Finally, is this the link between A/V and HA that I (we) have been looking for?
There are very few options out there for those of us who want to tie in our A/V systems with our DIY home automation systems via a good old fashioned Universal Remote. X-10 used to come on quite a few of them via the “Aux” mode, and Logitech Harmony (I think the 900 or 990 series?? – correct me if I am wrong) used to support Z-Wave for awhile and other than Monster, I don’t know any body else who has z-wave radios inside their IR remote. I know I am not alone when I say – I do not want to dig out my smartphone every time to control my living room lights AND my TV. My Universal remote is sitting right there for everyone to use in the house, not just me and my phone. So, beyond Homeseer, EventGhost and Vera (one-way IR only), what do you do? Maybe Logitech finally got something going as a solution.
Check out this article from Gigaom and feel free to comment, or contact us for more information or just to chat. I personally am quite excited to see what happens next.
Very cool project I just completed yesterday as a result of doing some homework for a customer of mine relating to the use of IR through my Mi Casa Verde Veralite Z-Wave Controller/Gateway (click that link if you need a VeraLite, we are having a 10% off sale on both them and the Vera3 right now!)
In a nutshell, what I managed to do was to be able to control my X-10 devices by transmitting X-10 signals through my USB-UIRT which was plugged into the Veralite, into a 3rd party version of the old, discontinued IR-543 which I had kicking around for testing IR devices that we sell in one of our stores. Worked great!
Normally you would need an Insteon Modem 2413U that you plug into the VeraLite and then configure it to work as an Insteon controller and send Insteon commands. This also would allow you to control X-10 devices because Insteon is backwards compatible with X-10. These cost about $80 on Amazon or directly from Smarthome. What I did eliminated the need for the 2413U modem in my setup because I already use a number of IR-543’s with my universal remotes to control X-10 lights and appliances. When I started trying to get the IR working on Vera I noticed that there was an IR command set for X-10. I wondered if it might be similar to the IR codesets that universal remotes use within the auxiliary mode to send X-10 commands over IR. Low and behold, that is exactly what it seemed to do! I used the built-in virtual remote keypad inside the Vera, dialed in my house code on the IR-543, punched in the unit code inside Vera and A-1 was up and running! A-2 was another keypunch away and that was all I needed to know. Now for some more testing to see what else I can do with it!
Oh, btw, It also allowed me to control X-10 from my Android smartphone using the Vera Mobile app I had already installed! Worked exactly the same as the Vera Internet GUI on my PC! More software apps for Vera also available on our Home Automation Software page.
Very cool learning day! Can’t wait to experiment with Z-wave scene now and using IR commands to control A/V devices as scenes triggered from z-wave events. More to come on that as well.