I work for a company that was all Crestron until the owner pissed off the guy we used for programming (*very* good Crestron only guy). So we went Savant because my boss drank the Kool-Aid and believed we could then do all the programming in-house.
That didn't work out.
I went to Savant training and boy does that little happy screen with all the components and the connected lines suck you in! It looks so easy!
Until you realize you need to buy a Mac (I personally don't care for them).
Until you want to add a button to their auto generated interface.
Until you have to control something they don't have a profile for.
Until you need to integrate with legacy equipment (Lutron Interactive, for example).
Until you NEED service and they either A) don't pick up the phone the first 3 times you call, or B) want to charge you a $250 PER CARD diagnostic fee for a locled up AV chassis that has 10 cards in it and is less than a year or so old.
Until you have to install some new Savant piece you've never seen before and realize their documentation isn't included (unlike Crestron, where there's a pretty good manual in nearly every box).
Until you want to LEARN an IR code or build a custom profile on your own.
Until you realize that you (the customer) need to pay for an operating license!!! And if you want to upgrade later, you may have to pay again!!!
Until you realize that software updates can make compatability/service a real pain for the installer. Are you using Snow Leopard? Mountain Lion?
Until someone asks for one of those horrific door phone entry station things.
Don't get me wrong - many of those things *can* be done with Savant, however NOT after one (or even two) of their training courses. Their stuff is NOT as easy as they made it out to be, in my experience.
And to be fair, I'm certainly not saying its any easier with Crestron. Crestron is no-joke, professional grade stuff. The smartest, most experienced AV people I know are Crestron guys, and they have to be to use that stuff properly.
You want to know what the LAST thing I did before I got to go home for the weekend was? I went to the biggest Savant job our company has done and added a repeater to the living room system because the customers wife hates the interface so much.
But time will be the best judge. I suspect that the same people who fumbled so many of the Crestron installs that left a bad taste in customers mouths will jump on the Savant bandwagon and the results will be no different. As it was said - the equipment isn't as important as the installer.
If you are wondering which system to put in your house, go and look at the installers showroom first, and then try to see one of their residential installs. ACCEPT NO EXCEPTIONS: "We're remodeling the showroom", or "This part isn't up and running yet, but we're almost there". If they willingly show you ANYTHING like that, just imagine what they ARE NOT showing you.
Sorry for the rant. That's been building up for a while, I guess.
Last edited by MikeSVO; 08-10-2014 at 08:13 PM.