I think I've fallen in love with http://www.openremote.org. In theory it should even be possible to port the client to pronto (or create a openremote client TSU firmware if we had the TSU source) and use the RFX as micro-controller based protocol translation unit.
One that i think is interesting is the Android panels. You list them as "no" for the firm buttons, which I would agree for now. But the thing about android is that the hardware is open ended so you can totally imagine custom production of casing for it. I mean this as opposed to the wal casing for ipad/itouch. They are nice but feel a bit gimmicky. Played with the savant one at CEDIA and liked it but was yearning for a more integrated design. I think that within 1/2 years we should see android panels with hard buttons appear. Integrating a decent IR emitter in there is also feasible. My money is on android.
Unless you have control of hardware and software you will never have a complete soloution..
Clearly, android's use of linux+java, all GPL open source software is a big plus imho. Android will not only be panel but also controllers. Java development will help there as it is meant for connected IP oriented stuff. Google was smart to adopt that.
This also means that the price of a controller with arm7 is the price of a cellphone. The panel is commoditized, the controller will be commoditized. What iOS started, Android will finish.
Oh, and we may see the emergence of standardized stack in the CE community, thanks to a DIY push??? be it, panels, controllers, GoogleTV etc thanks to Android? GASP!!! UN-THINKABLE!
IMHO things look really good on the horizon... our main choices will be Android devices, iPads and iTouches... all one needs is the right software and the hardware to bridge the connection between the device and your system. There are already some systems out there now that will work. But by the time your Philips remotes hit end of life things will be much more refined. Costs also in most cases will be less than Philips devices.
OK since we are talking about replacements for Philips devices... lets get to the heart of the matter...
- Which software is available now or in the VERY near future for Apple / Android devices to control your systems. Please try to include a link to the manufactures web site if possible.
- Which hardware is availble now or in the VERY near future to bridge the connection between the device and your system. Please try to include a link to the manufactures web site if possible.
Sony/Logitech releasing the Google TV “set-top-box” devices could be the beginning of a new trend that might change how the Home Theater control works. The difference between HT control and "Whole House" control is that typically the HT activities assume a TV, except when listening to the music.
Which means that as long as there is some way of doing simple remote navigation using any kind of wireless link (like when using the Bluetooth remote control profile), with the TV screen providing visual feedback and flexible context-sensitive onscreen interface, there is no real need to have any sophisticated handheld remote control device without sacrificing the power and the flexibility.
With Google TV displaying menus, navigation cues, transport control panels, etc. driven by Android control application combined with the IP control and optional IR/RS232 extenders, etc. this could become something like Control4 for masses but on the whole different usability level.
Once IP control of TV's of set top boxes is the norm then IR will slowly die Android may be answer there is enough 3rd party kit already to do the mechanical control but everything is going TCP/IP Hopefully Samsung or similar will realise buttons are not all bad and allow configurable hard buttons for apps in future a way to make a tablet 1 app only would also be good. Pronto went along way to revolutionising the remote interface market, but it wasn't perfect, perhaps Logitech or someone will still buy the business but for the pro integrator we need a solution this month next year the pronto9400/9600 equivalents are: Nevo URC RTi Pronto 9200 equivalents: Logitech + above Touchscreen equivalents: Ipad/Ipod/Iphone Androind Pro only solutions: AMX Crestron
Any others? At the moment the NEVO looks promising but i don't trust the UK distributor.....URC and RTI perhaps but cost is an issue as well as lack of support from distributor...
Just to add to the discussion here... I am currently trialling PC design software and iPad app from Demopad (http://www.demopad.com). Is still in relative infancy but allows the iPad to control anything using Global Cache devices (like distrubted extenders). I am so far impressed with their PC designer... requires a lot of set up work (mainly flag based) but they're adding features all the time and are very open to feedback on new features. You can built a pretty smart looking UI. Currently hads 2-way IP comms with Creston/Lutron and I hear custom device 2-way feedback (232/IP) is on the way.
I liked the Pronto for what it did, and to be honest iPad is a little on big side for every day remote use (maybe that rumoured 7" iPad will help), but when you consider total price and overall abilities it is (IMO) a step forward over Pronto. Same app and software can also be used to design iphone/itouch interface which I am looking at next. I kind of see an ipad as a multi-room controller (cos of screen real estate) and itouch/iphone for single room use.
Wow... many years later and I am still using the Pronto TSU9400. I have two rooms where I use them (and 4 Pronto TSU9400, so I have a backup for each room). I remembered this old thread when I came across this post saying that Logitech is discontinuing their Harmony remotes:
i have two of the Harmony Elite remotes. What impressed me with the Harmony Elite line is how easy it was to setup (took only a day or so to configure my system), integration with other systems, and iPhone app support.
However, the Harmony Elite was nowhere close to the power of the Pronto series, and even though I had setup 2 Harmony Elite remotes, I hardly ever used them. I'd occasionally ask the kids to use the Harmony remotes instead of the Pronto since I wouldn't care so much if something bad happened to the Harmony. Nevertheless, I liked having the Harmony knowing that if something ever bad happened to my Pronto's, I'd have a backup system.
But now that Logitech is discontinuing the Harmony line, I got to thinking: maybe it's time to revisit what universal remotes are out there that I should look into? The last time i asked this question was a few years back, and at the time, there was nothing as good as the Pronto for end user customization (i.e. that doesn't require having to pay a professional to do the programming and make any changes).
I'm wondering if anything has changed recently, in the universal remote choices: basically, I want something that is end-user (not dealer) customizable, has powerful customization, and also supports a database of devices and integration with other systems (lights, etc.)??
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