HA/HT Software review


I posted this in the HS forum and thought I would cross post it here. I do not want to start a war, but I do want to get comments on the following;

Exactly my point in my post above; Over the last month I have thouroughly reviewed the following in relation to both home control and AV control;

1. Premise (yes.. one more look)
2. Charmed Quark
3. Meedio/HouseBot Combo
4. Pluto
5. The ML/HS combo

and my oppinion;

Premise - Was the best 2 years prior - but lost that to the competition and no support. New version may bring it back to the top with Motorola.

Charmed Quark - Watch this one! Not ready for prime time due to lack of connectivity, but well planned out so far

Meedio/Housebot - Meedio - almost the best on the market for AV control, but has holes and I hate the bozo interface choices. HouseBot - Good but not great and no interaction with Meedio to date.

Pluto - Great if your on a Linyx platform. Not ready for prime time with windoze

ML/HS - Still the best combo that has the potential to be lethal. That will only be true if ML/MLS works well with the new HS. Get rid of the MLHS plugin and imbed the front end in HS. I have previewed the new HS and it is kick ass! I only hope that ML can make the grade. Now that HS will be .Net, many others will jump on the interface bandwagon that Mario created.

We would argue that one of our great advantages is that we aren't a 'combo', but a single product that covers both the front and back end, for greater stability, tight integration, and one learning curve instead of two.

I assume by connectivity you mean device support, and it's true that we have fewer devices under control. But for our target audience, quality is paramount so we can't afford to have lots of people doing device support of varying quality. We have to closely track and verify third party drivers, and do more of them ourself, and that means a slower accumulation of supported devices, but we have to lean in that particular direction to meet the needs of our target audience.
Thanks for sharing your opinion. I would have like to read more details about why you feel the way you do about each. Your review is pretty light.

I have only used one HA app and thats HomeSeer. I like the simple fact that is has a huge user base and lot of interactivity amoungst the users. I have tried ML my found it a little to complicated to setup. I will eventually force my self to learn how to use ML because i want touchscreens. Right now I simple use a laptop and the good ol' HomeSeer GUI.
I really wish HS would go ahead and buy out Main Lobby or vice versa so we could get a very nice front end with a powerful engine.
I'm sure that would make the bought out company happy, but it wouldn't make them one product. It would just be two products owned by one company, but all the things that make it two products would still be there. It would require a huge effort to really integrate them, and might be more than just doing their own from scratch (hard to say.)

I'm not trying to be argumentative or disparaging either product, this is just a fact of life. Lots of such aquisitions fail to live up expectations because the two pieces are so fundamentally different in their internal structure, language, etc... that the work required to really integrate them (to the point that the support and development burden is less than two products squared) is far worse than just having done your own. It gets a hole in your product filled quicker, but it's often not the best long term strategy by a long shot.
Dean; Yes device support - which you are working on as quickly as you can. Great job to date!!

Squntz - Give me a day or two and I will post a much more detailed review. I am tight on time for the next few days.
Squintz, when you have the time to give ML another go, let Krumpy or myself know and we would be glad to help get you going. Did you read the very nice MLHSPlugin installation guide that our very own Brave Sir Robbin helped Krumpy write? They did a nice job on the document. As all documentation leaves gaps, let us know and we'll try to fill em.

We've got a new user manual in the works for MainLobby. Also, did you review Krumpy's MLHSPlugin documentation? That should walk you through step by step.

Also, we've got a Generic Serial plugin that is in heavy development and beta testing right now.

Devices will then be able to be created by end users. While it's not for everyone, we should see a ton of devices being developed by the community instead of waiting for us to roll them out. Granted, we'll continue to develop the heavier ones ourselves like the Russound and HAI.

Mario Cascio
Cinemar, Inc.

How hard would it be to integrate THIS with your new serial port plugin (they have a lot of detail on its serial data specifications on that site).


BSR would it not be better to have that unit controlled by HS and then just have ML control HS with Krumpy's plugin? Is there a HS plugin for that device yet?


It should work with any device as long as it supports HEX or ASCII.
The tricky part with any of this is figuring out what to send.

I had never read a serial protocol in great detail before and was able to figure out how to communicate with my Yamaha RXV1 after some trial and error.

Try posting that link over on the Generic Serial thread and I'm sure someone can inform you the exact command to send. I could also take a stab at it, but the guys over there (Lee and rlindblad) are more experts.

The nice thing is that once it's working, you can share it with anyone else who has the product.