Opinions on Girder and Netremote?


I've been using my Ocelot for about 6 months to control lighting and window blinds. I also have a Speakeasy and SECU-16 for making announcements detecting open doors.

Recently I added a Sqeezebox to my A/V system for streaming mp3 music from a PC located in the garage. This all works great but I'd like to add an Airpanel touchscreen monitor to control the Squeezebox in place of the current IR controller. The Squeezebox slimserver has a web browser interface, so controlling it via a touchscreen should be pretty simple.

But, then I started to think "why not also use the touch screen as an interface to the Ocelot". Then I could control lights, check for open doors, close the window bliinds, etc. and my wife will think it's very coooool! ;)

So now the big decision. What backend software do I use to interface to the Ocelot and what frontend software to use for the GUI? Pricewise, Girder ($20) can't be beat and it has support for the Ocelot which is pretty much all I need.

Deciding on the frontend is tough. I like MainLobby, but for $200 and up, I'm not sure it's worth the price when all I'll be doing is controlling X-10 lighting. Homeseer's is getting pricey too (>$150) and I suspect the GUI is very basic compared to MainLobby. I've looked a little at NetRemote ($30), but it requires you to create CCF files (similiar to the Pronto) which is time consuming and I'm a beginner at using Photoshop.

I know many of you started with Homeseer when it's costs was less prohibitive and the choices were few. But if you were to start over from scratch, what would you go with today?

Meedio HouseBot is under $100, interfaces to a variety of automation devices including the Ocelot, and includes a WYSIWYG theme designer to create custom graphical interfaces for several platforms including Windows CE.
Thanks for the replies! I haven't run across these packages before so it's nice to have some new options.

Meedio HouseBot has a incredible GUI but it's still a bit pricey for me.

I really like the way XLobby is setup as a front end with plug-ins to XPL and Girder for the backend. This should provide support for many devices including the Ocelot and Squeezebox. XPL is free and Girder is around $20. I'll download the software this weekend see how it looks.

Thanks again.
kinkheads, MainLobby is something like $60 and the MLHSPlugin to get 2 way interface control with Homeseer is an additional $40.

You can add several optional MainLobby components that add up to more $s for more functionality. No different than paying for HS plugins, or additional Microsoft applications to run on Windows.
He stated he didn't own HS so it would be MainLobby $60 + HomeSeer $150 + HS 2way MainLobby Plugin $40. That's $250. It seems to me that HS at (soon to be) $199 needs to include a "slicker" front end. I never thought of it this way before but at $200 they are going to have to add to that GUI. Maybe HS 2.0 will?
You are right, the basic Mainlobby is $60. My estimate of $200 was based on adding a few of the plugins.

I've been playing around with Xlobby and so far am pretty impressed. It has support for PVRs, a music jukebox, photo album view, movie jukebox, weather reports, and more. It's still lacking some functions, but there seems to be alot of enthusiasm towards creating additional plugins. I'm personally working on a "dummies guide" for interfacing Xlobby with the Ocelot.

Xlobby may not be for everyone. It can be fully customized for your needs, but the Skin Editor has loads of options which can take some time to learn. If you are looking for a slam, bam, thank-you-mam solution, this is probably not the package to you.

It's pretty easy to download and install. There are several excellent skins, I personally like the Heavy Metal skin. I'd encourage anyone to even slightly interested to try Xlobby out.

Well thats the great part today.... there is many different ways to get what you want. I use Netremote for my GUI frontend myself and like what it does. The biggest reason that I did not go with MainLobby is the requirements for the tablets to run it. Netremote runs fine on a 400Mhz pen tablet whereas MainLobby would be dog slow. But one has to admire the flashy graphics of the MainLobby suite. Given some artistic talent (or borrowing from others) there is not much you can't do with Netremote used with Homeseer. But again there are many ways to skin this cat today....