Abject Newbie looking for help in (complicated?) media configurations

Hi, everyone. I’m new to Home Assistant but a long time IOT/home automation person looking to make a fully integrated solution so that my family can more effectively use everything without going to a million different places. Home Assistant looks excellent for this, and I started to set it up.

Before I get too far - one of the things that has always been a challenge for my family has been our complicated media setup. We have a home theater receiver (HEOS compatible), with a smart tv (Vizio SmartCast). I also have a whole house audio setup with a Logitech Media Server ( and squeezebox) and use it for Spotify in addition to music on my own server. And a logitech Harmony which makes at least the home theater setup better but doesn’t do much for the streaming music services. And so on. Each individual piece can be integrated into Home Assistant, but the way I’ve seen it work so far, I end up with the digital equivalent of several remote controls.

Here’s the way I’d love for this to work, but I haven’t seen anything else work quite like this.
I’d like to have a panel for each media location (or zone) - kitchen, deck speakers, living room, etc. That panel can select an activity - listen to spotify, or local music; watch TV or Netflix; etc. And once an activity is selected, that panel should expand to have the appropriate controls for that activity - selecting playlists or chosing an artist for Spotify; driving the Netflix or cable box UI for that; etc. For Bonus points, I’d like to be able to group locations together so that whatever is playing on one is also routed to the other. For even more bonus points, I can give voice commands to my echo or Siri to do some common things.

I have all of the hardware to do this and with enough clicking around on enough apps I can make all of this happen myself, but I don’t know where to get started on building a UI that works this way.

Has anyone seen or built a lovelace panel that works even remotely like the one that I describe?

Thanks for the great work on Home Assistant - it’s so far the first thing I’ve played with that seems to have a shot at getting me where I want to go.


I would start with creating the action you want to achieve, like activating the action you want to do. So create a switch/scene/automation for “listen to Spotify”, “watch movie” and so one, and then try to figure out with UI.

Small step is the best way, I think.

I’d like to design this from the outside in, starting with the user experience, but agree that starting simple is the way to go. “Listen to Music” would likely be implemented by telling my Harmony to “listen to music” (which it already knows how to do), but then, as I understand it, I’d need a different control to interact with the chosen source (ie spotify), which would be different than the control I’d use to interact with My Music library. I’m hoping there’s a better way than this.

So if I start simple, I need something for each location - perhaps just the kitchen to start with - and a way to select from among more than one music source (select between Spotify and My Library, perhaps), and then have a way to interact with that source (say searching for artists, albums, or playlists).

What’s the right way to think about how to implement this in Home Assistant?

Thanks again for all the help…