Opinions: Ocelot vs Global Cache


Senior Member
I'm not quite to the point of tying the home theater components in, but that day is fast approaching. I've seen a lot of talk on the ocelot, and was curious on opionions on which is 'better' to automate IR functions.

I'm anticipating this to be under the following circumstances:

Elk M1G installation
Xantech 4 zone IR distribution system (expandable as required)
CQC or equivalent software control (have not demo'd it yet, but it looks promising)

I have centralized equipment in the basement and room based equipment as well.

I understand parts of this are an opinion question, and I have seen responses from both sides that have been positive.

The Ocelot interfaces with the elk, however, if the integration gets complicated I am concerned about rules space (and I expect to run the elk and a pc controller, and understand this can start a religious debate in itself).

If anyone has opinions I can chew on in the meantime they would be appreciated.
Well the Ocelot is usable from the M1 and Guy is always here to answer questions. If you are going to be using CQC or ML anyway, you can always go with a more affordable USB-UIRT or any of the other supported IR controllers. Thats about as far as I have gotten myself. From what I understand the Ocelot is great at sending out commands to be used from either its own logic or M1 rules, but it is not good for receiving IR for control of devices. So you can just build your Xantech distribution system for control and have the Ocelot in the loop for automated control. This keeps everything hardware based and reliable. But there are other much more IR knowledgable IR folks here...
Here soon (they missed their ETA for delivery but it won't be long now), we'll have these available:


It's an internal 4 zone IR device. If you don't actually need the ports to be remote from the computer, there's a lot to be said in terms of robustness to have them internal where they can't be accidentally unplugged and where they are plugged in at the lowest level possible. Add one of these, and a 4 port serial card from SIIG, add CQC, stir well, and you've got a quite nice all in one computer based automation controller.

Digital Connections has a good pre-order price on them.
I dont know anything about the Global Cache so I can't say much about it. I do know the Ocelot however, and can answer your questions about that one. The Ocelot is not just a IR learning device, but also a standalone HA controller that can be programmed to perform conditional logic using a programming model very similar to the Elk M1. The Ocelot has a built-in serial port , IR in and out ports, and an X-10 interface (needs PSC-05). The Elk can exchange information with the Ocelot using its seral port, and using a serial expander on the Elk. The Ocelot is also expandable, with zoned IR output modules, relay and digital/analog input modules, etc. the Ocelot is also supported by many PC based HA applications such as HAL, Homeseer, etc.
I wrote my own trivial software to talk to a global cache device. I have it connected into a speakercraft distribution network and use it to both monitor and transmit IR. We might be unusual in our home, but we keep individual remote controls for certain things connected via an AV receiver. It always annoyed us to have to use another remote to change the receiver input. Yes, we could have use one of the many 3rd party macro or programmable remotes, but we never found one that 1) we liked as much as the tivo peanut remotes and 2) supported multiple tivos at the same location (we have a his and hers tivo stack). 99% of the time we use the one tivo remote which has a switch between the two tivo addresses.

So, I have the global cache device listen in for the different IR codes from the different remote control devices. You just pick up the remote for the device you want to use and the AV receiver automagically switches to that input source.

We have a GC-100-06, GC-IRL, GC-IRE, several Speakercraft IRC-3.0 and AT-1.0's, and a whole mess of IR emitters.

I also use the system to send IR codes for controlling drape motors.

While the device works, it does have many limitations. Most are not an issue. The main one I hit was that the TCP/IP implementation is VERY primitive. It doesn't do TCP segment reassembly. does very strange things when there is no control connection active, only supports 1 control connection, commands have to be in a single tcp packet, etc. This was not a problem for me.

It plus the speakercraft stuff has been utterly reliable for me. I've never used an ocelot. I suspect that you'd find it easier to interface an ocelot with traditional HA software (or hardware). The ocelot has been around a Long Time and is very well supported.

Global Cache freely document the protocols! This seems to be a rare find these days and was why I bought their stuff.

For a laugh, I uploaded an early standalone version of my input selector to: http://www.wemm.org/ha/autosource/ Be warned that it is for amusement value only. It will not be useful to anybody out of the box. If it gives anybody ideas, good luck to them!
Thanks. The harmony 880 supports multiple tivo's. You just call them to assign the id (too many people were trying to use that function and screwing things up. When I called shortly after it was released the support guy noted 'we have abot 450,000 of these in the field right now, your setup is one of four like this'. I also have 2 tivos (and my wife loves them) in addition to an mce macine.

I'll look more at the ir options. Thanks for the feedback.