Advice and Experiences selecting a Home Automation Platform - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 07-03-2014, 08:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Red face Advice and Experiences selecting a Home Automation Platform

We are moving our consulting company into the home automation field.
We are looking at various manufacturers and suppliers to determine which platform to build on.
The short"ish" list is:
1) RTI Corp
2) Crestron
3) Claire Controls
4) Savant
5) Control4
6) CQC

I'd love to hear what people have to say, comparing the platforms, ease of development, customer satisfaction, hardware and software reliability, long term suitability, flexibilty, etc.
Short comments, long comments, anecdotal bits all welcome
Many thanks to all
Oatz

Last edited by quakeroatz; 07-03-2014 at 01:51 PM.
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post #2 of 11 Old 07-03-2014, 09:18 AM
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I would be adding the possibility of Savant and Control4 to you list.
I deal with Control4 and I am happy with them. They are coming leaps and bounds since I first started installing there product. They are growing larger by the day, they just announced they have bought out Card Access.
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post #3 of 11 Old 07-03-2014, 11:50 AM
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No AMX?
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post #4 of 11 Old 07-03-2014, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks all
It looks like that short list just got bigger.
I'd love to hear from some people who have used multiple solutions.
Has anyone here engaged Claire Controls?
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post #5 of 11 Old 07-03-2014, 09:58 PM
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Stick with the big boys...

C4, Savant, Crestron, RTI, and I would add URC Total Control.

I personally wouldn't bother with Claire.

They all have there positives and negatives. There are a LOT of things things that need to be taken into consideration before picking up a line/s.
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post #6 of 11 Old 07-04-2014, 05:48 AM
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The only one I have experience with of those is Control4,

I've had my system for... probably close to 6 years now.. did some upgrades etc but am very happy with it. No issues, I would definitely recommend it.
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post #7 of 11 Old 07-04-2014, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClayliketheDIRT View Post
I would be adding the possibility of Savant and Control4 to you list.
I deal with Control4 and I am happy with them. They are coming leaps and bounds since I first started installing there product. They are growing larger by the day, they just announced they have bought out Card Access.
To be fair, they are growing by way of capital investment. They've never made a profit so far. They just went public and got another big infusion of investment capital, which I would assume id what they used to buy Card Access.

Not that this is evil or unusual, but they are just as likely to bite the dust as a smaller company, given how long they have been around without even breaking even, much less making a profit. They are doing the 'lay down the tracks ahead of the train' thing that comes with going down the VC road, and bigger companies than them have run out of track before they reached the destination.

Again, not that this is an unusual strategy, I just object to the general argument that bigger inherently means security and that smaller companies are inherently some sort of grave risk. This type of argument will insure that only the currently large companies can ever win. Ultimately, the only reason it might actually come true is because of it constantly being portrayed as a fact, and therefore making itself come true by scaring off people from ever giving smaller companies a chance.

Dean Roddey
Chairman/CTO, Charmed Quark Systems, Ltd

www.charmedquark.com

 


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post #8 of 11 Old 07-04-2014, 10:43 AM
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I can agree with some of your post, but I still believe that they are doing very well and have a great product. There are many companies that lay track ahead of their path and do fine in the end. The one thing I know is Control4 is a large player in pushing the automation industry in a lot of great ways (in my opinion the right directions). There tech support has been great when every Ihave had to use it (and I have dealt with many other tech supports in the past). There sales rep in my area has been great. Their products have been great for the jobs I have install them for and the people have been very happy with their systems.

I am not saying that C4 should be your pic of choice, I just wouldn’t leave them out of your option pool. Just look at your post so far, you have had five replies and three have mention C4 as a valid option. For the price point C4 is a great option. I have hear great things about Savant but the price is a fai rbit more. As for Crestron I have hear their product is probably the most customizable but your customer will sure pay for that title, and I read a lot of posts of peoples mixed feelings of the amount of time it takes to program. Also how a programmer can make it difficult for other companies to program there system afterwards.

In the end I believe Mattbrotzge said it right "They all have their positives and negatives. There are a lot of things that need to be taken into consideration before picking up a line"

Price point and scale of project being two big ones that pop into mind.

Whatever you choose I wish you luck with it! Also let us know what you choose, and how it work out for you. We are all hear to learn from one another.

Last edited by ClayliketheDIRT; 07-04-2014 at 03:55 PM.
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post #9 of 11 Old 07-08-2014, 09:47 AM
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How wealthy is your client base?

Crestron and Savant (and likely AMX, once they get back into resi) would generally be considered 'upper tier', compared with the others. It seems many CI firms offer 2 levels of product - budget, and premium.

It's somewhat odd that you're offering a consulting service, for which you know little about. I know everyone has to start somewhere, but that's not too common. Any chance of partnering locally, or hiring someone experienced?

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post #10 of 11 Old 07-09-2014, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post
How wealthy is your client base?

Crestron and Savant (and likely AMX, once they get back into resi) would generally be considered 'upper tier', compared with the others. It seems many CI firms offer 2 levels of product - budget, and premium.

It's somewhat odd that you're offering a consulting service, for which you know little about. I know everyone has to start somewhere, but that's not too common. Any chance of partnering locally, or hiring someone experienced?
Or at least offer an AVS commission?
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post #11 of 11 Old 07-09-2014, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Ha NickTheGreat, possibly! Knowledge gleaned from forums = Priceless

Thanks Neurorad for your concerns. "Moving a company into this field" was not meant to imply that we don't have competency or experience in this field.
In fact, we were coding distributed network video solutions and automation events before any of the major players had even considered home automation using TCP/IP.

We are really just looking any unfiltered "hands-on " experience with the major platforms, to assist in selecting a new platform for our products.

Last edited by quakeroatz; 07-09-2014 at 11:02 AM.
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