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Echo or Echo Plus (2nd generations) or nothing at all

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Echo or Echo Plus (2nd generations) or nothing at all
« on: November 08, 2018, 12:56:34 pm »
Hi everyone.

I've previously looked at these 'smart speakers' as a bit of a gimmick and always thought it was a bit pointless. Then my brother got one which sparked my interest a little to look into it and see if I really do want one.

The things I'll want to control is the following:
  • Philips Hue Colour lights
  • Smart plugs around the house
  • The ability to turn on/off TV/Sky/Marantz 1601 Amp/AppleTV and go to the relevant input via using Logitech Harmony

The questions I have are the following:
  • Am I able to play Apple Music via AppleTV through my Marantz NR1601 amp?
  • Is the Echo Plus really worth it if I'm not that fussed about the improved speaker? What I mean is, is the built-in Zigbee hub useful and worth the extra money?
  • If I do get the Echo Plus does that mean I don't need to buy the Harmony Hub and Philips Bridge? Is that the draw to the built-in Zigbee hub?

Thanks so much for your help everyone!

Steve
« Last Edit: November 09, 2018, 06:24:55 am by stevecrawf0rd »

Offline Jerome

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Re: Echo or Echo Plus (2nd generations) or nothing at all
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2018, 05:27:31 am »
Warning : I read on multiple websites/forums that the built-in hub of the Echo Plus lets you control the basic features of your Hue lights without the need of the Philips original hub but (and that's a big 'but') you cannot access the advanced features.
I have none (neither Echo Plus nor Hue lights) so I cannot confirm or be more precise but that is something you should be aware of.

If you don't have any Zigbee devices or don't plan to have any (not sure if your list above is what you already own or plan to buy) then the Zigbee hub sounds useless in your case.
NB : there is a temperature sensor in the Echo Plus for what it's worth...

Interesting article on Zigbee :
https://www.the-ambient.com/guides/zigbee-devices-complete-guide-277
« Last Edit: November 14, 2018, 05:48:21 am by Jerome »
1 Echo (1st gen) - 2 Echo Dots (2nd gen) - 1 Google Home Mini | in France

Re: Echo or Echo Plus (2nd generations) or nothing at all
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2018, 10:29:06 am »
The echo plus zigbee unit will allow you to control your lights (dim and change colour) however it will not allow you to connect hue accessory items (Dimmer switches, Motion Sensors, etc) if you wish to use any of these features you will need the Philips bridge which I recommend getting in a hue starter kit as its way cheaper and you get some bulbs to start you off. Also the echo plus can't send infra-red signals and so you would still need a harmony hub.

The echo plus (2nd gen only) does have a in-built temperature reader to get the indoor temperature of your house if that interest you but otherwise you don't need an echo plus.

The regular echo has a smaller speaker then the echo plus and no zigbee hub although you can still control your lights and TV with the use of the Philips Bridge and the Harmony hub. The sound is still very nice although if you are going to connect the echo to a amp and Hi-Fi setup I would recommend the echo dot as it can do everything the echo can be with a much lower powered speaker. The echo dot can connect to a amp to give a richer sound via Aux out or Bluetooth and is only 50 or around 30 if you wait until Amazon is have deals on.

In regards to Apple Music, it isn't currently supported but Amazon have said that support will be added at the beginning of next year (2019)

Hope this helps.

   
« Last Edit: December 07, 2018, 10:31:45 am by CC147555 »
I'm echo mad! The owner of 11 echo dots (x10 2nd Gen and x1 3rd Gen), 1 echo, 2 echo plus(1st Gen and 2nd Gen), 3 echo spots, 1 echo show and 6 Fire TV sticks.

Offline Jerome

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Re: Echo or Echo Plus (2nd generations) or nothing at all
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2018, 10:45:31 am »
In regards to Apple Music, it isn't currently supported but Amazon have said that support will be added at the beginning of next year (2019)

Hope this helps.

 
As soon as December 17th apparently  ;)
1 Echo (1st gen) - 2 Echo Dots (2nd gen) - 1 Google Home Mini | in France