Unified Home Automation Server

zcapr17

Novice Member
Can anyone offer their advice or experience of running a unified home automation server?

What I mean by this is software running on your home server that can communicate with all the home automation, security and multimedia systems that you might have in your home. For example, systems like Rako, Crestron, AMX, HomeWorks, Control4, EIB/KNX, C-Bus, X10, Roku, Sonos, Squeezebox, TiVo, HomeLogic, or anything else that has some sort of TCP/IP, RS232, IR or USB interface. The idea being that you can configure unified 'scenes' or 'macros' which can command the multiple systems from a single interface. The software will typically have a web interface and/or accompanying iPhone/iPad/Android app, with customisable control screens.

Here's a video demo if the kind of thing I mean: Automated Home (skip to 04:20 for the Home Automation and CCTV segment).
By a single touch on the cover of the film the application will start, the TV turns on, the reciever switches to the right input sets the correct volume level, the lights are dimmed... and the video plays.

This seems to be using a German-based piece of software though, so I think I'd struggle with it. Other examples I've come across include:
The problem is, there seems to be lots and lots of these kind of solutions popping up at the moment - some free and some commercial - so I'm wondering if anyone who's already looked into this kind of thing can identify some of the better ones?

The ideal solution for me is likely to be a free open-source project that has a well-established development community.

Thanks,

z
 
Last edited:

wysinawyg

Active Member
z,

Replying here as I saw it after my other post.

As I understand it the e-home system is closed. Frankly I'm more inclined towards that provided it works rather than relying on the community approach. From looking round Rako is pretty unpopular (well at least poorly supported) from the community side in any case.

I'm double checking with the e-home people but as I understand it all you buy are the interface licences. So for a 10 device Rako set up with iPhone only control its £10 for the iPhone and £20 for the Rako licence and thats it.

Chuck in £15 for the web client and I suspect if you were minded that way it would be easy enough to customise things by feeding commands into the web client.

Anyway I'm only idly considering for now. had a call from Gil-lec this morning who have my initial Rako stuff in stock so I need to play with that first and get the initial install sorted before I go too far down this track.
 

zcapr17

Novice Member
z,

Replying here as I saw it after my other post.

As I understand it the e-home system is closed. Frankly I'm more inclined towards that provided it works rather than relying on the community approach. From looking round Rako is pretty unpopular (well at least poorly supported) from the community side in any case.

I'm double checking with the e-home people but as I understand it all you buy are the interface licences. So for a 10 device Rako set up with iPhone only control its £10 for the iPhone and £20 for the Rako licence and thats it.

Chuck in £15 for the web client and I suspect if you were minded that way it would be easy enough to customise things by feeding commands into the web client.

Anyway I'm only idly considering for now. had a call from Gil-lec this morning who have my initial Rako stuff in stock so I need to play with that first and get the initial install sorted before I go too far down this track.
Thanks wysinawyg, that's much much cheaper than I was expecting given the £25,000 price that the Gadget Show mention in their video article. I will have to investigate further. It's a shame if it only supports the Rako RS232 interface and not the Ethernet (APR-BRIDGE) interface though.

What other systems have you looked at BTW?
 

wysinawyg

Active Member
I struggle to name them to be honest, nothing too in depth just a few hours googling yesterday.

Harmony 2007 is another closed option but something put me off.

Someone had hacked Homeseer to do Rako: Rako Lighting integration - HomeSeer Message Board

Powerhome and Activehome were both linked here: Home Automation Software

I think Powerhome might be worth you looking at. It definitely does RS232 (unfortunately I don't think anything does the Ethernet Rako) but couldn't easily see Rako specifically mentioned.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Reported HDMI 2.1 bugs, Audiolab Amp & LG LED Projector reviews + Best of the Month
Top Bottom