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post #1 of 29 Old 06-15-2014, 05:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Red face savant vs Elan g! system

I am getting bids to install a home automation system in my home, a condo, in Chicago. Plan is to control existing Lutron shading and Lutron lighting, A/V, music system, 3 TV sources, 5 or 6 sound zones, wifi for the whole condo, and termperature control. The condo is prewired for home automation, the structure or skeleton is in place, but no equipment has been installed in the closet that will hold the rack and all the equipment. The low voltage work is done for the lutron shades and lutron lighting, and is centrally wired to the main closet.

Contractor 1, is a savant and control 4 dealer,
they recommend
Savant SLN 84 BT HDMI matrix switch
Savant SSA 4000 12 zone distribution platforms, 6 audio sources to 12 rooms
savant HST 45015 pro host w/ 1 U rack
savant software liscense

a/v receiver: Integra

Labor: $25,000

contractor 2, is a savant and control 4 dealer. they recommend Savant:
savant
hsd smrtD 000 Host
SSA 3220 audio switch
ssc-0080-00
sms-00sA media server

a/v receiver: NAD

Labor: $32,000

Contractor 3 is not a Savant dealer, but is a control 4,Elan g! and Crestron dealer, and recommends Elan g
Elan G components:
Controller processor HC6Z
Elan G Pro App
Elan g multi room a/v controller S1616A
Elan Line Level converter
Wyre Storn HD Base 6X6 HDMI matrix switcher MX0606PP

a/v receiver: Yamaha

audio source; fusion ovation signature music player
recommends Elan g!

Labor charge: $13,000

Are the labor charges reasonable ??

How do I distinguish between these systems?

The two savant bids recommend totally different components . why ??

Anyone have experience with Elan g lately. ?? good , bad ? ?

why does Savant have so many awards on their webpage?
vs.
Elan g with no awards since year 2011?

is the lack of awards for Elan g since 2011 something to worry about.

Any insight is appreciated.

Thanks for reading this far into the post. I hope I can find some useful information.
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post #2 of 29 Old 06-15-2014, 07:43 PM
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I'm trying to figure out what they are doing for $25000-32000 in labor If all the wiring is complete already?

I used to have an amx system that controlled everything in 12 rooms, the programming costs were a huge expense and whenever I wanted the slightest change, it took many days and $$ to get it done. Even the hardware at dealer cost was very expensive.

After 7 years with amx and touch panels in every room I decided to try iPads and several different apps that I switched through.

Very recently I bought roomie remote for a whopping $40 or so. After just a couple of days setting it up, I am very impressed. It is controlling 8 zones of music, 7 tv's, Kaleidescape players , 6 direct tv receivers, 4 denon av receivers, whole house lutron lighting, it fires off commands to control my alarm system, hvac thermostats, door locks and garage doors, launches my security camera app, displays weather without leaving the app. All via ip with no hardware to buy.

The GUI displays feedback for my av receivers, kaleidesdape including cover art display, directv receivers, and sonos players.

And the best part, when I make changes to the app on one ipad, all other iPads and iPhones automatically update as well.

To do all of that with a crestron/amx system and I'm guessing elan, you will need about 2-4 weeks of programming where it took me about 10 hours of playing around with this new app.

JOE
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post #3 of 29 Old 06-16-2014, 10:05 AM
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Which company is the most qualified? That is a far more important question to decide than what products are being recommended. If you don't have a word-of-mouth referral from someone you trust who has used them in their own home, find one.
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post #4 of 29 Old 06-18-2014, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmcjo View Post
I'm trying to figure out what they are doing for $25000-32000 in labor If all the wiring is complete already?

I used to have an amx system that controlled everything in 12 rooms, the programming costs were a huge expense and whenever I wanted the slightest change, it took many days and $$ to get it done. Even the hardware at dealer cost was very expensive.

After 7 years with amx and touch panels in every room I decided to try iPads and several different apps that I switched through.

Very recently I bought roomie remote for a whopping $40 or so. After just a couple of days setting it up, I am very impressed. It is controlling 8 zones of music, 7 tv's, Kaleidescape players , 6 direct tv receivers, 4 denon av receivers, whole house lutron lighting, it fires off commands to control my alarm system, hvac thermostats, door locks and garage doors, launches my security camera app, displays weather without leaving the app. All via ip with no hardware to buy.

The GUI displays feedback for my av receivers, kaleidesdape including cover art display, directv receivers, and sonos players.

And the best part, when I make changes to the app on one ipad, all other iPads and iPhones automatically update as well.

To do all of that with a crestron/amx system and I'm guessing elan, you will need about 2-4 weeks of programming where it took me about 10 hours of playing around with this new app.
Did you try iRule as well as Roomie? I used the trial for iRule and was impressed but never got around to Roomie.
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post #5 of 29 Old 06-19-2014, 11:35 AM
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As already mentioned, the installs are only as good as the installer. g! and Savant are both capable systems, neither should leave you wanting for anything. My personal opinion (as a happy Elan g! dealer) is to decide which company you would prefer to work with and start down that road. I'm a little surprised by the delta in labor pricing, as the $13k sounds about right based on your description of the install.

If you can afford it, I would make an effort to use an HDBaseT matrix, regardless of which bid you go with.
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post #6 of 29 Old 06-19-2014, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmcjo View Post
To do all of that with a crestron/amx system and I'm guessing elan, you will need about 2-4 weeks of programming where it took me about 10 hours of playing around with this new app.
On Elan that would take WELL under one day to program. Probably just a couple of hours to program, and then a couple of hours of tweaking the GUI to make sure everything is just right.

Programming on Elan is similar to Control4, not AMX/Crestron. The interface is a little more flexible than C4, but cannot be customized to the same extent as AMX/Crestron.
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post #7 of 29 Old 06-19-2014, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by XJBaylor View Post
On Elan that would take WELL under one day to program. Probably just a couple of hours to program, and then a couple of hours of tweaking the GUI to make sure everything is just right.

Programming on Elan is similar to Control4, not AMX/Crestron. The interface is a little more flexible than C4, but cannot be customized to the same extent as AMX/Crestron.
Ok cool I didn't know that. Then I guess the magical question is whats included in the $13000 labor charge since all wiring is complete already.

JOE
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post #8 of 29 Old 06-19-2014, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by longhorn85 View Post
Did you try iRule as well as Roomie? I used the trial for iRule and was impressed but never got around to Roomie.
I downloaded it the same time as roomie but roomie was so fast and easy to configure. Plus roomie has a nice interface guide for kaleidescape and the directiv guide. Did all setup on the iPad and all of the iPhones and iPads now just sync automatically as I make changes.

JOE
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post #9 of 29 Old 06-19-2014, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cmcjo View Post
I'm trying to figure out what they are doing for $25000-32000 in labor If all the wiring is complete already?

I used to have an amx system that controlled everything in 12 rooms, the programming costs were a huge expense and whenever I wanted the slightest change, it took many days and $$ to get it done. Even the hardware at dealer cost was very expensive.

After 7 years with amx and touch panels in every room I decided to try iPads and several different apps that I switched through.

Very recently I bought roomie remote for a whopping $40 or so. After just a couple of days setting it up, I am very impressed. It is controlling 8 zones of music, 7 tv's, Kaleidescape players , 6 direct tv receivers, 4 denon av receivers, whole house lutron lighting, it fires off commands to control my alarm system, hvac thermostats, door locks and garage doors, launches my security camera app, displays weather without leaving the app. All via ip with no hardware to buy.

The GUI displays feedback for my av receivers, kaleidesdape including cover art display, directv receivers, and sonos players.

And the best part, when I make changes to the app on one ipad, all other iPads and iPhones automatically update as well.

To do all of that with a crestron/amx system and I'm guessing elan, you will need about 2-4 weeks of programming where it took me about 10 hours of playing around with this new app.
I did not know about Roomie Remote. I read about it tonight and looked at some videos of it. Looks like it is a remote control and would or could replace the remote control for the systems. Seems one still needs the components for the system. Does roomie remote replace a remote control like a Control 4, Savant, or Elan g! remote ???
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post #10 of 29 Old 06-19-2014, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by osiris13 View Post
Which company is the most qualified? That is a far more important question to decide than what products are being recommended. If you don't have a word-of-mouth referral from someone you trust who has used them in their own home, find one.
In reply to which company is most qualified, I believe they are all reputable highly qualified sellers, who provide service and stand behind their product.
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post #11 of 29 Old 06-19-2014, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok cool I didn't know that. Then I guess the magical question is whats included in the $13000 labor charge since all wiring is complete already.
The $13,000 includes all the programming, installation of the 3 TV's, building the rack, programming an Elan g! system, and would include labor for Kaliedescape, I am really stumped by these labor charges. I don't get all this labor for building a rack full of compenents and programming a system. I just don't get it. However, the $13,000 labor charge is far below the other charges and it is for the same amount of work. the difference is the other two are for a Savant system.
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post #12 of 29 Old 06-19-2014, 07:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by XJBaylor View Post
As already mentioned, the installs are only as good as the installer. g! and Savant are both capable systems, neither should leave you wanting for anything. My personal opinion (as a happy Elan g! dealer) is to decide which company you would prefer to work with and start down that road. I'm a little surprised by the delta in labor pricing, as the $13k sounds about right based on your description of the install.

If you can afford it, I would make an effort to use an HDBaseT matrix, regardless of which bid you go with.
Dear Cmcjo

Why has Elan not won an award for 3 years. These companies give out awards to many companies and they advertise it. Has Elan g undergone a management change, software change, stopped keeping up with their competition. ???

I trust the seller of the Elan g! in Chicago, they are very reputable. I am just a little nervous about it.

What is an HDbaseT matrix. ?? Is that for running multiple audio and video zones in a home ?, multiple DVR's.

Do you think Elan is up to date with the rest of the market ?? or falling behind ??
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post #13 of 29 Old 06-19-2014, 07:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by XJBaylor View Post
As already mentioned, the installs are only as good as the installer. g! and Savant are both capable systems, neither should leave you wanting for anything. My personal opinion (as a happy Elan g! dealer) is to decide which company you would prefer to work with and start down that road. I'm a little surprised by the delta in labor pricing, as the $13k sounds about right based on your description of the install.

If you can afford it, I would make an effort to use an HDBaseT matrix, regardless of which bid you go with.
The Elan g! dealer recommended this

Wyre Storn HD Base 6X6 HDMI matrix switcher MX0606PP


is this adequate ??
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post #14 of 29 Old 06-20-2014, 03:48 AM
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I don't really know about awards and I never believed in them anyway. The matrix is to distribute 2 or more hdmi sources to multiple displays or one or more audio sources to amps for audio. I'm not so sure about Elan but I know crestron and amx are very powerful control systems that with custom programming can control almost anything in your home. The problem there is you are now tied to hiring a programmer for every little thing you ever change or tweak. No way your doing it yourself. I went to the 1 week class about 40 hours of orogramming for amx and still only very very basic programming I was able to do. Change your tv, $500 or more to update your custom programming.

Another huge thing I did not like about amx is when a third party "TPcontrol" finally allowed us to use the ipad instead of the $5000 touch screen, they charged like $700 per ipad just for a license.

As far as falling behind, yes I think they all are because not only are they very expensive but mostly they don't allow the end user to tweak changes. I think using an ipad /iPhone is much easier then grabbing a proprietary touch panel that serves a single purpose.

Bottom line, elan , amx creston, savant they all look beautiful and could control your home perfectly and could be ideal for you if you don't mind being tied to their hardware and custom programmers out there that have no problem charging you $150 per hour.
Or as someone said , elan is less then a day of orogramming so maybe if you go that route see if the dealer can get you a training class to learn it as it sounds easy to program.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mokajava View Post
Dear Cmcjo

Why has Elan not won an award for 3 years. These companies give out awards to many companies and they advertise it. Has Elan g undergone a management change, software change, stopped keeping up with their competition. ???

I trust the seller of the Elan g! in Chicago, they are very reputable. I am just a little nervous about it.

What is an HDbaseT matrix. ?? Is that for running multiple audio and video zones in a home ?, multiple DVR's.

Do you think Elan is up to date with the rest of the market ?? or falling behind ??

JOE
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post #15 of 29 Old 06-20-2014, 03:55 AM
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. I'm a little surprised by the delta in labor pricing, as the $13k sounds about right based on your description of the install.
.
Do you think it's more then 1 full week with 2 guys for this install?

JOE
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post #16 of 29 Old 06-20-2014, 04:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Do you think it's more then 1 full week with 2 guys for this install?
yes, the Elan dealer believes it will be more than one week, 2 guys, for the install. He anticipates a week and 1/2.
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post #17 of 29 Old 06-20-2014, 04:01 AM
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Kaleidescape will be your favorite component in your home. I have been using it for about 8 years without failures. Just last year I got around to upgrading to the newer 3u severs. Yes expensive , but nothing compares to the simplicity, reliability and interface. Plus it's legal. And by the way there should be like zero labor charges for keleidescape. Unless he's loading your movies but even that sometimes is thrown in. Besides he only has to place the movie in the loader /vault.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mokajava View Post
The $13,000 includes all the programming, installation of the 3 TV's, building the rack, programming an Elan g! system, and would include labor for Kaliedescape, I am really stumped by these labor charges. I don't get all this labor for building a rack full of compenents and programming a system. I just don't get it. However, the $13,000 labor charge is far below the other charges and it is for the same amount of work. the difference is the other two are for a Savant system.

JOE
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post #18 of 29 Old 06-20-2014, 04:10 AM
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yes, the Elan dealer believes it will be more than one week, 2 guys, for the install. He anticipates a week and 1/2.
1.5 weeks for 2 guys?

JOE
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post #19 of 29 Old 06-20-2014, 02:55 PM
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The Elan g! dealer recommended this

Wyre Storn HD Base 6X6 HDMI matrix switcher MX0606PP


is this adequate ??
Yes, that is an HDBT matrix, it should serve you well.

As for labor cost. A project like that could easily have a tech in your house for a week or more to get everything installed and dialed in. Building and dressing a rack for a system containing multiple source devices, amplifiers, network, receivers, video matrix, etc. should take a full day or more. Setting up your wireless network, cutting in speakers, programming the system, tracing out wires, installing TV's, etc. It all takes time...much more than you might imagine. $13000 doesn't sound out of line for a market like Chicago. The Savant systems may take more programming, but nearly $30k sounds a bit extreme.

As for Elan g! not having won awards since 2011, they haven't really had a major hardware release since that time. These things are pretty cyclical, so I wouldn't really worry about it. In fact, Elan just announced the release of new hardware, a pretty significant software update, the opening of their API, new drivers, etc. Thankfully, no changes to the GUI, as it is still world class.
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yes, the Elan dealer believes it will be more than one week, 2 guys, for the install. He anticipates a week and 1/2.
That sounds dead on.
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post #21 of 29 Old 06-20-2014, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes, that is an HDBT matrix, it should serve you well.

As for labor cost. A project like that could easily have a tech in your house for a week or more to get everything installed and dialed in. Building and dressing a rack for a system containing multiple source devices, amplifiers, network, receivers, video matrix, etc. should take a full day or more. Setting up your wireless network, cutting in speakers, programming the system, tracing out wires, installing TV's, etc. It all takes time...much more than you might imagine. $13000 doesn't sound out of line for a market like Chicago. The Savant systems may take more programming, but nearly $30k sounds a bit extreme.

As for Elan g! not having won awards since 2011, they haven't really had a major hardware release since that time. These things are pretty cyclical, so I wouldn't really worry about it. In fact, Elan just announced the release of new hardware, a pretty significant software update, the opening of their API, new drivers, etc. Thankfully, no changes to the GUI, as it is still world class.
what is the new hardware?

what is the new software update.

I am seriously considering going with Elan g! you have been very helpful. Thank you. when I make a deal with the vendor, I was thinking of asking for certain things:

- software updates for 2 years (or is that free)

- should I wait for hardware - is it ready now ??

which hardware ??

I note in the bid they are asking $700 for each Elan g! pro app . for instance, $700 to run Lutron lighting, , $700 for the Elan g! pro app to run thermostats ? Is this normal, is the price reasonable ??

For the Elan g! remote contral $760 apiece. do I need these ??

How about Apple Home Kit?? Can it run all of this stuff instead ?? What do you make of Home kit. ??

What is GUI?? is it included in what I am looking at ?
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How about Apple Home Kit?? Can it run all of this stuff instead ?? What do you make of Home kit. ??
HomeKit is an API. There are no products yet, and probably won't be much this year. I expect the companies that already have an iOS app for their products, like the Hue bulbs and Nest Thermostats, to add HomeKit interfaces to their apps for the iOS 8 release. It'll be months after than before anyone can bring out a controller to actually use those interfaces in a unified fashion.
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post #23 of 29 Old 06-21-2014, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by XJBaylor View Post


As for labor cost. A project like that could easily have a tech in your house for a week or more to get everything installed and dialed in. Building and dressing a rack for a system containing multiple source devices, amplifiers, network, receivers, video matrix, etc. should take a full day or more. Setting up your wireless network, cutting in speakers, programming the system, tracing out wires, installing TV's, etc. It all takes time...much more than you might imagine. $13000 doesn't sound out of line for a market like Chicago.



Bingo. And this doesn't even take into account all the warranty service calls that will be required for the first month or two of system use. Clients rarely anticipate that. Take it from me, it doesn't matter who you use, there will be a break in period. And as you're working all the bugs out of your system the last thing you want to deal with is an integrator whose completely upside down on your job financially.

Assuming he's a reputable integrator he's probably factoring in numerous service calls into his price. Have you discussed service warranty policy with any of these integrators?

To me a week and half sounds a little low. Not by much, but I wouldn't bid that job at less than two weeks personally.

Reminds me of the self-referential adage:

'Hofstader's Law states that it always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstader's Law'

Good luck moving forward! Let us know how it turns out

JG


Sent with Tapatalk... Pardon typos and terseness
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post #24 of 29 Old 06-21-2014, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
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They offer a full warranty for all components and labor , 4 years. It's about 10 percent of the purchase price.
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post #25 of 29 Old 06-22-2014, 07:31 AM
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your design is simple
Ease of use --- Continuity - Start with gui and controllers elan g hr2 remote for theater / master bed / and great room areas is important
Networking --- if your home is under 8000 sf then apple airport extremes work great with elan hr2s and all ios devices in addition to all other devices.
Amplification---5 - 6 zones of audio would not require a s1616 only a m86a
Amplification ----marantz ip controlled surround receiver for areas that require 5.1 or 7.1 channels of audio
Switching--- wyrestorm matrix swithcers work great i have used them multiple times
Video ----kaleidascape versus fusion movie server i would take fusion movie server any day for ease of use and works great when integrated into elan g

Labor ---- 13 k for install really sounds outrageous to me unless they are converting all your movies

Processer --- wait until end of july the new elan controllers have ten times the processing power and are linux based. going forward you will be much happier with the newer product line
Pro Apps ---- ask the dealer for elan pro app chart pro apps are required past certain number of devices or sources in each subsystem.

I have had elan g in my home and have been selling programming supporting for the past 7 years home automation and can attest it is the strongest product out there
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post #26 of 29 Old 06-22-2014, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info. I am committed to the Elan system and am in process of finalizing a contract.

What is apple airport extremes , what is it for.

I
What is an m86a?

I can't seem to see much info on fusion. What is the advantage with fusion.

What should I ask for at the end of July. Just so I get it correctly. Thanks.
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post #27 of 29 Old 06-23-2014, 06:19 AM
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Thanks for all the info. I am committed to the Elan system and am in process of finalizing a contract.

What is apple airport extremes , what is it for.

I
What is an m86a?

I can't seem to see much info on fusion. What is the advantage with fusion.

What should I ask for at the end of July. Just so I get it correctly. Thanks.
the new elan main hc controllers are coming out which replace the current units and will have better processing power and also work off of linux which is more stable and robust
airport extremes are network access points made by apple
elans 8 source 6 zone amplifier

fusion http://www.fusionrd.com/server.htm
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post #28 of 29 Old 06-23-2014, 08:31 AM
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They offer a full warranty for all components and labor , 4 years. It's about 10 percent of the purchase price.
That is about right for the industry, sounds like your dealer has their stuff together.
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post #29 of 29 Old 06-23-2014, 08:37 AM
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your design is simple
Ease of use --- Continuity - Start with gui and controllers elan g hr2 remote for theater / master bed / and great room areas is important
Networking --- if your home is under 8000 sf then apple airport extremes work great with elan hr2s and all ios devices in addition to all other devices.
Amplification---5 - 6 zones of audio would not require a s1616 only a m86a
Amplification ----marantz ip controlled surround receiver for areas that require 5.1 or 7.1 channels of audio
Switching--- wyrestorm matrix swithcers work great i have used them multiple times
Video ----kaleidascape versus fusion movie server i would take fusion movie server any day for ease of use and works great when integrated into elan g

Labor ---- 13 k for install really sounds outrageous to me unless they are converting all your movies

Processer --- wait until end of july the new elan controllers have ten times the processing power and are linux based. going forward you will be much happier with the newer product line
Pro Apps ---- ask the dealer for elan pro app chart pro apps are required past certain number of devices or sources in each subsystem.

I have had elan g in my home and have been selling programming supporting for the past 7 years home automation and can attest it is the strongest product out there
I agree with most of what you said, particularly the use of the HR2's in all areas you intend to spend lots of time. I would prefer Pakedge, Ubiquiti or Engenuis to Airports, but that is a personal preference.

I will say that I disagree on the S1616a and labor. The S1616a has a lot of advantages (and some disadvantages) when compared to the M86a. Unless you have walked the job and know exactly how it is setup it is hard to know offhand which will be a better fit for this particular job. There are plenty of "small" jobs where the S1616a is simply a better fit, be it for the power, flexibility or even just the ability to run speakers in mono.

As for the labor estimate, I would expect a similar job to run between $10k-17k in our market, which has a much lower cost of living than Chicago. I think $13k is probably a very fair estimate.
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