Chromecast, another control option

chromecast

(Mike Maxwell) #1

I like the chromecasts, including the audio version.
I don’t like the fact that out of the box they can only be managed via Google home, or a casting capable mobile app.
So as a starting point I needed to figure out a way of at least turning them off, ie stopping the stream to them.

So this is the setup im currently mucking about with.
I’ve got tasker, with the autocast plugin along with sharptools.
Tasker/autocast allows control of chromecast functions play pause stop (and more), at an individual device level.
Sharptools brings the st events into tasker.
So for now I’m testing mode changes sending stop to all my chromecasts.
Autocast also is capable of sending tts to the cast devices, which also works, through I don’t know how that effects an existing stream.
So if anyone else out there is messing with this setup, let’s share notes.
It took me an entire day of farting about to find and configure these bits to get this working, granted this was mostly learning curve with these three apps.


(Glen King) #2

I have Chromecast, but I have only used it a few times. It is not as elegant at casting as is my AppleTV, so that’s what I use when I want to display what’s on my iPad.

But I’ll certainly muck around with it a bit, just for kicks. It would be fun to programmatically control it - or better yet, control it via Alexa.


(Mike Maxwell) #3

Chromecast is a media render, vs a media app server.
In any event, sure no reason the autocast commands and states couldn’t be wired to a virtual dth and then controlled via Alexa.
Forgot to mention that I have at one harmony chromecast activity wired via sharptools into tasker, but I’m looking for a lowest common denominator for chromecast control.


(Joshua Lyon (SharpTools.io Dashboard)) #4

It sounds like you have things figured out from the SharpTools side of things, but let me know if you have any questions!


(Mike Maxwell) #5

I wish the docs for the other apps I’m using were as good as yours!


(Joshua Lyon (SharpTools.io Dashboard)) #6

Yikes! That’s not saying much for other apps as I was just thinking I could do a much better job documenting some of the “pro” features! I’ve tried to self-document some features directly in the app and while I have some good examples on the SharpTools microsite, I’d like to find some time to better document the core app on there!


(dennis) #7

@Mike_Maxwell Did you try the Bubble Upnp server? Like in the thread;

It can make the chromecast -> audio <- be an DLNA and then be found using ‘Mediarenderer Connect’ app (RELEASE Generic Media Renderer (DLNA Speakers). Cheap Sonos Alternative (Update V2))

Credits for this goes to @adamrhoades
And then it’s reachable from smartthings as a mediaplayer :slight_smile:


(Mike Maxwell) #8

Yes, as i said, this is another potential method.
I’ve not had super good fortune with the mediarenderer connect app with other devices…


(Glen King) #9

I gave away the TV in the bedroom, and replaced it with another. This one has two HDMI ports, as well as USB. So the Chromecast is plugged into it. Additionally, the TV has CEC capability.

So this coming weekend, I will start messing around with Chromecast and AutoCast. My first objective: have the bathtub-full detection be read by sharptools (this already is configured), and then have that fulfill a Tasker profile. When that profile is fulfilled, the associated Task will use Autocast to reach the bedroom TV. Hypothetically, whether the TV is on or off (standby) the Chromecast will a) fire it up, b) switch to the Chromecast input. Then, it could hypothetically utilize any number of options to alert the bedroom that the tub has filled. Don’t yet know whether I’ll use straight screen cast, TTS, play a short video (perhaps a waterfall? lol)…

But as I’m thinking this through, it also occurs to me that Alexa could tie into this. You can use Alexa with Hangouts to compose/send texts and emails. So I have added a contact called “Home Alerts”. Now when AutoNotifiction detects any incoming messages (such as a “bathtub full” flood alert from SmartThings), it should fulfill the above profile… but also, it could be used as an instant messaging system. Send a text to my own GV number from anywhere, be that from Alexa or out in the field, and it could say/display anything on any device, based on the contents of the notification.

EDIT: this was almost too easy. Didn’t even need sharptools. AutoNotification intercepts the “water leak sensor” notification sent by ST. From there, it AutoCasts to both the above-mentioned Chromecast and the Android Bravia. In both cases, the Cast will power up the tv if it’s not already on, switch the set to that input, and display the “tub is full” message.

I will eventually make the trigger a sharptools water leak event, just to make it even more reliable… but for the moment, it’s fine as-is.


(Adam Rhoades) #10

Hi Glen,

I’ve been tinkering with this, but I cant get autocast to talk to a group of chromecast audio’s. They’re in the list and I can select them, but nothing happens.

Have you had any luck with this?

Many thanks

Adam


(Glen King) #11

I stopped looking at this a few days after this post, as other priorities emerged. Thanks for the reminder! I will play with it a bit over the next week or two and see what happens.

You might want to contact Joao. He cares, he asks good questions that help you, and if the issue is on his end he fixes it within a few days.


(Adam Rhoades) #12

I just posted on the Google group, some others have had similar problems since it was in beta, with the last post about it being 3 weeks ago.

I’m not holding out much hope for a quick fix!


(Manny) #13

I thought I read somewhere that autocast doesn’t work for chromecast audio groups. But I could be wrong. I tried this too and nothing plays to audio groups. I’m having issues playing on more than one chromecast audio with autocast. I use sharptools, tasker, and autocast to stop casting on a chromecast device, play TTS message to the device, stop casting again, move the next device to play the same message but nothing happens. The autocast app still stays stuck casting to the first device. It’s kind of clunky to do it this way. That’s why I wish audio groups were supported.

I haven’t had luck getting my chromecast DLNA renderers to show up in mediarenderer during the discovery. It only found 1 device and it was a regular chromecast that is on my TV. I have 2 audios and 1 home speaker (I don’t plan to use the regular CC’s in ST) but none of them show up.

Hopefully someone finds a workable solution to using google cast devices for TTS notifications, weather forecasts, and such, in ST.


(Niveknow) #14

I second that statement about integrating CC into the ST ecosystem for things like music and announcements. I ended up adding a Samsung R1 speaker for announcements and I don’t love it because of the delay time between a trigger event and the announcement.


(Cesar Vasquez) #15

+1 here for CC devices on ST


(Manny) #16

I ended up using this for notifications to my Google Home devices. It involves setting up a node.js server in your network, installing a smartapp and a DTH. I got it to work by using my existing FreeBSD/FreeNAS 11 server (in standard jail), installed nodejs-legacy, npm, git, and followed the instructions to install the API.

When my mailbox sensor is tripped I get a notification on all my GH’s and also when my wife is arriving. Works surprisingly well. I use it with the Speaker Companion smartapp from the marketplace.