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post #1 of 41 Old 01-16-2007, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Looking into installing this in a friends' condo and was wondering if anybody had any experience with this product. It's a retro job, so was more interested in the 'RF' wireless feature for lighting.

Any help would be much appreciated.
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post #2 of 41 Old 01-16-2007, 04:20 PM
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The C4 lighting control products are their best and most reliable. The zigbee wireless is excellent.

If your not a dealer, you are going to have a tough time. lol
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post #3 of 41 Old 01-17-2007, 11:46 AM
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I could not agree more with CSS100. The C4 lighting control is awesome.
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post #4 of 41 Old 01-17-2007, 02:07 PM
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post #5 of 41 Old 01-17-2007, 03:26 PM
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i went to a demo and had the reps come to my house for an estimate of there product = they wanted $115,000 to do the whole house (i told them they were nuts) - i went with insteon for a lot lot less (works great)
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post #6 of 41 Old 01-17-2007, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies...

It does appear that the lighting control is reliable. Didn't realize you needed to be a dealer to purchase. I'm in the industry and saw this product at a local RC Willey store.
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post #7 of 41 Old 01-17-2007, 04:12 PM
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At a hundred bucks a switch, thats a lot of dimmers in your house.

If your house is really large and it would take over 100k to install a C4 system, then you are beyond the market that C4 is aiming at and beyond the capabilities of C4 and really should be looking at a higher end solution.
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post #8 of 41 Old 01-17-2007, 07:26 PM
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fletch999: if you are talking to me - control 4 wanted 2500 just to do my family room. it wasn't just switches for 115k- it was lcd wall pads - alarm system - smoke detectors - thermostats - all kinds of stuff - insteon has the same stuff (multiple mfgs) but pretty much works the same. All of the wall switches are in - outlets are in - lcd wall pads are in - sprinkler system is in - just have some more to do - alarm - thermostat - etc. Insteon is missing - remotes - movement sensors and really good software - I guess its coming this year.
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post #9 of 41 Old 01-18-2007, 08:35 AM
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What did the 2500 in the family room include?

I also don't understand what you mean by Insteon has the same stuff. Insteaon, as far as I can tell, makes dimmers and switches. Everything else from their own site is third party equipment. You say that Insteon has "everything" except good software or remotes. I would say that good software is the most important thing to have.

If you have a large home and you were quoted 115k for a complete automation system, including lighitng control, audio, video, security, hvac, touchscreens then I would say that isn't out of line at all. I would still say that that is beyond what C4 is aiming at, but it doesn't seem completely out of touch either.

If you are going to cobble together a bunch of various systems into a DIY solution, then you can probably do it cheaper. If you eliminate all of the labor you are paying for in the 115k quote, what is the real difference? I know Insteon dimmers are only 40 bucks, so you will have some savings there. Where else?
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post #10 of 41 Old 01-19-2007, 09:34 AM
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this was a year ago - if i remember correctly, the 2500 included some wall switches, a remote and a hometheater "switcher" - i not sure of its proper name. But basically everthing plugged into it and it controlled the sterio - tv - etc.

Yes, i am doing a DIY thing. But its so much cheaper and yes - a lot of items as i stated above are 3rd party. I figure that when i'm done the whole hosue will cost me about 30,000. The other thing about control 4 that i didn't like (beside the price) was: they told me that i had to use their recommeded equipment only and they were the only ones that could and would program the equipment. I told them that i'm pretty good with computers and programming and they said that it didn't matter. I asked them if it was just a minor change to be made and they told me that i would have to make an appointment and have a service tech come out to the house. Then i got into this thing with them about - what if the company that installed the system went out of business - they told me that i could call control 4 and they would give me a new contact - but because i didn't have the installation doen by that company - i may not get good service. Also told me - can't just call control 4 for help - must go through the authorized dealer for help - anyway - this whold thing was unacceptable to me.

Lastly not only is DIY labor saving - the comporable equipment is much much less expensicve than control 4. Have you ever seen control 4's price list - they are nuts!!

I can see if you are building a new house and want everthing done for you and you're an idiot at electronics - then control 4 is good - otherwise - i repeat - they are "nuts"
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post #11 of 41 Old 01-19-2007, 12:26 PM
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Its a good thing you never received a Crestron or AMX proposal.

If you didn't already know, C4 was developed and marketed as the entry level, affordable home automation system, to go after the lower end market that Crestron and AMX have long ignored.
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post #12 of 41 Old 01-23-2007, 02:05 PM
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It's like going to a restaurant and telling the cook to get out of the kitchen because you can do a better job because you have cooked at home.


If you want a great DIY product you should look at CQC.

It's the job of the salesman to give honest and accurate product info and let the customer decide if it fits their needs.
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post #13 of 41 Old 01-23-2007, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ikeb View Post

Lastly not only is DIY labor saving - the comporable equipment is much much less expensicve than control 4. Have you ever seen control 4's price list - they are nuts!!

Lots of opinion there...not sure it's remotely related to reality. You can pick just about anything on the face of the planet and say "they are nuts". I can buy a Ford for 20K, Mercedes is "nuts".

I'm not a Control4 dealer but they are about as cost effective as you'll ever find. And it can be very hard to compare apples to apples in this industry so what you call "comparable" equipment may or may not be.
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post #14 of 41 Old 01-24-2007, 11:27 AM
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I can say that Control 4 is great. I am doing a large job with it now and it is really capable, but still maintains an excellent price point.
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post #15 of 41 Old 01-25-2007, 03:31 PM
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c4 is definatly not DIY, you cannot just buy the equipment, and if you do get ahold of it (ive seen it on ebay once in a great while) the software to program it is even harder to come by (non dealer)

also not sure how you got a 115,000 bid..... we've done pretty huge c4 systems that dont come near that.......you should have contacted another c4 dealer for another bid

c4 does cost more then your average x10 crap, but you get what you pay for....not amx quality, but not amx price either.
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post #16 of 41 Old 01-26-2007, 10:47 AM
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you all may be correct about C4, but I just don't see the value in C4. Insteon works great and does the job and i didn't and don't mind doing the labor and minor programming and i can call smarthome at any time to get help.

The installation i saw of C4 was in Newport Beach at a fairly new home. Pretty nice, but i've pretty much reproduced the same thing with Insteon. Maybe I'm wrong, but I just can't understand paying a premium price for a product that isn't premium. Insteon maybe a ford, but control 4 is not a mercedes.
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post #17 of 41 Old 01-26-2007, 10:58 AM
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Even assuming it's the "same thing", and it's more likely something different but just as good for you, your post is pretty much the argument that people who build their own subwoofers make to always say that every subwoofer on the market is overpriced.

If you want to build the cabinet yourself and buy the driver and so on, of course you're going to save a ton of money. But most people don't want to do that.

Personally if I were DIYing I wouldn't go with C4 either, I'd go with CQC. In fact, I'm not DIY and I still wouldn't go with C4 . I just disagreed with the overpriced statement. Most people go with C4 for exactly the opposite reason - it's the most cost effective system on the market.
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post #18 of 41 Old 01-26-2007, 12:09 PM
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AFAIK, Insteon makes dimmers. PLC dimmers. While I'm not really a fan of C4, they do far more than make dimmers. So there is no way you have an Insteon setup that does the same thing as C4. Does Insteon make a home theater controller? Whole house audio controller? Amps? Touchscreens?

If all you want is to slap in a few cheap dimmers to get some control of your lights, I'm sure that Insteon does that. But they don't even pretend to be a whole house control system.

C4 isn't even marketed as a premium solution. They are marketed as an entry level solution. If the $100 dimmers from C4 are too expensive, I'd hate for you to see what a professional level lighting control system would cost.
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post #19 of 41 Old 01-27-2007, 07:42 PM
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Just to point out that the dimmers, although $100, are 1000 watt dimmers. Not 600 watts found every where else. This is of great benefit to me.
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post #20 of 41 Old 01-28-2007, 12:44 PM
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The dimmers are rated at 1000w when single ganged. Double ganged derates them to 800w, and triple or more ganged derates them to 600w, FYI.

Also, most of you are mistaken. ZIGBEE is veery reliable. The dimmers themselves are nowhere close to being reliable. My company has installed almost 700 dimmers now, and we're running about an 8% failure rate. It's terrible.

PM me if you want more info on my opinion about control4.

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post #21 of 41 Old 02-01-2007, 05:55 AM
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what is your guys opinion on the noise the C4 products make. I am considdering putting the gear (Meadia controller, sony 777, amp) in my AV rack in my family room, which is NOT in a closet. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

Thank you
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post #22 of 41 Old 02-01-2007, 06:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobb53 View Post

what is your guys opinion on the noise the C4 products make. I am considdering putting the gear (Meadia controller, sony 777, amp) in my AV rack in my family room, which is NOT in a closet. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

Thank you

I have the HTC in my theater and I never hear it, but I can barely hear the HD-A1 either so it may be my hearing

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post #23 of 41 Old 02-01-2007, 09:03 AM
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I have C4 installed in my home and have been happy with it. I have some lighting control. Not all lights only essentials. Thermostats are here waiting to be installed. The media server and handheld remote are great considering the price. The wall lcd panels sometimes pause but this has improved since a recent software upgrade. I also have the media server in a rack in my family room. I never notice any noise. One of my touchpanels make a hissing noise. This maybe replaced. Some call this an entry level product. I disagree. I wouldn't call it as robust as Crestron however much more palatable in terms of price. One more thing as mentioned the handheld remote( the little $150 remote) is the best deal in a remote. Most Of my interaction is thru this remote not the more expesive fancier looking wall panels. Good luck.
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post #24 of 41 Old 02-02-2007, 01:35 PM
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is the Amp fan noise loud? anyone have issues with fan noise?
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post #25 of 41 Old 02-07-2007, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingzz View Post

I have the HTC in my theater and I never hear it, but I can barely hear the HD-A1 either so it may be my hearing


The HTC makes zero noise. I always use the HTC for installs as it has the same processor as the MC. The rest you can figure out from there.

It's the job of the salesman to give honest and accurate product info and let the customer decide if it fits their needs.
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post #26 of 41 Old 02-10-2007, 09:11 AM
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much better off with the HTC over a MC. HTC runs off flash memory and will be faster....the MC may get improved eventually though. id use a HTC plus a USB hard drive, cheaper, quieter, better.

only advantage to a MC is if you need all the extra inputs...i only see a need for 1 serial, the 777, unless your integrating your alarm too, you can "split" the serial though....

but if you need more inputs, 2 HTC's is a better option. you get faster speed, ability to link/ control 2 systems easier, and 2 remotes, retail for 1200 vs 1500

like it was said, c4 is more then turning your lights on and off. link it do you dvd player, when you hit play, lights go off, pause they come up to 40% etc etc. smoke alarms go off?, lights come on, furnace shuts off, outside lights flash, etc etc. you get the picture + distributed audio, touchscreens keypads. Its really apparent on installing c4 that the bigger and more complicated your system is, the more awesome c4 is.
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post #27 of 41 Old 02-11-2007, 01:00 AM
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Can the HTC control more than one 777? I am debating an Escient DVDM-100 or an HTC in order to gain lighting control, etc.

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post #28 of 41 Old 02-11-2007, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fletch999 View Post

AFAIK, Insteon makes dimmers. PLC dimmers. While I'm not really a fan of C4, they do far more than make dimmers. So there is no way you have an Insteon setup that does the same thing as C4. Does Insteon make a home theater controller? Whole house audio controller? Amps? Touchscreens?

If all you want is to slap in a few cheap dimmers to get some control of your lights, I'm sure that Insteon does that. But they don't even pretend to be a whole house control system.

C4 isn't even marketed as a premium solution. They are marketed as an entry level solution. If the $100 dimmers from C4 are too expensive, I'd hate for you to see what a professional level lighting control system would cost.

But, Insteon works pretty seamlessly with Cortexa. And Cortexa makes touchscreens, sync with Nuvo for whole house audio, etc. And the combined package is way less then C4 as well. I was going through this in another post and i am going to go this route. There is quite a bit of customer support, and the Cortexa 'facelift' over the numerous subsystems seems to be a good solution. Granted CQC is much cheaper and has great forum type support, but the Cortexa suite of HW/SW solutions seems to fit my needs a bit better...
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post #29 of 41 Old 05-07-2007, 02:48 PM
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From what I've read here it looks that C4 is a good choice. Does anybody know what is the software it uses? Is it windows too?
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post #30 of 41 Old 05-15-2007, 08:14 PM
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The programming software is dealer only. All the gear runs off linux.
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