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All you need to know to set up your own
Here is a quick demo of how I use the Amazon Echo with my home automation and home theater control. This is not meant as a how to but rather an example of what is possible.
1 - My echo normally misses as bad as yours did.
2 - Try "Alexa Tell Simple Control to change room to Family Room". Then you don't need to keep saying 'in the family room'.
3 - You neglected, painfully, to explain that you need to either have an expensive hub or pay a $49 license fee to Simple Control and download a software program that acts like a hub to your Mac/Android in order for the Simple Control skill to work with Echo. In addition that computer (if you chose to just buy the license) needs to be awake for echo use the Simple Control skill. Strange and poor implementation, I don't know if Simple Control was bound by Amazon to do something like that or it was a money grab by Simple Control but it sucks.
4 - This demo was a reason for everyone not to buy one of these, it was embarrassingly bad. And I don't mean you should be embarrassed, I applaud you for leaving the warts in there, but the utility of this device isn't good.
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