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Author Topic: What 3rd party software works with x10 (what do you use) to replace Vanguard  (Read 16188 times)

easymoney

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I hope this doesn't break the rules or offend any one but I am less than pleased with the Vanguard software esp the gate.x10.com website.  I have give up on tier 2 support as they never contacted me and tier 1 could not offer explaination to problem.

I am demo testing Active Webcam and it works for the most part.  It has multiple streaming options including its own http server or subscription based server. 

But here is the kicker.  I need two switch between two camera's.  I could do without the pan/tilt/zoom, but view more than one camera is a must.

I do not have the CM19A usb module onsite currently, so I do not know if it will populate the PTZ controls when installed.  The only option I see is Pelco D protocol.

I could always use another VA11A and reciever, but I really don't want the extra clutter and expense.  If I was going to spend too much more money I just buy a IP camera and would even need a PC onsite then.

The only reason I bought this was to remotly view my home when away to check on elderly parent and I can't even do that.  Vanguard software doesn't have many options... can't specifiy ports or use personal http service.... sad  :(

I know I am not the only person here disatisfied with the remote viewing, so surely someone here knows of an alternative route.  The commands for Firecracker, as an example, are posted on several site. 

Can anyone specify what webcam software works with x10, maybe even can operate the CM19A for Pan/Tilt/Zoom and camera switching, supports the VA11A usb adapter, and will allow resticted access by password to webcam over the Internet?

I have to either come up with a working solution or scrap this and move on to differnt camera's.  Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance...
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BaBaLou.

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Hi easymoney, I don't and have not tried the vanguard software yet, soon thou just in getting my hand on the new VA12A. I presently use the CM15A with AHP and all plugins. I have a
50% chance of getting online with MyHouseX10.com but never have a problem when I do log in good video stream and some control on modules and macros based on your settings. To
give a more reliable log in I use LogMein free and then I not only get total control of AHP, I get total control on the computer too. Mind you the video stream is slow but not bad for being
free. Also in AHP it does list all the X10 cameras on there with total control on the Pan/Tilt/ and not sure on the zoom thou.
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HA Dave

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Why would anything ever need to be all or nothing?

Why not mix and match! I am a big fan (and user) of X10... but it doesn't need to be all X10 all the time. Why not mix in Active Webcam, LogMein, and a (cheap last generation) IP Camera.... or even an IP Video Server. And still have Vanguard working (when it works)... beside email alerts are GREAT documentation.

For me... the IP server email (alert) clips are fine. I also record for a back-up. I have an IP Cam that lets me peek-in when I am out of town.
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easymoney

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We'll currently, I have been unable to connect to gate.x10.com in the last week, Tier1 and Tier2 support have yet to fix problem and took well over 72 hours to even respond.  I bought the x10 as a home monitoring device THAT IS ALL.  After all that is what it was advertised as. $300 later and an extra PC, the remote viewing only worked for a few days and has been useless since.  The cameras work great locally, but the software and server have much to be desired.

LogmeIn will work in a pinch, but it is limited because I need more than one connection at a time and the video quality is too low and consumes too much bandwidth.  I have other family members that need to login from time to time.  As well, I don't want them changing the settings or closing Vanguard, etc.

For $300, two TrendNet IP camera's would eliminate x10 all togother and solves all problems. 

No PC would be needed, less to maintain...
Mutilple people can access at same time...
No software to install or troubleshoot...
No dependancy on 3rd party servers....

Hindsight is 20/20... but knowing what I know now, just from home survelliance use.. x10 has several issues.  The biggest is the software has no ability to use a personal http server or a subscription based 3rd party streaming service.  You can't specify which ports to use.  These are options in which almost any freeware webcam software has, but the problem is the x10 control system for PTZ control.

x10 does have some practical uses in home automation, but it is not ideal for all installations.  If I could find a 3rd party application that supports the x10 PTZ control protocol, then I can elinimate most of x10's flaws and use the camera's.  That would be worth another $50.  If there is no other option, and x10 cannot deliver better support and online access or atleast some better options then from my opinion it would be best to sell as ejunk on ebay and move on to something better.

I mean come on, I spend $300 plus a PC, and several DAYS working on these issues and the product still doesn't do as advertised... I mean you got to see that home survallence is useless if it only works 50% of the time at best.  If my car only worked 50% of the time I would burn it because I lost my job because I only showed up for work 50% of the time.  It just doesn't cut it... I don't care how you pretty it up.... sorry.

So no one here knows of any 3rd party application that can control the x10 camera's?  Is this is what I am inferrring...?  Please tell me it ain't so Santa Claus...
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HA Dave

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...............  It just doesn't cut it... I don't care how you pretty it up.... sorry.  So no one here knows of any 3rd party application that can control the x10 camera's?  Is this is what I am inferrring...?  Please tell me it ain't so Santa Claus...

Sorry easymoney this is a forum of X10 users.... customers... just like yourself.
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x10Chuck

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I have used the XRay Vision Remote to get streaming video from a X10 camera connected to my PC at home to a PC where I work at one time. Seems though I needed a hard-coded IP address assigned to my home PC to get access.  Currently I use the XRay Vision program on my PC to capture frames from the X10 camera, then I use a DOS batch file to execute FTP commands to copy the jpeg file from my PC to my ISP Website.  Then I can view the picture from a browser(IE) on a PC at work.  I currently show a pictire of my front porch. If interested I can try to post more details.  The key would be to get the xRay Vision software running on your PC that can store a picture and have a Website that you can FTP files to.
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easymoney

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...............  It just doesn't cut it... I don't care how you pretty it up.... sorry.  So no one here knows of any 3rd party application that can control the x10 camera's?  Is this is what I am inferrring...?  Please tell me it ain't so Santa Claus...

Sorry easymoney this is a forum of X10 users.... customers... just like yourself.

Yes, I understand that... and I do appreciate the help.  Just at x10.com they tell you it is as easy as 123, but it isn't always that easy... But, they don't tell you the limitations of the software.  I'm sure plenty of people would pay a subscription fee for gate.x10.com to have more reliaible access, then maybe x10 would have more incentive to provide more reliable service (BETTER SERVICE =  MORE REVENUE).

But until that happens, what can one do.... that is what brings me here. I can't fix x10. Would just llike to get my moneys worth and move on...

So again, does anyone have a solution for switching bewteen cameras and pan/tilt without using x10 software.  I can stream video with Active Webcam or even free webcam software and access it no problem... but I can only get one camera without another VA11A and still no Pan/tilt.
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easymoney

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I have used the XRay Vision Remote to get streaming video from a X10 camera connected to my PC at home to a PC where I work at one time. Seems though I needed a hard-coded IP address assigned to my home PC to get access.  Currently I use the XRay Vision program on my PC to capture frames from the X10 camera, then I use a DOS batch file to execute FTP commands to copy the jpeg file from my PC to my ISP Website.  Then I can view the picture from a browser(IE) on a PC at work.  I currently show a pictire of my front porch. If interested I can try to post more details.  The key would be to get the xRay Vision software running on your PC that can store a picture and have a Website that you can FTP files to.

Thanks for the idea.  This is one possible backup method, but still looking for live streaming.  I will play with this configuration.
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Tuicemen

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A lot of X10 user that have Vanguard or iWitnes/iWatchout(AHP) use a program like RealVNC which they can view and control their whole host PC with!
They still use the X10 programs to access and view the cams but use the free versions of the other programs to view & control X10 software over the net!
Not exactly what your looking for but seems to be the best solution most (that share info) have found! ::) :'
>!
« Last Edit: December 05, 2008, 03:31:38 PM by Tuicemen »
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Tuicemen

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So again, does anyone have a solution for switching bewteen cameras and pan/tilt without using x10 software.  I can stream video with Active Webcam or even free webcam software and access it no problem... but I can only get one camera without another VA11A and still no Pan/tilt.
easymoney If thats all your looking for there are other homeautomation software programs  which have X10 Camera  control!
Even PC Companion can do it!
Depending on which PC interface you have the options are there!
Check the thirdparty section of the forum there are a few other Programs listed there!
Many don't get the feed back they desever!
 >!
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easymoney

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PC Companion looks pretty complicated just to view 3 camera's.  That is all I want to be able to do.... View camera's remotely and be able to switch between camera 1,2,3 via http.  Pretty lame, even if Vanguard worked for me, you can still only broadcast 1 camera at a time.  Makes it pretty hard for 2 people to look at 2 different camera's at same time.
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HA Dave

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................ still looking for live streaming. 

If you want live streaming... you need an IP Video Server. They aren't computer servers... they are devices. Will allow to plug in various makes and models of cameras then configure and stream the images as you would a single IP camera. I had used a cheap video server... with mixed results. I don't have any particular brand or model to recommend.

More than year ago a lighting strike caused real damage to my camera setup killing the server and all my cameras. I have rebuilt and now use the iwittness software.
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hawk1

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easymoney:  I use Blue Iris for my camera software and use a cm17 firecracker with the firecracker software to switch cameras.  Blue Iris has alot more options to play with.  They have a 15 day trial at  http://www.blueirissoftware.com/
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