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"Dumb" Devices that are Smart, vs 'Smart Devices': How to not use power switches, half a dozen remotes, and manually change optical inputs.

stevenswall

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#1
Goal: To come home from work and relax to music.

Issue 1: There are too many remotes.
Issue 2: My active speakers don't turn on and off automatically.
Issue 3: Smart plugs require me to stare at a little screen or do more jabbering to google/Alexa.

Solution: Create a system where one can say "Assistant, play (song or video) on Living Room Stereo or Living Room TV," and it automatically turns on the TV if needed, or starts playing on the Chromecast Audio, which triggers the speakers to turn on, and an automatic optical switcher engages to detect which of 2 inputs it active and forwards the one sending audio.

Setup:
-Genelec 8260 Monitors
-MiniDSP
-TV
-Chromecast
-Chromecast Audio

Here are the two unique devices that helped me do this.

1. An automatic optical audio switch that didn't have horrible reviews on Amazon. This switches every second or so checking for an audio signal and seems to not be doing any processing... Nearly instant reconnection if you unplug an input and plug it back in, and not an "audiophile optical purifier."

https://www.pimfg.com/product-detail/TTA-1432
1581624863629.png


2. An actually smart powerstrip that doesn't take an app to set up: You simply plug a device into the master plug, and when it draws more than standby power it triggers the slave plugs. There are also plugs that are always on. Those searching for an audio trigger powerstrip might find this useful. It doesn't use an audio trigger, but it might as well if you have a device that pulls more power once it's playing and need to trigger other things. Initially I was looking at a Kasa smart strip, but don't want another app on my phone or things clogging up my Google home app.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002K8S2J6

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If anyone else has examples of products that are actually smart, automate things, and don't require yet another app or digging in your pocket instead of taking half a second to flip a switch, I'd love to know.

Another example would be Philips Scene Switch lightbulbs: Different white points and dimness are useful, but I don't want a hub and mega buck bulbs that aren't bright (Philips Hue). Sceneswitch bulbs change their color if you turn them off and on again within a few seconds, and remember where you left them. Cycling through the colors takes 2 seconds instead of having to get out your phone.
 

GGroch

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#2
Interesting Steven, but it is not clear to me with the products you list who or what it is you are calling "assistant". That is, there must be a home hub, echo, or phone in there somewhere right?
 
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Willem

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#3
As a switch I am using the one on Tindie. It works a treat and was tested very favourably by RME: https://forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.php?id=29927
I also use a master/slave power strip, with great success. In my case the master unit is the RME ADI-2 DAC and it is a bit too frugal to make my strip switch. So I added my Chromecast Audio to increase Master power consumption. This works fine.
 
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stevenswall

stevenswall

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Thread Starter #4
Interesting Steven, but it is not clear to me with the products you list who or what it is you are calling "assistant".
Google Assistant/Alexa/Siri/Cortana/Bixby, or any other digital assistant.
 
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stevenswall

stevenswall

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Thread Starter #6
How does that power something on?
When I ask an assistant to play something, the chromecasts are always on, and the video one can use CEC to turn on the TV which then turns on the optical switcher, MiniDSP, and monitors.

(Google "CEC" and your model of TV or console or anything else you plug in. Most people don't use it, but it's a standard that allows devices to control the volume, inputs, and power on/off of the TVs they are plugged into.)

Or I could plug in a chromecast to the master switch on the power strip posted above, and then when it started using more power it would trigger everything else.
 

Old Listener

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#8
Goal: To come home from work and relax to music.

Issue 1: There are too many remotes.
Issue 2: My active speakers don't turn on and off automatically.
Issue 3: Smart plugs require me to stare at a little screen or do more jabbering to google/Alexa.

Solution: Create a system where one can say "Assistant, play (song or video) on Living Room Stereo or Living Room TV," and it automatically turns on the TV if needed, or starts playing on the Chromecast Audio, which triggers the speakers to turn on, and an automatic optical switcher engages to detect which of 2 inputs it active and forwards the one sending audio.

Setup:
-Genelec 8260 Monitors
-MiniDSP
-TV
-Chromecast
-Chromecast Audio
I too wanted to make my audio systems (in 3 rooms) easy to use. My solutions were different for each room.

Home office nearfield listening system: Intel NUC running Win 10 and the JRiver player software -> USB powered DAC -> Audioengine HD6 powered speakers. The JRiver s/w supplies DSP functionality for room correction. The electronics are in the left speaker. One power switch in the left speaker turns both speakers on and a volume control on the front of the left speaker left me control volume from my chair. I can reach the power switch and the volume control from my desk chair.

Living room TV system: TCL smart TV -> optical cable -> Audioengine HD6 speakers or Sennheiser wireless phones. I can turn on the speakers with a single switch and I control volume from the speakers with an Audioengine supplied remote. The TCL remote controls the other control functions. No DSP functionality in this system. I do have to get out of my chair to turn on the speakers or to pick up the headphones.

Main audio system: Headless Intel NUC running Win 8.1 and JRiver player software -> Grace designs SDAC balanced -> XLR cables -> Dynaudio LYD48 studio monitors. The JRiver s/w provides DSP functionality and volume setting. I use a 10" Android tablet to select and play music and to control volume. The monitors have a power draw of 0.5 watts each and the NUC uses less than 10 watts so I leave them on all the time. I walk into the room, pick up the tablet, select music and tap the play button.

My solutions were specific to the applications and required no extra gear. I'm satisfied.
 

somebodyelse

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#9
(Google "CEC" and your model of TV or console or anything else you plug in. Most people don't use it, but it's a standard that allows devices to control the volume, inputs, and power on/off of the TVs they are plugged into.)
It also works the other way around - the tv remote can control the device that's on the currently active HDMI port.
 

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