Browsing Tag


HAI Updates Benefits of HAI Home Automation Graphic

Home Automation
May 19, 2009 1 Comment

hai wholehouse automation

HAI has updated their “Benefits Of HAI Home Automation”  graphic and I’d love to hear what people think about Home Automation in general.   Since the economy is pretty tight right now and new construction projects  (even remodeling) has slowed down:

  • What are your current views related to Home Automation?
  • Does the thought of having a “Green Home” change your views on building in all this control into your house?  
  • Does it bother you that a new car has more “automation” than your home?
  • What would be the most important function to have automated in your home?
  • Would you pay extra for a house that is “automated”?

Heck, I’d love to hear anything related to this… positive or negative — so sound off in the comments!  Cheers!

HAI:  Benefits of HAI Home Automation Graphic (high-resolution image)

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Using Netbooks for Home Automation Control?

Home Automation
May 5, 2009 24 Comments

Eee PC

DIY’ers and people wanting to control their home inexpensively can use Netbooks as an option.  For less than $400 you can have a small computer that sits in your kitchen or family room ready to surf the web, view security cameras or turn off the lights.  This is one of the reasons why I created Myro:Home as a software only version so users can achieve this type of control for less than purchasing a proper in-wall panel.  However, I still recommend for the ultimate integration and control that an in-wall panel is installed in a home.

If you are in the market for a netbook check out this buying guide and find the best netbook for yourself!

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PREVIEW: Bitwise Control BC4 “Multi-Tool”

Home Automation
May 4, 2009 7 Comments

Bitwise Controls BC4

I just received a Bitwise Control BC4 so I can add support for it to Myro:Home.  I plan on doing a full video review of this unit once I release 1.0.3 (this release is a pretty major one as it includes  significant performance enhancements!)   In the meantime, here’s a little bit about the BC4:

“The BitWise Controls BC4 modular design allows you to select from several plug-in expansion I/O modules. Now you can tailor each install to the job’s specific control and monitoring needs. 

Whether you’re using a web front end, mobile phone application or integrating with a residential or commercial control system, the BitWise Controls BC4 turns commands into actions. Our extensive two-way command set makes it easy to integrate with a variety popular control systems and networked user interfaces for maximum flexibility. “

• Flexible communication options – choose from TCP, UDP, HTTP and RS232 based on the needs of each install

• Simple to learn – One command set covers all I/O modules and devices to be controlled

• Built-in monitoring – On board temperature sensor and two-way command protocol

• Reliable – US designed and built, the BC4 is backed by 20 years of mission-critical experience 

• Field upgradeable firmware – you don’t need to return a product to base to install new features

• Commercial-grade – The BC4 features a rugged and well-shielded 20ga steel enclosure

• Deploys anywhere – The 4.5” x 5” x 1” unit can be wall, shelf or rack-mounted 


For more information check out: Bitwise Controls

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Challenges Working With Embedded Devices

DIY, Home Automation
May 3, 2009 4 Comments

Working With Embedded PC's

I’ve been busy working with on the new version of Myro:Home which will run on the 8″  in-wall touchscreen panels.  My original plan was to have the same “downloadable” software being able to run on these types of panels, however,  the truth is that these panels need special care in order to bring the best performance and stability.   I’ve chosen Windows XP Embedded as the OS and can get everything running very quickly.  Now, I’m working on adding in specific hooks to the hardware to take advantage of controlling the “bare metal” like LCD and GPIO.     Since these devices are not full powered desktop PC’s where you can be a bit less strict using CPU cycles, you cannot afford running things that aren’t necessary.   Heat is the biggest problem and when you put panels in walls where ventilation is an issue, you need to use less powerful (less heat producing) architecture. 

In the end, I feel I will have a very powerful home control solution that is cost-effective and very competitive!

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Study: Revenue for Tech Support Industry to Hit $2B by 2013

Home Automation, Home Theater
April 30, 2009 No Comments

Use of In-Home or In-Store Tech Support Services has posted an article about how the tech support industry will grow to over $2 billion by 2013. This makes sense as more and more people start to use technologies that tend to be more complicated than that of the past.  An example, with the newly announced HULU and ABC deal, people no longer just turn on a TV and tune to a two or three digit channel number, but, require software, computer and network knowledge to figure out how to watch shows.

For the complete article visit CEPRO – Study: Revenue for Tech Support Industry to Hit $2B by 2013.

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Sencore RadianceXD – Video Processor/Scaler/Switch

Home Theater
April 28, 2009 No Comments

Sencore RadianceXD

If you are a videophile and demand that your display squeezes out every last bit of quality from the source, then you need a Sencore RadianceXD.   This 2u processor not only upscales, processes and is a full HDMI switch but it has a built in CMS (Color Management System) for tweaking the color gamut to be true SMPTE 701 (or other SMPTE standard color space like 601, 709, xvYcc).

The Radiance also features dedicated HDMi receiver on each HDMi input which means that switching to each source is super fast and requires no resyncing.  There are six HDMI inputs and a plethora of other IO.   What is really exciting about this product is the support!  They offer firmware updates almost monthly which constantly makes the RadianceXD better.   

This is definitely a product to add to your home theater rack, especially if you own a D-ILA projector since it can correct the saturated color gamut issues.

For more information, check out Sencore Audio/Video.

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