OmniProII Touchscreens

upstatemike

Senior Member
I am curious about the touchscreens offered with hardware systems like the M1 or OmniProII. They seem to have a lot of functionality... The OmniPro can display cameras, control Russound and and other AV stuff, etc, but what happens when you cannect your hardware panel to CQC or MainLobby or Homeseer?

Can the PC system get any functionality from the hardware system touchscreens? Should you discard the system touchscreens and use PC touchscreens that work with the HA program instead? Can the HA software package replicate all the little features built-in to the proprietary hardware touchscreens?

Seems like some major overlap here!
 

DavidL

Senior Member
The HAI touchscreens have core, "hard coded" data and control. The ELK touchscreen is a little more unrestrained to allow 3rd party software to be viewed and interacted with as it is essentially a CE based touchscreen.

A full PC based touchscreen that runs CQC / MainLobby or Homeseer can do TONS more than the proprietary ones. Basically everything that the OEM screen does, and then a whole lot more.

The HAI and ELK are really two different strategies and really shouldn't be bundled into one group.

Whatever the HAI or ELK panel does, a good plugin to a PC based software can replicate and then improve upon. You can also customize the navigation / appearance / capability with a PC based solution that you can't on a hard coded OEM one (which ELK has their own "hard coded software", and their touchscreen also can be reused as a PC based software package terminal).
 

Steve

Senior Member
Yeah, what he said. I would not want to locked in to a firmware based screen like the HAI. There are some nice screens from places like RTI and Xantech but they are still a bit proprietary with their software. A touch screen like the Elk is IMHO the way to go. Since it is 'open' it will run CE software so you are not limited to 1 vendor or particular software. Sure, Elk does have their own RM software but if you prefer the flexibilty to design your own you should be able to run stuff like CQC or ML or anything else that is CE based. You should be able to effectively duplicate all functions like camera displays, etc. With the HAI you still need video modules and it is all hardware/firmware. With Elk you can run a pc with anything you want and interface via CE. Both methods have their place but I porefer the flexibility of the Elk. Also the Elk support POE so all you need is a single Cat5e and you're in business.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
So the Elk is a self-contained CE PC while other touch screens connected directly to a CQC or MainLobby system would need a PC to drive them plus some way to run the video from the PC to a distant touch screen? How many touchscreens can the Elk support? How many PC based touch screens can a single PC support?
 

DavidL

Senior Member
Mike, there are lots of screen / software / pc options. Here are a few:

HAI touchscreen to OmniPro.
The HAI touch will only handle what HAI programmed it to do.

ELK touchscreen to M1 Gold.
The ELK panel runs special software ELK designed. Similar constraints as HAI above.

ELK touchpanel (CE) connected to network connected to PC running HA/ HT software
Can display and control what is running on the PC. If the software is very lightweight and runs on CE, then it can be installed right on the touchpanel. If the software needs more hardware resources, you can run RDP on the touchpanel to display what's running on the PC.

Touchscreen monitor connected to PC
Many options here:

VGA cable direct to PC - hard to run VGA cable in wall. Thick, distance limitations, expensive cable. Works if PC can be mounted nearby the in wall touchscreen.

VGA cable direct to multiheaded VGA PC (multiple screens at once). Same issues as single, just more.

VGA to Cat5 adapter back to VGA to PC (easy to install - can also be multiheaded too). Cat5 adapters are somewhat expensive ~$350 / pair for good Gefen ones. Might not pass code inspection in some areas if in wall.

UTMA touchscreen connected to LAN to PC running special RDP software (probably best choice nowadays IMHO). Can run anything a PC can run.

Touchpanel PC - full PC with touchscreen in wall - expensive, not as powerful as a regular PC, Need to update software on it like any other PC. Not as fast as most PCs.

TabletPC - usually retrofit handhelds with handmade wallmounts (see IVB posts). Use older, less expensive used ebay handheld touchpanels - usually wireless networked. Can run any PC application, but always slower than a modern PC. Not a pro solution but a nice creative, cheaper DIY solution.
 

Steve

Senior Member
ELK touchscreen to M1 Gold.
The ELK panel runs special software ELK designed. Similar constraints as HAI above.

ELK touchpanel (CE) connected to network connected to PC running HA/ HT software
Can display and control what is running on the PC. If the software is very lightweight and runs on CE, then it can be installed right on the touchpanel. If the software needs more hardware resources, you can run RDP on the touchpanel to display what's running on the PC.
David, that was a good accurate post. Just want to clear up a small error on the Elk stuff. Elk has a regular hardbutton proprietary keypad in 2 flavors and the 1 CE based touchscreen. They do not have a proprietary (like HAI) and separate (network connected) touchpanel.

The Elk TS-07 touchscreen is similar to what you called the CE touchpanel. It comes with the ElkRM software so you can use it out of the box without anything else. RM works fine for most people. The beauty is since the device is open, you can run any CE based software on it, such as the CQC .net viewer (sorry if the mention of a specific product hurts anyones feelings, but it is a good example) to have fully customized screens.

The keypads are both typical alarm keypads with 1 advantage of being flashable but they are not touch based (unless you consider regular buttons a touchpanel (dependings on your definition I guess)).

Hope that clears it up.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
Looking at the OmniProII as an example, the firmware based screen will display video camaras plus standard control screens such as lighting, security, AV, and HVAC. Simple surface mount and only needs a single cat5 for power, video, and data. You need a single $700 hub to support 8 screens and 6 camera feeds but no PC is required.

I assume the equivalent is 8 UTMA screens plus a PC with a 6-port camera card?
 

Steve

Senior Member
Or how about 8 (or however many you need) Elk screens and no hub or pc and IP cams. Use a browser window to display several cams and touch one to enlarge? Of course this assumes a CE browser or something with a pc for more powerful stuff.

The HAI is certainly a nice solution, no doubt. Saw it at EHX and it is a nice screen. Only comment is that is is obviously proprietary for their system, so if you are investing in a full blown HAI system its a nice choice. But if you have non HAI stuff there are more flexible and open choices.
 

BraveSirRobbin

Moderator
HAI does have some nice quality components. I visited their booth at CES in January and did THIS review on some of their product lines.

I did see the touch screen display which can show images from their on-board camera board. There was something about this display methodology that I did not like (for the life of me I can't remember what this was ;) ). Perhaps it was resolution, wish I could remember.

Their touch screens are sharp looking and really give a polished and professional look.

One thing I remember drooling over was their MCE interface (which practically nobody other than mControl has)!

I wish you luck getting any info though as they heavily cater to professional installers and not to the DIY market.

Wish I could be more help.
 

Spanky

Senior Member
The number of ELK TS-07 Touchscreens talking to an ELK M1 is limited by the M1XEP Ethernet interface. 30 for non encrypted data and 5 for encrypted data.

Multiple IP camera viewing is coming, then look out CEDIA in September!!! ;)
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
Spanky said:
The number of ELK TS-07 Touchscreens talking to an ELK M1 is limited by the M1XEP Ethernet interface. 30 for non encrypted data and 5 for encrypted data.

Multiple IP camera viewing is coming, then look out CEDIA in September!!! ;)
I'm not sure I follow what you are saying regarding encrypted data. What data is encrypted (and why)?
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
DavidL said:
UTMA touchscreen connected to LAN to PC running special RDP software (probably best choice nowadays IMHO). Can run anything a PC can run.
I just did some reading on UTMA and I am a little skeptical about what is going to happen to my touch screen response (or HA system response) when the HA server gets bogged down or busy. Are people really running 8 instances of UTMA touch screens on their automation servers without any issues?

It seems like the first time the doorbell rings and the door camera starts streaming live video to 8 UTMA screens, that the HA server is going to blow a gasket!
 

Spanky

Senior Member
When connecting to the M1XEP from outside the local area, Port 2601 uses SSL data encryption for security. This extra encryption takes a lot of RAM in the M1XEP, so a maximum of 5 encrypted data sockets can be connected at one time. You can have encrypted and non encrypted sockets connected at the same time. For instance 1 encrypted and 20 non encrypted.

Most in house operations would use the non encrypted connections.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
Spanky said:
When connecting to the M1XEP from outside the local area, Port 2601 uses SSL data encryption for security. This extra encryption takes a lot of RAM in the M1XEP, so a maximum of 5 encrypted data sockets can be connected at one time. You can have encrypted and non encrypted sockets connected at the same time. For instance 1 encrypted and 20 non encrypted.

Most in house operations would use the non encrypted connections.
OK I guess I missed that. So are you saying I could have a touch panel connected over the Internet via an encrypted port? I can have a touch panel in another state that operates just like it was in my house?
 

gcimmino

Active Member
upstatemike said:
OK I guess I missed that. So are you saying I could have a touch panel connected over the Internet via an encrypted port? I can have a touch panel in another state that operates just like it was in my house?
Not yet. That is, if you mean the Elk Touch Panel, running Elk RM. RM does not yet support SSL connections. See the Note at the bottom of page 8 of the Elk RM manual.

Edit: If you have a PC at the "other state" location, you might be able to setup an SSL Tunnel using software like STunnel and point the "other state" touch screen at your tunnel. So the hookup would look like this:

Other State ELK RM (unencrypted port) -> Other State PC running STunnel -> Internet with SSL -> Elk XEP SSL/"secure" port
 
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