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Control4 Setup - Thoughts/Suggestions

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I have a new condo under construction in Chicago and am looking at installing Control4 for my home automation needs. For starters, this system will only interact with my A/V equipment, and I'll possibly branch out to lights, thermostat, etc. at a later date. I received a quote from BestBuy (Magnolia) that estimated the cost at 40-50k. In my opinion, and through some research, that seems high. Here's what I'm thinking I need to accomplish my goals. Thoughts and feedback is greatly appreciated.

4x4 HDMI Matrix - ~$1000 (should I look into an HD over IP switch instead?)
HC-800 Controller - ~$1000
HC-200 Controller (x2) ~$1000
8 Zone Amplifier ~$2500
AVR - ~$700
Speakers ~$1000

I'm looking at roughly $7,500 in equipment costs. Couple questions:

1. Does this look complete?

2. Are the HC-200s needed if I get the HC-800? Am I to understand that the HC-200s are basically just providing an on-screen menu for those TVs while the HC-800 could run everything else?

3. Any estimations on installation costs, which would include wiring my house for A/V (pre-drywall).


Again, thoughts and feedback are greatly appreciated. Thanks!

G
post #2 of 10
I'd talk to another C4 dealer in the area, should be several. Ask around at work for custom installer rec's.

What about the costs of cable, terminations, TVs, and speakers?

Don't forget overhead - insurance, rent, van, advertising, benefits.

I don't know how long it would take a couple guys to prewire, terminate/trim out, set up, and program.

Best Buy wouldn't be my first choice, for custom installation, but quality varies considerably from location to location. Many experienced guys who used to work for the local specialty AV shop now do Magnolia installs. Of course, some Magnolia guys aren't very experienced.
post #3 of 10
I think you're really underestimating the equipment costs. Your list includes the main items but there are a number of accessory items that are required for an integrated system as well. What about a centralized equipment rack? Sources? AV Receiver? Cables and connectors? Etc. Also, your budget for HDMI switching and speakers seems pretty light to me. What about low voltage wiring?
post #4 of 10
I would support the comment about GeekSquad HT install. They have some extremely talented people that take pride in their work, but like everything else there are those that don't.

As for the equipment, I do recommend an HDbaseT matrix or hdmi over Cat, it makes the wiring so much easier. And depending on your runs, it can be more cost effective.

For the audio, how many zones? 8? Total of 16 spEakers? Minimum for The speakers the,selves would be $1500 and even higher if you're wanting better quality.

As for controllers, the Hc800 becomes the brains that processes everything, and the Hc200 (I would ask about the HC250) become the hands and fingers for each room.

Then there's the Network required to run it, as well as what ever nifty controls and features you want

My advice is to take an in depth look at whatever proposal they gave you and find items you might want to change if the price is out of the budget, they're non commission so it shouldn't be too big of a deal.

Also, like Neurorad said, take it to another dealer, but if they're providing apples to apples with similar quality items the only difference should really be installation charges. A BMW costs as much as. Mercedes, which costs as much as an Audi.
Edited by Detach50 - 10/2/12 at 5:33am
post #5 of 10
As a Control4 dealer/installer myself, I can say that those prices you mentioned are right in the ballpark except maybe the HDMI switcher, depending on the manufacturer/specs. But as it was also mentioned by someone else, those are only the main components and probably only equal 1/4 of the total project cost. Not knowing exactly what your project is like I'd say that you are looking at maybe 40 to 100 man hours involved with installed and programming everything, which adds up quick.

Talk to some local dealers, but don't just hand them your quote from Magnolia and say "whats your price?". Talk to them and let them determine the best solutions for YOU. There is more than one way to skin the proverbial cat and ways to mix and match the perfect hardware solutions to create what you need.
post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gramin View Post

I have a new condo under construction in Chicago and am looking at installing Control4 for my home automation needs. For starters, this system will only interact with my A/V equipment, and I'll possibly branch out to lights, thermostat, etc. at a later date. I received a quote from BestBuy (Magnolia) that estimated the cost at 40-50k. In my opinion, and through some research, that seems high. Here's what I'm thinking I need to accomplish my goals. Thoughts and feedback is greatly appreciated.
4x4 HDMI Matrix - ~$1000 (should I look into an HD over IP switch instead?
HC-800 Controller - ~$1000
HC-200 Controller (x2) ~$1000
8 Zone Amplifier ~$2500
AVR - ~$700
Speakers ~$1000
I'm looking at roughly $7,500 in equipment costs. Couple questions:
1. Does this look complete?
2. Are the HC-200s needed if I get the HC-800? Am I to understand that the HC-200s are basically just providing an on-screen menu for those TVs while the HC-800 could run everything else?
3. Any estimations on installation costs, which would include wiring my house for A/V (pre-drywall).
Again, thoughts and feedback are greatly appreciated. Thanks!
G

HC-800 looks ok. At this price it must come with a SR-250 remote.
IMO no way would I purchase the Old HC-200 at that price...
Not sure on the C4 amp.
Not sure on AVR or speakers???

As the post above said get a couple of quotes from a real C4 dealer. NOT BB...
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Good morning everyone! Reviving this thread to let you know where I stand and to get some further advice.

For $2,500, I had my entire condo pre-wired with CAT and speaker cable to all locations (3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, living room, kitchen and hallway). I'm about four months away from close and am working with a quote from Abt, and of course, trying to get them lower. I've attached the PDF of the quote if you'd like to take a look.

Couple notes:

1. I'm moving from the 16 channel amp to the 8 channel. To start, I'll only have 4 zones (plus the 5.1 in the living room).

2. I'm also eliminating all but one of the remotes as it's only me and my SO in the home. When we have guests, we'll let them use the remote and keep use our phones.

3. You'll notice no speakers; I'm purchasing and installing those on my own.

4. What are your thoughts re: installation costs? Between the installation labor, project management and programming, I'm looking at $4,644 in "installation" costs. Do you think that's in line or possibly excessive?

5. Any other equipment or items seem out of line?

6. Any suggestions on where to purchase some of this other equipment for less? I've checked Newegg and Amazon. If I can get it for less on some other site, I'll probably purchase it on my own and then provide it to Abt.

Any suggestions you can provide are greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

G C4 Setup - Clean.pdf 1425k .pdf file
post #8 of 10
Is your GC OK with Abt and you running cables, during construction?

Does the NAS provide Pandora, or a C4 device? Will you need a separate music server, e.g. Grace Audio?

Do you need to turn a TV on to change music, viewing the OSD? Or can this be done from the remote? Remote display looks pretty small. Other larger remote available?
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Cables are already in. Was able to convince my developer to tell the GC to let me in to wire the place.

The WD TV Live for Pandora. And if I'm not mistaken, C4 can stream Rhapsody. Do you suggest adding the Grace Digital tuner to my system? I also have tens of thousands of songs on my NAS and will sometimes stream from that.

I can change the music from my Android phone, iPhone or iPad. Can also do it from the TV, but that's not a requirement for changing the music.

Overall, my primary concern is video. I want to be able to control any of my input devices from any of my TVs, which this system should accomplish. I'm also going to throw in the new DirecTV Genie. The Genie will be an input to my AVR, thus only available in the living room, while a mini Genie will be an input to the matrix. If I get to the point where my spare bedrooms are consistently used and there are conflicts, I'll add a second mini Genie as in input.
post #10 of 10
In Melbourne, Australia, Control4 installer quoted in Sep2013:
Control4 HC-800 incl SR-250 remote- USD3600
Belkin WeMo x4 (to control lights) plus programming USD1600
System would control TV, DVD player, AVR and 4 lights- nothing else and installer was not happy using HC-250.
Total USD5200.00- and you guys in US think Control4 is expensive...
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