Vera VS. Homeseer, video fps??

hi all,

firstly let me apologize for the lengthy post! newb here in the market for a home automation setup. the two contenders for me right now are the Homeseer software solution running on an a dedicated PC i have laying around, or the Vera box. been lurking long enough on both the Micasaverde and Homeseer forums to know that both have their bugs/issues.

REALLY like that the Vera uses SSL, as this will be used for security as well as automation, i don’t want to be vulnerable to hackers hijacking my cams, etc. the Homeseer setup has it’s plusses too, first and foremost, at least to me, being that it is not limited to Z-Wave.

i have a few of questions that i have not been able to answer for myself on the forums yet. the first one is this: if i am using Vera to control/monitor some security cams (front door, back gate, etc) and want to stream live video to my Mac, or to my iPhone, or to a touchscreen in the home, or to my TV, can this be done or can’t it? my understanding is that Vera simply captures static shots at given intervals and can display these via the web or the iPhone app. since it is my understanding that video is really just a bunch of still shots run together in rapid succession, like film, it seems possible that Vera could come close to the look of a real live video feed if it is capable of capturing and displaying enough frames in a short enough period of time. if this is the case, exactly how many fps (frames per second) can Vera run together to approximate a live video feed? i don;t need HD quality here, i’m not making a movie, and not too interested in archiving this data, unless there is a break-in or something, mostly just want to be able to monitor either remotely or on-site what is going on at the house.

for example, if i am in the back bedroom and someone is at the front door, i want to be able to see them in real-time on my iPhone, in order to decide to answer the door or not. another situation might be if someone were attempting to break into one of our cars in the driveway, i would want to be able to have as close to a “real” video record of this as possible.

my second question, which is of lesser importance but still a factor, is in regards to IR emitter functionality. i have a decent-sized home theater setup, and i would want my home automation system to be able to control all my IR-controlled devices, ideally also from my iPhone. the promo video for the Vera shows this as one of it’s capabilities, but i haven’t been able to confirm if this is for real yet? the Homeseer solution absolutely will do this.

my last question is about touchscreen compatibility. the Homeseer setup has an application that allows the user to create customizable pages for use with various touchscreen controllers. does Vera do this?

i think those are the main questions really that i still have, but if any of you have $.02 to throw in here on my decision between the two products, i’m all ears for that too. thanks in advance for all replies, tips, and info - i really appreciate it. i’ve been learning about this stuff for the last few months, and i want to make this decision and commit to either the Vera or Homeseer setup within the next few weeks.



You video question’s answer is going to depend on the camera you get, but I don’t really understand your use case. If you want to just see the video stream from the IP camera (assuming you have a camera that supports that) you can usually just point your Mac, iPhone, etc directly at the camera you don’t need Vera to do that. I would check out Vitamin D ( for what you are looking for.

That said Vera can be used to archive a still shot and could possibly be programmed (if you want to write or get someone to write a plug-in) to archive video (depending on the stream provided by your camera) based on a motion sensor be tripped or other z-wave device event.

I use zoneminder for video recording/archiving. Took an old computer, stuck 2tb hd in it, and installed ubuntu server, and just the zoneminder package, then put it up in my attic. I ssh into it if I ever need a command prompt. Other than that, zoneminder is fully managed through the web. Not bad for a free solution… oh, and a mythtv plugin that allows viewing live feeds.

thanks guys i appreciate the replies! as for my use case, besides just seeing the live video feed, i want to eventually be able to use vera to control things like the Schlage lock based on what i see on the video feed. so, what i am looking for is one application that will let me see my video feeds from around the house and then activate z wave devices or scenes within the same application. a perfect example would be the scenario described in MCV’s own promo video, in which i can remotely allow access to my home to a workman like a cable guy, and watch him while he works then lock up after he leaves all without being there. seems like to make that claim they really should support the functionality i am talking about here.

They do, but you wouldn’t be watching the workman on a video stream. I don’t have an IP camera hooked up to my Vera, but I believe the UI for an IP camera device is an auto-updating web page that replaces the jpeg image every so many seconds.

thanks mike - yes that is what i gather as well, but then my question is how fast is that updating of the jpg image happening? once a second? 10 times a second? if it’s once a second that isn’t going to cut it for me but if it’s faster then perhaps i can live with it.