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New House Build: Down to Crestron vs. Control4

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
We are building a new home (about 6,000 square fee) and have narrowed our AV/LV bid down to two options. One of the companies is proposing a Control4 based system and one is proposing a Crestron based system. We have already ruled out two other bids that were both Savant based because of cost. Our scope is this: 1) distributed audio in 8 zones capable of running up to 3 different inputs at the same time (streaming, iPod/iTunes based, video); 2) ability to control HVAC controls remotely via an iPad/iPhone 3) ability to monitor / view our security cameras remotely; 4) some pre-programmed lighting. We have decided against a full distributed video system. It seemed to add a lot of cost and we are pretty low-end video users -- I think FiOS' in home system works fine where we have two DVRs that send recorded shows to our other TVs which just have simple FiOS tuners.

My question is this: Control4 is less expensive and the big difference seems to be in the lighting area where Control4 avoids using any "home runs" between lighting circuits and they all just talk to each other. I understand the Crestron requires more programming which adds to cost too. I guess I'm struggling to see the advantage of Crestron, but must be missing something.
post #2 of 11
I'd ask the installation companies for references, and demos. Take a good hour with each system, if you can, for a test drive. The quality of the company means a lot.
post #3 of 11
We are dealers for Control4, Savant and formerly Crestron. Your situation is exactly the reason that Control4 is in business. You'll get a lot of functionality for less cost. Crestron is great if you are doing distributed video but for simple audio and lighting, I think you will be happier with Control4.
post #4 of 11
Feel free to call me or visit our web site if you want to talk more about this. We have a good blog post on Control4 vs. Savant that you might find useful. Savant and Crestron are very similar so you can see the pros and cons of Control4 vs. a "higher end" solution.


post #5 of 11
We do not sell Crestron or Control4.
As far as lighting is concerned Crestron also has a 'local' solution where they provide local RF swithces. (also less $.)
I think that the reason the Crestron integrator suggested a 'home run system' is that the resultant keypads you see are single gang, and not multiple gangs like Control4. You lose the wall 'acne' of multi gang switches all over.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the good information everyone. Very helpful. Excluding distributed video (which we don't want) I'm struggling to find a reason to spend the extra money on Crestron.
post #7 of 11
Crestron doesn't require 'home runned lighting loads," but it is an option. Standard wired dimmers are just fine too.

The home runned loads let all lighting be controlled by single gang keypads, reducing wall clutter. You can avoid the multiple gangs of switches at the entrance to the kitchen, or at the front door. The multiple gangs of switches are replaced by a single gang keypad.

Fully customizable touchscreens are also sacrificed, with C4. You can't pick colors, design, and layout.

Again, the quality and experience of the installer should play a significant role in your decision.
post #8 of 11
+1 Neurorad
post #9 of 11
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

I'd ask the installation companies for references, and demos. Take a good hour with each system, if you can, for a test drive. The quality of the company means a lot.

This is really great advice. As someone who does this for a living, it's what I would do. The company performing the installation is vital to a successful outcome and in many instances every bit as important as the product you choose.
post #10 of 11
I went through the same decision process and ended up with Control4. So far I love it! I'm running 5 zones of audio, 4 zones of cameras and 2 zones of distributed video and I plan to expand to 12 audio zones and another few video zones. My home isn't as large as yours (3600sq/f) but I've have no issues what so ever and it is fast. My lighting system has had no issues (using about 20 dimmers or so) and I'm planning a phase 2 expansion of the system for the spring. I also have a friend who is running 40+ dimmers with 4 zones of video and 12 zones audio in his home with an older HC500 and his system works flawlessly too. The guys are right, the programmers are going to make all the difference in the end.

My advise to you is to go for the cheaper one and be done with it. In the end of the day, you'll get your Crestron fanboys and Control4 fanboys but they do the same thing! Yes, Crestron is more customizeable for the the guy who wants everything automated (this will cost you) and has the customizeable GUI (which C4 will be capable of doing by the end of the year). In the end of the day there wasn't a single thing I threw at my integrators that they weren't able to do. They even put pressure sensors in my bed so that when I wake up at 3:30am to go to work, my lights turn on at 10% just enough for me to navigate my way around my room and not wake up my wife, then shut off after 5 minutes or as soon as I return to bed.

I am a fanboy of money in my pocket so that's what I ended up doing.
Edited by MMMorish - 11/5/12 at 12:19pm
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
I visited both and got great references on the C4 company. Really get a better feeling from the C4 company so it makes my decision easy. Thanks for all the advice everyone.
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