Archive for June, 2008

One For All remote: first impression

URC 7556 Digital 5

Recently I bought universal remote control. I chose One For All URC 7556 Digital 5. That remote is simple and cheap (just 32EUR). But it offers a quite acceptable set of functions. First of all the remote supports up to 5 devices. I found codes for my TV and DVD easily. I just re-mapped a few buttons to support missing functions such switching between TV inputs or opening DVD tray. To replace iMON PAD remote which came with Silverstone case (I hate its PAD!) I learned its commands and assigned them to the Sat button. That’s it. Finally instead of three remote I use only one.

The URC 7556 Digital 5 offers a few simple but useful functions. For example, you can increase or decrease volume during watching DVD without pressing button TV. It’s done by defining special command. In that case if you press volume button the command will be sent to TV regardless what device you use at that time.

The remote supports macros. This means that you can assign sequence of some actions to one button. For example, switch on TV, switch on DVD, switch on amplifier, switch to DVD output. In addition the URC 7556 Digital 5 looks stylish, plastic has good quality and it’s handy.

HAI likes Windows Home Server

WL3 for Windows Home Server

HAI – Home Automation, Inc. recently announced its new software for Windows Home Server – WL3. It’s realized as an Add-in for a Windows Home Server and allows to monitor and control HAI Home Control System from any device with a web browser, including the newly announced iPhone 2.0, iPod Touch, BlackBerry, smartphone, computer, PDA, Internet Tablet etc.

The WL3 is flexible and customizable. It allows to change UI by applying different graphic and color schemes. Additionally, you can add RSS feeds for custom data, such as weather forecasts or personal blogs to the WL3 main page. So, you’ll able to read some news between watching video from your security cameras or checking status of various sensors.

The WL3 provides a web-based user interface. In my opinion this is the best choice. It has some limitations. But as advantage it gives a possibility to control your home from any device with web browser. Which is not bad any way.

The WL3 be shipping in July. Price is not tagged yet.

[via AutomatedHome]

VUDU brings movies in your home

Vudu box

I already wrote about VUDU – VOD provider from US. It offers approximately five thousand movies, HD films, and TV shows via broadband Internet connection. The movies can be rented or bought.

Actually VUDU does similar thing as AppleTV. But VUDU uses original approach to deliver content to the custom’s box. It something similar to BitTorrent. Requested movie is retrieved not from the central server as it’s done in case of AppleTV. But from the other VUDU boxes where it was already stored. As result the movie will come to your box much faster and network won’t be overladen.

Good approach! VUDU has only one big disadvantage for people who live outside USA. It works in US only. But AppleTV is available everywhere in the world (where high speed broadband exists of course).

See also

ASUS Eee B202 Desktop PC

ASUS Eee B202 Desktop PC

Finally ASUS announced specification, prices and availability of its new Eee B202 Desktop PC. Its price starts from $269.00. So, as you can see B202 looks very attractive in design, productivity and price points.

I like ASUS Eee B202 Desktop PC and I’d like to try it as LinuxMCE media client (media director). It uses Intel graphical chip which supports UI2 but without transparency yet. The B202 can be mounted behind TV. It’s compact, noiseless and has enough power to play video (not sure about HDTV). Well, let’s wait till it’ll be available in Europe. I think it can be good competitor for aOpen miniPC.

Full specification after jump.
Read more »

X-10 Micro Module for Blinds and Screens

X-10 Micro Module for Blinds and Screens

Recently Marmitek introduced SWM1P – an X10 micro module for operating sun blind, shutters or projection-screen. It’s equipped with a preset function, a blocking mode and two way communication, which allows to retrieve its status remotely.

The SWM1P has built-in relay with two contacts for connecting a 230V motor and can be installed and programmed very easily. Using the SWM1P together with CM15Pro (and with LinuxMCE probably) you can protect your furniture from the sun, keep your house cool or organize hi-tech home theater.

The SWM1P can be found on the Intellihome at €99.95.

[via AutomatedHome]

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