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Why use Homeseer?

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  • Why use Homeseer?


    I am in the process of buying X10.

    All you guys are raving about the homeseer product and I am certainly interested but my question is this.

    In 'Real World' terms, what can homeseer do???

    I understand it has voice recognition but how easy is it to implement around the house (where do you put your mics etc??)

    What else can it do, or more importantly what do you guys use it for??? I can't find any info on the possibilities of using the product??!!!


  • #2

    Here's some suggestions!


    • #3
      If you use X10 then homeseer is a must have.
      Just buy it you will not regret it:-)


      • #4
        What do I use Homeseer for?
        1. To wake me up. Homeseer turns on the music system, turns the bedroom speakers on, sends PC audio to those speakers, gets the attention of the wife and me, downloads a weather forcast for the day, reads it to us, reminds her if she has to take our son to preschool or not, starts some music that I set the night before, waits a few minutes and then turns on the bedroom light. On my way out of the bedroom I hit an X10 keypad that sends a signal to Homeseer which then turns off the bedroom light, turns on the kitchen and living room lights, turns off the bedroom audio, and turns on the living room audio.
        2. I have multiple stick-a-switches (the stick X10 transmitters that you can pick up just about anywhere for about $10-$20) around the apartment that send X10 signals to my PC that has Homeseer installed to trigger macros. For example the one by the front door I only partially use but in a nutshell with the touch of a single button I can either turn off all the lights in the apartment, turn on all the lights in the living room and have the audio system power up and welcome us home and, after I tweak the script a little bit, tell us how many callers we had and how many new emails I have, or for when we come home late at night and our son is asleep only a select few lights along the path to his bedroom will come on and dim to a level that's enough for my wife and I to see back there but not bright enough to wake him up.
        3. I know its nothing big but one thing that I just absolutely love about Homeseer is the Comics script. Ever since I moved to Louisville the comics in the newspaper just aren't that good and its a pain to have to go to many different sites every day to read comics. With the comics script you can download for free with Homeseer it will generate a new page every day that has almost all the comics I'd want to see ready and waiting for me.
        There are plenty of other things that have made my life easier as well but those are just my favorites.


        • #5

          That's an impossible question to answer in one thread. Spend some time reading messages on this board and you'll get a good idea why people use it. Almost every thread is about something people are doing with HS. There is a wide range of uses from the very practical (almost indespensible) to somewhat bizarre ("stink" detectors to turn on bathroom fans!)

          BTW, don't think voice recognition is the only (or even the primary) purpose for getting HS. In fact, I don't even use VR because it's just not yet ready for prime time, in my opinion. A lot of people on this board (maybe most) consider HA (home automation) a "hobby". Those people spend a lot of time building their own circuits, tweaking VR, etc. That's great because it's ultimately good for the rest of us. But personally, I look at HA not so much as a hobby but as a very practical tool for managing my house. My goal is to have HS run as nearly unattended as possible. I haven't yet seen much need for features such as VR where I have to interact with HS. The ONLY regular interaction with HS we have is pushing a button (on a Switchlinc in the bedroom) to tell HS we are "ASLEEP" and another button for "AWAKE". I also have a Switchlinc by the garage door that has "HOME" and "AWAY". We push AWAY when we leave but HOME is activated automatically when HS detects a driveway ARRIVAL (it can tell the difference between arrival and departure) followed within 45 seconds by one of two garage doors opening. Other than pushing one of the mode buttons a couple of times a day, we have near ZERO interaction with HS. HS just runs in the background and manages (or monitors) a whole bunch of stuff around the house. I have experimented with VR to see how realiable it is and it just isn't as reliable as pushing a button - yet. If it were 100% reliable I would love to just be able to speak "Goodnight HomeSeer" and have it put the house in "ASLEEP" mode but it's not quite that perfected yet. But, thanks to all the experimenters who use it, it will be someday!

          Here are a couple of links to good threads about how people are using HS:

          Like I said, almost every post will give you ideas but these are a couple that have lists of things people are doing. Note that most require some kind of interface in addition to HS (X10, Ocelot, etc.)


          • #6
            A better question would be why not use it?


            • #7
              From :

              Here is a short list of some of the things you can do with HomeSeer.

              Set your lights to come on at sunset and off at sunrise
              Set lights and appliances to go on and off at different times based on whether you are home or not
              Access all your lights and appliances remotely via the web
              Control your lights and appliances via email
              From work or on the road you can access YOUR email via any web browser. Stop using those free email accounts to get at your mail
              Send and reply to your email via the web
              Control your VCR from the web
              Have your computer speak when your email arrives and tell you who it was from
              Automatically respond to email
              Speak to your computer and have it execute commands, like launching programs, reading mail, controlling lights and A/V equipment.
              Control your heating and cooling system and keep track of how long the system has been on.
              Interact with Microsoft Agent characters without using the keyboard to listen


              • #8
                REASON: Most expandable.
                Supports Z-Wave (even though I haven't started stepping up to it, I plan to for reliability in the future)



                • #9
                  REASON: This board
                  This board has some of the most tallented and helpfull people I have associated with. You have everyone from serios MCEs to electrical engineers to a few hippies (hey Gordon Cunningham). They have gone through a lot of hastle to devise scripts and routines to enhance HomeSeer



                  • #10
                    REASON: Upgrades
                    Rich does not plan on charging for feature upgrades and other enhancements that I know of. HAL starts off expensive, charges more for higher packages, and HomeSeer does everything HAL does and much more. HAL charges for rev upgrades for things that HS usually has been doing for a while.

                    HAL is to AOL as HS is to the real internet. If you want a ongoing hobby, get HS. If you want it to just work, HS is still better for that.



                    • #11
                      When you purchase HomeSeer you're not just buying a software product, you're buying into one of the best communities I've had the pleasure of being part of. You also gain an unsurpassed support team in which Karen, Rich and Rick are always going out of their ways to really connect with the end-user's needs and concerns.

                      Software is nothing more than... well, software. It's the people behind it that make the difference. I wouldn't have it any other way.



                      • #12
                        I am very, very impressed. Certainly got my attention!!

                        So what spec PC do I need, to get the full potential out of this app???



                        • #13
                          I'm not sure what the minimum would be but I would highly recommend a PC dedicated to HS. HS itself is very stable and reliable so if you run it on a dedicated PC, your system will be much more stable than if you run it on a machine that you also use for email, web surfing, games, etc.


                          • #14
                            Hi Stace,

                            DC is right, it varies depending on what you are doing. I think there are some threads on this message board about that. It is very much dependant on if you are doing scripting or video stuff on the same machine.

                            For starting out, you would be surprised how few resources it takes up. I don't run any scripts and I doubt my 1 GB machine every gets more than 5 - 10% processor utilization.
                            Martin Custer


                            • #15
                              Here's HomeSeer's very own hardware they sell along with some good system information.