#1 HA software


Senior Member
If I had one bit of advice I would recommend one of the newer protocols for lighting controls like Z-Wave, UPB or Insteon because X10 is not reliable for some. Having said that my X10 devices work flawlessly. So maybe dip the toe in the water and buy a few lamp modules and an X10 interface and put them at the extremes of your home and see how they react.

Just so you know there are free plugins for HomeSeer for controlling lights, HVAC, security, and accessing weather data. There are also a couple of paid weather plugins that take this to a higher level. As far as multimedia there's a paid iTunes plugin as well as a Media Player plugin.


When did the iTunes plugin go free? Last I looked it was $40. Is that no longer the case? I'm awful cheap so I've avoided the media plugins, but would look into it if it was free.



Senior Member
Fletch said:
When did the iTunes plugin go free? Last I looked it was $40. Is that no longer the case? I'm awful cheap so I've avoided the media plugins, but would look into it if it was free.

I misspoke. You are correct. The iTunes plugin is a paid plugin.


Active Member
I'm also new to the HA world. I have very limited computer skills. I have been playing with Homseer now for about a month and have it doing most everything I want.

I have it controling my HVAC with a zwave thermostat. This is very cool.
It contols my zwave lights. My zwave stuff has been dead reliable. I have had a few issues since Homeseer took over. Just a few bugs here and there. I don't think it will be a problem though.

I also purchased the web cam plug in and have that mostly figured out also. I wanted to access my home and cameras via the web and have that all working so far. The grandparents are loving the streaming video in my son's room. I also had it emailing snap shots when motion was detected in the front of my house. Homeseer did its job fine but my indoor rated zwave motion didn't like being outside.

I have been pretty happy with Homseer so far. I have asked a lot of questions on the board, through the help desk and my skilled computer friend. Sometimes I get an answer the next day, sometimes it take a week but I have gotten it going in the end.

I didn't want to spend a ton of money or time on it right now. I think I made the right choice for me. One thing I would like to add on price...

Here's what I accually spent:

Homeseer has a guide on HA that they will email you. I did that and at the end of the article I got 10% off coupon for a package deal.

I got HS and the ztroller interface for $254.95 minus 10%.

I believe the ztroller is by far the best interface for zwave. Its normally $140 alone. At $225 with the with the ztroller Homeseer seemed like even a better deal.

I also went with Homeseers web cam plug in that was on sale for $20 and Homeseer phone with modem was on sale for &99. I'm not a good example of VR because we have discovered I have a bad modem. Some commands didn't work at all, some work pretty well. When I get my new modem, I can update you on that. I use the phones in the house for this feature also. They had other pluggins on sale also. I'm not sure if all my discounts are normal or if I got lucky but they really lowered the overall price compared with just scanning their web site for pricing.
Wow, This is a geate thread and couldn't come at a better time. I am currently moving my HA logic from my Elk M1 onto a software platform for more versatility. I am in the middle of a trial with HomeSeer because on paper it appeared to be the best choice for my needs. This thread got me thinking so I spent a little time doing a little more research and trying out other products. My basic needs are full support for Insteon as well as integration with my M1 via network connection and not serial. Also I will be integrating weather information from my Davis and VWS software. I use aot of events/rules with multiple conditions so this is another important factor. The UI is not critical to me at this time because I am not using any sort of touch screen.

I have to say that I am pretty happy with HomeSeer in all of these important areas to me. Their Insteon Beta has been pretty solid and had good group support and keeps track of all linking in internal tables so it knows what state everything is in, even if controlling lights locally. The M1 plugin works well and is very easy to set up. I have noticed a few quirky things such as double event triggers on alarm state change but this is easy to deal with through event trigger logic. I like the event configuration approach and the flexibility to use multiple conditions that include OR logic as well as AND. Its a little confusing at first but the help documentation and user board are very helpful.

I looked at HAL briefly but didn't find support for my M1 via a network connection. Also, I am not sure how robust their Insteon support is. I did add a few lighting devices and they did work OK but HAL seems very "black box" so I couldn't find a log of what HAL was actually doing with my Insteon devices or what links it was creating, etc. I was not impressed with the level of information on HAL's website and I almost bypassed them becuase I couldn't figure out what they actually did and didn't support.

I loaded up MainLobby and was very impressed with their UI, as one would expect. I was also impressed with the available information on their web site. I loaded the M1 plugin and it seemed to work but I didint' get very far in my testing to really check this out. The Insteon plugin was not available for trial so I couldn't try it. I spent some time playing around with rules/events. I have to say that this seems like a very powerful and flexible area but is not user friendly at all. The available options and selections when setting these up is not specific to the action being performed. For example, I would expect the tool to know that I am using an M1 trigger and would expect it to present the specific, user friendly, options to choose from (such as disarmed, armed away, back door opened or secure, etc) and not the raw variables used within the sofware. How am I supposed to know which of the 6 variables to use to check the state of a zone and then what the valid values are. I think that setting up alot of complex events would be a nightmare using this software.

I am going foward with HomeSeer but am a little reluctant becuase I have read about issues with support for some plugins in the past. I see that the M1 plugin I am using (its now free) is becoming open source so who knows what will happen with this one.

I have not tried other packages becuase of a lack of either Insteon or M1 capabilities.

Just my experience based on my needs. Your mileage my vary.



Senior Member
There is a lot of good info in this thread.

So far after reading some threads It looks like i'll need a gentner ap800 mixer, some pzm 11 mics
The PZM mics are excellent mics. I would however recommned also using the Crown mixers to go with those mics.


Senior Member
Steve said:
AutomatedOutlet said:
I would however recommned also using the Crown mixers
And I recommend Coke to go with th Crown <_<
Actually I prefer Diet Coke - otherwise you get a heck of a sugar rush between those two.


Senior Member
the Insteon plugin is now available and robust in MainLobby suite. You can program your Insteon devices from within the software.

Not understanding what was found non intuitive with setting up the ELK plugin. Can you restate? We are all about trying to simplify where we can without sacrificing much configurability.

thanx for the feedback.


Senior Member
Well I guess I feel compelled to toss my 2 cents in here. I use Homeseer as a back-end and Netremote with a custom skin I created called Now Playing (see link at the end of this post for more information on it). With Netremote and the free hsGirder plugin for Homeseer you can essensially do any GUI interface function you can dream up. Its a cheaper solution than Mainlobby but its not as nice of eye candy (which is Flash based). The small and compact size of Netremote allows it to run faster on slower touch screens and it also can run on Pocket PC's. It has seemless integration with many media players. Now Playing was freely given away on the Promixis website and has been downloaded thousands of times).

I am going to be working on a new skin soon... when I retire in March. For now I will stick with Netremote as many of the other solutions are just too expensive (even more than the base prices when you toss in all the extras). I for one do not have that kind of money to throw around on HA. The only downside is that there are limited graphics available for your skin... so you either use other peoples or do you own (which I did).... but then again that could be somewhat said of the other packages.

As for VR... I would not waste any time with that. I just don't see it being practical... music and VR do not mix, ect.

Welcome to the board... also check out the chat room.... I am there frequently.


Now Playing discussiom


Picture is my Now Playing interface on my new Samsung HDTV running on my MCE PC.


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David, Sorry to be unclear in my comments regarding MainLobby. It does appear that the Insteon support in your product is very strong and that is one of the reasons I wanted to check out your product. However, I was not able to look at this because there was not an option to download a trial copy. As far as the Elk M1 plugin I did not mean to convey that it was difficult to install or configure. Actually it was very easy to set up.

The reason I didn't get very far in testing this out was that I got bogged down in the events/rules functionality. As I described in my previous post this is an area that is not so user friendly and for someone that has alot of rules/events I quickly concluded that this would be too much work and prone to error (if you don't select the right type of variable, or if you don't enter the correct valid value, etc). I am using the rules/events functionality in my M1 and in HomeSeer as a baseline for comparison. Also the ability to include OR logic in rules/events triggers is important to me.

Overall I was impressed with the product and the information on the web site. I would certainly consider MainLobby as a front end tool but not as my core automation tool based on the current functionality. I believe this is consistent with how others have categorized this product as well as several competing products.