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Tim (Official Rep) September 29, 2017 01:38

Important update about the future of iRule & ON Controls!

Important Update Regarding The Future Of iRule & ON Controls

In case you are not aware over the past 3 years iRule LLC has been developing a new product in conjunction with Kramer Electronics. During that development, the iRule Development Team worked to stabilize both the iRule & ON Controls products. After the last updated release we have since halted all other development of the iRule & ON Controls products so that we could focus our resources into building Kramer Control. Based upon reactions thus far, we believe that Kramer Control will be the next GREAT Commercial Control Platform!

We know that you are likely wondering how this will affect you, your projects, and your customers. Because of this, we have enacted the following timeline so that you will be well informed and have time to make any necessary adjustments.



Today

  • Official announcement will go out to users, websites and social media.

  • iRule GetSatisfaction forum will be turned over to a user run forum, that will be funded by iRule so that current users and future users can find and exchange information.

  • ON Controls will no longer accept new dealers.

December 31,  2018

  • All sales of iRule & ON Controls products will cease.

December 31, 2021

  • iRule & ON Controls Servers will be shut down. *Note – ALL Existing projects will continue to function as normal, however, no new changes will be able to be made to the projects.



We realize that this can impact your business and we hope that by delaying the server shutdown until the end of 2021, we are giving you a sufficient amount of time to transition to a new platform. If you are interested in finding out more about Kramer Control and how this new platform can work for you, please let us know and we will put you in touch with the Kramer Regional Sales Manager in your area.



Thank you for your business and your enthusiasm over the past 8 years!

iRule LLC a Kramer Electronics Company
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  • Thank you for posting an update and giving us a time line!
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  • it mean 's our existing project' does not changeable after dec-2021?
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  • 3
    >> we believe that Kramer Control will be the next GREAT Commercial Control Platform! <<

    Just great, Tim. We sell residential accounts and the "brain" is expensive overkill for such installations.

    I urge Kramer to not abandon the core of residential users that made iRule/On Controls what it is today.
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  • 2
    At first: Thanks for the honest statement and the quite long timeline.

    As far as I understand you will shut down the servers at the end of 2021. If there is a need to do so, will you update the apps (iOS/Android) so that they will run with iOS12/13 and so on?

    And if Google decides to change their log in mechanism, will you update your services?

    Perhaps a silly question: What about making the whole "iRule-System" "Open Source" and give it to a willing community or one or two persons who dare to care about the system? Logitechs former Squeezeserver is still maintained by a great person who keeps the system alive and cares about the best music server in the world. This would be a great legacy.

    By the way: It's a pity! I've searched for months for a system as capable as iRule regardless of costs.There is none. I hope you will lift Kramer Control to this level someday...

    Nocko!
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  • So what is the migration strategy for a residential DIY guy like myself that was an early adopter and uses iRule pro for my home installation. IRule sold it for $200. What equal Kramer product would I have to redevelop in?
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  • well waste of money that's all I think.
    Sorry all cutomers, money is iruling in this world.

    Hope to find a serious dealer, won't buy anything from Kramer before it turn in some Bauer or Gogostar....

    And no explanation on how irule users will get easy way to transfer some data or special price update...

    Sad day
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  • 1
    Yes, Kramer is killing all DYI installations although iRule once promised they would make their code open source if they have to shutdown their servers. Well obviously Kramer has different plans and it's a pity that they acquired iRule. I hoped iRule would keep their promise but in the end Kramer did a very simple thing. Buy your competitor and shut it down like so often. But this time they even made them create Kramer Control before shutting them down. I hope you guys from iRule got a good price for screwing all home users! To put in simple words but harsh words: Fuck you Kramer for what you're doing and fuck you iRule for selling you're company to them. Does anybody know of something comparable out there which is affordable?
    • view 2 more comments
    • Sorry for confusing you: Of course it is all about money. Some people want your money, some people complain about spending money. In reality everything costs something... But iRule costs just a fraction of the money most of us here spent for gadgets like TVs or Amps or BluRays or Cds. And we shouldn't forget that we all got a system for our money that we like - or liked. But the point is: There is no reason to insult the people at Kramer or iRule.
    • Yes it did cost only a fraction, but it looks that Kramer Control is solely for big enterprise customers. So, we're out of options completely or do you want to invest thounsands of US Dollars? And so I disagree. The people at iRule completely forgot that they once promised to make it Open Source should this situation arise and the people I Kramer I insult for not having a reasonable option for DIY and I think that's perfectly resonable.
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  • I’m calling Amex and doing a chargeback. I paid for a working and customizable remote.
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  • 1
    This was ALWAYS my biggest fear with iRule being cloud based. It’s not the money invested in this product but rather the countless hours I’ve invested building all of my templates and learning/configuring. If they’re going to abandon this product, they should at least do the right thing and turn it over to the community which supported them alll of these years...
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  • 1
    Kramer you should consider offering an attractive upgrade path to your Kramer Control solution to those who purchased iRule. Any offer I believe should be made very attractive to encourage users over to your platform.

    There are many commercial benefits from Kramer's perspective if there is some vision.

    1. Instant user base that has proven for the most part to have contributed to the success of iRule to assist in moving Kramer Controls forward.

    2. Not alienating iRule users against supporting Kramer products. Already you are seeing some clear statements about not wanting to support your products.

    3. Retained loyalty for a product albeit under a different name if you act swiftly enough with a genuine attractive offer to existing users. Part of what you would have purchased at the time of acquisition was some goodwill......why not capitalise on this?

    4. This would be a source of income albeit less than your full retail product however you have a captive market in qualified ensures already. Offering an attractive migration path to existing iRule users should not effect your Kramer market up take.

    5. Keeping exiting iRule users close to Kramer reduces the risk of a competitor capitalising of on any potential iRule user fall out. Think your starting to see this already.

    I am sure there are other benefits outher iRule user will have.

    Just some commercial thoughts to consider. Let's see if there is any innovative commercial thinking from Kramer?
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  • 1
    I would not sweat it. Honestly while iRule best attribute was its flexibility in customizing it severely lacked in other areas and out of the box the graphics are kind of dated. Feedback can be a royal pita to get working, sliders never worked for me, no EPG and native keyboard support. The modules that where available where kind of half baked. I would expect before 2021 comes along there will be new platforms that will make iRule look like ms-dos and most would move on anyway.
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  • Alright. Expected news I guess.

    Thanks for lettings us know and for giving a reasonable date to transition.
    No chance of a migration wizzard from iRule to Kramer builder and some form of sidegrade pricing to the Kramer builder then? Might be worth it for many.
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  • I wonder if SImpleControl would be a viable alternative to iRule. Has anyone tried it?
    • view 4 more comments
    • Chuck, I created everything in v4.5, however don't spend too much time making the virtual remotes look perfect as the UI changes completely in v5. The creation of activities will be the same though. In short, you can build in 4.5 and it will transition over to v5 when released. The concept of the "remote designs" will be renamed to Legacy Remote Designs and they are keeping them alive for a while if people don't automatically take to the new UI, however I think they will eventually be deprecated.
    • Houser, as per my message to Chuck, the new UI coming in v5 will not be as customisable as the current v4.5 "initially". But they will make it more and more editable with time. Having said that, the new UI provides access to the most commonly used buttons and then has a slide down drawer to reveal all the buttons per device so you don't need to customise anything really. Simple is quick to get up and running and its what I want these days unlike iRule that took forever. Plus I like how I can make a change to a remote on my iPhone while watching something instead of having to make time to sit in front of the PC/MAC using the Builder.
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  • I request u that please u have to allow existing user to change their old projects after dec-2021 because if our old Clint make change in their electronic gadgets TVs AIR CONDITION etc that time we have to give service to them. irule promise to them licencees cost is for lifetime & what is the guarantee for future ? . in case in future someone takeover kramer electronics that time you will be said that go to next platform.

    please think about proper solution of existing users than after take decision to shutdown the server. otherwise no one make trust on your further development things
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  • Unfortunately I just don't see an app with this amount of customization being released. It was a diamond in the rough. Those of us who program and used it know the capabilities of it. My ui for my house is better than anything the latest elan or control 4 or any other company for that matter has to offer because I put the time in myself. DIY seems to be fading in this market as I have had to become a certified installer with several companies to even make my diy system at home work. Going forward I will most likely create a server app that will host web pages and allow any device to have the same ui as my Irule system does simply typing in the ip of my windows server. not sure. I can now control my whole house using my dots and Alexa so maybe a nice ui is no longer needed.
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  • What about just having to reload a device's config? I know most devices will delete config files after a cleanup which requires connecting to the server to reload the configs.

    How is this going to work? How can I just use my local backup to reload a device's configs?

    I'm talking about On controls here.
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  • Tim (Official Rep) September 30, 2017 18:01
    I want to clarify for everyone, that the decision to gradually shut iRule down was not a Kramer decision but one made by the iRule Team. The decision was not an easy one but over the past 7 years we have seen most of our success in the Commercial industry, so we felt that it was time. Now I want to remind everyone that the servers will continue to run at our cost for the next 3+ years. We have never asked our customers to pay more for this nor have we charged for updates. The product is 7 years old and we are being quite generous by not shutting things down immediately. Now for those of you looking for a replacement. In the residential place you may want to look at Roomie ( which will allow you to use the current GC hardware that you already own) or Harmony which quite frankly has come a long way. Within the residential market it is very challenging for companies to grow and profit which is why we decided to make our decision.
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    • voice activated control systems only work if they can understand different accents or dialects....Xfinity X1 Remote is garbage, SIRI is better but not perfect...they have a long way to go before Voice Control is perfected... cant move to it yet...its a good 5+ years away from where it needs to be, if not longer.
    • I thought the same thing till I tried amazon echo. Siri to me is garbage. I mumble apparently some times and Siri is almost never right. But Alexa for me is about 95%. It just works. The only time we use remotes is the Comcast tv remote and to use sonos for the whole house russound system. By the end of this year sonos and russound will be directly compatible with Alexa. For now I can turn on zones and start playlists with Alexa. Alexa can be trained also so if it doesn’t understand you can tell it what you really said so it can adjust for future.
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  • 1
    Thank you Tim for this clarification. I love iRule but also understand why it went this way. Would be more than happy to pay a fee/contribution to keep support going. Roomie and Harmony cannot compete at all with iRule for as far as I understand it. Thanks and regards, Hans
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  • Where does K-rule fit into this product line? I have a Kramer account but have not been able to log into the builder. From what I have seen, I wonder if it is similar to iRule but probably keyed so only Kramer hardware gateways will work?

    Or is K-rule going to disappear too?

    Thank you.
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  • Hi Tim,

    Thank you for the clarification. I am sure we all appreciate the fact we have someone that is fielding our comments, concerns and suggestions. Yes the transition period is generous and we thank Kramer/iRule for making this available.

    Notwithstanding the product is now in a "commercial" market place which is obviously why Kramer purchased iRule would Kramer consider coming up with a package for die hard iRule users?

    We realise that any development on the Kramer front would now be based around Kramer gateways so maybe some one off special pricing on suitable gateway?

    End of the day those that are prepared to stump up whatever an offer might be hop on the Kramer "K-Rule" camp the others may choose to jump onto others some of which you have mentioned. Those coming over would bring I suggest a good amount of experience and most likely add to product development rather than detract.

    I am a retired TV broadcast engineer qualified to run a TV station. I had a company that designed, developed and manufactured TV broadcast equipment for 15 years. I have been trained in other systems from a personal interest perspective such as ELK M1 automation, RTI, hold open cable licence for data, coax, fibre...etc... I am sure there are other die hards that bring interesting experience to the table..

    Just trying to point out that DYI users can value add to your product development path. I am sure iRule benefited from its die hards on the road to eventually the acquisition to Kramer. Why not bring those that remain die hards along on a mutually beneficial journey?
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  • Ian, you make some good points. During my use of iRule I have debugged a driver for a set top box, and added (and shared) a complete upper/lower case keyboard to the driver for Roku. I have added (and shared) several new feedbacks for Denon AVRs, and also added new IP commands to the driver.

    If K-touch (I erroneously called it K-rule a couple of messages above) has the same framework I guess I can do all of that again, but will it be worth it?
    • Absolutely to my point......how do you put a value on that kind of input!

      In a partnership both contribute and all parties win. Something I hope Kramer will value and change their thinking towards us. There are some pretty smart cookies in the user group, why on earth would you not embrace what we have to offer?

      My business developed very high TV broadcast equipment in a sterile development R&D facility It wasn't until we engaged and partnered with our customers that we found out If there's were any third party issues. These customers saw it as a win win as I would hope Kramer would view us.

      Jeez if we are prepared to put our hands in our pockets again albeit at hopefully a special offer rate surely that would show clear intent of the people hopping on board?
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  • Hello everyone

    So it's happening and irule is on life support, I won't be surprised if they shut it down earlier, say end of 2018!!

    Irule is not looking for alternatives they are simply looking for profit.

    That being said I think it's time to learn and move forward,, I was a redeye until it died and that led me to discover irule ,, so now it could be demopad or roomie,, too many out there, but lessons learned I will be attempting to create something that would run locally and have zero dependencies on any outsourced services that shut down at will

    There are many open source devices out there that can do that and this is where I would be going.

    For all the hours I spent on irule I discovered that it doesn't really provide everything I wanted and mostly half baked,,, I mean for a 10usd device from a lie press I had a better experience in some areas and simpler IR functionality, so don't get to hung up on irule it has always been the community not the Irulers, demo pad is not cloud based and I can still use my itach setup .

    Divorce it is,,,,
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  • I can appreciate that at some point iRule/Kramer will want to move their development resources to a new platform but shutting down the iRule servers is going to be extremely problematic for installers like myself. I have around forty clients running iRule controllers that I have designed over the past few years. I now have the onerous task to inform them that if they need modifications or even to replace a defective iPad, I will not be able to do that for them after 2021. Surely a good compromise would be for Kramer to give us a local Builder app that doesn't need a cloud server, or even better, to allow us to build our own individual cloud servers so that we can continue to service our clients.
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  • Kramer/iRule. You really need to contact you user base via email with a formal announcement. Do not assume that all your users monitor this forum.
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  • One more thing to consider as far as Irule releasing a home server for builder is that the app will not be updated and with iOS 11 out now the app may stop working with any one of the next several updates to iOS 11.
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  • I've been thinking about how many hours I've got into my Irule build, and this is frustrating. Countless hours spent designing custom graphics in photoshop, and tweaking my build, just to get it perfect for my family and I. This is all in addition to the hours spent on AVS, helping new users get the hang of things.

    Kramer, please listen to what Peter mentioned a few post above....

    "Surely a good compromise would be for Kramer to give us a local Builder app that doesn't need a cloud server, or even better, to allow us to build our own individual cloud servers so that we can continue to service our clients"

    If Kramer doesn't come up with something to support the old school Irule users, who jumped in feet first, and helped popularize the product, I'll stay away from Kramer's stuff and have my clients do the same....just as a matter of principal.
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  • Didn't we all buy lifetime licenses for iRule...if they cancel the product I.E. shut down the cloud servers we may have an opportunity to get all the money back through a class-action suit.. and that suit would be against Kramer as they bought iRule..which would damage the Kramer Name...and potential future customer base..!

    If the company iRule/Kramer would allow us to host the cloud based servers/product on my servers but not allow new customers via contract agreement, I would be willing to look into it for a hosting fee on my servers....this way iRule stays up and available for changes for the existing customers but forces new customers to user the new Kramer product or something else.

    Maybe that's something that could avoid any legal action against Kramer and also provide a working solution for the existing users of iRule.

    Thoughts..!
    • As to the lifetime licence, the EULA would have to be reviewed. I can't see Kramer allowing the outside hosting of builder. There may be some proprietary code that they are using in their existing or future endeavours. It would not surprise me it they already had a stand alone platform used for debugging and such but I highly doubt they would release it..

      Take this scenario. Hypothetically speaking, Kramer takes the iRule platform, builds on it, new features, voice control, etc... Then they re-brand it, new name, new marketing, etc. They let iRule die per their outline. But now and likely long before 2021, they have a new consumer based platform with a new model for revenue, perhaps subscription based, perhaps they will package it with their own hub, and their own solution to a itach. You get the picture. It can all be yours based on the terms outlined on our website. You heard it here first.....
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  • FYI this sale to Kramer happened a long time ago and appears to have been the direction from the out set: Here is some history...the investors have to get their money back some how....and $99 per consumer may not reap them the rewards they were looking for..

    History:

    Detroit-based iRule LLC, a maker of cloud-based controls for consumer, corporate and institutional entertainment systems, has been sold to Kramer Electronics Ltd., a global provider of audio and video systems based in Israel.
    Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    The company will continue to operate as iRule and co-founders Itai Ben-Gal and Victor Nemirovsky will remain as CEO and CTO, respectively, Ben-Gal said. It employs 23 full-time and three part-time staff.

    In January 2015, Kramer led an investment round of $2.5 million in iRule and became the company's major distributor.

    Ben-Gal and Nemirovsky, a pair of automotive engineers, founded iRule in 2009 as a sideline to help friends and family manage home entertainment systems in a more organized way than using a tableful of remote controls.

    In 2011, deciding to turn the company into a full fledged company, they raised a seed round of $500,000 and two subsequent funding rounds totaled $3.6 million. Investors included Compuware Ventures LLC, Detroit Venture Partners and Birmingham-based IncWell LLC, an early-stage firm founded by former Chrysler Group LLC CEO Tom LaSorda.

    The company was first based in the Compuware Building and later moved to the Madison Building in downtown Detroit. iRule plans to remain at the Madison, where it recently extended its lease, Ben-Gal said.

    iRule originally targeted consumers but now focuses on companies and large institutions such as hospitals and universities. One major customer is CNN in New York.
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  • 1
    It would be a good solution if the Residential user could create their own database on their PC or Server to be able to keep their iRule projects active and changeable... iRule appears to be a Cloud based database so this shouldn't be to hard to provide a solution for the residential users.
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  • I’m sad, anxious, confused, frustrated
    1
    I am very sad! This is really bad... Many of us used these platforms (irule, oncontrols) to provide a solid and affordable solution to control av in small businesses (i mean very small businesses, like an Irish Bar with 5 TVs and a Zonepro Audio Matrix, etc...) We understood the system and knew how to build on it, we have our workarounds and foremost, we were very loyal to the brand. This is an alarming trend, whatever you get into, it will be outdated and smashed by the techno evol of the world! Slow down so we can come up and take a breath above the water... anyway, i think we should all start to develop our own solutions for every aspect of our life, buy a farm, put up solar panels and leave this miserable rat race all behind... my 2 cents... very disappointed in the leadership of the company...
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  • As french integrator and dealer, I have to say something about the shutdown server timeline of iRule.

    I'm very disappointed to know about it, but my customers are my priority.
    This is what I think about it :

    1. I don't really care about changing platform, there are others (HC-Skipper for example, french app), BUT iRule was the best, and I think it's a BIG LOSS to let it disappear.

    2. I think it's a terrible mistake for you and you could lost the trust people have accorded to you.
    I am worried about my 13 customers who are already using iRule that you are killing right now. Fortunately, I don't have a lot of customers, I think about dealers who have hundred of them. It's an insult to all iRule community, and I don't think they could trust you again on a new plan (Kramer for example), and I think dealers are probably even more confused...

    3. Our customers like to change their devices from time to time, so after shutdown, iRule will become useless.
    And what will they do ?
    They will return against their dealer. They will demand to fix the problem, to make free work or give their money back.
    Because iRule was a lie, it's something which should have been guaranteed for future and now it's almost closed.

    4. I never wanted a big solution for the whole house, I have a lot of work to do with hometheaters from A to Z including video and audio calibration, acoustic studies, building the room ... so I was not interested by Oncontrols in the first place. And I'm truly sorry for dealers who have invested time and money in Oncontrols, they are now in a lot more delicate situation in front of their customers than me...

    So, I really encourage you to consider a back up plan to keep iRule alive. It should be :
    _ a standalone software, on a local server.
    _ tender to a new server host by customers or a specific dealer.
    _ make iRule open source

    It's not a problem to lose the database, all we need is the access to the platform (online or offline via a software on our computer) to modify old handsets and why not make new ones.
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  • Dear Irule Team,
    it was from the beginning a Project to get money and it will be in the end a Project to get money with Kramer. But you seem to forget that customers make you to earn your money not you yourself. Greed is a Killer.
    You used the community to get to the state where are you now and it was clear ages ago where the founder of Irule want to go. Nice deal, that was maybe one reason to use the cloud. You did nothing at all as missusing the community for your developement. Without the knowledge and feedback and especially the time of you customers you would have not raised iRule to this point.
    I promise the next things which will happen. You will give Kramer what they want in the next 5 to 7years and then you are beeing the slaves of that company and not the enthusiastic developers you have been. Money goes, money comes, but money takes your souls once. Achieve your goals with Kramer, but with every little step you will start to kill your own jobs.....as you have said there are a lot of alternatives (developers) out there......
    Everyone and everything is and will be replaceable. First Irule will be replaced by another Software. Then the developers will be replaced from a cloud of Eastern Europe developers, who are younger,cheaper and hungrier than US Devs. Once you hand out the ballpen you can have tons of paper with no use.
    Just my thoughts and opinion to your decisions.
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  • On Controls dealers will be hit harder than home users. We have developed customer relationships and complex customized installations involving as many as six receiver zones spread across three handsets. These handsets include "Devices" (drivers) that have added features and are stored on the On Controls servers.

    When On Controls hardware is no longer sold after the end of 2018 we will no longer be able maintain existing systems. That is a genuine worry because the On Controls-branded Kramer hardware has not been as reliable as Global Cache.
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  • Has anyone figured out the cost to switch over to Krammer and will our current handsets transfer? Or will it be starting from scratch and a total diff. app.

    My entire system is all in one AV Closet Rack so only one krammer box would be needed or is the system just not designed for a single house environment?
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  • I had iMasterControl which was similar to iRule, except I downloaded the Windows program to make it work. It died a year or two after iRule (the developer was a real nice guy who would personally contact you with any problems). I cannot change the backgrounds. It still works for now, but it is a 32 bit program and will die soon if I upgrade my iPhone version. It cost a bit more when I bought it, but I knew I had control. It used Java and with iPhone changes to Java I am having troubles writing new changes. So even if they gave us the program, which can be written so one does not reverse engineer it, Apple may eventual make similar changes so it fails to work any more as my older program.
    Hopefully, Apple does something that will then kill Kramer and the money they invested. I see a more intuitive Apple run program with possible Siri control. With most new products being IP controllable, this is sure to happen. We may need to upgrade our electronics rather than the program/gadgets to control them.
    It will be a Touché day.
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  • OpenRemote looks promising and supports GC hardware. The potential problem of selling out to make a quick profit and leaving users in the lurch is still there but as it is based on open source, the risks are fewer.
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  • Unfortunately it is now out of iRule control, Kramer own the company and it's IP. So no good banging on about what iRule may or may not had promised to us in their previous life. Kramer if they indeed are tuning into this thread are the ones that could equally benifit if they open their minds to the possibilities of recognising a significant reason that iRule is where it is today.....us.

    I detailed above in a seperate thread the benefits of doing a one off offer to users to migrate over to their platform and retain a loyal user base that is happy to contribute to the devolpment of the platform. One hopes that this has been taken on board for consideration. However the silence is deafening.

    I can not understand for the life of me why you would want to alienate the users who assistanced in the success of the product and not want to on board them? Huge amount of talented and experienced users willing to further the product albeit on a different platform, all I am suggesting is for Kramer to consider offering existing users a special on their hardware and a continuation of the software to their mutual benifit. A win ....win!

    We appreciate the commitment and notification of the planned dates what would be commercially savvy would be to include a transistion date for a special offer to Kramer hardware and the Kramer/iRule software.

    It makes commercial sense to onboard knowledge and keep it close rather than drive this talented pool of people away into other platform where no doubt they would benifit as iRule has before and finish up with competitors biting at Kramer's ankles.

    Commercially it's a no brainer......nothing to loose everything to gain.
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  • played a bit with OpenRemote. ATM I cannot confirm that OpenRemote really looks promising. The Desiger doesn't have lots of design options and the Android App shows it differently from the designer. Roomie on the other hand is apple only, so also no option for Android Users. Maybe I will go with OpenHAB and create my own DHTML / JS Layout to control it although it's a lot of work. But OpenHAB also has a driver for Global Cache devices.
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  • Melser, see this thread about other alternatives. One app developer has joined in.
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  • This reply was removed on 2017-10-25.
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