Another product capturing the "green" label, another dilemma. So you're going to put a $400USD device in charge of watering your garden. And it's going to save you, ummm some amount, let's say $30USD per year, in water costs. At current water costs.
It will take 13.33 years to repay itself. Is that a fair payoff, in economic terms? Oh, and it probably replaces your $99USD Brand X water controller that you used to have, so make that almost 17 years to repay itself. Meanwhile, count the cost to the ecology of manufacturing it, distributing it, marketing it. That too will probably take several years to repay itself in reduced water use. Say at least five years, probably more like ten years.
Is your garden going to still be around in ten years? Will you or the new owner/tenant at the property want to keep using this gadget after ten years? Will it still work after ten years, even?
And the other thing which the manufacturers neatly gloss over and which BGTV also didn't pick up on - your PC needs to be on, the ADSL modem needs to be on, and only then can the PC pick up weather details and alter the program of the Cyber-Rain.
Let me repeat that. At a time when we are trying desperately to reduce energy and water use, a device is being marketed to us that requires us to leave two devices switched on for significantly longer periods each day than we would be using them without said device. Also, is this Cyber-Rain powered by the mains, by batteries, or solar power? Only one of those options doesn't have an ongoing energy requirement. But it would extend the environmental impact to about 20 years.
Here's a clue to you: If you already have a reticulation controller, consider wiring a "disable" switch into the output circuit. Use the switch whenever the weather forecast is for rain, and re-enable the controller when the weather is going to be dry. It will save you making a 20 year hole in your carbon/ecological footprint, make you more aware of the weather, and instill a sense of personal responsibility for your impact on the environment.
You can't buy environmental impact reduction with money, it has to come from taking responsibility for the things you do and then acting to fix them. Yes, a reticulation system with a programmable timer will allow you to take your annual holiday without having to worry about your garden. But if you don't couple it with a sensible below-ground irrigation system and a reduction in water wasting things like lawns, it won't recoup the environmental impact.
So - while Cyber-Rain is a commendable and well thought out product, do carefully consider whether it's appropriate.
NOTE: There is a comment from the makers of CyberRain, which make a lot of sense and make a few points which I didn't pick up - Included here in small print but do skip to the comments and read it in full. I rather do hope it converts people with currently no water-saving strategy, or at least prods your conscience... %)