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CQC versus HAL 2000

homebuilder

New Member
Hi,
I am new to HA but planning on jumping in with both feet. I am expecting to spend over 15,000 on parts so before I buy I want to make sure I am gtting the best options.

The two main software controls I am looking at are HAL and CQC. HAL does voice control which is nice, but it looks like CQC has more customization.. .but I really do not know.

Anyone have experience with both and can give me an honest comparision?

I am also looking at either an ELK or Omnipro II System. Any comparision views of thoses?

Thanks,
Neal
 

tech-home

Active Member
Neal,

No one but you can decide what is best for you. Do not forget Homeseer.

They both have a market and both have a 30 day trial.
In a nut shell Hal basic but easy to setup not very flexible.
CQC more difficult to setup but best bang for your buck and very flexible. Dean will also bend over backwards to make you a happy customer.
HS is in the middle but can get very pricey with all the plugins.

Skip the Omnipro though and get an ELK. :) :D ;)
I also got this email today
"Great News! The Elk Touchscreen, ELK-TS07, will be shipping next week!"
 

HAL_MAN

Member
While I have honestly not setup or played with "CQC" I have to disagree with

In a nut shell Hal basic but easy to setup not very flexible.

Why do you consider it not very flexible? I implore you to show me something HAL can't do that Homeseer can. It is compatable with just about every piece of hardware CQC or Homeseer is. The wow factor of HAL as far as VR far exceeds Homeseer (HAL is testing new voices that will blow your socks off) . I can also say HAL has become very stable. Which used to be one of its downfalls.

CQC does give you a nice graphical interface builtin which HAL does not (just a simple web interface), if you go the HAL route you would need to get Cinemar Mainlobby suite if you want a nice touchscreen front end for HA control. CQC's owner Dean does indeed seem to be very attentive to his customers (also one area CQC might have the upper hand).

By the way I do not work or personally know anyone who works for HAL. So this is a fairly unbiased opinion.

Just my two cents,

Shawn Walsh
 

Steve

Senior Member
I looked at both of them and as Brian stated, they both have their pros and cons and you would be wise to look at them for yourself and then ask perhaps some clarifying questions.

But IMHO, HAL is better than CQC if you want a very capable GUI customizable event system. Don't get me wrong, CQC does now have a very powerful event system, just the nice GUI is not there quite yet. HAL is also really the only choice for very powerful voice recognition.

A major killer for HAL (at least for me) is that their Elk driver is only serial based, it does not talk IP. Shawn - please correct me if this changed - and yes I know there is a software package that Electron recommends that will work, but at the end of the day I much prefer an IP/Ethernet based driver. The other thing with HAL is the GUI. I understand there is a 3rd party GUI available for HAL but for a real nice customizable interface you must use Mainlobby.

CQC on the other hand has a better network distributed architecture and is known for its reliability. And the only thing even comperable to its GUI creation tools is the new Mainlobby. There isn't as much native support in CQC for things that UPB., Insteon, etc, but that is a moot point if using an Elk or Omni as you would simply use CQC to interface with those. You don't get plugin'd to death like some other tools and the list drivers and features is growing faster than any other tool out there. Dean and Mark are commited to seeing CQC at (or very close to) the top of the heap.

And you really can't eliminate Homeseer, Mainlobby and Powerhome and others like Girder and the open source stuff.

It all comes down to what you want out of it and then giving them a test drive. They all have their place.
 

Steve

Senior Member
upstatemike said:
That's funny! But there is new evidence the number of the beast is really 616:

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article....RTICLE_ID=44169

Edit: and if that is the case, I would stay away from Lightolier as well... http://www.cocoontech.com/index.php?showtopic=616

and a complete analysis:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_of_the...st_(numerology)
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
HAL_MAN said:
Why do you consider it not very flexible? I implore you to show me something HAL can't do that Homeseer can. It is compatable with just about every piece of hardware CQC or Homeseer is. The wow factor of HAL as far as VR far exceeds Homeseer (HAL is testing new voices that will blow your socks off) . I can also say HAL has become very stable. Which used to be one of its downfalls.
Two concerns I have had with HAL are:

1- The limited number of voices available. I already have a bunch of AT&T voices installed on my system so why can't I use them with HAL? Or at least if I'm limited to 2 then why not let me pick 2 that I already have instead of the 2 they choose. (I prefer Audrey and Anjali.)

2- Voice notifications are limited to the computer speaker. If HAL can dial out and send a numeric page to a pager, why can't it dial a phone number and deliver a voice message?
 

IVB

Senior Member
BTW, Neal, I know I've answered a few of your questions on other forums, i'm here too but I don't know HAL so I can't speak to your questions here. Didn't want you thinking I was ignoring the question.

FWIW, I've got a developer buddy who's going to look into creating a VR driver for CQC once he gets his CQC setup. It'll be nothing short of dumb luck if that is done & ready for usage by the end of the year though as we've both got a ton of work on our plate, so that should *not* be part of your buying decision.
 

HAL_MAN

Member
UpstateMilke,

With HAL you are not limited to two voices. They currently have six voices which can all be installed simaltaneously and accessed all at the same time. You basically have a different attention word for each voice. Also I have been told by years end there should be a much larger selection of voices available. I have heard a couple of them and they are GOOD!

Your second concern is one that is widely asked for by the HAL community. But if I am not mistaken this is not possible in any HA suite that exists today. What I do is just have HAL send me alerts to my cell phone via texting abilities. More or less the same thing as having HAL call you cell phone and read you something, maybe less annoying really (depending on how many alerts you have setup).

Lastly I do believe they also had ELK ip integration on there plate of things to do, but I have heard no timeframe on when or if it will be done.

Mahalo,
Shawn
 

ph0n33z

Active Member
upstatemike said:
HAL_MAN said:
Why do you consider it not very flexible? I implore you to show me something HAL can't do that Homeseer can. It is compatable with just about every piece of hardware CQC or Homeseer is. The wow factor of HAL as far as VR far exceeds Homeseer (HAL is testing new voices that will blow your socks off) . I can also say HAL has become very stable. Which used to be one of its downfalls.
Two concerns I have had with HAL are:

1- The limited number of voices available. I already have a bunch of AT&T voices installed on my system so why can't I use them with HAL? Or at least if I'm limited to 2 then why not let me pick 2 that I already have instead of the 2 they choose. (I prefer Audrey and Anjali.)

2- Voice notifications are limited to the computer speaker. If HAL can dial out and send a numeric page to a pager, why can't it dial a phone number and deliver a voice message?
Let me see if I understand this:

HAL is only capable of playing voice notifications(i.e. caller id, etc.) on the pc it is running on? What is the purpose of that?

Since the HA pc would be inside the batcave, there would be no way I could hear anything HAL does. I must be missing something......
 

HAL_MAN

Member
Corey,
You would port the audio of your HAL pc to your houses audio system (whatever that may be).

Make sense?

Thanks,
SHawn
 

ph0n33z

Active Member
I understand now what upstatemike was speaking of. Gotcha.

Sorry to bother with that question. Thanks as always HALMAN!
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
HAL_MAN said:
Your second concern is one that is widely asked for by the HAL community. But if I am not mistaken this is not possible in any HA suite that exists today. What I do is just have HAL send me alerts to my cell phone via texting abilities. More or less the same thing as having HAL call you cell phone and read you something, maybe less annoying really (depending on how many alerts you have setup).
The cell phone scenario is not really what I was thinking of. I would want HAL to go off hook, dial 33* (paging access) and make an announcement through the phone system.

I suppose I could use Stargate to dial out then have it route audio from the HAL PC to Stargates line-in and then back out through the Stargate phone interface.

Is anybody using HAL with a Stargate? Anybody know how much Stargate functionality is actually supported in HAL 2000? I looked through the HAL manual (over 1000 pages!) but couldn't get a feel for what all HAL could use of the Stargates hardware resources. Definitely X-10 and some of the digital inputs, but beyond that????
 
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