Time to try something new...
My RTI T4 touch panel crapped out last night requiring a $125 battery. I have quite a bit of $$ into my RTI system... and it is only 1-way (no feedback support - e.g. volume level, input, surround mode, etc). Yes there is 2 way but not for the more esoteric components. So, rather than replacing it, I'm going to try something new in the interest of austerity that looks to completely meet my control needs. IRule. 2 Way is on the way and it is relatively simple to program after a short learning curve.
I've been following the iRule thread here at AVS sometime and am buddies with its founder who lives near me... So talk about support!
So, I'm going to put together a full iRule remote that mimics my RTI theater remote (30 macros, 40 pages of commands). I have 12 controllable sources (7 sources, Masking, Lighting, projector, plasma, etc). I have a very sophisticated system to control with many, many macros. Since the 9.7" screen size of the iPad (diagonal) is far greater than my 6.5" diagonal T4, I bet I can cut out 1/2 the pages.
Here's what I have:
1. 8 components are serial / RS-232 controlled (sources, PJ, masking)
2. 1 LAN controlled piece (ADA SSP*) that is currently RS-232 with RTI
3. The rest is IR controlled
*I will use LAN control with iRule (ethernet control) for the ADA Mach IV since it is already plugged into my home network. LAN is very slick as I can tweak it on my laptop from anywhere in the house. LAN control is certainly the future.
iRule will soon be a 2 way and I've used a beta version of it... all for $49.99 plus Global Caches for serial control and an IR control - available on the site (http://www.iruleathome.com/
). So, pretty darn cheap. The goal is to see if I can have the very slick, professional interface with reliable control. Hopefully, a world beater relative to Crestron, RTI, etc... Unlike the aforementioned remotes, you do not need the very expensive boxes and high priced, private programming... though that is available.
I've got the iPad, and now, the need. So, since I am off of work most of the week, together with the founder, we're going to get started tomorrow by putting together a lay out, finding some slick skins and program a few macros. He has assured me that not only will this supersede my pricey RTI remote (XP-8, T4) but it will be far more capable.
As I go, I'll post some screenshots, limitations and pluses.
**One screen shot is my Family Room Directv page. You can flip channels with the channel buttons, icons, or swipe the page left or right to go up on channels or down. I added a couple of channel icons to the page show how they look. I'm controlling my 2 DirectV DVRs via IP. Very fast control.
It is really convenient. I have my ipad at my night stand and read the paper at night and flip channels with it. Very cool!
Anyone else trying it?