Ability to control DirecTV with SmartThings+Alexa Meta


#1

Hey Everyone!

I’m brand-new to the world of ST, so please have mercy on me. Anyway, we recently switched from COX Cable to DirecTV. When we were with COX, we had the cool remotes that accepted voice commands.

So I would press down on the ‘voice button’ and then say ‘Nick Jr.’ for example, and the remote would automatically change the channel to Nick Jr. and so on.

I was looking to find something that would mimic this feature with DirecTV and then some.

I then found what I was looking for. 2 very similar solutions (in fact, I’m trying to find out exactly if there is any difference between the two of them).

In short, if you own an Amazon Alexa device, you can create what is known as a ‘Custom Skill’ in order to obtain this sort of functionality.

Here’s Option #1 Demo:

Here’s Option #1 Tutorial:

Here’s Option #2 Demo:

Here’s Option #2 Tutorial

Both options are almost identical, except that I noticed that Option # 2’s JSON has more TV Channels listed in it.

I searched throughout this community and the closest project that I found was this:

Even at that, the creator ‘JoeBee’ it seems hasn’t even been active on the ST Community Forums since December 2016. So I don’t know if he has abandoned his project or moved onto other things.

Anyway, I’m curious if there is a way to reproduce or recreate this within ST? Any ideas?

Thank you!!

BJ


#2

What does this have to do with SmartThings? You can’t control it from ST, you have to control it from Alexa. You can’t initiate an Alexa skill from anywhere other than Alexa.


#3

Here was the question:

Doesn’t have to be Alexa. Or perhaps it could with further integration by IFTTT or Stringify. Or perhaps using the Nvidia Shield TV w/ built-in Google Home and SmartThings Link, etc.

Thx,

BJ


#4

Anything is possible if you have the time and skill to write the SmartApp to do it. But is there something that will do that today? No.


#5

The SmartApp from Joe in the community is very limited in what it can do. Basically it will allow you to power on/off your Main DVR. I never could get it to work by using simulated thermostat or other device types to perform the channel changing / volume control. These other examples you provided are for creation of custom Alexa skills, not integrated with SmartThings.

You could build something similar to Ask Alexa that is specific to the DirecTV integration in that first video with all the commands. I didn’t look at the GitHub integration that the guy referenced in the video, but you could probably apply all of that into your own thing. You might want to ask @MichaelS and maybe he could point you in the right direction as to where to start. :slight_smile:


(Micheal ) #6

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=Using_Parameters_with_Ask_Alexa_and_webCoRE

Ask and ye shall receive.

Not sure if this is exactly what will work as I didn’t read the whole thread, but this will give you a creative solution to one person’s issue, which is usually a building block to figuring out something else.

EDIT…after actually reading this thread I am not 100% sure this will help…BUT using something like a Harmony remote you might…Bottom line is if you have something that can be controlled in ST or through a REST API, Ask Alexa might be able to do it with a little tweaking :smiley:


#7

Thanks for that man :smile:


#8

Yes, but you still can’t execute Alexa skills from WebCore, right? That’s what is changing the channel…an Alexa Skill.


#9

I was trying to get the guy a start similar to what Ask Alexa is and build a Direct TV custom skill based on the similar nature that Ask Alexa is doing things. Just getting him pointed in the right direction if he wants a little project to research.


(Micheal ) #10

Right…my bad for not reading the whole thing. However, if you could SOLVE the control piece (hardware, or ST integration), then Ask Alexa could do this without having to build a new skill.


#11

Which would even be better.

Watch that first video Michael. The guy has a huge command structure to control most aspects of DirecTV.


(Micheal ) #12

Yeah…clever guy…but I am sure there is more than one way to skin this cat…I.e. If DirectTV has a skill means they have an API, which would lead me to believe if you found that you could build a WebCore structure to integrate them and then use Ask Alexa (or the ST interface) to make changes.

Hehe…now we are thinking!


#13

Well, yeah, if there are ways to send commands to DirectTV from alexa, then you can do it from anywhere. But nothing like that exists currently. And it’s not the Alexa part that would need to be integrated into ST. Because, as I’ve said, YOU CANT RUN ALEXA SKILLS FROM ANYWHERE BUT ALEXA!!!

So, you would need to build a SmartApp and DTH for Direct TV. Not Alexa.


(Micheal ) #14

Right on the money…an integration with ST would be the best way to go!


#15

Nobody was arguing with you on this.

I was looking at this as both the physical control from the ST side and also the Alexa Skill built with the entire command structure to have the best of both worlds.

An Ask Alexa like product but specific to DirecTV.


#16

Watching 1st video reminds me of how Alexa can control Fire TV. It’s possible but a little cumbersome. I use it to pause and play a show I’m watching on Fire stick more than trying to navigate through the Fire OS. Maybe Directv would be a little easier since you could open the guide instead of going to specific channels.