I have had an iTach for going on two years. It powers three rooms of components (15 components in all), using an IR blaster in the media room, an emitter wired over a single pair of cat5e to the garage/deck system, and another emitter whose output is transferred to the Master BR via an IR repeater. In two years it hasn’t missed a beat.
I have whole house scenes set up with HAM Bridge, triggered via virtual switches in SmartThings, as well as independent control from iRule on mobile devices, and simple shell commands from my laptop and desktop computers.
While it will take a little more effort to initially set things up with iTach, once set up, creating scenes, editing things, swapping out components, etc. is far quicker when your working with a simple scripts (text files). Moreover, iTachs’ API really let you get your fingers between the fan blades when it comes to setting up IR command repeats, offsets, and timing… something that is completely hit and miss on Harmony. For instance my Pre/Pro is a little finicky with establishing an HDCP handshake from the TiVo through to a Panasonic Plasma. The Panny needs to be on and ready to receive input before I fire up the Pre/Pro otherwise there is a chance the handshake will fail. There is a similar issue in the BR where the LCD’s backlight interferes with IR commands to the receiver while it is warming up. In both cases, changing the timing and repeats of the IR commands to get things rock solid is a simple as editing a few lines in a text file.
Note that I am using a old Mac Mini to run these scripts, with a modified version of the “Big Switch” SmartApp assigned to virtual switches for ST control. While it is possible for ST’s to send iTach commands directly from a SmartApp, the kind of control I want would make that very cumbersome. For instance… if I pull into the the garage after 5PM, the lights come on, the main and garage systems fire up, and the TiVo starts playing the 5 o’clock news before I even get out of my truck.
And all of this is good with Alexa and Google Home… so if I run upstairs for a second while the football game is on downstairs and then realize I’ll be up there longer than I intended, I can just say “Ok Google, turn on the media freeze” and it will pause the game until I get downstairs again.
As for the UK, the iTach is just a dumb local endpoint. You send it a string over TCP and it executes. There is no cloud dependency, or any other provided you have the IR code available. And if Global Caché doesn’t have it in their data base, you can usually find it on the net or the iTach itself can recorde it from your IR remote.
So in case you hadn’t noticed by now… I am a huge fan!