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Chromecast integration


beninsteon

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Hi,

Writing to find out if there's any appetite for adding support for Chromecast devices. The Chromecast audio in particular is a fantastic device to stream media around the house but the difficulty lies in changing the amp power state when the Chromecast Audio playstate changes from stop to play and vice-versa.

Right now there is a Chromecast plugin for HomeSeer (https://forums.homeseer.com/forumdisplay.php?f=1545), so even though there's no official Google API for the Chromecast devices, there's enough info on the Internet.

I am running HomeSeer on a Rpi specifically for this plugin. When a Chromecast audio (or audio group) changes from "Idle" to "Play" then HomeSeer sends a message to my ISY that turns on the associated amp through a network resource. Unfortunately this plugin (despite being paid) remains in beta, and is buggy. The developer doesn't seem overly interested in fixing things.

I'd be happy to purchase a couple Chromecast Audio devices and have them sent to you if you have an interest in developing a NodeLink for the ISY.

I've attached a screenshot from the HomeSeer Chromecast plugin.

Ben

Screenshot 2018-06-22 11.20.54.png

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As an example of the work already done, here's a python script that currently supports Chromecast status reporting:

https://github.com/balloob/pychromecast

The HomeSeer plugin currently supports the following features:
-Playstate (playing, paused, idle, buffering)
-Media control (play, pause, stop, jump to end of current track [this functions as next track], jump to beginning of current track)
-Select media (ability to start m3u playlist from web)
-Volume status (%)
-Volume control (discreet volume selection & relative change from current)
-Current media source (eg. spotify/tunedIn, youtube, etc)
-Current media information (artist, title)
-Cover art
-duration of current track

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Thanks for the suggestion. Hopefully someone will bite over there! My offer stands if you change your mind :-). I've spent hundreds of dollars on my HomeSeer system just for this plugin and it is so unreliable. Experiencing HomeSeer has given me an even bigger appreciation for the reliability, simplicity, speed of the ISY.

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I am not a programmer -- just a tinkerer. Simply don't have the knowledge to do this kind of thing.


Couldn’t you do what you want via IR from the ISY (network resources) or Global Cache? Find the commands to turn on the AVR and then change source? You could get crazier and use a KPL for volume, play, pause, next, back, etc.
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14 hours ago, Scottmichaelj said:

Couldn’t you do what you want via IR from the ISY (network resources) or Global Cache? Find the commands to turn on the AVR and then change source? You could get crazier and use a KPL for volume, play, pause, next, back, etc.

That is the point of this discussion! I am already doing exactly this (and have a KPL with those exact buttons). The problem is that there is no chromecast integration for the ISY so I'm using homeseer as an intermediate. The homeseer plugin is buggy and I am hoping someone would consider writing an ISY node so I can get rid of homeseer.

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What is that you're actually looking to do? If someone writes node server for chromecast, it will not be able to do stuff like pick a playlist by name or display cover art. Node server is a server. There is no UI. UI is only limited to configuration. At best you'd be able to static commands, like play/pause, etc.

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That is the point of this discussion! I am already doing exactly this (and have a KPL with those exact buttons). The problem is that there is no chromecast integration for the ISY so I'm using homeseer as an intermediate. The homeseer plugin is buggy and I am hoping someone would consider writing an ISY node so I can get rid of homeseer.


I’m so confused?! ??‍♂️???‍♂️
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I'm glad this is getting some interest .... also in the polyglot forums.

The point is to be able to have an isy know the status of a Chromecast player so that if it is playing, a stereo amp (for example) will automatically turn on, and paused/idle the amp turns off. Could also use this to trigger other events/network resources/scenes/programs, etc. 

Overall, same point as the Sonos node server. 

Ben

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On 6/30/2018 at 1:08 PM, beninsteon said:

I'm glad this is getting some interest .... also in the polyglot forums.

The point is to be able to have an isy know the status of a Chromecast player so that if it is playing, a stereo amp (for example) will automatically turn on, and paused/idle the amp turns off. Could also use this to trigger other events/network resources/scenes/programs, etc. 

Overall, same point as the Sonos node server. 

Ben

My two Chromecast, each with its own amplifier, are connected to a Zwave switch. That allows me, in a program, to to switch on or off these amplifiers at my selected times to stream music in different parts of my home. To change radio station or playlist I use TuneIn. If I want, I could include the Chromecast in a scene with lights settings etc.

Having the Chromecast sending useful info to ISY sounds interesting but less relevant. Of course if my ISY could instruct Chromecast to play specific music at specific times, then that would be interesting.

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asbril,

Yes what you're doing sounds great. Wouldn't it be better if you could say

Hey Google, play Beethoven on living room speakers

and your Google home device starts playback on the living room Chromecast audio. Then the isy notices the living room Chromecast audio is playing, and sends a network or ir command and turns on the amp, sets the volume and input. This way you don't have to turn on your zwave switch to activate the amp.

Very much a first world issue.

Ben

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1 hour ago, beninsteon said:

asbril,

Yes what you're doing sounds great. Wouldn't it be better if you could say

Hey Google, play Beethoven on living room speakers

and your Google home device starts playback on the living room Chromecast audio. Then the isy notices the living room Chromecast audio is playing, and sends a network or ir command and turns on the amp, sets the volume and input. This way you don't have to turn on your zwave switch to activate the amp.

Very much a first world issue.

Ben

What you propose sounds great but I can ask Google to switch on amplifier and then ask Google to play Beethoven. OK, two commands instead of one, but not a huge deal.

In my case the Chromecast linked speakers are on from wake-up time to go-to-sleep time, with a program. I also created a Home Group in Google Home devices, so that all speakers in the home play the same music.

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What you propose sounds great but I can ask Google to switch on amplifier and then ask Google to play Beethoven. OK, two commands instead of one, but not a huge deal.
In my case the Chromecast linked speakers are on from wake-up time to go-to-sleep time, with a program. I also created a Home Group in Google Home devices, so that all speakers in the home play the same music.
I'm of the same feeling. I have 2 Chromecast audio's, 6 videos and 8 Google homes and minis, and a few more at my lake house. But t can't really think of a need for this since it's all controlled by voice already, I wish I could cause I would like to, but just not seeing it.

My main audio is connected to 2 receivers one with 2 zones, so I don't want that one always turning on all zones since it can't know which one I want on .

Also, you can do both with one command. Hey Google turn on family room Chromecast and play my thumbs up playlist My "family room Chromecast" is a harmony activity that turns on that receiver.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

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  • 1 month later...
On 6/30/2018 at 10:31 PM, asbril said:

OK, two commands instead of one, but not a huge deal

 

On 6/30/2018 at 11:05 PM, Jimbo said:

Hey Google turn on family room Chromecast and play my thumbs up playlist

Hi @asbril and @Jimbo,

@firstone has made a Chromecast nodeserver for Polyglot (AVRemote). It automatically discovers and monitors the status of all your chromecast/google home devices on your network. It is working wonderfully and I am now using my ISY to automatically change powerstate/input of amp when chromecast devices are playing. Along with the harmony hub nodeserver I am also starting/stopping activities when my chromecast changes status. The nodeserver also allows me to start a playlist/audio file on my chromecast/GH devices (which is good for announcements). Improved things for me. You may want to give it a try if you're using chromecasts.

Ben

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20 minutes ago, beninsteon said:

 

Hi @asbril and @Jimbo,

@firstone has made a Chromecast nodeserver for Polyglot (AVRemote). It automatically discovers and monitors the status of all your chromecast/google home devices on your network. It is working wonderfully and I am now using my ISY to automatically change powerstate/input of amp when chromecast devices are playing. Along with the harmony hub nodeserver I am also starting/stopping activities when my chromecast changes status. The nodeserver also allows me to start a playlist/audio file on my chromecast/GH devices (which is good for announcements). Improved things for me. You may want to give it a try if you're using chromecasts.

Ben

Thanks Ben,

Compared to many others in this forum, I am technically challenged (even though at home I am considered the techie...) and  Raspberry / Polyglot / Nodeservers are beyond my current comprehension. I am putting a lot of hope in Michel's announcement that UDI is developing a box that will make nodeservers something like plug & play.

This being said, all I want with my Chromecast devices is to play a certain radio station every morning. I already put Zwave switches to the two amplifiers that are linked to Chromecasts in different zones in my home. That allows me to have a ISY program to switch on the amplifiers at the chosen time. However occasionally the selected radio stream is interrupted during the night and then nothing plays until I instruct (mostly with Google Home) the Chromecast to play the radio station. I would love it if either ISY or Google Assistant/Home would do this automatically.

I must say that I have far fewer audio stream interruptions with my $ 35 Chromecast than what I had with my $ 350 Sonos Connect. I sold my Sonos on Ebay :-) 

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Hi @asbril,

I think I'm in the same boat as you. I am not overly technically inclined but basic stuff like ISY programming is well within my reach.

I was also intimidated by the whole RaspberryPi thing and Polyglot, but I must say that overall it was very easy and things worked "as they should". All I had to do was follow the step-by-step directions to install an OS on the RPi then same thing to install Polyglot on the Pi. Overall very well documented.

I agree however that for "mass consumption" (if that is the goal) this will need to be simplified (eg. renaming "nodeservers" to "Plugins" and housing the ISY and nodeserver/Polyglot in a single box). I'm surprised that @Michel Kohanim/UDI hasn't written code for the ISY software to run on an RPi, as from my angle this seems like the simplest solution (but perhaps it isn't). This strategy has worked well for HomeSeer.

Sincerely,

Ben

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38 minutes ago, beninsteon said:

I'm surprised that @Michel Kohanim/UDI hasn't written code for the ISY software to run on an RP

I believe that Michel is working on a plug & play box for nodeservers to work with ISY.  I plan to wait for that, but if it takes a while then I may follow your path.

As you,  I am comfortable with the basic stuff like ISY programming, updating the ISY firmware and I just changed the Zwave board. For one reason or another I am hesitant about Raspberry and  Polyglot. Maybe I should just dive at the deep end and hope that our fellow ISY forum members will save me from drowning...

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5 minutes ago, asbril said:

hope that our fellow ISY forum members will save me from drowning...

I've certainly been saved more than once! The support for this box from official channels and forum members is outstanding, as I'm sure you've noticed also.

Ben

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I'm surprised that [mention=2]Michel Kohanim[/mention]/UDI hasn't written code for the ISY software to run on an RPi, as from my angle this seems like the simplest solution (but perhaps it isn't). This strategy has worked well for HomeSeer.
Sincerely,
Ben


I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s been tried, but I suspect the licensing terms of Linux make it next to impossible to release it in that form. The licensing of BSD is a lot more appropriate.

I don’t know if anyone has got FreeBSD to run on a Rpi though....
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