~~Thank you fcwilt. It was a local installer that had also installed our Crestron system 10 years ago. He has been doing it for over 20 years and is quite knowledgeable, and in my experience knows quite a bit more than any other person I have talked to about AV systems. He was so embarrassed that he was the one who advised us to go with the new “wonderful” G! system, that he heavily discounted his work because of all the unbelievable problems.
The Vantage Lighting system was installed in our house 10 years ago when it was built, and part of the decision to go with Elan was that they claim to have “modules” that you pay for that are already setup (preprogrammed) and all you do is input your system into their framework and you are ready to go. Well, there is no way to “test” it beyond inputting our lighting system into their program to find out that it does not work. Based on promises from Elan that they were working on fixing the bugs we discovered upon initial programming, we went ahead in input our lighting system. Then we spent tons of time going back and forth with the problems. There was no other way to get there. If you are not actively attempting to implement solutions, you will not find out that it cannot be done. After quite some time we were told that they could not make it work, so we had to abandon putting our Vantage lighting system into the G! home automation system. If anything, our installer’s technical capabilities greatly helped Elan understand that their system didn’t work, so I would say it was the other way around, our installer knows too much for them.
The HR2 has significant limitations, i.e. you cannot really customize the user interface, it is created by default. For example, if you want to change rooms (we have 7 A/V rooms and over a dozen zones) you have to hold down one “non-descript” key for several seconds to “magically” pop open another menu to change rooms. Mind you that this key you hold down does not say “rooms, or zones”, or anything that makes sense, nor does it say “hold this key for an extended period of time” and you can change to a different A/V zone, so you would never ever figure this out if you were not told how to do it. Also, the names of some of the graphical buttons on the remote cannot be changed as well and the icons are very limited. If you want turn on music for in a multi-room setting, it is a convoluted process of pressing different buttons as well. In our old Crestron system it was as simple as touching one clearly marked button and then one more clearly marked button as to what you are doing. Not in the Elan G! system. We have had this system in our house for over a year and my wife has given up on figuring it out. Sure she can turn on the TV, change the channel, and turn off the TV. But ask her to turn off the security system notification, and she can’t remember how to do it and she has a doctoral level education.
Elan told us point blank that they had a solution for our Sony Blu-ray servers. Well they do, but it never worked properly and they no longer support it of course, so they won’t fix their broken module that never worked in the first place. And you can’t find this out by looking at it; you have to implement the system to find out. There were so many things like this, claims that the G! would do this and that and in the end it didn’t.
As far as timing of fixing bugs, I think I have covered that. We still have bugs not fixed that were promised over 1 year ago. And that is why I finally got so frustrated that I decided that other people need to now about this stuff so they don’t get trapped into the situation we have.
By the time we spent all the money fishing out bugs for Elan and trying to find “go-arounds” for their interfaces, we could have just about programmed a new Crestron system for the house which would have a much better custom user interface that anyone could use without instruction. And we would have our lighting, Blu-ray servers, air conditioning, and etc. all on one home automation system. In fact, that was what started the whole project, to have everything in one interface (a home automation system), but in the end we have a mish-mosh of different solutions from different sources, and a not so user friendly interface, not what we wanted at all. By the time we found out that Elan could not do what they said it could do, we were too far in to go back, and Elan would not take back all the equipment. A really sad situation. Thank you Elan.