Hubitat Audio

Hi all,
After spensing the entire evening attempting to get Echo Speaks to work again (it randomly stopped working several weeks ago) and utterly faiking, I'd like to explore other methods of playing sound from my HE.

Other than an echo, what other options do I have? Can I use my regular soeakers via an audio out on the HE? Do I have to have a smart speaker to play TTS or music?

Just looking for ideas and to see what others have done.

Thank you.

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I only use chromecast speakers connected to Hubitat. And while I have them working pretty well, I can't recommend them. I have a lot of crap going on in the background to get them working the way I want, and I'd say it's only 90%.

I think a lot of people have sonos working well. I don't have any experience though. Also, people using an intermediary device (usually a pi) seem to have great success with chromecast. I'm only using the beta hubitat chromecast integration. I have no experience with echos... I once had both, but chose a horse. Not sure it was the right one, but a choice had to be made!

As far as I know that is not an option.

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Some other options are:

VLC Thing and VLC Player running on a Pi with an audio board, or a spare computer.

Google Assistant Relay to any cast enable device or Chromecast dongle. It only allows broadcast (all your Cast enabled speakers at once) for speech, with the crappy prepend "Broadcast from [Username]", that you can't turn off. But it is a really convenient way to silently control Google Assistant compatible devices from RM rules.

Castweb-API. Cast speech to any cast enable device or Chromecast dongle, in either the HE TTS voices, or the native Google Home default female voice. You can play tracks, and it can be to individual devices, or via broadcast like Assistant Relay. Still says "Broadcast", but doesn't enforce a user name. I found it doesn't play my entire door chime MP3 (which admittedly is very long). So I'm still using the Chromecast Integration (beta).

Chromecast Integration (Beta) - I'm still using it. Ever since the hub update the fixed the database issue, my slowdowns are gone and the hub doesn't freeze. So for now, it stays. I don't think it's as much the problem child as people have been suspecting. At least that seems anecdotally to be the case for me.

My way for Alexa TTS - Works great. It's the one part of Samsung's SmartThings cloud service that doesn't seem to go down (much).

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There is another option, MediaRenderer
This uses cheap wifi speakers and when I tried it, it seemsed to work quite well.

Andy

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I put one of these guys in the middle of my house to handle my TTS needs. Doors, Windows, Alarms, etc.. Has been working well for the past couple months. I bought it used for like $20.

I have one of those that I used till Echo Speaks came out. Just dug it out of closet to tide me over till the Echo problem gets fixed. Works good.

NO sonos doesn't work well with HE yet as it won't speak and resume.

ah, so it's not just me who's having issues with Echo speaks. What can I do to help get it back up and running?

It's an Amazon cookie issue. Nothing can be done until the app developer figures out what's going on. It seems to be working for some but not others. I assume that's because their cookies have not expired yet.

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Not working in Canada.

Try manually adding the Amazon cookie and CSRF into the app in Heroku. You can follow the instructions here to get the cookie and CSRF.

I'm using the built in Beta chromecast and it was OK.... UNTIL I started using BP's Follow me app. Now it works perfect for what I use it for.

His app handles waking up the Google devices and setting volumes and voices. Plus now I really like the fact I can enable speakers based on presence (motion) in the room.

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I think it depends on how Sonos is being used. I've resigned myself to the idea that it will be a constant battle between Echo Speaks/Alexa TTS and Amazon. To limit my frustration, I bought a couple of Sonos and I use them as announcement devices through out the house. They work great for that! If I want streaming music, then I use my Echos/Dots. I don't doubt that there are issues with starting, stopping and resuming audio when an announcement comes through. However, for what I'm doing, the HE implementation is great.

It's a sad and bit pricey compromise and it's driven by Amazon's need to keep 3rd Parties at bay. For example, I can't add my Sonos to an audio group in Amazon even though they "work-with-Alexa". Another example is that we in the HA community are dependent on a couple of really smart folks constantly working on their code to keep up with undocumented or unannounced changes.

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I think this also "depends". Mine resume most of the time. Seems to be related to how often in a short period of time that playback is interrupted, as to whether it resumes.

I'm waiting until August to solve this by adding a couple of the Ikea Sonos speakers just for TTS. Leaving my 5 & 1s for what they do best. Music!

S.

@homeauto2112 In my automations, I am exactly the opposite of yours. I use my echos for speaking and I leave my sonos for music as they sound way better than echo dots (which is what I have). When I was on ST, I had all my speech coming through my sonos speakers and they would speak and resume what was playing. It worked great! This has been the one disappointing thing with HE. But I guess we can't have everything!:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Now that we have an official mobile app, why not use those speakers? Seems the driver only uses my mobile as a text messaging recipient. Speaker would be really nice....as no matter where I am my phone is near. All of my work high priority alerts go to this, so why not my high priority home alerts?