I got a cheap 32” fire TV At Black Friday. It doesn’t have as many voice commands as the fire TV cube, but I just wanted an additional TV for our guestroom. The TV is fine, the voice commands work fine, but… There’s no way to turn it on or off just by voice or turn it on/off with an automation. So it’s a lot like the very expensive Samsung smart televisions that way.
I knew it could be done by adding a Harmony, but I didn’t want to spend that much money and it seems like overkill since once the TV was on I was going to do everything by voice with the fire TV options. I just needed a way to turn it on by voice.
As it happened… I already had a SwitchBot “hub plus” which is used to control “robot finger“ actuators in other parts of the house. So I was thinking about just getting another actuator and adding it to the manual button on the TV.
But then I realized that the Switchbot hub plus model has an IR blaster built into it so I decided to try that.
(One of the reasons I like SwitchBot is that it already has integrations with echo, Google home, Ifttt, and as of November 2019, smartthings.)
So I tried it, and it works great! No special coding, no custom code, no “man in the middle server.” Just add the TV to the SwitchBot app, add the SwitchBot integration in the new V3 smartthings app, create a toggle scene in the Switchbot app, have Alexa discover the scene, and I’m all set.
Totally hands-free voice control through echo to turn the TV on and then use my fire TV commands.
Plus the option to do other smartthings integrations if I choose. The integration for this particular model for any other TV commands would be fairly clunky because it’s at the button push level, but it could be done. For a television which has a better integration, like the Samsung models, this should solve the problem of “I can do everything except turn the TV on!” problem.
And again, to do this you don’t actually need one of the button pusher devices, you just need the cloud hub, which lists for $49 on Amazon, or the micro hub which lists for $39 (but you will have to supply your own power cord).
Available in multiple countries, including Japan and the UK:
And here’s what the device page looks like in the new V3 smartthings app:
And here’s the SwitchBot app, which has its own simple rules:
Thanks to @johnconstantelo , Who pointed out below that the newest model of the SwitchBot hub is smaller and sells for $10 less, although you have to provide your own power cord. As I mentioned, I’ve had mine for a while, and it’s the $49 model that has a nightlight built in and comes with a power cord. IR functionality is the same in both.