Adding Alexa to the Broadlink Home Theater Control

Alexa Voice Control Works Well With the Broadlink® RM4 Pro Emitter:

Alexa uses Broadlink skill to control RF blinds

We use the Alexa voice control system because it is very convenient, particularily when you have a lot of devices to control, such as you find in a home theater room: (previous article)

  • Blackout blinds
  • Projector screen
  • Projector (or TV) power
  • Audio system power
  • Selecting HDMI input
  • Selecting sound mode & level

Amazon has put a Zigbee radio in this 4th generation product, but this project does not use the Zigbee radio. Any of the Alexa voice control products can be used to control your home theater with the Broadlink emitter, including the Echo Show, Echo Dot, Echo Studio, Echo Auto, Echo Flex, etc.

Using the Broadlink emitter (below) involves downloading a Broadlink SKILL to the Alexa app on your phone or tablet.

Alexa interfaces with Broadlink emitter to control blackout blinds, projectors

As discussed in the article 3 (cloning RF blackout blinds), the Broadlink unit is an emitter that can "clone" both RF digital radio commands and IR (infrared) commands.

It can directly control our RF blackout blinds and IR (infrared) devices, such as our projector and screen. It can also control many other devices, including heaters, TV, fans, lighting, etc that can be controlled with IR remote controls.

the Broadlink hub controls RF blackout blind motors

We have windows on three sides in our great room, so we need blackout blinds on two sides, and the retractable 10 foot projector screen on the third side.

We did not want the great room to become a dedicated theater room, so it is really nice to get the room back once any projector viewing is over.

We use the projector for staff training and Roku movie viewing, but we also use it for special sports events such as the awesome 2021 America's Cup monohull sailboat racing at speeds up to 60 mph.

Alexa controls BenQ 4K projector with Broadlink IR/RF emitter

Our Benq HT3550 projector uses the newer 4K DLP chip that quietly produces excellent picture quality.

There are two ways to clone the IR (infrared) codes on the Broadlink emitter. The first method uses a numerical code that will automatically create the functions of the physical remote on the virtual screen remote. This is by far the easiest way because the virtual remote will already be fully functional (pre-programmed).

The other method is to clone the Benq IR (infrared) physical remote control (we used this method). Since the projector requires no adjustments to the picture, we only need to power it up (and turn it off).

If you hover your mouse over the pictures on this page, you will see some information about the picture, and the picture number, if it applies.

Download & Install the Alexa App, then Install the Broadlink Skill:

Alexa controls blackout blinds, BenQ projector or TV, and Roku

The first step is to go to the Google Play store (if you have an Android phone or tablet), or the IOS store (if you have an Apple phone or tablet).

When you search for 'Alexa', you'll find many different apps, so it is important to get the official Alexa app (with the icon shown here).

When you first open the app, it will go through a setup process where you will create an account on the Amazon cloud. You will also need to install the Broadlink skill.

We won't cover that here as it is a very intuitive procedure. We are also assuming you have installed the Broadlink app and set up the blinds and projector, as per the previous articles in this series (see below for menu).

PLEASE NOTE: Whenever you add a new device to the Alexa app, you can ask Alexa to discover it first; just say this (do this for your initial setup too):

"Alexa, discover devices"

Summary:

how to use Alexa app to control blackout blinds and projector

After you have set up the Alexa app and added the Broadlink skill, you can get to the important part of the app by pressing the More button at the lower right. The key menu item that you will use in the next article is the one marked as Routines

You may have come across the term SCENES in other home automation systems. In the the Alexa app, they are called ROUTINES (these are synonymous terms).

You can easily set up a routine for a home theater system. This routine would do things like this: lower blackout blinds, deploy projector screen, dim the lights, turn projector on, activate audio system, select input ... with a single voice command such as ROKU ON.

Buy The RF-IR Hub In Our Online Store

We have the excellent BroadLink emitter. You will have direct control over our blind motors and window/skylight openers.

You can purchase these products in our DIY online automation store.

We sincerely hope you enjoy our advanced technology products; if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at any time!

Adrian Biffen
Senior Tech
NodeSwitch Controls


Articles in this series:

Part 1: Alexa + Benq + Broadlink + Roku + Denon: Introduction

Part 2: Download the Broadlink App and Add the Broadlink Emitter

Part 3: Clone an RF Remote Control Button to the Broadlink Emitter

Part 4: Clone an IR Remote Control Button to the Broadlink Emitter

Part 5: Download the Alexa App and Install the Broadlink Skill (You are here)

Part 6: Create Single Routines with Alexa App: BLINDS CLOSE

Part 7: Create A Master Routine with Alexa App: ROKU ON