Control 4 vs Crestron - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 66 Old 04-19-2012, 07:21 AM - Thread Starter
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So I saw the largest Crestron dealer's demo in our area, and the largest Control4 dealer's demo and had a chance to compare.

What I came away with was both systems can do exactly the same thing (though the Control4 system I saw was hooked up to a Vantage lighting control unit).. main difference was the control for Control4 was actually more more intuitive and it sounded like the programming was easier.. the Crestron dealer himself was having dificulty finding things saying "they just changed this on us..." lol.. if its intuitive that shouldn't matter should it...

But the Crestron dealer and others seem to suggest Crestron is worth the extra cost but from the demos I saw, I can't seem to figure out why... seemed actually worse to me.. any thoughts?
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post #2 of 66 Old 04-19-2012, 08:16 AM
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Perhaps that Crestron dealer should find a new programmer, or programming company. Speak with the Crestron dealer about the programming. He can farm out the programming to any Crestron programmer, worldwide. He may not want to, but with Crestron he could. Of the thousands of certified Crestron programmers, some have extraordinary talent, and some do not.

The Crestron hardware, IMO, is much better than C4.

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post #3 of 66 Old 04-19-2012, 01:25 PM
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IMHO if the project is large or if there is a great deal of data going back and forth between devices and the controller, Crestron can't be beat.
Control4 does very well for smaller homes whee the devices are closer to eachother.
+1 Neurorad on the programming. The Crestron system should be bulletproof.
Crestron or Control4 or for that matter Niles, Savant, RTI, etc., etc., etc., all work well with Vantage.
(BTW we are not Crestron or Control4 dealers.)
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post #4 of 66 Old 04-21-2012, 03:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

The Crestron hardware, IMO, is much better than C4.

While that may very well be true, once a solution is purchased & installed it could turn into a pile of junk if the dealer you purchased from goes away right?
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post #5 of 66 Old 04-21-2012, 04:11 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

While that may very well be true, once a solution is purchased & installed it could turn into a pile of junk if the dealer you purchased from goes away right?

Nope. Not if you negotiate a copy of your program into the sale. That way any programmer can pick up where they left off.

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post #6 of 66 Old 04-21-2012, 07:38 AM
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Nope. Not if you negotiate a copy of your program into the sale. That way any programmer can pick up where they left off.

That's really good to know however I'm willing to bet many/most customers don't know to even ask for that...

Also while that very good advice is something it's still strange that one would have to negotiate something just to make sure you aren't left out in the cold if their reseller closes up shop.

Imagine trying to sell a new Audi that would end up being orphaned by Audi if the dealer closed up shop unless the buyer purchased an unadvertised 'get out of jail free' card at the time they drove the car off the lot?

I guess that it comes down to is that the people that can afford the system in the first place wouldn't be phased by rebuying a whole new setup if their dealer goes away.
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post #7 of 66 Old 04-21-2012, 11:07 AM
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The difference between the Control 4 and Crestron dealers were the dealers.

Control 4's UI is closed, not very customizable. This is by design, and saves cost. A dealer configures the software. In many cases, this is fine.

Crestron's UI is infinitely customizable but takes much more programming skill, that's why you have programmers. Sounds like their demo systems were not really done or polished, not ready for demo. If they really weren't done the person demonstrating should have set your expectations before starting.

Both platforms have their strengths and weaknesses. C4 makes some really good cost effective products and can do a lot of automation stuff. Crestron has some great products too, they have the massive product line. The good dealers will know the good and bad and design around them to deliver a good finished product to the client.

As you said, both can do essentially the same thing. So that means you need to pick a dealer, not the equipment.

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I guess that it comes down to is that the people that can afford the system in the first place wouldn't be phased by rebuying a whole new setup if their dealer goes away.

I don't know any wealthy people who 'wouldn't be phased' by rebuying a whole new setup. They absolutely would be phased. You would not need to buy a whole new setup, only have system reprogrammed.

The fact of the matter is ownership of the Crestron software is an issue but it's being overstated yet again. In smaller systems, even if you have a full copy of the software, a new programmer may just reprogram the whole thing instead of trying to figure out how the previous programmer built his program. The UI may be useable but as for the backend code, many programmers would bite the bullet and reprogram it in their style.

It matters more in larger systems or in custom programming.

All this consideration of negative impacts and risk adds even more imperative to vet your systems contractor as much as if not more than the actual equipment manufacturer.
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post #8 of 66 Old 04-21-2012, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
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It sounds like I always hear 3 things to justify the extra cost of the Crestron system

1. More customizable
2. More reliable
3. More scalable


I am just a layperson looking to build a home, about 9000 sq ft and want to automate for A/V distribution, home theater, lighting exterior interior, security, thermostats...

Now as for Crestron being more customizable, from what I saw, from the standpoint of the layperson homeowner, I felt that both could achieve what I wanted.

Reliability wise, from what I heard, both are equally reliable.

As for scalability, the demo of control4 showed full control of all the items I mentioned in the showroom with a lot of nice polish to the system built in (whereas I assume to get that polish with Crestron you really need a good programmer). Nothing was complicated to control or buried in menus.

All that for what the dealer tells me (who deals both crestron and control4) at a 30-40% cost savings.

I understand that most dealers deal with percentage margins so obviously the more expensive system will be more lucrative and also in this case requires more sophisticated programming hence more charges there. I have not heard anything truly, objectively stating a clear fact or spec that gives me any reason at all to want the Crestron over the Control4.

That said, I'm sure some concrete reasons must be there to justify the greater cost.. I just wish it was more transparent... and I have to wonder if the difference is only in more extreme applications and that is why there are only vague claims instead of actual specs being quoted to support the superiority claims... because then most of the customers would realize they are paying extra for something they wouldn't need in the first place.
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post #9 of 66 Old 04-21-2012, 02:59 PM
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Before you pass judgement, search out some independent programmers websites and see some of the GUI's they have to offer.

Current owner of the last/best AmPro on the planet. The mighty 4600HD, and it's still running...better than Barco's, especially southern ones.
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post #10 of 66 Old 04-22-2012, 01:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stefuel View Post

Before you pass judgement, search out some independent programmers websites and see some of the GUI's they have to offer.

I guess what I'm saying is that even if Crestron has a better UI, heck even if I just laid my palm on it and it read my mind, the Control4 UI was pretty decent enough.. and if it was a 5-10% price difference i might consider the UI issues, but the price differential is much larger for the application I mentioned in my original post.. for that big a difference unless the control4 was a failure for other reasons, I can't see a reason to consider Crestron.

Yet Crestron has a big name and there's plenty of homeowner's choosing Crestron.. so I guess what I'm asking is, am I missing something here?
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post #11 of 66 Old 04-22-2012, 04:07 AM
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Well for me it's Crestron. I need something that is infinately customizable.
My youngest boy is austistic. I needed to come up with a bullit proof way for him to run a very complicated home theater. Few people understand how complicated a old school high end CRT home theater can be. Every device feeding the projector at different scan rates and aspect ratios through a scaler. You just can't toss a pile of remotes at a kid especially a autistic child and expect them to get it. It's a good thing I do my own programming because it took quite a few trials to come up with GUI's that a autistic child could negotiate easily. The test was the dumb blonde next door. If she could do it, anyone could. She almost got it My son has no problem with it.

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post #12 of 66 Old 04-22-2012, 04:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shamoo1 View Post

I guess what I'm saying is that even if Crestron has a better UI, heck even if I just laid my palm on it and it read my mind, the Control4 UI was pretty decent enough.. and if it was a 5-10% price difference i might consider the UI issues, but the price differential is much larger for the application I mentioned in my original post.. for that big a difference unless the control4 was a failure for other reasons, I can't see a reason to consider Crestron.

Yet Crestron has a big name and there's plenty of homeowner's choosing Crestron.. so I guess what I'm asking is, am I missing something here?

Shamoo - from a cold eye review of your thread so far - seems to me like you've already made up your mind. So go forward my man. Eat cake.
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post #13 of 66 Old 04-22-2012, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by shamoo1 View Post

It sounds like I always hear 3 things to justify the extra cost of the Crestron system

......

I understand that most dealers deal with percentage margins so obviously the more expensive system will be more lucrative and also in this case requires more sophisticated programming hence more charges there. I have not heard anything truly, objectively stating a clear fact or spec that gives me any reason at all to want the Crestron over the Control4.

That said, I'm sure some concrete reasons must be there to justify the greater cost.. I just wish it was more transparent... and I have to wonder if the difference is only in more extreme applications and that is why there are only vague claims instead of actual specs being quoted to support the superiority claims... because then most of the customers would realize they are paying extra for something they wouldn't need in the first place.

It sounds like you're trying to justify choosing the less expensive option against the worry of leaving yourself short. Doubt and cynicism are creeping in.

The issue is not transparency at all. Transparency would mean you would have access to all the various bits of sometimes very nuanced information noting the differences between the two systems in relation to your requirements, the end potentially being that one platform might be a slightly better choice than the other, but both would work well.

You seem to be taking this choice seriously, maybe even overthinking it.

You have custom installers that support both platforms. Both of you consult on your needs and budget requirements, and it seems both will fit the bill, but one solution is more expensive. Maybe the custom installer has difficulty explaining the key differences in simple layman terms. This may seem like he's being vague. But it's difficult to encompass the vast differences between the two platforms in a couple of quick statements, other than 'Crestron is 30-40% more but better' Or 'C4: 95% of the features for half the price!' I find both those statements trite and would never use them.

Specs are only part of the equation. Crestron's multiroom amps are 60wpc, but Control 4 has 60 wpc amps. Does that mean they are equivalent? No it doesn't. Suppose Crestron's amps are 'better,' does that mean that C4's amps suck and you should go Crestron for everything else?

Both do lighting. Does that mean they are equivalent? Not at all. In a 9,000 sf home I can see C4 severely lacking, or maybe it would fit the bill very well and be much cheaper. I don't know your needs. If you're only doing a few lighting loads in the Main Living areas and maybe the Master Bed, C4 might do fine. If you're doing 200 loads of varying load types including fan/shade motors I wouldn't think of attempting to do C4, it would be Crestron. As a 'dealer' for both I wouldn't give you an option in that case.

HDMI distribution? I wouldn't give you a choice, it would be Crestron DM. C4 is getting it's feet wet with HDMI distro aligning with other manufacturers but I'm going with the platform I trust. It's also the most expensive platform. To a layman, they may think I make this choice because of margin, but the reality is most custom installers will choose reliability over margin. The ones with the most sense anyways.

Does this mean C4 sucks and Crestron is 'better?' Not at all. It means 'in Situation X C4 will work well but in Situation Y Crestron is far superior.'

And we can go on and on. It could take a long while. In the end, is your goal here to become a C4 vs Crestron guru and know all the differences, or to find a good solution for your home? I would think it's the latter. Quite simply, the custom installer's job is to design and commission systems taking into account the client's needs and budget. That they may try to educate the client on differences of choice is an accommodation frequently made, but it's not the core mission or goal of either party.

You need to focus more on the custom installation companies and vet them as much as the platform. It seems that your first impressions were good for C4 but a little iffy for Crestron. But the reality is that your first impressions were due to the installing companies, not the manufacturers. They are human, in a business to make profit, and they may have salesmen trying to get a sale. In the end, the key question should be will that company deliver on it's promises? They are who you have a relationship with, not Crestron or Control 4.

Crestron costs more (although in some cases less than the 30-40% more), does that in and of itself mean you will end up with a better result? Absolutely not. If the installing company doesn't do a good job you will not be satisfied: that you spent more will only make that irritation stronger.

Vet the installers first, the platform second.

Sometimes, you're looking to make your life easier. Having more choice and more decisions to make does not make your life easier, only more complicated. Stick with the professionals. Choose the installer who acts more professional, and if you pay more, so be it. Reduce the amount of system to match your budget.
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post #14 of 66 Old 04-22-2012, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javry View Post

Shamoo - from a cold eye review of your thread so far - seems to me like you've already made up your mind. So go forward my man. Eat cake.

Yeah, well, why say in 3 sentences what you can with 60?

I think he's leaning one way but wanting some validation.
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post #15 of 66 Old 04-22-2012, 08:51 AM
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There are plenty of homeowners choosing Control4 too--& for good reason. There were definitely reliability issues when I started working with C4 in 2007, but it's solid now. As others have mentioned, you have to find a very skilled programmer to get mid- to larger- sized Crestron system tweaked to its full potential.

The company I work for used to employ a good, but by no means stellar, Crestron programmer. We have been fairly busy recently replacing Crestron systems with C4 for several customers who always end up really happy with Control4.
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post #16 of 66 Old 04-22-2012, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by cshepard View Post

The company I work for used to employ a good, but by no means stellar, Crestron programmer. We have been fairly busy recently replacing Crestron systems with C4 for several customers who always end up really happy with Control4.

I just wanted to Comment on this quickly, because I hear it a lot:
Anyone who says they are ripping out Crestron and putting in X (and same applies for ripping out AMX, unless to install DM), there are generally at least one of three problems (commonly all three) with the system:
1) The system is old, and they are looking for newer/better looking hardware, or they are suffering hardware failures.
2) The system was poorly engineered. They tried to overtax processors, or didn't have proper wifi or rf coverage, or used products that don't integrate well.
3) The programming and/or UI are done poorly.

Now, none of these are problems with Crestron, they are problems with age (which applies to every manufacturer), or they are problems caused by the integrator. For #3, there are lots of independent programmers out there, and I know quite a few of them are very good. Crestron lists them on their website, they are called CAIP's. Depending on the system, getting the Crestron reprogrammed might be more expensive than installing new Control 4, I don't know.

Customers might be more comfortable with the C4 dealer and not comfortable with any Crestron dealer. The customer might be due for an upgrade, but doesn't want to spend the money for Crestron again. All are perfectly valid reasons to rip out Crestron and go with anything else. Maybe a previous poor experience with Crestron (again, likely programming or engineering problems, not necessarly Crestron problems) have left a poor view of Crestron in general. But, a current, properly engineered and programmed Crestron system should not need to be ripped out and replaced with anything. Saying that you are ripping out Crestron and replacing it with anything is slightly misleading.

Now, I'm not saying anything negative about C4, I don't really know it well enough to have an informed opinion of it. I also don't want to discount anything cshepard is saying or say his company is doing anything wrong or poorly. I just wanted to qualify that statement a little bit with what I believe is happening.

If C4 fits your needs, and you are happy with the integrator selling it, go for it! You saved quite a bit of money. For many projects that my company does (Crestron and AMX programming), I am pretty sure C4 would not work. We do very, very large residential work, some in the hundreds of thousands of dollars in A/V and up. By the way, we have excellent programmers, and all of our clients are very happy with the end results. But generally, it's more about the integrator and their experience/skill level with what they are selling. A good integrator would not try and use C4 for something that it's not appropriate for. Our company would use Crestron for something C4 could do, because that is what we know. A customer is more than welcome to go with another Dealer that does Control 4 if they are cheaper.


Sorry for the long post, but unqualified statements of "We rip out X to put in Y all the time" bug me. It makes people believe that there is a problem with X, and that Y is "better" overall. In some cases it is, others it's not.
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post #17 of 66 Old 04-22-2012, 06:00 PM
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I said the programmer wasn't stellar. I don't think I implied that anything is or was wrong with Crestron.

Perhaps the following statement will help get my point across: In my 8 years as a CI, I don't believe I've seen a Crestron system that "felt" like it was programmed 100% properly. To be fair, of, course, I've seen a few poorly programmed C4 systems--probably including the first two or three I programmed!
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post #18 of 66 Old 04-22-2012, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Just to clarify my intentions.. yes I am leaning towards C4 but I want to make sure if I spend all this money I don't end up regretting and wishing I went with Crestron. Therefore, I am here to try and get some kind of solid undisputed fact that will lean me towards one option vs another.. I do hear claims, but nothing solid enough to make me want Crestron.. I would also regret spending more for Crestron, then ending up with something that is touchier on the programming end and could have been achieved with a cheaper C4 system.

As for the installers I met, one is the largest Crestron installer in the state, other other is one of the largest C4 installers in North America. Both have 20+ years of history in the biz.

The C4 guy says that for the things I mentioned, he installs C4 systems every week and has no issues... they sell and install Crestron as well, and farm out the programming to a capable guy etc etc..

bigpapa you said that if there's a ton of loads, C4 wouldn't be able to handle it. Well, as for lighting these people had Vantage interfaced with C4.. but why would the number of loads be an issue? At what point do you see the C4 system get "overwhelmed?" I keep hearing these scalability claims from Crestron proponents, but I did see the C4 system in action handling quite a lot of loads and I hear C4 proponents saying there is no difference in scalability. From what I hear, the customizability of the UI is better on the Crestron (is that what you mean by number of loads, not that the loads themselves are a problem but the creative ways to control them?) and if you wanted some very funky ways and totally unique ways of controlling your lighting, that's where Crestron helps.. but for the typical layperson, who has a few scenes, and an all off and all on option, as well as dimming and not too buried individual light control... I saw the C4 system and it was good enough for me as is.

Again, I'm not trying to dump on Crestron, I'm asking for a factual basis to justify spending more for it.
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post #19 of 66 Old 04-22-2012, 08:32 PM
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I'm going to chime in here briefly. FYI, I'm not a dealer but, rather, a C4 owner. My c4 system controls my home theater and whole home audio system (Nuvo). I would like to expand into lighting in the near future too. I read up on this stuff but I'm not an expert.

I can tell you, as far as C4 being overwhelmed, I've read elsewhere on this forum that the older, pre-ZigBee Pro (<1.8, I think) switches did have issues like this. There is some debate whether the ZigBee Pro equipment still suffers from the problem. I believe it is/was a protocol issue, from what I've read. Regardless, the easy solution to this problem is not to use C4 lighting. Plenty of people use RadioRa 2, and it sounds like your dealer uses vantage, and there isn't a problem.

If you want to use C4 switches, the biggest problem I've seen is there is no switch that can handle ceiling fans, as far as I know. Crestron, by contrast, has equipment for EVERYTHING.

I do know someone who had a full crestron system and it was definitely impressive. He also had two racks of kaleidescape equipment which had me drooling. I'm sure he spent way more I ever will consider or than my wife will allow.

Overall, though, I like my C4 but my use is limited, so far. If you want crestron, it sounds like you should know who would do your programming and see their work before signing.

I can understand your mental dilemma as I went through this with projection screens. (I.e. Should I spend on the Stewart Firehawk or go with a less expensive Da-lite). You don't want regrets. Whatever you do make sure you're at peace with your decision before you commit and then don't look back. It's awful to think you would have preferred another option. (I do sometimes)

Good luck!
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post #20 of 66 Old 04-22-2012, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shamoo1 View Post

Just to clarify my intentions.. yes I am leaning towards C4 but I want to make sure if I spend all this money I don't end up regretting and wishing I went with Crestron. Therefore, I am here to try and get some kind of solid undisputed fact that will lean me towards one option vs another.

There is no one solid undisputed fact. If there was you would have already heard it. It's not that simple, that's the only real fact. Crestron has the larger product line and many more expensive and higher performing products. But that does not mean that C4's product line will not deliver a great solution for you. That's what the pros are for, to help vet your needs and qualify the product line. If the installing company can commit to your project with a Scope of Work delivering your needs and stand by the performance of the installed system, then maybe you'll be less concerned if it's Crestron or Control 4.

Quote:


As for the installers I met, one is the largest Crestron installer in the state, other other is one of the largest C4 installers in North America. Both have 20+ years of history in the biz.

I don't want to completely diminish history or accolades but I would give more credence to referrals from recent clients of those installing companies. Especially, from clients who had systems installed commensurate with your potential system design. Referrals from clients with projects 6-12 months complete would be best. There will be bugs, there will be glitches. Responsiveness and thorough follow up to solution is the mark of a good systems contractor.

Quote:


bigpapa you said that if there's a ton of loads, C4 wouldn't be able to handle it. Well, as for lighting these people had Vantage interfaced with C4.. but why would the number of loads be an issue? At what point do you see the C4 system get "overwhelmed?"

By the book and by the specs, C4 will be able to handle it. If I called a C4 rep and asked him 'Hey, I have a project with 200 lighting loads, can C4 do it?" I'm sure he'd say 'Oh yes, we have projects with a 1000 loads out there.' They are a company that makes boxes and they want to sell 200 light switches. On paper, sure it will work.

C4's product line is not meant to conquer the 9,000sf home market, they're focused on the rest of the housing market. The light switches are self contained and communicate by Zigbee. If you have 20 switches or so spread out around 1000-1500 sf then C4 on Zigbee is probably going to be fine, snappy responsiveness and no latency. Its not just the amount of switches, its how far apart the switches are, so there's no magic number or ceiling of devices. Many more times that number of switches across a greater space, I'd be concerned about latency. Also, C4 works on your LAN using LAN linked processors(Creston can too, but in this case it's different). If you have a problem with your LAN, this may impact your lights turning ON/Off when you want. Maybe you have a glitch once or twice a year. If you have glitch with your audio system, it's annoying. If you have a glitch with your lighting, or AC when it's hot, it's very frustrating.

Vantage, Lutron, and Crestron also have many more choices for switching and keypads. Maybe not a big deal if you only have a few loads in main areas, but if your whole home is controlled by a low voltage lighting system those choices may become much more important.

On a large lighting system, I'm going to tell you 'this is a job for a self contained lighting control system.' It's closed, communications on it's own bus, and size is not an issue. Vantage, Lutron, and Crestron's lighting systems are all very reliable and can handle just about any need you throw at it, any load type, etc. It will operate on its own processor, so if the LAN goes down it will not matter, your lights will still work. It will cost more, and the company installing it will make more margin, but the key difference is that confidence in the end result will be much higher. You, the user, want that confidence. If that confidence is based on experience, take heed. If the confidence is based on them just trying to get you to sign the contract and get the deposit, beware.

That C4 was not meant to conquer the 9,000sf home market does not mean it cannot be a good solution for you. Again, if you have a few/several audio zones, HVAC zones, and a SS system or two, 20 or so lighting loads, maybe some security integration, I have no doubts with C4. Make sure the C4 dealer does your network and is network competent (same with a Crestron dealer). Maybe you can stretch it further than that, and a C4 dealer who's done more C4 than me may vouch for that. I'm just a dude on the internet who's been in the biz for a long time. I'm not a Master Guru for both lines, but I have lot of experience with both, and a ton of experience in 2ksf homes, 9,000 sf plus, and much larger. This is my opinion, and I'm not a fanboi of either product line. I'm a fanboi of making sure clients have a positive outcome in their investment.

As I've said, there's no one simple reason to pick one over the other. If there was, you would have heard it by now.Make sure you focus on the company more than the product line. If you take anything away from this conversation, take that.
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post #21 of 66 Old 04-22-2012, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by cshepard View Post

I said the programmer wasn't stellar. I don't think I implied that anything is or was wrong with Crestron.

Perhaps the following statement will help get my point across: In my 8 years as a CI, I don't believe I've seen a Crestron system that "felt" like it was programmed 100% properly. To be fair, of, course, I've seen a few poorly programmed C4 systems--probably including the first two or three I programmed!

I just wanted to make sure it was clear for others, sorry if it felt like I was jumping on you.

And yes, in my opinion most Crestron programmers out there aren't very good. It is hurting Crestron's brand, and I think that is one reason why they are pushing SystemBuilder ("configuration" based programming, similar to C4 I believe, not sure) so much. Consequently, good and excellent programmers can be VERY expensive. I know about what our company charges, and it's not cheap, at all.

The biggest reason I would recommend someone get crestron over control 4 would be Digital Media. Other reasons would be if they were controlling a large system, wanted interfaces (remotes, touchscreens, etc) that C4 didn't offer, or wanted customization over their system.

If you're wanting to do HDMI distribution, go with Crestron. But make sure they are using DM, and a 3 series processor. Otherwise, if you like C4, go for it. If you are not thinking you want to expand your system in the future or want to customize it beyond what C4 allows, you shouldn't worry. If you think you want to expand it beyond C4s abilities, go with Crestron.

For me, DM alone is enough of a reason to go with Crestron. Don't let anyone talk you into component video distribution.

And if you do end up going with Crestron, I know a great programming company
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post #22 of 66 Old 04-22-2012, 09:50 PM
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Also a giant +1 to pretty much everything bigpapa said. I don't remember if you mentioned how large the home is.

As a side note, I really like Crestron's lighting products, and Lutron makes good stuff as well. I would take either one of those over Vantage, but that is mostly personal preference. If you are doing Crestron for everything else, Crestron lighting might make sense.


EDIT: Adter re-reading the earlier threads in this post, let me add: Your system would be pretty simple for a good Crestron programmer. Like I said before, I would go with Crestron just for for Digital Media HDMI distribution, if you want that.

EDIT #2: It shouldn't be hard for other systems to be close to Crestron 2 series on scalability. They run ColdFire processors that run at a few hundred MHz, maybe. The difference is Crestron can execute its programming very, very quickly. And, if you start hitting any limits, you can use another processor, or optimize your programming in various ways. I doubt C4 can employ similar techniques (if it can, someone please give me the heads up), so the question is how much can one processor handle.

And just because a dealer says "We do stuff like this all the time with no problems" doesn't mean it is true. Always get references. No good salesman is going to say "we have never done anything like this before"
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post #23 of 66 Old 04-23-2012, 07:10 PM
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Just for argument's sake:

1) We have had no issues with HDMI distribution with C4 systems. We have used 4x4 and 8x8 matrices. (I will concede that, given the quirkiness of HDMI, luck may be a factor in this. I know Crestron DM is awesome.)

2) The new C4 HC-800 is pretty darn fast. I don't know how it compares to Crestron's processors though.
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post #24 of 66 Old 04-23-2012, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by cshepard View Post

We have had no issues with HDMI distribution with C4 systems. We have used 4x4 and 8x8 matrices.

Other brands are getting much better and more affordable, especially in the 4x4 and 8x8 frame sizes. There are still plenty of them that are terrible (my boss has one at his house, lol)
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post #25 of 66 Old 04-24-2012, 07:23 AM
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And well...Just Add Power works perfectly within the C4 system as an unlimited any-size custom matrix.
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post #26 of 66 Old 04-24-2012, 11:05 AM
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I'm not sold on Just Add Power's products yet, but they are an attractive, relatively affordable solution. I just wish they knew how IP worked and implemented IGMP properly! But that is a common problem with a lot of A/V manufacturers (not knowing how to do IP properly, not specifically IGMP).
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post #27 of 66 Old 04-24-2012, 12:38 PM
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Just Add Power is not the same platform as DM, so it's not a direct comparison. There's also no succinct statement as to why one is superior over the others.

Sorta like Control 4 and Crestron.
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post #28 of 66 Old 04-24-2012, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by bigpapa View Post

Just Add Power is not the same platform as DM, so it's not a direct comparison. There's also no succinct statement as to why one is superior over the others.

Sorta like Control 4 and Crestron.

Exactly. Crestron has DM, Control4 has JAP as its "most similar to DM but totally not DM". Different systems. DM fanboys will say it is head and shoulders above everything else, but JAP works, and works well within C4.
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post #29 of 66 Old 04-25-2012, 12:41 AM
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I can understand your mental dilemma as I went through this with projection screens. (I.e. Should I spend on the Stewart Firehawk or go with a less expensive Da-lite). You don't want regrets. Whatever you do make sure you're at peace with your decision before you commit and then don't look back. It's awful to think you would have preferred another option. (I do sometimes)

Good luck!
Dave

So if I were to sum this up, Shamoo1 is leaning toward C4 - for cost reasons obviously - but also because from his perspective, he can accomplish everything he wants to achieve with a C4 system - and if he were to go for the more expensive Crestron system, he would need to justify the cost difference - and he is seeking that justification on this thread.

So far the general comments have suggested that both C4 and Crestron are good for their own environments and that Shamoo1 probably won't go wrong with either. In short - no real persuasive argument hitting a solid home run in favor spending the extra money to go Crestron over C4. I'm not suggesting it isn't there - but merely that the argument for it hasn't been presented yet.
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post #30 of 66 Old 04-25-2012, 06:18 PM
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The more important aspect of the OP's decision should be the worthiness of the CIs he's considering.
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