Cortexa announces MCE based solution


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AUSTIN, TX ­– November 06, 2006 – Cortexa Technology has delivered the dream of a truly digital home for American homeowners. For the first time, home buyers can enjoy a fully functional digital home for about a few thousand dollars or about 2 % of the cost of an average home in the United States.

With the launch of its newest home control system, Cortexa Technology leverages the latest version of Windows Media Center now and in the upcoming release of Windows Vista, Microsoft’s latest version of the Windows operating system. Windows Media Center gives homeowners total control of their digital home by merging their digital entertainment –music, photos, home videos, and live and recorded TV – with all the subsystems in the home – audio, lighting, security, surveillance cameras, irrigation and climate control -- in one complete, easy-to-use, affordable package.

“Cortexa truly has created an incredibly holistic solution for the average homeowner, allowing them to merge their digital entertainment and home control solutions,†said Todd Rutherford, Home Control Program Manager, Microsoft. “Through Windows Media Center, homeowners can enjoy the easy to use interface that they have adopted so rapidly.â€

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Once deemed only for the luxury home market, home buyers today can have complete digital functionality within their home at a fraction of the cost of other solutions without compromising on technology, functionality, or quality. Unlike competitors’ solutions that sell for upward of 10% of the average purchase price of a home, Cortexa is transforming the industry by packaging both hardware and software together at a price point that is within reach for the typical home buyer.

“We are delivering a robust new Cortexa product that operates with Windows Media Center, is Windows Vista-ready, and most importantly, is incredibly affordable†says Tom Goldman, CEO, Cortexa Technology. “Cortexa customers already enjoy total control of all their home’s systems, including heating and cooling, lighting, audio, and security. Now they will be able to integrate their digital entertainment – music, movies, video, recorded TV and photos -- and control it all through Windows Media Center and at a fraction of the cost of other products on the market today.â€

“In addition to the attractive price point, Cortexa has no software license fees, monthly subscription charges for remote access, or other hidden costs that are typical of our competitors,†continued Goldman.

The availability of a Windows Vista-ready Cortexa Home Control System blows the doors open for builders, multi unit developers, integrators and homebuyers to create fully functional digital homes for a mass market price. Home control has truly entered the mainstream as evidenced by a study conducted by the Consumer Electronics Association. In this study, home builders reported that nearly half of all new homes were sold with automated lighting, home automation, and/or energy management systems while 65% of all new homes had distributed audio as a standard or optional feature. Clearly, home buyers are enhancing their homes with these digital features.

The Cortexa Home Control system may be managed using Windows Media Center, a Cortexa touch panel, any device running Windows CE or XP, or simply through a web browser. The easy-to-use interface – My Home – allows homeowners to seamlessly integrate their audio, security, surveillance cameras, lighting, irrigation and climate control systems with all the digital entertainment offerings of Windows Media Center. The Cortexa Home Control system is a completely open-standard environment and easily scales for future enhancements.

“Our latest product development is completely in line with our commitment to make home control systems available for every home in America,†continued Goldman “Cortexa continues to revolutionize the industry by delivering the easiest to use, most affordable solution to consumers, without compromising quality.â€

About Cortexa Technology, Inc.

Based in Austin, Texas, Cortexa Technology Inc. is a privately held company that develops and markets home control systems bringing increased functionality and efficiency to all homes with an emphasis on the mass market. The Cortexa product is engineered from the ground up and includes both the software and solid state hardware. The company’s founders are passionate about providing home control systems that unleash the latest technology by seamlessly converging digital entertainment with the home control systems. The product is completely affordable, dependable and usable for the average homeowner. To find out more about Cortexa Technology, visit
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hmmm......very interesting. It looks very similar to mControl, just integrated into the cortexa hardware.

Now to see if there is any reason to get it.....
It is a great idea. I know when I was using MCE it was a big hole I noticed that now mControl and Cortexa can fill.

A few peculiarities in MCE and (primarily) the need to tie everything into one interface led me to move on to Sage for CQC integration (which has not gotten very far, but Sage has been good). When using it on its own, MCE was great. A slight issue with channel programming though, which was a bit annoying.

EDIT: The interface is stellar on MCE though, in fact I use the MCE style skin on Sage.
Now to see if there is any reason to get it.....

My question exactly. I'm new to the home auto thing so I'm sure I'm not seeing something here. It looks cool though.

What does this give me compared to just using the "standard" interfaces that come with Omni, ELK, etc?

I'm not afraid to spend money on something that will serve its proposed purpose and God (and my wife) knows I love new gadgets. I just don't "get" this yet.

I'm looking at doing lighting and security first with audio and video distribution soon after. (UPB for lighting - likely) I am leaning towards the Omni Pro or the Elk (probably HAI though) but I don't see the point in sinking a ton of money in to the Omni if Cortexa will suffice or vice versa.

I'm looking forward to some positive responses. (running for my wallet)
The MCE idea allows for extremely easy distribution of video, TV, and pictures via their extender idea. You have a computer (or extender like the X-Box and X-Box 360) at each location you want to view video, pictures, etc, and run MCE on each machine and you have a very polished interface and distribution network.

Now in reality, everything has its downside and the extender idea works better on paper than in real life, but perhaps that will change with Vista.

So to add in HA control into this same easy to use interface, and you suddenly have a very user friendly way to distribute video (including HD), music, pictures, and HA control. All this in a relatively inexpensive package. It will really allow the average person access to all these things in a complete package that just isn't available today.

Sure you can do everything today that this will do, but it is usually either A) very expensive or B ) a very much DIY network of different products and hardware to make it all work together.

Time will tell if Vista can live up to the expectations and if a truely inexpensive total HA package can come together for the average person. While this type of system may appeal to the mass public, I think we'll all find that they types of systems we are putting together today (elk, russsound whole house audio, CQC, etc) will provide a more robust system will a lot more allowable tweaks and customizations.