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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for some advice on selecting not just a remote that'll control the living room HT system (6 components - TV, BDP, AVR, Cable Box, and a couple of gaming consoles - pretty simple), but will also be good for lighting and other plug-in devices around the home. Would prefer WiFi or RF between the remote and the hub, and would like the ability to talk to the system via smartphone. I've already made the assumption that if this remote is also going to do housework, I'll need a hub (or two?)

Being an engineer, I can probably do basic programming provided the language is not too complex. Not sure what a reasonable budget is right now - looking to keep it under $500 for all if possible, and I can add more options as I see fit (and the funds become available). This estimated $500 budget will need to contain the remote, hub(s), cables between hub(s) and devices, and at least a handful of receptacles, dimmers, etc.

I've looked extensively at harmony already, and just started looking at URC - these might be a bit too complex for my needs - would be nice, but I'd probably not want to spend several days/weeks programming and tweaking to make it seamless across all of my desired functions. Although that new MX-990 looks real nice...

Not sure if I've provided enough info yet, the idea is still in its infancy; but hopefully someone here can put me on a good path toward achieving my home automation bliss. The idea started with just a remote for the living room HT and blossomed from there once I saw what some of the more advanced devices could do. Don't want to get too far off track or ahead of myself - got lots of learning to do so any guidance y'all could provide would be very much appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's funny; I have Insteon up on the browser right now and was already looking at their devices...

Already have an iPad, so I'm set there. Now, what's this about iRule? That's one avenue I have not yet explored.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Explored iRule for a while last night; my head hurts now! Downloaded the 30-day trial and started building my remote, and it became apparent that this was perhaps not the route I wanted to go just yet - full home automation, that is. This could get very expensive very quickly. Baby steps, I say; baby steps.

As said earlier; this started with a search for just a universal remote, and the Harmony 650 ranks pretty high in most circles when it comes to price and simplicity and functionality in one package. I think this will be a good start to get into the concept of a universal remote without having to go whole-hog straight away.

Thanks, ellisr63 - I'll continue to explore the path of fully programmable automation for sure - the engineer in me wants to know how it works - but will step back and start with something much more rudimentary and go from there.
 

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Most time tested automation systems with AV integration are usually closed systems and you'll need a dealer to integrate. (Control4, Savant, AMX, etc..)

That said iRule may be your best bet since it can integrate with most systems.

If you don't mind raising your budget and outsourcing some of your work then Control4 is a very good option since you can get a stripped down version of the programming software (Composer). The end user can change the custom programming but can't add/change devices or inputs.

Also Savant is about to launch a consumer programmable version of their system.

Logitech has a sudo HA system that you can program with IFTT.
 
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