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349 weeks ago @ Media @ Home - Lifeware Media Centers... · 0 replies · +1 points

Unless your DVD can play .wtv or .dvr-ms files directly (I\'m not aware of any DVD players that are capable of that) you\'ll have to convert the recorded shows to a format that your DVD would be able to play. Check out this video for one of the possible solutions.

375 weeks ago @ Home Automation DIY - The Ultimate List of H... · 0 replies · +1 points

Thanks for the tip!

376 weeks ago @ Home Automation DIY - The Ultimate List of H... · 0 replies · +1 points

Thank you Michael for the tip

384 weeks ago @ Home Automation DIY - The Ultimate List of H... · 0 replies · +1 points


I used to own SmartLinc since it began shipping a few years ago (and I still have it somewhere in my closet). It\'s a pretty basic and easy to use controller. It allows you to control lights, etc., but it is not the best tool for extended set-ups. Smarthome sells IRLinc Transmitter (2411T) that can convert Insteon commands to IR, though I\'m not sure of the degree of integration between it and the SmartLinc, which is pretty limited by itself. Controller such as ISY99i (which I currently use) allows much more flexibility and it provides a macro language that allows to script things like \'when I press this button dim the lights and send Play command to DVD\'. I\'m not aware of the way to do that with SmartLinc (that was one of the reasons I switched to ISY99i).

ISY99i can control any IP device if you acquire Networking Module for it. Global Cache devices convert IP to Infrared commands that in turn control your AV gear.

From what I read iRule doesn\'t support Insteon. I\'m sure you wouldn\'t want to be switching between several itouch apps to get one simple task done. It would be easier to just get up and do it manually. So, in my opinion it would wiser for you to invest a bit more in a smarter controller (than 2412n).

385 weeks ago @ Home Automation DIY - The Ultimate List of H... · 1 reply · +1 points

Hi Brian,

Lance Ulanoff of has nothing to do with this particular blog, nor the domain name. My name is Ruslan and we share the same (kind of) last name and I was just lucky to grab that domain name before he did. :)

Now, that we are clear on the names, let me try to answer your question.
If you are certain on using Insteon for your lighting (and potentially curtains, HVAC and more) there are not that many options available in the AppStore for that particular technology. Depending on whether or not you plan to use PC (or Mac) as your Insteon controller or a standalone controller box such as ISY99i, your best bets would be...
For PC-based system: Girder or HomeSeer
For MAC-based system: Indigo Touch
For ISY99i controller based system ($300+): MobiLinc Pro
For HomeTroller controller based system ($999+): HomeSeer
For a more sophisticated set-up ($1500+): Cortexa

Ruslan Ulanov

P.S. I was also saddened to hear that Lance goes off the air.

393 weeks ago @ Media @ Home - My HTPC: hardware · 0 replies · +1 points

No, I have not upgraded the stock PSU. I do notice, though, that additional HDDs that I have installed require more power than stock PSU can provide. Which occasionally can lead to system\'s instability (especially on very hot days).

As for me, I\'m thinking of retiring this system completely, since it cannot handle HD content from blu-ray and LAN (limitation of GPU mostly). I\'m pretty satisfied with Acer AspireRevo 3610 (my other Media Center PC). Considering the cost of upgrading the graphic card and PSU it just doesn\'t make sense for me to not switch to a new system altogether.

Let us know how the upgrade went if you will decide to upgrade.

395 weeks ago @ Home Automation DIY - First impressions: Sma... · 0 replies · +1 points

Thank you for sharing your app with us.

397 weeks ago @ Home Automation DIY - The Ultimate List of H... · 0 replies · +1 points

It\'s true. Some free apps available in the App Store might require you to purchase a separate licence for each device you will be running that app on. Fortunately, though this is an exception and it applies to higher end systems where the license fee will be included in the installation job. Thank you, Reader for the mentioning that point.

403 weeks ago @ Media @ Home - Media Streamers will r... · 0 replies · +1 points

Unfortunately, I did not have much luck with my Zyxel DMA-1100p.

It works fine when both transmitter and receiver units are plugged in to the same leg of power line, but it fails completely when receiver is either connected to a GFCI-protected outlet (i.e. any outlet in the kitchen) or if receiver is on the opposite phase of the power line. Also, it could be that my INSTEON-based home automation system introduced noise that prevented HomePlug AV from syncing or that surge suppressing extension cords that I have throughout the house did not play nice with HomePlug signals. There are so many variables to consider.

So, in my particulate case this set-up was pretty much useless, your mileage may vary.

I guess some of those issues could be mitigated by installing a phase coupler at the junction box, or connecting noisy devices through filters, etc. But I decided to skip that solution for the time being.

411 weeks ago @ Media @ Home - Media Streamers will r... · 0 replies · +1 points

@IM Fletcher,

No, I could not make Zyxel to see my PlayOn server that allows to stream Netflix, etc., although PlayOn works fine on my Wii and Win7 PCs.

The local music plays fine as well as pictures, but many video files would not play at all - especially those taken with a Canon camera.

I had a hard time trying to make this system work at certain locations that were of particular interest to me (such as kitchen), so I resorted to another, more reliable, solution - a dedicated low-power media center PC.