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Does HomeSeer Meet My Requirements - Newbie

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    Does HomeSeer Meet My Requirements - Newbie

    Hi All - Was originally looking at HA and found it would take a lot more of my time to deploy/configure. Seeking alternatives I found HomeSeer. Fingers crossed it can do what I want.

    I'm primarily seeking a Kiosk solution running on a Fire Tablet or iPad. I want to display my four (4) live cameras at all times (running in BlueIris) and also share screen space with a music player (e.g., Amazon Music, Pandora, Spotify, etc.). That's primarily it for Phase I. Can HomeSeer accomplish this relatively simply?

    Or maybe it's easier to do what I want without HomeSeer? I have younger kids so a kiosk is appealing so they're not messing with everything else a tablet can do :-).

    Phase II would add visibility options into the status of lights/door locks. Probably zwave and/or Lutron Caseta.

    Thanks in advance for any guidance.

    Blue Iris has an Android (and probably also Apple) app and it's pretty good. In some regards it is better than ui3, e.g. it allows two way communication which ui3 does not. In my opinion, music is easiest streamed through the app, e.g. the Spotify app. In our case we cast it to Chromecast devices.

    If you want to integrate all of this plus light control, etc. then you will need HSTouch Designer or 3rd party design software. HSTouch has a bit of a learning curve so will spend a good amount of time. For BI it's easy, just create a page that renders ui3 (though HSTouch keeps crashing. I believe it happens if some cams lost connection but I am not sure). I have not integrated music yet because it's just so easy to use Spotify. It doesn't really seem to be worth the effort. Maybe it's nice if you use wall tablets, etc a lot but everyone in our family just uses the phone for music so everyone uses just the Spotify app. Integrating lights, security system, AC/heater, etc is where things get interesting but you will spend a LOT of time on that using HSTouch Designer. Maybe some 3rd party designers are easier but less powerful.


      Once you get into HS, you'll find that you can almost anything you can think of - it is just a matter of your time/money, and which hardware and which plugins you choose to invest in.

      The kiosk thing is done via HSTouch, a companion HS product with which you can build your own custom control screens. In my case, I use iPads, but Android tablets are probably more popular because of cost.

      Displaying Blue Iris cameras is easy enough via HSTouch. Simply add an HSTouch element on your screen that pulls in video from your Blue Iris server. Lots of examples on how that is done on this forum.

      As for music, it depends on what your music hardware will be. There are a few plugins you can purchase for this purpose. In my case, I use Sonos devices for music, so I use Dirk's Sonos4 plugin, along with HSTouch screens for control and display of players.

      The kid's are your problem. But actually, my boys have never messed with my kiosks, ever.

      Lights and door locks - again, several options - ZWave, Zigbee, wifi, and the list goes on. As I said, you will eventually need to decide what hardware you want to use, and then see what the best plugin might be.

      I have been using HS for decades, and I have no plans to stop. But HA can do a few things better than HS can. So you may find a place for both of them in your home. Welcome to the HS club - the community here is very helpful, so you will succeed.

      A few screenshots of my Camera and Music screens in HSTouch:

      Click image for larger version

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      Click image for larger version

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        IMHO, Jon00's HSTile has a little less of a steep learning curve and runs nicely on Android using Fully Kiosk Browser.
        "if I have seen further [than others], it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." --Sir Isaac Newton (1675)


          The short answer is, "Yes! Absolutely." The longer answer is that if you buy and install HS4 you will find a million other things that you would like it to do and it is probably more than capable of those things, based on the amount of time you are willing to spend to make it happen. Your initial needs seem quite easy to implement and sound like a good starting place.
          HomeSeer Version: HS4 Pro Edition
          Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro - Desktop
          Z-Wave Devices via two Z-Net G3s
          Zigbee Devices via RaspBee on RPi 3b+
          WiFi Devices via Internal Router.

          Enabled Plug-Ins
          AK Weather,AmbientWeather,Big6,BLBackup,BLGData,BLLock,BLUPS,Device History,EasyTrigger,Harmony Hub,HSBuddy 3.30.1003.1,JowiHue,LG ThinQ,rnbWeather,SDJ-Health,TPLinkSmartHome4 2022.12.30.0,UltraCID3 3.0.6681.34300,Z-Wave 2


            Note that it will take you time to get things set up no matter what you use. Especially to meet your desires of a kiosk. Setting that up will not be Simple. There is the phone app which will easily add devices and display any cameras you have integrated under a separate icon. It would require some work to get the music player going.

            In the phone app I have 8 cameras showing on the cameras "tab" and you can create different Device "Dashboard" which are just groupings of selected HomeSeer Devices. If you get devices set up to play your music, then you could have a "Dashboard Tab" for the music player as well. This would be the most basic interface option and while I do not have a tablet to test it on, should work with a tablet as well.

            Using HSTouch would allow for extremely customizable interfaces, but it will take work. they are working on an upgraded version of the designer, but it will be a while before that is available. There is a lot of information in the HSTouch Section of the Forums as well as a thread where some are showing off their Touch Screens. In there you will see everything you mentioned added to screens.

            It will excel at your Phase II portion.

            You have 30 days to try HomeSeer. So download and try everything except maybe the HSTouch stuff so you are not overwhelmed but get a basic idea of what is available.
            Karl S
            HS4Pro on Windows 10
            1070 Devices
            56 Z-Wave Nodes
            104 Events
            HSTouch Clients: 3 Android, 1 iOS
            Google Home: 3 Mini units, 1 Pair Audios, 2 Displays