Smarthome (Insteon) vs Control4? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 02-16-2010, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone, I was posting here for some advice, especially since I am new in the home automation field. I have been doing some research into two different products, Insteon and Control4. I know Insteon works out for DIY folks and Control4 obviously requires programming to be done by an authorized reseller. The costs are much higher in a Control4 system vs Insteon. Now, from what I have read, Control4 is a much more reliable system than Insteon (I could be wrong, I have found different topics in this forum that go either way on the reliability of Insteon). The thing that gets to me though is, I am a hands on techie type of guy and having to call someone to setup my Control4 system every time I either add a dimmer or a new TV or etc can be a bitdisappointing (compared to Insteon).

Now for the scenario:

I was looking into purchasing the HC300 model from C4, I found an online reseller called shophhts dot com that basically will ship out the product with the basic configuration of my gear and then ship it out to me and remotely program the rest of my dimmers when I install them myself. I am not sure if you guys think this is a bad idea or this is normal. I actually went the online route simply because the two authorized resellers in my area were charging me an arm and leg to configure this product (TV, A/V Receiver, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, DirecTv, C4 Thermostat & 8 Dimmers). Now if I go the Insteon route, well, it can all be done using a Logitech Harmony remote and buying the right hardware (at about half the price of a C4 system). So do you guys think I should just bite the bullet and go with a C4 lineup or am I obviously missing important info that I should look into? After reading a few months of magazines from Electronic House and online forums, I am not sure which route to go (and no, I do not have a budget for a Creston system lol). Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 14 Old 02-17-2010, 07:37 AM
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As a Control4 dealer with a nice pile of installs under by belt... I'd NEVER do something like this. There are too many variables in the mix to "pre-program" the system and ship it out.

When you say that the local dealers were wanting to charge an arm and a leg, what does this really mean dollar-wise?

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Colorado Springs, CO
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post #3 of 14 Old 02-17-2010, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legazy View Post

and no, I do not have a budget for a Creston system lol).

Have you looked at Crestron's new Prodigy system?

Also, are you looking at whole house lighting or just media room? No thermostat solution, but URC has a native RF lighting product that works well.

And don't forget about Lutron's new RAdioRa2 coming out.

Please do not send me PM's asking for software! You will not get it.
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post #4 of 14 Old 02-17-2010, 09:51 AM
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All of the Control4 products are great as CMS said its not really wise to purchase something online especially when Control4 explicitly states you only have a warranty if the authorized dealer INSTALLS the products. What was your local dealer trying to charge you
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post #5 of 14 Old 02-17-2010, 03:39 PM
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Go Control4 only if you are going to get it installed correctly by a certified, and reputable dealer. If you go with an online trunk slammer, you are bound to be left with a bad taste in your mouth and possibly no warranty. If you cannot afford to get C4 done right, then go the Insteon route.... at least that bad taste will not hurt C4's reputation. My $.02.
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post #6 of 14 Old 02-17-2010, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry I did not get back to you guys sooner. Well, what I mean by an arm and leg, one dealer was charging me $240 an hour plus the equipment (MSRP) price. He would also have to double check that the dimmers were put in correctly since I would wire them ahead of time (not check the electricial work, just make sure they were wired correctly, sounds like he might be trying to tack on hours?). I have put in dimmers before, like the Lutron RF ones, so maybe this is a normal routine by the vendor? Now before you ask, there is nothing complicated with my wiring, I already had an electrician come out and install recessed lighting with switches and run wiring for my in ceiling speakers. One of the 8 dimmers will be a 3 way switch, everything else is normal.

The other dealer is charging me $180 an hour and MSRP for the equipment. From what I have seen on other quotes that people in the forums have provided, it just seems a bit high? I am not really looking at whole house lighting yet, I was looking to cover the first floor (I live in a single family home). Maybe in the future I could expand to the whole house, but for what I have budgeted, I was hoping to at least hit the first floor with C4. I figure the work could be cut down to just programming the controller and linking up with the dimmers I would put in myself (already spent enough money for the speakers and electrician).

In regards to the Creston Prodigy, I was looking at it, but C4 had my interest for a while, I might go the Prodigy route if I can get a demo of it or see one in person, but I would have to dig up more info. I have to look at Lutrons solution, maybe they might be the answer as well. So it seems the safe bet is avoid the online solution. You thought living in Miami would actually have better rates heh.
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post #7 of 14 Old 02-17-2010, 08:25 PM
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how many employees are you getting for that hourly rate?
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post #8 of 14 Old 02-17-2010, 10:20 PM
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if you want DIY look at UPB, z-wave and lutronRA

if you want a highend system that you can DIY you can check out homeseer and CQC

another place to look at the cacoontech

insteon is old tech and I wouldnt touch it. UPB is a much better technology
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post #9 of 14 Old 02-18-2010, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio Atmosphere View Post

how many employees are you getting for that hourly rate?

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post #10 of 14 Old 02-18-2010, 09:38 PM
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What part of the country are you in?

That's high for my area (Colorado Springs), but you can't compare apples to fruitcake...

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Colorado Springs, CO
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post #11 of 14 Old 02-18-2010, 09:47 PM - Thread Starter
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post #12 of 14 Old 02-23-2010, 12:30 AM
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I suggest posting your concerns at www.c4forums.com

If you are a techie then remote programming will be a viable option for you. If you can configure a network (wired and wireless) and comfortable connecting your AV sources to the HC300 (via rs232 or IR) then this shouldn't be a problem. I chose to have a dealer install an HC300 and media player so I can try it out but after seeing how he programmed it, I would definitely do remote programming for the other areas of our house.

BTW, C4 replaced CQC in my theater and without a doubt CQC was more technically challenging than C4. C4 uses a gui to configure your system while CQC requires writing code to get things working the you want it and if you have a device that does not have a driver, then you have to build it too Unfortunately for my case, I had more stuff going on at work and I don't have time to play around as much.

Good luck.
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post #13 of 14 Old 02-27-2010, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adidas4275 View Post

if you want DIY look at UPB, z-wave and lutronRA

if you want a highend system that you can DIY you can check out homeseer and CQC

another place to look at the cacoontech

insteon is old tech and I wouldnt touch it. UPB is a much better technology

I agree. BTW, it's Cocoontech.com not cacoontech
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post #14 of 14 Old 03-11-2010, 09:38 AM
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Hi guys!
someone used iRidium (iridiummobile.net)
is something different from the analog Control4 and Crestron app
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