Author Topic: No, the grass is not greener on the other side.  (Read 3991 times)

Offline litby

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No, the grass is not greener on the other side.
« on: June 24, 2018, 02:33:34 pm »
So after all my problems with the Vera+ I decided to defect.

I have some powerful Xeon servers running ESXi so I wanted to leverage existing hardware rather than buying another controller, Over the weekend I tried Homeseer and Domoticz, both with an Aeon Z-stick.

I came out extremely discouraged to say the least. HS has the most godawful UI I have encountered in my 30 years of IT. I couldn't even figure out how to get it to pick up the paired devices from the stick. I gave up after 2 hours.

My Domoticz experience was equally short, after discovering that the 3 devices I had paired to the Z-stick became 21 (!) impossible to identify devices in Domoticz. Brick wall.

If those are representative of the alternatives out there, I'll stick with Vera.

Offline jeubanks

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Re: No, the grass is not greener on the other side.
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2018, 02:39:56 pm »
So after all my problems with the Vera+ I decided to defect.

I have some powerful Xeon servers running ESXi so I wanted to leverage existing hardware rather than buying another controller, Over the weekend I tried Homeseer and Domoticz, both with an Aeon Z-stick.

I came out extremely discouraged to say the least. HS has the most godawful UI I have encountered in my 30 years of IT. I couldn't even figure out how to get it to pick up the paired devices from the stick. I gave up after 2 hours.

My Domoticz experience was equally short, after discovering that the 3 devices I had paired to the Z-stick became 21 (!) impossible to identify devices in Domoticz. Brick wall.

If those are representative of the alternatives out there, I'll stick with Vera.

Sorry to hear that.  The HS web interface is dated and not pretty but it is very functional once you get accustomed.  Sorry you didn't post on the HS forum lots would have helped out.  There's several integrators on the forums to help out and I have a plugin that bridges Vera to HS for devices very similar to OpenLuup.

In any event good luck! 

Offline litby

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Re: No, the grass is not greener on the other side.
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2018, 03:25:37 pm »

Sorry to hear that.  The HS web interface is dated and not pretty but it is very functional once you get accustomed.  Sorry you didn't post on the HS forum lots would have helped out.  There's several integrators on the forums to help out and I have a plugin that bridges Vera to HS for devices very similar to OpenLuup.

In any event good luck!

I don't really worry about the way it looks, but I have at least an expectation that I should be able to use it to get started - and I found that impossible. Installation was easy, but then I got nowhere. Maybe I should try again, but something at that price should provide a better initial experience.

Offline integlikewhoa

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Re: No, the grass is not greener on the other side.
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2018, 05:12:03 pm »

Sorry to hear that.  The HS web interface is dated and not pretty but it is very functional once you get accustomed.  Sorry you didn't post on the HS forum lots would have helped out.  There's several integrators on the forums to help out and I have a plugin that bridges Vera to HS for devices very similar to OpenLuup.

In any event good luck!

I don't really worry about the way it looks, but I have at least an expectation that I should be able to use it to get started - and I found that impossible. Installation was easy, but then I got nowhere. Maybe I should try again, but something at that price should provide a better initial experience.

Like everything you only get what you put in. It took me twice to make the switch and having only used VERA at the time, when I tried HS I too had similer thoughts as you on the first test. But I wasn't testing with any devices (still married to vera and didnt want to get in to deep) and trying to just poke the surface a bit. It wasn't until the 2nd time almost a year later I invested alot more that I got the true side to come out. By the 2nd time I was fed up with VERA alot more and willing to test more then the 2st time around.

There is so much more to offer and yes everything is in a different place, it looks different, really its alot better when you know where everything is.

Alot of people are willing to help and the forums there are really much quieter due to less issues and alot of people are not new too home automation controllers. I would say that the vast majority are there after they have tried the basic $100.00 all in one systems (wink, vera, smarthtings, iris) and moved on to somthing better.

Offline jeubanks

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Re: No, the grass is not greener on the other side.
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2018, 05:43:30 pm »

Sorry to hear that.  The HS web interface is dated and not pretty but it is very functional once you get accustomed.  Sorry you didn't post on the HS forum lots would have helped out.  There's several integrators on the forums to help out and I have a plugin that bridges Vera to HS for devices very similar to OpenLuup.

In any event good luck!

I don't really worry about the way it looks, but I have at least an expectation that I should be able to use it to get started - and I found that impossible. Installation was easy, but then I got nowhere. Maybe I should try again, but something at that price should provide a better initial experience.

Yeah at first glance and cursory look through of the interface it's pretty baron.  By design.  If you give it a try and read through some of the getting started guides it's really not that bad and then things start to make sense as to the order and arrangement of things.  HomeSeer is designed around a Plugin concept.  EVERYTHING is a Plugin even the Z-Wave component is a Plugin... because well, maybe you don't run z-wave maybe you're Insteon or old X10 or pure RFx 433 who knows. 

Offline rafale77

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Re: No, the grass is not greener on the other side.
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2018, 07:50:54 pm »
I would say the grass is not always greener on all the other sides but chances are very high  that they are. It depends on what other side you pick. Each will have pros and cons but nearly none will be as idiotically unreliable as the vera... all take some adjustments and learning curves.

Similar to Homeseer, OpenLuup treats the vera as a plugin.
I will be testing z-way in the coming weeks.
openLuup (97 devices, 134 scenes, 20 apps) controlling HomeAss + VeraPlus (131 zwave nodes, 8 Zigbee nodes, 199 devices, 20 scenes , 2 app) Bridged to Homekit and Alexa

Offline zedrally

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Re: No, the grass is not greener on the other side.
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2018, 08:00:45 pm »
HS came well before Z-Wave, as mentioned Z-Wave communication is via a Plug In and the UZB is also a important component is the system.
Not all UZB sticks are compatible, I have had many reported problems with the AEON sticks, I suspect mainly because there are still a lot of Gen 3 ones on the market.
Living in the Land of Oz, give me a vegemite sandwich. Home Seer, Vera Lite & Edge, Popp, Black Cat Smart Hub & Vera G, Black Cat Lite 1 & 2's a Black Cat Dimmer or 2, Fantem Tec and then some  Black Cat Cat's Eye PIR's & Door-Window Sensors, RFXComm, Broadlink RMPro & Mini plus a Z-UNO or 2.

Offline jeubanks

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Re: No, the grass is not greener on the other side.
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2018, 08:28:13 pm »
HS came well before Z-Wave, as mentioned Z-Wave communication is via a Plug In and the UZB is also a important component is the system.
Not all UZB sticks are compatible, I have had many reported problems with the AEON sticks, I suspect mainly because there are still a lot of Gen 3 ones on the market.

Yup... When I decided to go for it I went with a HomeSeer USB stick to start with to ensure compatibility and if things didn't work I could reach out to support.  Since then I'm also running a HS Z-Net and a DIY Z-Net with a HUSBZ-1 stick

Offline integlikewhoa

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Re: No, the grass is not greener on the other side.
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2018, 08:57:25 pm »
Altho I have no intrest there was a few reasons to make a "Vera" plugin in HomeSeer. I think mostly for Zigbee, but anyhow...... that might end up being a steping stone for some. It's currently free and in late alpha stages, but will be paid shortly down the road. A google search should find it.

Offline kigmatzomat

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Re: No, the grass is not greener on the other side.
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2018, 11:38:15 pm »
I also had a bit of a speed bump getting HS to initialize the zwave connection.

Once you do, however, that "godawful" UI is a surprisingly information dense and responsive system. The events screen has, in a fairly readable format,all the information on multiple scenes that vera uses 3-4 sub-pages per scene.

Is it web 2.0? Oh thank God no.

Offline zedrally

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Re: No, the grass is not greener on the other side.
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2018, 12:00:31 am »
I thought the whole idea of automation was just that: Automation, not a pretty UI
Why anyone wants a UI that looks pretty is beyond me, but each to their own and I respect that.
I want a functional autonomous system that doesn't require user input apart from some VC.
HS packs in everything you want to know about the device, far more than what Vera indicates, which indicates that Vera strips out what it doesn't either need, understand or is unable to interrogate, I suspect it's the latter.
Living in the Land of Oz, give me a vegemite sandwich. Home Seer, Vera Lite & Edge, Popp, Black Cat Smart Hub & Vera G, Black Cat Lite 1 & 2's a Black Cat Dimmer or 2, Fantem Tec and then some  Black Cat Cat's Eye PIR's & Door-Window Sensors, RFXComm, Broadlink RMPro & Mini plus a Z-UNO or 2.

Offline integlikewhoa

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Re: No, the grass is not greener on the other side.
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2018, 12:57:12 am »
I thought the whole idea of automation was just that: Automation, not a pretty UI
Why anyone wants a UI that looks pretty is beyond me, but each to their own and I respect that.

I don't get the whole UI thing either. I mean even if your a home remote control person (not home automation) the only UI you should care about looks is the tablet or phone that you use an APP on. And there a full custom HS touch Designer that lets you paint pretty colors, put graphics or anything your heart wants. I use Imperihome more though.

Offline Tillsy

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Re: No, the grass is not greener on the other side.
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2018, 02:17:33 am »
I was a bit startled by the UI of HomeSeer as well, but with the immense power and speed I've quickly forgotten all about it.  Events (scenes) are so powerful I haven't had to use a single line of code, yet am even doing complex conditions and powerful things like reconfiguring Z-Wave device parameters in various scenarios (seriously straight from the standard UI!).  Rather than seeing a single device you get to see every single individual element of that device and can control and react to any of them.  Hell the thing is so fast I don't even do direct Z-Wave associations anymore - under Vera I had sensors directly triggering lights because Vera was too slow, under HomeSeer I can have far more advanced logic because I now control them via Events.

But yes it's ugly - if that matters just last week the developers acknowledged this and said the UI would be their next priority after the all new IOS/Android app they are working on.

Offline litby

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Re: No, the grass is not greener on the other side.
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2018, 03:05:44 am »
I thought the whole idea of automation was just that: Automation, not a pretty UI
Why anyone wants a UI that looks pretty is beyond me, but each to their own and I respect that.
I want a functional autonomous system that doesn't require user input apart from some VC.
HS packs in everything you want to know about the device, far more than what Vera indicates, which indicates that Vera strips out what it doesn't either need, understand or is unable to interrogate, I suspect it's the latter.

When I said "godawful" I wasn't referring to the looks of the UI but rather the difficulty of figuring out what does what. Maybe the fact that I have two z-wave radios confused things. I'll give it another go.

Unfortunately I threw away the VM in exasperation so I'll have to ask for a new trial license.

Offline integlikewhoa

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Re: No, the grass is not greener on the other side.
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2018, 03:47:15 am »
When I said "godawful" I wasn't referring to the looks of the UI but rather the difficulty of figuring out what does what. Maybe the fact that I have two z-wave radios confused things. I'll give it another go.

Unfortunately I threw away the VM in exasperation so I'll have to ask for a new trial license.

I'm not sure I currently have 3 Z-wave networks at the larger house and I find that is another plus with HS.... Mananging multipule z-wave networks. Vera or one network couldnt reach the entire property and with older GE switches that only have instant like status with direct communication to the controller it was a must to have multipule networks.

Every new install gets a trail. You don't need to ask again for one to start over.