Can SmartThings work with a Zigbee remote?


#1

This is my first post here, forgive me if I’m asking a dumb question. I’m considering buying into the ST ecosystem; as an IT geek with time on my hands, I could use some new technology to play with.

I understand I can use ST to implement home automation; turn on lights when motion sensors trip, turn on the coffee machine when it’s 7am, etc. And I would start out with such simple tasks to get my feet wet. But could I, ultimately, do the following: I have a cable box and remote that uses the ZigBee protocol to communicate. Could ST somehow ‘see’ that traffic, being ZigBee aware, and ‘learn’ the commands? And could I program some actions into ST to control the cable box, ‘simulating’ the remote?

If the answer is ‘no’, or ‘only with great difficulty’, is there a better way to approach that challenge?

Thanks!


#2

Unfortunately no, because they won’t use the same zigbee profile. See the FAQ (this is a clickable link)

Nor will they operate on the same zigbee network, as each Zigbee network can generally have only one primary coordinator.

That said, if the Logitech Harmony hub will work with your cable set top box (and if you are in the US or England, it probably does), then there is an official harmony integration which works quite well. That’s what most people use for integration with home entertainment equipment. :sunglasses:

https://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Harmony-Control-Entertainment-Devices/dp/B00N3RFC4Q


#3

Great information! Thanks! So no chance of interfacing directly with a zigbee remote - makes sense. Is there any chance that some random zigbee device would act as a ‘repeater’ for this remote (blindly pass on traffic, even though it does not ‘understand’ it)? I’ve read that zigbee devices form a ‘mesh’ network, and ‘extend’ the zigbee traffic. Is that feature also ‘filtered’/focused on the specific profiles (ZHA, etc)? My very specific goal at the moment is to extend the range of this RF remote. I’ve already achieved this using an IR repeater (remote works in both RF and IR modes), but would prefer to extend the RF side if possible.


#4

Unfortunately, no. Zigbee devices will only repeat messages for the network that they are on, not just any random zigbee transmission in the neighborhood. So both the device sending the message and the device repeating the message have to belong to the same coordinator and be using the same zigbee profile.

Repeating isn’t just an amplification step: the repeater device actually looks at the network address to which the message is being sent and determines the best route to use to send the message along its way. That’s why it has to be on the same network as the message originator.