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Old February 28th, 2018, 01:43 PM
GEN GEN is offline
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Nottinghamshire
Posts: 25
Lightbulb Alexa and/or whole house audio?

I've had whole house audio for years now based on the HAI Hifi2 + speakers in every room and a number of music sources including a couple of airplay. This works great, but along comes alexa + spotify and now i'm stuck.

I don't want to throw away the HiFi2, but at the same time I'd like to connect the echo's in each room to the ceiling speakers but giving priority to the HiFi2.

So, echo connects via BT to [something] that sits between the output of the HiFi2 and the speakers. When the echo is playing, music goes to the speakers, but if the HiFi2 is playing or announcing then it takes priority.

I can't find anything that's going to do this easily and at this point I don't really want to start making something although that's probably going to be the final outcome. If anyone has any suggestions then please let me know?

From a technical point of view, the HiFi2 powers up a zone amp only when active & probably uses 20-50v p2p over an 4-8 ohm circuit. Its not going to be hard to 'detect' when there's audio on the line and use that to throw a relay but getting it fast enough to avoid chopping the start off the announcement whilst being reliable could be tricky (I could rewrite all the announcements to add a beep at the start though).
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Old February 28th, 2018, 02:00 PM
integlikewhoa integlikewhoa is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: California
Posts: 1,254
Technology is always changing. I don't have the new sonos, but I have sonos threw out the house and just keep adding more echos, which play nice.
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Old March 1st, 2018, 09:58 AM
Pete's Avatar
Pete Pete is online now
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: House
Posts: 15,294
I can't find anything that's going to do this easily and at this point I don't really want to start making something although that's probably going to be the final outcome. If anyone has any suggestions then please let me know?

Here utilize old Russound connecting the amps to the OmniPro 2 panel via a serial port microserver.

3 ways that I know of relating to switching between the two inputs

1 - using the announcement PA input on your device
2 - using an auto line level switcher - which is slow as you mention.
3 - using a mixer -

Here do stream radio but only music when we have family get togethers. I continue to utilize my Squeezebox server. Well too I like my own music collection and have it replicated to two automobiles and the house.

For a bit I was also configuring internet radio buttons on the Homeseer touchscreens. Have an Amazon Echos (and Prime) but trying to not depend on my internet connection for any sort of automation (tinkering though). Recently due to WAF removed Amazon Echo in master bathroom and put the HSTouchscreen back in the room (and also using / testing a Squeezeplayer in there). Don't really talk much to the Echo and occasionally hear it respond to the television. (that Echo is connected to the Samsung Smartthings tinkering hub and Roku in TV). Right now do not like seeing a Roku pop up for the same movie that I am watching via the KODI box. Over the years the home has become less chatty kathy ...that is me though...like quietness...
- Pete


HS3 Pro & Lite Edition Beta

HS3 Wintel Touch | Ubuntu 16.04 64 bit | Oracle Windows Virtual Box ==> for Wintel only SAPI and HS3 plugins | Speech - Microsoft SAPI - Neospeech - Amazon Echo | Hardware | Haswell Intel iSeries 3 - 16Gb | Pine64 - 2Gb computers | Openpeak Intel Atom SoC tabletop touchscreens (15 HS tabletop tablets) | Touchscreens - Windows embedded POE connected |Light switches - X10,UPB, ZWave and Zigbee | Firewall - PFSense - 2 WAN plus 4 LAN interfaces | Network - Gb managed switches / POE WAP(s) | CCTV - Zoneminder IPHD cams - variety | Audio - Russound - AB8SS | Security - Leviton HAI Omni Pro 2 | Weather - Davis Vantage Vue - MeteoStick - WeeWx | 1-Wire - AAG, Midon and HB | OWFS - Mosquitto - Node Red - Python - RPi Stretch - OpenWRT

Last edited by Pete; March 1st, 2018 at 10:09 AM.
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Old May 25th, 2018, 01:35 AM
getmp3s getmp3s is offline
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 4
I setup Google Home Mini's in each room and Google Chromecast Audio's connected in the basement directly to the HI-FI2 1/8" input jacks. I found the bluetooth quality was too low and Googles bluetooth VSC is glitchy (music stutters most of the time) So with ChromecastAudio You mate the Google Home Mini to the ChromecastAudio (so living room Mini and Living Room ChromecastAudio are now working together). Dialogue with Google still comes through the Mini's speaker, but anytime you stream music, it knows to go to its chromecast counterpart which then plays through the HIFI2, i still use the OmniProII audio board for house wide announcements which PA through the house. Only thing i need now to finish the setup is for HS Omni plugin to support HIFI commands as I currently have to "turn on" the audio zone unless i want to leave the audio zones on all the time (which wastes power). Probably i'm just going to make buttons to drive this for now. Does anyone know if the Chromecast Plugin for HS will detect when Google Home Mini is streaming and then automate the the Omni Plugin to turn on the audio zone (by way of executing an Omni Button)?
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alexa, echo, hai, hifi2

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