stay away from Control4 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 53 Old 06-22-2017, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Unhappy stay away from Control4

We installed Control4 system in our new home five years ago. Ever since we became hostages of the dealer. Control4 system is dealer originated system - every little changes, updates - you need to call your dealer for services. Since technology changes so fast and our needs changes, it is very frustrating to rely on the dealer to keep up the Control4 system to an optimal condition at all time. I wish I could undo all the wiring and installation of the Control4 system in my house to gain my control back.
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post #2 of 53 Old 07-05-2017, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Henry Tsang View Post
We installed Control4 system in our new home five years ago. Ever since we became hostages of the dealer. Control4 system is dealer originated system - every little changes, updates - you need to call your dealer for services. Since technology changes so fast and our needs changes, it is very frustrating to rely on the dealer to keep up the Control4 system to an optimal condition at all time. I wish I could undo all the wiring and installation of the Control4 system in my house to gain my control back.
Hi Henry
I just want to correct a few statements - every little change regarding programming DOES NOT need dealer interaction. Control4 is the only major home automation system (Crestron, Savant, etc) that offers the home owner software (1 time fee) that they can use to PROGRAM ANYTHING and make any changes to how the system performs. If you need to add hardware then yes you need a dealer to add to the system but 95% of those hardware devices can be "installed" remotely in the program if you can do the wiring yourself and physically do the install. There are many reputable programmers who do remote programming for a living and charge a fraction of an onsite visit.

So if you are handy and can install the devices, you can find people who will charge you a nominal fee to put it into your system, then you can use the software and program anything and everything. How often are you adding a new TV, streaming device, etc into your house?

No one every said Control4 was a totally open platform - it is advertised as dealer only. And if you have a bad dealer you'll have a bad experience. I once had a bad auto mechanic, so I switched to someone else and now I get better service with a new mechanic.
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post #3 of 53 Old 07-09-2017, 02:34 AM
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I would agree with Henry.

I'm in the middle of a very bad, ongoing experience with Control 4.

I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, its flaky and unreliable.

Display : JVC X7000 Projector | SE 103" Enlightor 4k | LG 65B6 OLED |
Sources : Panasonic UDP 700 & HD Fury Linker| Apple TV3 | HTPC | Sky Q UHD Satellite | Sonos Connect | Synology 24Tb |
Audio : Marantz 8802A | Genelec 8050 LCR | Monitor Audio IDC Sides & Rears | Seaton Submersive Master/Slave |
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post #4 of 53 Old 07-10-2017, 12:57 PM
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I would agree with Henry.

I'm in the middle of a very bad, ongoing experience with Control 4.

I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, its flaky and unreliable.
Again I will not disagree. People have bad Savant systems, Crestron systems, etc. Does not make the system bad. 95% of problems can be traced to the dealer or your home network set up (which can be one in the same if the dealer set up your equipment).

People build new homes and have issues with their plumber, does not mean people should stay away from all toilets in the future! Just get a new plumber.

You can knock C4 for being a dealer centric system, you can call it expensive compared to DIY systems, but it is by far crap or flakey when set up properly.

There are people I can refer you to and a very helpful public user forum that would be of service to you to help you troubleshoot your issues.
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post #5 of 53 Old 07-11-2017, 12:39 AM
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I would agree with Henry.

I'm in the middle of a very bad, ongoing experience with Control 4.

I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, its flaky and unreliable.


Again I will not disagree. People have bad Savant systems, Crestron systems, etc. Does not make the system bad. 95% of problems can be traced to the dealer or your home network set up (which can be one in the same if the dealer set up your equipment).

People build new homes and have issues with their plumber, does not mean people should stay away from all toilets in the future! Just get a new plumber.

You can knock C4 for being a dealer centric system, you can call it expensive compared to DIY systems, but it is by far crap or flakey when set up properly.

There are people I can refer you to and a very helpful public user forum that would be of service to you to help you troubleshoot your issues.
I'd be happy to receive your recommendations if you are able to share,
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I'd be happy to receive your recommendations if you are able to share,
I'll send you a PM
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post #7 of 53 Old 07-16-2017, 01:01 AM
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Originally Posted by ezlotogura View Post
Again I will not disagree. People have bad Savant systems, Crestron systems, etc. Does not make the system bad. 95% of problems can be traced to the dealer or your home network set up (which can be one in the same if the dealer set up your equipment).

People build new homes and have issues with their plumber, does not mean people should stay away from all toilets in the future! Just get a new plumber.
.
I think you have missed the point.

I don't think bad systems (or badly installed systems) are what is being discussed here. It's being forced to pay for a service call every time something goes wrong or every time you want to make an adjustment, update, or just plain system maintenance.

It's the newest fad these days in electronics..... the GENERATING of service calls, and it's going on in just about every sector you can think of. A lot of these electronic control systems are come with some form of lockout so the customer is at the mercy of the install/maintenance people. Many newer electronic household thermostats have "installer codes" and the customer can't get in to make programming adjustments without calling the service tech. Alarm systems have "installer codes" and believe it or not, even today's newer computer based farm tractors now have "installer codes".

Now some companies try not to take these lockout systems too seriously, and others hold you at ransom with every single twist and turn that there is. I think THIS is the point that is being made.
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post #8 of 53 Old 07-16-2017, 08:18 PM
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To be fair, if you are the one who is going to be blamed if something goes wrong, then you will tend to not want anyone but you making changes. You can tell the customer, "If you make changes and anything goes wrong, I'm going to charge you $ per hour for however long it takes to figure out what's wrong and fix it. Even if it turns out not to be your fault, because you have changed the system, I have to prove first that your changes aren't the problem and evaluate how they may have affected things." And they may say yes, but if that ever actually happens, it probably won't go well. So the more straightforward position for many installers is: I am where the buck stops, so I will make all changes. If you want to DIY, then DIY.
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post #9 of 53 Old 07-17-2017, 05:42 AM
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I think you have missed the point.

I don't think bad systems (or badly installed systems) are what is being discussed here. It's being forced to pay for a service call every time something goes wrong or every time you want to make an adjustment, update, or just plain system maintenance.

It's the newest fad these days in electronics..... the GENERATING of service calls, and it's going on in just about every sector you can think of. A lot of these electronic control systems are come with some form of lockout so the customer is at the mercy of the install/maintenance people. Many newer electronic household thermostats have "installer codes" and the customer can't get in to make programming adjustments without calling the service tech. Alarm systems have "installer codes" and believe it or not, even today's newer computer based farm tractors now have "installer codes".

Now some companies try not to take these lockout systems too seriously, and others hold you at ransom with every single twist and turn that there is. I think THIS is the point that is being made.
If the original poster made a large investment in c4 unknowing it was a dealer only system the blame falls on their lap because no one markets C4 as DIY and they did not do their homework. If they did purchase knowing its not 100% DIY - then why complain? It is the most DIY of the "major" platforms without a doubt because of Composer HE but its not DIY. So why bash a product that is not falsely marketed because you do not like the decision you made as a buyer?

C4 does strike a very nice balance - it can truly operate and work with 10,000's of items. You can do all of your own programming. You just need a dealer to put the device in the project. When I buy from my dealer he won't charge me to bind the device in the project. If I buy gear on my own he'll do it - it takes a mere few minutes, they do it remote and then I can program. It is also nice they have a very active user forum where dealers and end users help each other out and though it is DIY for programming, if I am stuck I can turn to a dealer or the forum for help. It is not perfect, but as far as the bigger commercially available systems go, it is fairly robust and I think "sucks" is a bit harsh considering you knew what you were purchasing.
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post #10 of 53 Old 07-17-2017, 07:22 AM
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OP was hit and run. That was his only post ever on these forums. We all know he's wrong, time to kill this thread.
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post #11 of 53 Old 07-20-2017, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by ezlotogura View Post
If the original poster made a large investment in c4 unknowing it was a dealer only system the blame falls on their lap because no one markets C4 as DIY and they did not do their homework. If they did purchase knowing its not 100% DIY - then why complain? It is the most DIY of the "major" platforms without a doubt because of Composer HE but its not DIY. So why bash a product that is not falsely marketed because you do not like the decision you made as a buyer?

C4 does strike a very nice balance - it can truly operate and work with 10,000's of items. You can do all of your own programming. You just need a dealer to put the device in the project. When I buy from my dealer he won't charge me to bind the device in the project. If I buy gear on my own he'll do it - it takes a mere few minutes, they do it remote and then I can program. It is also nice they have a very active user forum where dealers and end users help each other out and though it is DIY for programming, if I am stuck I can turn to a dealer or the forum for help. It is not perfect, but as far as the bigger commercially available systems go, it is fairly robust and I think "sucks" is a bit harsh considering you knew what you were purchasing.
There must be something wrong with my Composer HE then, because it can't even set a new wake up.

Is there a good online users guide or YouTube tutorial on how to get to grips with using HE efficiently, and troubleshooting it?

I do realise the bulk of he fault is with my dealer - yet he blames me when the apps don't work for example and charges me every time to fix something which did work, and then just stops working.

It's very frustrating and is leading me to think that I need to cut my losses.

Display : JVC X7000 Projector | SE 103" Enlightor 4k | LG 65B6 OLED |
Sources : Panasonic UDP 700 & HD Fury Linker| Apple TV3 | HTPC | Sky Q UHD Satellite | Sonos Connect | Synology 24Tb |
Audio : Marantz 8802A | Genelec 8050 LCR | Monitor Audio IDC Sides & Rears | Seaton Submersive Master/Slave |
Control : Control 4 |
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post #12 of 53 Old 07-20-2017, 03:18 PM
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There are YouTube clips. Also look at https://www.control4.com/docs/produc...rted-rev-r.pdf and also an older but still basically relevant link in https://www.control4.com/documentati...ing_Basics.htm

There is also c4forums.com - very active user group of both end users, dealers, c4 employees and driver writers. There is a sub forum just for programming with composer HE. I highly doubt your first question will stump the crowd. People like helping and sharing ways to accomplish different programming tasks

In a PM I referred you to someone you can help. I gave my first dealer too much time and wasted too much energy. I cut bait got a new dealer and it makes a world of difference.
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post #13 of 53 Old 09-03-2017, 05:00 PM
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I'll send you a PM
I'm on the same boat! Can you please PM me?
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post #14 of 53 Old 09-04-2017, 10:27 AM
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We have C4 and that has been a sore point with us. I don't need a tech to come out when I buy a printer, I simply tell my MacBook about it and start using it. Actually, I don't even have to do that anymore, it tells me it sees a new device and would I like to use it.

I've purchased Hue and LIFX lamps and it takes me but a few seconds to tell Alexa and Siri about them and I've got full control—no tech necessary. If I want C4 to control them then that's another story. A complicated, expensive and time consuming story.

We got a demo blackout shade and again it took just a couple of minutes to have Alexa telling it to go up, down or to a preset—without a tech. Even once there's a driver I'm told that C4 will require a tech.

I'd guess that very soon Alexa and Siri will auto-recognize TV's, DVR's, security panels, surveillance cameras, weather stations, clothes dryers, thermostats, and all manor or things.
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post #15 of 53 Old 09-04-2017, 02:20 PM
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We have C4 and that has been a sore point with us. I don't need a tech to come out when I buy a printer, I simply tell my MacBook about it and start using it. Actually, I don't even have to do that anymore, it tells me it sees a new device and would I like to use it.

I've purchased Hue and LIFX lamps and it takes me but a few seconds to tell Alexa and Siri about them and I've got full control—no tech necessary. If I want C4 to control them then that's another story. A complicated, expensive and time consuming story.

We got a demo blackout shade and again it took just a couple of minutes to have Alexa telling it to go up, down or to a preset—without a tech. Even once there's a driver I'm told that C4 will require a tech.

I'd guess that very soon Alexa and Siri will auto-recognize TV's, DVR's, security panels, surveillance cameras, weather stations, clothes dryers, thermostats, and all manor or things.
What you are describing is control, not automation. Having Alexa control your blinds is different from setting up complex tasks in an ecosystem with different hardware. When my housekeeper comes over my she puts a code into the kwikset lock at the front door. The DSC alarm turns off, the regular old ceiling lights turn on, sonos turns on to her favorite channel and I get at push notice that she came. When she leaves, she has to press 1 button - the door locks, music turns off, alarm engages, lights turn off, and I get a push notification she left and I get another push notification at 6pm to remind me to run the washing machine to clean her rags. That is automation. When I get home from work and hit 1 button my garage opens, my basement door unlocks, the basement hallway lights go on, sonos turns of my favorite music station, etc.

Those are just 2 simple examples of day to day life that is automated by Control4.

When Alexa (aka Amazon) or Apple or Google can do full home automation I'll play closer attention. Right now Amazon, Google and Apple are basically control devices AND C4 can see them and you can control your C4 automation with those devices. Homekit was Apple's attempt into automation. That was WWDC 2014. Look at all the things you list, 3 years and its still not here. I do not see it showing up overnight and controlling 1,000+ devices like C4, Crestron, Savant, URC, etc can all do. I think if Apple or Google or Amazon are going to make a big play they may buy out one of the companies I listed vs starting on their own.

Buy composer HE - its a 1 time fee of $149. You can program everything in C4 you just cannot add hardware to the project. Get a remote dealer, couple minutes they ID the hardware, plop in the drivers, then you can do all the programming you want.

Long story short, if you have a good dealer and a proper design and layout of what tasks you want accomplished the beauty is that you never have to see or touch C4, it just does its thing in the background.
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There are several systems that do full automation (not just control) that are DIY friendly as well. It doesn't require a dealer to do sophisticated tasks. For those that aren't geeked with figuring technical things out or just don't have the time, then a dealer is a great resource. Our system caters to both models (and blended).
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Our system caters to both models (and blended).
You should perhaps spell and grammar check your website:

"We expect to attend is CEDIA 2017 in San Diego."
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post #18 of 53 Old 09-04-2017, 03:29 PM
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What you are describing is control, not automation. ... You can program everything in C4 you just cannot add hardware to the project. Get a remote dealer, couple minutes they ID the hardware, plop in the drivers, then you can do all the programming you want.
I shouldn't have to find, wait for and pay that remote dealer.

I should be able to buy a thermostat or door lock or Anthem receiver or LIFX lamp or Tesla Model 3 or Davis weather station or Rachio irrigation controller or a Miele oven or a security camera or DSC security panel and have my C4 system (or RTI or Savant or ...) recognize it, query it for its capabilities, and make it fully available for scripting. My phone can do that. And my MacBook. And sort of my AppleTV. And sort of Amazon Echo.

You are correct though that scripting is quite limited today. These other systems are good at integrating new hardware and software. C4, Savant, RTI, Crestron and others are good (or sort of good) at scripting. We should toss them all in a meld machine and maybe we can get some systems that are good at both. I expect someone, likely Apple, Amazon, and Google, will offer that.

BTW, I am not at all anti-integrator or opposed to hiring an integrator. Though I'm somewhat capable myself I'll gladly hire an integrator to install stuff or run wires or write scripts. I'll heartily recommend an integrator to friends and family who want stuff and aren't capable of doing it properly themselves. I just don't like being forced to use an integrator for small stuff that should take a few minutes of my time.
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post #19 of 53 Old 09-04-2017, 05:01 PM
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You should perhaps spell and grammar check your website:

"We expect to attend is CEDIA 2017 in San Diego."
thanx for visiting...I think we fixed that one. Thanx for the catch.
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post #20 of 53 Old 09-04-2017, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ezlotogura View Post
What you are describing is control, not automation. Having Alexa control your blinds is different from setting up complex tasks in an ecosystem with different hardware. When my housekeeper comes over my she puts a code into the kwikset lock at the front door. The DSC alarm turns off, the regular old ceiling lights turn on, sonos turns on to her favorite channel and I get at push notice that she came. When she leaves, she has to press 1 button - the door locks, music turns off, alarm engages, lights turn off, and I get a push notification she left and I get another push notification at 6pm to remind me to run the washing machine to clean her rags. That is automation. When I get home from work and hit 1 button my garage opens, my basement door unlocks, the basement hallway lights go on, sonos turns of my favorite music station, etc.


Those are just 2 simple examples of day to day life that is automated by Control4.

When Alexa (aka Amazon) or Apple or Google can do full home automation I'll play closer attention. Right now Amazon, Google and Apple are basically control devices AND C4 can see them and you can control your C4 automation with those devices. Homekit was Apple's attempt into automation. That was WWDC 2014. Look at all the things you list, 3 years and its still not here. I do not see it showing up overnight and controlling 1,000+ devices like C4, Crestron, Savant, URC, etc can all do. I think if Apple or Google or Amazon are going to make a big play they may buy out one of the companies I listed vs starting on their own.

Buy composer HE - its a 1 time fee of $149. You can program everything in C4 you just cannot add hardware to the project. Get a remote dealer, couple minutes they ID the hardware, plop in the drivers, then you can do all the programming you want.

Long story short, if you have a good dealer and a proper design and layout of what tasks you want accomplished the beauty is that you never have to see or touch C4, it just does its thing in the background.
I can do all of this with Google Home and Smart Things.

B.T.W., I am a Certified Crestron Programmer. And, I understand everything these folks are complaining about with their C4 systems.
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post #21 of 53 Old 09-05-2017, 05:23 AM
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I shouldn't have to find, wait for and pay that remote dealer.
You do not have to do any of those things. C4 is advertised as a dealer product. You can get a product that is DIY if you think it fits your needs. The original title of this thread was C4 was crap and there was nothing to back it up. It may not be for you, but its not crap.

If you are on a tech forum with 1,000's of posts you are likely a DIY and would not like the C4 proposition.
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post #22 of 53 Old 09-05-2017, 05:34 AM
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I can do all of this with Google Home and Smart Things.

B.T.W., I am a Certified Crestron Programmer. And, I understand everything these folks are complaining about with their C4 systems.
Their audio option is just 1 option, Bose, and its limited to 8 streaming options vs 30+ on Sonos - and I also do not see how you would easily use the Bose products in a matrix set up like you can with a few sonos connects and then a matrix switch and amps. How does Smart Things handle multi video distribution? Just curious how you handle a driveway gate in Smart Things or how you handle pool/Jacuzzi/steam room operation in Smart Things? How does these things all tie in to using 1 app to control everything so if you want to turn on the pool or turn on music or do something to lights you just pull up the Smart Things app and its all there on one screen? Maybe these things are possible on Smart Things for the average home owner to set up.

If you are a certified Crestron tech I would like to think you know the difference between C4/Crestron/Savant, etc vs Smart Things. And if you think Smart Things is just as good as Crestron then I am also hoping you are finding another career because Crestron will be dead shortly by Samsung selling $150 Smart Things hubs.

This isnt an attack, its just trying to refute the original point the original poster made that "c4 sucks" and the reasons why people agree are false. It does not suck because you need a dealer. That just means it is not the right system for you. I am adding these responses to the forum so if someone in 2 weeks or 2 months or 2 years stumbles on this thread they are properly informed, that's all.

I have Control4 and I've recommended C4 and non C4 (smartthings type set ups) to family and friends - different strokes for different folks.
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post #23 of 53 Old 09-05-2017, 06:34 AM
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Their audio option is just 1 option, Bose, and its limited to 8 streaming options vs 30+ on Sonos - and I also do not see how you would easily use the Bose products in a matrix set up like you can with a few sonos connects and then a matrix switch and amps. How does Smart Things handle multi video distribution? Just curious how you handle a driveway gate in Smart Things or how you handle pool/Jacuzzi/steam room operation in Smart Things? How does these things all tie in to using 1 app to control everything so if you want to turn on the pool or turn on music or do something to lights you just pull up the Smart Things app and its all there on one screen? Maybe these things are possible on Smart Things for the average home owner to set up.

If you are a certified Crestron tech I would like to think you know the difference between C4/Crestron/Savant, etc vs Smart Things. And if you think Smart Things is just as good as Crestron then I am also hoping you are finding another career because Crestron will be dead shortly by Samsung selling $150 Smart Things hubs.

This isnt an attack, its just trying to refute the original point the original poster made that "c4 sucks" and the reasons why people agree are false. It does not suck because you need a dealer. That just means it is not the right system for you. I am adding these responses to the forum so if someone in 2 weeks or 2 months or 2 years stumbles on this thread they are properly informed, that's all.

I have Control4 and I've recommended C4 and non C4 (smartthings type set ups) to family and friends - different strokes for different folks.
I'm not replying to bash Control4. I like what Control4 does and it is a fine system. Whether you use Control4 or SmartThings, they're all connected home implementations, as the CEO of Control4 said in an interview several months ago. I just want to address a few of the things you mentioned in your post so that users who come here looking for info have a fuller picture.

GE/Jasco has a Z-wave product they introduced earlier this year that can control pools and gates. I don't know if that product has been tested with SmartThings, but it does work with the Z-wave hub that I use.

Alarm.com integrates with Nuvo for multiroom audio and Alarm.com is a Z-wave based system in which you can add your own devices after the alarm company installs the system. An Alarm.com connected home could do the same thing that you do in your system in one app. Alarm.com has door locks, thermostats, lighting control, motion sensors, garage door control, cameras, music control, blinds/shading, geofencing and so forth.

For video control, someone on an Alarm.com system or SmartThings can do what I've done in my system. Add a Harmony Companion or above with the Harmony hub. Integrate the Harmony hub with Alarm.com or SmartThings using IFTTT. If you want to control multiple tvs via Alexa, download the Yonomi app, setup the remaining Harmony hubs in Yonomi in and you're done. Then you can control the home audio/video systems with Alexa or Google Home, the Harmony app or the app of the control system (Alarm.com, Smartthing etc.).

In my system, I can enter the geofence that I've setup near my home and the av systems turns on, the lights activate, the garage door opens, the thermostat goes into the current mode, the hub changes to the home mode. I can punch a code into my Schlage Z-wave locks and have the av system turn on as well as all of the other stuff. When I leave the house I can tell Alexa to turn on Away and everything will turn off, lock or close (like blinds or the garage door) and the home will enter Away way 4 minutes later. I can do the same routine by pressing one button on the Schlage lock. When I leave my home for vacation as I did a couple of days ago, I tell Alexa to turn on Vacation and my hub based system will do exactly what Control4's Mockupancy does (sans music). Lights, blinds, av system all turn on/off/open and close at certain times throughout a day. Cams are set to record if the Alarm.com alarm is triggered or motion in detected in various zones around the home.


Again, I'm not knocking any system. What used to be the province of the upper end of home automation has found it's way down to the middle. Some folks are DIY people and they can do a number of connect home things themselves and feel comfortable installing, setting up, troubleshooting and fixing problems. I think that is what the OP was trying to say, I guess. And then you have people that may not want to do it themselves and for those folks Control4, RTI, Savant, Elan, Creston, Alarm.com & ADT offer connected home solutions for them. We all end up at the same place; how we got there will be different.

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post #24 of 53 Old 09-05-2017, 06:47 AM
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I'm not replying to bash Control4. I like what Control4 does and it is a fine system. Whether you use Control4 or SmartThings, they're all connected home implementations, as the CEO of Control4 said in an interview several months ago. I just want to address a few of the things you mentioned in your post so that users who come here looking for info have a fuller picture.

GE/Jasco has a Z-wave product they introduced earlier this year that can control pools and gates. I don't know if that product has been tested with SmartThings, but it does work with the Z-wave hub that I use.

Alarm.com integrates with Nuvo for multiroom audio and Alarm.com is a Z-wave based system in which you can add your own devices after the alarm company installs the system. An Alarm.com connected home could do the same thing that you do in your system in one app. Alarm.com has door locks, thermostats, lighting control, motion sensors, garage door control, cameras, music control, blinds/shading, geofencing and so forth.

For video control, someone on an Alarm.com system or SmartThings can do what I've done in my system. Add a Harmony Companion or above with the Harmony hub. Integrate the Harmony hub with Alarm.com or SmartThings using IFTTT. If you want to control multiple tvs via Alexa, download the Yonomi app, setup the remaining Harmony hubs in Yonomi in and you're done. Then you can control the home audio/video systems with Alexa or Google Home, the Harmony app or the app of the control system (Alarm.com, Smartthing etc.).

In my system, I can enter the geofence that I've setup near my home and the av systems turns on, the lights activate, the garage door opens, the thermostat goes into the current mode, the hub changes to the home mode. I can punch a code into my Schlage Z-wave locks and have the av system turn on as well as all of the other stuff. When I leave the house I can tell Alexa to turn on Away and everything will turn off, lock or close (like blinds or the garage door) and the home will enter Away way 4 minutes later. I can do the same routine by pressing one button on the Schlage lock. When I leave my home for vacation as I did a couple of days ago, I tell Alexa to turn on Vacation and my hub based system will do exactly what Control4's Mockupancy does (sans music). Lights, blinds, av system all turn on/off/open and close at certain times throughout a day. Cams are set to record if the Alarm.com alarm is triggered or motion in detected in various zones around the home.


Again, I'm not knocking any system. What used to be the province of the upper end of home automation has found it's way down to the middle. Some folks are DIY people and they can do a number of connect home things themselves and feel comfortable installing, setting up, troubleshooting and fixing problems. I think that is what the OP was trying to say, I guess. And then you have people that may not want to do it themselves and for those folks Control4, RTI, Savant, Elan, Creston, Alarm.com & ADT offer connected home solutions for them. We all end up at the same place; how we got there will be different.
Correct there are several ways to achieve certain goals. Alarm.com does try to push the dealer model as well which is the "complaining point" about C4 above. Alarm.com seems a bit more DIY friendly though for that crowd but at least from their website you still need their support in configuring the system and it appears you have monthly subscription fees?

I was referencing video distribution not just using a remote control to control the TV but to centralize video sources and have them play on any TV in the house. I have 2 cable boxes, some streaming devices, blu ray player, etc and my NAS with movies all centrally located. I can pick any source and play it on any TV. And yes I can control it all with Alexa, the C4 remote, the c4 app, the C4 onscreen menu, etc. I do not need another hub and other apps or hardware to make it work.

not saying one solution is better than the other, just referencing what video distribution is vs using a harmony remote to control your TV (which is nice and I've set up for several family members).

And again I am not saying C4/Crestron/Savant is the only solution. I am just saying they dont suck and they do obviously fill a very big need in the home automation space. And if you think Google/Apple/Amazon is months away from being at that level I personally think the opposite. That's all.
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post #25 of 53 Old 09-05-2017, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by ezlotogura View Post
Correct there are several ways to achieve certain goals. Alarm.com does try to push the dealer model as well which is the "complaining point" about C4 above. Alarm.com seems a bit more DIY friendly though for that crowd but at least from their website you still need their support in configuring the system and it appears you have monthly subscription fees?

I was referencing video distribution not just using a remote control to control the TV but to centralize video sources and have them play on any TV in the house. I have 2 cable boxes, some streaming devices, blu ray player, etc and my NAS with movies all centrally located. I can pick any source and play it on any TV. And yes I can control it all with Alexa, the C4 remote, the c4 app, the C4 onscreen menu, etc. I do not need another hub and other apps or hardware to make it work.

not saying one solution is better than the other, just referencing what video distribution is vs using a harmony remote to control your TV (which is nice and I've set up for several family members).

And again I am not saying C4/Crestron/Savant is the only solution. I am just saying they dont suck and they do obviously fill a very big need in the home automation space. And if you think Google/Apple/Amazon is months away from being at that level I personally think the opposite. That's all.
I think we're speaking the same language brother. My form of video distro involves Directv genies, Chromecast and Plex. As far as video I have Directv mini-genies on each TV and each mini genie shares the DVR recordings of the parent Genie. So we can play any recording from the main Genie on any of the tvs or any of the tablets and phones that we have. I use Netflix via Google Chromecast and Amazon Prime for streaming. We cast Netflix, Amazon Prime or Youtube to the tvs that have the Google Chromecasts with the help of Harmony or via the cast button in the app.

To stream videos I have stored on my laptop or NAS I use Plex. I can get the videos via Plex to the Chromecasts by casting directly from the Plex app to the Chromecasts. We can do independent streams to each Chromecast; so one Chromecast will play video 1 while the other Chromecast plays video 2. I can use Alexa via Harmony for input control for the Chromecast. If I had a Google Home I could cast and fire up Nextflix or Plex videos using my voice straight to the Chromecast. There are a lot of options for non-app control. But I can use the one app if I want to. So it's pretty flexible once it's setup. I also use Harmony to turn the av devices on/off or get the projector, blu-ray player, amp and pre-amp going for Movie time.

But to your larger point we are in agreement.

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post #26 of 53 Old 09-05-2017, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by ezlotogura View Post
Their audio option is just 1 option, Bose, and its limited to 8 streaming options vs 30+ on Sonos - and I also do not see how you would easily use the Bose products in a matrix set up like you can with a few sonos connects and then a matrix switch and amps. How does Smart Things handle multi video distribution? Just curious how you handle a driveway gate in Smart Things or how you handle pool/Jacuzzi/steam room operation in Smart Things? How does these things all tie in to using 1 app to control everything so if you want to turn on the pool or turn on music or do something to lights you just pull up the Smart Things app and its all there on one screen? Maybe these things are possible on Smart Things for the average home owner to set up.

If you are a certified Crestron tech I would like to think you know the difference between C4/Crestron/Savant, etc vs Smart Things. And if you think Smart Things is just as good as Crestron then I am also hoping you are finding another career because Crestron will be dead shortly by Samsung selling $150 Smart Things hubs.

This isnt an attack, its just trying to refute the original point the original poster made that "c4 sucks" and the reasons why people agree are false. It does not suck because you need a dealer. That just means it is not the right system for you. I am adding these responses to the forum so if someone in 2 weeks or 2 months or 2 years stumbles on this thread they are properly informed, that's all.

I have Control4 and I've recommended C4 and non C4 (smartthings type set ups) to family and friends - different strokes for different folks.
I only referred to your original, "my system does this......" post. When we get to Audio and Video distribution, of course consumer DIY systems such as Smart Things falls short....for now. More and more, I am hearing from clients that they do Smart Things or Wink with Sonos and Alexa/Google Home....and aren't worried about a centralized video switching system. If you are watching the trending direction of how television/video is being consumed, you'll know that a centralized video switching system is becomming archaic, VERY quickly. To be honest, there ISN'T MUCH TIME LEFT in the residential market for your exampled systems such as Crestron, C4, Savant, etc. And of your mention of Jacuzzi, I do have a client with an app for his Jacuzzi.
Crestron is developing product lines to remain relevant in these changes.....not sure what Savant and C4 are doing...
Bottom line point is, I can do what your home system does, today, for a fraction of the cost, with more power of control and MUCH better ability to adjust to changing devices for the near future. And, I definitely do NOT want the owners of the C4 systems in this post to feel as though THEY made a mistake that it is their own fault....I was a Certified C4 programmer myself....and I am very well aware of what these systems looked like even a few years ago. Having a great dealer is key...but it does go a bit deeper than that.
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post #27 of 53 Old 09-05-2017, 10:30 AM
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I only referred to your original, "my system does this......" post. When we get to Audio and Video distribution, of course consumer DIY systems such as Smart Things falls short....for now. More and more, I am hearing from clients that they do Smart Things or Wink with Sonos and Alexa/Google Home....and aren't worried about a centralized video switching system. If you are watching the trending direction of how television/video is being consumed, you'll know that a centralized video switching system is becomming archaic, VERY quickly. To be honest, there ISN'T MUCH TIME LEFT in the residential market for your exampled systems such as Crestron, C4, Savant, etc. And of your mention of Jacuzzi, I do have a client with an app for his Jacuzzi.
Crestron is developing product lines to remain relevant in these changes.....not sure what Savant and C4 are doing...
Bottom line point is, I can do what your home system does, today, for a fraction of the cost, with more power of control and MUCH better ability to adjust to changing devices for the near future. And, I definitely do NOT want the owners of the C4 systems in this post to feel as though THEY made a mistake that it is their own fault....I was a Certified C4 programmer myself....and I am very well aware of what these systems looked like even a few years ago. Having a great dealer is key...but it does go a bit deeper than that.
My system isnt better than yours. Yours isnt better than mine. But my system, for my needs, and my budget is better than what you proposed.

Does your solution cost less- sure it does. Does it offer the features I need, no it doesnt. So again you are not making an apples to apples comparison and you admitted Smart Things does not do audio on its own and people get a separate system, then you say your system does what mine does but better? It does not do Sonos integration which I wanted nor will it integration with a music streaming service where radios are not needed (aka clutter) - my preference was for in wall/in ceiling speakers in bedrooms, kitchen, dining room, etc.

I use video distribution frequently. Not just for cable boxes but I use it for my IP camera system - door bell rings and I get a PiP in the lower corner of the TV showing a live feed of who is at the door. If its after 10pm and before 7am (normal sleeping time for us) and the alarm goes off I get all of my cameras (interior and exterior) to show on the bedroom TV in a 3x2 grid to see if anything is going on. That is all done via my TV distribution system. Which also has Kodi built into it so I get kodi functionality too. And yes it also distributes my cable box signal and blu ray player and other streaming devices. I was also having issues with mounting or locating cable boxes in some rooms so having just a balun is way neater installation. Also helps some people with ARC for audio.

Again this isnt a pissing contest, but I am just putting the facts out there. C4 isnt "the best". Crestron can do way more and is super more configurable. I think Savant has a nicer UI out of the box. I am just saying it can do a heck of a lot if programmed and designed properly and it can do more and control more than over the shelf hubs like Smart Things. Could that change in a few years, sure. But everyone said HomeKit was putting the CI unit out of business and the CI revenue streams have grown the last few years with the rebound in the housing market, so go figure.

There are many use cases for Smart Things but there are other use cases for CI installed products. As a C4 and Crestron tech yourself I am sure you know that difference after speaking and working with end users.
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post #28 of 53 Old 09-05-2017, 10:49 AM
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My system isnt better than yours. Yours isnt better than mine. But my system, for my needs, and my budget is better than what you proposed.

Does your solution cost less- sure it does. Does it offer the features I need, no it doesnt. So again you are not making an apples to apples comparison and you admitted Smart Things does not do audio on its own and people get a separate system, then you say your system does what mine does but better? It does not do Sonos integration which I wanted nor will it integration with a music streaming service where radios are not needed (aka clutter) - my preference was for in wall/in ceiling speakers in bedrooms, kitchen, dining room, etc.

I use video distribution frequently. Not just for cable boxes but I use it for my IP camera system - door bell rings and I get a PiP in the lower corner of the TV showing a live feed of who is at the door. If its after 10pm and before 7am (normal sleeping time for us) and the alarm goes off I get all of my cameras (interior and exterior) to show on the bedroom TV in a 3x2 grid to see if anything is going on. That is all done via my TV distribution system. Which also has Kodi built into it so I get kodi functionality too. And yes it also distributes my cable box signal and blu ray player and other streaming devices. I was also having issues with mounting or locating cable boxes in some rooms so having just a balun is way neater installation. Also helps some people with ARC for audio.

Again this isnt a pissing contest, but I am just putting the facts out there. C4 isnt "the best". Crestron can do way more and is super more configurable. I think Savant has a nicer UI out of the box. I am just saying it can do a heck of a lot if programmed and designed properly and it can do more and control more than over the shelf hubs like Smart Things. Could that change in a few years, sure. But everyone said HomeKit was putting the CI unit out of business and the CI revenue streams have grown the last few years with the rebound in the housing market, so go figure.

There are many use cases for Smart Things but there are other use cases for CI installed products. As a C4 and Crestron tech yourself I am sure you know that difference after speaking and working with end users.

Well said, and I respect your system and experience! It's actually VERY nice to see a C4 owner passionate about their system and readily stand up for it! I do not mean to downplay your system. You have a great one. What makes your system also very powerful is your knowledge and ability to use Composer HE, and I'm glad you have a great dealer. Respect!
Now, if we could get these others to your level of satisfaction, all would be good.
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post #29 of 53 Old 09-05-2017, 10:52 AM
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Now, if we could get these others to your level of satisfaction, all would be good.
And that is why I jumped into this thread to start. C4 isnt for everyone, but if you went down that route, or purchased a house with that system it is not garbage. Learn what it can do, talk to a dealer about what you want it to do, get a good dealer and its a totally fine system. Learn to use composer HE and it gets even better. Savant and Crestron do not offer editable software like HE.

Consumer has options and that is what is best for the consumer.
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post #30 of 53 Old 09-05-2017, 11:24 AM
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And that is why I jumped into this thread to start. C4 isnt for everyone, but if you went down that route, or purchased a house with that system it is not garbage. Learn what it can do, talk to a dealer about what you want it to do, get a good dealer and its a totally fine system. Learn to use composer HE and it gets even better. Savant and Crestron do not offer editable software like HE.

Consumer has options and that is what is best for the consumer.
I do need to add this tidbit.... First of all, C4's Composer HE is really cool in that it comes standard, and has from the beginning.
In Crestron-land, I have written scheduler programming and editable programming for clients. This doesn't come standard in all of the systems I've done, but I've done it and it can be added/implemented per client/system. It can be as detailed as the client would like it to be. Due to Crestron's open architecture programming, most anything is possible. Savant? NO WAY, none of this. In Crestron's Pyng system, users have the ability to edit events and schedules much like C4's Composer HE....but right from any of the interfaces/mobile app....and it comes standard.
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