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Echo Voice Control of TV channels, etc. with Harmony and Yonomi

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Hi all, I've read the threads in this and other forums about using Harmony Hub and the SmartThings Hub (STH) to implement Echo voice control for changing TV channels, fast forward, etc.  However, I was scared off a bit by the high percentage (38%) of 1&2 stars for the STH and the negative reviews related to functionality and customer service.  I saw mention of doing the same thing with Yonomi (Ya know me) http://www.yonomi.co/ and I gave it a try.  I'm just in the proof of concept stage, but it's working great so far.  I've got Echo changing the channel to the top 5 channels we watch so far.  Yonomi is a (currently?) free phone app that tries to link devices from different protocols together to control each other.  First, you install the app and connect it to your various controllers, like Echo, Harmony, etc.  Then, similar to the STH approach, you just create activities in Harmony (e.g. change channel to CBS), and then set up a "routine" in Yonomi to run the Harmony Activity.  Once that's done, you just ask Echo to find connected devices and it finds all these Yonomi routines.  It is bit tedious because you have to set up both a Harmony activity and then a Yonomi routine for each channel and function you want to implement.  Since I don't already have a STH (I control my lights with Insteon), I also thought this would be a good approach for what we hope will be the pending integration of the Harmony Hub directly with Echo.  Hopefully, when that happens, Echo will be able to control all of my Harmony activities and I'll just drop the Yonomi connection.  It's definitely an approach worth considering if, like me, you don't already have a STH.  Good luck!

Offline bob76

Re: Echo Voice Control of TV channels, etc. with Harmony and Yonomi
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2016, 07:01:25 am »
nice i cant get this to work i have a harmony hub this works on its own with my samsung 6530 smart tv just fine but not together wit yonomy can you please explane step by step what to do?
what settings in the harmony app and then in Alexa app and then yonomy and then the voice commands to use it would be very greatfull if you can help me whit this???

now using ifttt but dont like the trigger part takes more time to launch and maybe explane how to get netflix and plex to activate?
« Last Edit: October 30, 2016, 07:05:02 am by bob76 »

Re: Echo Voice Control of TV channels, etc. with Harmony and Yonomi
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2016, 02:49:46 pm »
You don't need Yonomi anymore.  Just install the Harmony skill using the Alexa app.  You then get to choose what Harmony Routines you want to control with Alexa.  Just make sure before you do this, rename your Harmony routines to Alexa friendly names.  So if your Harmony routine is "Watch TV".  Change it to just TV.  Then when you add it to Alexa, you just have to say "Alexa, turn on TV."

Offline bob76

Re: Echo Voice Control of TV channels, etc. with Harmony and Yonomi
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2016, 07:39:46 am »
I live in the netherlands here the harmony skill won't work to bad and there is no way around this tried everything.
So please can you make some sort of tutorial???

Re: Echo Voice Control of TV channels, etc. with Harmony and Yonomi
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2016, 12:00:38 pm »
I live in the netherlands here the harmony skill won't work to bad and there is no way around this tried everything.
So please can you make some sort of tutorial???

- Install the Yonomi app through Google Play / Apple App Store. 
- Launch the app & create a Yonomi account.
- Tap on the Menu button and then tap on Accounts & Hubs.
- Tap on the + button to add Logitech Account.
- Enter your Logitech/Harmony account details to authorize Yonomi to use it.
- Once connected, follow the app directions to add the Harmony Routines you want to add/control.
- Go back to Accounts & Hubs and tap on the + button once again.
- This time select Amazon Alexa Account to authorize Yonomi to use it.
- Launch the Alexa App and install the Yonomi Skill.
- Discover Devices and the Yonomi/Harmony routines should show up in the Alexa app.

Tip before you have Alexa discover devices, make sure you change the name of the routines in the Yonomi app.  The name would something like "Watch TV".  Change it to just "TV" so that you just have to say "Alexa, turn on TV" instead of "Alexa, turn on Watch TV".
« Last Edit: November 03, 2016, 12:04:10 pm by inconnu_homme »

Offline bob76

Re: Echo Voice Control of TV channels, etc. with Harmony and Yonomi
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2016, 02:46:32 pm »
ok tank you for the help still some questions.

do i have to create a event for all the actions so tv off is one event and tv on is another volume up a event and so on??
And then do i have to create a group in the Alexa app or just discover and im good to go?
and when i need to create a group what would be in the group???

sorry so much questions tank you for the help

Re: Echo Voice Control of TV channels, etc. with Harmony and Yonomi
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2016, 03:02:59 pm »
ok tank you for the help still some questions.

do i have to create a event for all the actions so tv off is one event and tv on is another volume up a event and so on??
And then do i have to create a group in the Alexa app or just discover and im good to go?
and when i need to create a group what would be in the group???

sorry so much questions tank you for the help

Alexa can only turn on/off Harmony routines, not individual devices.  Judging by your follow up questions, you need a Harmony hub.  With the Harmony app, you create routines like "Watch TV".  Within that routine, you specify what devices you want to turn on and what input you want to use. For example, the "Watch TV" routine could be:  Turn on TV & set input to HDMI 1; Turn on A/V receiver & set source to cable box; turn on cable box. 

When you link your Logitech/Harmony account to Yonomi, all of your Harmony routines will show up in the Yonomi app.  Then when you install the Yonomi skill and link your Yonomi account to Alexa, then Alexa will discover all of your Yonomi devices, which will be the Harmony routines.

Edit:  If you want to turn on/off an individual device, then you would need to create a routine for that specific device.  For example, if you want to simply turn your TV on/off,  create a Harmony routine called "TV."   Then you would specify that this routine would just turn on your TV.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2016, 03:10:09 pm by inconnu_homme »

Offline bob76

Re: Echo Voice Control of TV channels, etc. with Harmony and Yonomi
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2016, 12:57:43 pm »
ok got it to work finally i can now turn on my tv by saying Alexa turn on smart tv.
made 2 activities one tv on second tv of now my question is every routine has to have a different name in yonomi is there a solution to that?
so all commands wil be turn on smart turn off smart ect.?? and not the first named smart second smart one ect what i mean is all commands under one name in my case smart tv??

the harmony hub cant turn off the tv without another device switch on so i created a fake tv to get this to work and it works fine.

but how about changing the channels i created all different activities in the harmony hub
1.tv on
2.tv off
3.channel up
4.channel down
5.volume up
6.volume down

the problem with 3-4-5-6 is that it always needs to first switch on tv(even if it is still on) to change the channel or volume up and down and it execute the command.

do your the commands work instandly if so can you explane how you did this please?

how many activities in harmony hub do you use to control the tv standard controls on/of channel up/down volume up/down
and maybe explane how you set up the activities in the harmony hub.

and last question about yonomi routines are all the different actions different routines or are some combined like vol up/down channel up/down on/of???
« Last Edit: November 04, 2016, 01:32:36 pm by bob76 »

Re: Echo Voice Control of TV channels, etc. with Harmony and Yonomi
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2016, 02:23:44 pm »
ok got it to work finally i can now turn on my tv by saying Alexa turn on smart tv.
made 2 activities one tv on second tv of now my question is every routine has to have a different name in yonomi is there a solution to that?
so all commands wil be turn on smart turn off smart ect.?? and not the first named smart second smart one ect what i mean is all commands under one name in my case smart tv??

the harmony hub cant turn off the tv without another device switch on so i created a fake tv to get this to work and it works fine.

but how about changing the channels i created all different activities in the harmony hub
1.tv on
2.tv off
3.channel up
4.channel down
5.volume up
6.volume down

the problem with 3-4-5-6 is that it always needs to first switch on tv(even if it is still on) to change the channel or volume up and down and it execute the command.

do your the commands work instandly if so can you explane how you did this please?

how many activities in harmony hub do you use to control the tv standard controls on/of channel up/down volume up/down
and maybe explane how you set up the activities in the harmony hub.

and last question about yonomi routines are all the different actions different routines or are some combined like vol up/down channel up/down on/of???

For Yonomi, you need to create 2 separate on & off routines.  For the turn on routine, name it "TV".  For the turn off routine, name it "TV OFF".  This naming protocol is important.  Just add OFF to the end.  When you run an Alexa discovery, it will show up as one device named "TV".  Then you can say "Alexa, turn on the TV" and "Alexa, turn off the TV".

As I mentioned previously, Yonomi & Alexa can only control Harmony routines.  Harmony routines involve turning on a device.  So, having Yonomi/Alexa properly control channel up/down or volume up/down is not possible, at least not with a Harmony hub.  I can control channel & volume with Alexa, using a Broadlink RM Pro hub, but it is more hassle than it's worth.  It's much quicker & easier to do so with the regular remote.

There is a delay with the commands you send because you are using Yonomi, which is a cloud based service.  I do not use Yonomi anymore.  I use a SmartThings hub, so my commands are executed rather quickly.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2016, 02:26:40 pm by inconnu_homme »

Offline bob76

Re: Echo Voice Control of TV channels, etc. with Harmony and Yonomi
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2016, 05:08:39 pm »
ok how does the smart things hub do the trick? does it work together whit harmony hub change channels etc.(maybe lose the harmony hub and just use the smart things hub?)
please share some knowledge
is it quick in use like quick response i mean

found out that you can change channels and volume but takes a bit 2 seconds 

tank for your help so far much appreciated

Re: Echo Voice Control of TV channels, etc. with Harmony and Yonomi
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2016, 10:53:51 pm »
ok how does the smart things hub do the trick? does it work together whit harmony hub change channels etc.(maybe lose the harmony hub and just use the smart things hub?)
please share some knowledge
is it quick in use like quick response i mean

found out that you can change channels and volume but takes a bit 2 seconds 

tank for your help so far much appreciated

The SmartThings hub works the same way as it would if you were to directly integrate your Harmony hub with Alexa (with the Harmony skill).  You would link your Harmony hub with the SmartThings hub.  The SmartThings hub would then send the command to the Harmony Hub.  To use Alexa, you add the SmartThings skill and discover devices.  A SmartThings hub is used for home automation.  So unless you plan on getting smart switches, outlets, etc, then getting a SmartThings hub might be overkill.

Re: Echo Voice Control of TV channels, etc. with Harmony and Yonomi
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2016, 04:15:52 pm »
 :-[

Hi I have just purchased the Amazon Echo, and when I got home yesterday my TV was on plus both of my fish tanks lights were on.  Has anyone else had this, I do not have any special plugs.

I have been reading about Harmony what does this do?  It says that you can add words to Alexa how do you do this?

I also asked for 6 random numbers she said she does not understand?

Thanks Anna

Re: Echo Voice Control of TV channels, etc. with Harmony and Yonomi
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2016, 04:43:24 pm »
:-[

Hi I have just purchased the Amazon Echo, and when I got home yesterday my TV was on plus both of my fish tanks lights were on.  Has anyone else had this, I do not have any special plugs.

I have been reading about Harmony what does this do?  It says that you can add words to Alexa how do you do this?

I also asked for 6 random numbers she said she does not understand?

Thanks Anna

I already addressed your question about your TV and fish tank lights in the other thread where you also asked it.  As for the rest...exactly where/what did you read about being able to "add words to Alexa"?
« Last Edit: November 18, 2016, 04:45:12 pm by DParker »

Re: Echo Voice Control of TV channels, etc. with Harmony and Yonomi
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2016, 07:03:22 pm »
Anna,

It is apparent you know next to nothing about how your Echo works, which is OK for a Newbie.  So, go to this Amazon site and get up to speed on how your Echo basically works, and save the link as a bookmark for future reference.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_bc_nav?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200127470

Offline bob76

Re: Echo Voice Control of TV channels, etc. with Harmony and Yonomi
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2017, 07:08:04 am »
is the harmony skill all ready available in you u.k. guys???