Are there any customizable IP control solutions left - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-24-2017, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Are there any customizable IP control solutions left

Are there any viable flexible IP control solutions left that are generally available to consumers?

A little background on my situation.

For years I used URC products. While they were not perfect, they were effective and met the majority of my needs. I still have them in use in several rooms. However, when I started needed IP control the URC solutions that supported flexible IP control were not directly available to consumers.

After looking around a bit I ended up started using irule on an ipad. It met all my functionality needs but the lack of hard buttons drives me a little crazy.

Unfortunately, the impending demise of irule as a consumer solution leaves me looking for alternatives again. Only this time, I can't seem to find any.

Here are my requirements:
Two-way IP Control
Flexible programming including variables and conditional logic
The ability to layout graphics
Available to be programmed by an end-user

What I have tried:
Harmony - Not even worth talking about.
Simple Control Home - Arguably a more flexible version of what Harmony offers but still very limited

Is there anything else out there?
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-24-2017, 05:19 PM
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Allonis's myServer, Homeseer and CQC are much more powerful than iRule, meet all of your listed requirements and then some.
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post #3 of 10 Old 09-25-2017, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by smoothtlk View Post
Allonis's myServer, Homeseer and CQC are much more powerful than iRule, meet all of your listed requirements and then some.
To my knowledge, none of them have any type of hardware remote - all use a tablet/phone based app.
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post #4 of 10 Old 09-25-2017, 11:15 AM
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At least myServer integrates with handheld remotes - like Harmony.
We "hear" the Harmony button push and then our system fires off a pre-configured event macro (that you define within myServer).
So, as an example, push a programmed Harmony button, and we turn on / off the irrigation system, or the lights, or the audio zone B etc.

And, same functionality is then also available on the browser based UI's as well.
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post #5 of 10 Old 10-03-2017, 10:01 PM
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Not sure what you dis-like about Harmony, but maybe checkout

SmartThings/ ActionTiles/ Harmony & Hub.
I just can't get past the whole "cloud server" thing. I would much rather have everything local.

I subscribing because you like hard-buttons. I'm really liking Simple-Control but some users here might want to occasionally use a Harmony, while I'm using an iPhone or iPad.

Living Room Home-Theater (Multi-Use Room):
Epson 8350 Projector (1080p @ 96") ~ Panasonic 850u 46" 1080p Plasma TV
Onkyo TX-sr607 AVR ~ Cisco 8742hdc DVR (Spectrum) ~ Panasonic BD60 Blu-Ray Player
AppleTV-4 (iTunes,Plex,DMA,Vudu) ~ Simple Control HA ~ Alexa Echo Dot
Harmony 670 Remote ~ HTPC (Kodi/Win10-64) Media-Server ~ Synology DS412+ 16tb Raid-5 NAS
Polk Audio Monitor Series-II CS-2 Center, 60 pair, 40 pair +1 / PSW-505 12-Inch Sub = 6.1
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-03-2017, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smoothtlk View Post
At least myServer integrates with handheld remotes - like Harmony.
We "hear" the Harmony button push and then our system fires off a pre-configured event macro (that you define within myServer).
So, as an example, push a programmed Harmony button, and we turn on / off the irrigation system, or the lights, or the audio zone B etc.

And, same functionality is then also available on the browser based UI's as well.
Never heard of it, but looks interesting.

Best I can tell, similar to HomeSeer and/or OpenHab. I like that it's a local server.

Living Room Home-Theater (Multi-Use Room):
Epson 8350 Projector (1080p @ 96") ~ Panasonic 850u 46" 1080p Plasma TV
Onkyo TX-sr607 AVR ~ Cisco 8742hdc DVR (Spectrum) ~ Panasonic BD60 Blu-Ray Player
AppleTV-4 (iTunes,Plex,DMA,Vudu) ~ Simple Control HA ~ Alexa Echo Dot
Harmony 670 Remote ~ HTPC (Kodi/Win10-64) Media-Server ~ Synology DS412+ 16tb Raid-5 NAS
Polk Audio Monitor Series-II CS-2 Center, 60 pair, 40 pair +1 / PSW-505 12-Inch Sub = 6.1
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-04-2017, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Tesla1856 View Post
Not sure what you dis-like about Harmony
The complete lack of flexibility.

I have a somewhat complicated home theater setup with 15+ devices and I like it to work in a very specific manner that I have found works for me. I use macros, conditional logic and variables in a bunch of different places.

Harmony prioritizes ease of use/setup over functionality almost to the extreme. It works the way the product developers want it to and no other way.

SimpleControl is a little better with flexibility but in my limited time with it I didn't see any way to have custom macros/scripts or set and read variables. Also, doing all the config on an ipad for an entire system seems pretty cumbersome.

OpenHab looks somewhat interesting. I will need to spend some time with it. Hopefully it is not the opposite extreme of Harmony where absolutely everything needs to be hand-coded.

CQC also looks interesting although the requirement for an always on Microsoft Windows environment would require me to add small pc or vm to accommodate since all my "always on" machines are all running linux.
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post #8 of 10 Old 10-04-2017, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalto View Post

1. The complete lack of flexibility.

2. I have a somewhat complicated home theater setup with 15+ devices and I like it to work in a very specific manner that I have found works for me. I use macros, conditional logic and variables in a bunch of different places.

3. Harmony prioritizes ease of use/setup over functionality almost to the extreme. It works the way the product developers want it to and no other way.

4. SimpleControl is a little better with flexibility but in my limited time with it I didn't see any way to have custom macros/scripts or set and read variables. Also, doing all the config on an ipad for an entire system seems pretty cumbersome.

5. OpenHab looks somewhat interesting. I will need to spend some time with it. Hopefully it is not the opposite extreme of Harmony where absolutely everything needs to be hand-coded.
1. Hmm, that is not my experience. Right now, I just have a older Harmony-670 in main room and a Harmony-650 in Bedroom. I don't even have a Harmony Hub.

2. Yes, Harmony has Macros ... Sequences as they call them, IIRC. You can also train any missing button from OEM remote.

3. Again, not my experience. While not perfect, it is sufficiently flexible for my needs. Yes, sometimes, on complicated or branching Activities, I present myself with some choices and press my own final buttons.

4. A list of Commands could be considered "a Macro". I recently discovered that any button on a Virtual Remote can have it's own List of Commands under it (doesn't have to be an out-right Activity).

5. Agreed. Please let us know how you like it.

My perception is that Harmony and Simple-Control are the major players because they have taken the time to compile the working codes for all the common AV-Components. Harmony is mostly IR. Simple Control does IR, but also IP and RS-232.

Living Room Home-Theater (Multi-Use Room):
Epson 8350 Projector (1080p @ 96") ~ Panasonic 850u 46" 1080p Plasma TV
Onkyo TX-sr607 AVR ~ Cisco 8742hdc DVR (Spectrum) ~ Panasonic BD60 Blu-Ray Player
AppleTV-4 (iTunes,Plex,DMA,Vudu) ~ Simple Control HA ~ Alexa Echo Dot
Harmony 670 Remote ~ HTPC (Kodi/Win10-64) Media-Server ~ Synology DS412+ 16tb Raid-5 NAS
Polk Audio Monitor Series-II CS-2 Center, 60 pair, 40 pair +1 / PSW-505 12-Inch Sub = 6.1
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post #9 of 10 Old 10-04-2017, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tesla1856 View Post
1. Hmm, that is not my experience. Right now, I just have a older Harmony-670 in main room and a Harmony-650 in Bedroom. I don't even have a Harmony Hub.

2. Yes, Harmony has Macros ... Sequences as they call them, IIRC. You can also train any missing button from OEM remote.

3. Again, not my experience. While not perfect, it is sufficiently flexible for my needs. Yes, sometimes, on complicated or branching Activities, I present myself with some choices and press my own final buttons.

4. A list of Commands could be considered "a Macro". I recently discovered that any button on a Virtual Remote can have it's own List of Commands under it (doesn't have to be an out-right Activity).
It is all about expectations.

If the question is, "Could I control my room with a Harmony remote?", the answer would be "Yes". However, having used better control systems for years, I am looking for more than that. I automate branching logic, I use delays conditionally based on variables, I have all kinds of cross-linked screens some of which are contextual, 2-way feedback, etc

SimpleControl could do some of those things, Harmony can't do any of them particularly well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tesla1856 View Post
My perception is that Harmony and Simple-Control are the major players because they have taken the time to compile the working codes for all the common AV-Components. Harmony is mostly IR. Simple Control does IR, but also IP and RS-232.
While I agree that is important, there have been plenty of players who had code databases who have failed or chosen to exit the consumer market.
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-04-2017, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalto View Post
It is all about expectations.

1. SimpleControl could do some of those things, Harmony can't do any of them particularly well.

2. there have been plenty of players who had code databases who have failed or chosen to exit the consumer market.
1. Also, I forgot to mention that Simple control supports Triggers when use with a Simple-Control Subscription and Hub.

2. Yeah. Well, if you find another better choice, please let us know.

Living Room Home-Theater (Multi-Use Room):
Epson 8350 Projector (1080p @ 96") ~ Panasonic 850u 46" 1080p Plasma TV
Onkyo TX-sr607 AVR ~ Cisco 8742hdc DVR (Spectrum) ~ Panasonic BD60 Blu-Ray Player
AppleTV-4 (iTunes,Plex,DMA,Vudu) ~ Simple Control HA ~ Alexa Echo Dot
Harmony 670 Remote ~ HTPC (Kodi/Win10-64) Media-Server ~ Synology DS412+ 16tb Raid-5 NAS
Polk Audio Monitor Series-II CS-2 Center, 60 pair, 40 pair +1 / PSW-505 12-Inch Sub = 6.1
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