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HA next steps newbie - Savant, Prodigy, C4

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm in need of some expert advice seeking a very happy medium between functionality and control for my wife/kids/nanny with a ~$4K budget. A little background on control needs - My wife uses her iPhone for texting, emailing, camera, games, music via iPod and some light Pandora. My kids (4 yrs & 7 yrs) use their iPod Touch for games & music. We also have a family iPad 2Our current setup in the Family Room is the following: 58 Samsung Plasma TV (PN 58C550G1F), Samsung BluRay (BD-D5700), Apple TV 2, Denon Receiver (AVR-1912), Niles 4-pair Speaker Selector (SS-4), DirecTV (HR24-100), with a NETGEAR ReadyNAS (RNDU4000 with iTunes Server, DLNA, UPnP, RAID 5) loaded with +200GBs of music & 100GBs of movies, and lights controlled by Lutron Maestro IR all controlled nicely by Harmony One Remote. Also, my entire house is wireless (n) and partially wiredFamily Room is wired with Cat5.

What I would like to do now (in order):
Hide my components in cabinets (Receiver, DirecTV, ATV, etc) = Need new remote with RF or conversion kit for Harmoney One?
Take advantage of Denon's zone 2 capabilities add (wired) speakers to my Deck, DR and Kitchen
Improve lighting control in my Family Room (2 switches) - move away from IR

Potential future add-ons:
Add network security cameras (front door, playroom, etc)
Control landscape and outdoor lighting - never a dark house
Maybe even replace a bank of switches with a keypad
HVAC - nice to have since I have Honeywell Prestige HD with Redlink Gateway control via iPhone appEcobee looks pretty slick as does NEST

I really want to build a good foundation and a very friendly and expendable system, but I tend to get hung up on proprietary technology' and don't want to over invest and have to keep updatingIs Savant and Creston Prodigy overkill? I'm thinking more like Control4

Do I need a new Universal Remote for Family Room too - we are content with Harmony One, just not convinced Zone 2 controls are as easy/fluid to usealso, need RF???

post #2 of 11
Control4 is fine. Savant is generally more expensive. The 4k budget is gonna be an issue with any of these control systems installed professionally. DIY control4 will work.

License issue though with new 2.0 software when doing it DIY. Can't add new devices
post #3 of 11
DIY or pro installed?

If DIY, then be patient, baby steps.

If pro installed, find a local integrator you're comfortable with. This is more important than the hardware platform.
post #4 of 11
Control4's new hc-800 controller with an msrp of $999 is a real solid candidate and can scale to handle a large install. IMHO this is probably your best bet to start small and grow with it

Hdmi switchers are generally among the more pricier items that with time will push you past that4k budget in a hurry when u scale to a more sophisticated install.

I am assuming this is a DIY install?
post #5 of 11
I'm a dealer for Control4, and based on what you would like to do, future and present, doesn't seem terribly difficult for C4 to handle. Savant and Prodigy are nice, Savant is pricey for a 4k budget and Prodigy is an afterthought for Crestron to compete in this price point.

Control4 is priced and designed for this price point, and has the capability to add on over time or immediately. They have C4 dimmers, hvac thermos, door locks that can be retrofitted in and are all zigbee(rf) that grow a mesh as u add more zigbee products.

The new Hc800 adds a faster processor, greater zigbee range and lightning fast on screen navigator. Also add an SR remote for simple use in your living room and get the IPhone/iPad app the C4 Myhome app and turn all your phones/iPads into touchscreens with two way feed back.

Personally, I have installed, programmed most of the remotes mentioned above and decided on Control4 due to hitting a greater market at this price point, add on capability and the easy functionality of control over complicated systems. An addition C4 has remote access, and email notifications.

At my home I have a 2 year old and a 6 year old, and oh yeah a wife, and all can use the system which includes 790 DVDs in two Sony changers, door locks, light control and six zones of audio and video distributed. I get emails when the wife or mother n law unlock the front door with their codes, and lights turn on for my kids at night when they run to my room or have to use the bathroom, and shut off when theyre done.

There are tons you can do with C4 and at a good price point that doesn't break the bank.
post #6 of 11
Originally Posted by siordia View Post

There are tons you can do with C4 and at a good price point that doesn't break the bank.

Bang for your buck, C4 is your best value. $4k will take you a long way considering it doesn't take much to program C4.
post #7 of 11
How do you get around the license issues on the new 2.0 version so you can add new devices on control4?
post #8 of 11
Here are some screenshots from the iPad app from C4.

Attachment 245735

Attachment 245736

Attachment 245737

Attachment 245738
post #9 of 11
Dealer software is not given out to end users. You can purchase licenses for composer home edition.

Also just FYI for screen shots of iDevices, hit the home screen button and the lock button at the same time to take an instant snapshot of the screen and save it in Photos.
post #10 of 11
I understand the composer home edition does not let you add new devices. Specifically what does this mean? I can't add any device to be controlled? Receivers, matrix switchers, multizone audio amplifiers and everything else under the sun can't be added and controlled? Is this what they are saying? What can be controlled then if an end user had an hc-800 for ex and wanted to get a home edition license
post #11 of 11
The home edition allows you to add programing like lighting scenes, announcements and schedules to name a few.

Programming like "if motion is sensed turn on the lights at this level". And "If motion isn't sensed shut lights off. "

Correct on the end user can't add devices/equipment (DVD player, receiver, tv's etc) for that you need a dealer. C4 protects the dealers who have invested their money and time in C4 training and equipment. A good dealer will work with a client who wants to be more hands on, however the home owner needs to be prepared if they mess up the programming to have to pay for service calls.

By protecting the dealers C4 ensures that their product is or at least should be installed correctly by installers who have passed their training, which gives the end user a better experience and less of a chance of bad mouthing.
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