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Philips Hue Setup


This guide will teach you how to integrate Philips Hue with CinemaVision.

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The Big Picture

At the end of this guide, you will have integrated your Philips Hue solution into your Kodi HTPC with CinemaVision. CinemaVision will be able to control lighting and set the scene as your Sequence is played, or as Pause/Resume/Abort events occur, giving you complete control over your movie theater experience.

What you won't need:

  1. To be a programmer, or have working knowledge of any programming language.

What you will need:

  1. Kodi installed and configured on an HTPC, with content scraped into the local Kodi database (not streaming).
  2. The Kodi CinemaVision Add-on installed, with a working Sequence (a working knowledge of setting up CinemaVision).
  3. A working Philips Hue Bridge with scenes programmed in, and some knowledge of the Hue interface.
  4. Notepad++ installed, or a similar plain text editor other than Notepad.
  5. Sample Action Files for your Hue solution.
  6. The patience to do some work to get the solution up and running. It's not hard, but it's not plug-and-play either.

Seting Up Groups

While CinemaVision is capable of controlling individual lights, to get a clean, uniform look when controlling lights it is recommended that you create Groups on the Hue Bridge and trigger those Groups using CinemaVision. Each Group can contain specific lights connected to your Hue Bridge.

Let's say, for example, that you have 3 lighting zones in your theater room controlled by your Hue:

Zone 1: Entrance Lights
Zone 2: Seating Lights
Zone 3: Screen Wall Lights

You would likely want to set up 5 Groups for the theater room that CinemaVision will use during the Sequence:

Group 1: Preshow - Seating & Entrance Zones set to 50%, Screen Wall Zone set to Off
Group 2: Trailers - Seating & Entrance Zones set to 20%, Screen Wall Zone set to Off
Group 3: Feature - All Zones set to 100% On or Off
Group 4: Pause Event - All Zones set to 20%
Group 5: Browsing Library & Abort Event - Seating Zone set to 20%, Entrance & Screen Wall Zones set to Off

When you've finished setting up the Groups on your Hue Bridge, copy down the number that the Bridge assigned to each Light or Group. We'll call the Light number your Light ID, and the Group number your Group ID. You'll use the Light ID to replace <hue-light> in your Action Files later in this guide. You'll use the Group ID to replace <hue-light-group> in your Action Files later in this guide. The advantage of using Groups is that it's far easier than trying to control each individual Light separately, and will save you some headaches.

Get Your Username

  1. Open Google Chrome or another browser.
  2. Using the address bar, browse to the following URL to find the internal IP Address of your Hue Bridge.
  3. Copy the internal IP Address for use later in this guide.
  4. Using the address bar, browse to the following URL to open the CLIP API Debugger.
    • http://<hue-bridge-ip>/debug/clip.html
      Hue CLIP API Debugger.png
  5. Type /api in the URL: field.
  6. Type {"devicetype":"CinemaVision"} in the Message Body: field.
  7. Press the button on your Philips Hue Bridge.
  8. Click on the Post button in the CLIP API Debugger.
  9. In the Command Response: field, you'll see a long string of characters after the word Username. These characters are your Username.
  10. Copy your Username and save it for later use in this guide.

Edit Your Action Files

For those who aren't familiar with CinemaVision Action Files, you'll find a guide here that covers the syntax, commands, modules and protocols of Action Files. That should help you get a better understanding of how they work and how to set them up.

Now that we have the Scene IDs and our Username, it's time to get into the fun stuff. Using Notepad++ or a similar plain text editor other than Notepad, open one of the CinemaVision Action Files that we downloaded earlier. There are instructions in each file, and all that you should have to do is replace some text per those instructions and you'll be on your way to a complete movie theater experience! We suggest you create one Action File per Scene that you created earlier in this guide.

When you have your Action Files ready, save them in your %CVROOT%\Actions directory.

Testing Your Action Files

Now that we have our Action Files configured, using the CLIP API Debugger, paste the commands from your Action File in the appropriate fields. If it's working properly, you will notice your Scene change each time you run the command.

If your Scene did not change, ensure that your IP Address and your Username are correct, and that you're attempting to control the right Light or Group. Case does matter, so make sure that your URL is typed correctly, or the command will fail. If the Light or Group did change, the test was successful. Now it's time to edit the CinemaVision Sequence, so let's open Kodi and launch the CinemaVision Add-on.

Edit Your Sequence

For those who aren't familiar with CinemaVision Sequences, you'll find a guide here that covers the Modules that are available for you to use in your Sequence, and what they can do. To create a new Sequence, launch the CinemaVision Add-on. This takes you to the Sequence Editor. For the purposes of this guide, we'll use the following example Sequence:

cinemavision_addon_action.png-cinemavision_addon_trivia.png-cinemavision_addon_action.png-cinemavision_addon_trailers.png-cinemavision_addon_action.png-cinemavision_addon_audioformatbumper.png-cinemavision_addon_feature.png-cinemavision_addon_command.png-cinemavision_addon_audioformatbumper.png-cinemavision_addon_feature.png-cinemavision_addon_command.png-cinemavision_addon_action.png

Here's a breakdown of how to set up the Modules in order of appearance:

! Edit the Module and change Action file path to the Preshow Action File we downloaded earlier in this guide.
Q This is your Trivia Module.
! Edit the Module and change Action file path to the Trailers Action File we downloaded earlier in this guide.
T This is your Trailers Module.
! Edit the Module and change Action file path to the Feature Action File we downloaded earlier in this guide.
A This is your Audio Format Bumpers Module.
F This is your Feature Module.
C Edit the Module and change Command to Skip, Argument to 4, and Condition to Feature queue is empty.
A This is your Audio Format Bumpers Module when multiple features are queued.
F This is your Features Module when multiple features are queued.
C Edit the Module and change Command to Back, Argument to 2, and Condition to Feature queue is full.
! Edit the Module and change Action file path to the Abort Event Action File we downloaded earlier in this guide.

Now that we have our Sequence created, we need to save it.

  1. Press C on your keyboard.
  2. Select Save As... and Name your Sequence.

Now we'll assign Action Files to events.

  1. Press C on your keyboard.
  2. Select Add-on settings.
  3. Scroll to the Actions menu.
  4. Activate the Execute action on sequence pause setting.
    • Set Action file path to the Pause Event Action File we created earlier in this guide.
  5. Set the Execute action on sequence resume setting to Last.
  6. Activate the Execute action on sequence abort setting.
    • Set Action file path to the Browsing Library & Abort Event Action File we created earlier in this guide.

That's it! We're all done. You're ready to start CinemaVision using the Sequence you created earlier in this guide. CinemaVision would like to thank @bry and @Timmiejane for their contributions to this guide. We couldn't have done it without them.


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CinemaVision began in 2014 as a collaboration to create content for use with your home theater, offering movie trivia slides and video bumpers. It has since grown to be THE PREMIER WAY to create and customize your preshow experience. Download the CinemaVision add-on for Kodi today from the official Kodi repository, and easily create a sequence of trivia, videos, trailers, home automation triggers and more that will bring the experience of a movie theater straight to your screen!

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