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    Home Announcements - Voice Alerts Russound/Sonos/etcetc

    Hello,

    Bit new here, I am currently using my HS3 VM to do voice announcements in a QNAP Virtualization Station. I am looking at getting a bit more elaborate, and want to have alerts in multiple rooms and stuff. I've been really considering the Russound MCA-66, but Sonos' also has in ceiling speakers, but its all controlled VIA app on your phone, which is fine, but not as ideal.

    My goal is to use Russound receiver to broadcast alerts/announcements to the entire house. Is this possible with the Russound plugins? Or does it make sense to go with the architectural Sonos setup?

    Thanks,

    Michael

    #2
    Here we stopped using HS speaker client to make any household automation announcements. Our Play:1 speakers make that happen all over the house, The plug in makes it just as easy to make announcements
    Blair

    HomeSeer: HS3 Pro 3.0.0.548
    Hometroller S6 | Devices: 832 | Events: 211
    Plug-Ins: Z-Wave .252 | HSTouch | RFXCOM | UltraRachio3 | Sonos
    BLLAN | BLPLEX | BLLOCK | NetCAM | Global Cache Pro | Blur-Iris4

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by BlairG View Post
      Here we stopped using HS speaker client to make any household automation announcements. Our Play:1 speakers make that happen all over the house, The plug in makes it just as easy to make announcements
      How well does this solution scale? It seems like if you had say 20 zones of Sonos and the plugin had to pause the music and reconfigure things according to where you want the announcement to happen and then put it all back to resume the music that you would be dealing with some serious delays.

      Comment


        #4
        Russound ALL THE WAY!

        https://forums.homeseer.com/forum/ge...-hs-say-to-you
        Originally posted by rprade
        There is no rhyme or reason to the anarchy a defective Z-Wave device can cause

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by S-F View Post
          Can HS3 'broadcast' to the Russound system? Or is there something you have to do for it to work all the way?

          My goal was to look at the MCA-66 with 5-6 Zones. This makes sense to me as I want the sound played all over the house.

          Thanks,

          Comment


            #6
            What do you mean by "broadcast"? Clearly I and others have HS talking through our Russound systems...........
            Originally posted by rprade
            There is no rhyme or reason to the anarchy a defective Z-Wave device can cause

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by S-F View Post
              What do you mean by "broadcast"? Clearly I and others have HS talking through our Russound systems...........
              by Broadcast I mean have HS talk thru Russound, versus Sonos, or other means. Does the BLRussound plugin, allow for you to send voice directly to Russound receiver?

              Comment


                #8
                Gotcha. The way you do it is you connect one of the inputs of the Russound system to the speaker out on your HS machine and use the HS speaker client. I suppose you could install the speaker client on any system and have the output go to the Russound amp. So there is no native speaker client of any kind on Russound systems. I'm not sure how the Sonos plugin works in this regard but it does appear as though all speech is handled by the plugin which, I believe, will negate the ability to use the Random plugin. In my opinion the Random plugin really adds a lot of personality to speech events.
                Originally posted by rprade
                There is no rhyme or reason to the anarchy a defective Z-Wave device can cause

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by S-F View Post
                  Gotcha. The way you do it is you connect one of the inputs of the Russound system to the speaker out on your HS machine and use the HS speaker client. I suppose you could install the speaker client on any system and have the output go to the Russound amp. So there is no native speaker client of any kind on Russound systems. I'm not sure how the Sonos plugin works in this regard but it does appear as though all speech is handled by the plugin which, I believe, will negate the ability to use the Random plugin. In my opinion the Random plugin really adds a lot of personality to speech events.
                  So using mini jack to rca? Or how do you have it plugged in? Does it broadcast to all zones or only zones you choose within russound?

                  Would have been cool if there was a native plug in for it. But I'll take what I can get. :-)

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I simply have an 1/8" mini to RCA from the speaker out on the server that HS runs on to the RCA inputs on my Russound amp. BLRussound lets you control every function of the amp. BLSpeech is the plugin that lets you easily specify which zone or zones turn on and off and whatnot with announcements. Did you read that thread I linked to in my first post? You can accomplish some very dynamic things with BLRussound and BLSpeech. I get announcements only in the room I'm in. The zone that made the announcement returns to its previous state when the announcement is over. Music follows me around my property; from room to room and outside. I never really touch the keypads. I didn't even bother installing one for the back yard zone yet and it's been something like 6 years.

                    In short, everything you want and more can be accomplished with ease. Trust me when I tell you that there are possibilities you have yet to dream of with announcements and Russound.

                    You might also want to look into a CAA66 or CAV/CAM66 as they might be cheaper and offer the same functionality. I went with a CAA here. Blade has a CAM I believe as he got a good deal on it.
                    Originally posted by rprade
                    There is no rhyme or reason to the anarchy a defective Z-Wave device can cause

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by S-F View Post
                      ...I believe, will negate the ability to use the Random plugin. In my opinion the Random plugin really adds a lot of personality to speech events.
                      The Sonos plug-in does work with the Random plug-in, I use it. The Sonos plug-in allows you to group speakers, like you do on the Sonos app. Each of those groups acts as a speaker client in HS.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by jbbtex View Post
                        The Sonos plug-in does work with the Random plug-in, I use it. The Sonos plug-in allows you to group speakers, like you do on the Sonos app. Each of those groups acts as a speaker client in HS.
                        Please excuse my ignorance of the Sonos plugin and hardware. I simply have no experience.
                        Originally posted by rprade
                        There is no rhyme or reason to the anarchy a defective Z-Wave device can cause

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Here also continue to utilize Russound, MS SAPI speaker dot exe and now blending in the sound of a dedicated Amazon Dot to the Russound amp.

                          I also have an LMS server running to dedicated Squeezeplayers that work fine here. One remote controlled squeezeplayer is connected to the Russound AMP.

                          Current HS3 SAPI is used in a dedicated Windows Virtual box on the HS3 server running Linux. 5 instances there. The Amazon DOT is an experiment now and sound is mixed to the Homeseer server sound. I am currently testing weather announcements from Amazon versus the custom weather SAPI sentences (from WeatherXML) here.

                          That and using the OmniPro 2 panel wired sensors to indicate status via speech (on Homeseer and or the Amazon). Concurrent with the wired sensors also testing a WiFi GDO set up using MQTT.

                          Today another tinkering sandbox experiment building a new micro server using a mini PC with 4Gb of RAM, Intel CPU and 64Gb eMMC. It came with WIndows 10 on it. I am wiping out the Windows 10 and installing Ubuntu 18.04 on it and a Windows 7 embedded virtual box to do the audio stuff. Very low powered computer and very small.

                          This box will be running HS3, Home Assistant, Node Red, MQTT and whatever else I need that only runs in Windows.

                          But that is me and what I am doing today.
                          - Pete

                          Auto mator
                          Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU 16Gb- Mono 6.12.X - HSTouch on Intel tabletop tablets
                          Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e - CherryTrail x5-Z8350 BeeLink 4Gb BT3 Pro - Mono 6.12.X
                          HS4 Pro - V4.1.11.0 - Ubuntu 20.01/VB W7e 64 bit Intel Kaby Lake CPU - 32Gb - Mono
                          6.10.0.104
                          HS4 Lite -

                          X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation-Tasmota-Espurna. OmniPro 2, Russound zoned audio, Smartthings hub, Hubitat Hub, and Home Assistant

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Arisythila View Post
                            Hello,

                            Bit new here, I am currently using my HS3 VM to do voice announcements in a QNAP Virtualization Station. I am looking at getting a bit more elaborate, and want to have alerts in multiple rooms and stuff. I've been really considering the Russound MCA-66, but Sonos' also has in ceiling speakers, but its all controlled VIA app on your phone, which is fine, but not as ideal.

                            My goal is to use Russound receiver to broadcast alerts/announcements to the entire house. Is this possible with the Russound plugins? Or does it make sense to go with the architectural Sonos setup?

                            Thanks,

                            Michael
                            I'll offer my $0.02 having gone through the decision process a couple of years ago. I agree with Colin (S-F) that the Russound device with Blades plug-in appears to be a very functional setup. I seriously considered it and briefly considered the Monoprice equivalent. Between the Monoprice and Russound, I would give the nod to Russound because of Blade's plug-in.

                            I also was quite aware of the Sonos system because my brother has used it for years. I loved all of the streaming services it supported and the way it was operable and configurable from a phone application. Sonos is clearly the best of wireless streaming systems.

                            Then I started looking at my installation. I wanted announcements and music to be available in a number of areas. I have a "Workshop" where I work on motorcycles, a "Shed" where I have all my woodworking tools, a workbench and electronics test equipment. We also want music on our back deck. When all was said and done we were looking at 12 zones. We wanted to be able to stream Pandora, SiriusXM and our own music library. Sonos handled that natively, Russound would have required additional streaming sources at that time, though they now have streaming built in. Russound would be quite expensive for that many zones, but Sonos would be equally expensive.

                            We also already had great Yamaha based surround sound installations in our master bedroom, living room and basement theater.

                            While I think the Russound might offer slightly better sound with our uncompressed audio library, the thought of hardwiring all of those zones was a dealbreaker for me. We settled on Sonos using Dirk's excellent plug-in. Our system:
                            • In the Living Room, Master Bedroom and Media Room we use a Sonos Connect:Amp. These offer 50W per channel of class D amplifiers. These are integrated with our JBL speakers used for surround sound through a pair of Arduino controlled relays. Sonos sound comes out of the front speakers and subwoofer when the Yamaha receivers are off. When they are on, Sonos is routed to the rear speakers. There is an override relay to send Sonos to the front speakers if desired.
                            • In my wife's office there are a pair of Play1 speakers
                            • There is a Play1 in each bathroom, the Garage and Workshop
                            • There is a Connect:Amp in our exercise room, for the deck and in the shed.
                            With the help of my brother I put together a script I use for Sonos announcements allowing me to control levels and zones for announcements on the fly. My wife loves the iPhone app for picking music to play throughout the house. It is easy and reliable. I also can use HomeSeer to send music or announcements as well. Sonos is very good at keeping all zones in sync. Russound will always be in sync.

                            Since the initial installation, we added a couple of Play1 speakers on the front porch. They were a hit last Halloween when we would queue up scary sounds and raise the volume when the youngsters tripped the front porch motion sensor.

                            With regard to delays disassembling groups and building new ones for announcements, there is about 2-5 seconds lost as the plug-in builds the new group and another 5-7 seconds to put everything back the way it was before the announcement. For our purposes, this not a problem, though our top of the hour time chime is about 5 seconds late.

                            Since the original installation Sonois added AirPlay support to the Play1 and Connect::Amp. We replaced the Connect:Amp in the Media Room and Living Room with the new models, giving us a doubling of power and AirPlay support.

                            I shopped Craigslist and eBay for a lot of our Sonos equipment. Our system at Sonos retail would be about $4700. Even shopping bargains, we still have close to $3000 invested. The Russound hardware for 12 zones would probably be about $2000, but would still need speakers. It could be integrated with existing speakers much the same way as I did with Sonos, but you would still need speakers for the remaining zones. Adding the front porch zone was only a matter of mounting and powering a pair of Play1s and adding a couple of virtual devices to HomeSeer. I edit my script to add the UID for each new zone.

                            I have no regrets about my decision and would still make the same choice today, though I have no doubt the Russound system would equal or better the Sonos solution.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Well put Randy.

                              As I see it the benefits to Sonos are ease of deployment and not needing separate devices for streaming services. I guess he app is useful as well but I control everything from a custom HSTouch project. The benefits to Russound are the ability to choose the type and location of speakers, the keypad and the tight integration with BLSpeech. BLSpeech is a knock it out of the park type of utility if you're really into announcements, which I happen to be. My HS installation does a lot of talking comparatively it would seem. Both solutions seem to cost roughly the same.
                              Originally posted by rprade
                              There is no rhyme or reason to the anarchy a defective Z-Wave device can cause

                              Comment

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