Loxone Training Day 2 - Short
Due to a bit of sleep deprivation, this rundown will be a bit shorter than the last one.
oThe AV control of the Loxone is rather limited. This is hard for us to adapt to because Control4 is so media focused. With Control4 I can tell the system what devices are in a room, tell them how they are connect, and the system basically programs itself. It contains built in logic that turn devices on and off when needed. The Loxone is not this. It is barely an AV control system at all. It could, theoretically, be programmed to control a complicated whole home AV system, but the amount of time it would take to program does not appear to be feasible for most clients in my opinion from my initial experience with the software. I can see us taking the time to program a smart TV into the system and maybe even a receiver and a media player like an Apple TV, but something like a video distribution matrix is really when the pain would start to set in.
Looking forward to upcoming projects, I can see a mixed solution in which a client uses Harmony or another smart remote to control their entire AV system, and we program in the very basics into the Loxone such as whole home off or a party scene. There is a way to Integrate these remotes by using IR receivers in the Loxone system and having the smart remote send out a command that triggers a scene in the Loxone system. There is certainly more to learn, so please do not take this as the final word on the AV capabilities. It is only my initial impressions from training thus far.
Whole Home Music
Loxone has a music server that directly integrates with the controller. This music server supports Google music, Spotify, TuneIn, and music streaming from your mobile or tablet using Airplay technology from Apple. Noticeably absent is Pandora and Amazon music. Pandora is understandable since the music consumption in Europe uses Spotify primarily and Pandora has a very low user base. Hopefully Pandora is added in the future, but as long as clients have apple devices, overcoming this by using airplay will solve this issue. Each output zone for the music server has its own Airplay capability. Once music is streaming to one location, you can combine the other zones into this stream through the Loxone app. There is no zone combining capability for grouping a few zones into one name and being able to Airplay directly to these zones as one group by streaming to one Airplay zone from your phone. The new iOS update allows you to stream to multiple airplay zones at once, so this will not be an issue going forward.
In addition to the analog audio outputs on the server, it allows additional virtual zones that can stream wirelessly to other speakers and receivers using UPnP technology. An example of this would be a 6 room system in which the 4 zone music server from Loxone is playing audio out to 4 of the rooms using its analog audio outputs fed into an amplifier and another two zones streaming over UPnP to Yamaha surround sound receiver or active speakers. I say Yamaha because they support UPnP and are by far my favorite receivers on the market.
The system utilizes the music server for other nifty functions such as alarm siren, voice to text feedback, doorbell sounds, and other notifications.
Cool Programming Blocks
Programming in Loxone is done in programming blocks using a visual interface utilizing connections from block to block for to pass along variables and actions. One of the blocks that we used today was specifically made for a bathroom in which it control the lights with one delay and the bathroom fan with a separate delay so that the client can have the lights turn on when they enter the room and turn off after they exit. This block allows the fan to stay on for longer to remove the "air" from the room. Once Loxone comes out with a smell detector, we can avoid using the delay and trigger off of smell or moisture :-)
That is all for today, more to come.
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Matthew Mathis has designed home technology systems since 2003 and has been involved in construction even longer. This site used to be devoted to this company but it now it is a place for me to rant and rave.