Author Topic: Nice article comparing different home automation technologies  (Read 2282 times)


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Nice article comparing different home automation technologies
« on: January 09, 2011, 08:04:07 pm »
Home automation project, part IV:

"I've found four software solutions for Z-Wave control that look at least a little promising: ThinkEssentials from ControlThink, HSPRO from HomeSeer, Web-Link II from HAI, and the open source LinuxMCE project. HSPRO is the first to go, as it costs a whopping $600. Hell no.
Web-Link looks pretty interesting, but apparently it can't "configure" or "program" the HAI system, which in this case would be a Z-Wave system - I'm not even sure what the difference between "configure" and "program" is in this context. It's certainly cheaper than HSPRO, but it's still around $300, and I couldn't use it to do system setup or to extend its functionality (as far as I can tell), so it's out as well.

ThinkEssentials seems to be a nice program, pretty cheap (around $50-$90), and ControlThink provides an SDK as well. Unfortunately, any program using the SDK cannot run at the same time as ThinkEssentials on the same hardware, plus the SDK has some severe limitations, both control-wise and licensing-wise. Since SDK-based apps have to be separate from ThinkEssentials, I'd pretty much end up writing my own Z-Wave control suite using their limited SDK, which I don't really want to do. ThinkEssentials is, therefore, out.

All that's left now is LinuxMCE. It is extremely powerful, with many features ranging from PVR to home automation to telecommunications. It has its own Z-Wave driver that is compatible with many PC controllers and many devices. It even has a specialized interface for Windows Mobile. Oh, and it's free and open source. The problem is, I'm not sure I'd be able to extend it easily. This software is so complex that I'd have to understand very many aspects of it before I could do anything useful to it. In addition, the documentation for the software - a wiki - is perpetually incomplete and/or out of date, something which open source projects are notorious for. So while LinuxMCE is the most promising software, I don't think I want to go with it considering its issues."

Too bad he didn't contact lmce devels :(
LinuxMCE - If it was easy, everybody would be doing it!!
My setup -