Monday, February 4, 2013

Home Automation Review of mControl v3


Home Automation Review

The mControl v3 by Embedded Automation
Today I am going to review the new mControl v3 by Embedded Automation (cost $170).  This is a new central control software system which will provide one command interface to control all your home automation enabled devices.  It’s a fantastic system that will run on virtually all current Windows operating systems (Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Home Server Classic,  Windows Home Server 2011) and has control software which is compatible with the majority of mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone 7, Blackberry, and other mobile platforms).

                                 mControl v3 iOS sample control images on the iPhone

                                                 mControl v3 Android sample control image

Compatibility with major vendors
This is the central control system that is at the heart of home automation, but it would be worthless if it doesn’t work with the various control modules for lighting, HVAC, IP cameras, irrigation systems, home security, window shades, and home entertainment systems just to name a few.  The mControl v3 has that covered by working with all the industry leaders like mBee, Insteon, Z-Wave,  KNX, and X10.  Virtually any device around your home which can accept IP addressing, can be managed by the mContorl v3 platform.

The test
I downloaded and set up the free 30 day trial version on my Windows Home Server 2011 and was impressed by how easy it is to set up and use.  The interface is very intuitive and even setting up macros (combinations of activities set to happen by a single command  e.g. close the curtains, dim the lights, turn on the TV, turn on the DVD player, and set the stereo to 5.1 surround sound).  The home theater equipment, IP cameras, lighting, and thermostat I already have installed showed up instantly and functioned perfectly with no additional third party software required. 

Conclusions
Overall I give them high marks for ease of installation, ease of use, and features.  Where mControl fell a little short, is that technical support is only provided via email; there is no phone number to call in order to speak with a live technician.  That said, I had no need for technical support and don’t believe most users would.  If your home automation is so complicated that you are having issues with the mControl v3, then I would suggest that a professional should be involved.  I would highly recommend the mControl v3 system for anyone looking for an easy-to-use home automation control system.  It is a reasonably priced system that is scalable as your home automation installation grows.


Note:  The author does not accept payments from any manufacturer for product reviews nor is he employed by any manufacturer for which he does reviews.  The review is strictly the opinion of the individual author. 







8 comments:

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  5. What hardware do you need to purchase with this software for it to communicate with Insteon and/or z-wave devices?

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