Originally Posted by cansv
Hello everyone, I have done as much research as I can on my own and I am hoping I can now get some specific advice. I am building a new home and would like as much home automaton as can can fit in my budget. The issue I am having is my electrician wants to use a Lutron based system and I see most people here are choosing Control4 or Savant.
Dream List in order of importance:
1) Lighting Controll
2) Door Locks, garage and alarm
3) Window Shades
4) 3 Tv's and their devices
The basement will be unfinished at the time of possession but eventually I will build a dedicated theatre that I would like tied in.
Can anyone make some recommendations on a system to select and if my budget is even realistic based on that choice.
My 2 cents...
Lutron specializes in lighting and shades, not AV system control or integration. It may sound like a no-brainer, but I say that because I've noticed that for long term system stability, it's best to stick to a companies strong suite. I like Radio Ra2 for a retro-type solution, and you know it'll be around for a long time, and likely to be replaced with something backwards compatible.
I have a friend who's drinking the Control4 Kool-aid REALLY hard right now, and while I can understand part of it, there's another part of me that feels a need to draw a line in the sand. Like I said about Lutron not being an integration specialist, Control4 (and Savant, for that matter) is not a lighting/shade control specialist. My friend happily pushes Control4 lighting, and I'm sure it's great NOW, but there's no telling how long they'll support it (see what Savant did with Litetouch for an example).
So my recommendation is Lutron for lighting and shade control, and Control4 or something else for AV and just do the integration between them. That way if you have to change your AV system someday, you don't have to change you AV AND lighting control. That's the idea, anyway.
I work with Savant and I hate it. There are things Control4 does that Savant doesn't do (native Sonos control, Apple TV ip control, channel guide info on your iOS device, etc...). Savant also changes their hardware quite often, which makes me suspect that the useable lifespan of one of their systems will be significantly less than something by someone else. Control4 may be the same in that regard; I'm not sure. Control4 also seems to have a better time with the garage door control and status.
(As an aside - That's why Crestron is still my favorite - there are systems out there that are 10-15 years old, still chuggin' along. But it IS expensive and the programming issue is always a bit of a pain.)
I also like URC remotes if you don't need 2-way feedback (I think they CAN do that; my company just uses the MX-980 for that price point).