Monitronics has been using Honeywell control panels for a long time. The Honeywell VISTA-15/20PMT control consoles were, and in many cases still are, the workhorse of the Monitronics system.
For years, Monitronics had the VISTA as their main command panel component for sale. Today, on their website Monitronics lists three different consoles: 2Gig Go!Control, Interlogix Simon XTi and the Honeywell Lynx Touch L7000. Many of the local independent Monitronics dealers still carry and install the VISTA panels. Legacy systems that may come with a home or business often have VISTA panels also.
The VISTA panel works the same way essentially as the newer touchscreen models.
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VISTA-15PMT and VISTA-20PMT Overview
The VISTA-15 and -20PMT panels each performs the same functions and does so in the same manner. You can use a landline, cell or Internet for communications with the monitoring center. You can use one for primary connection with the monitoring center and either one or both of the others for backup.
These are hardwired panels but will work with wireless systems. The VISTAS need a keypad to function. Each is compatible with the Tuxedo Touch, the latest wireless touchscreen keypad from Honeywell as well as other Honeywell products. The 15 and 20P panels support video.
You can also use these panels in support of a VAM, which is similar to the Tuxedo Touch but simplified with only Z-Wave smart appliance control.
You can use your smartphone to manage the system through the VISTA panels if you have opted for the HomeTouch Security or HomeTouch Premier.
The primary difference in the two panels is capacity.
- Six Hardwired Zones
- Sixteen Hardwired Expansion Zones
- Twenty-six Wireless Expansion Zones
- Supports Two Graphic Touchscreen Pads
- Fifty Event Logs with Date and Time Stamps
- One-Partition System
- Up to Thirty-Two System User Codes
- Eight Hardwired Zones
- Forty Hardwired Expansion Zones
- Forty Wireless Expansion Zones
- Supports Four Graphic Touchscreen Pads
- Hundred Event Logs with Date and Time Stamps
- Two-Partition System
- Up to Forty-Eight User Codes per Partition
The VISTA panel is a little over 13″ x 15″ and weighs seven pounds. There is an LCD screen on the right side along with an alphanumeric keypad. The speaker for the two-way voice and siren is in the upper left. Next to the alphanumeric keys on the left, you find four vertical buttons. These buttons are called function keys, and the user can program them to do various things. Normally, two of them are your arm and disarm keys.
LCD and Voice
The LCD or Liquid Crystal Display has a backlight making it easy to see at night. The LCD is a two-line, alphanumeric, 32-character display. They only come in English though other languages are available for different model keypads.
They keypads also provide voice confirmation of zone and system status. The voice mode will also alert you as to the nature and location of any alert or alarm. When you open a door or window that has a sensor, a chime will sound if it is in standby or disarmed mode.
You can also use the VISTA to record and playback messages for family members.
Each number and symbol on the standard telephone dial keypad has a different one-push function:
1 – Off (silences alarms and clears the LCD)
2 – AWAY (arms the system)
3 – STAY (arms perimeter only)
4 – MAX (arms the entire system but without any entry delay)
5 – TEST (used when testing sensors and detectors)
6 – BYPASS (removes particular zones or sensors from being monitored)
7 – INSTANT (arms perimeter only without any entry delay)
8 – CODE (assign user codes)
9 – CHIME (turns the chimes or beeping off)
0 – VOICE (enables record, volume and play)
# – (used for quick arming without the need to enter a security code. NOTE: MUST BE PROGRAMMED FIRST)
* – READY (used to display on the LCD all open security zones)
Only the Master Code can assign user codes to individuals. You can also program the system to give users different authority levels and limit what each user can do.
The user codes are all four-digit. The VISTA panels assign a two-digit name to each user. On touchscreen and other control panels, you can assign names instead.
The different authority levels available are:
- Arm Only: These users cannot disarm the system or perform any other functions.
- Guest: These users can only arm the system. They can disarm the system at certain programmed times of the day.
- Partition Master: These users can arm and disarm and assign user codes for a particular partition (VISTA-20).
There is also a special duress code that you can use which will appear to disarm the system but will silently notify the monitoring center that you did so under duress.
Only the user with the Master Code can view the event log. When looking at events, you will see a date and time of occurrence on the LCD along with a three digit code. You will need to use the manual to view what the codes signify.
When you enter test mode by pressing five on the alphanumeric keyboard, each sensor will be “reviewed” by the panel. The LCD displays “test in progress.” You will then need to open each door and window that is alarmed and walk in front of any motion sensor. Three beeps should sound each time indicating the sensor is normally functioning. If a battery is low or the sensor faulty, the panel will give an auditory signal by continually beeping.
The trouble conditions each have a separate number or symbol indicating the problem. For example, “Lo Bat” shows the sensor tested has a low battery.
Smoke and fire detectors connected to the system must be tested according to the specific manufacturer’s instructions.
The VISTA-15PMT and the VISTA-20 do not have the touchscreen technology that the control consoles advertised on Monitronics site have. These panels can, however, do everything that a touchscreen can do. Their robust design makes them an excellent choice for small business in particular or a homeowner who is more comfortable with low-tech, traditional push button layout.
The VISTA panels are also an excellent resource if you have an existing wired system and want to expand it with wireless components.
If you want the latest and greatest technology, then you probably will want to go with the touchscreen Go!Control, Lynx 7000 or the Simon XTi. If your local independent dealer does not stock one of these, you can always insist they procure one for your or purchase one yourself online or at a security retail shop. Learn more in our Monitronics review.
Monitronics is now owned by Brinks. Check out our review of the Brinks home security system.
Related: The Best Security Systems of 2019