Originally Posted by barrygordon
Jtara is absolutely correct. I have been doing this (home Theater / Home Automation) for quite some time (25+ years) having started with a Kloss Novabeam. Sooner or later you come to the realization that you need a centralized control point with enough flexibility and power to do the things you want. Crestron came to that conclusion very early in the game as did Phast, AMX, and lastly Savant. There is one open source group going down that path using android based system as the handheld, but involving a central control point.
I can totally understand your point, but I wanted to speak from the opposite viewpoint. I have never been involved with AV Control until this project. I am a former software engineer and run software companies now. I can state unequivocally that the number one goal now must be radically simplifying this process.
I am very technical, I joined the Crestron group on Yahoo, read much of RemoteCentral, and followed this forum. I bought any new gear with the specific requirement of IP connectibility, installed an iTach IP2IR, and dedicated myself to getting iRule to work.
I am excited, but let there be no mistake that the view from here is grim. The manufacturer's have created a world based on completely unreliable or erratically implemented technologies like IR that require a Masters in patience and brute force to get working.
Worse, one high end audio/video installer in my area pushes the gear of companies that seem to be indifferent to the struggles of getting home entertainment to work and actively mocked me for buying Denon, the only component that actually worked well!
I started this project because I was building out a HT/whole-house wiring project and I had never been to a house where the wife could operate the HT system. I knew that I could spend tens of thousands on Crestron, etc., but I was not that satisfied with those systems in the end.
The major issue is that the suppliers of equipment have adopted an approach that hidden, non-standard control codes and inputs are a strategic benefit. I cannot discern whether it comes from ignorance, apathy, or outright scorn for their customers, but I know that any piece of equipment that I would buy would be more valuable if my family could turn it on than if it had marginally better amps or signal processing.
I believe that the installer community is enabling this and I would suggest based on my experience as a consumer that this community of enthusiasts and installers make a hard line against any manufacturer that does not commit to open codes, IP (and serial for the old guys...), and testing in a consumer environment.
The basic standard is that a device should be able to be added to wired control system and controllable within ten minutes. If Denon can do it, they all can do it. Sonos has the higher satisfaction among the people I know than the iPhone! As a community of educated consumers and installers, we should make our decisions with integration as a primary consideration.
Make no mistake, it was easier to set up a Racal Vadic Modem to connect to DJNRS from an IBM 3101 in 1976 as an eight year old than it has been for me to get my Philips DVD player to reliably respond to an IR power toggle request in 2010.
That is totally unacceptable. It is time to make it known. No more purchases from suppliers without published codes and proven direct wire integration.