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How are we using Echo with our B&O multiroom products?

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beojeff
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beojeff Posted: Sun, Jul 16 2017 3:55 PM

This weekend, I worked on integrating the Amazon Echo better with my B&O setup. I thought it would be interesting and useful to hear about what other members have done. I have one full-size Echo and three Echo Dot devices scattered around my home. I connected an Echo Dot in the den to a BeoPlay M5 by audio cable into the M5's Line In port. I set the default music device for Alexa to be Spotify. There currently is no Deezer support, unfortunately. You can also stream TuneIn. However, there isn't an option to make TuneIn the default radio service. Now, I can voice commands such as "Alexa, play Rolling Stones." The M5 will come out of standby and music by the Rolling Stones will start playing. Now, I can JOIN any of my B&O multiroom speakers to the experience using the apps, hands-on control of the B&O devices, paired Essence remotes, or backlit engraved Lutron wall and tabletop keypads used to control each device. For my main full-size Echo, I did not want it to always turn on a B&O speaker and interrupt the music whenever Alexa gives me audio feedback from a command. Therefore, I paired it by bluetooth to my BeoSound 1. This is especially useful since the BeoSound 1 does not have a Line-In port. In order to bring the BeoSound 1 out of standby and stream music from the Echo, I say "Alexa, Connect." To stop music from playing through the BeoSound 1, I say "Alexa, disconnect." Again, I can use the JOIN function to include any of the other B&O multiroom products. Note, that only recently did Echo provide the feature for the full-size Echo to pair with a bluetooth speaker. Until this spring, only Echo Dots could do this. It is also possible to pair B&O stand-alone bluetooth speakers, such as the A1 and A2. Since B&O speakers are not included in the list of certified speakers, I'm curious to hear if anyone has had issues using B&O speakers.

For over a year, I've been using Echo for voice control of my BLGW. It's become natural for me to voice commands such as "Alexa, trigger standby," "Alexa, trigger TV," "Alexa, trigger pause," " Alexa, trigger morning," etc.

It would be nice to see full B&O integration with Echo that did not relay on Khimo IFTTT service for the BLGW. For example, it would be nice to just say "Alexa, play Deezer on BeoSound 1." We can currently write macros on the BLGW and then incorporate those macros into IFTTT macros, but that's a bit cumbersome for just basic B&O control.

I would be interested in hearing others' experiences.

Peter
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Peter replied on Sun, Jul 16 2017 9:25 PM

I did have a dot attached to a pair of 4000s but teh sound quality was not good enough - Also used one with a Beosound 2 but despite there being a wire between them, not completely reliable. Have got one attached to the Beomaster 4401 and that works fine!!

Peter

beojeff
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beojeff replied on Mon, Jul 17 2017 11:44 AM

I, too, found the sound quality to be lacking.

It would be great to see Bang & Olufsen do something with voice control for superior sound though the B&O speakers. Perhaps a new generation of Essence Remote that incorporates voice control. Of course, it would need to be connected to the mains rather than battery-powered.

beojeff
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beojeff replied on Mon, Jul 17 2017 10:33 PM

FYI, I ordered a charcoal fabric cover for the Echo Dot, and it arrived today. The charcoal looks almost exactly like the Kvadrat charcoal of the M5, A6, and A9. It covers the Amazon logo and looks perfect next to the BeoPlay charcoal Kvadrat! It even looks quite nice as a contrast next to the light grey Kvadrat. It was hard to tell from the photos, but it appears that the sandstone fabric might have too much tan in it to look good with the light grey Kvadrat.

frog
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frog replied on Wed, Jul 19 2017 12:37 AM

I use MLGW with a raspberry running Domoticz (a open-source HA system) plus a bit of glue code in python to connect the two together - so you can add functionality to control B&O kit quite easily via Amazon Dots  dotted around the house. Done this for about 3 years.

frog
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frog replied on Wed, Jul 19 2017 12:37 AM

I use MLGW with a raspberry running Domoticz (a open-source HA system) plus a bit of glue code in python to connect the two together - so you can add functionality to control B&O kit quite easily via Amazon Dots  dotted around the house. Done this for about 3 years.

beojeff
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beojeff replied on Wed, Jul 19 2017 3:42 PM

frog:

I use MLGW with a raspberry running Domoticz (a open-source HA system) plus a bit of glue code in python to connect the two together - so you can add functionality to control B&O kit quite easily via Amazon Dots  dotted around the house. Done this for about 3 years.

That sounds brilliant. So you're able to transmit the B&O commands without the need for macros or IFTTT? That would save a lot of time and be very useful. How difficult would it be for those of us without raspberry pi or python skills to simply copy your programming for use -- if you were indeed generous to share it? Perhaps you could write a guide to share permanently on BeoWorld.

badgersurf
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This is the original post from frog 

http://forum.beoworld.org/forums/p/22063/182533.aspx

Still need to try this, have everything apart from the time

 

beotex
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beotex replied on Thu, Jul 20 2017 3:09 PM
It's not a complicated setup, but a simple way to make use of older, pre-Bluetooth products. Plug the echo dot to the line-in, and we use TuneIn for radio. One for the kitchen, and one for the kids upstairs amongst the Legos.

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