AVS Special Member
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Northern, VA - Washington, DC
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Are they including the wiring, or is that separate from this?
C4 certainly can deliver a decent setup for this, and the price is in line with what I would consider standard.
Where is the equipment going to be located? In new home construction, a quality company will centrally locate all equipment in an equipment rack that offers both front and rear access in an area of the home which is convenient.
I just did a home that had a few more zones than this, but was similar overall. Labor ran much higher as it was all retrofit vs. new construction, and the pricing was similar, but did NOT include a new TV in the mix. It did wire all the areas down to a basement in the home with 2 full size Middle Atlantic racks. So, HDMI cables were long, and HD-Base-T extenders were used to ensure reliability to an upstairs television location.
I would call 4" speakers outside weak, at best.
If I could make any recommendation as to how to save some cash on this, it may be to say that you will be providing all the speakers yourself, but you want them to provide the rest. Speakers are often a high profit margin item and by providing your own speakers you may be able to knock $1,000 or a lot more, off the price and get an improvement in overall audio quality.
In-wall and in-ceiling speakers in 8" versions will provide a fuller sound to all the areas and can be had for around $100 a pair. Quality outdoor speakers are a bit more, but going with two pairs (4 total) may be a very good ideal depending on the space which needs to be covered.
I do have a bit of a gripe (and that's all it is) with the integrated amplifier/switcher as I expect that product to be fairly expensive. Unfortunately amplifier channels sometimes go bad, and should a integrated preamp/amp/matrix have one channel go out, then the entire system will be offline while that one channel is getting repaired. Kind of sucks in that regard. Worse if C4 ever stops supporting that product.
It looks like the C4-120277-XX is a multi-button keypad, which is something I am a huge fan of. It puts easy control in every audio zone with just the touch of a single button. I often recommend Crestron 12 button keypads in all audio areas and most people buy them because they truly do offer the lifestyle convenience that people want.
I would be pretty sure that the C4 system does not offer any direction/proprietary integration with their PCs. That's not typically what control systems do. Instead, it would allow a third party product to be used for this purpose. Whether it is AppleTV, a media player of some sort, or anything else, it can just be connected to the system. I certainly enjoy Pandora, but I like taking it from my iPhone into Airplay into my home system because it allows me control from my pocket of what I am listening to in my home instead of having to go to a PC or something else. But, every single person and their desires are different, so it would depend on what your parents truly want available to them.
Make sure that if they want something like FM radio, or AM radio (yuck), that they are up front with their desires now, not after the walls are built. Either way, they should wire their home like they are putting up walls they don't want anyone to cut into again.
In that regard, spending a bit more on the home pre-wiring may end up costing a bit more, but is really worth it in the long run.
Hard wired Ethernet connections to equipment, TV locations, extra Cat-x cabling all over the place, conduit to the attic from the head-end, and a great deal of future thinking will ensure a system that your parents will be happy with forever. The first time a HDMI cable fails, or technology moves on, and not only do they have to buy new equipment, but they must also rewire their home, they will be extremely upset about things.
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- Theater, whole house audio, and technology installation in the Washington DC metro area.