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rscholl's Avatar rscholl 07:00 PM 02-21-2005
I am just curious what the price is for the Crestron iSys touch panels, specifically the i/O Media Centers(TPMC-17-CH and the 15" version)

Texas Aggie's Avatar Texas Aggie 10:12 PM 02-21-2005
Can you program? If not the programming could be almost as much as the panel. Plus you will need a central processor(AV2, Pro, Pro2, etc).

Roughly 5Kish
rscholl's Avatar rscholl 05:06 PM 02-22-2005
Quote:
Originally posted by Texas Aggie
Can you program? If not the programming could be almost as much as the panel. Plus you will need a central processor(AV2, Pro, Pro2, etc).

Roughly 5Kish
I realize that programming is a major cost of these systems. I am just curious about the cost of the panels. I guess I'll just ask a local dealer; just didn't feel like talking to them.
Dean Roddey's Avatar Dean Roddey 06:30 PM 02-22-2005
I'm no expert by any means, but the last time I looked the very least expensive one I found was $3800, and I found higher end models about $6200 and $11,000. So, IMHO, they are pretty insanely priced, particular given that they are largely (if not mostly) off the shelf hardware and software.
truaudiophile's Avatar truaudiophile 07:55 PM 02-22-2005
15"=12K and 17"=13.6K list price
Dean Roddey's Avatar Dean Roddey 08:50 PM 02-22-2005
Insane, mon.
audiblesolutions's Avatar audiblesolutions 09:52 PM 02-22-2005
Quote:
Originally posted by Dean Roddey
I'm no expert by any means, but the last time I looked the very least expensive one I found was $3800, and I found higher end models about $6200 and $11,000. So, IMHO, they are pretty insanely priced, particular given that they are largely (if not mostly) off the shelf hardware and software.
Gee, every DLP uses the same off the shelf chip sets so I guess all projectors must be the same and priced accordingly. Every plasma uses the same ( more or less ) glass so there should be no differences between that fabulous Dell or Gateway and the Fujitsu or Pioneer, right? How many different surround chip sets exist? Two? So why pay so much for that Meridian when the Bose must be as good.

And I am most curious how you got hold of the source code or on what evidence you base your conclusion that the software ( and is it the graphics package or the firmware you are referring? ) is off the shelf? Having spent countless hours with all sorts of proprietary graphics packages from most every other manufacturer there is little doubt that Crestron's, despite its limitations, is so far ahead of everyone else's that it is hardly worth the effort typing this statement. Compared to Photoshop--well there is no comparison. But if you compare it to any other manufacturer's graphics package it comes across rather well with a much less steep learning curve. And of course you can import graphics that you build in your favorite graphics program like Photoshop so you are not forced to rely on VT-Pro if you are so inclined. With respect to firmware, I look foreword to seeing the firmware in your touch panels. Oh, sorry, that option is not available on Charmed Quark. I do love these control systems that rely on home computers. I just love lugging my computer monitor over to my favorite chair so I can change channels on my TV. So convenient. Saves so much time from having to visit the gym. So easy to run the output of my video switcher into that computer ( got to love the latest NVIDIA or Radionics video card ), as well as analog gages, indirect text. Sure, you can use a web tablet. I guess that is why that a selling so fast as control systems. Yes, most consumers have the IT acumen of Mr. Roddey and have so little trouble setting up their computers to do any of these tasks.

Finally, I am a Crestron dealer and I rarely sell the larger, high priced Isys panels. Nonetheless, I believe a touch panel blows away any controller based upon mouse clicks. Be my guest and use a stylus on your PDA or continue to use your mouse on those lovely screens you have developed to run on your computer. Crestron and AMX are developing expensive hardware that is more reliable than and easier to use than any Windows machine and no amount of your testimony that XP is superior to Linux ( Mac ) or a proprietary OS will challenge those of us with field experience that runs contrary to your vested interests. I look foreword to seeing your picture next to the definition in a marketing text for niche market.

Do I agree that these panels are expensive? Yes. Will they come down in price once competing platforms arrive on market? Certainly. So why is it that competitors have been so slow to enter the market and take advantage of these overpriced products? Perhaps because it is far easier to write code then to develop products that work.

Alan
David Richardson's Avatar David Richardson 10:02 PM 02-22-2005
Alan

Dean stays in the dark. Doesn't even venture out to CEDIA to see what control systems are out there. I as well as others strongly suggested to him to see other systems but Dean seems to be better off being in the dark.

Every smart business person should know his/her competition and market. Dean (smart guy- complement) isn't a business guy but a programmer. Hence his very limited knowledge of other systems.

Dean please prove me wrong.


Dave
Dean Roddey's Avatar Dean Roddey 10:45 PM 02-22-2005
I guess I touched a nerve... They act like I insulted their mothers or something.

Accuse me of not knowing the compeition, but I've been looking into this area a lot, for our own potential purposes, and I've read a good bit on these iSYS devices. I would be pretty suprised if they have even $500 of hardware cost in these guys at any kind of volume. Yes, they are loading some of their own custom software on it, but the bulk of it is standard Windows OS and other software, on top of which they are building a front end, much like what we are doing.

If you think that the custom software they load on them is worth the other $9K, then knock yourselves out. But don't act like I don't know what it takes to build such a box, because I've spent a lot of time on this subject. I may not be a business genius, but I certainly know what it would take to create a product like this, and unless they are the most innefficient company in all of history I believe that they are making monsterous margins on these things.

Add in that you still have to buy the back end system to put behind it, and it's pretty ridiculous.

Quote:
Be my guest and use a stylus on your PDA or continue to use your mouse on those lovely screens you have developed to run on your computer.
Many if not most of our customers use something like the ViewSonic 110, which is light, powerful, and finger driven.

Quote:
Crestron and AMX are developing expensive hardware that is more reliable than and easier to use than any Windows machine and no amount of your testimony that XP is superior to Linux ( Mac ) or a proprietary OS will challenge those of us with field experience that runs contrary to your vested interests.
That must be why the iSYS devices run on Windows Embedded XP? So I guess you'll be telling your customers not buy them? You accuse me of not knowing what I'm talking about, and take cheap shots at me and my product, but you don't even know what's in these boxes.
David Richardson's Avatar David Richardson 10:55 PM 02-22-2005
Dean

Some of the new isys panels use XP in a VERY controlled platform. I'm not saying the prices are not high but it might take that (pricing) to keep a company growing and alive for the future while providing a product yet to be challenged by you or any other company. Reliability is HUGE ! If that is what it takes than so be it right!

Dave
Dean Roddey's Avatar Dean Roddey 11:36 PM 02-22-2005
Quote:
Some of the new isys panels use XP in a VERY controlled platform.
Did they build their own motherboard? I'm sure that they did not. Are they modifying Embedded XP itself? I doubt it very seriously. How much more 'controlled' could it be than what anyone else could put together? How is it any more reliable?

I wouldn't be pushing this if it weren't for the tone of you guy's responses above. But if you're going to be snooty, then give me a detailed answer as to why a device based on a motherboard, touch screen, and OS they didn't create and don't control would be any more robust than one anyone else could put together?
studiocats's Avatar studiocats 05:13 AM 02-23-2005
Alan and Dave, Why do you guys insist on arguing with Dean? He clearly knows everything about control systems and home automation.
David Richardson's Avatar David Richardson 05:53 AM 02-23-2005
studiocats

In need of more posts! LOL!

Dave
audiblesolutions's Avatar audiblesolutions 08:01 PM 02-23-2005
Quote:
Originally posted by Dean Roddey
Did they build their own motherboard? I'm sure that they did not. Are they modifying Embedded XP itself? I doubt it very seriously. How much more 'controlled' could it be than what anyone else could put together? How is it any more reliable?

I wouldn't be pushing this if it weren't for the tone of you guy's responses above. But if you're going to be snooty, then give me a detailed answer as to why a device based on a motherboard, touch screen, and OS they didn't create and don't control would be any more robust than one anyone else could put together?
It is a dual platform, combining the features of an Isys with embedded Widows applications. In other words a Crestron OS is embedded with Windows apps. Can you stream uncompressed audio/video to and from your favorite Viewsonic tablet? Can you use your Viewsonic as a White Board? Keep in mind this was built to be a presentation device located at lecterns. It will load the applications for that presentation and control the a/v devices simultaneously and seamlessly via Cresnet. It has dual scalable video windows. Video and RGB signals received via Crestron's proprietary Quickmedia system can be displayed full screen or windowed on the touch panel display. Composite, S-Video, and component video formats including interlaced and progressive scan HDTV, and non-interlaced RGB computer signals with resolutions up to 1600 X 1200 pixels at 60Hz are all supported. Audio from microphones or traditional sources can also be fed via CAT5 cables to or from the panel. In other words not only can it send and receive both audio and video it has a built in scaler. And it works. Nor is it susceptible to viruses or Trojans as is your Viewsonic because it will not allow you to download those files.

I am not a commercial contractor so this is not a product featured in my mix. But having a presentation device that allows a presenter to drop his presentation into the unit via compact flash and launched directly from the panel with the ability to draw over the files in the presentation is not a trivial feature. Nor is the ability to transmit balanced video including VGA, stereo 24 bit audio and mic channels form built in microphone. What is different is that you do not need to launch an application to use the tablet to control your system. No browser required. No executable file needed. Bidirectional information from the control system directly to the panel without needing any other software. Indirect text fields, analog displays whether bar graphs, sliders or display fields are native to the panel.

I suspect you have never had to install a system in a board room. You probably have no idea how much space is found on a lectern nor the intricacies of displaying any laptop on to a projector for the audience to see, nor the seamless integration of presentation with control in one device. Given that white boards, A/V control, Excel and Power point presentations will be given with the requirement to get the amplified ( mic'ed ) audio back into the system for the audience and all of this over 2 CAT5e cables coming out of the very same panel. I doubt your Viewsonic 110 does half of what is outlined above. Or have you integrated Charmed Quark into Windows to the point that you do not need to launch an app to launch the control program.

Alan
Dean Roddey's Avatar Dean Roddey 08:26 PM 02-23-2005
You are comparing Apples and Oranges. The Viewsonic is the equiv of the Crestron hand held touch screen, or the small iSYS panel, which doesn't do all those things, for probably the same reasons that the Viewsonic doesn't, becuase they depend on standard wireless connections and battery power.

For the bigger ones, they are not portable, and they are no different from CQC running on something like a Nobu or a Planar integrated computer/touchscreen system, and yes on those platforms, since they use wired networking, they can stream video and audio and all the other things that desktop computers can do now. And Crestron didn't do anything to create a video scaler, that's part of Direct-X and standard video cards, and it's the same scaling that all software video players use. And their acceptance of various video formats is nothing that people aren't doing with their HTPCs with standard video input cards.

The only real difference is that they are using Embedded XP (and, BTW, there is no 'Crestron OS' on this thing, it's just front end software of theirs that talks to their back end), which allows for a very stripped down environment, more so that you can achieve with standard XP. But you can strip down stand XP pretty extremely, and yes when my system boots up it boot up into the interface viewer.

Quote:
What is different is that you do not need to launch an application to use the tablet to control your system. No browser required. No executable file needed.
Yes, there most certainly is an application. You just don't see it being launched, or it is auto-launched on startup of the panel, but that's it. It's clear that they are just running their own client side software, nothing more. They aren't part of the OS, they are just another application. Embedded XP is the OS.

They have just created what is no different from what we can provide, they have just put it together into a nice format that we cannot afford to do at this time (though we can use things like the Planar or Nobus integrated machines.) And they are using Embedded XP (on the larger two boxes, CE.Net on the smaller one AFAIK), which allows them to run a diskless configuration. We will be addressing that before too much longer, in exactly the same way.


I'm not claiming it's a piece of trash. It's a good box, but there's no technology in it that is unique in any way that I can see. It's just a collection of technology that anybody with a reasonable R&D budget could field, well packaged into a slick enclosure. But it's using straight off the shelf technology, and other than the diskless e-XP configuration and pretty enclosure, it's nothing that an HTPC running CQC couldn't deliver at this time. And they are just charging a ridiculous price for what is effectively a slick integration and packaging job.
studiocats's Avatar studiocats 05:36 AM 02-24-2005
Alan, Please stop trying to educate this guy. He will only understand what he wants to understand. He doesn't see anything but "Crestron is ripping people off and I am going to put them out of business with my software." He will be a legend in his own living room.





"Some Scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is
so plentiful, is the basic building block of the
universe. I dispute that. I say there is more
stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic
building block of the universe." FZ
digiphotonerd's Avatar digiphotonerd 11:15 AM 02-24-2005
studiocats, I honestly don't think it's a case of stupidity. Rather, I suspect the ranting is due to the syndrome that affects all of us nerds at times, wherein our passion for a given technology blinds us to the bigger picture.

Sort of like the subject in Billy Joel's "Angry Young Man" :

And there's always a place for the angry young man
With his fist in the air and his head in the sand
He's never been able to learn from mistakes
He can't understand why his heart always breaks
His honor is pure, and his courage as well
he's fair and he's true, and he's boring as hell
And he'll go to his grave as an angry old man.



IMHO, the cure is to teach our left brain to let our right brain drive every once in awhile...
digiphotonerd's Avatar digiphotonerd 11:52 AM 02-24-2005
Quote:
Originally posted by Dean Roddey
They have just created what is no different from what we can provide, they have just put it together into a nice format that we cannot afford to do at this time ...snip... And they are just charging a ridiculous price for what is effectively a slick integration and packaging job.
Even if that were the only difference, slick integration and packaging have value. There's a reason why Adobe gets to charge $600 for Photoshop, even though a determined person can achieve similar results using public domain or shareware utilities.

The home automation marketplace is littered with companies that developed "building blocks", even well-architected ones. It takes a lot of work to make things "slick" and to package things well, and IMHO it's the failure to do that work that's holding back many packages like CQC and even MainLobby (which is slick for the end user, but amazingly clunky for the developer).

Dean, my advice would be to stop obsessing about what people *can* do with CQC, and focus on what they can do *easily*, withOUT a huge time investment up front. I realize I could implement a complete automation system using just NAND gates, but that doesn't mean I *want* to...
Dean Roddey's Avatar Dean Roddey 12:59 PM 02-24-2005
Quote:
studiocats, I honestly don't think it's a case of stupidity. Rather, I suspect the ranting is due to the syndrome that affects all of us nerds at times, wherein our passion for a given technology blinds us to the bigger picture.
If you think I'm the person in this thread who is ranting, you must have read a different thread than I did. I've been doing nothing but providing reasons why I think the product is overpriced, based on my understanding of what it takes to create such a product. And despite being accused of not knowing anything, I'm the only one who seems to have any idea what really goes into such products and how they work and the technology that they are based on, or providing any real explanation of why my position is valid. So I think your claim that I'm ranting is more than a bit biased.

And yes, I think that slick integration and packaging have value, just not that much value.
arosenbaum's Avatar arosenbaum 04:04 PM 02-24-2005
I was a Crestron customer before I was a dealer. As an IT guy buying stuff for conference rooms (lots of conference rooms) I was offended at the cost of the stuff - why didn't all this stuff just exist on PC?

As a dealer, I would love a decent, foolproof 6"-9" touch panel that's PC based. Doesn't exist. Nobu? Only 12", was something like $2200. Then I need Cinemar or something like it on top....Where is a fanless 4" PC based touch panel? I'll take linux....there are no vendors...Correction - there is are a couple of vendors taking these off-the-shelf components and turning them into in-wall controls..AMX and Crestron.

Have you tried actually substituting a touch panel from the car video world? First, you can't mount one in a wall cleanly - the bezels don't work right for drywall, there are no back-boxes available. Second where can I get an in-wall mountable PC that can be remotely powered?

The PDA world is equally at a loss. Making a PDA work as a controller is miserable. All of them suck battery life to keep the wifi alive and once it's dead, it takes 2-5 seconds to come alive again. Sort of sucks when you want to fast forward the tivo.

I'm with Alan...you can't just look at this as slick packaging, there is actual engineering out of the same raw materials we're familiar with. There is a reason a Porsche costs more than a Taurus (or even a Corvette) and it's not the cost of the steel. Without working with Crestron, you look and see packaging with little substance. If only they had decent marketing!?! Everyone there is dealing with all the little (and big) issues that come up in a home envirorment. They actually have 8-10 engineers dealing with making WinCE and WiFi work well in an home envirorment. Isn't that problem "done"? Not really, not to the standards of our customers. Without their work, this stuff wouldn't work at all and there are very, very large scale integrated houses running anything else (i.e. Crestron or AMX.)

-Aaron
www.al.net
audiblesolutions's Avatar audiblesolutions 04:09 PM 02-24-2005
Mr. Roddey:
I have neither resorted to vituperative comments nor ad hominum attacks. Are you " the only one who seems to have any idea what really goes into such products and how they work and the technology that they are based on, " and have your really provided " any real explanation of why my position is valid"? Have you actually taken the unit apart? Or are you making an assumption that no Crestron OS resides on that panel or that the built in scaler is part of some off the shelf video card? I suspect you have no idea what is QuickMedia or what technology resides within the QuickMeida boxes. I have no idea if the scaler is an off the shelf product or proprietary. I do know that the scaler in the DVP-4 is proprietary as I spoke with the gentleman who designed it. Might their scaler therefore be proprietary? How are you so sure that it is part of Direct-X or the video card? Since the unit indeed has a cresnet port how are you so certain it is running front end software? You have made assertions so far unsupported by any evidence. Were you to make specific reference to the " off the self " products and software contained in the I/O you might be more convincing.

In so far as pricing is concerned, I may agree that the price of a door contact in your alarm system is hardly worth the $10 you are paying as it reflects a markup of 800 per cent. I seriously doubt that a Lutron keypad costs Lutron anywhere near what they charge me. I am certain they are making a handsome profit. Yet they do have 24 hour tech support, training that is free to dealers, product innovation and continual software updates. Somehow these line items need to be paid for. As you will undoubtedly discover when come out with your discless e-XP configuration not all off the shelf products live up to their specifications and beta and gamma testing costs money. Nor would I undervalue a good industrial design. Just ask Meridian how important it is as one of the original partners was a famous industrial designer. I have no idea if Crestron is making money hand over fist or making a fare return on its investment. I do know this. A relative of mine using off the shelf software was able to steam video on to his cell phone running CE. Did he create value despite using off the shelf products? I think so.

Alan
Dean Roddey's Avatar Dean Roddey 07:38 PM 02-24-2005
Of course I've not taken one apart. If I had $11K to spare, buying an iSYS box and taking it apart would be somewhere belong getting a bikini wax in my list of things to do with it.

But, if you think that they actually wondered so far out of their own area of expertise and created their own scaler, I'll give another $125 in hardware costs for that, since I can buy any number of extremely powerful video cards that do excellent scaling for that or less. So that still leaves a bit over $9K to account for.

As to Meridan, they actually do provide real world class unique technology for what you buy. They created MLP which was accepted as part of the DVD-Audio and HD-DVD formats, and they provide a complete end to end digital music system that includes high resolution music formats, which almost everyone else delivers over analog outputs. That's something that they can rightly brag about and charge a premium for.

And I'm sure that Crestron can make lesser but similar claims about some of their other stuff where they did it all from the ground up. But these iSYS boxes don't fall into that category.
audiblesolutions's Avatar audiblesolutions 08:37 AM 02-25-2005
Your attacks are based upon assumptions that may or may not be accurate. But you argue as though you have special knowledge when in fact your argument is a house of cards. You assume off the shelf scaler despite the fact that they have one of their own and it would not be beyond the pale for them to place that software on a chip set and have it in the rest of their products. Of course, you could be very much correct and it is off the shelf. But you have made statements that imply certainty when you have none. Front End-back end software. Again you assume this is what is going on but as they are in partnership with both Viewsonic and Microsoft ( who is listed as a IP ) is might not be beyond the pale that they are running some sort of partitioned system with some software linking the two. Why have a Cresnet port if all one is doing is sending network commands over an Ethernet connection? Might it be because Isys panels --and the Isys IO is an Isys panel contain the same processing chip as do the control systems? The unit comes with integral serial port and I seem to recollect-- and as I do not sell it I may be in error- that it can exist as a stand alone control system.

You are also most cavaliere about the costs of R&D. It might cost 125 or 250 to manufacture a board but as your bean counters will no doubt inform you at some point R&D costs need to be accounted for and the usual time is 5 years ( I believe ) to write down these costs. Before you blithely dismiss Crestron's software accomplishments you may wish to look at some of their proprietary products. Uncompressed audio only takes up about 5MHz so the Merridian system is far less dramatic to these ears then a OS that works without the typical problems one would need to deal with if Windows were the control system OS. One of the reasons, other than liscensing fees that most every company uses proprietary firmware is control and reliability. It is far less expensive for you to develop an application using an off the shelf OS with development software than to begin from the ground up. However, it would seem obvious that pejorative comments about a competing product should be based upon intimate knowledge and not on informed speculation. I have no idea if these Isys I/O boxes are running off the shelf software with off the shelf hardware. But I think you should know that it is true before making the absolute statements above such as " these iSYS boxes don't fall into that category......, if you think that they actually wondered so far out of their own area of expertise and created their own scaler....., I would be pretty surprised if they have even $500 of hardware cost in these guys at any kind of volume...., but the bulk of it is standard Windows OS and other software, on top of which they are building a front end, much like what we are doing......" And I think you have exaggerated my points if your really believe I have" accuse[d] me of not knowing what I'm talking about, and take cheap shots at me and my product, but you don't even know what's in these boxes."

I have admitted that I do not know for certain what is in these boxes but you submit you do when you have no more knowledge than I. And at last you have admitted the same although you imply superior knowledge which it turns out is somewhat of an exaggeration. For the record, Crestron has purchased a Lutron Homeworks system as has Lutron Crestron's lighting system. I would assume that AMX has reversed engineered Crestron and Crestron AMX's products. It is intellectually dishonest to base your criticisms upon speculation when you suggest intimate knowledge. And for the record, I think the price of the 15 and 17 inch Isys IO products obscene. But I would not take a manufacturer to task and suggest he is ripping off a potential consumer without at least having intimate knowledge that what I suspected was true was in fact the case.

My only criticism about CQC is that it is a software application and not a system. You depend on an external OS and external products that you have no control over. My preference is for an integral system with a manufacturer who backs up both hardware and software products. I am tired of hearing Microsoft argue that a problem is the fault of the hardware and the hardware company argue that it is the problem of the software.

Alan
QQQ's Avatar QQQ 09:10 AM 02-25-2005
Dean,

I have one question for you. AMX is a public company and their touchscreens are comparably priced to Crestron's. Being a public company, we all have the advantage of being able to look at their P&L statements. Last I look they had a pretty typical >gross< profit margin for a manufacturer, I believe it was about 45%, i.e. if it costs them $55 they sell it for $100. So if Crestron and AMX's products are all so horribly overpriced as you claim them to be, and they are selling a touchscreen for $10,000 that has $500 worth of hardware in it, or whatever your claim was, would you please explain why their annual audited report contradicts everything you are saying?

Studiocats,

I KNOW your advice is the correct advice, but some times we all have to give in to our stupidity and I evidently have the longing today to bang my head against the wall.

What's strange is that I can so easily cede to Dean that software products have a place in the market place and aren't a "ripoff".
QQQ's Avatar QQQ 09:33 AM 02-25-2005
Quote:
Originally posted by Dean Roddey
And yes, I think that slick integration and packaging have value, just not that much value.
Lol, I just caught this gem. Unbelievable. "Slick integration and packaging" are what can make the difference between a company failing and being worth billions of dollars. One *might* call Microsoft Windows nothing but slick integration and packaging. Last I looked there were any number of superior operating systems that have come up against it and have been crushed. OS2, the Apple OS, BE to name a few. BTW, Microsoft has a gross profit margin that is truly INSANE (and enviable). Something like 85% last I looked (if it costs them $15, they sell it for $100)! But Dean thinks Crestron is ripping people off.

p.s. I'm Not saying Crestron is slick integration and packaging, they are so much more than that (and so is AMX). I just found the statement humorous.
Dean Roddey's Avatar Dean Roddey 11:31 AM 02-25-2005
Quote:
I have one question for you. AMX is a public company and their touchscreens are comparably priced to Crestron's. Being a public company, we all have the advantage of being able to look at their P&L statements.
I wasn't aware that AMX had a touch screen selling for $11K?

Quote:
One *might* call Microsoft Windows nothing but slick integration and packaging. Last I looked there were any number of superior operating systems that have come up against it and have been crushed. OS2, the Apple OS, BE to name a few.
Well, that's cute and all, but whatever you might thing, XP is something like 4 billion lines of code, and it works very well. So it's hardly just a marketing ploy. Marketing and packaging obviously does play a large part in their success, but it wouldn't help if the product didn't deliver.

Quote:
BTW, Microsoft has a gross profit margin that is truly INSANE (and enviable). Something like 85% last I looked (if it costs them $15, they sell it for $100)! But Dean thinks Crestron is ripping people off.
Can you back that up with actual numbers? They spend multiple billions on development and marketing of each new version of Windows. They obviously make some of that back up with things like Office, which are surely cash cows. But they lay out a huge amount of money in development across the board, probably more in a year than Crestron is even valuated at altogether. And they are doing a lot more than just packaging a lot of off the shelf technologies together.

Quote:
What's strange is that I can so easily cede to Dean that software products have a place in the market place and aren't a "ripoff".
Well duh, because they are very cost effective.
Dean Roddey's Avatar Dean Roddey 11:50 AM 02-25-2005
Quote:
My only criticism about CQC is that it is a software application and not a system. You depend on an external OS and external products that you have no control over. My preference is for an integral system with a manufacturer who backs up both hardware and software products. I am tired of hearing Microsoft argue that a problem is the fault of the hardware and the hardware company argue that it is the problem of the software.
Crestron does NOT control the OS or the motherboard in these iSYS boxes, so clearly Windows running on a third party motherboard is a completely acceptable at the highest end of the automation world. As long as the hardware is a known good configuration and controlled, it's a completely acceptable way to go, and it just validates what we've been saying from the beginning.

Would you like to bet me $1000 that the motherboard in these boxes isn't an off the shelf CE.Net based motherboard that they purchase from a third party? You may have to wait a while to collect if you win, but I will pay off eventually if I'm proven wrong.

As to being 'pejorative', I just said that they were overpriced. That's not pejorative, that's an opinion on the worth of the technology in the box vs. the price.
memnoch2's Avatar memnoch2 01:43 PM 02-25-2005
that's why there is so much excitement over home automation products that are priced "right". Control4 looks to gain a lot if they get their products out and tested. AMX and Crestron are priced for businesses who can easily plunk down the cash and write it off their tax returns as business expense. i and many others await for AMX or Crestron to come out with products valued more in line with average consumers or miss the boat against Control4 and the like.
QQQ's Avatar QQQ 02:07 PM 02-25-2005
Dean,

You truly scare me sometimes. If you knew even 10% as much about business as you do about writing code and could divest yourself for just one minute of being so sure you are right about everything, you'd probably already be a multi-millionaire.

Microsoft's 2004 revenue was $36,835,000,000 or 36 billion, 835 million dollars. Their cost of revenue was $6,716,000,000 or 6 billion, 716 million dollars. Guess what that equals Dean? 82% gross profit margin. They are a public company. It's not exactly difficult information to find.

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Well, that's cute and all, but whatever you might thing, XP is something like 4 billion lines of code, and it works very well.
It's a joke. Unless I install it clean on a drive I've just formatted, it usually crashes out of the box within 30 minutes on a new machine. And that's not counting the fact that it is one giant security bug, one laughable user interface, and infuriatingly irritating. I especially love the endless idiotic messages like "you have unused icons on your desktop, do you want to delete them", "cannot find the wireless conection" even when I have wireless turned OFF and a wired connection plugged into the machine. It's 4 billion lines of one GIANT JOKE.
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I wasn't aware that AMX had a touch screen selling for $11K?
Why would you be? Your suppose to be in the software business and you're not even aware of the average gross margin of software companies such as Microsoft.
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Well duh, because they are very cost effective.
Well duh, NO! If that was all that mattered you'd have more than a handful of customers, wouldn't you?

But back to my question Dean, which you ignored as expected. If Crestron and AMX have such huge absurd margins as you suggest, why isn't that reflected in AMX's annual report? Why are their margins in line with other manufacturers?

And since when does it matter if Crestrons touchscreens contain parts from other manufacturers? Probably 90% of the products in the world are not truly OEM from scratch products. Once again, your missing the forest for the trees.
QQQ's Avatar QQQ 02:13 PM 02-25-2005
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Originally posted by memnoch2
that's why there is so much excitement over home automation products that are priced "right". Control4 looks to gain a lot if they get their products out and tested. AMX and Crestron are priced for businesses who can easily plunk down the cash and write it off their tax returns as business expense. i and many others await for AMX or Crestron to come out with products valued more in line with average consumers or miss the boat against Control4 and the like.
There is undoubtedly a market for lower priced systems. That doesn;t mean that there is not also a market for high performance systems adn currently Control4 is vapor ware and is not even close to competing with AMX and Crestron who are having their best years ever. The fact that Mercedes only manufactures high-end cars does not mean they are "missing the boat". There is alwasy a tendency for consumers, myself included to assume that if a company foes not address my needs that "they are missing the boat". I do believe there is a market for both products. I do think that we may see AMX and Crestron bringing lower priced products to market in the future.
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