I am quite new to the Internet of Things, and my wife bought a TV today (a pretty good deal) from Amazon Prime Day - I included the link so that we are talking about the same device. Now, in the home already we have a Chromecast (Gen 1), and bought but not installed yet locks for the front and rear doors. All of which can be controlled using Google Home. We have however, not bought a device like a Google Home to work as a Hub (I worked for a supplier to Huawei among others, while living in China and know what a lot of data collected is used for, so I am a littler paranoid about that kind of tech).

Also, please note that as we continue to do renovations in our home we will be adding ceiling fans, thermostats, cameras, etc. all of which ideally could be linked and controlled through Google Home.

My question is this: in order to connect all of these (current and future) devices do I need to buy a "Hub"? I have read online and haven't been able to find a definitive answer. My main concern right now is being able to control the TV from my phone without having to use a different app (Roku) as I like the simplicity of the Google Home App.

In short - should I invest in some type of "Hub" or do I not need to?

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    This question is a bit on the vague side, – hardillb Jul 17 '19 at 8:08
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    @hardillb, what information do you require to try and clarify it? – J Crosby Jul 17 '19 at 14:18
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    You seem to be basically asking "Will I be able to control some devices I might buy in the future if I buy a Google Home". The last paragraph of my answer covers that as well as anybody can. – hardillb Jul 17 '19 at 14:23
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    This question would be clearer without the personal context. For example, the first paragraph does not seem to have relevant detail. – Sean Houlihane Jul 17 '19 at 20:08

Google Assistant is not something you buy, you buy devices that support Google Assistant to varying degrees (e.g. a Nest Home Hub Max supports just about everything possible, where as a Google Home Mini supports less because it doesn't have a screen or a camera).

Nearly all modern Android phones support Google Assistant, which will respond to the "OK, Google" keyword or via text, squeeze (pixel phones), custom button. All the features that you could trigger via a Google Home device can be triggered by interacting with the Google assistant on the phone.

You can also install the Google Home app (which is needed to set up new devices anyway)

As for the TV, I can't see any mention of Android TV support in the listing, so it won't have any direct integration with the Google Assistant Smart Home control. I have to assume that you will be plugging the Chromecast into a HDMI port. Assuming that at least one of the HDMI ports supports HDMI CEC then you will be able turn the TV on/off and switch to the Chromecast input (but not away from it).

Voice control of playing content will depend on what services you are signed up for. By default the assistant can search YouTube for video but "Browse" tab (3rd from the left at the bottom of the screen) in the Google home app offers me content from all the video apps I have installed (on the phone) that support casting to a Chromecast device.

Currently all control of devices (except Chromecast) are routed via the cloud from the Google back end to the device manufacturer's system then to the device, but Google have recently announced support for local control, where commands will be issued from across the local network to devices, it is not yet clear if this will also be possible via a phone or will require a device like a Google Home. (The stated reason for this is to reduce latency and it will fall back to cloud control)

  • I have installed the Google Home App - I find controlling my Chromecast easier with it than the individual apps (Netflix, Crave, etc.). I have read online that this TV can be setup to work with Home, but not a necessarily in Canada (where I am). – J Crosby Jul 17 '19 at 14:20

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