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post #31 of 84 Old 12-11-2007, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by skinners1 View Post

So you don't know the mark ups or you don't understand my quote. Which is it?

Skinner, I understand the mark ups ok, it's obvious you don't understant how expensive running a business like ours is. Read Audio Atmosphere's last message, he pretty much said what I wanted to respond....

Let me ask you a question: in your opinion, what should the mark up be for us custom installers OR larger business? on any product sale and install, C4, Russound, Elan, doesn't matter.
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post #32 of 84 Old 12-12-2007, 01:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Audio Atmosphere View Post

name a few of those things.... I have yet to find a Crestron system I cant compete directly with using C4 products.. Crestron does have some extremely custom features you can do ie the interface

the point of Control4s interface is to keep it simple.. Theres no interface to screw up. its simple.. you want to watch tv press TV you want to listen to music press music.. i have yet to find someone who cant operate Control4 products.

PS.. I have replaced 4 customers systems that they paid 200K+ for that was all crestron controlled with control4 and they are much happier.. Heck i hear the same thing on the majority of the jobs i have walked into that have crestron... "Crestron sucks, i hate it, my system never works" now i know this is the installers fault but the openness that crestron has makes it so that unless you know exactly what you are doing your interface and programming must be nearly perfect or else you get a horrible working system.. Control4s theory is to keep everything simple. the programming etc.. There are plenty of advanced things you can do with C4... I put control4 in houses ranging from 6500-15000 sq ft and now have a 20k sq ft project in the works.. Control4 controls all of them just fine..

Sell the C4 koolaid to those that don't know the difference and make the outrageous claims about having replaced 4 Crestron 200K+ systems with C4 to those that might believe you.

Both companies make very viable systems that have their own place in the market place. Their capabilities are not the same and even C4 themselves openly state that in their training classes. No doubt you are also replacing Kaleidescape systems with Sony 200 disc DVD changers.
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post #33 of 84 Old 12-12-2007, 01:29 AM
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Here is a request I got just yesterday from a client. Asked me if I could put a little help page on his touchscreens for his wife giving instructions on a few functions on the telephone system for features they only want to use once in a while and will forget how to do, such as making a conference call. So now they can press a button called "telephone" that in addition to phone features will give a single page cheat sheet for the phone system. That barely even registered on the radar as a "request" because it is SO basic and easy to do. With C4 the answer would be no.

That doesn't mean C4 is bad and I won't try to sell anyone the Crestron koolaid and claim to be swapping out C4 jobs left and right and converting them to Crestron. C4 is a good out of the box solution with some pretty powerful pre-defined functionality. I think it is a great solution for a lot of people. It's also a great solution for a lot of dealers either in addition to Crestron or that don't have the capabilities to perform higher end integration projects, or don't serve that market.
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post #34 of 84 Old 12-12-2007, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by QQQ View Post

Sell the C4 koolaid to those that don't know the difference and make the outrageous claims about having replaced 4 Crestron 200K+ systems with C4 to those that might believe you.

Both companies make very viable systems that have their own place in the market place. Their capabilities are not the same and even C4 themselves openly state that in their training classes. No doubt you are also replacing Kaleidescape systems with Sony 200 disc DVD changers.


Considering i am one of the largest Control4 delaers on the west coast and have plenty of pictures to back up my claims i am not making any outrageous claims.. Why would i sell someone a 777 when the budget allows for a Kscape system??? Control4 states alot of things in their classes due to the fact that they are in tech 1 and just beginning their process of learning the control4 product..

Sometimes there are people capable of doing things with products that you cant do. Until you can verify what they do it really would be smart check into that before saying someone is making outrageous claims
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post #35 of 84 Old 12-12-2007, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by QQQ View Post

Here is a request I got just yesterday from a client. Asked me if I could put a little help page on his touchscreens for his wife giving instructions on a few functions on the telephone system for features they only want to use once in a while and will forget how to do, such as making a conference call. So now they can press a button called "telephone" that in addition to phone features will give a single page cheat sheet for the phone system. That barely even registered on the radar as a "request" because it is SO basic and easy to do. With C4 the answer would be no.

That doesn't mean C4 is bad and I won't try to sell anyone the Crestron koolaid and claim to be swapping out C4 jobs left and right and converting them to Crestron. C4 is a good out of the box solution with some pretty powerful pre-defined functionality. I think it is a great solution for a lot of people. It's also a great solution for a lot of dealers either in addition to Crestron or that don't have the capabilities to perform higher end integration projects, or don't serve that market.


umm actually yes... you could easily make a .jpg image with the insructions on it and host it online or locally and create a web image. You can view the page on the touch screens or tv interfaces. Ive done this plenty of times for a few different applications

so again.. can you provide another example that i "cant" do with control4 but in reality can???
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post #36 of 84 Old 12-12-2007, 08:32 AM
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I understand the costs of running a business all too well. That was not my point. I have no problem with people making a living as the installer needs to eat too. When I don't have transparency with what I am being charged then I get concerned. Worry more about selling the value of the system and less about hiding the mark-ups is the sage advice. The latter is an inexperienced sales blunder commonly made by people who have no idea what selling "value" really means. I respect people who say, "this is what it costs. We are planning on charging you X for the install and will make X on the equipment." Don't contractors all over the globe charge X% for their contracting fee and x% markup on products/materials? How is this unfair? How is this being cheap? Did I say somewhere in one of my posts that I wasn't willing to pay a markup? Did I say somewhere that I was only willing to pay 1% or something stupid like that? No.

Instead of flaming me maybe calm down a bit. I am not attacking your business model for installers everywhere are a necessity and something that brings value to the transaction. I understand your points of view as you would rather never have to be questioned how much you are charging your clients. Obviously.

What I am interested in though is a clear expectation of the costs of the system, mark-ups and all. Period. Don't get so upset when someone asks what you are charging them. No wonder the average Joe’s don't work with installers b/c of this protectionist attitude. Don't worry, c4 is going to bring transparency to the market once they go nationwide with Home Depot.

Cheers!
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post #37 of 84 Old 12-12-2007, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by skinners1 View Post

I understand the costs of running a business all too well. That was not my point. I have no problem with people making a living as the installer needs to eat too. When I don't have transparency with what I am being charged then I get concerned. Worry more about selling the value of the system and less about hiding the mark-ups is the sage advice. The latter is an inexperienced sales blunder commonly made by people who have no idea what selling "value" really means. I respect people who say, "this is what it costs. We are planning on charging you X for the install and will make X on the equipment." Don't contractors all over the globe charge X% for their contracting fee and x% markup on products/materials? How is this unfair? How is this being cheap? Did I say somewhere in one of my posts that I wasn't willing to pay a markup? Did I say somewhere that I was only willing to pay 1% or something stupid like that? No.

Instead of flaming me maybe calm down a bit. I am not attacking your business model for installers everywhere are a necessity and something that brings value to the transaction. I understand your points of view as you would rather never have to be questioned how much you are charging your clients. Obviously.

What I am interested in though is a clear expectation of the costs of the system, mark-ups and all. Period. Don't get so upset when someone asks what you are charging them. No wonder the average Joe's don't work with installers b/c of this protectionist attitude. Don't worry, c4 is going to bring transparency to the market once they go nationwide with Home Depot.

Cheers!

I think sometimes consumers would get uspet at how much something may be marked up but the fact is there is a large cost associated with doing business when you have good installers, vehicles, office space etc etc etc. Running a business properly can be extremely expensive so often times all this wonderful mark up disapears rather quickly.

The Home Depot Porgram works with selected Control4 dealers in their area. The pricing stays at MSRP and a Control4 dealer installs it. NOT home depot nor the customer. There are only a few stores in the US that even have a display. Even when the program gets bigger the pricing structure will stay the same. Same goes with Best Buy or any other retailer Control4 partners with. Their products are extremely cheap in terms of pricing. Selling them for any less would be dumb.
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post #38 of 84 Old 12-12-2007, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Audio Atmosphere View Post

umm actually yes... you could easily make a .jpg image with the insructions on it and host it online or locally and create a web image. You can view the page on the touch screens or tv interfaces. Ive done this plenty of times for a few different applications

Did you write that with a straight face? The customer doesn't want to surf to a jpeg image, they want an interactive help system built into a page with other communications controls.
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so again.. can you provide another example that i "cant" do with control4 but in reality can???

Based on your answer above and other claims, not interested for now.
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post #39 of 84 Old 12-12-2007, 10:45 PM
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Considering i am one of the largest Control4 delaers on the west coast and have plenty of pictures to back up my claims i am not making any outrageous claims......before saying someone is making outrageous claims

You're listed as a Platinum dealer while there is two others in your zip code listed as Gold dealers, one of them electrical contractor. There's 4 dealers in your zip code. That doesn't say that much. To say that you're 'one of the largest on the West coast' is pure pomp. Stating that you've replaced four $200K Crestron systems with C4, while possible on many levels, does not mean that C4 'compares' to Crestron. You even admit it in an offhand way that it has more to do with the installers... so why point it out?

I call ********. The OP came here for advice and he's getting a hard sell on C4. Suck that Koolaid down!

Skinners: let me ask you a question: what markup is fair?
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post #40 of 84 Old 12-13-2007, 04:41 AM
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I feel bad for the posters here that have to read this one-way biased sales drivel.

Having been a dealer of both and having had both systems in my home (anyone want to buy a C4 media Controller cheap?) I will say that I have replaced many more than 4 C4 systems with properly engineered and programmed Crestron systems and the client's couldn't be happier now.

I am the 11th largest Crestron dealer in the country so I may know of what I speak. To even mention the two products in the same sentence is cheating the client.

110 zones of lights and 15 TV zones on a C4 system - good luck with that. 275 zones of lights, 125 keypads and 30 zones of video on a Crestron system - all day long.

Finally if you want transparency to my business you better be the IRS or my accountant. You don't have a right to see that. Don't like it - go with another company and pray your job goes as smoothly as it would were I to do it.

This is about to turn into the typical DIY vs. CI thread that AVS is famous for and that that has driven away all the good professionals. The majority of advice now offered here is about as good as you would find in the home automation aisle at your local Florida Home Depot where you will find most C4 products for sale.


Get a good deal on the Algorenet? Don't come crying to me when you need it fixed.
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post #41 of 84 Old 12-13-2007, 05:31 AM
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Wow! So if what you are saying is right, then I can not only replace Crestron with C4, but I could probably even save more and go control everything with my PC! Saying C4 is comparable to Crestron does nothing more than discredit your knowledge in the industry so you may just want to stop. C4 has it's application, but it in no way is a Crestron replacement.

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Originally Posted by Audio Atmosphere View Post

the point of Control4s interface is to keep it simple.. Theres no interface to screw up. its simple.. you want to watch tv press TV you want to listen to music press music.. i have yet to find someone who cant operate Control4 products.

That is another way of saying it is a "Wizard", that it limits your options, and is not fully customizable. I have yet to see someone who can't operate a pronto remote...what does that say?


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PS.. I have replaced 4 customers systems that they paid 200K+ for that was all crestron controlled with control4 and they are much happier..

You would have been better off hiring a programmer to do their system right.

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Heck i hear the same thing on the majority of the jobs i have walked into that have crestron... "Crestron sucks, i hate it, my system never works"

You obviously have a dealer in your area that doesn't know what they are doing and shouldn't be installing it.

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...now i know this is the installers fault but the openness that crestron has makes it so that unless you know exactly what you are doing your interface and programming must be nearly perfect or else you get a horrible working system.

Sou you think it is a bad product because it is hard to learn how to program? You have GOT to be kidding me Why do I get the feeling that the systems you replaced were your own and that you switched to C4 because you couldn't figure out Crestron?

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Originally Posted by Audio Atmosphere View Post

Control4s theory is to keep everything simple. the programming etc.. There are plenty of advanced things you can do with C4... I put control4 in houses ranging from 6500-15000 sq ft and now have a 20k sq ft project in the works.. Control4 controls all of them just fine..

Hey, if the client is happy, then that's all that matters. Bottom line though is that Crestron is a more advanced, more reliable, and more "high end" product. It just makes you look silly to argue that.
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post #42 of 84 Old 12-13-2007, 07:08 AM
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throw out the picture of the touch panel AA that had the clear plasic lables on the sides of the remote.

Not going to get into C4 VS. Crestron each of these products have their OWN place in the market.

But in AA defense.... you can take a 500K crestron system, if it is not programmed properly, or the client training was not done right. The clients would not be happy with that system. I mean if they do not know how to work the system, or certian functions do not work a client would not be happy with it.

Is it too hard to grasp that a propperly programmed C4 system. And clients properly trained how to use that system would not like the new replacment system better than the one that did not work?

Or they just did not know how to work the creston system?

Either way it is totally possible, that AA could have found 4 such clients, and fixed there stuff with C4.

While I do not have the balls to do the size of projects that AA is doing with C4, he is not the only one that is doing projects of that size, and scope.

Now back to our program....
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post #43 of 84 Old 12-13-2007, 08:07 AM
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You're listed as a Platinum dealer while there is two others in your zip code listed as Gold dealers, one of them electrical contractor. There's 4 dealers in your zip code. That doesn't say that much. To say that you're 'one of the largest on the West coast' is pure pomp. Stating that you've replaced four $200K Crestron systems with C4, while possible on many levels, does not mean that C4 'compares' to Crestron. You even admit it in an offhand way that it has more to do with the installers... so why point it out?

I call ********. The OP came here for advice and he's getting a hard sell on C4. Suck that Koolaid down!

Skinners: let me ask you a question: what markup is fair?

There are only 2 Plat dealers in az and i outsell the other one.... I know what my sales figures are and know where i stand as far as sales go per Control4. Why would i lie when finding out information isnt that hard these days???

I have replaced a 200k crestron system in a house in Park City, Utah and also here in AZ. I have NEW customers who are scared of automation because their previous house had Crestron and they hate it. I never said Crestron sucks but its 100% up to the programmer to do anything semi cool and the price you pay to get super custom menus isnt really great. Ive seen properly programmed Crestron systems. As far as over all control and automation i have yet to figure what exactly they are doing better... The "low level" ( as you guys call it ) Control4 products work fine.
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post #44 of 84 Old 12-13-2007, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Snappy View Post

Or they just did not know how to work the creston system?

Either way it is totally possible, that AA could have found 4 such clients, and fixed there stuff with C4.

There's no doubt that it's theoretically possible, maybe even likely Snappy. But clients not knowing how to work a Crestron system isn't an inherent problem with the Crestron system. It's the design and programming of that Crestron system, just as it is with C4. While with Crestron it may have been a error in design or execution causing the frustrations, I can practically guarantee it wasn't a issue of limitations in a $200K Crestron system. You could have that problem with a C4 system. But if a C4 system if overdesigned or taken to it's trepidous limit, is that C4's fault, or the CI? Luckily the client will probably think it's the C4 system and let the CI off the hook.

As somebody just said, it might have been cheaper to have a better Crestron programmer review the design and reprogram the system. I've seen systems that clients had a lot of frustration with, but there were only a few small things that needed to be rectified to change their entire perspective. Who knows. All I know is a C4 dealer just played into frustrated clients so he could sell C4. I'm sure he, like most of us with any integrity, would advise the client that they may want to try getting the original installer to rectify the problems first, or have another Crestron installer review the system to see if they can resolve the issues. If that doesn't work then move to C4.

Instead they removed all the equipment and bought more. That action was validated by the fact that the clients were happy. As if, the clients couldn't be happy any other way. Complete BS.
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post #45 of 84 Old 12-13-2007, 08:10 AM
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I feel bad for the posters here that have to read this one-way biased sales drivel.

Having been a dealer of both and having had both systems in my home (anyone want to buy a C4 media Controller cheap?) I will say that I have replaced many more than 4 C4 systems with properly engineered and programmed Crestron systems and the client's couldn't be happier now.

I am the 11th largest Crestron dealer in the country so I may know of what I speak. To even mention the two products in the same sentence is cheating the client.

110 zones of lights and 15 TV zones on a C4 system - good luck with that. 275 zones of lights, 125 keypads and 30 zones of video on a Crestron system - all day long.

Finally if you want transparency to my business you better be the IRS or my accountant. You don't have a right to see that. Don't like it - go with another company and pray your job goes as smoothly as it would were I to do it.

This is about to turn into the typical DIY vs. CI thread that AVS is famous for and that that has driven away all the good professionals. The majority of advice now offered here is about as good as you would find in the home automation aisle at your local Florida Home Depot where you will find most C4 products for sale.


I think my smallest job has 100 zigbee loads. My avg CONTROL4 job has 200 light loads, 30-50 6 button keypads and 8-16 video zones, and usually the same for audio if not a few more due to areas with no tvs. guess what.. if you properly DESIGN a system that large itll work great. There is no lag, no popcorn effect, NO ISSUES.. But most dealers arent capable of that due to not know how to implement the system in the first place. Whats funny is Control4 came out with the HC1000 which now makes it easier for the avg guy to take on a job that size.
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post #46 of 84 Old 12-13-2007, 08:14 AM
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Oh heres a good one for you. This is not me trying to say this is what Crestron products are like but i have found installs like this in AZ and in UT. I have a client who has homes in both states. Neither system worked. Both systems were installed by 2 different companies.

This is a complete install. I came in to do the guys detached garage and back yard audio system. I called Crestron to discuss this job with them and tell them nothing works and that the dealer wont come out and fix it. Crestrons responce was this is not their problem and they wont do anything about it..











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post #47 of 84 Old 12-13-2007, 08:22 AM
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Wow! So if what you are saying is right, then I can not only replace Crestron with C4, but I could probably even save more and go control everything with my PC! Saying C4 is comparable to Crestron does nothing more than discredit your knowledge in the industry so you may just want to stop. C4 has it's application, but it in no way is a Crestron replacement.

That is another way of saying it is a "Wizard", that it limits your options, and is not fully customizable. I have yet to see someone who can't operate a pronto remote...what does that say?

You would have been better off hiring a programmer to do their system right.

You obviously have a dealer in your area that doesn't know what they are doing and shouldn't be installing it.

Sou you think it is a bad product because it is hard to learn how to program? You have GOT to be kidding me Why do I get the feeling that the systems you replaced were your own and that you switched to C4 because you couldn't figure out Crestron?

Hey, if the client is happy, then that's all that matters. Bottom line though is that Crestron is a more advanced, more reliable, and more "high end" product. It just makes you look silly to argue that.

ewww windows??? gross. I am not saying for anyone to replace a Crestron system but that you dont have to have Crestron to have a complete home automation system that is easy to use and work. Its not that complicated. I have a new customer who wanted Crestron no matter what. I showed him a neighborhood that has 23 homes in it. I did 18 of them. After seeing basic systems to complete lighting and av control all based off of Control4 he no longer cared to have Crestron.

The customer no longer wanted Crestron. They were sick of the installers in AZ and UT and the system. They have Control4 in AZ and loved it.

Yes i obviously found multiple dealers in the tiny state of AZ and even Utah and picked the worst ones and went after their customers..

I never said Crestron was a bad product nor hard to program.

Crestron is high end.. The price shows that I have zero reliability issues with my Control4 systems. Again. Proper system design will make a C4 system amazing.. Using low quality switches, routers, improperly designing something will kill a C4 system but then again it can hurt many other IP systems too.
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post #48 of 84 Old 12-13-2007, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by bigpapa View Post

There's no doubt that it's theoretically possible, maybe even likely Snappy. But clients not knowing how to work a Crestron system isn't an inherent problem with the Crestron system. It's the design and programming of that Crestron system, just as it is with C4. While with Crestron it may have been a error in design or execution causing the frustrations, I can practically guarantee it wasn't a issue of limitations in a $200K Crestron system. You could have that problem with a C4 system. But if a C4 system if overdesigned or taken to it's trepidous limit, is that C4's fault, or the CI? Luckily the client will probably think it's the C4 system and let the CI off the hook.

As somebody just said, it might have been cheaper to have a better Crestron programmer review the design and reprogram the system. I've seen systems that clients had a lot of frustration with, but there were only a few small things that needed to be rectified to change their entire perspective. Who knows. All I know is a C4 dealer just played into frustrated clients so he could sell C4. I'm sure he, like most of us with any integrity, would advise the client that they may want to try getting the original installer to rectify the problems first, or have another Crestron installer review the system to see if they can resolve the issues. If that doesn't work then move to C4.

Instead they removed all the equipment and bought more. That action was validated by the fact that the clients were happy. As if, the clients couldn't be happy any other way. Complete BS.

I dont do business like that. I dont just sell sell sell. The customers wanted the systems removed. The customer has had a system somewhere or has seen C4 and wanted the simplicity of it.... Its not that complex. I am not a normal dealer and dont fit the profile of your typical C4 dealer. My jobs are big, they work, and are well above recomended system designs. If I can make things work other people can and have.
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post #49 of 84 Old 12-13-2007, 08:30 AM
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Did you write that with a straight face? The customer doesn't want to surf to a jpeg image, they want an interactive help system built into a page with other communications controls.

Based on your answer above and other claims, not interested for now.


I forgot about you

yes i wrote it with a straight face. Would i put instructions on how to use something on a system?? no.. if you have to make an interactive help system for your client then yes i guess Crestron is the right product to use.. Make sure to put the button on the front page cause if someone needs an interactive help guide its highly doubtful they could navigate the system properly in the first place

cool story
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post #50 of 84 Old 12-13-2007, 09:16 AM
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Those pictures are an embarrassment. But that would be like saying a Yugo is a replacement for a Mercedes because you replaced this for a Yugo and the client was happy.

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post #51 of 84 Old 12-13-2007, 09:35 AM
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Those pictures are an embarrassment. But that would be like saying a Yugo is a replacement for a Mercedes because you replaced this for a Yugo and the client was happy.

what? you lost me...

i replaced their crestron system with another system that does the exact same thing.. it controls their tvs, lighting, music and movies.. and its easy to use
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post #52 of 84 Old 12-13-2007, 12:06 PM
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I would say a 15% to 30% markup would be w/in reason depending on the item and amount of the purchase for parts/materials and labor at $75/hour seems reasonable.
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post #53 of 84 Old 12-13-2007, 01:42 PM
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I'm wondering if you have run a business or thought through your own thinking process.

If a company sells 1 million in equipment (cost) for the year, you think the mark up should net them $150,000 - $300,000 in profit and that is fair. If a company is doing 1 million in sales, they likely have more than 1 employee, office rent, vehicle expenses, etc. Even at 30%, that $300,000 is going to be gone before the owner makes a dime.

I think fair is the owner netting 15% to 30% profit after all expenses have been paid which means a much larger markup on equipment is necessary. I use to work in the import biz. If it cost us a $1, we sold it for $2.25. Go figure, the company still went out of business.
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post #54 of 84 Old 12-13-2007, 01:52 PM
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MAybe C4 can do everythjing you want it to, maybe it can do everything some Crestron system can do. What it can't do is replace a properly designed lighting control system in a large, new construciotn home. A centralized lighting nsystem like Homeworks, Vantage or Crestron is NOT replaceable by C4. Period. As soon as you put a second dimmer in a box, you have lost the race. HOw many large homes have a bank of 6, 8, or even 10 toggle switches in a locaiton? Too many. There is no replacement for a central system in a large home. It is no contest.
Now in retrofit situaitions, fine. YOur way can work well, AFAIK. In your above scenarios with 200 lighting loads etc, how are you accompishing this? If you tell me that you are hiding the C4 dimmers in closets or on banks hidden away somewhere (which I suspect is true) then just stop. That is a bandaid and a bad one at that. It may work, but it is not the right solution. Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should.
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post #55 of 84 Old 12-13-2007, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fletch999 View Post

MAybe C4 can do everythjing you want it to, maybe it can do everything some Crestron system can do. What it can't do is replace a properly designed lighting control system in a large, new construciotn home. A centralized lighting nsystem like Homeworks, Vantage or Crestron is NOT replaceable by C4. Period. As soon as you put a second dimmer in a box, you have lost the race. HOw many large homes have a bank of 6, 8, or even 10 toggle switches in a locaiton? Too many. There is no replacement for a central system in a large home. It is no contest.
Now in retrofit situaitions, fine. YOur way can work well, AFAIK. In your above scenarios with 200 lighting loads etc, how are you accompishing this? If you tell me that you are hiding the C4 dimmers in closets or on banks hidden away somewhere (which I suspect is true) then just stop. That is a bandaid and a bad one at that. It may work, but it is not the right solution. Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should.

The biggest difference with doing a Lutron, Lite touch, vantage etc is that yes its panelized and has its own processor

yes i could just stop hiding dimmers in closets etc but doing so lets me sell a lighting system to anyone.. I have yet to have any issues what so ever with it working.. Putting 10 dimmers behind a door in a closet is no different than putting a few dimmer modules inside a black panel and sticking it somewhere. I did a house with a complete lutron home works system.. Great system and they had 2 big closet with panels then small sub panels in a few areas of the home.. What is the difference in that and putting control4 dimmers and switches in a box????

As far as lag or popcorn effect splitting up the channels of a system ( ie say you have 200 loads run 4 zigbee channels to lesson the traffic on the network and make commands instant ) and also simply setting any sort of ramp on/off timing makes everything work 100% in unison with no issues or tacky look to it

here is a bad example since the labeled buttons were not installed yet. the great part of using a control4 6bt is that you can do alot more than just lighting with it.. you can program it to do anything in reality..

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post #56 of 84 Old 12-13-2007, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio Atmosphere View Post

i replaced their crestron system with another system that does the exact same thing.. it controls their tvs, lighting, music and movies.. and its easy to use

That's the problem AA. If you're getting a lot out of C4, good for you. Some guys vouch for your work, even though they admit you talk a lot of game. That's fine, I love the competition, honestly. I don't have problem with it. But your statement above is just as problematic as your initial statements about C4 replacing Crestron.

I could replace your Hummer with a RAV4, it does the same exact thing. And it's easy to drive.

I could replace your RTI T2C with an MX900, it does the same exact thing, and it's easy to use.

You're saying that your C4 systems are easy to use, but the way you say them is implying that Crestron systems aren't easy to use. That's politics, pure and simple. I know by experience that Crestron or AMX can be extremely easy to use, or kludged up to the max... just like a C4 can. But there's little levity coming from your posts.

This guy came here for advice, but instead of giving it you're motivation is to toot your own horn and get in a pissing match with Crestron dealers, some of who use C4 as well. I normally wouldn't care, except that you're supposed to represent our industry, hopefully with integrity and professionalism. I don't sell my products by implying all others are inferior, or that I can do x for the cost of y.

If you're as good as you say you are, you should be able to sell your product on it's merits, not on the negatives of another product. The pictures you posted leave more questions than answers: those installs looked so bad, almost too bad, that I wonder who installed them, if it was a reputable dealer at all, or somebody buying crap of Ebay. Did you even stop for a second to consider that?
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post #57 of 84 Old 12-13-2007, 05:57 PM
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That's the problem AA. If you're getting a lot out of C4, good for you. Some guys vouch for your work, even though they admit you talk a lot of game. That's fine, I love the competition, honestly. I don't have problem with it. But your statement above is just as problematic as your initial statements about C4 replacing Crestron.

I could replace your Hummer with a RAV4, it does the same exact thing. And it's easy to drive.

I could replace your RTI T2C with an MX900, it does the same exact thing, and it's easy to use.

You're saying that your C4 systems are easy to use, but the way you say them is implying that Crestron systems aren't easy to use. That's politics, pure and simple. I know by experience that Crestron or AMX can be extremely easy to use, or kludged up to the max... just like a C4 can. But there's little levity coming from your posts.

This guy came here for advice, but instead of giving it you're motivation is to toot your own horn and get in a pissing match with Crestron dealers, some of who use C4 as well. I normally wouldn't care, except that you're supposed to represent our industry, hopefully with integrity and professionalism. I don't sell my products by implying all others are inferior, or that I can do x for the cost of y.

If you're as good as you say you are, you should be able to sell your product on it's merits, not on the negatives of another product. The pictures you posted leave more questions than answers: those installs looked so bad, almost too bad, that I wonder who installed them, if it was a reputable dealer at all, or somebody buying crap of Ebay. Did you even stop for a second to consider that?

Ha ha you checked up on me??? My original statement was recomending Control4. Others blasted it. I defended its pretty simple.. Control4 has had a bad rap because of poor decsions they made coupled with idiot installers. Now i do what people say is impossible and my brain wants me to brag about it. I do talk alot of game but i also have NDAs with certain clients not to show off any aspect or even discuss their systems so often times people dont know of what i do but the big game talk stays there

post 4 already had the assumption that Control4 was having growing pains. I simply pointed out an example system and then it turned into this from there.I mentioend the 2 products in the post subject and simply stated Control4 was the best options due to it technically being an automation system for the same money youd pay for a Niles or Elan system... Whats wrong with that?? and then the control4 hate began

so here we are now rambling on and on about this and that.. I have shown plenty of people jobs that work amazing, heck i have even fixed a few dealers jobs and showed them some of my own tricks for nothing.. ps as far as tooting my own horn look at post #8.. theres no tooting there

As far as myself.. i dont discuss any other products when selling unless its brought up to me. I show the potential customer a few homes in a neighborhood and they get a feel for the different ranges of systems and they pick from there.. They are 99.99% blown away and dont care to discuss anything else. as far as the dealer who did that crestron install.. they wont be named but they are still a dealer and do buy a good amount of product..

sooooooo ya.. not sure what else to say..
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post #58 of 84 Old 12-13-2007, 06:00 PM
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I dont even work in the industry (and I'm a DIY) buy I cant believe these DIY'r whiney bitches.

To the person who expected installers/sellers to disclose their costs and markup...
Your absolutely retarded. Dealer cost is for dealers, MSRP (and retail discount) is for end users. If you want to know dealer pricing start your own dealership and place a $10,000 or $20,000 booking order every year (pulled thoes numbers out of my ass, but they cant be far off)

and 25-30% markup... HAH! In a specialized market, with low volume, with high labour costs (installers need to be fairly knowledgeable) they should make 30 points?
I guess they're just supposed to give it away because hey, you can do the labor yourself the product should be near cost too!
Then when you cant get it working you'll go back there and ask them question after question all the while they're pissed because you weaseled yourself a good deal on the product and now they're supposed to be your support line too.

If you want a better deal, put together an order and fax it around to every dealer you can find for a quote. Go with the best quote. End of story.

Maybe that was a rant but christ, as a DIY myself I hate for people to think we're all as cheap as that!

Thanks installers+dealers for sharing your insights here, your input is appreciated!
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post #59 of 84 Old 12-13-2007, 06:05 PM
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ok and ill make a free statement here..

There is nothing wrong with Crestron. its a solid product and can do amazing things if properly programmed.. I apply the same statement to Control4.

Crestron makes much more expensive items that are pretty much fully open to do what ever you want

Control4 makes lower priced items to try to get a much larger chunk of the market share and they do not offer certain products or the openness like Crestron does due to the fact they want to stay in the largest market possible and not alienate anyone. Control4s original idea was to make a simple product that most installers could program with ease and do cool things with it.. They have since gone into cooler products and with jobs like mine AND OTHERS they set the level for what was supposed to not be possible thus raising the bar a little bit allowing them to say well ok maybe we can do this or this..

I have been with them for quite a while and when i first started heck ya there were issues but most of them was due to hardware manufacturing problems.. They have since corrected that.. I did a job with 180 dimmers/switches and 1 of them was bad.. thats a pretty impressive failure rate to me.

So inconclusion buy what ever you want but do good research because every single dealer will have something to say just like i do and others will disagree with those statements..
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post #60 of 84 Old 12-13-2007, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skinners1 View Post

I would say a 15% to 30% markup would be w/in reason depending on the item and amount of the purchase for parts/materials and labor at $75/hour seems reasonable.


if i only marked up items 15-30% i would be out of business in a couple months.. its impossible to run on those types if margins..

I have employees, taxes, trucks, gas, etc etc etc tons of things that cost alot of money to do. I have ran things alone and now with employees.. Everything balances out but i learned the hard way about margins and what you can and cant charge..

I would worry less about what someone is marking up products and more worry about getting the exact items you want and having a good installer sell you them, install them and provide any training and or service you would need.. If you find a guy willing to do 15-30% dont plan on calling him in a few months because he prob changed his number and went BK.....
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