General > AV Control

Whole-house audio/intercom with Sonos/Vera integration

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DeltaNu1142:
I haven?t posted in these forums for a couple of years because we sold our house and moved into an apartment, and I haven?t had the need or desire to do any kind of automation since then.

We?re now looking at properties and I?m interested in whole-house audio hardware that will play well with Sonos and Vera for new construction. In my last home, that only meant that it needed an audio input. I had an M&S system in the last house. I plugged a Sonos device into it, which gave me house-wide announcements and music in every room... albeit low-quality.

Another thing I liked about the M&S system was the door station and the ability to answer the door from any room.

These days, the Ring doorbell has gotten to be a pretty popular way to do that, but I haven?t stumbled on a way to integrate that into a whole-house audio system. Door station video (a la Ring) is nice, I guess, but there are a lot of other ways to handle video, and I don?t consider that a need as part of this system.

So what I?m looking for is any experience with newer intercom or whole-house audio systems that 1) will work with Vera, or Vera via Sonos, 2) handle doorbell-ringing, and 3) have decent audio quality. M&S could maybe fit the bill again, but the audio quality is lacking. Thanks for your input.

Jamr:
I recommend some nice Alexa or Google home speakers in every room for your music and audio needs along with tablets on the walls and in the sitting areas with Vera as the backbone for automation and Doorbird for your video doorbell needs.

This will give you control over your entire home vie mobile devices from anywhere inside or away and Alexa products for voice. You can also add on voice products (Alexa or Google) as needed inside and in your outdoor living areas. The Doorbird can fully integrate with your Vera and SVR (Security Video Recorder) so you can use the camera, button and motion in it to trigger other things.

I also recommend a Full wired security system such as DSC and an IP camera system with an SVR for your security needs.

I also recommend Logitech harmony hubs for AV control (it aint perfect but works pretty well) and Roku Streamers at every TV (unless you have a TV that will do it) for full control and the ability to save money with cord cutting and have a full suite of content to watch. Get Roku stick to take with you when you travel to take your home theater experience with you on the road.

I also recommend a home server for your personal videos and movies to stream with either Plex or Emby.

I also recommend you run ethernet to all of the IP cameras, TV's and areas you want to use a computer.

Of course all of this hinges on a powerful and trouble free network and WIFI system that you understand and can manipulate to your needs.

When all of this is up and running trouble free, you will beat the pants off of any multi million dollar so called "smart" home.

Let us know what you decide and your progress.
Please ask if you have any questions.

wilme2:

--- Quote from: DeltaNu1142 on January 08, 2019, 12:36:02 pm ---I haven?t posted in these forums for a couple of years because we sold our house and moved into an apartment, and I haven?t had the need or desire to do any kind of automation since then.

--- End quote ---

Welcome back.  When I saw your user name on this thread, I assumed someone had dug up a really old thread.  Nope!

Unfortunately I have not done any whole home audio work.  At least not integrated with anything else - and this is that last thing on my HA to-do list.  So will watch this thread...

In the past I had considered Russound, but the plug-in required USB to serial connection and I didn't want to/couldn't find anyone willing to make that work over IP via a Global Cache IP2SL.   Shouldn't be hard, but...

DeltaNu1142:

--- Quote from: Jamr on January 08, 2019, 01:22:49 pm ---I recommend some nice Alexa or Google home speakers in every room for your music and audio needs along with tablets on the walls and in the sitting areas with Vera as the backbone for automation and Doorbird for your video doorbell needs.

--- End quote ---
Ah, OK, here we go! Great responses. I'll address them as I go.

On the subject of Alexa/Siri/Google... I'm still anti-electronic personal assistant. Without getting too tinfoil-hatty, I'm sure there are lots and lots of ways that people are regularly surveilled. I just don't see a need to invite a device into my home that listens to my every word. I'll probably just give in eventually, but in the meantime, I'd like to do without one of them. I'll do sound output with Sonos and use TTS for announcements. As an example, I used a weather plugin and PLEG to announce the day's forecast to whomever first walked downstairs in the morning. I also had some high-fidelity grandfather clock chimes that would ring over Sonos on the hour, every hour during non-sleep hours, until my wife tired of the clanging.

--- Quote from: Jamr on January 08, 2019, 01:22:49 pm ---This will give you control over your entire home vie mobile devices from anywhere inside or away and Alexa products for voice. You can also add on voice products (Alexa or Google) as needed inside and in your outdoor living areas. The Doorbird can fully integrate with your Vera and SVR (Security Video Recorder) so you can use the camera, button and motion in it to trigger other things.

--- End quote ---
I will look into Doorbird. I had some mid-grade outdoor cameras in my last MCV home that utilized motion detector plugins and did notifications. As for commands into the system, I can do without voice for now and will stick with in-wall scene controllers and iOS devices. I liked HomeWave a lot. I will probably commit an old iPad to an in-wall installation.

--- Quote from: Jamr on January 08, 2019, 01:22:49 pm ---I also recommend a Full wired security system such as DSC and an IP camera system with an SVR for your security needs.
--- End quote ---
But of course! I used an AD2USB and a Vista 15P panel with 8 zones (IIRC) in the last house. The last two zones were wired CO and smoke detectors. I played around with, but never actually implemented, virtual zones.
As for an IP camera server, I used a Synology DiskStation with a few cameras, and that seemed to play well with Vera back then.

--- Quote from: Jamr on January 08, 2019, 01:22:49 pm --- I also recommend Logitech harmony hubs for AV control (it aint perfect but works pretty well) and Roku Streamers at every TV (unless you have a TV that will do it) for full control and the ability to save money with cord cutting and have a full suite of content to watch. Get Roku stick to take with you when you travel to take your home theater experience with you on the road.
--- End quote ---
I have a Roku stick on me right now. Good thoughts. Logitech Harmony... I've been eyeballing them. I've used them, a LOT. Firmware issues and finicky behavior has me gun-shy. But there aren?t that many other options with the flexibility they bring.

--- Quote from: Jamr on January 08, 2019, 01:22:49 pm ---I also recommend a home server for your personal videos and movies to stream with either Plex or Emby.

--- End quote ---
Personal server, yes. Streaming, eh, I can see more value in the Rokus.

--- Quote from: Jamr on January 08, 2019, 01:22:49 pm ---I also recommend you run ethernet to all of the IP cameras, TV's and areas you want to use a computer.
--- End quote ---
Yes, definitely. Two drops doesn't cost much more than one. I had pretty good Ethernet coverage in the last house, and it's hard to beat.

--- Quote from: Jamr on January 08, 2019, 01:22:49 pm ---Of course all of this hinges on a powerful and trouble free network and WIFI system that you understand and can manipulate to your needs.
--- End quote ---
The more places I can count on wired internet, the better.

--- Quote from: Jamr on January 08, 2019, 01:22:49 pm ---When all of this is up and running trouble free, you will beat the pants off of any multi million dollar so called "smart" home.
--- End quote ---
I think it's safe to say I did that with the last house :)

--- Quote from: Jamr on January 08, 2019, 01:22:49 pm ---Let us know what you decide and your progress.
Please ask if you have any questions.
--- End quote ---
Thanks!

--- Quote from: wilme2 on January 08, 2019, 02:01:49 pm ---Welcome back. When I saw your user name on this thread, I assumed someone had dug up a really old thread.  Nope!
--- End quote ---
It's nice to be remembered, thanks! A lot has happened. I've been reading up on Reactor. It'll be awhile, but I can't wait to get my hands dirty with Vera again.

Jamr:
I totally understand about the anti voice assistant stand but once you try it, if not only for your music needs, I think it is totally worth the potential security risk.
There is nothing easier than saying "Alexa, play some classic rock everywhere." and the entire house plays some Led Zepplin in every room of the house including your garage and back yard, completely in sync.

I think if you try it, you might just like it....... ;)

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