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Advice needed: HS2/HSTouch Home Theater Control

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    Advice needed: HS2/HSTouch Home Theater Control

    I've controlled my upstairs home theater room components & zwave lighting with a Harmony 890 til it died, out of warranty. On my main floor, HS2 controls all lighting (zwave) & 2 more 890s control d/s AV stuff. Theater room lighting had to be on a separate z-wave network for the upstairs 890 to control everything.

    Love to have it all controlled by Homeseer/HSTouch using iPad, iPod Touch, and 2 iPhones. Need to simplify everything for non-geek husband, LOL.

    Theater components: Panasonic projector (rear of room to 100" screen), DirecTV HD DVR, Apple TV, VUDU box, PS3 with Nyko IR adapter, Denon AV receiver, Slingbox Pro HD, Belkin HDMI switch. (List with model #s @ http://www.ratemyfavoritespaces.com)

    Other info: HS2 runs on a PC downstairs (WIFI). I access HS2 on local network via iMac upstairs & ipad/itouch/iphones. DVR, PS3, VUDU, Slingbox, & ATV all networked to gigabit router via 8-port switch & Cat6 cable. Been using Harmony RF extender for components, but all IR remotes work OK thru AV cabinet's tinted windows (see video).

    Your suggestions would be appreciated. I don't know where to start with IR control and HS2. HSTouch and plugin sale was the push I needed to get serious about this.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    Here's a brief video of the theater room. Concentrates more on decor, but you can see my setup:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isCNU9beVKA

    #2
    MaryKay, I share some of your questions (although no answers) as I recently put all of my equipment behind a wall that my TV hangs on. I have an IR distribution thingy that passes IR to my components but have been unhappy with the performance. My biggest issue, however, is when it doesn't work, I can't tell what is on/off or wrong. It could be the dvd player didn't turn on or the HDMI switch is off or on the wrong one. Best practices, reliable IR control, and/or equipment that has bidirectional communication would usefult to know about.

    Comment


      #3
      MaryKay,

      Very nice videos. I rarely venture over to youtube. Welcome to the forum. I'm very impressed with your goals and what you have done relating to HA.

      Personally I don't integrate IR from MM in family room with HS but do utilize multifunction remotes (Harmony) (I do but my wife doesn't). My wife also doesn't touch the TS's (except now for small very basic single function TS's) (tried an experiment in the kitchen which failed). Early on and many years ago programmed a BW Phillips Pronto and I was the only person in the house that utilized it although I tried very hard to make the GUI plug n play. (a lack in my artistic ability was probably why it wasn't used)

      There are many users on the forum today though that have integrated IR with their HS server / HSTouch - do a quick search and you will find much information relating into the realm of IR / HS starting in the early 2000's.

      My preference if I were to integrate my family room MM today would be more a 2-way communications approach either using RS-232 or networked capabilities. I believe many new televisions today have the ability for control via a USB/serial connection. The same for MM recievers, etc. I did try the one touch / IR motion create a mood scene for the family room (lighting, basics (turning on TV/MM receiver etc) years ago and it was not received too pleasantly with low WAF; so I gave up the endeavor.

      I remember not too long ago as my wife watched Oprah featuring Roger Ebert's "new" TTS. She watched in awe as if TTS was something brand new. Funny thing was that I had been using TTS in the house (2 houses) since the 1980's and for some odd reason she thought Ebert's/Oprah's presentation of TTS was something "new". The presentation was related to a captive audience. (demographics etc) and it worked well.

      Just thinking out loud relating to your videos / HA / target audience reach....
      - 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 - V4.1.17.0 - Ubuntu 20.01/VB W7e 64 bit Intel Kaby Lake CPU - 32Gb - Mono
      6.12.0.122
      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


        #4
        Nice setup.

        RS232 control is definitely the way to go if you have the ports on your gear to support it. It's VERY hard to automate a process using IR... You can fudge your way through things by having status variables in HS that "track" the state of things (TV Power on, Receiver on, etc) but it's really a crap shoot. There's no way to confirm things happened the way you intended, plus if someone manually adjusts something (changed receiver to FM mode, turned the TV off) then your carefully scripted IR logic is thrown right out the window.

        That said - if you have gear that's high-end enough, you will have discrete IR codes for everything... including Power On/Off. You'd be surprised at how well you can get to 90/95% of what you want with that type of solution.

        Don't know if that helps or muddies the water further, but there you go.

        Comment


          #5
          i tried this also, thinking it would be cool.... but without RS-232 controll of my AVR, TV, PJ and conponents it is worthless.


          IR is only 2 way... so if you use a remote to control the components then HomeSeer does not know anything has changed.... and you are out of sync with your codes.


          i have discrete on/off for almost everything and it was still a crap shoot..


          the only way i can see it working is have the remote actuall tell HomeSeer to launch IR commands...

          so the remote sends a signal to HS.... then HS sends signals to the components. but if you ever have a situation where HS is not running than you have no way to control your home theater


          this is where creston and C4 definitely have a 1 up on HS

          Comment


            #6
            So if RS232 is the way to go (and/or ethernet), maybe it would be useful if people could post what products they are using with HS (i.e. TV with RS 232 support).

            Comment


              #7
              I use an iTouch to control my home theater. I have some custom web pages with buttons like "Watch TV" , "Watch DVD", etc. The iTouch buttons activate Homeseer events that trigger IR commands to be sent to the appropriate components. For routine stuff like volume and channel changes, I use the Comcast remote.

              This approach works pretty well but sometimes when using the iTouch, the response time is slow, so I use visual cues like lights turning On to confirm that Homeseer is running the event.

              I use my Apple TV quite a lot. I am using ATVflash (a non Apple product) on the Apple TV. I use the the iTouch the control the Apple TV (off the shelf apps). It is really great for viewing family photos. It is a bit buggy however and will frequently lock up the Apple TV. The only way to restart the Apple TV is to unplug it. This is impossible in a Home Theater setup, so I have the Apple TV plugged into an X10 module. I use the iTouch to send a command to restart the Apple TV.

              I also have a netbook computer available in the TV room so I can always send any other command to my home theater setup.

              For me, a wall mounted touchscreen does not work in a home theater environment. The iTouch, iPhone, iPad, or harmony remote are much more appropriate.

              Steve Q
              HomeSeer Version: HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.368, Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 - Home, Number of Devices: 373, Number of Events: 666, Enabled Plug-Ins
              2.0.83.0: BLRF, 2.0.10.0: BLUSBUIRT, 3.0.0.75: HSTouch Server, 3.0.0.58: mcsXap, 3.0.0.11: NetCAM, 3.0.0.36: X10, 3.0.1.25: Z-Wave,Alexa,HomeKit

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by heatvent View Post
                So if RS232 is the way to go (and/or ethernet), maybe it would be useful if people could post what products they are using with HS (i.e. TV with RS 232 support).
                I just purchased a few global cache IP2SL (with 1 serial port - $100) and Gateway 100-12 which has 2 serial ports ($200).

                This will give me the ability to control 3 of my components that use serial ports for example, my Plasma TV, Denon AVR and my Satellite receiver. The other devices will be a direct IP2IR control (such as my DVD player, Boxee Box, ATV as they don't have serial ports). The neat thing with the devices I purchased from Global Cache (GC-100) contains 6 IR ports for the control.

                Sorry this may have already been posted all over the forum but I just did a search on the forum to see what people were talking about.

                Will let you know how it works out with the new HomeSeer SE-PRO that's waiting to be delivered.

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