HomeVision-PC Description


HomeVision is designed to be used as a "stand-alone" controller. It's programmed from a PC, then the PC can be turned off and the controller runs by itself. Of course, the user can keep HomeVision connected to a PC to add more functionality.

Some people prefer to use a PC as their main home controller. One advantage of this is the availability of many powerful software programs featuring voice control, speech output, phone control, Internet access, and much more. However, the software programs still need a way to perform X-10 and infrared, interface with digital inputs and outputs, etc..  HomeVision-PC was designed for this purpose. HomeVision-PC has many (but not all) of the same hardware interfaces as the regular HomeVision, including:

bulletTwo-way X-10 (all 256 addresses)
bulletTwo-way infrared (255 signals)
bullet24 I/O ports
bulletVideo output on the TV

However, there are three main differences between HomeVision and HomeVision-PC:

  1. HomeVision-PC requires an operating PC (i.e., it won't run standalone).
  2. HomeVision-PC requires additional software.  HomeVision-PC can currently work with HomeSeer, ACE, HAL2000, Home Voice, ECS, or HomAtion 2000 software, or you can write your own software to control it. View our compatible software page to learn more about these programs. HomeVision-PC does come with software that is used to initially configure it, but you need the additional software program to control it and your home.
  3. HomeVision-PC is less costly than HomeVision (typically about $200 less).   However, you must also consider the cost of whatever software you want to use with it.

HomeVision-PC uses the same serial communications protocol as the standard HomeVision version. Thus, the above-mentioned software packages will work with either HomeVision version. HomeVision-PC is also available in an international version with PAL video and 220V/50Hz power.


Differences Between HomeVision and HomeVision-PC

HomeVision-PC looks the same as the standard HomeVision unit. However, while HomeVision is a stand-alone controller that can run your home, HomeVision-PC is simply a hardware interface device for X-10, IR, video, and digital I/O. It relies on the PC to be the "brain". Therefore, the following HomeVision functions have been removed:

bulletStandalone capability (i.e., HomeVision-PC cannot function without an attached computer)
bulletReal-time clock
bulletScheduled events
bulletPeriodic events
bulletAutomatic thermostat control capability
bulletExpansion port (to connect to Multifunction Expansion Port, HomeVision-Serial, or HomeVision-Phone)
bulletSome video screens
bulletNumerous commands related to the above functions were also deleted

The video menu system is also different from HomeVision. HomeVision-PC contains only the following video screens:

bulletMain menu, which accesses the following screens:
bulletX-10 signal screen
bulletInput port screen
bulletOutput port screen
bulletIR signal screen
bulletEvent log
bulletWeather data screen
bulletMain menu help page 1
bulletThe above screens then access the following screens:
bulletX-10 control screen
bulletIR control screen
bulletOutputs ports control screen
bulletX-10 help
bulletIR help
bulletOutputs ports help
bulletMain menu help page 2
bulletThere is also a blank screen for users to create their own screens with


Choosing Between HomeVision and HomeVision-PC

The vast majority of our customers use HomeVision, as it provides much more power and can run "stand-alone" (i.e., without a computer running).  If after reading this you're still not certain which is right for you, HomeVision is probably the answer.

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HomeVision-PC may be preferable if all of the following conditions are met:

bulletYou’ve selected a PC-based program to be the "brain" of your system.
bulletYou don’t need any of the accessories (which work only with HomeVision).
bulletYou’re willing to have your system dependent upon the PC (i.e., your system will go down if the PC crashes or shuts down).
bulletYou’re on a budget.

If you meet all these conditions, you may want to use HomeVision-PC as the hardware interface to the PC.


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