Pluto?

elcano

Active Member
I tried it two months ago but got some small hardware compatibility issues with Debian (in my laptop, I dont have a desktop) that I didn't how to solve and didnt have the time to solve.

The frontend is not beautiful, but it is practical. I like a lot their architecture and design. You can write drivers for new hardware and they get stored in a MySQL database. If you want, you can share these customization with the central database to make it available to other users as a download. I also like the idea of having a central HA hub controlling everything from security (via a panel) to Home Theater. As a Home Theater its not just controlling your devices, but it can do the actual HTPC work with MythTV.

Their value is the architecture that they create that glues together several other disimilar Open Source HA related projects. But as most open source, they dont have all the required documentation. I say all the 'required', because their is a lot of documentation but they need more. Their documentation is written. They dont have a single picture/graphic to guide you - I hate this since I am very visual oriented.

But overall I would like the project to be successful because I haven't seen a single other HA system that does as many things as Pluto intends to do. At least, not for the same sticker price ($0.00). :eek:
 

huggy59

Active Member
I played with it a while back, too. IMO, not ready for prime time, but something to watch.
 

elcano

Active Member
This is what I got from what seems to be their business model.

They developed a proprietary version 1.0 of Pluto that they selled through dealers. Looking at the the registered Plutohome community in Frappr, they seem to be European, but I have not confirmed. THe other reason is their reliance on Symbian Series 60 phones for remote control - those phones are very popular in Europe but not so much in US. That explains what we havn't heard of this version here.

So probably they found that the goal for version 2 was too big for them, so they decided to open source it and develop a model for encouraging simple but powerful development of drivers, and simplicity of contribution.

They have two basic markets. The core HA DIYer that would deal with a complex configuration and installation. That people would get it free. Last year they would have programmers connect to your PCs remotely to support you in the development of drivers, but this year they seem to be too busy and mostly give forum support.

The second market are regular users that would buy the bundled software/hardware from authorized dealers. This is were they expect to make money. They have not announced those dealers yet because they recognize that they are not ready yet. I just hope that they focus in polishing out what they have and stop developing new stuff, so that they can release something succesful to the market before they run dry of money.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
elcano said:
I just hope that they focus in polishing out what they have and stop developing new stuff, so that they can release something succesful to the market before they run dry of money.
How close or far away would you say they are? Is this something to ignore for 6 months and then check it again? Or do you think they might be ready sooner?
 

elcano

Active Member
I dont have any clue on when will they launch their dealer program, but I guess that with their direct help and controlled hardware environment they should be able to release something in any moment. This is important because this will be their only source of income and they cant run of air for long time.

About the DIY program, it depends on how willing are you to try, read existing documentation and ask in their forum for the non-existing one. I think that their weakest point is the difficulty to modify their standard interface, but this interface might be OK for many. I really appreciate the integration of all those software packages in a single environment and the ability to build interfaces to new hardware, so I'd be willing to accept the compromise.

If you have Debian experience it will be much easier. While I had some Unix experience most of the problems what I got were with Debian itself.

When I tried it I did it in my laptop which is not necessarily the best environment for this. So I'll wait until getting a desktop before trying again. Probably 6-9 months from now. In that time we might be able to tell if they will have success or not.
 

MBrew

Member
This year at one of the industry shows (EHX?) Monster announced an automation program that sounds an awful lot like Pluto home. I'm wondering if they've signed a deal.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
Actually the only thing that interests me about Pluto is the tight integration with Slimserver and SqueezeBox players. There are ways to do the same thing with other Automation packages but you have to do a lot of manual xAP or xPL scripting to make it happen.

I would think that with both a rich Command Line Interface AND native xPL support, that Slimserver would be a fairly simple platform to integrate into an HA program, but so far only Pluto and MediaNet support it in any serious way. (And MediaNet is a hardware generation behind, supporting SliMP3 players but not the newer Squeezeboxes).
 

huggy59

Active Member
Slim Server also has a fairly decent HTML interface that can be used for HA control of remote players as well.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
huggy59 said:
Slim Server also has a fairly decent HTML interface that can be used for HA control of remote players as well.
Are you doing this, and what does it require to implement?
 

huggy59

Active Member
No, it's already done - the HTML interface is the standard Slim Server web server interface. You just send commands in the URL, so from HS, for instance, you could easily use GetURL or similar to "command" Slim Server (via its built-in web server) and its connected players. Download and install Slim Server - it's free - then just read the docs that come on the web server it runs.

Check out the Help/Technical Information/Slim Server Web Interface for commands and other info. There is also a command line interface as well as the xPL interface. And the whole thing is written in Perl.

BTW, the Slim Server streams MP3 formats, so you can use Winamp or similar, and there is also Squeezebox emulator software that runs on MAC OSX, Linux, and Windows, so you don't need the Slimp3/Squeezebox hardware unit to use the Slim Server. Pretty neat, and about as cheap as it gets!
 

WayneW

Senior Member
MBrew said:
This year at one of the industry shows (EHX?) Monster announced an automation program that sounds an awful lot like Pluto home. I'm wondering if they've signed a deal.
Good Catch! I hadn't looked at either of them close enough to notice, but apparently you and others have.

http://www.cepro.com/news/editorial/13184....tm_medium=email

Monster Cable entered into a joint venture to develop its ambitious new automation system (Monster Demos Ambitious New Automation System) but the company declined to name its partner when pressed earlier this year.

Thanks to tips from a cepro.com participant, and the plutohome.com bulletin board, we now have it figured out.

Now it appears that Monster has partnered with Pluto, developer of a whole-house control system that employs the same hardware, technologies, and user interface of the Monster system, down to the big "F" that appears on the cellphone if you put your media into "Follow Me" mode.
 

elcano

Active Member
This explains the relatively early Z-Wave support in Pluto. They were supporting X-10 only, and then suddenly they had support for Z-Wave. I was wondering why Z-Wave specifically and nothing about Insteon or UPB. This explains it all.

Its nice that they have Monster's big pocket support. This gives them a nice probability of surviving to the new good competition in this young and limited market.
 
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