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Do More as a Couch Potato Using mControl, Windows Media Center, and X10 Devices

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Given the option, Kulvir Bhogal would control everything electronic or electrical in his life from his Windows Media Center PC. Lazy? Maybe. But when it's as easy as he describes here, why not?
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Call me a couch potato, but I’d rather spend an hour looking for my remote control than go back to the Neanderthal ways of controlling my television from the television itself. Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 lets you perform a lot of cool things—like being able to browse, watch, record, and pause live TV. The pluggable infrastructure of Media Center also allows for vendors to plug in new functionality.

In this article, I’ll introduce you to mControl, a product of Embedded Automation, that lets you "take control of a home from a TV set." mControl is a Media Center plug-in application that controls devices understanding the INSTEON and X10 protocols, simply by using the Media Center remote. With mControl’s easy-to-use graphical user interface, you can do simple things such as turn a lamp on/off (which is exactly what I’ll show you how to do in this article) or powerful tricks like controlling the temperature of your hot tub.

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