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dhoward
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Posted: December 06 2016 at 21:59 | IP Logged Quote dhoward

Just a quick note to anyone who is interested in live
streaming TV (cordcutting). I have used Sling TV, PS
Vue, and most recently DirecTV Now. I can say without
a doubt that DirecTV Now is the WORST service I have
ever had the displeasure of using. It constantly
buffers and hangs and I have been unable to watch a
single show to completion. The streaming quality is
not as good as the other services and worse of all,
they are ACTIVELY blocking rooted devices. I cannot
stress enough that I hope no one uses this service.

I can highly recommened PS Vue. This service has been
reliable, has a decent number of channels (it was
better before they dropped the Viacom channels but
still pretty good) with some of the best streaming
quality all at a reasonable price. They also have an
online cloud DVR (DirecTV does NOT). They allow 5
simultaneous streams (DirecTV only allows 2). The only
issue I have with PS Vue is the odd home location
restriction.

I can also recommend Sling TV (at least the Orange
service package). They had some early teething issues
but now have a decent number of channels with very
reasonable add-on packages. They allow 3 simultaneous
streams with no restrictions on location or root. The
interface is not as polished as PS Vue but still more
than acceptable.

Dave.
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smarty
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Posted: December 07 2016 at 16:08 | IP Logged Quote smarty

Interesting to hear. Not too surprised about DirectTV (AT&T) and jail
broken devices....again AT&T....

Curious to hear what devices you are using and why...as I too am
considering dropping regular cable TV (I already have/use a HDHR for
local channels).

Spending a lot of good time on Amazon Alexa echo/dot voice
integration with PH via BWSystems HA bridge...real happy how that is
going..... I need to post a better PH "how to".

Glad to see your posts..... things are pretty solid,, but I just have to
ask; any update to share on a bug fix version release?

Edited by smarty - December 07 2016 at 16:10


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smarty
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Posted: December 26 2016 at 09:16 | IP Logged Quote smarty

Sling via a Roku stick maybe?

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dhoward
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Posted: December 26 2016 at 12:16 | IP Logged Quote dhoward

Steve,

I guess I should have expected that kind of nonsense from AT&T. I have pretty much been unable to use DirecTV Now on my Fire TV as the service has never been stable enough
to watch anything longer than 5 minutes without buffers, freezes, and crashes. I hear that those with Apple TV have not had these types of issues so apparently something
to do with their app. As such, Ive canceled my service and renewed my PS Vue subscription. I also went ahead and took advantage of another month of Sling TV to see how
they've changed since I last used them. They've definitely improved but are still missing some key channels (PS Vue is as well when the dropped Viacom but they do have the
Discovery networks, which Sling doesnt, and my wife loves them more than Comedy Central and MTV).

Before the DirecTV Now experiement (fiasco), I was on the PS Vue Elite Slim plan for $45 and was paying Amazon $15 a month for HBO Now. PS Vue is now running a special on
their Ultra Slim package (everything in Elite Slim plus HBO and Showtime) for $55 (this price is good for 1 year). I dropped the HBO Now plan and went with the Ultra Slim
and I'll just be monitoring to see what Hulu and others eventually offer. The PS Vue has been great. The "guide" is not as good (in my opinion) as DirecTV Now but is
better than Sling TV. They also have their DVR service and I almost never experience any hanging or buffering issues.

My setup at home consists of a Roku 2 XS, a Roku 3, a Fire TV, a Fire TV 4K, and a Chromecast. I also have an HD Homerun for the locals as well as a standalone HD OTA
tuner. I have a couple of slingboxes at the house and one at my in-laws in South Korea. All of my video sources (and any audio sources such as tuner, bluetooth receiver,
etc) are fed into a 16x16 component video matrix switch with the resulting outputs running to all the TV's in the house. This is great because it allows me to watch ANY
video/audio source on ANY TV in the house and I keep ALL of equipment centrally housed in my wiring closet. I have a QNAP 8TB NAS drive that Ive ripped all my DVD's and
Blu-rays to and I run both a Plex and a Playon server that allows me to watch any of my movie library on the Roku's or Fire's. The Roku's are controlled via the PowerHome
Roku plugin, the Fire TV's are controlled via infrared using a FLIRC USB dongle. Im experimenting with a Fire TV plugin that uses the ADB (Android Debug Bridge) to backend
commands to it. Most of the other devices are controlled via IR through my Global Cache units. I also subscribe to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime so Im never at a loss
for anything to watch and don't miss cutting the cord. The biggest hassle is the "spread out" nature of all my video sources having to jump between the PS Vue channel, the
Slingbox in Korea, the Plex channel, the Playon channel, the Netflix channel, etc. Things are getting better in that regard but still has a ways to go.

Would love to see an update on your Alexa integration. Ive been working/improving/building my initial solution which has been working real well but I'd still like for a
simpler solution for users to implement. They'll need to setup their free Amazon Lambda account and then upload a script which I can supply. It's not really terrible but
may be daunting for some. The most annoying thing is that you have to "launch" using something like "Tell" or "Ask" a "keyword" (the keyword(s) you assigned to your Alexa
skill). The advantage is that I can do quite a bit such as launching macros, controlling devices, and requesting status. The probability engine that Im working on allows
me to be less structured in my commands without forcing me to specify an exact phrase to control a device (the HA bridge may not have this requirement either....I never
investigated deep enough).

I really hope to have the next release ready soon. The snag I had on the z-wave protocol that forced me to pretty much rewrite that whole module has been resolved and Im
nearly done with my initial implementation attempt. Some aspects of the protocol still elude me but I really like z-wave and think it will be a hit once I release it. Once
I finish the z-wave implementation, that should be the last of the major implementations and I'll just be down to finalizing the various bug fixes and minor enhancement
requests.

Dave.
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smarty
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Posted: July 14 2017 at 19:07 | IP Logged Quote smarty

Dave,
I have started to play around with my Fire TV boxes. I have installed ADB and can send some simple ADB commands to them for "remote like" control. I can send the ADB.exe commands via a DOS CMD window, or by using the ph_run command.

I am curious about the Fire TV plug-in you mention above. I would love to figure out how to get the ADB return info from the ADB issued ph_run command (how else can PH send something to the ADB.exe file and get the return info? Is that even possible?).

Right now, I am just using the ADB to "wake up" my Fire TV box when I tell my system to switch all the TV and receiver inputs (I don't want the TV screen to be blank, otherwise the wife thinks she broke something).

"Alexa, turn on Fire TV" or "Alexa, turn on the bedroom Fire TV" is what I have the wife saying (she won't admit it, but she likes the convenience of the voice control throughout the house).


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smarty
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Posted: June 17 2018 at 14:06 | IP Logged Quote smarty

Anything more with respect to the Fire TV ADB based plugin....I am a willing beta tester :)



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dhoward
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Posted: June 20 2018 at 07:05 | IP Logged Quote dhoward

Smarty,

When I get a chance, I'll post what I have for the Fire TV plugin including the source code. Im not happy with it though since it is slow and prone to
just hanging but it does ok when it does work. The biggest problem is that the ADB interface is just so clunky.

I much prefer to control the Fire TV with a FLIRC device. I found out that you can even do this for Fire TV sticks and devices that don't come with USB
ports. The FLIRC is a small USB IR receiver that converts IR codes into keystrokes (the FLIRC appears to the Fire device as a keyboard).

Ive also been working on the idea of using an ESP8266 WiFi board with an Arduino Leonardo (or equivalent). The Leonardo can appear as a HID device
including USB keyboard and coupled with an ESP8266 would allow PowerHome to remotely send keystrokes to a Fire TV. This would remove the need for an IR
sender device that the FLIRC uses.

Anyways, it'll probably a week or so for me to round up and publish my latest codebase with instructions but I'll post it as soon as I get a chance.

Dave.
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XavierK
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Posted: August 25 2018 at 06:07 | IP Logged Quote XavierK

dhoward wrote:
Smarty,

When I get a chance, I'll
machines/">definitely try cpap machines and post
what I have for the Fire TV
plugin including the source code. Im not happy with it
though since it is slow and prone to
just hanging but it does ok when it does work. The
biggest problem is that the ADB interface is just so
clunky.

I much prefer to control the Fire TV with a FLIRC device.
I found out that you can even do this for Fire TV sticks
and devices that don't come with USB
ports. The FLIRC is a small USB IR receiver that converts
IR codes into keystrokes (the FLIRC appears to the Fire
device as a keyboard).

Ive also been working on the idea of using an ESP8266
WiFi board with an Arduino Leonardo (or equivalent). The
Leonardo can appear as a HID device
including USB keyboard and coupled with an ESP8266 would
allow PowerHome to remotely send keystrokes to a Fire TV.
This would remove the need for an IR
sender device that the FLIRC uses.

Anyways, it'll probably a week or so for me to round up
and publish my latest codebase with instructions but I'll
post it as soon as I get a chance.

Dave.


Hi Dave, did you ever post the source code for the Fire
TV plugin anywhere? Cheers.

Edited by XavierK - December 02 2022 at 09:24
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dhoward
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Posted: August 27 2018 at 19:00 | IP Logged Quote dhoward

Xavier,

I definitely got sidetracked. In any event, Ive zipped and uploaded it now. You can download the full source and the compiled plugin from here:
https://www.power-home.com/download/phfiretv.zip.

The source is C# written using Visual Studio 2010. To actually use it in PowerHome, you should copy the ph_firetv.dll and ph_firetv.pdb files to the
PowerHome plugins directory. You'll also want to copy the phfiretv.ini file to the plugins directory and edit accordingly. Once copied, you'll need to
register the DLL by opening a command prompt using "Run as Administrator" and navigating to the plugins directory. Then execute this statement:

C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v4.0.30319\regasm.exe ph_firetv.dll /tlb:ph_firetv.tlb /codebase

You should get a message that the DLL was successfully registered. In PowerHome under the "PowerHome->Setup->Plugins" of PH Explorer, the "Launch Data
(ActiveX Classsname) for the plugin will be: PH_FireTV.phfiretv. You'll want to include the path the edited phfiretv.ini file in the "Initialization
Data" (ex: c:\powerhome\plugins\phfiretv.ini).

Of course, you'll have to have ADB already setup and installed. You can look at the phfiretv.cs C# source file under the PHPI_Command function for a
list of valid commands. An example to send the "up" key would be:

ph_picmd(2,"FIRETV",0,0,0,"up","")

To send keystrokes such as the "a" key, you would use something like this:

ph_picmd(2,"FIRETV",0,0,0,"key","a")

Anyways, I havent had much luck with the plugin and it seems to lock up the ADB interface on my FireTV fairly regularly requiring me to reboot it to
get control back. If anybody wants to add/improve upon the sourcecode, please have a go at it.

Dave.

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QuickCarl2K1
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Posted: December 03 2018 at 12:47 | IP Logged Quote QuickCarl2K1

Hi Dave,

Just wanted to comment about the current state of
DTVN... I'm using it on my Roku TV and two FireTV
devices. It has been excellent for me. I have ATT
fiber to the house and 5Ghz WiFi for all devices.

Only issue I have is with their Beta TrueCloud DVR, it
is somewhat iffy at times. Loses programs and has
limited capacity (20 hours) which is not near enough
space. I have heard rumors that they are going to be
making a 'box' available for local storage.

Thanks for all that you do.

- Carl

PS - back to using PowerHome after years of absence.
Been trying to locate reg information for my account,
but can't find it at this time.
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dhoward
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Posted: December 06 2018 at 17:41 | IP Logged Quote dhoward

Carl,

Concerning your registration information...send me an email with any info you can remember about your registration
(full name, email address used, physical address used, etc) and I can check the database and forward your information
to you.

Dave.
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QuickCarl2K1
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Posted: December 07 2018 at 04:17 | IP Logged Quote QuickCarl2K1

Thanks Dave, will do!
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