[BETA RELEASE] TV Timer for Parental "Smart" Control

No worries,

This app has had no active development since Feb 2016… I’m not even sure if it even still works or if James is still using it, there were some significant issues with the ST platform at the time which meant it was not the most reliable…

I know there have been significant improvements in the ST platform with regards to scheduling, but code will need to be updated to take advantage of some of these benefits, although some stability improvements should have helped regardless.

In terms of your question… what are you actually trying to achieve? Are you just looking to provide an allowance per day? If so I don’t have a keypad either, I used a virtual switch for testing, the code is probably even still in there… I’d just need to hunt it out and re-enable it and you could just create a virtual switch? Just let me know what you are trying to do and if it wont take much time I’ll update it… if it’s going to be significant work or the platform changes mean I need to re-code then I wont be able to put in the time required…

I still use this. It has been working wonderfully especially since ST updated servers, etc.

If you are simply looking for something to automatically turn off the TV at a specific time you probably don’t need this app.

There are other ways to have something turn off either at a specific time or after a certain amount of time has passed.

The power of this app is the ability to allow the kids to use the TV themselves and manage how much time they are on the TV and limit the window of when they can use it.

When I implemented this my youngest was 6 years old. I simply made his code 1111 so he would remember it. Not a bad thing for him to learn to use as it translates into use of an ATM or 10 key later in life.

thanks for the reply. I am looking for a way to basically log/see how much tv is being watched per day, and then probably the rest of the involvement needs to be human - I’m not sure my kids would cope too well with it just switching off with no warning - there would be a riot!

I might look instead to create a simple daily timer that starts/stops when my Harmony is in a certain mode (ie netflix) and if I can get that visible as a device in smartthigns that’s even better. for now I will look at doign that with something like webcore, but thank you for your offer to help. this community is what makes ST so engaging!

We never had an issue other than disappointment when the TV turns off. Also since we have 4 kids using it it works quite nicely. They have simply adapted to how it functions.

We have had to lock it down a few times when they weren’t listening and it is quite interesting to see how quickly they respond once you do that. It has been a great tool.

We have even used the free time option and that was perfect when people were visiting.

@mu71rd You could also monitor power consumption on the plug, so when power > 10 watts and use that to monitor all TV usage…

I don’t think this app keeps a track of daily usage… but I think it logs sessions…

There are other ways also… there is an app that can log activity to a google spread sheet… I guess you could use that also?

@jgravert Glad to know it’s still working and being used!

I will take a look - it’s certainly a very interesting app. I’m just totally incapable of anything but the most basic editing of apps, so if it’s too far in the wrong direction for what I’m after then I don’t have the skills to edit it!

I’ll report back with how I get on - thanks!

ok so quick question. I think i can set this up to do what I want.

I have an ‘activity’ on my Harmony remote which the kids will use to turn on the TV for Netflix. This can listed in ST and shows up as an on/off, which I’ve put in the advanced settings>‘switch to control’.

I thought that when that was on, the timer would start counting, but of course i’ve completely ignored the whole PIN thing. Do I need to install some kind of virtual device that pretends to be a keypad that has entered a particular code? Is that what triggers the activity? What could I do in its place - I’m not setting different users etc, they watch it together.

I just want that when they turn on their “kids netflix” activity on Harmony, it starts the app counting, and the app then turns that off after the preset time. Is that possible? thanks.

It doesn’t quite work like that…

The “switch to control”, when a successful PIN is entered then this switch is turned on…

You could get it to turn on netflix I guess, but there would be nothing to stop the child from using the remote? Also if they turned off the TV at the TV then this would not turn off the netflix activity and would then not stop the timer… this is why we use a power outlet that can monitor power usage, I could do something to manually trigger the start with a virtual switch perhaps?

However… just checked the code and what you are looking for already exists… click the “Debug Logging” option and this will give you and option to add a switch… you will then need to create a user called “Test” and that user will respond to the switch rather than PIN :slight_smile: