Best TV for home automation

Hi guys,

I am looking to buy a new TV to replace my 10 years old Plasma. I’ve been looking at options that do not break the bank. Here are some of the stuff I think are important.

  • Able to turn on/off the TV
  • Able to change different channel or input.
  • Able to open the browser at a particular URL.
  • Able to overlay text on the screen
  • Have Ethernet jack.
  • Not produced by a Chinese manufacturer.

Nice to have:

  • Support Chromecast

I see several bindings with various level of support including LG, Panasonic, and Samsung. It looks like LG is the one to go with in terms of automation support.

Has anyone done research in this area recently and could share their thoughts?

Thank you,

Good luck with that. Where are you located?

You will de able to turn the TV off but rarely ON as the network connection is off when the TV is OFF
The other option is to use a google routine via the chromecast to tell “OK google turn the TV ON” for this to work you need a Chromecast enabled TV or a chormecast dongle in an HDMI

Another option would be to use a Logitech Harmony Hub or Broadlink RM Mini 3.

I have Chromecasts in my TVs, but not in the HDMI-CEC ports (so they can’t wake the TV). Instead, I have a rule that detects when a Chromecast is active and turns on the respective TV (and sound bar) using a Harmony Hub. Another rule turns the TV off after five minutes of inactivity.

I haven’t tried the RM Mini 3, but it’s a lot less expensive than a Harmony Hub.

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@Bruce_Osborne I am in Canada. What I meant is not a Chinese vendor such as Hisense or TLC and so on. It’s okay to be produced in China.

@vzorglub & @rpwong I do use the Google Chromecast binding for playing MP3 stream and for TLS, but I never try to send such a command. Can you send the equivalence without having to speak to it?

There is a Sony binding being created at the moment, check to see what it supports as Sony make a range of TVs that are Android TV os based and these have chromecast built in and can run Kodi and other apps.

I’m not sending any commands to my Chromecast. I just have the idling channel configured as an item, and trigger my rules based on whether it’s on or off. The magic is really in the Harmony Hub.

Keep in mind that the Chromecast can only turn on your TV if it’s in the HDMI-CEC port, but it can’t switch to a different HDMI input or control other HDMI devices. As far as I know, the only way to have total control over your AV system is with a universal remote like the Harmony or RM Mini, but I’m not familiar with the new Sony Android TVs or the binding that’s in progress.

Personally, I favour “dumb” TVs that are merely end points for video output. All I want are 4-5 HDMI inputs and optical/HDMI-ARC to send audio to a sound bar. I like the idea of video overlay, but I haven’t seen a compelling use case. I’m not sure that’ll happen now that inexpensive smart displays are so easy to come by.

My vote goes for Sony Bravia and i bought one last year. I think when it comes to DIY there is nothing but Android OS. Of course official software still sucks, but at least you can manually install an APK. This means you can have Total Commander, Firefox, HABPanel, whatever else you want.
And it does have all the remote control features you are asking for.

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@matt1 Binding ? Cool! URL please ?

Not sure what it allows you to do.

I would’t select my TV based on this as I doubt you’ll really need or benefit from these features, they’re hard to reliably find out, subject to change, and most noteworthy, a number of (better) alternatives exist for zapping, browsing and notifiying.
It diverts you away from focusing on the more important aspects and severely limits choices.
[ I actually speak from my experience as I, too, had a bunch of “important” criteria for my new TV that really turned out not to be that, while underrating other “classic” ones such as HDR, HDMI ARC and CEC compatibility and personal(!) assessment of picture quality.
Now with streaming contents, I’m happy to have these. HDR makes for a real difference. ]

My Samsung has an Ethernet jack that works with WakeOnLAN, allowing for remote ON.
This is really the most important feature IMHO when it comes to home automation.

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Thanks guys. I forgot that another important one is to be able to open a browser to view a camera stream. But I think this is supported by all modern TV currently; am I correct?

The other things is the TV OS. LG and Samsung have their own TV OS. The rest runs Android. I am not sure how often the TV android OS is updated. Would you guys pick say Sony with Android OS over LG WebOS?

@rpwong I didn’t know about the Harmony Hub and the Rm Mini until you mentioned. Very nifty functionality. The Rm Mini has 360 degree IR transmission. The only thing is that it’s Chinese made and require cloud. If I am to use it, I will have to figure out how to get that working while disabling its Internet access. Definitely is cheaper than the Harmony though.

Fyi - sony binding does all you need (with the exception of text overlay) - check out Sony Devices Binding

This is in the process of being reviewed for a merge btw…

EDIT: make sure you get one with an ethernet port. You’ll be able to setup the TV to wake on lan (which the binding supports). Do not go with wireless only (that is powered down when off)

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In fact my TV does turn on over wifi from “Video and TV SideView” app.

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I have two 2018 (I think) LG TVs. Quite happy with them

  • Wake on lan to turn on. You can turn it off too
  • Able to change channel, launch specific app, or set to input (hdmi 1/2/3)
  • able to change volume
  • You can launch a browser url
 tv = actions.get("lgwebos", "lgwebos:WebOSTV:living")
  • You can overlay text / display a message for several seconds
LG_TV0_Toast.sendCommand("Hello World")
actions.showToast("Hello World")

  • no chromecast on mine (2018). Maybe the newer ones have it?
  • has ethernet port (100mbps), wifi, bluetooth, usb port
  • hdmi cec

Checkout the binding

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Thanks @JimT. My only concern is that ConnectSdk which the binding depends on is no longer maintained. It looks like LG has dropped this effort. It is possible that a future WebOS update will break more functionality.

I wasn’t aware of that issue with connectsdk. Perhaps try asking @sprehn about the future of the binding.

lol - I heard they started that in the newer TVs (is yours like 2019+?). If it works in the sideview app, it will work in the sony addon as well…

I love that LG often tries out interesting new ideas. I hate that those ideas are often half-baked and quickly abandoned. This sentiment applies mostly to their phone business, but it makes it hard for me to trust their products. That being said, they’re producing some really fantastic displays.

When you say “able to change different channel”, do you mean using the TV’s built-in tuner or an external cable/satellite box?

If OH commands are sent to the RM Mini 3 over your local network (which I believe to be the case), you can probably block its Internet access in your router after setting it up. However, you might need the cloud in order to configure it (as is the case with the Harmony Hub).

The Harmony Hub Companion goes on sale pretty frequently in Canada (I live in Victoria). The Companion remote is excellent, and runs for a long time on a coin-cell battery. I also have a Harmony Hub Elite, and the large remote is uncomfortable to hold, clumsy to use, and has to live in its charging base.

The downside of an IR remote is that it’s one-way, so OH doesn’t get any feedback from the TV. In practice, I’ve never found that to be an issue. Since my hubs sit right next to the TVs and blast them with powerful IR beams, commands never fail. For better or worse, there’s a reason that IR is still widely used.