Logitech Harmony/Echo/SmartThings for TV voice control


(Dave G) #1

I have done a little bit of research and I want to confirm what I need in order to control my TV/Stereo via the Echo/SmartThings/Harmony. I am pretty sure that I just need the Harmony Home Hub, which appears to sell for about $99.

Biut, I also see the Logitech - Harmony Home Hub Extender - Black, which says,
‘For use with Harmony Home Hub; compatible with ZigBee, Z-Wave and Z-Wave Plus products; Apple® iOS and Android mobile connectivity; USB powered’.

What do I need for voice control thru Echo/SmartThings/Harmony?


(Brian Diehl) #2

All you need is the Harmony Home Hub.

The extender is their entry into Home Automation as it grants Harmony the ability to communicate with other Home Automation items outside of standard AV equipment. SmartThings’ hub will do what it does though.

You should be able to get the Harmony Home Hub for a better price on sale than $99.
I paid $70 for mine with the remote when I bought it. They go on sale regularly, so keep an eye out.


#3

You don’t need the Home Hub. The regular Smart Control Hub will work.

You would link SmartThings and Harmony via their respective apps, then from the ST app you are able to select activities to activate. Selecting one creates a virtual switch in ST that controls that activity, and from there it’s a simple matter of adding it to the Echo app and having Alexa discover new devices.


(Kevin Tierney) #4

The hub plus remote is on sale right now from best buy on ebay. 99 for the hub and the remote

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Logitech-Harmony-Home-Control-Black-/191730096289?hash=item2ca40118a1&afsrc=1&rmvSB=true


#5

Logitech’s naming on these devices is confusing as heck and it warrants some explanation. The Harmony Hub line is the overall product line. You can buy just the hub, which will allow you to control your IR devices with a mobile app and also will allow some integration with SmartThings. There is the Home Control which brings a very nice handheld remote to the table. The remote includes a handful of buttons that are dedicated to HA devices, including SmartThings. There’s also the Harmony Elite which is the same thing with a much nicer touchscreen remote.

Finally, there is the Home Hub Extender, which is an add-on to the previously mentioned devices to allow direct control of Z-Wave devices. If you are an ST user, you won’t need this device as the ST integration already provides all the functionality it offers.


(Marc) #6

Tell me about it. Before the Home Control, there was the Smart Control. The Smart Control didn’t control home automation devices. Not so smart, heh? Someone in Harmony’s marketing department should find a new career.


#7

As a matter of fact, the Smart Control does control home automation devices. It can activate any switch through SmartThings as soon as you start (and maybe even end) a Harmony Activity.

However, you cannot tie a SmartThings action to a remote press, while the Home Control remote has 4 buttons that are specifically for use with SmartThings (or the like).


(Scott G) #8

Logi (formerly Logitech) changed the naming convention again not too long ago. Now, Harmony Companion is the new name for the Harmony Home Control.

I guess they think changing the names will spur people to think it’s new…


#9

It’s super frustrating that the older Smart Control devices still can’t pin HA devices to existing buttons. I’ve attempted any number of terrible hacks to make this happen and none of them are what I’d call “good”. Hopefully Logitech will let us treat HA devices like normal AV devices as it will greatly simplify the programming and expand the use of the new Home Control remotes as well as the older Smart Control devices. The pessimist in me thinks this might be on purpose…

I have several Harmony remotes waiting on this capability:


(Dave G) #10

Thanks, I went out and purchased the Harmony Home control. I have it set up so that it works thru my phone and it has synced to SmartThings. Now for the million dollar question, how can I get my get it to my Echo so that I can issue the command :slightly_smiling:


#11

First you’ll want to create an Activity in Harmony to start up your AV devices. Then, you’ll want to install the Logitech Harmony (Connect) SmartApp. From there, you’ll have the option to create virtual switches for Activites you’ve created. Now you can update the Amazon Echo SmartApp to see the new virtual switches (one for each Activity), and finally, say “Alexa, discover devices”. If you had an activity named “Home Theater”, you can now say “Alexa, turn on the Home Theater” and it will trigger that activity.


(Brian Diehl) #12

Adding on here, be mindful that there are certain words/phrases Alexa won’t allow, likely due to future plans (TV is one of the words that she won’t use, I believe).


(Dave G) #13

Thanks for the quick reply. I have two activities but I do not see how to create the virtual switches. What am I missing?


#14

In the Logitech Harmony (Connect) app, you should see something that looks like this:

In the “Select Harmony Activities” panel you can select each of your activities and then hit Next to update SmartThings. This should create the virtual devices within ST which act as simple switches (for the most part).


(Dave G) #15

Ok got that, now I need the Echo to to run these… I will for some more research. Thanks for your assistance


#16

What I found was using “T.V.” (with the periods) works fine without looking weird in ST. Also, “TeeVee” works well for Alexa but might be strange in your device list.


(Dave G) #17

Ok got it. I had to forget all devices and then relink them. Thanks everyone for your help today.


#18

I set up a group called TV lights which I have never had a problem adjusting by echo voice command, in what way have you had problems?


(Brian Diehl) #19

I have a group for TV and I try to offer a command of Turn on TV, I’d get “I’m sorry, that command doesn’t work on that device”.

The group is just 1 item: Watch LG TV which is a Harmony Activity that just turns on my TV.

If I try and voice control just that specific Harmony Activity, I’m told that it is not responding or something similar.

I’m sure I could set up a virtual switch or something and get it to work. I know the Harmony Activity works as I have it linked to ST and it’s on my SmartTiles dashboard. I can flick the switch and it comes on. I can tap it again and it will turn off.


#20

So you can use “tv” but you cant JUST use the word “tv”. Interesting.