Confused: Elan vs. Control 4 vs. Niles ICS - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 84 Old 12-13-2007, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Loto_Bak View Post

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!

i usually dont even take jobs on where they have someone elses bid.. Most people looking to penny pinch will end up being big problem customers.. If you charge a fair price and provide good service and quality install then what ever you charge should be worth it.. if not then run fast
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post #62 of 84 Old 12-13-2007, 06:15 PM
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AA,

Nobody 'blasted' C4. I merely went to your website and checked up on your assertion that you're 'the largest dealer on the west coast.' I could make one or two phone calls and find out if that's true, but I won't waste my time since it's pretty obvious you aren't. I don't care about your NDA's, most of us here sign them on many of our projects. I means nothing and I'm not impressed. Just like the fact that you replaced four $200K Crestron systems with C4 and the clients loved it. It means nothing and is in all practicality irrelevant, though you tried to make it relevant.

What's relevant is that a guy here asked for a comparison between Niles/Elan/C4. If you had said C4 could smoke those systems you probably wouldn't have got much flack. Instead this became a opportunity to talk a big game. That's the issue. There's no C4 hate, so don't bother trying to obfuscate the real issue.

I don't think you're smelling what I'm stepping in, so we'll just leave it at that.

Aloha, BP
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post #63 of 84 Old 12-13-2007, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by bigpapa View Post

AA,

Nobody 'blasted' C4. I merely went to your website and checked up on your assertion that you're 'the largest dealer on the west coast.' I could make one or two phone calls and find out if that's true, but I won't waste my time since it's pretty obvious you aren't. I don't care about your NDA's, most of us here sign them on many of our projects. I means nothing and I'm not impressed. Just like the fact that you replaced four $200K Crestron systems with C4 and the clients loved it. It means nothing and is in all practicality irrelevant, though you tried to make it relevant.

What's relevant is that a guy here asked for a comparison between Niles/Elan/C4. If you had said C4 could smoke those systems you probably wouldn't have got much flack. Instead this became a opportunity to talk a big game. That's the issue. There's no C4 hate, so don't bother trying to obfuscate the real issue.

I don't think you're smelling what I'm stepping in, so we'll just leave it at that.

Aloha, BP


haha thats funny.. you based your opinion on a website that took 5 mins to take and most dealers who are busy dont really care about a web site id rather you make the phone calls and learn something \\

post 8 was nice, didnt slam anyone else simply showed off the vast amount of additional features available by going with Control4..

oh and i said i was ONE OF THE largest dealers on the west coast.. no where did i say #1

But hey make those calls.. smell the fresh air of Audio Atmosphere instead of making assumptions
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post #64 of 84 Old 12-13-2007, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Audio Atmosphere View Post

haha thats funny.. you based your opinion on a website that took 5 mins to take and most dealers who are busy dont really care about a web site....

I based my opinion on your rhetoric, not on your website. Most dealers who are busy don't spend their time in internet forums spouting off about how awesome they are. Again you're denying the real issue here: you're acting like a 16 year old. Implying that I'm a 'hater cuz you got mad skillz' doesn't change the fact that you're being totally unprofessional. Let your mad skillz do the talking, not your mouth.
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post #65 of 84 Old 12-13-2007, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by bigpapa View Post

Most dealers who are busy don't spend their time in internet forums spouting off about how awesome they are. Again you're denying the real issue here: you're acting like a 16 year old. Implying that I'm a 'hater cuz you got mad skillz' doesn't change the fact that you're being totally unprofessional. Let your mad skillz do the talking, not your mouth.

Im not acting like a 16 yr old... I am simply going off of installs i have done.. i dont know how else i am supposed to explain control4 systems are working in ways people say are impossible... i didnt know it wasnt possible to post on a forum while on site programming something or on the road... my mistake.

my first post was extremely professional in this thread and everyone else decided to hate soooooo
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post #66 of 84 Old 12-13-2007, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Audio Atmosphere View Post

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..




This type of post is precisely why I responded to you in the first place. This is used car salesmanship at its finest. All of us have run into systems like this that include every manufacturer on the face of the earth. I'd never dream of using a pic like that of a C4 installation to show how I swap out C4 jobs, I'd consider it sleazy, because I'd know it doesn't remotely reflect on C4, it reflects on the installer. It's the equivalent of showing a house that's got Pella windows cracking because the contractor installed them incorrectly and saying "see how I swapped those Pella windows out for Marvin windows". No, you corrected a bad contractors work. BTW, is that one of the 200K jobs you were referring to ?

With regard to your comments about the customer not needing a help menu if the system is properly designed, it is true that a system should be easy to use, but contextual help, as well as help videos that play back on demand can be useful. It's really impossible to "dis" them when you have no idea what the application or uses might be.
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post #67 of 84 Old 12-13-2007, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by QQQ View Post

This type of post is precisely why I responded to you in the first place. This is used car salesmanship at its finest. All of us have run into systems like this that include every manufacturer on the face of the earth. I'd never dream of using a pic like that of a C4 installation to show how I swap out C4 jobs, I'd consider it sleazy, because I'd know it doesn't remotely reflect on C4, it reflects on the installer. It's the equivalent of showing a house that's got Pella windows cracking because the contractor installed them incorrectly and saying "see how I swapped those Pella windows out for Marvin windows". No, you corrected a bad contractors work. BTW, is that one of the 200K jobs you were referring to ?

With regard to your comments about the customer not needing a help menu if the system is properly designed, it is true that a system should be easy to use, but contextual help, as well as help videos that play back on demand can be useful. It's really impossible to "dis" them when you have no idea what the application or uses might be.

a Crestron rep saw this pictures and said its not his job to help the customer thus i posted them.. The system i replaced in Utah was installed great and looked nice as far as install goes.. it was simply not programmed right and the customer was sick of it.. and no the pics above are not of the 200k job

i think being able to do videos etc is pretty awesome and i do understand the complexity of a Crestron system and capabilities like that are only obtainable on a free system.. When i compare C4 to Crestron and others i simply compare them based on a control factor and thats it...
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post #68 of 84 Old 12-13-2007, 10:03 PM
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QQQ i forgot about this.. Although its no interactive page you can do simple pop up msgs and instructions off of custom buttons...

just figured id show you



you can activate these when ever.. I use them for security alot.. the panels will pop up with what ever is going on with the alarm ( while its in alarm etc )
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post #69 of 84 Old 12-13-2007, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Audio Atmosphere View Post

QQQ i forgot about this.. Although its no interactive page you can do simple pop up msgs and instructions off of custom buttons...

just figured id show you



you can activate these when ever.. I use them for security alot.. the panels will pop up with what ever is going on with the alarm ( while its in alarm etc )

In that instance I fully acknowledge my example was wrong. Since I know the GUI cannot be modified I assumed my example applied. Obviously not.
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post #70 of 84 Old 12-13-2007, 10:18 PM
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AA, I will call a truce for now. I think you have made many valid points, I just take issues with some of your statements.
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post #71 of 84 Old 12-13-2007, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by QQQ View Post

In that instance I fully acknowledge my example was wrong. Since I know the GUI cannot be modified I assumed my example applied. Obviously not.

its not that anyone is wrong or right there are just ways to do certain things that most people dont know how.. some of them are lame and not as impressive as something you could do on an open system like crestron or amx but they do the job for most
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post #72 of 84 Old 12-13-2007, 10:22 PM
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AA, I will call a truce for now. I think you have made many valid points, I just take issues with some of your statements.


its cool no worries.. i am only so defensive because times have changed and yet people still slam control4 for stupid stuff
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post #73 of 84 Old 12-14-2007, 01:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Loto_Bak View Post

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 those numbers out of my ass, but they cant be far off)

Thanks for the love!

$10-20K mins would be for a secondary speaker line. For more mainstream lines such as the components the OP is asking about, the direct dealers must write $50K+ at dealer cost to remain as active dealers.

I can also say that the manufacturers and distributors carefully scrutinize who they want to add to their dealer base...
Some jag with a fat checkbook who simply wants to beat the other local dealers out of a few bucks will generally not be added as dealer.

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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!

I am a retired a/v dealer, and working in another facet of the industry.
I can honestly say that the profit margin at "street price" of a plasma or commodity grade PJ barely buys lunch for the crew, and that's if we WALKED to McDonalds.

Yes, audio/video dealers make money on specialized components... Get over it.

I spent 100s of hours each year attending trainings, seminars, programming classes, etc., and in the case of Elan, Niles, RTI, etc., invested 100s if not 1000s of dollars in proprietary learning boxes and ancillary hardware.

I understand that people are being more frugal these days, and that the internet has allowed for the "transparency" of

Your Ford dealer wants to sell you a van at "invoice", that's fine... there are incentives and back end deals that allow him to be plenty profitable while enticing penny-pinchers like skinners to assume that they have negotiated the deepest discount. News flash... Everyone has to make a living, or the economy stops.

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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.

Quote:


Thanks installers+dealers for sharing your insights here, your input is appreciated!

You are absolutely welcome!!
Personally, I continue to post to help people like you.

I am an enthusiast on forums just like this except in other fields...

I wouldn't expect to milk the knowledge of a professional in one of those fields, and the insult the people taking their personal time to reply to my questions by insinuating that they overcharge their clientele.

This would simply be poor manners, and my Mother would not approve.

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post #74 of 84 Old 12-14-2007, 01:24 AM
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I know a fellow in another field who I have a tremendous amount of respect for.... He tries to be as reasonable as his business model will allow, "charging as little as I can afford to charge" but does not apologize for the fact that this is still a substantial amount in the eyes of many.

He says that he would rather be seen as a bargain by those with substantial budgets, than to be seen as someone attempting to triumph in a business relationship by someone of more meager means.

Also, he emphatically notes that he DOES NOT negotiate his pricing or rates, feeling that the practice is "tacky".

"Negotiating makes me appear greedy, and makes my client appear cheap... and neither of us are flattered by these implications".

I love that line.... It really separates the clients you want to work with vs those who will bust balls non-stop....

If you get a 20% discount, would you accept 80% of the normal support??

What's that, it died within 10 days??" "Well, if you had negotiated 10% discount or less, this is covered and I would R&R the items and send the unit in for no charges to you.... at 20% off, you must deal with it yourself....

I can't help that you can't figure out which component it is.... send them all in and deal with the $50 per component "no problem found" bench test fees...

How to remove the touchscreeen from the wall without breaking it?? RTFM, man... You are not covered.

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post #75 of 84 Old 12-14-2007, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Audio Atmosphere View Post

its cool no worries.. i am only so defensive because times have changed and yet people still slam control4 for stupid stuff

AA, for the umpteenth time, C4 is not the issue. Nobody knocked C4 here. I'd love to see what you've done with one of your installations. The problem is some of the things you've said and the way you said them. Nobody is 'hating' you, it was merely criticism. You have not accepted or refuted the criticism and maybe you never will, but I hope you come away from this with a different perspective. You represent my industry and we are accountable to each other.

There are many other ways to communicate your message that C4 can do more than people think it can, but you get into trouble when try too hard to compare it with open architecture systems like Crestron or AMX. You get into even more trouble when you sell C4 on the back of a poor Crestron installation. That's bad on many levels, which I've tried to explain.

If you're so awesome and C4 is too, you shouldn't have to promote yourself on negatives.

I don't think I can make any new points so I'll take a break. QQQ is much wiser than I (and older, fatter, and balder), so if he says truce it's usually a good idea.

Aloha, BP
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post #76 of 84 Old 12-15-2007, 09:58 AM
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I based my opinion on your rhetoric, not on your website. Most dealers who are busy don't spend their time in internet forums spouting off about how awesome they are. Again you're denying the real issue here: you're acting like a 16 year old. Implying that I'm a 'hater cuz you got mad skillz' doesn't change the fact that you're being totally unprofessional. Let your mad skillz do the talking, not your mouth.

Well said. What a card this guy is. This guy will be selling used Fords in a year. What a joke. Business owners handle themselves with professionalism which is obviously a new idea for this jokester. A simple factual answer to a question seems to be the easy route but maybe the emotional insulting resposes have gotten him what he wants.

Maybe he just needs a hug or a girlfriend...
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post #77 of 84 Old 12-15-2007, 10:33 AM
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Well said. What a card this guy is. This guy will be selling used Fords in a year. What a joke. Business owners handle themselves with professionalism which is obviously a new idea for this jokester. A simple factual answer to a question seems to be the easy route but maybe the emotional insulting resposes have gotten him what he wants.

Maybe he just needs a hug or a girlfriend...

im not going to argue anymore

i posted a good system based on the thread orignally it got trashed so this thread turned into what it is... Now look.. YOU took the time to post a comment saying i will be a car salesman..

A: this is the internet
B: i posted an extremely helpful comment to the orignal poster
C: my response was argued with.. I argued back.
D: i didnt say anything mean to anyone here nor did i insult anyone
E: drop it and stop trying to start more drama...
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post #78 of 84 Old 12-15-2007, 11:57 AM
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for the guy who is being extremely cheap.. If you dont want to pay for products that you want then done.. this is simple... Its NONE of your business what someone makes..

lmao, why dont you quote that under your business name!!

I run a consulting company and I simply tell people my time is worth $x per hour. I will sell any product to them, Hardware or Software at whatever the market price is. I DONT MARK IT UP!!! I then give them my time and cost.

Why is this so hard for CIs? I get a quote for a 50" plasma flat panel as part of my full AV automation system and its $2000 more then what I can buy myself. Charge me the retail price of the equipment then bill me for your time.

You would be surprised that more people understand the cost of time vs hiding it in the 3rd party products sold.

Anyways, this has been beaten to death, I dont care if anyone makes money I simply care that I pay for and get a system that has great value. If someone can not provide it I just do it myself.

Built my house that way, pool was outsourced by me, I did my own solar water heating and I did my own full house automation.
And if you think Im cheap....you would be wrong! If you knew me you would know what I spend on people, excitement and fun. I just dont spend money on people or things I deam a waste of time for me.

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post #79 of 84 Old 12-15-2007, 12:05 PM
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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I am in the process of deciding between Elan, Control4 , or Niles ICS for a major home remodel. Basically my desires are this:

-5-6 zones of distributed audio
-2-3 zones of video
-ease of use for guests and wife
-future upgradability
-ability to have all my cd's stored on a central server, and ease to add memory to system if need be.
-would like to view cover art as I choose my music
-would also like to keep keypads to a minimum if possible, as they will not go over well with the architect or the wife. (but would like to still be able to easily control the zones/sources)

I have met with dealers for all 3 of the above, who all claim that their product is the best. The Niles guys poo pooed the Control4 as it "being too new, and not well established, therefore unreilable" the Elan guys poo pooed the Niles system as being "unreliable in the past"

Wondering what peoples thoughts are on these three systems...ANY help would be appreciated.


lol, that was the original post.

3 pages of debate had LITTLE to do with the OPs needs. What purpose does it serve?

I dont see how the OP is even looking for Crestron, its just the wrong tool for the job. Its like buying a jackhamer to crack glass, we all know a nice small hammer will do very well.

I see Control4 as the product of choice here.

HE DIDNT EVEN ASK ABOUT CRESTRON but we get the CRESTRON chest thumpers out in full force, sigh.. why does it matter so much to some of you? You didnt help the OP at all.

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post #80 of 84 Old 12-15-2007, 12:42 PM
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I would take a look at Homelogic for control

Homelogic has a built in MP3 server with Album Art. But if you want to use Album Art to choose titles then get an Escient or Request. Homelogic may have a Media center tie in at some point and Album Art could then be used for selection.

Lutron for Lighting, shades
Aprilaire for HVAC
B&K for A/V distribution
RTI for Handhelds
LG and Pioneer for displays
GE for Security
Hunter for Irrigation
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post #81 of 84 Old 12-15-2007, 01:04 PM
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lmao, why dont you quote that under your business name!!

I run a consulting company and I simply tell people my time is worth $x per hour. I will sell any product to them, Hardware or Software at whatever the market price is. I DONT MARK IT UP!!! I then give them my time and cost.

Why is this so hard for CIs? I get a quote for a 50" plasma flat panel as part of my full AV automation system and its $2000 more then what I can buy myself. Charge me the retail price of the equipment then bill me for your time.

You would be surprised that more people understand the cost of time vs hiding it in the 3rd party products sold.

Anyways, this has been beaten to death, I dont care if anyone makes money I simply care that I pay for and get a system that has great value. If someone can not provide it I just do it myself.

Built my house that way, pool was outsourced by me, I did my own solar water heating and I did my own full house automation.
And if you think Im cheap....you would be wrong! If you knew me you would know what I spend on people, excitement and fun. I just dont spend money on people or things I deam a waste of time for me.


as far as the tvs thats a bad example at least for me.. when i do a bid i just go off of best buy etc pricing.. when its time to do the final install ( since most homes take 6-12 months to get built ) i revist the models and pricing and adjust them accordingly.. Im not here to rip anyone off but what a specialty item like control systems etc cost is not public information and in reality it doesnt matter..

Heres another example

so i buy a large amount of speakers from a company and i am on a better pricing structure.. since my cost is 20% less than another dealer am i supposed to sell the products for 20% less to the consumer?? NO!!

your 2nd to last statement is what matters.. if you pay for something and it works perfect, you enjoy it and everything is great then what ever you paid is what you value your happyness for that project at.. If someone is cheap or wants something out of their price range and does anything and everything to get that product and have it poorly installed and then ends up being miserable with what they have its their own fault...
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post #82 of 84 Old 12-15-2007, 01:05 PM
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lol, that was the original post.

3 pages of debate had LITTLE to do with the OPs needs. What purpose does it serve?

I dont see how the OP is even looking for Crestron, its just the wrong tool for the job. Its like buying a jackhamer to crack glass, we all know a nice small hammer will do very well.

I see Control4 as the product of choice here.

HE DIDNT EVEN ASK ABOUT CRESTRON but we get the CRESTRON chest thumpers out in full force, sigh.. why does it matter so much to some of you? You didnt help the OP at all.


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post #83 of 84 Old 12-15-2007, 10:28 PM
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i charge 80 bucks an hour for computer calls when i do decide to make a computer call anymore.

i started ELAN in 2005 before then i really did not know much about home automation. so ELAN and homelogic and sunfire are pretty much my line of work.

before ELAN i was a field tech for a company called Qualxserv we did in field support for hughes,dell home and server,philips,cannon,and various other companies with 4 hour response times.

i know we charged 180 bucks an hour for hughes onsite service alone not sure for dell.

so 70 to 85 bucks an hours is a fair price!

and i have to say home automation is more complex in ways than pc networking. and i am dell master server certified.

Jamie
No Longer Works For ELAN Home Systems, Sunfire and Homelogic Tech Support Specialist.
MY opinions are my own and when i am in forum i do not represent any of these companies!
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post #84 of 84 Old 12-16-2007, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

lol, that was the original post.

3 pages of debate had LITTLE to do with the OPs needs. What purpose does it serve?

I dont see how the OP is even looking for Crestron, its just the wrong tool for the job. Its like buying a jackhamer to crack glass, we all know a nice small hammer will do very well.

I see Control4 as the product of choice here.

HE DIDNT EVEN ASK ABOUT CRESTRON but we get the CRESTRON chest thumpers out in full force, sigh.. why does it matter so much to some of you? You didnt help the OP at all.

Penn, I have to ask, did you read the thread? It's apparent that you didn't. The issue wasn't Crestron or C4 per se, it was the sales and promotional tactics of one CI who happened to be a C4 installer. If he just said C4 was awesome and probably the best choice in the selected products then there wouldn't have been three pages of this 'debate.' Either you knew that or you didn't read the thread. And you should know from our previous 'debates,' I'm an AMX guy.

What's hypocritical is that it's provided a forum for you to promote your agenda about how CI's cost too much, and your 'Crestron chest thumpers' comment is patent biased hyperbole of which you are well known for. I'm trying to keep our house in order and you're taking advantage of it for your own axes to grind.

At least you threw in a C4 recommendation so you could say you helped the OP.
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