TV Recommendations

I am in the market for a new TV and I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations for a brand that has good smart home integrations. I currently am using a Vizio TV that has a third party Hubitat driver which is good enough, but my main automation with it is to control/detect the on/off state and change the lights in the room and behind the TV accordingly. It works fine obviously when controlling the TV via that integration, Alexa in my case, but when using the included remote, Vizio doesn’t seem to support pushing it’s status, you can only poll for it, which I have had to figure out a clever way to do that with a zigbee plug that pushes power updates, but that all increases latency.

This is where my question comes. Does anyone know of any TV manufacturer that supports pushing of the TV status via their API? Node-RED nodes would be preferable.

Another option would be to use a universal remote that has an integration, but with Logitech pulling out, that space is uncertain to say the least.

Thanks in advance.

TV’s are so hit and miss. I’ve given up on the smart tv concept and went with the harmony. Now it’s dying. Maybe we’ll need to develop one?

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Your approach with monitoring the TV power may be the only truly universal route. There may be some possibility with an Android based TV (in developer mode) and ADB, but that can be painful. I’ve also heard of some TVs with a built-in MQTT server. Not sure which brand that was. @jchurch?

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I did have MQTT server running at one point with Hisense TVs but don’t think it works anymore.

Yeah it works decently but still relies on the hubitat driver to decide if the TV is actually on/off or if it is just an odd power event. Basically above 35W it might be on and below 70W it might be off (according to my plug at least which is an IRIS 3210-L). That gray region is one of the main issues I had to play with because it can stay in there for around 5 seconds depending on what is happening.

Originally I just had it poll once and hope that it responded correctly after it was out of that gray region, which weirdly worked fine. My theory is that during that gray region, the TV isn’t responding to network requests and instead just stores them and answers them asap. But to make my method more universal I devised a way to keep on polling (max rate of one per second) while in that region and once the reported and expected states match the polling stops.

I have gotten the ON to be perfectly in time with picture displaying, but for off I can’t get the latency under 5 seconds reliably.

I also had the same thought about the Android TV’s which I believe are Sony on the high end and Hisense on the low end. I wonder if you could do something as simple as Tasker sideloaded and then maybe see the “wake state” of the TV and do something with that?

Honestly what would be kind of cool would be a zigbee or z-wave enabled tv even if it would effectively just function like a smart plug with power control and power monitoring.

Just thinking out loud here, but I wonder if you could mod a contact sensor and find a signal from the TV that is proportional to the power status (maybe the video signal?) and then tap off of that for the open/close status.

Could also do WiFi presence, but there are 3 problems with that:

  1. WiFi presence is sketchy for phones because on network is reliable, but off network is not. How you generally get around that is combining it with GPS and you get the best of both worlds.
  2. I don’t think these smart tv’s ever leave the network. Even when “off” as they aren’t really off, they are just in a low power state.
  3. Even if it does work it is likely extremely slow, considering we are talking in the domain of low single digit seconds.

But I haven’t tested it so maybe I am wrong.

Realised that after posting :smiley:. A dirty alternative would be to tape a light sensor to the power led, but that would have zero WAF.

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Actually though, that might have more merit than you think. That would be a perfect candidate for tapping a signal for a contact sensor since it is out on its own and is not critical to the function of the tv. Only question would be how “responsive” those LED’s are.

If my tv is a guide - it’s instant. You’d also need to have an idea how the sensor works as you probably can’t just feed in ~3V into the sensor and expect it to trigger.

Physical mods like that always have the downside of never really having a chance of going mainstream, but if there is no software approach that is viable, then hey what is there to lose?

Yeah you might have to step it down, but all we need is a binary on/off so the “step down” could literally just be a simple voltage divider. Never done one of those contact sensor mods, but iirc @april.brandt has with her QI chargers on her night stands, so she may know more about the input signal voltage range for those.

BTW, speaking of a software approach, if anyone has an android TV, I would be interested to see if the Tasker approach has any merit.

TBH I’d just go with a used harmony. Pretty sure that there is sizable user base that Logitech hopefully wouldn’t totally abandon especially as there probably is still value in the tech that someone might take it over (unlike squeezeboxes which got killed by cheap streamers). In any case it would still take a while before it ever goes under by which time it will either be sold or maybe even open sourced. In any case you’ll probably be on your next TV by then.

That’s probably the smart move, but that’s no fun :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Lol. Well I have put my money where my mouth is and bought a spare harmony+hub just in case my current one dies! :grinning:

Make sure you program it before the logitech servers definitely don’t :wink: get taken down. No good as paperweights.

For reference: I already am a harmony ultimate user (so outside of the roku hack, AFAIK there is no way to integrate anyway), but it is at a household that is separate from my hubitat centered smart home setup.

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Not sure if this would help the OP, but it looks like an interesting Harmony replacement and perhaps it can be integrated into some home automation platform?

You mean fakeroku?

Another option may be to hook up an IR receiver module to an arduino/ESP and decode the TV remote power on/off signals and then use that to trigger a virtual device on HE via hubduino or MQTT.

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Yeah there is a thread over here. It definitely looks interesting, but there are also some red flags due to how they are presenting what it can do.

umm… hello… nobody knows about serial control for TV’s? This is how commercial and pro-installs are done (unless the vendor provides a nice IP interface).

The current limiting factor of what you can achieve is your control system aka “hub” that can’t connect to a serial device properly. You could go with a global cache and rudimentary interface of that with Hubitat or something.

I think I remember having this discussion about A/V systems, remotes, how this is what separates the DIY consumer hubs from the pro-systems… yeah… @markus I think I do remember this conversation…

Anywho… go with a Roku TV (TCL TV’s are pretty decent) if you’re only option is a DIY hub and IP control. If you want to step up from consumer have a look at RTI.

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Yes, absolutely, I do have this in my notes for CORE, but this slipped my mind completely when answering this thread. Thank you for the reminder :slight_smile: There’s also the not-so-reliable CEC route which could actually work well for this use-case.

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What is the best method for controlling TCL’s? Controlling the TV isn’t necessarily what I am looking for, I am more looking for getting the current status of the TV. Now if the easiest way to do that is by controlling them and thereby knowing its state then so be it, but that seems like a much more expensive route to go.

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