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post #31 of 63 Old 11-25-2018, 06:41 PM
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[quote=d726;57163148]
Quote:
Originally Posted by ezlotogura View Post
1) there is no annual fee to upgrade Control4.
2) it may cost 5k to make the system work properly if the former home owner took all the hardware (matrix, tvs, amps, etc) and you need to start from scratch and all you have is wiring.

If you provide more info you could get some more detailed responses.


So if you have more info as to what hardware is there you can get a best cost estimate from users like myself. if all TV's and AVRs and speakers and Matrix are in place and he wants 5k to hook it up, I can find you someone else to do the quick programming for 1/10th of the price guaranteed. Video Matrix are expensive, so if they took parts or all of the hardware, yes 5k could be reasonable (depending on how many inputs/outputs, 4k, audio sync, etc). With all the technology out there these days, not many are doing whole home video (with proper audio sync) cheaply with IoT devices - just an FYI.

So it looks like they bought it all from Best Buy. They came out and were pathetic; didn't't seem to know the system at all. There's a C4 HC-800 controller with site, an app and an iPod dock, then the nether ethernet, power line and adapter, a denon AVR X4000, an old looking remote for the c4and then TV's speakers though the house, etc. Thee local dealer which c4 suggested did quote 5K to make the system work, repair the remote or load onto an iPad I have at home, get my app to work, and yes, a monthly fee which amounts to a few thousand a year to do all the upgrades automatically. Does that help?
They are saying its going to cost 5k to set up 1 lousy tv? Am I understanding that correctly? Or how many TV’s and speakers? Where do those speakers run to wiring wise? A c4 amp? A matrix amp?

I’d suggest finding a remote dealer - PM me for referrals - and they can take a quick look at your system and give you a much better guess on cost.

As far as the yearly fee, as stated before, different dealers offer different packages. I pay my dealer hourly, if I dont upgrade nothing, if I upgrade I pay per the hour. Usually an upgrade is less than an hour so we tack it onto a few other projects at the same time to make it worth his while. To be clear, C4 does not require a yearly fee for maintenance just the 4sight app. Dealers are independent. They can charge as they please. You are a customer, you can buy or keep shopping. At 5k to get a few TVs and speakers working WITHOUT HARDWARE is insane. If you are missing amps and stuff for the music, and need a matrix, etc then sure. That is why its hard for me to guess without knowing more of your hardware situation. You mention “speakers around the house” but not much else about them
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post #32 of 63 Old 11-26-2018, 06:03 AM
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oh and "load onto an ipad"? 4sight is free if you are on your local network, its $99/year if you want remote access. that said I would never suggest having your iPad to replace a physical hand held remote. Watching TV with a phone/tablet app to me personally is an awful experience. the only time I do it is say I am on a treadmill or a machine in my basement sure I can pull out the phone and change a quick channel. But for normal every day TV Viewing, you want an SR260 handheld remote from Control4 (or a remote from any control system).

I'd find a new remote dealer like my last post - have them log in and take a look. Unless big hardware is missing, it shouldn't be 5k to basically swap from one owner to another if all the major guts and cables and infrastructure was left behind. I spent several hours with my dealer this weekend adding in over a dozen lights and keypads, reconfiguring my entire home layout (renaming rooms, adding new rooms, etc) and deleting some old code, updating to a new door lock and moving over all the programming which was extensive, etc. It was 2-3 hours of work and basically 1/20th the cost you are quoted.

something is loss in translation. Either what you have (or do not have) or what services they want to provide. Hc800 is an older line of controllers but its very powerful, that is what I have been using since 2013 and I've yet to see a real reason to upgrade to the EA3 or EA5 controller.

not sure what you mean by an "app" and an iPod Dock, but they used to have an iPod dock station but never owned one and no one uses iPods anymore. HC800 can stream I think 3-4 different music streams at once. A stream could be music off your NAS, you can use "shairplay" which is their version of Airplay to play music off an iOS device or it can be an internet streaming service C4 supports like Pandora, SiriusXm, TIDAL, Deezer, I think Amazon and a host of other services.

"Nether ethernet" do you mean an ethernet switch? What is this device?

Power line and adapter - do you mean just a power strip?

Denon Receiver is good - that is in a "theater" or "living room" I suppose?

Then you just say TV's and speakers through the house - and that is where I got lost as mentioned in my post yesterday. Obviously in the room with the Denon you have a TV and speakers, correct? Are other speakers/TVs in the house within your C4 system or not? Is the C4 TV/Video control only in the room with the Denon? do you have speakers in the ceiling in say the kitchen or bathroom or outside on the patio that work within C4?
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post #33 of 63 Old 12-09-2018, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d726 View Post
We bought a home that came with a control 4 system. It seems to only handle TV and music which is wired throughout the house. Bt the dealer states its 5K to make the system work properly, and to extend the router signal though the house. With all the new gadgets out there, plus having to pay an annual fee for them to "upgrade" the system periodically, this seems like a huge expense. We do not use it for alarm, lights, etc. Thoughts? Because 5K could go elsewhere and go a long way...
I feel your pain. My parent's home has a ridiculously under utilized C4 system in it and they hate it. They asked me to help them upgrade/fix everything, so I have been in contact with their C4 dealer. I had a meeting with the owner of the company and explained what I wanted: have my parents be able to control the TV via their iPads and install a Google Mesh wifi system I had already purchased. 2 weeks later he sent me a quote... $12K for A/V upgrades and $5K for a wifi upgrade. I was in shock, the a/v quote had every single C4 component upgraded and all of the wall keypads replaced (I just wanted 1 of the buttons to be relabeled on the keypads) and the wifi upgrade included a remotely monitored enterprise grade mesh network with a hardware vpn. For some background my parents live in a gated vacation home community where the average home owner is very wealthy and retired. This is the only A/V company for 100 miles. I have spent the last week researching to figure out how I can remove C4 from the house cause they don't use 1/10th of its capabilities. (only input switching and zone assigning the audio throughout the house)
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post #34 of 63 Old 12-09-2018, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Meyer View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by d726 View Post
We bought a home that came with a control 4 system. It seems to only handle TV and music which is wired throughout the house. Bt the dealer states its 5K to make the system work properly, and to extend the router signal though the house. With all the new gadgets out there, plus having to pay an annual fee for them to "upgrade" the system periodically, this seems like a huge expense. We do not use it for alarm, lights, etc. Thoughts? Because 5K could go elsewhere and go a long way...
I feel your pain. My parent's home has a ridiculously under utilized C4 system in it and they hate it. They asked me to help them upgrade/fix everything, so I have been in contact with their C4 dealer. I had a meeting with the owner of the company and explained what I wanted: have my parents be able to control the TV via their iPads and install a Google Mesh wifi system I had already purchased. 2 weeks later he sent me a quote... $12K for A/V upgrades and $5K for a wifi upgrade. I was in shock, the a/v quote had every single C4 component upgraded and all of the wall keypads replaced (I just wanted 1 of the buttons to be relabeled on the keypads) and the wifi upgrade included a remotely monitored enterprise grade mesh network with a hardware vpn. For some background my parents live in a gated vacation home community where the average home owner is very wealthy and retired. This is the only A/V company for 100 miles. I have spent the last week researching to figure out how I can remove C4 from the house cause they don't use 1/10th of its capabilities. (only input switching and zone assigning the audio throughout the house)
Visit c4fourms.com

A) find a remote programmerr who can do this remotely. The google mesh you can likely do for them. No dealer is needed to touch your Wi-Fi system. The rest can mostly be done remotely

B) that website has a buy/trade forum so if you are insistent on pulling it you can sell gear

As a c4 fan i would pick option A. Glad to give you some referrals too.

I could try to provide more help if you tell me what c4 and non c4 gear they have and how they are currently using the system. Currently no AV in the system? Is it just lights and locks or something? Audio?

Personally no idea why people want an app to watch tv. Get an SR260 Remote. Who can channel surf on an iPad?
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post #35 of 63 Old 12-10-2018, 07:58 AM
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I haven’t seen any mention of Homeseer? For the DIY’er, wouldn’t this be the next step up from a Homekit/SmartThings type of environment?
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post #36 of 63 Old 12-10-2018, 08:18 AM
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I haven’t seen any mention of Homeseer? For the DIY’er, wouldn’t this be the next step up from a Homekit/SmartThings type of environment?
Yes, they (homeseer, CQC, myServer) are a big step up from Homekit /Smarthings hub.
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post #37 of 63 Old 12-12-2018, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Meyer View Post
I feel your pain. My parent's home has a ridiculously under utilized C4 system in it and they hate it. They asked me to help them upgrade/fix everything, so I have been in contact with their C4 dealer. I had a meeting with the owner of the company and explained what I wanted: have my parents be able to control the TV via their iPads and install a Google Mesh wifi system I had already purchased. 2 weeks later he sent me a quote... $12K for A/V upgrades and $5K for a wifi upgrade. I was in shock, the a/v quote had every single C4 component upgraded and all of the wall keypads replaced (I just wanted 1 of the buttons to be relabeled on the keypads) and the wifi upgrade included a remotely monitored enterprise grade mesh network with a hardware vpn. For some background my parents live in a gated vacation home community where the average home owner is very wealthy and retired. This is the only A/V company for 100 miles. I have spent the last week researching to figure out how I can remove C4 from the house cause they don't use 1/10th of its capabilities. (only input switching and zone assigning the audio throughout the house)

What C4 gear do they have and what was quoted? If the controller is anything older than an HC-800 or HC-250, you'll want to replace it and upgrade it. What Network gear did they quote? With any HA system, networking is key, and most all C4 dealers are going to quote networking hardware that they know will 100% work with not only C4 equipment, but other manufacturers as well. Nothing more frustrating than adding a DIY product into a C4 system and have it crap out because of the network the system is sitting on.

Depending on their hardware, it may not be hard at all to increase the use of the system. For example, what security system do they have? Thermostats? Any IP cameras? What type/brand/model of TV's and A/V gear?
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post #38 of 63 Old 03-16-2019, 09:33 AM
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So I gave up researching this topic for a while and then when I started back up today I came across this thread and got deja vu... until I realized I had posted here months ago and then forgot about it haha

So sorry for the delay to answer your questions:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezlotogura View Post
Visit c4fourms.com

A) find a remote programmerr who can do this remotely. The google mesh you can likely do for them. No dealer is needed to touch your Wi-Fi system. The rest can mostly be done remotely

B) that website has a buy/trade forum so if you are insistent on pulling it you can sell gear

As a c4 fan i would pick option A. Glad to give you some referrals too.

I could try to provide more help if you tell me what c4 and non c4 gear they have and how they are currently using the system. Currently no AV in the system? Is it just lights and locks or something? Audio?

Personally no idea why people want an app to watch tv. Get an SR260 Remote. Who can channel surf on an iPad?
A) The only issue I have with a remote dealer is if my parents need help when I am not there they will need someone who can come to the house. I might have to try and convince the local dealer to act as a remote dealer but also be available for a house call if needed. I already upgraded the WIFI systems for them myself. Got a new DOCSIS 3.0 modem, I combined 2 Google mesh wifi systems to cover the entire house and pool, and upgraded their service speed. Saved them $4k over what the dealer quoted.

B) Thank you but this gear is sooooo old I bet it's not worth the cost of shipping haha

Thanks for offering to help! I'm going to map out their system below the next quote.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mntneer View Post
What C4 gear do they have and what was quoted? If the controller is anything older than an HC-800 or HC-250, you'll want to replace it and upgrade it. What Network gear did they quote? With any HA system, networking is key, and most all C4 dealers are going to quote networking hardware that they know will 100% work with not only C4 equipment, but other manufacturers as well. Nothing more frustrating than adding a DIY product into a C4 system and have it crap out because of the network the system is sitting on.

Depending on their hardware, it may not be hard at all to increase the use of the system. For example, what security system do they have? Thermostats? Any IP cameras? What type/brand/model of TV's and A/V gear?
Thanks for your interest Mntneer, I'm going to skip over the network stuff b/c I have already completed the network upgrade myself and we have been very happy with it.

My parents have 0 automation in their home and don't want any. My dad is "old school" and believes the Google Home device I put in the kitchen is some type of voodoo machine haha. They have 2 viewing areas which have C4 equipment installed. In the living room they have an HC300 that is just acting as an input switcher, 99% of the time they turn on the TV and select DirecTV on the remote and that's it. In the basement there is a media room with an HC200 and all it does is switch inputs as well. Both of these C4 units could easily be replaced with Harmony Hubs. The only reason I haven't gone ahead and done that is they also have a C4 Audio Matrix Switch that is wired to speakers around the entire house and there are keypads in each zone for playback control and I know the Audio Matrix relies on the HC300 as it's brain. That's the entirety of their C4 system.

Of the $12k quote my dealer gave me upgrading the HC200, HC300, and Audio Matrix was about $6k. The rest was upgrading all of the keypads around the house, replacing the in wall control unit in the kitchen with a touchscreen unit, and adding in a Triad streaming amplifier. I don't find his pricing ridiculous I just can't wrap my head around my dad putting $12K into a system that he is barely going to scratch the surface at utilizing.

Maybe I can just upgrade the HC200 and HC300 to an EA1-V2 and EA3-V2 like my dealer has in his quote but then leave everything else the same? Once those are upgraded I can do my own programming with Composer Home Edition.

Thanks for both of your interest and again sorry for the delayed response.
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post #39 of 63 Old 03-17-2019, 05:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Meyer View Post
My parents have 0 automation in their home and don't want any. My dad is "old school" and believes the Google Home device I put in the kitchen is some type of voodoo machine haha. They have 2 viewing areas which have C4 equipment installed. In the living room they have an HC300 that is just acting as an input switcher, 99% of the time they turn on the TV and select DirecTV on the remote and that's it. In the basement there is a media room with an HC200 and all it does is switch inputs as well. Both of these C4 units could easily be replaced with Harmony Hubs. The only reason I haven't gone ahead and done that is they also have a C4 Audio Matrix Switch that is wired to speakers around the entire house and there are keypads in each zone for playback control and I know the Audio Matrix relies on the HC300 as it's brain. That's the entirety of their C4 system.

Of the $12k quote my dealer gave me upgrading the HC200, HC300, and Audio Matrix was about $6k. The rest was upgrading all of the keypads around the house, replacing the in wall control unit in the kitchen with a touchscreen unit, and adding in a Triad streaming amplifier. I don't find his pricing ridiculous I just can't wrap my head around my dad putting $12K into a system that he is barely going to scratch the surface at utilizing.

Maybe I can just upgrade the HC200 and HC300 to an EA1-V2 and EA3-V2 like my dealer has in his quote but then leave everything else the same? Once those are upgraded I can do my own programming with Composer Home Edition.

Thanks for both of your interest and again sorry for the delayed response.
All super easy -
For 100% future proof get an EA3 and an EA1 to replace the HC200 and HC300. You could also get an HC800 and HC250 or heck even 2 HC 250s. What do they use for streaming? Native c4 sonos? A sonos connect? How many devices are in the matrix to stream vs what do they stream via native c4 services? Different controllers offer a different amount of streams.

I am assuming the install is 100% audio/video as mentioned so they are not using any relays or an extreme amount of IRs or RS-232’s, etc?

The Hc series of controllers are 7 years old but they still get 90% of the updates and run on the latest OS. You should be able to get another few years out of them. The EA series is only ~2 years old maybe so obviously a lot more longevity should be expected.

The quote included updating the keypads because the newer ones are nicer and more modern, but not needed. The quote to upgrade the matrix - again they have newer ones with a few more bells and whistles but your parents wont know the different

Get two controllers either new or off eBay or off www.c4forums.com - get a remote dealer, he will walk you through how to swap wires from 1 controller to another. Within a few hours and probably less than $1,000 for hardware (if used) and programming they’ll be back and up and running
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post #40 of 63 Old 03-18-2019, 10:08 AM
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All super easy -
For 100% future proof get an EA3 and an EA1 to replace the HC200 and HC300. You could also get an HC800 and HC250 or heck even 2 HC 250s. What do they use for streaming? Native c4 sonos? A sonos connect? How many devices are in the matrix to stream vs what do they stream via native c4 services? Different controllers offer a different amount of streams.

I am assuming the install is 100% audio/video as mentioned so they are not using any relays or an extreme amount of IRs or RS-232’s, etc?

The Hc series of controllers are 7 years old but they still get 90% of the updates and run on the latest OS. You should be able to get another few years out of them. The EA series is only ~2 years old maybe so obviously a lot more longevity should be expected.

The quote included updating the keypads because the newer ones are nicer and more modern, but not needed. The quote to upgrade the matrix - again they have newer ones with a few more bells and whistles but your parents wont know the different

Get two controllers either new or off eBay or off - get a remote dealer, he will walk you through how to swap wires from 1 controller to another. Within a few hours and probably less than $1,000 for hardware (if used) and programming they’ll be back and up and running
The more I deal with my local dealer I feel like getting a remote dealer who is used to working with a more technical DIYer would be the best way to go. When I emailed my dealer about just upgrading the 2 controllers and setting up Composer HE he just responded, "I'm not sure if that's possible I need to talk to my tech and get back to you. Give me a couple days." Pretty sure he is just deciding if it's worth it for him to mess with me. When 99% of his customers are rich retired people that he can quote crazy systems too and they will just buy them without knowing what they are.

Here's a question, what if I just left the HC200/HC300 in place and updated them to the latest OS? I don't think I could get that done remotely b/c I can't register my controller on the C4 web portal b/c of that SSL error that happens with old C4 equipment.

For streaming I plugged a Chromecast Audio into an unused aux input that was put in the system years ago to allow phones/iPods etc to be plugged in temporarily. So we just cast music from our phones or the Google Home to the chromecast audio. They have a CD player, FM radio, DirecTV, an iPod Dock, and the aux cable as input devices to the audio matrix. The CD player has never had a CD in it, the FM radio IR blaster has been unplugged for god knows how long, I can't seem to get DirecTV to work as an audio source, the iPod Dock doesn't work and only fits super old ipods, so the only thing used is the aux cable which is labeled as "iPod Cable" in the system haha.

Yes it is 100% A/V no relays or RS-232's, as far as I can tell 100% of the devices are IR controlled. The HC-300 upstairs has plenty of IR ports for what it's controlling but I have been talking with my dad about adding 4 smaller TVs to the basement to make a sports video wall type setup with 4 more directv boxes. Since all the TVs are going to be the same brand I will need 4 independent IR ports for those TVs plus other devices. I found a $900 HDMI matrix that has a Control4 driver on Amazon so if we did decide to do the video wall I would use that instead of the expensive C4 one. So based on this I might need a "bigger" C4 controller downstairs than the HC-200 that's there.

Do you have any recommendations for a remote dealer?

Thanks so much for your help and advice!
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post #41 of 63 Old 03-18-2019, 10:32 AM
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The more I deal with my local dealer I feel like getting a remote dealer who is used to working with a more technical DIYer would be the best way to go. When I emailed my dealer about just upgrading the 2 controllers and setting up Composer HE he just responded, "I'm not sure if that's possible I need to talk to my tech and get back to you. Give me a couple days." Pretty sure he is just deciding if it's worth it for him to mess with me. When 99% of his customers are rich retired people that he can quote crazy systems too and they will just buy them without knowing what they are.

Here's a question, what if I just left the HC200/HC300 in place and updated them to the latest OS? I don't think I could get that done remotely b/c I can't register my controller on the C4 web portal b/c of that SSL error that happens with old C4 equipment.

For streaming I plugged a Chromecast Audio into an unused aux input that was put in the system years ago to allow phones/iPods etc to be plugged in temporarily. So we just cast music from our phones or the Google Home to the chromecast audio. They have a CD player, FM radio, DirecTV, an iPod Dock, and the aux cable as input devices to the audio matrix. The CD player has never had a CD in it, the FM radio IR blaster has been unplugged for god knows how long, I can't seem to get DirecTV to work as an audio source, the iPod Dock doesn't work and only fits super old ipods, so the only thing used is the aux cable which is labeled as "iPod Cable" in the system haha.

Yes it is 100% A/V no relays or RS-232's, as far as I can tell 100% of the devices are IR controlled. The HC-300 upstairs has plenty of IR ports for what it's controlling but I have been talking with my dad about adding 4 smaller TVs to the basement to make a sports video wall type setup with 4 more directv boxes. Since all the TVs are going to be the same brand I will need 4 independent IR ports for those TVs plus other devices. I found a $900 HDMI matrix that has a Control4 driver on Amazon so if we did decide to do the video wall I would use that instead of the expensive C4 one. So based on this I might need a "bigger" C4 controller downstairs than the HC-200 that's there.

Do you have any recommendations for a remote dealer?

Thanks so much for your help and advice!
I'll PM you a remote dealer to contact. The HC200/Hc300 are old. They cannot be upgraded to the latest OS (2.10.x). I believe (someone can correct me) that they cannot be upgraded past 2.9.1. Any idea what version you are on?

Yes the dealer quoted all the extras to drive revenue, period. Its not needed at least not for what you describe.

Not sure what you mean by register the controller on the portal - that is something your dealer likely has to do - I've been a user for 5+ years and never registered a controller. Only my account to set 4sight.

Before going down the rabbit hole of a video matrix (which I have and like) yes talk to a remote dealer about what's needed hardware wise, what works, what does not work, etc. I have NetPlay by Video Storm and its fantastic and its a "Bring your own hardware" service so that is nice, easily upgradeable piece by piece vs your traditional YxZ fixed HDBaseT matrix. and since you buy your own hardware, its cheaper too!
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post #42 of 63 Old 03-18-2019, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by ezlotogura View Post
I'll PM you a remote dealer to contact. The HC200/Hc300 are old. They cannot be upgraded to the latest OS (2.10.x). I believe (someone can correct me) that they cannot be upgraded past 2.9.1. Any idea what version you are on?

Yes the dealer quoted all the extras to drive revenue, period. Its not needed at least not for what you describe.

Not sure what you mean by register the controller on the portal - that is something your dealer likely has to do - I've been a user for 5+ years and never registered a controller. Only my account to set 4sight.

Before going down the rabbit hole of a video matrix (which I have and like) yes talk to a remote dealer about what's needed hardware wise, what works, what does not work, etc. I have NetPlay by Video Storm and its fantastic and its a "Bring your own hardware" service so that is nice, easily upgradeable piece by piece vs your traditional YxZ fixed HDBaseT matrix. and since you buy your own hardware, its cheaper too!
I guess my post got deleted cause I tried to include links and my account is too young... so here we go again this time sans links.

My controllers are on 1.7.4.36 and I think you're right they can't be upgraded past a certain version. I have read that else where.

What I meant by "register on the portal" was on the customer login on Control4's website under "Account" there is a link for "Controller Registration" and they give you a unique code to enter on your controller. When I enter the code I get an SSL error, which based on my research is common b/c of outdated SSL Certs in the old OS. On that registration page it does mention 4sight so maybe you're right about that.

Thanks for the tips about the video matrix I will definitely ask a dealer before I pull the trigger on anything.

Also apparently my account is to young to respond to your PM as well, so thank you for the contact and I will definitely do everything you suggested!
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post #43 of 63 Old 03-18-2019, 12:25 PM
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I guess my post got deleted cause I tried to include links and my account is too young... so here we go again this time sans links.

My controllers are on 1.7.4.36 and I think you're right they can't be upgraded past a certain version. I have read that else where.

What I meant by "register on the portal" was on the customer login on Control4's website under "Account" there is a link for "Controller Registration" and they give you a unique code to enter on your controller. When I enter the code I get an SSL error, which based on my research is common b/c of outdated SSL Certs in the old OS. On that registration page it does mention 4sight so maybe you're right about that.

Thanks for the tips about the video matrix I will definitely ask a dealer before I pull the trigger on anything.

Also apparently my account is to young to respond to your PM as well, so thank you for the contact and I will definitely do everything you suggested!
ok if you are in the 1.7 space its an entire different ball game. C4 changed how controllers got licenses/registered somewhere in the 2.x range. Plus your equipment may be embernet and not zigbee pro. 100% contact a dealer. Maybe that is why the local dealer wanted to sell you new keypads. The cost/time to upgrade embernet devices to zigbee is time consuming and can be expensive. If you had 5-10 keypads may be better to upgrade vs sinking the # into upgrading via firmware upgrade from embernet to zigbee pro. All the changes to licenses and embernet > zigbee happened well after I got into C4 - again mind you I am an end user, not a professional dealer. But I've heard/seen people on c4forums talk about these older devices. so yeah - consultant the person I referred you to. He'll know more about exactly the state of your hardware, what needs to be upgraded, etc. If your keypads are embernet its not as easy as buying a new EA3 and off you go. So the local dealer may have had some precautions for a reason. I did not realize you were on that old of an OS. at least my referral can give you a sound 2nd opinion/estimate. always multiple ways to get to a solution.
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post #44 of 63 Old 03-18-2019, 03:58 PM
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ok if you are in the 1.7 space its an entire different ball game. C4 changed how controllers got licenses/registered somewhere in the 2.x range. Plus your equipment may be embernet and not zigbee pro. 100% contact a dealer. Maybe that is why the local dealer wanted to sell you new keypads. The cost/time to upgrade embernet devices to zigbee is time consuming and can be expensive. If you had 5-10 keypads may be better to upgrade vs sinking the # into upgrading via firmware upgrade from embernet to zigbee pro. All the changes to licenses and embernet > zigbee happened well after I got into C4 - again mind you I am an end user, not a professional dealer. But I've heard/seen people on c4forums talk about these older devices. so yeah - consultant the person I referred you to. He'll know more about exactly the state of your hardware, what needs to be upgraded, etc. If your keypads are embernet its not as easy as buying a new EA3 and off you go. So the local dealer may have had some precautions for a reason. I did not realize you were on that old of an OS. at least my referral can give you a sound 2nd opinion/estimate. always multiple ways to get to a solution.
The keypads are KPZ-6B1-X keypads which I actually am not sure if that is embernet or not. I saw some eBay listing that say they are zigbee but not sure what to trust. We do have a ton of keypads - probably more than a dozen. I'll will ask your dealer if the firmware upgrade is something I can do on my own or if I would need them to do it. If it's just my time I don't mind spending the hours to do it. I still don't really know what Composer HE is capable of vs Composer Pro.
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The keypads are KPZ-6B1-X keypads which I actually am not sure if that is embernet or not. I saw some eBay listing that say they are zigbee but not sure what to trust. We do have a ton of keypads - probably more than a dozen. I'll will ask your dealer if the firmware upgrade is something I can do on my own or if I would need them to do it. If it's just my time I don't mind spending the hours to do it. I still don't really know what Composer HE is capable of vs Composer Pro.
I am not sure how you could tell if they are zigbee or embernet - sorry. Above my pay grade. They could be zigbee on eBay because someone updated them from embernet?

You need a dealer for OS/firmware upgrades. Ive heard embernet > zigbee is time intensive. Ive never done it and only hear past stories since its been years since that hurdle was crossed so I really cannot add much.

Composer HE can do 100% of the programming Pro can do. HE cannot swap hardware, upgrade OS, upgrade firmware, create rooms, create projects, etc. but once the hardware/rooms are in place, HE can do 100% of the identical programming that you can do in Composer

My referral should be able to advise further.
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post #46 of 63 Old 03-18-2019, 06:10 PM
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Home Assistant?

Not sure how much diy you're looking to do but I've been messing around with Home Assistant and its pretty cool. New stuff added all the time. These are a couple of examples of automation I've done. When someone presses one of my ring doorbells a sensor is tripped and a pic from one of my security cameras is automatically taken and sent to my iphone. I don't even have to open the ring app. Also I use harmony remotes. If I'm watching tv in my den and the ring doorbell is pressed it will automatically pause what I'm watching, switch to the input I have my NVR connected to and display my cameras on my tv so I can see who is at the door. 20 seconds later it switches back to what I was watching and starts playing again automatically. I've also programmed my haromony remote devices into it so I have them all on one page on an ipad. Lots of cool stuff you can do and once you get the hang of it pretty easy to do the coding. I have no coding experience at all. Best of all its free and has a great community.
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post #47 of 63 Old 04-09-2019, 01:09 PM
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I also use an open source home automation system called home assistant as mentioned above to control harmony hubs, z-wave switches, dimmers, garage door openers, irrigation controller, etc... It allows me to create custom automation switches that I can use to power on of different devices connected to my harmony hubs. It will also initiate various IR commands on the harmony hubs based on the equipment I have. Home assistant is not necessarily DIY for everyone, but I find it very useful to integrate various home automation products through a single source (ie server running Home Assistant). You can integrate, Alexa, Google Home, Siri, etc.. and use products from various sources/companies and have them all play nice together on a single diy solution. Its a very flexible solution to keep your home automation system out of the cloud and in a local environment. In my case, I use Siri on my iPhone to control lights, z-wave switches, Harmony activities, volume on my receivers, etc..

My setup is pretty straight forward.. I have a harmony hub in each room where I watch Tv, I have all of my entertainment equipment in a room under my stairs and the harmony hub ir blasters connect to a cat 6 cable that runs from my tvs back to my equipment to control individual equipment. With Home assistant configured, it can trigger any harmony activity or individual device commands and I can build custom scripts that run multiple commands using various devices. You have to do some configuring and scripting to make it all come together but its honestly not that difficult. I am not a programmer, but I am an engineer, so my brain is wired to figure this stuff out.

I looked at control 4 and I think it would have been a great system, but am very DIY and this was right up my alley. I have full control over the way my system works at minimal cost and overhead. I have home assistant running in a virtual machine on a Mac mini using Virtual Box, but you can run it on practically anything, raspberry pi, windows, linux, etc... I configure it in a virtual machine for portability that allows me to change computers without affecting home assistant or my configurations. It have been running this way for about 3 years without a single problem, mainly because I keep my automations, switches and scripts simple in home assistant and try to not overcomplicate things.

Since I use an iPhone, I have a switch in Homekit to turn the tv on which starts my Watch Tv activity on the Harmony Hub. I simply say "Hey Siri, turn on the living room tv" and viola it turns on. If I want to change the living room volume to 30, I say "hey siri set the living room tv volume to 30%".

Only a few of my home automation products are actually made for apple home kit, the rest of my devices are brought into home kit using home assistant and customs switches, scripts, etc.. I would highly recommend anyone with interest in a DIY solution to look into it, it may seem overwhelming, but once you get into the nuts and bolts its actually quite simple to get things up and running.
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Obviously the integrator based products would allow you control those devices. In my system, Harmony's hub works very well for me. I control a JVC projector, tv, Directv Genie, Denon avr, Xbox One, Samsung Blu-ray player, Marantz Amp, Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire Stick with the Harmony in the family room. I use Alexa for voice control of the av system.

In order to allow my home automation system to control the av activities (scenes) that I've setup using Harmony, I use IFTTT. This allows me use voice for the av activities or press a button in my home automation system's app to control the av scenes. For voice I can say to Alexa, "Turn on Goodnight" and the av equipment in the family room will turn off, the lights in the master will turn on, garage door closes and the doors are locked. I also have a scene for watching movies where the projector turns on and the lights go out, the garage door closes and the doors lock.

Sonos also works with Harmony. You can do multi-room control with Harmony as long as the other rooms have a Harmony hub inside. If you're going to do voice control with the Harmony hub in a multi-room setup, you need to setup the additional rooms using the Yonomi app. Once you do that you'll be able to use Alexa to control the av setups in each room by voice. Once you setup the additional rooms in Yonomi, you don't have to go into the Yonomi app for control. The Harmony app is available for control. I find to app to be well designed and responsive.
I have been going back and forth between C4 setup and DYI solution. I think the main unknown for me is how to integrate the WHA, TVs, cable boxes and other source with a single remote. In my setup i have an entertainment area in the basement and another one in the family room. My plan is to put all equipment in the basement AV closet. In my plan I have one Denon receiver for the basement area and one for the family room area. I have 2 additional ceiling speakers zones in the basement and 4 additional zones on the first floor. The basement Denon can cover the basement additional zones and the family room one can cover probably 3 out of 4 zones. It would be great if someone could recommend an amplifier to power additional zone. The main grey area for me is how to integrate it all using Harmony remote. I would really like to be able to use a singe remote in each area to select an input source like a cable box. Then using the same remote change channels on the cable box, then turn on/off ceiling speakers zones. Can someone shed some light how to do something like this using Harmony?
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post #49 of 63 Old 01-29-2020, 09:27 AM
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You are trying to have a relatively "dumb" remote control to also be a full blown automation controller.

The remote control is ONLY a user interface device.
That "tells" the automation controller what button got pushed.
The automation controller is then configured what equipment gets controlled and in which order and with which pauses (a macro).
The automation controller has to be able to control all the equipment.
So, you choose the automation controller FIRST.
Then the user interfaces that are compatible (the handheld remote)
And then pick the equipment to be controlled
And then design the wiring
And install
And program
And enjoy.
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The thing that was not clear to me that I needed an automation controller to have control of AV equipment. The automation controller I am considering is Homeseer. Do I really need to have Harmony talk to Homeseer to select zones, sources change volume? I was thinking this gets orchestrated by Harmony but maybe not.
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post #51 of 63 Old 01-29-2020, 10:42 AM
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The thing that was not clear to me that I needed an automation controller to have control of AV equipment. The automation controller I am considering is Homeseer. Do I really need to have Harmony talk to Homeseer to select zones, sources change volume? I was thinking this gets orchestrated by Harmony but maybe not.
I also would like to understand the "wife friendliness" of a solution. Ideally you want to be able to name zones and sources so it's intuitive to navigate.
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post #52 of 63 Old 01-29-2020, 10:43 AM
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The thing that was not clear to me that I needed an automation controller to have control of AV equipment. The automation controller I am considering is Homeseer. Do I really need to have Harmony talk to Homeseer to select zones, sources change volume? I was thinking this gets orchestrated by Harmony but maybe not.
1) posting in this thread asking for help with Harmony/Homeseer wont get much response as this is a thread about c4
2) to truly dumb it down - harmony is a remote to control a TV and maybe a few devices in a room. Homeseer is an automation controller that ties together an entire house. so again in laymans term, harmony for a room, homeseer for an entire house.
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1) posting in this thread asking for help with Harmony/Homeseer wont get much response as this is a thread about c4
2) to truly dumb it down - harmony is a remote to control a TV and maybe a few devices in a room. Homeseer is an automation controller that ties together an entire house. so again in laymans term, harmony for a room, homeseer for an entire house.
I get that, I have done my reading on Homeseer and know about different plugins etc. Since this thread is about AV automation alternative to C4 I thought this would be the right place.
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Y, I think this thread is Alternatives to C4...which Homeseer is.
And so is myServer and CQC.
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I get that, I have done my reading on Homeseer and know about different plugins etc. Since this thread is about AV automation alternative to C4 I thought this would be the right place.
if you had a specific question on a system its probably better to just post on a thread about that system or start a new thread, that's all. There are many alternatives to c4 - savant, elan, RTI, Crestron, URC and then you can get into some lighter automation from honeywell, vera, smartthings, etc. So that is just why I suggested posting in a thread you create about a specific topic - could even be comparing c4 to Homeseer, etc

Just trying to help you get more eyes, that's all!
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post #56 of 63 Old 01-31-2020, 09:12 AM
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I get that, I have done my reading on Homeseer and know about different plugins etc. Since this thread is about AV automation alternative to C4 I thought this would be the right place.
I have Harmony stuff and a Homeseer system. I do have the Harmony plugin, but not really using it much.

You can use HS to control your Harmony activities or even devices. So you could have a HS event turn on your theater setup. Things like that.

You don't need HS to do this; Harmony can do that on it's own..

I don't have a graphical frontend for my system yet, but I could see that being the bridge to connect that as well.
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I have Harmony stuff and a Homeseer system. I do have the Harmony plugin, but not really using it much.

You can use HS to control your Harmony activities or even devices. So you could have a HS event turn on your theater setup. Things like that.

You don't need HS to do this; Harmony can do that on it's own..

I don't have a graphical frontend for my system yet, but I could see that being the bridge to connect that as well.
Could you elaborate a bit?

1. How do you use Harmony to control sources? For example hooked up to my receiver I will have a cable box, chromcast, maybe a Roku. Can you name sources?
2. I will have different zones like "kitchen", "dinning room" etc. Can you name zones in Harmony? As it stands right now the receiver I have in mind is Denon AVR-x4500h doesn't have enough zones so I am thinking of a remote speaker switch. Do you think I can have Harmony orchestrate that?
3. Since my equipment rack is in the basement and the TV is on the first floor what kind of Harmony equipment do I need to make it all work?

Thank you.
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post #58 of 63 Old 01-31-2020, 02:22 PM
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Could you elaborate a bit?

1. How do you use Harmony to control sources? For example hooked up to my receiver I will have a cable box, chromcast, maybe a Roku. Can you name sources?
2. I will have different zones like "kitchen", "dinning room" etc. Can you name zones in Harmony? As it stands right now the receiver I have in mind is Denon AVR-x4500h doesn't have enough zones so I am thinking of a remote speaker switch. Do you think I can have Harmony orchestrate that?
3. Since my equipment rack is in the basement and the TV is on the first floor what kind of Harmony equipment do I need to make it all work?

Thank you.
Harmony works on a system called "Activities." You'd create an activitity called "Watch Roku." The Harmony turns on the TV, sets it to HDMI 2, sets your AVR to input 7, so on and so forth. Outside of setup, you shouldn't have to worry about device names or sources or anyhting like that.

But Harmony is not a Home Automation Controller. Homeseer is. Homeseer can see all the Harmony activities (and devices) and send commands. But it's not super necessary. Other than I can kick off an event in HS that'll turn on my lights, then set off the Harmony activity.

I have very little experience with Harmony and whole house audio. I tried it for my Sonos, but it doesn't really provide any value. I assume that's what you mean by "zones?"

The more expensive Harmony remotes have a hub that the remote communicates to with RF. So you could have it on a different floor than the equipment is.

I'd sit down and figure out exactly what your goals are. Is it Home Automation with smart switches, bulbs, motion sensors, thermostats, etc? Or do you just want some speakers to play music and a easier way to turn them on from afar? Do you tire of having 5 remotes to watch TV?

If you're looking for entertainment system control the Harmony products are great. If you're looking more for some whole house audio, i'd look elsewhere. And if you're looking for actual Home Automation, Homeseer is great, but there are gobs of others mentioned in the thread above.
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Harmony works on a system called "Activities." You'd create an activitity called "Watch Roku." The Harmony turns on the TV, sets it to HDMI 2, sets your AVR to input 7, so on and so forth. Outside of setup, you shouldn't have to worry about device names or sources or anyhting like that.

But Harmony is not a Home Automation Controller. Homeseer is. Homeseer can see all the Harmony activities (and devices) and send commands. But it's not super necessary. Other than I can kick off an event in HS that'll turn on my lights, then set off the Harmony activity.

I have very little experience with Harmony and whole house audio. I tried it for my Sonos, but it doesn't really provide any value. I assume that's what you mean by "zones?"

The more expensive Harmony remotes have a hub that the remote communicates to with RF. So you could have it on a different floor than the equipment is.

I'd sit down and figure out exactly what your goals are. Is it Home Automation with smart switches, bulbs, motion sensors, thermostats, etc? Or do you just want some speakers to play music and a easier way to turn them on from afar? Do you tire of having 5 remotes to watch TV?

If you're looking for entertainment system control the Harmony products are great. If you're looking more for some whole house audio, i'd look elsewhere. And if you're looking for actual Home Automation, Homeseer is great, but there are gobs of others mentioned in the thread above.
Thank you. I do want the home automation but that is outside of the scope what I was trying to get at here. In this thread I am only trying to figure out how to operate AV in a multi-zone setting with multiple input sources.
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C4 has high minimums for sales, showrooms and other qualifications to be a dealer. It is not like Lutron with an online course and bam you have access to dealer tools and programming.

Most hubs are good for a few tasks but do not do audio/video well, at least not multi room. They also may not lead to true automation vs just pure control.

There are 1-2 DIY systems people mention on here, iRule is one I remember. But between C4, Crestron, Savant, URC, etc, C4 is the most DIY (without being 100% DIY).

You can PM me for info about remote dealers I've used before. but as an example, if I buy hardware from them and its a 2 second job to ID it in the system, they do not even charge for it. If I buy a TV from Best Buy and they have to ID it in my system it is a couple of bucks. Sometimes if I tie that into more work they may not even charge for it. Its nice to have a good relationship with your dealer. My dealer knows I go to him for hardware when its normal MSRP stuff, I give referrals, etc, and to ID a light switch or a key fob or to trouble shoot is no big deal.

It is also nice to have a paid pro so when DIY isnt possible or above your pay grade you can have someone do it for you. And the remote guys do it while you are at work or sleeping so when you are home you can test things out.
I am a general contractor building a custom home in Colorado. I would like to install a home automation system that provides total integration of security, lighting, automated shades, audio system, access devices (locks, garage door operator), etc.
the Quolsys IQ2 Plus system looks good however may not offer all the sophistication of the Control4 system. Not sure if I'm capable of installing the Control4 system myself? Could you recommend a remote dealer you've used before for me to contact?
Any help or suggestions would be most appreciated.
Thank you,
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