. Very simple to configure using the app. Just say "Alexa, tell Plex to play Goodfellas", and prior to watching the film, Alexa will let you know that you are in the middle of watching the film, thus requesting to watch where you left off. This pretty much kills Google Home for me at the moment, where Google Assistant was meant to work with Chromecast and Android TV devices almost exclusively when it came to Multimedia.
  20. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin War Zone Member

    Top Poster Of Month

    I thought I read that Sonos was going to try to do Echo integration. That would be killer for me depending on how it worked. I love my Sonos but wish it had some kind of voice control.

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