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Home Automation and B&O in 2020 and beyond.

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Solidsnake
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Solidsnake Posted: Thu, Jun 4 2020 12:11 AM

I have been starting to add some simple smart devices to my home, HomeKit compatible temperature sensors, dehumidifiers, that kind of thing. I’m starting to look at smart plugs and dimmers and I’ve been pleasantly surprised just how well they work together and how simple to set up with Apple HomeKit. This really got me thinking - why is there so little information on home automation for B&O’s latest products? Is this something that they are phasing out? Or are they really just missing the boat?

The BLGW options on modern B&O, like my own Eclipse, feel like secret menus hidden on the tv for legacy customers rather than new customers. I see the Light and Curtain options on my Beoremote One but have no idea how I would go about setting that up. Look at B&O’s website and the description of features on all the current range and nothing helps you to know how to use B&O for home automation. (Apart from Airplay 2 speaker streaming). My point is, being a relatively new B&O owner, I would love to know how to control my lights and my curtains with my Beoremote one but there is no readily available, modern information on how to do it or what products are currently compatible.

Obviously a lot of you guys talk about BLGW and controlling this and that and B&O has a great past with home automation. But what is the current state of it and why isn’t it a major feature explained clearly?

Fansastic
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Take a look at Beoliving Intelligence:

https://khimo.github.io/

BV Eclipse 55 Brass - BL 18 Brass - BL 19 Brass - BL 3 White - BS Moment - BS 2 Brass - BV Horizon 48 - BS3000 - BS 3200 - BS Essence - BL 4000 - V1 40 Black - V1 40 White - BLC NL/ML - H6 -  H4 - E8 Motion - A8 Earphone - Beolit 12 - Beolit 15 - Beoplay A1 Green - Beoplay A3 White

Solidsnake
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This is pretty much my point. As much as I admire what Khimo is doing, is this the official B&O implementation of home automation in 2020? And if so, why is it hidden away? Why is there no mention of it on their website or listed as a feature for their products? If you are a new customer to B&O, you would have no idea this existed. 

Fansastic
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Yes you are right but take into account that hone automation is not for the common B&O buyer / user, only for the high-end market and you’ll need a professional installer to make a specified lay-out for your personal home and user needs. Hence the ML and Gateway equipment was for a small - technical advanced- usergroup and dealer/installer environment only. Now with Multiroom, Airplay2 , Chromecast and other simple to use technology the integration seems more simple, but is still advanced enough for normal user.

I think it is a good thing that B&O has teamed up with a professional third party to facilitate the automation possibilities of their product range. The Beo Intelligence box should be even more simple than the earlier Beolink Gateway and should attract more endusers, but for most lay-outs a professional installer/dealer is still the most common route. I think that is the reason B&O is not after big marketing regarding the automation possibilities. Also take into account that many B&O users are aware of the gateway possibilities to start with

BV Eclipse 55 Brass - BL 18 Brass - BL 19 Brass - BL 3 White - BS Moment - BS 2 Brass - BV Horizon 48 - BS3000 - BS 3200 - BS Essence - BL 4000 - V1 40 Black - V1 40 White - BLC NL/ML - H6 -  H4 - E8 Motion - A8 Earphone - Beolit 12 - Beolit 15 - Beoplay A1 Green - Beoplay A3 White

kawo
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kawo replied on Fri, Jun 5 2020 7:29 AM

I think you are spot on, Smart Home is the big buzz these days, it getting more commodity moving away from the hyper complex setups &configuration based on technology like KNX to a "Apple" type of easy to use. Hue lamps are at the forefront, Apple's Home Kit as well.

I also started to get my head around what is the best approach for me to do some simple things first (this might be switching on/off lights or close a curtain). For Apple user, Home Kit is so easy to setup. Like to add the LG TV, straight forward and you can switch it on or off...(how much sense this makes is an other question..).  

B&O tends to rely more and more on partners to provide solutions, I have no problem with this but I would promote this more (like STB Brackets, Khimo or Almando). Building a "approved" partner eco system. I think this is the only way to stay innovative.

Solidsnake
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kawo:

I think you are spot on, Smart Home is the big buzz these days, it getting more commodity moving away from the hyper complex setups &configuration based on technology like KNX to a "Apple" type of easy to use. Hue lamps are at the forefront, Apple's Home Kit as well.

I also started to get my head around what is the best approach for me to do some simple things first (this might be switching on/off lights or close a curtain). For Apple user, Home Kit is so easy to setup. Like to add the LG TV, straight forward and you can switch it on or off...(how much sense this makes is an other question..).  

B&O tends to rely more and more on partners to provide solutions, I have no problem with this but I would promote this more (like STB Brackets, Khimo or Almando). Building a "approved" partner eco system. I think this is the only way to stay innovative.

Completely agree. I have no issue with B&O partnering with others to provide solutions. But you are right, they should be promoted as an official part of the eco system. This gives the customer a sense of security and piece of mind that the features will be developed and supported over time. 

I don’t agree with Fantastic that home automation is reserved for high end. Now more than ever, with things like simple smart plugs and multi room audio, it is more mainstream than it ever was. I would have hoped B&O could capitalize on this considering their legacy with home automation.

Fantastic, I also don’t think saying that most B&O owners would know about the BLGW and other home automation capabilities of their equipment anyway and therefore it’s not necessary to inform people. I don’t think this is a very affective approach if the aim is to grow a brand. I’m mainly talking about new customers to the brand. I don’t think a new buyer of an Eclipse, for instance, brings it home today and somehow knows all about BLGW and Khimo etc. I am one of them. I loved the Avant 55 and bought one and no dealer told me all about the options to integrate everything. I upgraded to an Eclipse and the same thing.  How would I know, because there’s nothing really in the manuals or product info apart from the odd vague mention of BeoLink, with no other information. 

Perhaps it is a over reliance on specialist installers, as you say to map out your house and do a major automation job. But I think there should be more access to a customer friendly solution, like so many other manufacturers are offering.  

kawo
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kawo replied on Fri, Jun 5 2020 12:16 PM

For a real "Smart Home" you definitely need a pro, this is getting very complex quickly and cost big dollars. In my view this driven by process automation based on triggers and behavior. But there is something in between and to start from which is more like make a dump light bulb or light switch smart to let it control by e.g. a remote you have in your hand for the TV anyway. And this should come with easy access.

 

Barry Santini
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Hmmm. I just pick up my Beo4 and work my ML system.

It’s bullet proof and I don’t need more *** to worry about that’s not worked out.

Kinda like the simplicity of a 60’s/70’s classic car
BeoMatthew
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Smart Home is a pretty broad description. While you have some plug & play DIY products like HomeKit compatible dimmers and cameras, etc. - they're really not "pro" versions of the tech that's out in the field. In fact, true Home Automation platforms like Savant, Control4, Crestron, etc. have a lot of problems with these DIY products because the software that keeps them connected changes too frequently "breaking" the system as it was built. 

So if you like to have your hands on the stuff yourself, you're going to have a lot of choices (and a lot of fun), but you may not have a system that's permanently stable. 

As far as B&O and integration, I personally think they've done themselves a massive disservice by trying to be the central controller for other home automation devices. It's been clear for over a decade that they don't have the resources to participate in this space, and so they've let their capabilities as they relate to Automation Platforms languish.

B&O continues to work best as its own system without much input from or output to the rest of the world. 

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