HASS.Agent turns your Windows PC into a Home Assistant media player

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HASS.Agent has slowly, but steadily, been gaining feature parity with other applications aiming to integrate Home Assistant with your Windows PC, notebook, or tablet. The most recent release turns Windows into a Home Assistant controllable media player. This functionality does have a few caveats though, of which you can learn in this short overview.

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The first thing to note is that this integration will not support every Windows application you throw at it. Specifically mentioned in the release notes is the VLC media player. Put simply, the application you want to control has to use the Windows.Media APIs. Luckily, other popular apps, such as Spotify for Windows, are supported. In my testing, I have also found videos played through the Chrome browser to be fully supported, too.

Home Assistant controlling a song being played on the Spotify Windows app
Home Assistant controlling a song being played on the Spotify Windows app
Home Assistant controlling a YouTube video in Chrome
Home Assistant controlling a YouTube video in Chrome
Home Assistant controlling a iPlayer video in Chrome
Home Assistant controlling a iPlayer video in Chrome

As you might have been able to tell by the screenshots, this integration unfortunately does not support any cover art. So while you do get to see the currently playing track, along with the artist, you have to look at a drab looking media player in your Dashboard. Incidentally, when playing a YouTube video in Chrome, it will display the channel’s name and the title of the video.

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WebView lets you instantly open websites remotely

The second big addition to HASS.Agent 2022.12 is the WebView command. This allows you to remotely open any site on your Windows PC using Home Assistant. The WebView command uses Microsoft Edge’s core to display the sites, without having to launch a full-fledged browser.

I have not found much use for this command yet, and in my case, I have found it to not work very well with multiple monitors.

The configuration of a WebView command in HASS.Agent.
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Liam Alexander Colman, the author and maintainer of Home Assistant Guides.

About Liam Alexander Colman

Liam Alexander Colman has been using Home Assistant for various projects for quite some time. What started off with a Raspberry Pi quickly became three Raspberry Pis and eventually a full-blown server. I now use Unraid as my operating system, and Home Assistant happily runs in a Docker container. My personal setup includes many Zigbee devices as well as integrations with existing products such as my Android TV box. Read on to find out more on how I got started with Home Assistant.

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