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post #31 of 364 Old 09-05-2017, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by ezlotogura View Post
My system isnt better than yours. Yours isnt better than mine. But my system, for my needs, and my budget is better than what you proposed.

Does your solution cost less- sure it does. Does it offer the features I need, no it doesnt. So again you are not making an apples to apples comparison and you admitted Smart Things does not do audio on its own and people get a separate system, then you say your system does what mine does but better? It does not do Sonos integration which I wanted nor will it integration with a music streaming service where radios are not needed (aka clutter) - my preference was for in wall/in ceiling speakers in bedrooms, kitchen, dining room, etc.

I use video distribution frequently. Not just for cable boxes but I use it for my IP camera system - door bell rings and I get a PiP in the lower corner of the TV showing a live feed of who is at the door. If its after 10pm and before 7am (normal sleeping time for us) and the alarm goes off I get all of my cameras (interior and exterior) to show on the bedroom TV in a 3x2 grid to see if anything is going on. That is all done via my TV distribution system. Which also has Kodi built into it so I get kodi functionality too. And yes it also distributes my cable box signal and blu ray player and other streaming devices. I was also having issues with mounting or locating cable boxes in some rooms so having just a balun is way neater installation. Also helps some people with ARC for audio.

Again this isnt a pissing contest, but I am just putting the facts out there. C4 isnt "the best". Crestron can do way more and is super more configurable. I think Savant has a nicer UI out of the box. I am just saying it can do a heck of a lot if programmed and designed properly and it can do more and control more than over the shelf hubs like Smart Things. Could that change in a few years, sure. But everyone said HomeKit was putting the CI unit out of business and the CI revenue streams have grown the last few years with the rebound in the housing market, so go figure.

There are many use cases for Smart Things but there are other use cases for CI installed products. As a C4 and Crestron tech yourself I am sure you know that difference after speaking and working with end users.
You have great a system. Absolutely. I think that the CI group will continue to have their base of customers while the SmartThings of the off the shelf hub world will continue to appeal to a wider audience that may or may not be able to swallow the cost of a CI system. The off the shelf hub systems like SmartThing can do 90% to 95% of what the custom install systems can do; save for integration of some music streaming, alarm systems, & advanced scripting. That 90% to 95% of functionality will be sufficient for the vast majority of consumers that want a connected home, but they can't or don't want to spend 5k to 10k per room. Throw IFTTT and Harmony into the mix for a hub based system and connected home owner can certainly develop a nicely equipmented connected home that isn't complicated to operate. The last mile is the final frontier.

As far as Homekit is concerned, every review I've seen of Homekit versus the other hubs all mention that Homekit doesn't have the power nor the flexibility that the hubs like SmartThings offer. While Homekit has made progress I wouldn't put it in the same category of flexibility/optionality that you'd get with a SmartThing, Nexia, Vera or Wink hub. And those other hubs use Z-wave which gives the owners access to somewhere in the ballpark of 2k devices to choose from; Homekit is nowhere near that. But Homekit is coming along nicely and it will work a group of people that are Apple fans and don't need a system that uses complex/creative programming.

As you and others have said, no one system is the best system for anyone. Everyone has different needs and that is ok.
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post #32 of 364 Old 09-05-2017, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by MOTILAC View Post
I do need to add this tidbit.... First of all, C4's Composer HE is really cool in that it comes standard, and has from the beginning.
In Crestron-land, I have written scheduler programming and editable programming for clients. This doesn't come standard in all of the systems I've done, but I've done it and it can be added/implemented per client/system. It can be as detailed as the client would like it to be. Due to Crestron's open architecture programming, most anything is possible. Savant? NO WAY, none of this. In Crestron's Pyng system, users have the ability to edit events and schedules much like C4's Composer HE....but right from any of the interfaces/mobile app....and it comes standard.
Not 100% sure on how powerful the configuration is within Pyng. I can say Composer HE is more than just scheduling events. In fact some new drivers make scheduling events possible in the C4 touchscreen without needed Composer HE. But Composer HE can do everything in a C4 ecosystem except identify/bind new hardware. So you can do very deep dive programming just like an installer with Composer HE. If you can do that with Pyng too that is a nice perk for people wanting to dip into Crestron without going for the full top of the line offering. Even just ability to set up schedules via Pyng is a good start.
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post #33 of 364 Old 09-05-2017, 07:59 PM
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sort of funny to see people touting $10k+ video distribution systems for their film library when $20/month gets you access to 4k streams of just about any movie you might want. Those systems are like a motorola startac in the age of the smartphone.
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post #34 of 364 Old 09-06-2017, 05:35 AM
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freeoscar, yes, but that's if you have the Internet speed to take advantage of those video streaming services. Mine is DSL 7 down, 1 up...that's all folks. No cable available in the distant future. Private road and not enough customers to warrant running the feed.
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post #35 of 364 Old 09-06-2017, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by freeoscar View Post
sort of funny to see people touting $10k+ video distribution systems for their film library when $20/month gets you access to 4k streams of just about any movie you might want. Those systems are like a motorola startac in the age of the smartphone.
I think I gave several examples of video distribution not even touching a personal movie library. Again different use cases for different people. I do not own a 4k tv, 4k content, etc, so it is of no concern to me.

and I agree, bandwidth is a major concern and not many people have the proper bandwidth to stream such content. Some people prefer physical media and ownership of a disc because it is never compressed and a better viewing experience (to some).

Great thing about A/V, many ways to accomplish tasks but each user has their own needs and if their goals are accomplished that's great. I use a video distribution system with built in Kodi, I have my movies ripped on a ReadyNas, and that works for me because I can do more than just stream my movie library using that video system.
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post #36 of 364 Old 09-07-2017, 07:48 AM
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Along with Composer HE - C4 takes another step and more DIY friendly options (post install)


http://www.cepro.com/article/control...edia_2017/news
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post #37 of 364 Old 09-14-2017, 07:29 PM
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stay away from Control4

I think C4 is a neat product, but I just finished a job as the EC where the C4 dealer has a few weird issues that C4 has basically said they can't figure out the problem and have no solutions.


One of them I know of is an issue with the garage door controllers not working properly, and they have some issues with the audio system being controlled by C4.

This is a $60k install on a 2500 sq ft house. Added with my install, it's a $100k electrical job that just flakes out sometimes.

The dealer is a super knowledgeable guy and has spent days over there trying to figure some of this stuff out and just isn't getting anywhere. I feel pretty bad for them that the manufacturer isn't doing more to help.

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post #38 of 364 Old 09-15-2017, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by brantmacga View Post
I think C4 is a neat product, but I just finished a job as the EC where the C4 dealer has a few weird issues that C4 has basically said they can't figure out the problem and have no solutions.


One of them I know of is an issue with the garage door controllers not working properly, and they have some issues with the audio system being controlled by C4.

This is a $60k install on a 2500 sq ft house. Added with my install, it's a $100k electrical job that just flakes out sometimes.

The dealer is a super knowledgeable guy and has spent days over there trying to figure some of this stuff out and just isn't getting anywhere. I feel pretty bad for them that the manufacturer isn't doing more to help.

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send the dealer to C4Forums.com - it is a public forum with a lot of helpful folks. lots of dealers/programmers hang out there and offer free advice.

do you know if it was MyQ garage door or just using the C4 garage door kit to work on any garage door? And do you have any specifics as to what the audio issue is? Streaming services built into the controller? using sonos or another 3rd party streaming device (heos, etc) or is it sending out announcements?

The other option is to sign up for the dealer only forum: https://forums.control4.com/register.aspx

On the public www.C4forums/com there are some C4 employees - if you PM me or have your dealer contact me I can give you the employees handle names so when you post you can reference them, they'll get a message and usually respond fairly quickly.
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post #39 of 364 Old 09-15-2017, 06:52 PM
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stay away from Control4

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezlotogura View Post
send the dealer to C4Forums.com.....

He may already be there......idk.

I can't tell you all the specifics of this system; my role as the EC was to design the electrical system & install devices, while the dealer did the programming.

I don't know the model door operator. What they have on each bay (4 total) is a door operator, and the a separate screen door with its own operator that opens/closes independently. What they tried to accomplish is a program that opens the garage door every morning, and then closes the screen door behind it until the homeowner opens the screen to leave. What happens is the garage door will open, and sometimes the screen will close properly and sometimes it does not. This setup was requested by the homeowner.

With the audio system, they have problems where streaming services will stop working. C4 is saying it's an issue with their ISP. The homeowner has told me he's had other issues where they'll try to activate a lighting scene or open shades, and music will start playing loudly instead and they're unable to turn it off at the wall control.

I know the dealer is pretty frustrated with it. He told me a couple of days ago they were contemplating refunding the owner the cost of the garage door controls and some of the audio stuff, as they simply can't get it fixed.

And I'm not knocking the dealer at all; I know the guy has spent hours upon hours trying to fix this. And control 4 is, from what I've seen, and really cool system that has a lot of options for integration that the system I sell does not.

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post #40 of 364 Old 09-15-2017, 07:43 PM
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The garage door logic is pretty basic...that sounds like it's on the dealer.
The streaming sounds like a use case (no Internet) that C4 didn't iron out in their hardware driver.
Not sure about turning lights on and the music blares...but system logs should tell the dealer what's going on.

Most of this sounds like it's on the programmer. Might be new. Good to hear he keeps trying, but their is no substitute for experience.
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post #41 of 364 Old 09-17-2017, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by brantmacga View Post
He may already be there......idk.

I can't tell you all the specifics of this system; my role as the EC was to design the electrical system & install devices, while the dealer did the programming.

I don't know the model door operator. What they have on each bay (4 total) is a door operator, and the a separate screen door with its own operator that opens/closes independently. What they tried to accomplish is a program that opens the garage door every morning, and then closes the screen door behind it until the homeowner opens the screen to leave. What happens is the garage door will open, and sometimes the screen will close properly and sometimes it does not. This setup was requested by the homeowner.

With the audio system, they have problems where streaming services will stop working. C4 is saying it's an issue with their ISP. The homeowner has told me he's had other issues where they'll try to activate a lighting scene or open shades, and music will start playing loudly instead and they're unable to turn it off at the wall control.

I know the dealer is pretty frustrated with it. He told me a couple of days ago they were contemplating refunding the owner the cost of the garage door controls and some of the audio stuff, as they simply can't get it fixed.

And I'm not knocking the dealer at all; I know the guy has spent hours upon hours trying to fix this. And control 4 is, from what I've seen, and really cool system that has a lot of options for integration that the system I sell does not.

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Got to agree with the other poster - this really sounds like dealer/programming issues especially hitting a light scene and getting music - you need to tell the system to do that it just doesn't happen out of the blue. The dealer may come across as strong and smart but I wonder how many C4 installs he has under his/her belt. Some of it also may be networking related - are they use unmanaged switches? Nothing fancy with VLANs, etc because that is not advised and can mess up Control4 if not done properly. And C4 recommends against managed switches, etc. There needs to be more info but I am fairly confident something from the story is missing - either their credentials, the lack of C4 help, etc.

When I first got my installation I was having trouble with an older DSC alarm and some funky behavior. C4 actually went on ebay and cobbled together my system for their lab and ran tests and figured out the problem. It was not an overnight solution but they wanted to replicate my house and the issue I was having and they figured it out. So if the dealer says they are not providing support I find that a bit of a stretch. Again always 2 sides to a story.

Have him send me a PM, I'll give him the screen name on the C4Forums of 2 C4 employees who check the forum. he can send them a note, he can post the issues to the public and people will offer their advice for free.
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post #42 of 364 Old 09-17-2017, 04:02 PM
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I guess from my perspective, the oddity in all of this is that the problems aren't constant. Sometimes you press buttons and it works fine, sometimes you press the same button and get unintended results.


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post #43 of 364 Old 09-17-2017, 07:59 PM
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I have to assume C4 has a system log that tracks all activity. A review of that from someone that is experienced should be able to isolate what's going on.
It sounds like programming issues. Software generally doesn't run "random". There are likely combination of rules that are hitting that makes it seem like random actions.
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post #44 of 364 Old 09-18-2017, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by brantmacga View Post
I guess from my perspective, the oddity in all of this is that the problems aren't constant. Sometimes you press buttons and it works fine, sometimes you press the same button and get unintended results.


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as Smooth said C4 support can pull logs. It seems like a networking issue or a programming issue. C4 support as I referenced above goes out of their way to mimic the setup and troubleshoot. And they can review your logs to see what is going on.
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post #45 of 364 Old 09-19-2017, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by ezlotogura View Post
as Smooth said C4 support can pull logs. It seems like a networking issue or a programming issue. C4 support as I referenced above goes out of their way to mimic the setup and troubleshoot. And they can review your logs to see what is going on.


My understanding is that C4 did look at the logs with the dealer...... but I'm not a dealer for it so I can't say that it's not a programming issue, but I'll certainly pass all these tips along. I have another project coming up with them to install C4 panelized relay cabinets to replace another brand system and I can discuss further with him.


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post #46 of 364 Old 09-20-2017, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by brantmacga View Post
My understanding is that C4 did look at the logs with the dealer...... but I'm not a dealer for it so I can't say that it's not a programming issue, but I'll certainly pass all these tips along. I have another project coming up with them to install C4 panelized relay cabinets to replace another brand system and I can discuss further with him.


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good luck and keep us posted. I am glad to help out if he wants to PM me here or find his way to the c4 forums. People have posted their logs on that site for a group evaluation too but as mentioned C4 support usually steps in anyways.

End of day Control4 is just a computer and you need to tell it what to do. It is not going to all the sudden start playing music off pressing Button X when for weeks pressing Button X was turning on a light. It is impossible, you need to tell it to do it. And that is where programming comes in - mixing up macros, variables, not binding the device correctly, etc.
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post #47 of 364 Old 09-25-2017, 09:05 PM
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I think you have missed the point.

I don't think bad systems (or badly installed systems) are what is being discussed here. It's being forced to pay for a service call every time something goes wrong or every time you want to make an adjustment, update, or just plain system maintenance.

It's the newest fad these days in electronics..... the GENERATING of service calls, and it's going on in just about every sector you can think of. A lot of these electronic control systems are come with some form of lockout so the customer is at the mercy of the install/maintenance people. Many newer electronic household thermostats have "installer codes" and the customer can't get in to make programming adjustments without calling the service tech. Alarm systems have "installer codes" and believe it or not, even today's newer computer based farm tractors now have "installer codes".

Now some companies try not to take these lockout systems too seriously, and others hold you at ransom with every single twist and turn that there is. I think THIS is the point that is being made.
Nobody is locked out of a control 4 system though.

Even the owner with composer he
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post #48 of 364 Old 09-25-2017, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Aslan View Post
I shouldn't have to find, wait for and pay that remote dealer.

I should be able to buy a thermostat or door lock or Anthem receiver or LIFX lamp or Tesla Model 3 or Davis weather station or Rachio irrigation controller or a Miele oven or a security camera or DSC security panel and have my C4 system (or RTI or Savant or ...) recognize it, query it for its capabilities, and make it fully available for scripting. My phone can do that. And my MacBook. And sort of my AppleTV. And sort of Amazon Echo.

You are correct though that scripting is quite limited today. These other systems are good at integrating new hardware and software. C4, Savant, RTI, Crestron and others are good (or sort of good) at scripting. We should toss them all in a meld machine and maybe we can get some systems that are good at both. I expect someone, likely Apple, Amazon, and Google, will offer that.

BTW, I am not at all anti-integrator or opposed to hiring an integrator. Though I'm somewhat capable myself I'll gladly hire an integrator to install stuff or run wires or write scripts. I'll heartily recommend an integrator to friends and family who want stuff and aren't capable of doing it properly themselves. I just don't like being forced to use an integrator for small stuff that should take a few minutes of my time.
Sddp will get to this point eventually and that will help all automation systems
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post #49 of 364 Old 09-25-2017, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by brantmacga View Post
My understanding is that C4 did look at the logs with the dealer...... but I'm not a dealer for it so I can't say that it's not a programming issue, but I'll certainly pass all these tips along. I have another project coming up with them to install C4 panelized relay cabinets to replace another brand system and I can discuss further with him.


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Some of this also sounds like zigbee network issues.

I'm hoping zigbee is set to ch25 to avoid WiFi spectrum . That can fix delayed button presses.
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post #50 of 364 Old 09-26-2017, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by SMHarman View Post
Sddp will get to this point eventually and that will help all automation systems
SDDP is proprietary?

There needs to be an industry standard similar to USB, WiFi, etc that defines how queries and responses are handled. If I'm a manufacturer I don't want to have to build separate integration routines for every HA system.
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post #51 of 364 Old 09-26-2017, 07:53 AM
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SDDP is proprietary?

There needs to be an industry standard similar to USB, WiFi, etc that defines how queries and responses are handled. If I'm a manufacturer I don't want to have to build separate integration routines for every HA system.
C4 is open so others can challenge and read the SDDP response.

https://www.control4.com/docs/produc...rochure/latest

Working together to make automation even better

The Control4 philosophy is as straightforward as it is simple: Life’s better when everything—and everyone—works together. From a company strategy perspective, that means Control4 stands behind an open platform: We are committed to interoperability so both Control4 dealers and customers can count on a system that communicates with and controls virtually anything and everything in their homes or businesses.

To that end, we work directly with world-class manufacturers to ensure a world-class brand experience for all.
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post #52 of 364 Old 09-29-2017, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by AidenL View Post
I would agree with Henry.

I'm in the middle of a very bad, ongoing experience with Control 4.

I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, its flaky and unreliable.
My brother-in-law basically ripped it out after having it 6 months as it wasn't flexible enough for him. Instead, he's gone with Samsung SmartThings Hub and uses Google Home as well. I myself have decided to go with Savant because I won't foresee me tweaking much once initially configured. I just hope I'm selecting the correct system lol
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post #53 of 364 Old 10-01-2017, 12:34 PM
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I bought a new house 4 months ago, and I've had a C4 system installed that controls everything from the all the lighting, the security system, the blinds, A/V distribution system running 4K HDR content to every TV in the house and outside, speakers in every room and outside, it runs my pool's pumps, heater, waterfalls, lighting, garage door opener, etc. I have 2 theaters, a 5.1 and a 7.1.4 Atmos system, and I'm using DIRECTV, a Roku Ultra, Nvidia Shield, Xbox One, 4 security cameras, 2 door locks, and they integrated a Ring doorbell into the system. I can stream Plex from my QNAP anywhere I want, and I can stream music/TV to any room or all rooms. I have 3 x 55" racks full of equipment in an air conditioned hallway out of sight. I've had zero problems despite all the components in my system.

In my other house, I had Philips Hue lights, Samsung Smart things, LIFX lighting, and I used IFTTT to setup lighting scenes and schedules. Some people may be happy with all the off the shelf devices to setup Zigbee "home control" but the features are nowhere near what you can get from a C4 system. This is why both systems are available. Not everyone needs, or wants, everything you can get from a Control4 system nor do they want to spend the money on it. With all my devices at my other house, I probably have a total of $10,000 in it, and it did everything I wanted. Moving into my new house, I wanted to upgrade to a whole home automation system, I've invested close to $100,000 on it, and I'm 100% happy with it. The installer is a guy who I've known and have been buying home theater equipment from for 20 years, so to have your C4 system run efficiently, it all comes down to the installers qualifications. Luckily, mine knows this system inside and out. If you've invested the money in a C4 system and aren't happy with it, then you probably need to find someone who is capable of installing everything correctly. Once everything is installed and working, not much maintenance is needed except some software updates, which they can do remotely. To say that the C4 system sucks is completely wrong. I think the problem is with whoever installed it. As mentioned before, go to c4forums.com and see if you can find another installer.
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post #54 of 364 Old 10-29-2017, 11:27 AM
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Something completely lost in these discussions is the network these systems sit on. If you have a cobbled together, generic residential network hardware, system then you WILL have problems.

Yeah, Alexa and DIY solutions can be easy and fun, but I prefer to have a single point of control for all systems in my home, and owners shouldn't have to have an app for this and an app for that, nor should they have to worry if manufacture A's product will work with manufacture B's product. Met a guy that spent a ton on a Nest camera system, which was I guess a great DIY solution for him, but now he's paying extra to the cable company for bandwidth to accommodate that camera system, something he shouldn't have to do.
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post #55 of 364 Old 10-29-2017, 03:36 PM
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Something completely lost in these discussions is the network these systems sit on. If you have a cobbled together, generic residential network hardware, system then you WILL have problems.

Yeah, Alexa and DIY solutions can be easy and fun, but I prefer to have a single point of control for all systems in my home, and owners shouldn't have to have an app for this and an app for that, nor should they have to worry if manufacture A's product will work with manufacture B's product. Met a guy that spent a ton on a Nest camera system, which was I guess a great DIY solution for him, but now he's paying extra to the cable company for bandwidth to accommodate that camera system, something he shouldn't have to do.
We don't find "residential network hardware" to be an issue. "cobbled together" certainly is.

"paying extra to the cable company"...yes. We don't like cloud solutions. Our server stays in the home / business it is controlling and is 24x7 uptime. Only when you are out of the home do you need to send a few packets over the Internet for that function. Most all of the time the user is in the home when they want to control it. No latency, no bandwidth issues, no security concerns (when not cobbled together), no big brother concerns.
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post #56 of 364 Old 11-21-2017, 11:20 AM
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Hi Guys, i just read through this whole thread and there is a lot of pros/cons for Control4 or other dealer installed HA systems. I went to see a dealer today to check out the system and he will be coming to do an in-home consultation. The only thing that is keeping from moving forward right now is really the inability to add my own devices to the system without the dealer involved. If I want to add Ge smart switches or a Nest thermostat later, it means I have to call the dealer to get them integrated into Control4 which they charge an hourly rate.

is there no way for a home user to add these items to control4 and own it our right?

Thanks
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post #57 of 364 Old 11-21-2017, 11:40 AM
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Hi Guys, i just read through this whole thread and there is a lot of pros/cons for Control4 or other dealer installed HA systems. I went to see a dealer today to check out the system and he will be coming to do an in-home consultation. The only thing that is keeping from moving forward right now is really the inability to add my own devices to the system without the dealer involved. If I want to add Ge smart switches or a Nest thermostat later, it means I have to call the dealer to get them integrated into Control4 which they charge an hourly rate.

is there no way for a home user to add these items to control4 and own it our right?

Thanks
You find a remote dealer on C4forums and they don't for you over the phone at a lower rate than your local dealer.
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post #58 of 364 Old 11-21-2017, 12:13 PM
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You find a remote dealer on C4forums and they don't for you over the phone at a lower rate than your local dealer.
So any dealer can get into my system and add devices? I do not have to be stuck with the initial dealer who installed it?

Has anyone become c4 certified and DIY themselves?
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post #59 of 364 Old 11-21-2017, 12:57 PM
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So any dealer can get into my system and add devices? I do not have to be stuck with the initial dealer who installed it?
Kinda, the only dealer that can 'just get into the system' is the dealer of record on your account. You can change that to let another dealer in then change it back.
An alternate is to put team view on a machine on your network and let them teamview onto your network.

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Has anyone become c4 certified and DIY themselves?
Not a hope these days. You need a store and and and and
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post #60 of 364 Old 11-22-2017, 06:51 AM
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So any dealer can get into my system and add devices? I do not have to be stuck with the initial dealer who installed it?

Has anyone become c4 certified and DIY themselves?
As I replied to you in the other thread, to be a c4 dealer you need a history of a business in the industry, you need a store/showroom and you need a volume of sales. You can try to get freelance/part time work with a local dealer and go get training then get access to software, but C4 is not giving away access/dealerships that easily to anyone who applies.

And yes, I had an original dealer, it was 50/50 - did some things fine on the networking side but did not have a lot of Control4 programming skills. And since I was new I did not have strength or knowledge of Composer HE. I switched my dealer of record (free and easy to do online) to a remote dealer, now only do they do a better job programming but for free took some time to give me a tutorial of Composer HE so I could do programming on my own. Every so often I may get stuck or just lack of time and pay my dealer to program stuff, but usually I can hack it myself and/or post on www.c4forums.com and get free help.
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