We installed a fairly extensive Elan G! home automation system in our home, and it took almost 1 year to complete the entire system. During the installation we encountered many bugs and problems with the Elan G! system, and are still having problems. Specifically, the most critical problem is as follows:
First some history on the problem. When we first created this project we were using version 5.9. In this version TTS did not work on the HC6 outputs. Version 6.0 kinda fixed this issue but not entirely. If the power is cycled on the HC6 controller the TTS on output 1 quits working. The work around for this is to set up a zone with Shoutcast as a source from output 1. When Shoutcast is selected and a song is played the audio for TTS from HC6 output is restored. We then turn off Shoutcast and TTS works. The critical issue for us is we are using TTS to announce security zone violations. This is a mission critical function. If there has been a power outage the TTS security quits working until someone does the work around. We would very much like to see this bug fixed, soon.
This is one of several problems that Elan appears to not be able to fix. I would warn any possible consumers about Elan's abilities to provide a complete solution in home automation. We keep getting the runaround at Elan on the solutions whenever we contact their support.
I am days away from pulling the trigger on a Elan g! purchase/installation of several of their components and would be very interested in any comments. v12-man, what are some of the other problems?
~~Our experience has been not very good:
Main Elan HC-6 controller failed within 30 days.
Elan’s preconfigured networking router and switch assembly didn’t work and had to be replaced with a different brand.
Elan told us that our Vantage lighting system was supported by G! before we bought the system, but Elan’s interface has faulty drivers, and you can’t even emulate a keypad. This part of the project had to be abandoned because Elan could not make it work after weeks of support calls and tons of wasted paid time to our installer.
Music server didn’t work properly, their native server didn’t work right, and it took Elan almost year to make it work with the Squeezebox which Elan said was supported in the beginning when it really didn’t work. Then it didn’t support FLAC files.
Elan said G! supported our Blu-ray players when it really didn’t, their interface didn’t work properly, and frankly it was obvious that it had not even been tested once you tried it. We wasted more time with Elan support trying to get it to work and had to abandon it and seek another solution.
Speech to text didn’t work as Elan had said it would.
This is just a few of the problems. We found so many bugs in the Elan G! system that we basically felt we were ”beta” testing their system and finding all the problems and then waiting for Elan to fix them. This was very frustrating. It was obvious in many cases that the programmers had never even tested their design to see if it actually worked. We still have bugs in our G! system that their support department gave us case numbers for over a year ago and they are still not fixed. Elan’s support department is clueless half the time and often never gets back with you. Very difficult company to work with and appears to us to be very unorganized and poorly engineered.
Elan’s G! system interfaces have silly in capabilities that no one could have imagined. Why would you spend all this money designing a system like this that can’t do simple tasks with the touch of a button on the remote? The way the menus have to be structured are so constrained that you end up with a system that if you have no training, you cannot use the remote to control the TV. When I have guests in my house and they pick up the remote, they can’t figure out how to use it. When I had the Crestron system a 5 year old child could use it.
We had an older Crestron system that was bulletproof for 10 years, and we never had support problems with Crestron. If Crestron said it could be done, it could be done and that was that, it worked. We wanted all new TV’s and a new system that would automate all the systems in the house with more modern interfaces. The Elan G! system looks flashy and their components are beautiful, but that is where it stops. Unfortunately we believed Elan’s claims about their system compatibility, reliability, and overall integrated design. In retrospect we should have just bought new Crestron controllers and Crestron interfaces and built our new system from there as in our experience Crestron is much more reliable and professional. I wish I could get all my money back and Elan would take back all this junk so we could put in a real system that works like it should. In the end, we have a system filled with “go arounds” and silly design flaws. Oh, and try calling Elan, they won’t talk to a consumer. They did finally talk to us because of all the problems we were having, and some “supervisor” was even rude to us at that point. Unbelievable. We are very nice people, and quite patient I might add. No, I would not recommend Elan to anyone.
~~Thank you fcwilt. It was a local installer that had also installed our Crestron system 10 years ago. He has been doing it for over 20 years and is quite knowledgeable, and in my experience knows quite a bit more than any other person I have talked to about AV systems. He was so embarrassed that he was the one who advised us to go with the new “wonderful” G! system, that he heavily discounted his work because of all the unbelievable problems.
The Vantage Lighting system was installed in our house 10 years ago when it was built, and part of the decision to go with Elan was that they claim to have “modules” that you pay for that are already setup (preprogrammed) and all you do is input your system into their framework and you are ready to go. Well, there is no way to “test” it beyond inputting our lighting system into their program to find out that it does not work. Based on promises from Elan that they were working on fixing the bugs we discovered upon initial programming, we went ahead in input our lighting system. Then we spent tons of time going back and forth with the problems. There was no other way to get there. If you are not actively attempting to implement solutions, you will not find out that it cannot be done. After quite some time we were told that they could not make it work, so we had to abandon putting our Vantage lighting system into the G! home automation system. If anything, our installer’s technical capabilities greatly helped Elan understand that their system didn’t work, so I would say it was the other way around, our installer knows too much for them.
The HR2 has significant limitations, i.e. you cannot really customize the user interface, it is created by default. For example, if you want to change rooms (we have 7 A/V rooms and over a dozen zones) you have to hold down one “non-descript” key for several seconds to “magically” pop open another menu to change rooms. Mind you that this key you hold down does not say “rooms, or zones”, or anything that makes sense, nor does it say “hold this key for an extended period of time” and you can change to a different A/V zone, so you would never ever figure this out if you were not told how to do it. Also, the names of some of the graphical buttons on the remote cannot be changed as well and the icons are very limited. If you want turn on music for in a multi-room setting, it is a convoluted process of pressing different buttons as well. In our old Crestron system it was as simple as touching one clearly marked button and then one more clearly marked button as to what you are doing. Not in the Elan G! system. We have had this system in our house for over a year and my wife has given up on figuring it out. Sure she can turn on the TV, change the channel, and turn off the TV. But ask her to turn off the security system notification, and she can’t remember how to do it and she has a doctoral level education.
Elan told us point blank that they had a solution for our Sony Blu-ray servers. Well they do, but it never worked properly and they no longer support it of course, so they won’t fix their broken module that never worked in the first place. And you can’t find this out by looking at it; you have to implement the system to find out. There were so many things like this, claims that the G! would do this and that and in the end it didn’t.
As far as timing of fixing bugs, I think I have covered that. We still have bugs not fixed that were promised over 1 year ago. And that is why I finally got so frustrated that I decided that other people need to now about this stuff so they don’t get trapped into the situation we have.
By the time we spent all the money fishing out bugs for Elan and trying to find “go-arounds” for their interfaces, we could have just about programmed a new Crestron system for the house which would have a much better custom user interface that anyone could use without instruction. And we would have our lighting, Blu-ray servers, air conditioning, and etc. all on one home automation system. In fact, that was what started the whole project, to have everything in one interface (a home automation system), but in the end we have a mish-mosh of different solutions from different sources, and a not so user friendly interface, not what we wanted at all. By the time we found out that Elan could not do what they said it could do, we were too far in to go back, and Elan would not take back all the equipment. A really sad situation. Thank you Elan.
~~We have five HR2's. But it is kind of silly to walk 30 feet and pick up another remote to operate a different room. And are you going to have a different HR2 for all 14 sound zones in the house? Also, having different HR2's does not solve the convoluted problems like turning on and off the security system notification for example, or even worse the go around we have to do to turn it on in the first place whenever it resets.
If you would like to come over to the house, I can show you everything. If you have a solution I will pay you to fix it. That would be great. But I would caution you that we aren’t stupid and according to Elan this is it (after tons of hours trying their recommended solutions that don’t always work).
Not trying to get rid of any gear, we are too deep financially to get out of it unless you want to buy us out of our gear and programming time. That would be great!
That would be great. Please read my first post which accurately describes the most critical problem we have at the moment. If you have a solution let me know. Thanks.
APC Back-UPS HS 500
However, why should my UPS make up for a failure in the Elan program for the next 10 years? And, it isn't just a failure in power. Any reset that resets the system causes the same problem.
Finally, Elan has solved the problem. Took quite a while to fix the bug.
Fixed TTS to work on the HC6 outputs.
The basic design of the and limitations of the HR2 are not fixable. In discussions with the Elan tech people they have told us it would take a complete re-write of the entire structure of the software interface to make it more flexible. That is a bummer because the HR2 remote is really a slick piece of equipment. If it had more flexibility in the menu designs and capabilities it would dominate that segment of the market.
See Post #6 in this thread.
Provide me the details of your Controller i will check it resolve it. I am strongly suggesting you that this is issue with the programing. Not with the controller. I can solve them.
DITTO! I have had all the same problems with Elan G! and more....vantage integration, remote problems, squeezebox problems, irrigation integration, HVAC irrigation. blah blah blah Now stuck with it given all we put into it and just hoping some day in my lifetime it gets better.
its totally integration problem. i am sure about that. I have done 70 installation of Elan systems still all are working fine till today
That's great. You are lucky. I have a Hunter Controller IC-600 which replaced Hunter X-CORE in 2011. But Elan doesn't yet integrate with the IC-600. I have Vantage lighting, and you can not emulate a keypad. I have Mitsubishi HVAC which does not integrate with Elan. And a few more not worth mentioning. I have a very large installation with 13 TV's with G Remotes, Gate Control, Whole House Vantage lighting, several touch pads and all rely on G! being up. One day it crashed and completely lost it's programming. Had to be restored from backup.
The Hunter I-CORE is needed in our case because it is the only one that supports 30 irrigation zones that we need.
Not sure of the Vantage Model. This was new construction with new lighting system, so very recent. Elan said they supported it, but as it turned out they didn't support the latest version.
As for HVAC, the Mitsubishi is controlled by a central controller called an AG-150, there aren't thermostats.
We do have UPS. As it turned out, we weren't the only ones that had lost all their programming, it had happened before and they are looking it to it last we heard. But still scary.