AV control, home automation, getting it all integrated


Active Member
I'm thinking about getting my AV control system a little more integrated and including some home automation control as well, but I'm a little unsure where to start. Currently my setup is as follows:

I have an IR receiver and distributor, which sends IR signals via a combination of IR blasters and physical IR cables to my AV kit (Denon AVR-4311, Oppo BDP-93, Denon DVD-2900, via cable; TiVo, X-Box 360, via IR blaster and Panasonic PTAE-4000 projector which gets the IR signal directly). I also use specific iPad\iPhone apps to control the Denon 4311 and TiVo.

I also have a HP Proliant MicroServer running Windows Home Server 2011 which is constantly on as a music server for the Denon and a bunch of X-10 stuff including a CM15u PC controller and an IR receiver, all of which is currently not in use.

Finally I have a Harmony 1100 remote, which I'm not hugely impressed with!

So, ideally I'd like to try and bring as much of this as possible under the control of one device\remote, as well as getting some basic home automation integrated (mainly lighting for now, but it would be good to have the option to expand in the future), either using the X-10 stuff or going for a new system.

I'm thinking that by using the Microserver I can hopefully create a reasonably powerful solution, allowing me to control all the devices through one interface. I'd like to try and remove the need for IR blasters, the projector supports RS-232 control and the TiVo has a TCP\IP control interface, but neither have a IR input socket, however I'm thinking that I could maybe use the Microserver to output appropriate control signals.

I'd also like to look into a better remote\device to control everything, possibly my iPad but I think I'd rather have a dedicated remote of some sort. I looked at Phillips Pronto stuff (as I used to use an old Marantz RC-5000), but it appears that they've discontinued the range, so are there any other similar universal remotes? I did like the look of the TSU-9600 though it was a little on the pricey side.

Uhm, so a bit of a rambling post, but at the moment I'm a little unsure about exactly what my options are and what sort of systems I should be looking at, so really just looking for some pointers of what sort of stuff I should be considering. Obviously, a complete, off-the-shelf solution would be good but I suspect that such a thing doesn't exist and I don't think my budget would really stretch to a professional install or anything like that.

I'm a software engineer, so can handle a bit of software development if required but I don't really want to be coding an entire system from scratch!


Active Member
Check out DemoControlHD - its absolutely stella - Im not yet ready to publish piccies (I am awful at design!) but have it controlling all my AV my lighting plus my home automation and security!


Active Member
Hmm, that does look like it would do exactly the sort of thing I need, with a few control modules from the various suppliers they list I think I could control everything bar the TiVo which has it's own TCP\IP control system, though I believe that is fairly well understood and could probably be integrated and in the mean time, I can always stick to using an IR blaster connected to one of the IR over TCP\IP modules from Keene.

Just wondering about the lighting control, the website list Crestron and Lutron, but they're obviously a bit on the pricey side, and I'm not sure they're even available other than through professional installers. I see you list Rako in your sig (edit - just realised they list Rako on the website as well!), so I assume that's compatible, though does that require a Homeseer device? So really, what are my options for lighting control, is there any device that will allow it to control X-10 Pro kit, or what are my other options?

Only downside is using the iPad\iPhone as the remote, obviously very powerful but it does mean, unlocking the iPad, finding the app and running that app every time I want to control something, bit of hassle if I just want to turn the volume up a notch, but not the end of the world. Can I also set it up so that it can receive IR signals from a standard remote using an IR to TCP\IP module, so I can have a universal remote for quick changes and the iPad for more involved operations?

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