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Author Topic: ZigBee vs Z-Wave  (Read 19054 times)

Offline CMRancho

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ZigBee vs Z-Wave
« on: August 27, 2009, 03:30:32 pm »
Does anyone have any reliable current information about the ZigBee world? They still seem to be making some progress, but you'd think after four years of work there would be something hitting the market by now. Are the MCV folks planning to interoperate? I'm afraid that if the two compete, it will depress the market as people wait for a shakeout. Few people are willing to spend thousands of dollars on technology that could potentially go obsolete in a short period of time. Betamax/VHS sent the message that was echoed again in the HD/Blu-ray battle.
Vera123beta; Schlage, Kwikset, TZEMT400; Linksys cams, Smarteye cams, HSM100; Aeon, Everspring, Cooper, Leviton, Intermatic, FortrezZ, Global Caché, USB-UIRT, Somfy, etc.

Offline LibraSun

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Re: ZigBee vs Z-Wave
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2009, 06:09:07 pm »
For me, Zigbee is not even a reasonable option, after reading extensive info about Zigbee's potential for interfering with existing Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g) networks.

Aside from one or two specialty consumer products, the only time I hear about Zigbee on a regular basis is in connection with utility companies' "Smart Meters", as well as the TED 5000 series, due out later this year.

All in all, I don't see Zigbee as being a "competitor" to Z-Wave, any more than 900 MHz cordless phones were to 2.4 GHz models.  There may be pluses and minuses for each, and higher cost associated with the "newer" technology, but in actual fact, only one type of device tends to be available "mainstream" at a given time.  For now, I'd have to say the "winner" is Z-Wave, and manufacturers seem to have figured this out.

I'm interested in others' opinions on this matter, as I may be over-simplifying things.
Vera Model I running UI4 (Firmware 1.1.1338), died in 2015
Vera Plus running UI7 (Firmware 1.7.2935)

Offline TedStriker

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Re: ZigBee vs Z-Wave
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2009, 03:23:20 pm »
I rate this a little different.
IMHO it would be amazing to have a device which can handle both worlds: Z-Wave and ZigBee.
So you can benefit from both positive aspects, and if a negative aspect comes into play, you choose a solution on the other platform.
Have a look at www.mediola.com. They won the IFA 2009 Award for a concept, which Vera is already implementing (think of the IR-/X10- and Insteon-Support)

The benefits I see, despite the fact we can ship around of technology-dependend shortcomings, are as follows:

It could lead to cheaper equipment:
Some already available ZigBee equipment is way off cheaper than their Z-Wave based relatives.
www.alertme.com sells a PIR-Sensor for about 27€ - his Z-Wave brother ACT ZIR010 changes its owner for 65€.
A simple door sensor: ZigBee version at alertme.com ~27€ - the AEON door sensor is about 70€.
and so on.
This is the situation in Europe, especially in Germany. In the US the gap is not that huge I think.

New devicetypes are possible:
E.g. Another very interesting thing is a keyfob they sell at alertme.com. It lets the system know who is actually at home.
Think about the possibilities! Depending on who's coming home different scenarios can be driven.
AFAIK you can do it with a Schlage doorlock and personal codes, too. But this is way of smoother;)
And it also recognizes who (or at least whos keys) are leaving. When the last person's gone Vera can turn down temperature, left on lights and so on.

Native implementation in AV-Devices:
I read about native implementations of ZigBee in TVs from Sony and Toshiba (I'm not sure about the companies)
But the tendency is to replace the shopworn IR-Technology by a RF-Technologie. And the chances that this RF-Technology is ZigBee is very likly.
Imagine this:

A (yet to come) plugin for Vera looks in an online TV paper and informs you by mail or SMS about a prime time movie you might want to see.
You reply with a simple "Yes".
Now, when it's time for your movie lights get dimmed, your HiFi rack is turned on and the correct input source is will be selected, the TV turns on and automatically the channel of your movie gets selected.

All you have to do is to make some popcorn and enjoy your movie.

And when you're not at home (remember the keyfob) for some reason your decision to watch the movie, will be skipped, everthing stays off and instead the HD-recorder will record it for you.

I'm just dreaming at the moment, but there are great things to come.

The frequency gap
With Z-Wave it matters where you buy your devices. It's not possible to use US-devices in Europe and vice versa.
Having globally  standardized frequencies would result in a broader range of products you can use.
Less costs for the device developers, because they don't have develop two versions of their product. This can lead to lower prices (or higher margin ::)) The alternative to this option is that they skip a whole market, and from my point of view it' seems to be the European one most of the time :(
Having world wide the same frequency ould purge this away within a blink of an eye ;)

Fazit:
Z-Wave is good for switches, dimmers, blinds and so on. But supporting ZigBee will liften the value of Vera even more
and our big boys toy will learn a lot new tricks. The implementation of IR, X10, ... means some backwards compatibility for Vera so we can use our already purchased devices. Implementing ZigBee would be necessary for the devices to come.

Offline wseverino

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Re: ZigBee vs Z-Wave
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2009, 04:07:51 pm »
The biggest problem you have with Zigbee is the interoperability. Yes Zigbee in theory is interoperable but in all practicality it has it issues. This is where ZWave has its advantage because its a single company making the radio. Zigbee has numerous manufacturers of radio's that don't always play nice together. If you look at the utility companies you will notice most of them choose the solution from Ember.This doesn't take in account the OEM implementation of the stack.
My ZWave Network: Too friggin big to list.....

Offline 325xi

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Re: ZigBee vs Z-Wave
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2009, 08:49:25 pm »
On the other side, unlike Z-Wave, XBee modules are readily available for DIY types, protocol is easy and open enough to hack in and build whatever you want.
http://www.adafruit.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=29
It must be very straight forward to plug it into Vera, as it acts as a regular serial device - and then a little Luup plugin to make Vera talk to the specific Zigbee device...


Offline zmistro

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Re: ZigBee vs Z-Wave
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2009, 12:34:50 am »
The biggest problem you have with Zigbee is the interoperability. Yes Zigbee in theory is interoperable but in all practicality it has it issues. This is where ZWave has its advantage because its a single company making the radio. Zigbee has numerous manufacturers of radio's that don't always play nice together. If you look at the utility companies you will notice most of them choose the solution from Ember.This doesn't take in account the OEM implementation of the stack.

zwave is not a single company. there are more than one company making the Radio. The stack can still get screwed up. What is great about Zwave is there are many companies that are folowing the basics. Not so with Zigbee.
I don't know if you all know that Zensys has been talking with Zigebee to form some sort of partnership. This news was released at Cedia.

Offline B0SST0N

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Re: ZigBee vs Z-Wave
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2009, 02:28:00 am »
Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't zensys talking about a partnership with Control4 at CEDIA? I know Control4 uses some form of the zigbee protocol... but I think it was specifically Control4 they were speaking with.

Offline huwu

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Re: ZigBee vs Z-Wave
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2009, 02:31:48 am »
The biggest problem you have with Zigbee is the interoperability. Yes Zigbee in theory is interoperable but in all practicality it has it issues. This is where ZWave has its advantage because its a single company making the radio.  

In real life this is theory for Z-Wave too. I still have two battery operated switches that can not interoperate with Vera's Z-Wave network and I have 14 window covering devices that are capable to do more things than Vera is able to command. You see, we are depending on a manufacturer too, not on chip level, but on application level.

I can see no difference for the user, as long as MCV needs to have a device compatibility list in their Wiki.
My Z-Wave:Vera3, VeraEdge, 4*Dimmer, 14*RollerShutter, 4*PlugIn,9*Binary, 8*SmokeSensor, 2*Remote, 1*Siren, 1*RangeExtender, 1*Sensor, 1*BatterySwitch. Devices from:Duewi, Merten, HomePro, Trickle, Everspring, Fibaro, Aeon, Vision and MiCasa Verde

Offline TedStriker

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Re: ZigBee vs Z-Wave
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2009, 05:18:58 am »
If the Z-Wave consortium is talking to the ZigBee-consortium and the really go forward, then we maybe have some "Zig-Wave" devices in a few years I guess.

@wseverino:
if a product says "ZigBee Home Automation Certified Product" then it must have gone through a certification process like all the Z-Wave products you can buy today. Testing interoperablility is part of the certification process. (have a look at zigbee.org)
So it's pretty similar to the Z-Wave certification, I think.

@325xi:
Many many thanks for your link. This is VERY interesting to me. Having the ability to create new sensortypes is great. When Vera has more "eyes and ears" she can respond to happenings going on at home at a much more detailed grade. Maybe they respond even snappier than their Z-Wave based brothers :)

I agree with huwu. If MCV is implementing the "ZigBee Home Automation Certified Product" standard, it would work the same way it does with Z-Wave. If a device supplier becomes strong in the market and is not fitting the standards of the "ZigBee Home Automation Certified Product" process they could even think about implementing their foreign, proprietary protocol if we, the customers, benefit from it.
That it's not a new idea can be seen by the fact that MCV obviously is in contact with ZigBee supporting companies, like B0SST0N and zmistro told.

Offline 325xi

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Re: ZigBee vs Z-Wave
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2009, 09:14:44 am »
@325xi:
Many many thanks for your link. This is VERY interesting to me. Having the ability to create new sensortypes is great. When Vera has more "eyes and ears" she can respond to happenings going on at home at a much more detailed grade. Maybe they respond even snappier than their Z-Wave based brothers :)

Take a look at this http://www.slashgear.com/tweet-a-watt-prompts-xbee-router-hack-0640203
and you can google for XBee +DIY to get more interesting stuff

Offline guessed

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Re: ZigBee vs Z-Wave
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2009, 10:00:34 am »
@325xi, you might want to save yourself the Soldering job, and go for something consumer packaged like:

     http://www.newark.com/jsp/search/productdetail.jsp?SKU=11N7859&CMP=AFC-GB100000001

since it's USB-based, like the ZWave dongle we already use, and would just need to be recognized by serproxy (for Vera to "see" it cleanly)

Just wait a few weeks though as Telegesis announced a newer version (ETRX3).  These things support an AT-command set, so would be relatively easy to play with using any computer.... presuming you had something to talk to....   a TED 5000 over it's ZigBee interface perhaps, although they don't seem to document that part of their interface, so it would be a double experiment.

Either way, it would be a BIG experiment and likely require lots of time and some serious off-roading  ;)

Offline 325xi

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Re: ZigBee vs Z-Wave
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2009, 10:13:39 am »
It might be complicated - I would expect compatibility issues between this dongle and those XBee modules, as Zigbee for the latter is just one of the options - so you have to pick the right one. With XBee you're getting low-level access, and you don't have to follow Zigbee standard per se. XBee chips also have built-in AD inputs for various analog sensors.

Now, to connect it to Vera no soldering is required - you just plug XBee module into the socket on that USB cable, which also acts as FTDI based serial2usb adaper for XBee. 

Offline guessed

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Re: ZigBee vs Z-Wave
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2009, 10:41:37 am »
ok, I was reading about it late last night, so I might have missed the pre-assembled ones.  Most of the adapters looked like this one:

   http://www.makershed.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=MKAD13

where you had to Solder the board ($10), buy the XBee controller ($25) and the special FDTI Cable ($20).  That's what triggered me to look at the other option, since it was cheaper and "all in one" without special cables and such.

Offline zmistro

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Re: ZigBee vs Z-Wave
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2009, 11:30:18 am »
The biggest problem you have with Zigbee is the interoperability. Yes Zigbee in theory is interoperable but in all practicality it has it issues. This is where ZWave has its advantage because its a single company making the radio.  

In real life this is theory for Z-Wave too. I still have two battery operated switches that can not interoperate with Vera's Z-Wave network and I have 14 window covering devices that are capable to do more things than Vera is able to command. You see, we are depending on a manufacturer too, not on chip level, but on application level.

I can see no difference for the user, as long as MCV needs to have a device compatibility list in their Wiki.

Are you saying the battery operated switches do not work with vera. Are those Cooper?
don't they work as a single scene controller?

Offline huwu

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Re: ZigBee vs Z-Wave
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2009, 11:51:55 am »
@zmisto: This is the TrickleStar controller and the Merten four push button. Both in the European version.
My Z-Wave:Vera3, VeraEdge, 4*Dimmer, 14*RollerShutter, 4*PlugIn,9*Binary, 8*SmokeSensor, 2*Remote, 1*Siren, 1*RangeExtender, 1*Sensor, 1*BatterySwitch. Devices from:Duewi, Merten, HomePro, Trickle, Everspring, Fibaro, Aeon, Vision and MiCasa Verde