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The Smart Home and Home Automation Thread

SirWilliam

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I want to dive into the home surveillance area, but the various cameras/setups and reviews has me a little put off. Does anyone use any cameras or have suggestions for a setup. Looking for monitoring of common areas and possibly a driveway. Nothing crazy, just reliable.
The easiest thing is a serviced based IP camera system. You buy a cheap crappy camera like a Nest or the Wyze plug it in and then you pay for the service which varies in cost depending on the features you want to have.

This can get very expensive if you have a lot of cameras. I switched from Dropcam (Nest) to Amcrest and it is so much better for me because instead of pay $60 a month for 4 cameras I just record to my Amcrest NVR. I get about two months worth of footage with 4 cameras. I can control them all remotely. Pan and tilt to look around the house when I am out and it handles power outages better than Nest.

You setup the Amcrest NVR once and you are good to go. The cameras are plug and play, you don't have to fiddle with anything.

That said if you just want motion alerts and live view, you don't have to pay for service for a lot of these IP cameras. It's the recording that gets expensive with service based options.
 

Piobaire

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Damn, that is just what I am looking for. One can search all day and find a thousand different setups. Never seen this one before. Thanks!
We have one that monitors the front door/courtyard and then one on the kitty beds where they like to sleep.
 

Jr Mouse

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Interesting looking smart home remote. As far as I can tell you use the app to program the buttons and assign for your needs. I could see someone using this for basic tasks like turning off/on lights and playing your favorite Spotify playlist.

Buttons are limited do there's not a lot of utility, but as a companion to your smartphone I can see the advantage of the minimal design.

https://shop.turntouch.com/

I like the look too.
 

BlueTide

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Disclaimer - I'm leasing at the moment which makes some setups harder.

So far I've rigged the 95% of the place with Hues that are controlled by a Raspberry Pi, motion sensors and Siri, Alexa and Google. This has practically eliminated ever needing light switches. There are cases where voice control is needed (bedroom), but since the colors and timer settings now adapt to sunrise / sunset / work hours & weather, voice mostly reserved for controlling a place where we don't want our dogs to start waking us up.

Google Home (and I'm sure Alexa) is really great in kitchen to set timers, ask Fahrenheit / Celsius conversations etc.

I am wondering what to do next. Nest would be obvious alternative if this was our own place. We also don't have a TV and while I'd love B&O Shape for music, that leasing part makes this impractical again. I'd also really wish to try automated blinders.
 

imatlas

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Next, Id hire a security consultant to review your system unless you enjoy your home running as a DDoS botnet.
 

4rmiture

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Folks - I've been toying with the idea of installing a controller of sorts to open/close the blinds in my unit. Thinking of some kinda arduino/other device + voice control kit. Has anyone had any experience doing so? If so, what worked (or didn't)?
 

BergiChris

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I would never use smart home devices. Hackers are waiting in the backyard.... ;)
 

Jr Mouse

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After having given up for a while I’ve started using my Echo Dot again. Alexa seems much improved and is able to interact with me in a more natural conversational format.

I’ve also connected it to a smart plug on a lamp in my room. Nice to be able to just ask Alexa to turn the light off instead of having to reach over to the lamp at night when I’m in bed.

Anyone use one of the smart displays? Seems like a nice addition to a kitchen to be able to pull up recipes while you cook.
 

otc

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I use my 8" lenovo smart display in the ktichen a lot. Bought it cheap off slickdeals on a whim but it has turned out great.

It automatically grabs good pictures from my google photos (synced from my pixel)--algorithm grabs stuff like friends, family, pets and seems pretty good at ignoring shitty pictures.

It has become my most used timing device. Can give timers a name if you want to run many (e.g. "set timer for 15 minutes for potatoes") and it is smart enough to listen for something like "stop timer" when the timer is going beeping without having to start with an "OK google"

Handy for conversions, ingredient questions ("how much X to substitute" "how to cut Y"), and playing music in the kitchen.

The actual recipe handling is only OK. It won't work with every recipe you find and the interface can feel a bit limiting (kind of just showing one step at a time...maybe a bigger screen model would do better). I really wish you could install apps like Paprika on it--running Paprika on a tablet with my own recipe library is what I often used to do in the kitchen and the experience is better. The only thing the smart display adds over the tablet is being able to tell it to move to the next step (but the paprika tablet could run a smaller font and fit many steps on the screen.

Only downside is if I am in my living room and I try to use google assistant on my phone...the kitchen display will often take over....which is really annoying if I am really just being too lazy to type and I want it to bring up google results or something on my phone.
 

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