Is Control4 going to be perfect for a retrofit, or am I dreaming? - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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post #181 of 298 Old 05-12-2005, 11:00 AM
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Any word on the recieved equipment. The C4 thread running on Remote Central has some feedback from a user. Looking for more!
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post #182 of 298 Old 05-12-2005, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Just waiting to get everything installed. Early report from the installer close to me in Raleigh was,

"Wow! The Control4 came in last Friday, and it is even more powerful than we have anticipated. We are very pleased with our decision to commit to this manufacturer."

I'll post every detail as soon as I can get it installed.

PS-I didn't see anything over in the Remote Central Forum except QQQ, Alan and several others making fun of me and of the C4 developers. Nice.
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post #183 of 298 Old 05-12-2005, 01:12 PM
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I ordered my Control 4 equipment from a local home theatre shop. I went in there two days after they received the demo equipment. They had a couple of control4 switches working and the 10†display controlling the entire setup. They also had it tied in to an existing lighting system, a Kaleidescape server, projector and receiver. I played with the touch panel and it worked great. The only thing I did not like about lighting adjustments was that it was not real time. You must move the slider then release then it would change the light brightness. You could scroll it up and down and it would not change until you released. Not a huge deal and I’m sure its something they will fix. Mine is on order it will be here in two weeks, so they said. I will update as soon as I get it!
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post #184 of 298 Old 05-12-2005, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jacksonian
Just waiting to get everything installed. Early report from the installer close to me in Raleigh was,
Who is that? I'm in Apex and would be interested in seeing some demos.

Robert


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post #185 of 298 Old 05-12-2005, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jacksonian
PS-I didn't see anything over in the Remote Central Forum except QQQ, Alan and several others making fun of me and of the C4 developers. Nice.
That's HARDLY an accurate report is it? In fact, it's a complete distortion as far as what I wrote. "Nice".

For anyone else that's interested, the best thing to do is read that thread and judge for yourself. It will also help people to understand why some of us have a wait and see attitude. For those that don't have the time to read it the extent of my comments on the good Doc were that someone posted "I finally got that after reading a thousand posts from a Dr. that says he makes less and hour than we do, right QQQ? :-)"

and I responded:

"Ya, and he got rather irritable when I called him to task on it, didn't he :-)"?

So I guess that's what's Jacksonian considers me "making fun of him".
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post #186 of 298 Old 05-12-2005, 03:48 PM
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I read that thread. some of the snipes were a bit childish but I can certainly understand how those who were burned in the past with phast are taking a wait-and-see attitude.

I thought QQQ actually presented his case pretty well. no_prize for you!



but I can't wait to hear a few more reports on this stuff. seems like it has some excellent pricing schemas to get in the lower end installs (ie: me)
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post #187 of 298 Old 05-12-2005, 03:56 PM - Thread Starter
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robertmee,
Talk to Chip Johnson at Vision Integrated Systems in Raleigh. There was another C4 certified dealer there too called Dr. Video but I didn't talk to them.

QQQ,
Your comments here would be useful if you'll check out the C4 system for yourself and tell us your thoughts. It's not vaporware anymore. Otherwise, I really don't see anything constructive that you could offer here.
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post #188 of 298 Old 05-12-2005, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jacksonian
QQQ,
Your comments here would be useful if you'll check out the C4 system for yourself and tell us your thoughts. It's not vaporware anymore. Otherwise, I really don't see anything constructive that you could offer here.
Well thanks for letting me know you don't think I can offer anything constructive here. Last I noticed I wasn't commenting here except to dispel your complete mis-charaterization of what I said over at Remote Central. Which I can see has once again irritated you, resulting in your snide remark. And yes, I'll be testing Control4. I prefer to wait for some reports from others first though.
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post #189 of 298 Old 05-12-2005, 05:18 PM - Thread Starter
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You're welcome.

Up until this week, we were forced to sit and read posts from you and Alan about how it's all vaporware and the old PHAST fiasco and how this isn't possible and won't work, blah, blah, blah.

So, now the product has shipped, people have it in their hands. There's no more whining about missed ship dates. You can't offer anything constructive here if you haven't tested the system yourself. So either test the system and write something intelligent about it or check out.

Why would you wait for reports from others first? Put your money where your mouth is, I did. Aren't you a dealer/installer? Can't you get access to this system? Can't you go to your local shop like Spbarr did and see the system? What are you waiting for?
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post #190 of 298 Old 05-12-2005, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jacksonian
You're welcome.

Up until this week, we were forced to sit and read posts from you and Alan about how it's all vaporware and the old PHAST fiasco and how this isn't possible and won't work, blah, blah, blah.

So, now the product has shipped, people have it in their hands. There's no more whining about missed ship dates. You can't offer anything constructive here if you haven't tested the system yourself. So either test the system and write something intelligent about it or check out.

Why would you wait for reports from others first? Put your money where your mouth is, I did. Aren't you a dealer/installer? Can't you get access to this system? Can't you go to your local shop like Spbarr did and see the system? What are you waiting for?
You can keep completely misrepresenting what I have said but that won't make it so.

As for the last part, I am waiting for others to test it first. I have limited time. If they report positively than I will proceed. I am in no hurry. I can't/won't install untested products on my customers and prefer to see them tested for a while first. Not a bit different than corporations that prefer to wait before jumping on every new MS OS.
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post #191 of 298 Old 05-12-2005, 07:23 PM
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Any word on pricing?
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post #192 of 298 Old 05-12-2005, 08:59 PM
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I think I saw an estimated price list in the thread on remotecentral.com but I've also seen some of th epricing by asking a local dealer, they gladly faxed over a quote sheet.
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post #193 of 298 Old 05-12-2005, 09:09 PM
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Thought I would chime in here. I just spent a large amount of time reading the rc board's thoughts on Control4 and I can't believe I wasted my time.

Strangly enough, Alan was the sanest of the bunch! While I have read some of his stuff around here and thought he could be a bit opinionated, over there he sounds like a voice of reason!

Taking pot shots at AVS members is about the dumbest thing I can imagine. I really don't see what a custom installer has to gain by making fun of people who spend a ton of money on AV gear. While some of us may want to do some things ourselves, it is more likely that we will use the services of custom installers for at least some part of our AV system.

Those posts make custom installers look like a bunch of whining babies.

As for the Control4 product, it is troubling that the whole conversation is based on a failure by some of the founding members of the company. I can undetstand being wary of using the company, especially with the bad experience in the past, but to completely bad mouth it without testing it is an embarrassment. It is a different product. Why not give them the benefit of the doubt and actually wait to comment until you have tested the product.

The Director of Development (sales?) offered to provide any installer with a test system for 30 days at no cost. So, for those wary custom installers, why not take him up on the offer and form your own opinion. If it sucks, then no loss, but if it works, well maybe you have found another revenue stream.

Instead of complaining and bitching about the past, why not act like good business people and do the research yourselves. Then form an opinion. What a concept!

Just some thoughts from an outside observer who thinks a lot less of custom installers after reading the thread over at RC. (To be fair, I think a lot more of Alan after reading his comments!)

Joe
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post #194 of 298 Old 05-12-2005, 09:55 PM
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Joe

I have been to C4 training. Played with the software and hardware as posted here and elsewhere. The gripes over at RS are real and cost money. I've seen many issues with the previous products AND with the C4 products that still was in beta in Jan. 05.

The C4 product was designed for the masses not the rich guys. In the CI business 99% of our business is all referral. 100K projects over a conservation. Happened yesterday. That kind of money merits very reliable products and programming. I found C4 not reliable yet nor even finished to the extent that our business can stand behind it. Every time a product fails I hear about it once in about ten times. The other 9 times are infront of potential clients. A few calls and that client is disappointed and there goes that customer and my profit. Better yet the amount of profit very soon is eaten up then your paying out of pocket to fix the problem. Add this up over several years as it's a product you sold and must support after all.

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post #195 of 298 Old 05-12-2005, 10:43 PM
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David, I agree 100%. Control4 was not designed for someone wanting to spend $100k on a project. I also agree that past problems were and are real and expensive. I also agree there were probably issues with the C4 beta products.

That said, why not test it now. The initial consumer ready product has shipped. An offer for a free 30 day trial has been made. See what it is like. Make a decision now instead of saying such negative things and complaining about it. Or if you want to wait until the bugs are out, then wait, but if you are going to wait, don't take pot shots at another company's product if you have not tested it. It's the easy way out and makes the negative poster look childish. (David, when I use the term "you", I don't mean you per se)

If you look at the thread on RC from the consumer's point of view I believe you will begin to understand my previous post. As a consumer, I am looking for real life information on the product, but instead get a litney of complaints and negativity about a product that no-one in the thread had tested in its current state.

Look, if you test it and it sucks, fine. But if you just think it is going to suck, and keep on saying it sucks without testing it, then that is just plain wrong.

And to ridicule people here on AVS, and one person in particular who was just looking for some info on a product, is just plain unprofessional - which is how your the bulk of your industry appears to me after reading that thread on RC.

Again, just one guy's opinion.

Joe
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post #196 of 298 Old 05-12-2005, 11:19 PM
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Quote:
The Director of Development (sales?) offered to provide any installer with a test system for 30 days at no cost. So, for those wary custom installers, why not take him up on the offer and form your own opinion. If it sucks, then no loss, but if it works, well maybe you have found another revenue stream.
Well, that's not really true. To really evaluate a product of this sort will require weeks of effort that won't be going into other money making activity. Just plugging it in and dimming some lights won't be enough. You'll need to set up a real scenario and really use it in real world circumstances to see if it actually works. That's not a trivial thing to do, since most folks could only do that at their home, and they already have an installed system there that would have to be replaced.

OTOH, if you know it's good, because other people have said so, or at least if you know what level of goodness or badness it as at in various parts of the product, because other people have said so, then you can have a good idea of whether those weeks will be wasted or not. Those other people will be the brave ones who just bought it and installed it in a real world scenario and used it in a way that will prove conclusively whether it works well and reliably or not.

Given that there's probably no huge hit to wait, i.e. probably not a lot of business lost in the time between now and when some unbiased reports start coming in, due to not supporting C4, it's probably a lot easier for installers to just see what happens.

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post #197 of 298 Old 05-12-2005, 11:41 PM
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Can we please, puhleeeaaase focus on C4.

Let's just stop speculation, bickering, and sour grapes. Or at least take it offline.

I've read all the Control4 threads, on AVS and RC. To those that have been hurt by Phast -- we've heard you. We understand your pain and sympathise. But C4 is not Phast. Though some of the players are the same, the company Control4 does not owe anyone any apologies for what *the company* Phast did, right or wrong.

Oh, and when the product comes out, and it has its inevitable first generation bugs, don't y'all jump off with a major I TOLD YOU SO!!! IT HAS BUGS! Duh. Every product has bugs. My new car, not first generation by any stretch nor a new model year, with all its 'precision german engineering' has bugs and defects.

And finally, to all who are reporting positives (or negatives) about C4, thanks! Good to hear something about the product now that it's a reality.

Cheers,
Max
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post #198 of 298 Old 05-13-2005, 05:07 AM
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Max

Heard you! Why do we( QQQ, Alan and I) post? Help others! We honestly don't care to see people our of their money. That all.
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post #199 of 298 Old 05-13-2005, 05:29 AM - Thread Starter
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David, your posts have truly been helpful and constructive. And I tried to take the pieces of the others' posts that had some good info, but the other junk always made me question their opinion. I started this thread to get information, not to be a C4 fanboy or to argue with anyone.

Hopefully I can get my system installed in the next few days and start posting my review of the equipment. And I'll post every little good and bad point I can find. I expect it to have a few bugs, and I expect to find a lot of things I would want to improve upon. But I also hope to be very pleased with the product.

I'm going to be doing the programming and setup all by myself. I have zero programming experience unless you count my Harmony remote. I wouldn't even attempt macros on the MX-500 I bought before it.
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post #200 of 298 Old 05-13-2005, 07:26 AM
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I was hoping to steer clear of this whole issue but I can't, in good conscience without defending two of the posters on the remotecontrol forum; QQQ and Alan .

I agree that there was a lot of whining going on and plenty of insults hurled at us DIY'ers . BUT, if you read the whole thread you will note QQQ not only defending us, the DIYer, but actually stating that he has learned from us !!!

I have been coming to this forum for years and both QQQ and more recently Alan have done more to help me learn about this stuff than I could ever possibly learn elsewhere .
AND, they've offered even more help off-line . Not just information either; real tangible help . And I'd be defending Alan even if he weren't as open-minded on this topic .

Remotecemtral tends to have more pros, AVS more DIY'ers . We lurk on their forum and I'm sure they lurk on ours . But QQQ and Alan are the only ones that have the balls to consistently post on both . They are the only ones who look at this stuff as more than just a way to make money . How much money do they make giving us free advice ?

It's ironic that since they started that other thread that C4 has proved it's not vaporware , people are actually setting up their systems, but they're still barely talking about how well it does, or doesn't work . Let's not let our thread go so far off course .
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post #201 of 298 Old 05-13-2005, 07:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Agreed. So let's start fresh and keep it limited strictly to the function of the function of the actual product.

I'm hoping to be able to start with a review of the Media Controller functions as early as tonight or tomorrow morning.

I can say this already. The Media Controller has a nice solid feel, and the LCD display is very bright and clear. There was something rolling around in it that sounded like a tiny screw maybe, but it doesn't seem to be an issue. I plugged it in to the power, plugged it in to my router, and it instantly acquired my network settings. I put in a CD and it instantly pulled up the disc info. It allowed me to go ahead and rip the CD to the hard drive. That's without running the Composer software yet.
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post #202 of 298 Old 05-13-2005, 07:57 AM
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You've already posted more REAL info on C4 than that entire other thread :).

That already sounds encouraging . Thanks to you and others that are taking the time to let us know how it's going . Not to mention the risk of being the first to try this system out .
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post #203 of 298 Old 05-13-2005, 08:09 AM
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I also have the media receiver. I have a similar experience to Jacksonian. Plugged the unit in, connected the router and the media receiver recognized the connection. I dropped a cd in the unit and it identified the disc using AMG and ripped the disc to the harddrive. That is all I have been able to do. Without the composer software I am unable to get the unit to playback any music or access any menu's. You also need composer to connect the remote to the system, so the remote doesn't work yet either.

I feel that the build quality of the media controller is somewhat lacking. The plastic case and control buttons feel cheap. The disc loader tray feels very cheap. It took more than 10 minutes to rip a CD. I am thinking that ripping to a PC and then transferring to the media controller may be the fastest route. I hope they soon offer other supported formats such as apple lossless or WMA lossless.

The remote feels solid and well built.

The dimmers and switches have the same feel as lutron dimmer you would buy at HD (that is, pretty good).

These are all just superficial observations. I wish the system had a way to work in a basic mode with out using the composer software. I will post more once I get the system setup tonight.
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post #204 of 298 Old 05-13-2005, 08:21 AM
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The lighting is what I am most interested in but also scares me the most . If the music server has a problem, not that big a deal . If the lighting breaks down, very big deal . Plus, I have about 50 switches I'd like to automate, I wouldn't want to have to replace them if there's a problem .(That seemed to be the biggest problem with Phast) . Same with HVAC and security system; these are what I consider to be critical systems .
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post #205 of 298 Old 05-13-2005, 08:24 AM
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I hope they support Mac too . I also have a PC, but all my music is on the Mac and iPod .
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post #206 of 298 Old 05-13-2005, 08:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Although I wasn't as disappointed with the build quality as Stash, I agree with his assessment. Rip time was too slow. I too will consider ripping it to the laptop and then transferring it. My main request for the MC right now would be to support a lossless codec as others have suggested.

I'm also interested to see how easily an external hard drive can be added and how seamlessly it integrates with the MC for extra storage. A lossless codec would be nice, otherwise I'll be ripping mine uncompressed.
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post #207 of 298 Old 05-13-2005, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by AJF
I hope they support Mac too . I also have a PC, but all my music is on the Mac and iPod .
Given how happy the music industry is to sue over copy write issues and the entire point of .aac files was to prevent copy write violations I would venture a guess that they would not inherently support the system. Mac allows for transfer as it is their format under their control. But you are a smart guy and probably know how to work around this small problem.

Alan
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post #208 of 298 Old 05-13-2005, 12:14 PM
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I'm not as smart as you think I am Alan :) .
Can it be done as an AAC file or must it be converted to MP3 ?
Actually, I also meant that I hoped they would write the Composer software for Mac .
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post #209 of 298 Old 05-13-2005, 02:51 PM
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jacksonian and Stash -- how loud is that media server, its fan, drive, etc?

I also want a Mac version. :) And a lossless codec.

Thanks for all updates,

Max
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post #210 of 298 Old 05-13-2005, 03:00 PM
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The unit is near silent. When I get my pictures posted that I took of the Media Server you'll be able to see inside as well - I popped the top - nice lid design I might add. There is a small fan on the power supply. Much more quiet than any Tivo. Also, they're using the 7200 RPM Barracuda Hard Drive (very quiet.)

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