Video Accessories Misc

iRule Home Automation System Review - Controller Application

ARTICLE INDEX

Introduction to the iRule Home Automation System Review - Controller Application

Ever since I built my first AV system, I have wanted a slick touch-screen remote to control it all. Let's face it; once you have more than just a TV in your media room, you need a way to integrate that pile of remotes into an easy to use handset that controls your components intuitively and reliably. In fact, once you add a separate audio system to your rack, it's pretty much a necessity; especially if you have family members using your gear.

IRULE HOME AUTOMATION SYSTEM REVIEW - CONTROLLER APPLICATION SPECIFICATIONS

  • Supported handsets: all iOS and Android devices
  • Control types: IR, Contact Closure (Relay), Ethernet, RS-232, two-way communication available
  • Controllable devices: AV components, HVAC systems, lighting, shades, many more
  • Programming: cloud-based visual application
  • Software pricing: Builder - $49.99 Basic, $99.99 Pro
  • Gateway pricing: $95-$299
  • iRule
  • SECRETS TAGS: iRule, iPhone, App, Home, Automation

I started way back when with a Sony Remote Commander. This was one of the earliest programmable remotes. In addition to having a large component database, it could learn from your OEM remotes. It combined a monochrome LCD touch screen with hard buttons and was about the size of a paperback book; definitely a two-hander. Then along came Logitech and their Harmony series. They offered a huge component list (over 175,000 at last count), ergonomic designs and a low price of admission compared to high end models like Philips Pronto or custom systems from Crestron and AMX. I've worn out several Harmonys and even though they work well, they are not 100 percent reliable and they are not particularly durable. Buttons stop working, labels wear away, or they just die completely.

Right before CEDIA 2012, I received a call from iRule asking if I wanted to make a booth appointment and see their products. I did a bit of research and discovered they were making just what I had been looking for at an incredibly low price with complete control given to the user, no installer required. They were kind enough to send me a gateway and give me access to the iRule Builder application. It sounds pretty simple, and it largely is if you're willing to put a little time into creating your own remote control system. As I discovered, the rewards are more than worth the effort because this thing is really cool!