Rule #1 - Be Patient - Rule #2 - Don't ask when, if you don't contribute - Rule #3 - You have coding skills - LinuxMCE's small brother is available: http://www.agocontrol.com
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is on the way...
Bugger all! Insteon and Z-Wave are the two most supported other than X10, but neither have Australian versions yet (ZWave may do in the future, seems unlikely that Insteon will as it doesn't support EU yet either). EIB is another, but that is primarily EU and expensive, never seen it here.
Dan recently added support for PLCBus, which is a Chinese/HK product but explicitly supports the AU/NZ market as well as N.A. and EU. Relatively cheap but more expensive than X10 still, though faster and bi-directional. I believe someone is already using it in AU but can't remember who. You can order direct from their HK web site.
Yes, you can get the GSD to send and receive basic text strings using Ruby code in the web admin, to a serial port. Or you can write your own DCE device from the ground up and do anything you like. For GSD, you just create a device template, plug in the Ruby codes for the things you want it to send and associate each command group with a DCE command, then the GSD device will handle the translation of DCE commands coming in, to the Ruby code it needs to execute to send a particular text string out the serial port. Then the placement of the device in the Devices Tree and the pipes you set up allow LMCE to determine which DCE commands to send to that device, and when to send them.
DTV meaning Free to Air DVB-T television presumably, has an EPG transmitted with it. The issue you will need to deal with is, you need to make a decision as whether to use VDR or MythTV. For DVB-T (Australian free to air) VDR is definitely the better choice and provides EPG automatically with no setup. However, VDR will not let you capture your Austar analogue service, you will need MythTV for that, and although Myth will also to DVB-T it doesn't currently support the EPG. If you go that way then you will have to do some considerable setup and scrape the EPGs for these services from an XML provider like oztivo.