xraydoc

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Original poster
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Disclaimer -- I have NO connection to the company, just an incredibly happy user.

I ordered a Starling Home Hub a couple months ago and my device was finally delivered. The little thing is amazing. It's a 2" cube that connects to a home network with an ethernet cable and enables virtually all Nest products to connect to Apple HomeKit. Virtually plug & play - just need to authenticate the Nest or Google account.

Everything shows up on the Apple Home app on my iPhone/iPad. My two Nest thermostats, 7 cameras (including a Hello doorbell), two Nest x Yale locks and my Nest Protect smoke detectors. I can also arm/disarm my Nest Guard, and the occupancy sensors on the Nest Thermostats are even supported and their status is displayed on the status bar of the Home app.

I know this can be done using HomeBridge and a small server, but this thing is an incredibly simple turnkey device for those who don't feel like learning how to edit JSON files or compile code.

Pretty darn cool.

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StumpyBloke

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Apr 21, 2012
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Have seen a video review of this on YouTube and the guy highly recommend it. Apparently though a limitation is no audio on cameras and doorbells? Have you found this?
 
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Itinj24

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Have seen a video review of this on YouTube and the guy highly recommend it. Apparently though a limitation is no audio on cameras and doorbells? Have you found this?
I was gonna ask the OP about this too because apparently there was a firmware update to fix this... very interested in the Nest Hello Doorbell video camera. Sick and tired of waiting for a native HomeKit one to be released. Netatmo was supposed to release one in quarter four of 2019. Were almost on quarter two of 2020 and still nothing. I’m just afraid that Google will pull the plug on the Starling Hub one day.

 
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YatBob

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Apr 23, 2014
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I have also been watching the Starling and will give it a try but every time I visit the website it is still not available, not a fan of placing an order for something to be shipped in the future, once it is in stock I will order, really looks like something I could use/want.
 
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Itinj24

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I have also been watching the Starling and will give it a try but every time I visit the website it is still not available, not a fan of placing an order for something to be shipped in the future, once it is in stock I will order, really looks like something I could use/want.
Yeah even the OP mentioned it took a couple months to get it.
 
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xraydoc

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there are buttons for two-away audio on the Home app when watching a video feed. Haven’t tried it yet though. Will experiment tomorrow morning.

Starling seems like a pretty small operation. They get a shipment of parts then they build and ship. But appears their shipping speed is improving.
 
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CoryLancaster

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Mar 15, 2020
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Anybody know if there is a way to make the Nest Hello announce through HomePod instead of the chime with the starling hub and HomeKit?
 
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jeepik

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Oct 2, 2009
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I have the hub and i am not impressed

The camera notifications are on a delay compared to the nest app

Also i am seeing the sterling hub best connected accessories take a few seconds to sync longer when launching the HomeKit all
 
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Lucky736

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Jan 18, 2004
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How does this change with the changes and agreements to the standard mentioned at WWDC. Will we need this much longer?
 
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TonyC28

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I have the hub and i am not impressed

The camera notifications are on a delay compared to the nest app

Also i am seeing the sterling hub best connected accessories take a few seconds to sync longer when launching the HomeKit all
I tried the Starling hub and will be returning it so I can get cameras with official HomeKit support. The hub works well enough but it’s just a little off for me. Cameras were slow to load and would lose connection too often. For anyone with the camera audio problem I do know there is a fix coming.
 
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acousticbiker

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Jun 28, 2008
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With tvOS 14 coming tomorrow including doorbell notifications on Apple TV with video feed, does anyone know whether Starling Home Hub will support Nest Hello for this purpose?

Also, can the Starling Home Hub be plugged into an Ethernet port on a mesh network ‘point’ (I have Google WiFi) that does not have a wired connection to the modem?

Finally, I use Nest/Google Home devices but have iPhones/iPads/Macs/ATV. Besides the tvOS doorbell thing, any other advantage to having the HomeKit integration Starling Home Hub enables that I can’t already do via Google Home and Nest apps?
 
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Itinj24

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With tvOS 14 coming tomorrow including doorbell notifications on Apple TV with video feed, does anyone know whether Starling Home Hub will support Nest Hello for this purpose?

Also, can the Starling Home Hub be plugged into an Ethernet port on a mesh network ‘point’ (I have Google WiFi) that does not have a wired connection to the modem?

Finally, I use Nest/Google Home devices but have iPhones/iPads/Macs/ATV. Besides the tvOS doorbell thing, any other advantage to having the HomeKit integration Starling Home Hub enables that I can’t already do via Google Home and Nest apps?
1) Since the Nest Hello gets exposed as a Homekit camera, I don’t see why it wouldn’t be exposed to TVOS. Once the Starling Hub is connected, everything Homekit cameras can do in the Home app, Nest cameras can as well.

2) I have an eero pro mesh but I have my Starling connected to my gateway router so not sure. Curious what reason you would not just plug it into the gateway router.

3) The biggest and maybe only advantage to having the cameras in HomeKit is for automations and scenes. For example, I have my front door unlock when my Nest Hello recognizes my face. Can also have lights turn out outside, like a spotlight, if someone approaches that isn’t recognized. Maybe turn on a certain light when a package is delivered, etc... I also like to have all my cameras in one app so I can stream any one without leaving the app.
One thing to note with regards to scenes and automations is the developers at Starling just exposed the doorbell wall chime as a tile in HomeKit which lets you turn it on an off. I believe this only works with electrical chimes, which I use but not 100% sure. Where this feature shines, for me is I set up an automation where if the last person leaves, the chime turns off. This way if someone rings my doorbell, it doesn’t excite my dogs. No reason for the doorbell to ring if nobody is home anyway. Basically everything the Nest can do is exposed as a tile in HomeKit. Facial recognitions for each person, package delivery and retrieval, occupancy, etc...

I been using the Starling with the Nest Hello for about a month and in my experience, it’s absolutely phenomenal. The developers are constantly updating it too.
 
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acousticbiker

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Jun 28, 2008
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2) I have an eero pro mesh but I have my Starling connected to my gateway router so not sure. Curious what reason you would not just plug it into the gateway router.

Thanks for the very helpful reply! On point #2, it's because I don't have any remaining Ethernet ports available on the router connected to the modem (Google Wifi only has two ports!)
 
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Itinj24

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Thanks for the very helpful reply! On point #2, it's because I don't have any remaining Ethernet ports available on the router connected to the modem (Google Wifi only has two ports!)
You’re welcome.

Yeah, so does the eero and I figured that was the reason but why not get an ethernet switch so you always have the option to expand in the future?
 
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acousticbiker

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Jun 28, 2008
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You’re welcome.

Yeah, so does the eero and I figured that was the reason but why not get an ethernet switch so you always have the option to expand in the future?

I’ve definitely considered that and may do so if it doesn’t work connected to the ‘point’. I would just prefer not to add a switch for one device if possible
 
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Itinj24

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Nov 8, 2017
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I’ve definitely considered that and may do so if it doesn’t work connected to the ‘point’. I would just prefer not to add a switch for one device if possible
Gotchya. I can’t see why it wouldn’t work in your case though. If not, then why would the mesh points even have ethernet ports? I have a lot of devices connected by ethernet so it made sense in my case.
 
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acousticbiker

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Jun 28, 2008
771
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Came across this on their support page...
View attachment 954538

Thanks. I got my Starling and confirm it works connected via Ethernet to my Google WiFi point. I’m even powering it using a spare USB port on a nearby Airport Time Capsule (being used in bridge mode for Time Machine backups).

Does anyone know whether having Nest cameras connected to Starling uses additional bandwidth on my home internet plan vs just having them uploading to Nest servers?
 
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Itinj24

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Nov 8, 2017
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I don’t know if updating to iOS 14.0.1 or updating to Starling Hub firmware 6.6.2 caused it but I lost all my “Familiar Faces” sensors in the Home app and the automations they were attached to. All just disappeared. Can anyone else confirm this? I reached out to Starling and waiting for a reply via email.
 
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fOoLiX

macrumors newbie
Jun 7, 2010
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0
Hi,
I’m keen to hear from more people how this is functioning with the latest iOS/ATV update. I’m most keen to hear what the delay/latency is like compared to the native nest app with the cameras. Also, does this still record to nest as well as HomeKit?
 
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Itinj24

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Nov 8, 2017
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Hi,
I’m keen to hear from more people how this is functioning with the latest iOS/ATV update. I’m most keen to hear what the delay/latency is like compared to the native nest app with the cameras. Also, does this still record to nest as well as HomeKit?
1) Im getting the feed on ATV which can be expanded to full screen or PIP. Haven’t had someone ring the doorbell while watching TV so can’t comment on that but I’m sure it works since the Camera is technically in HomeKit. When HomePod updates to iOS 14, chime should work as well.
2) As far as latency goes, believe it or not but it seems the camera stream loads up a tad faster in HomeKit. If not it’s the same speed at the very least.
3) Yes, still records in Nest app but does not record in HomeKit since it’s not HSV enabled... yet. According to Starling, they’re trying to add HSV functionality.

One of my favorite things about adding it to HomeKit is all the tiles you get with it along with the automations you can do. For one example, the actual chime shows up as a separate HomeKit accessory. I have mine set to shut off when nobody is home because really, the dogs don’t need the hear the doorbell when nobody is home. It just excites them for no reason. Also have facial recognition unlock the door with my face which works a treat. Another one is the home Occupancy shows up as an accessory tile so you can set that up as a switch to trigger other automations.

Im a fan.
 
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curtissh

macrumors newbie
Oct 21, 2017
5
1
Anybody know if there is a way to make the Nest Hello announce through HomePod instead of the chime with the starling hub and HomeKit?

Just returning to this. We have the Nest Hello setup to announce on various Google/Nest home devices around the house. It’s really handy, but I’d gladly switch to HomePods and the better audio if it could be done with Starling.
 
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