Crestron responds to Control 4, Adagio at CEDIA - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 279 Old 09-18-2005, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by QQQ
Crestron will offer full integration with Windows Media Center. And the product is based on XP embedded. So while I have not had time to review the product yet, I suspect you will be able to add as much storage as you like, one way or another.
That's great. I hope AMX follows this. I am using VNC from my wireless panels to view and control my media center PC, but it is slow and at times unresponsive. So most of the time I just use the IR controller to the MCE machine.

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post #92 of 279 Old 09-18-2005, 04:23 PM
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I am excited about the adaigo products. But you are still talking two different price points. The control4 stuff has it's place. I just hope they stick around.

As far as retrofit installation control4 taakes the cake.

As far as customization crestron is the only way to go.

The fact that I can sell a $600 Control4 HTC with every TV and give the Cx a nice on screen interface to the entire system and a universal remote is strong. Once control4 releases the ir input codes it will be even stronger.

The new crestron remote that is coming out, the isys mini, sound extremely cool. A two way handheld touchscreen is definetly a needed piece for both companies.

I have installed the control4 10.5". At $2000 dollars it is hard to beat. No programing whatsoever. Take it out of the box nad you are controlling an existing system within seconds. For the price the form factor is awesome. Also the hard buttons on the right side work great. Scrolling through an on screen guide is very easy with those butoons.

All in all I think alot is going to change in this arena.

The control4 stuff deffinetly has potential. The amp souds good. the controllers have all kinds of expansion. The fact that I can add contact and relay's wirelesly. The hardware is all there to do just about anything. I think that if control 4 focuses it's efforts on coming out with new software we will see some really cool features.

Already in the works supposedly are a SDK to allow two way RS-232 drivers to be created, integration of IP cameras, and display of those cameras directly on any user interface. Like I said the hardware is all there today to do this. We just need to see how creative they get with hteir software.

The only big problem I have with control4 at this point is the lack of a way to customize the gui.

If I want to put an aspect ratio button for example on a satellite page I can't. You are stuck with thier predrawn pages.

Technically this is really easy to fix. But how they integrate it into their programing software is a different question.

I was also leary of their light switches at first. In the pictures the looked too x10ish. But after installing them I thik their great. Very nice for the price.


I truly hope for the best for control4. But I also want to see crestron come out with more products along the lines of thae Adaigo.
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post #93 of 279 Old 09-18-2005, 04:29 PM
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jayson,

I think that's one of the more objective comparisons I've seen.
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post #94 of 279 Old 09-18-2005, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJF
Alan has recaptured his "bete noir"status .
At least it wasn't me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiblesolutions
Elan, despite the dribble from Elan dealers I have read on this site, is a waste of your money.
Oh contraire mon frair, (did I spell that correctly?) Elan seems to be very cost effective. There does seem to be little support here for Elan however?!?!

But I don't mean to distract from the current Adiago vs C4 debate...very good reading!

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post #95 of 279 Old 09-18-2005, 05:13 PM
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Interestingly enough, I suspect it is the Elan's of the world that may be hit harder by the likes of Control4 than Crestron and AMX.
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post #96 of 279 Old 09-18-2005, 05:22 PM
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We would be selling Elan if they were worth it to us. I went by the Elan booth at CEDIA again this year. Stiil the crappy looking LCD panels. And Yes for the DIY when I lived in Lexington, KY (Home of Elan) I serviced their products installed by other dealers so I have been in the building and walking in with products and out with them as well. So we are not all full of BS. QQQ on the other hand. ! :D


QQQ I agree. Elan is in trouble. I'm not sure what the deal is but someone needs to take charge at Elan.
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post #97 of 279 Old 09-19-2005, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by David Richardson
We would be selling Elan if they were worth it to us. I went by the Elan booth at CEDIA again this year. Stiil the crappy looking LCD panels.
What is it about the LCD panels specifically that you don't like? The aesthetics of the screens or the picture quality?

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post #98 of 279 Old 09-19-2005, 06:07 PM
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If you care less about performance & more about price then as usual, Crestron is probably not for you. The price of this new system is not much more then the C4.

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post #99 of 279 Old 09-19-2005, 08:47 PM
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I am going to move this back to the top following all of that ruckus in the C4 thread. But one very big and not so unimportant difference between C4 and the Adagio has been highlighted in the foolish software C4 has unleashed upon an unsuspecting public. It is very common for serial protocols for the most common items found in the most basic automation systems to require coding for volume up/down and Channel up/down that requires the programmer to generate actual values. Unlike IR where you send the volume up or down code and the device responds, serial protocols often force you to send individual, incremental values to raise or lower volume.

You cannot send a volume up or down press. You must build a string with the value increasing or decreasing from its minimum to its maximum value. The Adagio will have no problem with this. If a particular driver is not in the Crestron data base that comes with the unit any dealer not merely interested in transhipping goods to increase his sales can and would create that driver, including the volume and channel logic that C4 cannot reproduce, for you.

This sort of code is so commonplace that I cannot believe the folks in Utah failed to include it. What sorts of devices require this kind of coding? Most every plasma on the market ( LG is an exception in that it also has IR codes included in its serial protocol ), near every receiver with a serial connection, most surround pre/pros. Price is important. But is not a working system equally as important? Is not the ability to create drivers, even one way drivers for the most common equipment found in most every system a factor of some importance?

Somewhere I read a post or comment from a DIY stating that he would only install an IP based system in this day and age. Fine. We do recognize that there is a NIC in the Adagio. Simpl, Crestron's programming language supports all manor of IP controllable protocols and equipment. Yet it also supports the most typical installation found in 90 per cent of homes: centralized speaker wiring. Finally a control system that cannot support or will not allow either the dealer or end user to write the most common and basic code for the equipment it is most likely to control is a fraud.

AJF: Will you remind me again why you are all falling over yourselves to install this trash in your homes? I do understand the value of frugality. I also understand the value of keeping a promise and first principals. A control system must control the most common devices it will encounter. Placing an emitter on a flat panel ought not to be an acceptable solution. Not providing the software tools to permit those outside the company to make the most basic drivers for code most often found in the typical system is beyond the scope of my comprehension. I keep expecting the hosannahs to emanate from the faithful but I am astounded by the relative calm. A real product at real world price points should cause
more clamour. No wonder Mr. Gist does not wish for me to obtain his software. He is probably too embarrassed, contemplating P. T. Barnum while laughing all the way to the bank. All I can say is ain't it a shame.

And even my mistakes in pricing the two systems end up with both systems at more or less the same price. The Crestron will end up costing a bit more. The lighting and HVAC products will surely place the Crestron a few thousand dollars more expensive. But is saving 2 or 3k really more important than having a working system?

Alan
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post #100 of 279 Old 09-19-2005, 08:55 PM
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Alan,

You are a hoot and I mean that in the nicest sense. You may think I have the wit but that post had me smiling even if it wasn't in a "ha ha" way. I hope to comment shortly.
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post #101 of 279 Old 09-19-2005, 09:41 PM
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Alan,

Here is what Control4 knows. I was worried until recently that AMX and Crestron didn't fully know it but now I'm convinced they do. They know that the KEY to this market, to making hundreds of millions and even billions lies in eliminating the programming involved in what we do. In other words, making it as "plug and play" as possible. Because no matter how cheap the equipment gets, until it is close to "plug and play" it won't be mass marketable. As long as you have to call a programmer just because you want to change the model of your DVD player, it's a problem. As such, while the inability to write even a basic serial driver is somewhat humorous, it certainly doesn't surprise me too much that they wouldn't see it as necessity to have to bring the product to market, and there's certainly nothing inherantly "wrong" with a product just because you can't write a serial driver. i.e. it's not a defect or bug, just a limitation.

But although it doesn't surprise me, it would concern me if I was a potential client, and does concerns me as a (potential) dealer. It doesn't seem like the ability to write a basic serial driver is something that should be missing from a product that portends to be the future of home automation, especially since right now it is dependent on the CEDIA channel (i.e. it's Not a Best Buy/Home Depot product yet) and that channel needs to be able to write a driver. It makes me wonder if their software has some weaknesses that they haven't yet incorporated something so basic into it. On the other hand, I suppose similar charges could be made in reverse about AMX and Crestron having so much power but not having very good wizards. But that is changing...

Anyhow, for those interested, Crestron sees the need for eliminating programming with Adagio and System Builder. And AMX just released Visual Architect, which is meant to eliminate programming and allow swapping of devices and such with no new programming required.
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post #102 of 279 Old 09-19-2005, 10:38 PM
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I might take issue with your historical analysis in one respect. ( In speaking about Crestron and in no way mean to slight AMX only I am far less aware of their software history. ) Crestron, going back to AppBuilder has made attempts at coming up with software solutions that did not require programming. They have made progress to varrying degrees and at this point SystemBuilder is almost acceptable.

The real breakthrough probably did come from C4. It was the idea of auto discovery and/or programming without having to use a computer. Even software wizards will affect sales. I think what C4 helped to clarify for Crestron was that it was not either/ or. They could produce a product like Adagio which could be programmed by anyone out of the box. Or it could be taken to the next level and the next level by a programmer in service of a client's needs until the client or programmer could go no father. Adagio must have been in the works for some time. The OEM deals alone must have taken quite some time, let along conception, design, test, build and beta and product run. I do need to get hold of one to see if their programming GUI is a winner.

Alan
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post #103 of 279 Old 09-20-2005, 05:50 AM
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most interesting new Crestron product

I have an Elan HD 4500 series system with Z keypads and want to upgrade to touchpanels

my dealer showed me the Adagio and that seems like a perfect solution for me particularly because there is little or no programming involved and my existing wiring will support the Adagio system:

it is cheaper to install the Crestron system than to upgrade the Elan
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post #104 of 279 Old 09-20-2005, 06:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiblesolutions
.....I keep expecting the hosannahs to emanate from the faithful but I am astounded by the relative calm.... Alan
Man Alan, you really like playing with fire .....and Brimstone ! I'm going to pray for you as soon as I'm done posting . :)

I haven't done anything anything yet . I'm sure you and especially QQQ (and everyone else) are tired of hearing me talk about automating my house and still not do it . Either myself or by hiring a pro . I'M tired of hearing me . The problem these new Crestron products cause for me is that I'll be waiting again .

And the shortcomings of C4 that you have pointed out make me think that I SHOULD wait . But then again, the Crestron system sounds like it isn't something that I can handle as far as programming is concerned once I add lighting, HVAC etc .

Wow, i really sound like a candidate for the "Can Someone Tell Me What to Do?" thread . .
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Wow, i really sound like a candidate for the "Can Someone Tell Me What to Do?" thread . .
Join the club.

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post #106 of 279 Old 09-20-2005, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiblesolutions
I am going to move this back to the top following all of that ruckus in the C4 thread. But one very big and not so unimportant difference between C4 and the Adagio has been highlighted in the foolish software C4 has unleashed upon an unsuspecting public. It is very common for serial protocols for the most common items found in the most basic automation systems to require coding for volume up/down and Channel up/down that requires the programmer to generate actual values. Unlike IR where you send the volume up or down code and the device responds, serial protocols often force you to send individual, incremental values to raise or lower volume.

You cannot send a volume up or down press. You must build a string with the value increasing or decreasing from its minimum to its maximum value. The Adagio will have no problem with this. If a particular driver is not in the Crestron data base that comes with the unit any dealer not merely interested in transhipping goods to increase his sales can and would create that driver, including the volume and channel logic that C4 cannot reproduce, for you.

This sort of code is so commonplace that I cannot believe the folks in Utah failed to include it. What sorts of devices require this kind of coding? Most every plasma on the market ( LG is an exception in that it also has IR codes included in its serial protocol ), near every receiver with a serial connection, most surround pre/pros. Price is important. But is not a working system equally as important? Is not the ability to create drivers, even one way drivers for the most common equipment found in most every system a factor of some importance?

Somewhere I read a post or comment from a DIY stating that he would only install an IP based system in this day and age. Fine. We do recognize that there is a NIC in the Adagio. Simpl, Crestron's programming language supports all manor of IP controllable protocols and equipment. Yet it also supports the most typical installation found in 90 per cent of homes: centralized speaker wiring. Finally a control system that cannot support or will not allow either the dealer or end user to write the most common and basic code for the equipment it is most likely to control is a fraud.

AJF: Will you remind me again why you are all falling over yourselves to install this trash in your homes? I do understand the value of frugality. I also understand the value of keeping a promise and first principals. A control system must control the most common devices it will encounter. Placing an emitter on a flat panel ought not to be an acceptable solution. Not providing the software tools to permit those outside the company to make the most basic drivers for code most often found in the typical system is beyond the scope of my comprehension. I keep expecting the hosannahs to emanate from the faithful but I am astounded by the relative calm. A real product at real world price points should cause
more clamour. No wonder Mr. Gist does not wish for me to obtain his software. He is probably too embarrassed, contemplating P. T. Barnum while laughing all the way to the bank. All I can say is ain't it a shame.

And even my mistakes in pricing the two systems end up with both systems at more or less the same price. The Crestron will end up costing a bit more. The lighting and HVAC products will surely place the Crestron a few thousand dollars more expensive. But is saving 2 or 3k really more important than having a working system?

Alan
Alan:

I have a few questions/comments about your post:

You talk a lot about the 2 way serial situation with C4...I do agree that they still have work to do there...and so do they!
But I seem to see this in a somewhat different way than you and some of the others here do. The C4 system is a HOME automation system not a THEATRE automation system. It's focus is whole home control...not that media rooms are not part of the whole, but if you are starting out, and we must remember that C4 is just starting out, wouldn't you put your priority on the home as opposed to just one part of it?
Don't worry the Media controls will improve in fact take a look at the wireless extender from C4...rs232 over wireless network to the processor...they did not make that to not use it .

As one user I am not concerned about the lack at this time of 2 way 232... I'm not spending al of this $$ to make a uber pronto...I want to control the major systems of my home- lighting,security,HVAC, provide whole house access to my digital audio files,ect. There are a lot of way less expensive ways to make a fancy remote for my media room. When I can add that to my system in a cost effective way...fine.

The "DIY" that you remember saying he would only install an IP system was me. I guess I still have not done a good job of explaining that to you. Yes the Adagio has a NIC in it...but what can I do with it. Can I use it to route audio to other parts of my home...no. Can I use it to access the multi-terabytes of storage that you will find hanging off of servers on my home network...Maybe (it is after all running Windows in there, And for me that’s a good thing.) But it's not stated as far as I know that I can do that. Can I do control with out having to run "special" wiring to Control points...no...OK that's a kind of. The reason for IP control is two fold...First it brings a standard to the table that’s NOT under the control of the automation provider...so that if next year I decide I hate what I have...no problem change the equipment and go on. Secondly (and this is more for me than most people I do understand) I hope that I have given you a idea that I am a big computer geek and have lots of stuff in my home that most people do not have at least on the scale that I have it. - I after all run a full Microsoft Exchange 2003 corporate level email system in my home. So for me my house is all ready an IP home and adding a few ports to that is much easier that adding a whole new control system and its wiring.

Speaking of wiring….you said “Yet it also supports the most typical installation found in 90 per cent of homes: centralized speaker wiring." I do not know a single person that has this wiring in their home. Sure I have seen some new homes built that included it at the request of the owner or his CI…but NO builder installs this wiring as part of the “standard†in a home. Again with IP you have wireless for those that are not running a whole house network in their home. If I were building a new home of ANY price and was given the choice of spending my $ on installing Cat5/6A cable or crestnet and speaker wire…that’s a decision that would not take me very long to make. The long term value of Cat5/6A is so far off the charts over crestnet/speaker wire…its not even funny.

I should point out that I do understand that the Crestron system is a new announce and that it has been stated that we do not know all that is planed. So all of the things that I have “complained†about may over time show up on the Adagio, but do not underestimate the value of the “plug and play†nature of the C4 products as QQQ has pointed out …it is the most important part of what they have done- and I understand the part of it that makes guys like you who make money programming stuff a bit apprehensive.


You implied in your post that C4 will not let you evaluate their solution...I've seen them post here several times third any CI could contact them and they would sent out an eval SYSTEM...not just the software...is there something that we do not know there?
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post #107 of 279 Old 09-20-2005, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddD
Speaking of wiring….you said “Yet it also supports the most typical installation found in 90 per cent of homes: centralized speaker wiring." I do not know a single person that has this wiring in their home. Sure I have seen some new homes built that included it at the request of the owner or his CI…but NO builder installs this wiring as part of the “standard†in a home. Again with IP you have wireless for those that are not running a whole house network in their home. If I were building a new home of ANY price and was given the choice of spending my $ on installing Cat5/6A cable or crestnet and speaker wire…that’s a decision that would not take me very long to make. The long term value of Cat5/6A is so far off the charts over crestnet/speaker wire…its not even funny.
First, let me say that I'm someone building a new home, a computer geek of sorts, a person who has tends more toward DIY than CI(although the older I get the more I tend towards CI), and a recent purchaser of a Control4 system.

The IP aspect of Control4 is great and all, but honestly, do you really think it's a "standard"? Yes, it uses standard Cat5/6 cabling, but in the scheme of things, cabling isn't the biggest cost associated with the system, it's the components / gear.

If you're already going to pull Cat5/6, there's really not that much difference in pulling speaker wire as well. This is especially true of new construction and remodeling. Yes, the wireless aspect of C4 is pretty cool, but wherever possible I'm using hard wired connections. All my cables are home run (RG6, Cat5e, Speaker) because that gives me the most flexibility. I did the same thing when I was remodeling my last house as well, in many cases with walls in place.

The fact is, no matter what wire you pull now, you'll need something different down the road, or more of it, or a different grade of it, or something.

I personally think that it's great that both C4 and Crestron have something in this price range. Competition only helps the consumer. I chose C4 just before Adagio was released, but I would probably choose it again. That doesn't mean I don't think the Adagio system would be great, it's just a choice.

I WILL say though, that the idea of using an iPod-like interface on a touchscreen makes me nauseous. It's a fine interface when you've got 100 songs, but when you start to grow the library it's a PITA. I'd much rather see an iTunes-like interface, especially with smart playlists, but that's just me...
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post #108 of 279 Old 09-20-2005, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tshepherd
First, let me say that I'm someone building a new home, a computer geek of sorts, a person who has tends more toward DIY than CI(although the older I get the more I tend towards CI), and a recent purchaser of a Control4 system.

The IP aspect of Control4 is great and all, but honestly, do you really think it's a "standard"? Yes, it uses standard Cat5/6 cabling, but in the scheme of things, cabling isn't the biggest cost associated with the system, it's the components / gear.

If you're already going to pull Cat5/6, there's really not that much difference in pulling speaker wire as well. This is especially true of new construction and remodeling. Yes, the wireless aspect of C4 is pretty cool, but wherever possible I'm using hard wired connections. All my cables are home run (RG6, Cat5e, Speaker) because that gives me the most flexibility. I did the same thing when I was remodeling my last house as well, in many cases with walls in place.

The fact is, no matter what wire you pull now, you'll need something different down the road, or more of it, or a different grade of it, or something.

I personally think that it's great that both C4 and Crestron have something in this price range. Competition only helps the consumer. I chose C4 just before Adagio was released, but I would probably choose it again. That doesn't mean I don't think the Adagio system would be great, it's just a choice.

I WILL say though, that the idea of using an iPod-like interface on a touchscreen makes me nauseous. It's a fine interface when you've got 100 songs, but when you start to grow the library it's a PITA. I'd much rather see an iTunes-like interface, especially with smart playlists, but that's just me...
I can not think of any standard thats more standard than ethernet over cat 5/6.
Sure you could argue that speaker wire is very strandard too! :)

My point is that with Automation or without it, I am going to pull cable for networking...going to have 802.11 wireless...going to have PoE...These are all standards that I would use in any event...So to be able to add the automation without adding ANY other wiring is a big plus. I also am sure that we are going to see more IP convergence over time not less- The cool thing about Control4 for me is this...I picked the equipment I wanted to control BEFORE I picked the automation vendor and Control4 Supports it all right out of the box and does not require me to add any wiring , or do any programing....it just all works
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post #109 of 279 Old 09-20-2005, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by audiblesolutions
C4 IPOD Interface Does not exist

Alan
Incorrect...You can currently plug any iPod into the USB port of any C4 controller and the music is automatically recognized and populated on all interfaces, including the GUI. As soon as you unplug the iPod, the music disappears. Also, you can stream MULTIPLE streams from a single iPod. Finally, you can utilize a USB to CAT-5 extender to place your standard iPod docks around the house anywhere you have a free piece of CAT-5. Pretty cool.

Brent Huskins
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post #110 of 279 Old 09-21-2005, 02:55 AM
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Originally Posted by audiblesolutions
Be patient or observant as to what is shown on the Crestron web site. There will soon be a remote available and it will not be OEM'ed from Universal Remote Control. It will be the remote most used with the Adagio and it will be RF and have a substantial touch sensitive LCD screen.
While I am curious to learn more details about the new Isys touchscreen remote, at the moment I am more interested in knowing Crestron's plans for the ML-500 and its successors. I would like to see a newer version of the ML-500 that is based on the MX-850 form factor (with a discrete "enter" button instead of the five-way cursor/select keypad) and updated software that allows page flips on the device. Does anyone have any insight into Crestron's plans for this device?
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post #111 of 279 Old 09-21-2005, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by ToddD

You talk a lot about the 2 way serial situation with C4...I do agree that they still have work to do there...and so do they!
But I seem to see this in a somewhat different way than you and some of the others here do. The C4 system is a HOME automation system not a THEATRE automation system. It's focus is whole home control...not that media rooms are not part of the whole, but if you are starting out, and we must remember that C4 is just starting out, wouldn't you put your priority on the home as opposed to just one part of it?
Don't worry the Media controls will improve in fact take a look at the wireless extender from C4...rs232 over wireless network to the processor...they did not make that to not use it . ?
I am less concerned with bidirectional protocol than I am with the ability to generate the most typical serial strings you will find in the equipment you will find in a typical installation. If you had to use Brand X thermostat with C4 then soit-il. It is a design limitation of the system and that is fine. You concentrate on whole house automation as though controlling a TV or a DVD is separate from that. I would think that control of HVAC, lighting and security would be important but less important than controlling the A/V equipment that will be used everyday. You set you thermostats and forget them. You may wish to see what lights are on in the home and it is certainly a value added luxury not to have to get out of bed to turn off the lights when the switches are located at the door.

If you look at Joemci's issues you may understand my frustration. He wishes to use his controller to control the regular functions of a TV. Turn it on/off, switch inputs, channel up/down and control volume. These are not fancy conditionals that require complicated switch/case logic. But the engineers who wrote the serial protocol employ logic that requires dynamic logic. But the C4 wizard only permits static strings to be coded. Controlling volume on a TV, or surround receiver is not, in my opinion, fancy coding. Once C4 winds up in Best Buy or Walmart do not be surprised if you find the protocols modified to accept static strings for volume up and down. But until someone with sufficient clout bangs the heads on those software engineers the control system will have to be flexible enough to accommodate those common eventualities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddD
The "DIY" that you remember saying he would only install an IP system was me. I guess I still have not done a good job of explaining that to you. Yes the Adagio has a NIC in it...but what can I do with it. Can I use it to route audio to other parts of my home...no. Can I use it to access the multi-terabytes of storage that you will find hanging off of servers on my home network...Maybe (it is after all running Windows in there, And for me that’s a good thing.) But it's not stated as far as I know that I can do that. Can I do control with out having to run "special" wiring to Control points...no...OK that's a kind of. The reason for IP control is two fold...First it brings a standard to the table that’s NOT under the control of the automation provider...so that if next year I decide I hate what I have...no problem change the equipment and go on. Secondly (and this is more for me than most people I do understand) I hope that I have given you a idea that I am a big computer geek and have lots of stuff in my home that most people do not have at least on the scale that I have it. - I after all run a full Microsoft Exchange 2003 corporate level email system in my home. So for me my house is all ready an IP home and adding a few ports to that is much easier that adding a whole new control system and its wiring. ?
First of all Crestron does not use Windows save in its TPMC panels which are web tablets OEM'ed from Viewsonic to Crestron's specifications. There will be embedded XP in the OEM'ed CD servers but there Crestron's is a proprietary OS that runs on flash not a hard drive. Dean can help you to understand this far better than I.

If an application can be written then Crestron can do it. This seems obscure but it goes to the heart of the matter. NO. Crestron will not directly stream audio. Not a bad thing since ONLY Netstreams is not compressing the **** out of that information. I can control data on any storage device if someone writes that application. Apps for IPOD and ITUNES exist. Crestron has an app for Windows Media so there are many ways to get to that information on a hard drive, if the software talent exists. DVD Lobby, even supports serial coding so you could invent your own protocol to control that application. Any device with an Ethernet protocol can be controlled by any Crestron device with a ENET card ( Crestronese for a NIC with lots of memory ). In my lab I control via Ethernet a ReplayTV, Video Request, Audio Request, and my lighting system via device server ( it did not have a NIC ). The Adagio has the ENET card built in. All it does not do is convert analog media to Ethernet protocol nor stream existing digital data over Ethernet. A difference between it and C4 but this would be an argument at the margins. Personally, I'd rather go with Netsteams and full, uncompressed streams than the C4 method but that is preference and if you like Denon and I Integra are we really having an argument about anything significant?

You might be more than amazed at the amount of data I can send out that Adagio NIC? ( although it might not be the standard program a DIY would enter himself ) I could send e-mails to xxxx if yyy occurred. I could read that the lamp hours on the projector hit "c" the value where the lamp needed to be changed and kick out an email to my office and have my guys show up to change the lamp.

I could interface to Outlook and do all sorts of scheduling, even automating some of those processes, such as turn on lights, TV, turn to local ABC and sit and watch " Desperate Housewives " I could even do that from work for my wife. There is no control Crestron cannot do from Ethernet. All that it will not is steam audio over Ethernet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddD
Speaking of wiring….you said “Yet it also supports the most typical installation found in 90 per cent of homes: centralized speaker wiring." I do not know a single person that has this wiring in their home. Sure I have seen some new homes built that included it at the request of the owner or his CI…but NO builder installs this wiring as part of the “standard†in a home. Again with IP you have wireless for those that are not running a whole house network in their home. If I were building a new home of ANY price and was given the choice of spending my $ on installing Cat5/6A cable or crestnet and speaker wire…that’s a decision that would not take me very long to make. The long term value of Cat5/6A is so far off the charts over crestnet/speaker wire…its not even funny. ?
I suspect I have been in more homes than you have and while there are some few homes than have no wiring; neither data, speaker nor voice the most common builder wiring is centralized speaker wire to volume controls. VERY FEW HOMES are wired with CAT 6 although structured wiring has become commonplace so CAT5 and CAT5e are in place in many new homes but not older ones.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddD
I should point out that I do understand that the Crestron system is a new announce and that it has been stated that we do not know all that is planed. So all of the things that I have “complained†about may over time show up on the Adagio, but do not underestimate the value of the “plug and play†nature of the C4 products as QQQ has pointed out …it is the most important part of what they have done- and I understand the part of it that makes guys like you who make money programming stuff a bit apprehensive. ?
Adagio is largely plug and play. Using the front panel buttons and LCD you only need choose the device, its brand and model to load the driver for that device. All else will occur automatically. IPOD and the Crestron CD server will auto discover. BUT IF YOU NEED A CUSTOM DRIVER, EVEN IF ONE WAY, IT PROBABLY ALREADY EXISTS BUT I OR ANY OF 10,000 OTHER PROGRAMMERS CAN WRITE IT FOR YOU--OR YOU CAN WRITE IT YOURSELF ( I do not know how to italicize fonts up here )


Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddD
You implied in your post that C4 will not let you evaluate their solution...I've seen them post here several times third any CI could contact them and they would sent out an evil SYSTEM...not just the software...is there something that we do not know there?
I have had some private conversations with individuals at C4 and they will address some of these defects which makes me much more sanguine about their system. I understand marketing realities. They needed to bring their product to market so you guys could flip out and they could generate some cash flow. They also need to beta test their equipment and software. But not providing someone outside the factory with the tools to write drivers ( even one way ) for the most common command code in the AV industry is a major error. I am confident they will now fix this glitch but I think that Joemci has a right to control volume on his Panasonic without having to use an emitter. He has a reasonable expectation that C4 will provide him, a dealer or some programmer with the tools to accomplish that. To date only the factory can accomplish this. C4 wisely wishes to limit what can be accomplished with its system. But being able to generate volume and channel up/down codes via serial ought not to be prohibited. It is basic and standard coding practice until someone with the buying clout to alter this practice changes it

Alan
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post #112 of 279 Old 09-21-2005, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by tshepherd

I WILL say though, that the idea of using an iPod-like interface on a touchscreen makes me nauseous. It's a fine interface when you've got 100 songs, but when you start to grow the library it's a PITA. I'd much rather see an iTunes-like interface, especially with smart playlists, but that's just me...
Right on!!! Anyone wishing for an example for a DIY I could work with look no farther. I could not disagree with anything you have written. The technology will change but who cares. Listening to your music or watching you display with what ever media will be available is all that matters and with the highest fidelity possible with that technology ( I would add ).

IPOD sucks. But it is winning the war. I would never use it and Mr. Shepherd neither would you. But I get more requests for integrating an IPOD into a system I install then any other possible device or technology. Give me my Request any day but it's a fact of life that the cost of an IPOD, its ubiquity and its familiarity make it a device most people wish to have in their system. And let's not forget what happens when the portable IPOD is removed from its docking station. No music is available.

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post #113 of 279 Old 09-21-2005, 06:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhl12
While I am curious to learn more details about the new Isys touchscreen remote, at the moment I am more interested in knowing Crestron's plans for the ML-500 and its successors. I would like to see a newer version of the ML-500 that is based on the MX-850 form factor (with a discrete "enter" button instead of the five-way cursor/select keypad) and updated software that allows page flips on the device. Does anyone have any insight into Crestron's plans for this device?
The ML-500 is not leaving the skew. New software that will address some of your issues, specifically page flipping, is in beta and will be released with a future upgrades to VT-Proe. I cannot say more on a public forum. Indeed some within Crestron might argue that I have said too much.

Compromise and designing around some issues and limitations will be required. There is an "enter" button on the keyboard which you might use for a discrete enter. I love the cursor/select on the ML-500 even if one occasionally misenters a code.

Brent:

Is clip art available with that USB connection? Balanced and unbalanced audio? The ability to charge the IPOD when it's docked? Is the interface similiar to that which is on the IPOD or just lines of text. Or might you be arguing for different GUIs being a design benefit in control systems?

Alan
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post #114 of 279 Old 09-21-2005, 06:32 AM
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Hey now, don't get TOO excited Alan. :) I didn't say I don't OWN an iPod (I actually do and use it daily - in the car and when running), I just don't think it's the right interface for a home audio system. Actually, it's more that I don't believe it's the right interface for really browsing a large music collection. I can't see relying on an iPod (or any other portable) as my music library for the whole house either.

I will say that it would be nice to see some standardization of music library formats such that I could maintain my music library on a central server (C4, Adagio, etc) and have it publish to my *insert MP3 player here* automagically. But I digress...
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post #115 of 279 Old 09-21-2005, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJF
Man Alan, you really like playing with fire .....and Brimstone ! I'm going to pray for you as soon as I'm done posting . :)

And the shortcomings of C4 that you have pointed out make me think that I SHOULD wait . But then again, the Crestron system sounds like it isn't something that I can handle as far as programming is concerned once I add lighting, HVAC etc .

Wow, i really sound like a candidate for the "Can Someone Tell Me What to Do?" thread . .
Although I am part of a Judeao-Christian heritage and culture I acknowledge that there are other religions that grew up apart from that tradition. Prayer to any deity for help and succor would be welcome and appreciated.

AJF, you might wish to visit with a dealer and " touch " the gear. This might be hard with respect to the Adagio as it is not available until 1st quarter 06 but you may be surprised what can and cannot be done, what miracles are NICs and routers if you know how to set them up, and even what you might be capable of were you to have faith and trust in a dealer. Just imagine having QQQ's wit around you throughout an installation.

Alan
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Todd, as for storing all music in one location, I actually have set up my media controller to be that place right now. I simply went into iTunes and changed the location where it stores the files and everything that I download from the iTunes store then goes into that server and after scrubbing and converting the file to MP3 it is then available throughout my house as well as on my iPod. All music from my media controller is also available throughtout my house on any computer with iTunes and available for any iPod to use.

The only downside right now is that I have to hit the scan button in the Composer software to get C4 to show the new songs. I was told that they are working on an automatic recognition system that adds the song right when it comes in as an MP3, so that would solve that problem.

I also have a 300gb NAS drive that I will soon be transferring all my music to and then not even need the media server's hard drive at all.

As for the iPod interface, it is horrible to use with large amounts of music, although the way C4 is set up right now is not the greatest for large collections either. There are a number of ways to make it better that I am told they are working on.

As with any new system, there will be bugs and improvements that are worked out over time. I have been very impressed so far as to how quickly some things get done so far, but dismayed that some of the music collection issues where not thought out better initially.

Joe
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The Adagio line looks pretty cool. From what I've read here, it has advanced functionality and the ability to interface with a variety of other Crestron pieces. I would guess that since this system is designed for audio distribution, integrating video distribution would require involved programming (assuming video distribution can be integrated into this system - there's a lot of specific Crestron terminology and part numbers thrown out here so it's hard for a noob to understand completely). Of course, when you start adding video, the cost goes up and you get out of entry level pricing. Ah well, it still looks cool.

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[quote=tshepherd]Hey now, don't get TOO excited Alan. :) I didn't say I don't OWN an iPod (I actually do and use it daily - in the car and when running), I just don't think it's the right interface for a home audio system. Actually, it's more that I don't believe it's the right interface for really browsing a large music collection. I can't see relying on an iPod (or any other portable) as my music library for the whole house either.

QUOTE]

I do not own an IPOD nor any other portable streaming device. I do have a CD server and XM permanently installed in my lab and my 9 year old can operate them. I accept the IPOD as a portable device but I agree that it is the wrong device for a permanent install. Yet many a client tells me they will operate the IPOD via Itunes on their computer. This means I have zero control over my touch panels and I have an unwieldy system.

Contrary to what my appear prima facie on this forum I do not like to be disputatious and arguing with a client is a no win proposition. They want IPODs integrated and by gosh the market will and has responded.

Alan
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post #119 of 279 Old 09-21-2005, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgbyhkr
The Adagio line looks pretty cool. From waht I've read here, it has advanced functionality and the ability to interface with a variety of other Crestron pieces. I would guess that since this system is designed for audio distribution, integrating video distribution would require involved programming (assuming video distribution can be integrated into this system - there's a lot of specific Crestron terminology and part numbers thrown out here so it's hard for a noob to understand completely). Of course, when you start adding video, the cost goes up and you get out of entry level pricing. Ah well, it still looks cool.
Crestron has its own video distribution hardware or you could you use any third party box you like. The PVID is Crestron's very flexible matrix video distribution box which permits signals from composite to Comonent video to be distributed over traditional coaxial cables or via CAT5e wires. All signal qualities are supported over both mediums, composite, S-video and component ( digital audio can be sent over the CAT5e wire as well ). When used with Crestron's video room boxes, it is possible to break out those signals at the display and send video back to the head end for retransmission to some other room. In other words it is possible to send a HD-Tivo located in the family room back to the head end for viewing in the master bed room. No signal degradation occurs during this process.

This solution can be expensive, however. But there is a proprietary composite video switcher or you can use Extron, KDS, Zektor, Audopatch, Kramer, Knox or your personal favorite. It would require a serial driver and drivers for most of the above are already in the Crestron database. If the Zektor is not you or I could write it and it would control your equipment.

Crestron, like Triad speakers, has confusing names to its products. You are not alone in being confused by the many model numbers throw around. Which is why dealers exist and they should make these indistinct terms concrete by showing you working systems.

Crestron can do anything ( like AMX ). The point about the Adagio is that it brings Crestron quality and control to new price points. It may not do everything for a low price. Like C4 any particular installation has its limitations and may require a custom solution based upon custom software. Yet I think for many of the situations commonly debated on this board the Adagio will more than suffice. It may not be everyone's cup of tea and it will surely not compete dollar for dollar with C4 but a basic system will be very close in price, it will be customizable to fit individual equipment you own and it will permit control of proprietary wireless lighting and HVAC. I'll bet the thermostats will also control just about any HVAC system extant no matter how complicated.

Alan
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post #120 of 279 Old 09-21-2005, 08:58 AM
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Alan,

Yeah, I know exactly what you mean by using an alternative external switching device. I guess what I really like about a Crestron solution with integrated video is the ability to embed those video feeds into a touchpanels control layout. Thins like security cam feeds, source previews, etc are really cool. Sure, you can do lots of things ad hoc but having a single screen with any video feed you like right along with control buttons is awesome.

Honestly, it's not the expense so much as the customization aspect. Obvioulsy, when you're dealing with this level of integration, you're going to need a lot of customization. Offering that level of flexibility in a programming environment geared for end users (even advanced geeks like me) is tough to do. I've used computers since I was 8 but I've always hated programming. I need a graphically based solution with tools to build functions without having to code.

That makes the need for a dealer and a custom programmer easy to understand, but I hat the idea of having to run to someone every time I wanted to make a change. I'm a tweaker, a guy who might have an idea to change something at midnight and likes to take a stab at it right then. I know, I'm in a small minority.

Who knows, maybe when I do a new theater in the basement I'll have a serious chat with my dealer on how they could possibly accommodate me. Certainly a lot of planning up front could address all the needs and wants I had at the outset. The down the road stuff is the tricky part.

Jeff

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