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iRule Alternative Disscusion

I love iRule, for all it's bugs of which I've posted about I have spent dozens (hundreds?) of hours learning feedbacks, variables, macros etc and loved using Se7en template to make great remotes. We have a few years now to find alternatives to iRule so let's start a topic with pictures, examples and hardware compatibility and plenty of discussion.

John
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  • Thanks all, for your assistance. I started working with DemoPad (the best I can with internet still down after 5 days). I’ve been able to create some graphics but still a LONG way to go. It looks like the best option considering longevity, and power. I see buttons that say Pro Set so I’m not sure if I have to use the pro version to make them work. If so I may switch to Home Control. Until I get internet back and can do more research, I can’t do a lot. If it becomes to daunting, I’ll switch over to Home Control.
    MPG732: thanks for the subpages tip.
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  • Ya, you kinda need internet. Once you get it back if you have questions, I started a thread over on AVS. http://www.avsforum.com/forum/93-remo...
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  • MPG732:
    Finally after 5 day have the internet back. Who knows how long that will last. A am a member of the AVS Forum so thanks for setting up a new thread.
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    • I believe you are confused. You just buy the app once. I did choose to pay the monthly fee to get the pro version, but DemoPad was a cheep replacement. In a lot of ways I found it better and easier to build then iRule was. It has been very stable App.
    • That’s correct. Once you go over one device there is an in app purchase of $30 plus tax and that’s a one tome thing. From that one time purchase you can add multiple devices. Even less expensive than iRule was initially. The forum help is quick from a DemoPad person and if that doesn’t solve an issue, an email gets answered promptly.
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  • Don, I never really was a fan of iRules drawers with the handles. I opted to have drawers open and close dependent on a condition or button press. The problem with iRule was populating the drawers with different content depending on the state of a device, ect... There were work arounds involving swapping buttons that where out of the drawers viewable window into it and buttons that where in the viewable window out to make room for the new buttons. A royal PITA to set up. You could always link to another drawer but it would not update unless you navigated to another page and then back to refresh it. I always thought it was a bug that never got fixed.

    With Home Remote there is a visibility parameter that allows you to stack drawers (grids or canvases in Home Remote lingo) one on top of another. And make them visible or hidden based on the on/off state of the device, input selected, of any other variable. This makes things so much easier.

    The pictured gif is left side of my build cropped down, and represents a single page in the build dedicated to my living room. The different variations you see are being hidden and revealed based on the input I have selected. There really is no reasonable limit to the number of different drawers you can have stacked. The important thing is they can all be on a single page.

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  • Pretty impressive.
    Mine is pretty basic so the draws worked OK for me. See image. The image up loaded was a page for my new Sony 4K Projector. Somewhat incomplete as I am still finding IR and IP codes for the projector and 120” Elite screen.

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  • Karen Evil 9
    OK I’m really trying here with Home Remote. But there are no preformatted buttons in the designer and I haven’t been successful in trying to get my iRule image libraries so I can use them. What am I missing?
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  • Don, what images are you looking for? You can get them yourself if you have access to a Windows computer.

    Another place to look is:

    http://getirule.com/support/download/

    And if there are not too many I would consider copying them for you.
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  • >>John Wallace 5 minutes ago
    How do I extract the seven images from the link, I only get some PSD files?<<

    John. PSD files are for Photoshop. You would use Photoshop to get to the layers you want and then save as PNG files to preserve the transparent background.
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  • Hi,

    Yes I opened them in Photoshop, I get a strange result.
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  • While the psd are useful for creating custom buttons. It would probably be easer just to drag and drop the buttons you want from the library if you plan on using the existing iRule seven buttons. Unfortunately the unpressed buttons are transparent white on a white background so it makes it really hard to know what you are looking at. I had suggested to the iRule developers that the change the background in the button view to a color other than white so the buttons would be visible but they never changed it. If you are on android the buttons in your build reside on your device after a sync.
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  • John, you are on your own there. I know pitifully little about Photoshop. Drop in on the Arts Department at a local community college and they will know.
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  • New to the forum here. Figured it was time to start looking for alternative control software. I’ve used Irule for years an I’m very sad to see it go! So from the suggestions above, it looks like I will give DemoPad a shot. Here is a screenshot of one of my pages. Will demopad get me the same results.
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  • Yes as long as you have that graphic set to import.
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  • Thanks for the quick reply! I know this is probably not the best place to ask this, but what is the difference between the free basic design software and the pro design version that is $8 a month?
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  • Check on the DemoPad site as it will explain the difference. I am using the basic and it’s wotking fine. I like the latitude of being able to design on the PC and move buttons around with the mouse. I thought that there was a steep learning curve but in the end I am now using DemoPad exclusively. It looks like you have some “draws” in your page. They are called “subpages” in DP. Join the forum as the DP people and members are very helpful.many of the processes in iRule are performed behind the scenes. In DP you are going to have to learn how ‘flags” work as they are very important in making things like “subpages” appear and disappear. You can use the DP design software for free which includes one IP controlled device. If you want more devices (IR controlled components) are not considered devices, it will cost you a one time charge of I believe $40. To me it took a lot of help (freely given) and hours to get mine set up. I mimicked what I had in iRule and once that was working I started making changes. DP has a number of backgrounds and buttons. If you have your own graphics that’s even better. Good luck.
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  • I don't know to much about Demopad but others have spoken highly of it. If you are like most who have moved on from iRule you will not be missing it for long. There are just better options out there. This is a demo of my latest project created with Home Remote.

    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-XO...
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  • 1
    As Karn Evil has stated, there are good alternatives out there.
    After trying Demopad, TouchControl and Home Remote, I have gone with Home Remote as I have been able to completely duplicate my iRule setup and IMPROVED it using Home Remote - I love the visibility options you have with it - much better than drawers etc I had to use in iRule.
    I now have over 75 pages using 35 plus devices ranging from Home Cinema, Media Servers, Bluray's units, Soundbars, HI-Fi amps, TV's, CCTV, Radio's, Power switches plus easy access to web pages!!
    I use Global Cache RS232 & IR, IP, HTTP & TCP to control my devices and none has been a problem once I understood the logic ( Thanks to Bill at Home Remote).

    I am always "tinkering" with my setup to improve it and LOVE how easy it is to make a small adjustment then test it straight away on my Windows PC (without the need to upload it to a Server!!) to make sure I have the result I want before simply transferring it to my iOS and Android devices.
    Being able to use Home remote on all my windows PC's and laptops is also great - something I could not do with iRule.

    Everyone will have to decide where they move their setup's to but I am really, really impressed with how much (almost instant) help you get from Bill at Home Remote.
    He listens to your requirements and, if he can, he will quickly adapt the HR system to meet the ever changing requirements of its users - especially ones like me who, being in the UK, use different devices (like the Keene IR Matrix which I use to distribute some of my IR around my home).

    Good luck to everyone on changing but I can thoroughly recommend Home Remote.
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  • I feel that both DemoPad and Home Remote will suit you just fine. They both have great email support. They both pretty much control every thing that iRule does. IP, IR, GC devices, etc..... They both handle feedback very well, maybe even better then iRule did. I have used both and functionality wise I think they are about the same. Both are a low cost alternative to iRule. I do prefer DemoPad for Home Remote have a much steeper learning curve. Most of the guys here seemed to have been spending months setting up Home Remote, where DemoPad guys seem to to spend a week or two and pretty much have it all done. Coming from iRule, the builder software is more familiar on DemoPad. I do pay for the pro version. I don't have a problem paying a small monthly fee if it help keeps a company going that hopefully doesn't disappear like iRule did. That was the downfall of iRule. We saw the end coming long before it did. This kind of product has a limited amount of customers. iRule was completely dependent on sales of the product to stay a viable business. We know sales slowed way down as the market got saturated. We know this from the lack of new people coming to the forums and lack of development. Which is a concern I have for Home Remote. How long will Bill keep this going if he has no revenue stream. At some point hes going to have to charge for his time, or hes developing Home Remote to hopefully sell it off at some point down the road. No matter where we go, we never know what the future will bring. You kinda roll the deice on that. All we can do is hope we pick the right product that will stick around. Now if your interested in DemoPad I started a thread on AVS Forums.

    http://www.avsforum.com/forum/93-remo...

    Good Luck,
    Mike
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  • Im still on iRule, but not keen on spending more time on it. I have a dedicated home theater with some automation, but almost only one source, running kodi. Something that did work with iRule, but not that well. I never got the keyboard working, so had to type titles with arrows and on screen keyboard (unacceptable). Also feedbacks from kodi in iRule never really worked. I used a URL with a web interface and a lot of tweaks. Countless hours spent...

    So my question for you guys: If kodi is the main deal for me, what would be the best iRule alternative?
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  • I don't use Kodi any more, moved over to Plex, but when I did use Kodi with DemoPad, I did have Kodi working nicely. I had feedback working including a progress slider. As for keyboard, I think your going to run into the same issues. I know guys have gotten some type of keyboard to work, just not sure how. I believe each key is a macro, with select then the key itself and then right arrow or some thing like that. I also used one of Kodi web interface in DemoPad to surf and launch movies from. I don't remember which one I used but one worked better then the others. I also had it so once I selected and started playing a movie from the web interface, DemoPad would jump back to my Kodi control page. I did find that web pages worked much better in DemoPad then in iRule. I think you are just going to have to play around a bit on the keyboard. I was very happy back when I was using it.
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  • I am using Home Remote with the yarc web interface for Kodi that I modified slightly. I tested awxi, yarc and arch interfaces and on all three the search function works with the native os keyboard. I am running Android.
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  • One thing I didn't think of. If you are on Android, I would go with Home Remote and not DemoPad. If you are on IOS I would recommend DemoPad over Home Remote for I feel its a much more polished system.
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  • Well I am happy to say I now have every thing running in DemoPad. For years I had a laptop running EventGhost to run a few scripts that I where not able to do in iRule. Now I have been able to do it all in DemoPad. The last few things where my DirecTV feedback, which includes a progress slider and duration of whats on. Which if you don't know DirecTV uses Epoch time. I was able to break it down to give me the length and display the duration of the show/movie. I also have a fully fictional alarm clock that I can set to any time I want. Then launches an series of events that wake me up in the morning. I have been very happy with DemoPad.
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  • Is a PC mandatory to use DemoPad? It would make more sense to be able to design on a Mac or iPad as that is the final destination for the resulting product.
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  • Out of DemoPad, Home Remote and TouchControl there is only one that works with Mac and iPhone/iPad devices. That is TouchControl, and it seems to be a suitable replacement for iRule. Why bother supporting iPhone and iPad devices if the design cannot be developed on a mac? How many people use PCs these days when they have iPhones and iPads. Poor business sense in DemoPad and Home Remote!
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  • OK, I have converted my iRule system (7 devices, 10 screens) to TouchControl. I did it the quick-and-dirty way - save iPad iRule screen and use that as the background in TC, then just overlay transparent buttons on the iRule icons. Had to change some screens in iRule, for example to remove drawer handles, before doing the screen save. Replaced drawers with pop-ups. Most cumbersome process is getting the GC codes, the source device has to be specified (Manufacturer/Device type/Model) before getting each code. Not as many gesture options, but some different ones, sliders for value for example.

    Now I can gradually convert to more sophisticated screens over the next few years.

    TC seems more powerful than iRule, but the initiation may be daunting. My biggest concern is the lack of users, judging by the very sparse forum comments/questions. Also the lack of comprehensive icon libraries such as iRule has.

    However if you want to design on a Mac this seems to be the only way to go, even though it does give PC users more design options.
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  • Just an update about 1 year later. I will second mpg732's comment above: Home Remote for Android users and Demo Pad for iOS. I am an Android user. Home Remote has been challenging but I quickly forgot that so was iRule in the beginning. There has been NOTHING that I have thrown at Home Remote that it couldn't handle. My Home Remote remote is everything I wanted my iRule remote to be but never quite was.
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  • Just finished getting most of my system up and running on Simple Control v 5.5. It's pretty easy to setup once you learn a few concepts. The UI is very nice looking.

    Im using it to control Sonos, Lutron RadioRa2, Somfy, Marantz, Samsung TV, AppleTV 4K, and an LG TV, Phillips Hue, Nest Thermostat (awesome) Nest Cameras (not so awesome as it only shows a snapshot of what last triggered an event then opens Nest if you want to see more.

    It's not straight forward to use global cache devices but they have the "Simple Blaster" that is probably an iTach. I'm able to do things better with Simple Control than with iRule. Sonos is a huge one, dimming for lutron devices just works without having to do anything but update their "manifest" for the Lutron control device. The interface approaches the look of a Savant system which is really nice these days. I don't feel I have as much control over the UI but haven't needed anything more than I can easily do with it.

    I'm about to start diving into custom controls now for remaining items like my Fireplace, DMX lighting and Jacuzzi hot tub. It looks like August locks are supported but I haven't done anything with that yet.

    All in All, it's great and not difficult to setup. Another big thing is they can use an Apple TV as a hub to marshal commands to items that have trouble with multiple connections. This was a big problem with my Marantz receiver with iRule. I'm pretty happy with Simple Control and may even start using it for others. The biggest thing is it's fast and easy to get setup. You can do custom commands for devices they don't have support for but they support most everything. I would like to be able to do custom background images and don't see where you can do that for anything other than icons.

    Hope that helps... I reccomend this product as something that works amazingly well and can be setup in a short amount of time.
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  • One thing, I just gave Simple Control a huge plug but if you're on Android, forget it. It's IOS only, and newer devices as far as I can tell.
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  • Hello

    I'm still trying to fins the best replacement for iRule. One solution that cam to my mind recently is to use my home automation box (I'm currently on Vera and will probably switch to eedomus soon) as the only control for everything.
    In fact lately 50% of the commands I was using in iRule were going through the box (shutters, air conditioning, garden...) and iRule was simply the user interface.
    If it seems that most home automation boxes are able to control home cinema (through Global Caché or similar devices) I am not sure about the customisation of the user interface. Any hint?
    Is this the right way to look (getting rid of the iRule like solutions) and try to do everything through my home automation box, or maybe most of them don't offer enough customisation of the app and will make me frustrated.
    Any experience, ideally with eedomus?

    Thanks
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  • No experience with eedomus, but I'm an ISY user. For me, the ISY is the brain, and iRule is the outfit. The hardware does the heavy lifting while the GUI looks pretty. It depends what's important to you. Both are equally important to me. I want the whole package - something powerful and beautiful. I want it to give me a feeling when I use it. If function is your main goal, I don't think you will be disappointed by staying strictly to Vera or eedomus. If you demand a perfected and refined interface, you'll have to suck it up and find an iRule replacement. I struggled with it until I realized that I really do enjoy designing and tweaking. I went with Home Remote. Steep learning curve but lots of help on the forum and endless possibilities. There are other good ones out there as you have read above. It's a very personal decision. Good luck, and if you enjoy eedomus please report back!
    • I really liked the iRule / On Controls customizable interface. I went to a very static non-customizable interface with Control4. The speed and dependability of C4 is well received. A little costly but a lot less time consuming. C4 works with all the Global Cache devices so I only needed the entry level EA-1 controller for an entire house. The C4 handheld remote proved to be a big improvement over using my iPhone or iPad. My family is much happier with the setup.
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  • I went with home remote and do not regret it. It is fully customizable so yes it has a learning curve but it also has a default interface that just works if you don’t want to start from scratch. I find it way more powerful than iRule as it has the capabilities of plugins that allow you to create custom scripts that interface with you devices so if a device is not supported and you know the protocol you can just create your own plugins.
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  • Hello, I have been using iRule for several years and am looking at using HomeRemote as an alternative. I have started creating a remote and use an itach WF2SL to control my RTI AD4 switcher but am struggling with the serial commands. iRule was great with the preloaded network/serial code for all of the AD4 commands but unfortunately HomeRemote does not have those code and I can only find the IR codes in the GC site. Is there a way to view the actual hex codes behind the network codes on iRule or can I download the actual code from iRule (or anywhere)? Or is there a straight conversion from the IR code to hex/serial? I am obviously a novice at this but was able to make some nice remotes in the past and want to keep that going. Thanks for the help.
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  • Yes hex can be sent, I use a gc2sl for my hdmi matrix. If you search the HR forum you will some discussions and some examples.
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  • John, I have looked at many posts and examples on the HR forum and have not been able to get any good info on how to get the hex codes I need. You said they can be sent, how would I do that? Thanks
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