Control4 Is the WORST! Stay Away! - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 79 Old 06-07-2019, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by markmon1 View Post
Control 4 creates a platform where installers are needed so bad installers are tied with their product.
Other alternatives require no installers or programmers so you can fix everything yourself.

If your paver company provided pavers that were only installable with special tools only their authorized paid installers had, and was competing with other types of stones that catered to being self installed or at least installed with standard tools anyone could purchase, then yes you should bad mouth your paver company for the installers work because that paver company created a product that requires third party installers.
My walls are over 4' - so yes certain equipment is needed including some barrier for drainage sold by the company who sells the pavers and they do not sell direct to consumers. I need permits, I need engineers to design/approve plans given the height requirements of the wall, etc. I cannot go to a big box store, buy some pavers and make a wall. Sorry, not allowed in my town for this type of project. I need to hire certain people with certain skills/degrees/licenses and who have access to certain tools I cannot buy.

Oh and funny if you want to talk licenses and the state of the CI business, the state of NJ (Where I live) has a bill up for voting that would not allow CI people who are not certified electricians install ethernet wires https://www.cepro.com/article/time_e...al_license_now

What everyone is always forgetting, no one forces you to pick C4. If you do not want a CI product do not get a CI product. If I did not want an engineer for this project I'd just rent some big dirt mover and grade my yard further. It would look like garbage and fall apart and create all sorts of water issues, but hey, I'd have no one to blame but me. But the path I am taking - replacing the current wall with another wall - means I need to hire a group of people. If I wanted to do it myself I could but that is not a good option here. For some, hiring a CI is better than not.

Control4 is a home appliance. It is hiring a tradesman. That is how it is marketed and sold. If you are not interested, then find something that suits you.

If you want another analogy, asking why someone wants it is like asking why someone wants to drive a Porsche? The speed limit in NJ is 65. A Honda drive 65 mph too but I see plenty of Porsche's on the road where I live. What about that $2mm car Tracy Morgan just nicked up. You know an oil change for that car is $25,000 and must be done by a certified technician and there are not many around. Why would someone buy a car if they cannot do the oil change and they have to pay $25,000? He knew what he was getting into, he has the money and he'll find a tech he likes. Its a super extreme example but there are many non DIY people in the world. this is a DIY forum, so enjoy the community. I do. But to go on and on about dealers and dealer based products is just boring and tired. There are examples on both sides of the fence and lucky for the DIY crowd there are a TON of DIY options.

As a C4 user, who has his own gripes with the system but such is life because the good outweighs the bad, when I see people on here with C4 issues I'll try to help knowing its like not the computer/C4/hub issue but something else. That's all. And yes, for every unsatisfied customer you probably have 100's or 1,000's that are happy and never say a word. I used to work in retail, upset customers are way more vocal than happy customers, its a fact.

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post #32 of 79 Old 06-07-2019, 06:42 AM
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My walls are over 4' - so yes certain equipment is needed including some barrier for drainage sold by the company who sells the pavers and they do not sell direct to consumers. I need permits, I need engineers to design/approve plans given the height requirements of the wall, etc. I cannot go to a big box store, buy some pavers and make a wall. Sorry, not allowed in my town for this type of project. I need to hire certain people with certain skills/degrees/licenses and who have access to certain tools I cannot buy.

Oh and funny if you want to talk licenses and the state of the CI business, the state of NJ (Where I live) has a bill up for voting that would not allow CI people who are not certified electricians install ethernet wires https://www.cepro.com/article/time_e...al_license_now

What everyone is always forgetting, no one forces you to pick C4. If you do not want a CI product do not get a CI product. If I did not want an engineer for this project I'd just rent some big dirt mover and grade my yard further. It would look like garbage and fall apart and create all sorts of water issues, but hey, I'd have no one to blame but me. But the path I am taking - replacing the current wall with another wall - means I need to hire a group of people. If I wanted to do it myself I could but that is not a good option here. For some, hiring a CI is better than not.

Control4 is a home appliance. It is hiring a tradesman. That is how it is marketed and sold. If you are not interested, then find something that suits you.

If you want another analogy, asking why someone wants it is like asking why someone wants to drive a Porsche? The speed limit in NJ is 65. A Honda drive 65 mph too but I see plenty of Porsche's on the road where I live. What about that $2mm car Tracy Morgan just nicked up. You know an oil change for that car is $25,000 and must be done by a certified technician and there are not many around. Why would someone buy a car if they cannot do the oil change and they have to pay $25,000? He knew what he was getting into, he has the money and he'll find a tech he likes. Its a super extreme example but there are many non DIY people in the world. this is a DIY forum, so enjoy the community. I do. But to go on and on about dealers and dealer based products is just boring and tired. There are examples on both sides of the fence and lucky for the DIY crowd there are a TON of DIY options.

As a C4 user, who has his own gripes with the system but such is life because the good outweighs the bad, when I see people on here with C4 issues I'll try to help knowing its like not the computer/C4/hub issue but something else. That's all. And yes, for every unsatisfied customer you probably have 100's or 1,000's that are happy and never say a word. I used to work in retail, upset customers are way more vocal than happy customers, its a fact.
Yea, I don't know about any of that stuff with the car, I dont care about cars. This thread is about control 4 being the worst and to stay away. To that, I'd say I agree because any automation product that requires a paid installer to do simple stuff like add a device is a big non starter. Someone tried to blame the installer indicating that control4 is fine, to which I say control 4 sucks for requiring an installer in the first place.

If I was a car nut, and there was a thread on a car forum about a $2m car being the worst because it required a $25k oil change, I'd agree there as well. That car sounds terrible. I hear Tracy Morgan got in a wreck in that thing seconds after driving it off the lot. If he's lucky, his insurance co will cash him out and he can be done.

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post #33 of 79 Old 06-07-2019, 06:50 AM
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Yea, I don't know about any of that stuff with the car, I dont care about cars. This thread is about control 4 being the worst and to stay away. To that, I'd say I agree because any automation product that requires a paid installer to do simple stuff like add a device is a big non starter. Someone tried to blame the installer indicating that control4 is fine, to which I say control 4 sucks for requiring an installer in the first place.

If I was a car nut, and there was a thread on a car forum about a $2m car being the worst because it required a $25k oil change, I'd agree there as well. That car sounds terrible. I hear Tracy Morgan got in a wreck in that thing seconds after driving it off the lot. If he's lucky, his insurance co will cash him out and he can be done.
if Tracy Morgan was smart he would have had the car on a flat bed delivered to his house vs driving it off the showroom floor in NYC. If anyone knows the streets of NYC - just the potholes alone - makes zero sense.

Anyways - if something is a non starter for you that's fine. that does not mean it sucks. And if you have no experience with the system (you have not mentioned I do not believe) then the opinion becomes even more irrelevant to gauge the quality of the platform.

and btw - do you notice that most of the time these anti C4 posts get on here the OP NEVER COMES BACK! The person who posted here to start this thread never returned to reply, has 1 total post and created the account the day the post was created. Hmm....
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post #34 of 79 Old 06-07-2019, 07:05 AM
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oh and to give more credit to the OP - he said he cannot watch Tv because C4 has no internet and blames C4 hardware. Need I say more? There is a vote for the DIY crowd knowing better.
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post #35 of 79 Old 06-07-2019, 09:21 AM
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I've heard this before with C4 and the Ineternet. I've heard that the system doesn't work at all without a proper network connection, and that it has a tendency to drop that network connection. I personally have NO idea what that means. This is coming from a client who I installed a system into their basement using Crestron for the theater. C4 everywhere else in their home. Crestron offers Internet/network attached control, but I used a standard RF remote in his setup. He wanted reliability. I never received any calls for issues with his system since the initial installation, which was finished on time with a fixed budget.

The reality is that if C4 has some actual issues with networking, then that is a C4 issue at a company level.

But, with about 20 years now in the AV industry, one of the things that I've really learned is that installers are often very bad. They can pull cables just fine, and as long as it is simple enough, they can make connections, but few installers have a techie who actually understands the nuances of a product and how it works. For them it is just a job, not a hobby, and they rarely have nice systems at home. This is crazy to me, who has a distributed audio/video system with 20+ zones available to me. I pulled the wire, I hooked it all up, I can run it from my phone, or locally in the rooms as I wish. I add to it with things every year, and because I can tinker with code, I get the new Blu-ray for the system, or add a Roku or Shield to see what the potential is.

Yes, everyone claims to be 'white glove', but that is why references matter.

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post #36 of 79 Old 06-07-2019, 09:27 AM
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Wonder if the OP's system is 100% streaming sources hence the need for Internet....

But, since it seems to be a Hit and Run post....maybe we will never uncover the root of the mystery.
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post #37 of 79 Old 06-07-2019, 09:29 AM
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Wonder if the OP's system is 100% streaming sources hence the need for Internet....

But, since it seems to be a Hit and Run post....maybe we will never uncover the root of the mystery.
!!! HA !!!

On that note, just had a client call up and complain that their phone doesn't work on their system and it's SUPER important that we get this fixed right away.

Response: Did you order a phone line for your room like we asked you to do two months ago?

Them: .......

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post #38 of 79 Old 06-07-2019, 09:39 AM
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Wonder if the OP's system is 100% streaming sources hence the need for Internet....

But, since it seems to be a Hit and Run post....maybe we will never uncover the root of the mystery.
well if you TV content provider is the cable company, and the "cable is out" then both internet and cable tv will not work. if you stream content and your ISP is down it will not work. But to blame control4 on the lack of internet and watching TV show's the OP is not an informed customer on how things would work and if they go the DIY route it will fail just as bad. Then they'll go rant on Best Buy or Amazon or complain on Apple forums their Apple TV stinks because they have no internet and cannot watch TV.
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post #39 of 79 Old 06-07-2019, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post
I've heard this before with C4 and the Ineternet. I've heard that the system doesn't work at all without a proper network connection, and that it has a tendency to drop that network connection. I personally have NO idea what that means. This is coming from a client who I installed a system into their basement using Crestron for the theater. C4 everywhere else in their home. Crestron offers Internet/network attached control, but I used a standard RF remote in his setup. He wanted reliability. I never received any calls for issues with his system since the initial installation, which was finished on time with a fixed budget.

The reality is that if C4 has some actual issues with networking, then that is a C4 issue at a company level.

But, with about 20 years now in the AV industry, one of the things that I've really learned is that installers are often very bad. They can pull cables just fine, and as long as it is simple enough, they can make connections, but few installers have a techie who actually understands the nuances of a product and how it works. For them it is just a job, not a hobby, and they rarely have nice systems at home. This is crazy to me, who has a distributed audio/video system with 20+ zones available to me. I pulled the wire, I hooked it all up, I can run it from my phone, or locally in the rooms as I wish. I add to it with things every year, and because I can tinker with code, I get the new Blu-ray for the system, or add a Roku or Shield to see what the potential is.

Yes, everyone claims to be 'white glove', but that is why references matter.
C4 has nothing to do with your internet connection. A c4 controller hooks up to your network but in no way manages the network.

For years C4 gave dealers a guide on how to set up a network, approved and non approved devices, etc but it was hard to manage every C4 installation with every type of switch/router combo available. Therefore, C4 purchased Pakedge which is a line of routers/switches/APs so a dealer could just buy from C4, get Pakedge hardware and get support from C4 for both C4 controllers/hardware and Pakedge. They are trying to lower the learning curve on the networking side of things by now owning a networking company. I believe some of the Pakedge stuff dealers can get likely come with settings geared towards a C4 install to make it very plug and play on dealers with less networking experience.

But if the OP says he cannot watch TV because he has no internet and its C4's fault, then he will fail at DIY too because C4's controller has nothing to do with internet access. one of the selling points of C4, or any localized hub, is that it is not cloud based and it functions WITHOUT internet access. So yeah if internet is down I cannot stream music or watch TV but that is because of my ISP connection. C4 will still automate my lights and blinds and everything else without internet.
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post #40 of 79 Old 06-07-2019, 10:51 AM
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Not that it makes any difference, but just for discussion, if the user is setup with FireTV / AndroidTV / NvidiaShield streaming devices and getting content from Netflix / Hulu / Amazon...then the Internet could be up and the system not "be able to watch TV" if the system isn't configured correctly / in the way the OP expects it to function. Either way, the OP based on one post isn't ready to DIY a complicated system.
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post #41 of 79 Old 06-07-2019, 11:59 AM
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Not that it makes any difference, but just for discussion, if the user is setup with FireTV / AndroidTV / NvidiaShield streaming devices and getting content from Netflix / Hulu / Amazon...then the Internet could be up and the system not "be able to watch TV" if the system isn't configured correctly / in the way the OP expects it to function. Either way, the OP based on one post isn't ready to DIY a complicated system.
that would be a network connection issue, not an internet connection issue

(copy and pasted below from the OP):

"Right now, I cannot operate any of my TV's because for some reason, Control 4 does not have an internet connection."

this truly makes zero sense. And if a DIY person does not know the difference, good luck to them and their future DIY projects.
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post #42 of 79 Old 06-07-2019, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ezlotogura View Post
C4 has nothing to do with your internet connection. A c4 controller hooks up to your network but in no way manages the network.

For years C4 gave dealers a guide on how to set up a network, approved and non approved devices, etc but it was hard to manage every C4 installation with every type of switch/router combo available. Therefore, C4 purchased Pakedge which is a line of routers/switches/APs so a dealer could just buy from C4, get Pakedge hardware and get support from C4 for both C4 controllers/hardware and Pakedge. They are trying to lower the learning curve on the networking side of things by now owning a networking company. I believe some of the Pakedge stuff dealers can get likely come with settings geared towards a C4 install to make it very plug and play on dealers with less networking experience.

But if the OP says he cannot watch TV because he has no internet and its C4's fault, then he will fail at DIY too because C4's controller has nothing to do with internet access. one of the selling points of C4, or any localized hub, is that it is not cloud based and it functions WITHOUT internet access. So yeah if internet is down I cannot stream music or watch TV but that is because of my ISP connection. C4 will still automate my lights and blinds and everything else without internet.
That's correct. You can run a C4 system without an internet, but you do have to have a network.

In a "simple" system, on a stable and reliable network, the typical user should face very little issue with reliability. Typical issues arise when either the network is crap, or a third party device or driver fails.
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post #43 of 79 Old 07-09-2019, 03:23 PM
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Control4 is Obsolete and a Nightmare

If you have Control4, GET RID OF IT!! If you are thinking of getting it, DO NOT!!!!!

I am not a techie like some on this forum, but I am no idiot either. We bought a house six months ago that has a Control4 version from 2010. This is the MOST user unfriendly, obscenely expensive and worthless system I can imagine. Went through THREE companies in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area trying to find help in learning how to use it, set it up, maintain it - what a total JOKE. I spent hundreds for nothing. I have an entire closet of equipment - and it is TOTALLY unnecessary as 'smart' equipment can now do anything Control4 does, for a tenth of the cost. I would have to spend over 8K to update my system, or thousands and multiple tens of hours of my precious time just to get it working properly and learn it thoroughly. None of the people that came here even understood how the older system works, which is de facto proof they have no idea how to support a system almost 10 years old; making it functionally obsolete. I am going to be paying an electrician to replace every switch in the house, and it will still be thousands less than getting the existing system running properly or upgrading it. I can now have the same functions with smart bulbs, plugs and hubs, Ecobee for the thermostats and for TV, streaming. Add to that, the cable companies can stream the cable signal - I do not have to plug my televisions into a cable anymore. I somewhat hate that the poor woman who spent the money on this garbage got talked into it - something I would never have done as it was clear even 10 years ago that the future was wireless. Control4 needs to GO AWAY.
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post #44 of 79 Old 07-09-2019, 03:28 PM
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I have been a hostage of Control4 for the past 7 years. This is a dealer-focused system, meaning you will have to pay for everything little quirk that occurs because you have to be Einstein in order to do anything yourself. My nightmare included a company in the Phoenix Area called Independent Electric who was a Control 4 dealer. They managed to convince me to spend over $10k on all the equipment and stuff so I could watch TV and listen to music anywhere in my house. After their horrendous installation in my equipment closet (it literally had cords bunched up with equipment on top of the cords) i continued to spend hundreds if not thousands more for every little item that went wrong. The best part is that they abandoned me and I had to find a new dealer and that guy just loved to charge $150/hr for learning about my equipment. Trust me...Control4 is the absolute worst system you can purchase. Right now, I cannot operate any of my TV's because for some reason, Control 4 does not have an internet connection. I will be ripping every item from the POS company out next week and using my AppleTV instead.
I have had an almost identical experience. I am not a techie like some on this forum, but I am no idiot either. We bought a house six months ago that has a Control4 version from 2010. This is the MOST user unfriendly, obscenely expensive and worthless system I can imagine. Went through THREE companies in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area trying to find help in learning how to use it, set it up, maintain it - what a total JOKE. I spent hundreds for nothing. I have an entire closet of equipment - and it is TOTALLY unnecessary as 'smart' equipment can now do anything Control4 does, for a tenth of the cost. I would have to spend over 8K to update my system, or thousands and multiple tens of hours of my precious time just to get it working properly and learn it thoroughly. None of the people that came here even understood how the older system works, which is de facto proof they have no idea how to support a system almost 10 years old; making it functionally obsolete. I am going to be paying an electrician to replace every switch in the house, and it will still be thousands less than getting the existing system running properly or upgrading it. I can now have the same functions with smart bulbs, plugs and hubs, Ecobee for the thermostats and for TV, streaming. Add to that, the cable companies can stream the cable signal - I do not have to plug my televisions into a cable anymore. I somewhat hate that the poor woman who spent the money on this garbage got talked into it - something I would never have done as it was clear even 10 years ago that the future was wireless. Control4 needs to GO AWAY.
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post #45 of 79 Old 07-09-2019, 03:35 PM
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It’s almost 10 years old lol. It’s time to update it my brother. Us tech guys want the latest or at least something not a decade old. I have lived with every control system including amx,crestron Rti and others and by far , control4 is the most user friendly and reliable system available. Like I said before , the end user can get the software to do all programming except swap devices. And even then , remote programmers do it for little cost.

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post #46 of 79 Old 07-09-2019, 06:07 PM
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Some electronic equipment gets outdated after a decade. Sorry that's the reality of the situation, but it's the simple truth. If managed correctly it doesn't have to be that painful, but I would wager the TV's in that House have been replaced since 2010. Why would anyone be surprised that you might have to do the same with a control system?

When I think of what I owned in 2010, not a lick of it is still in use. And I LOVED my Pronto remote.
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Originally Posted by Mushygal View Post
I have had an almost identical experience. I am not a techie like some on this forum, but I am no idiot either. We bought a house six months ago that has a Control4 version from 2010. This is the MOST user unfriendly, obscenely expensive and worthless system I can imagine. Went through THREE companies in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area trying to find help in learning how to use it, set it up, maintain it - what a total JOKE. I spent hundreds for nothing. I have an entire closet of equipment - and it is TOTALLY unnecessary as 'smart' equipment can now do anything Control4 does, for a tenth of the cost. I would have to spend over 8K to update my system, or thousands and multiple tens of hours of my precious time just to get it working properly and learn it thoroughly. None of the people that came here even understood how the older system works, which is de facto proof they have no idea how to support a system almost 10 years old; making it functionally obsolete. I am going to be paying an electrician to replace every switch in the house, and it will still be thousands less than getting the existing system running properly or upgrading it. I can now have the same functions with smart bulbs, plugs and hubs, Ecobee for the thermostats and for TV, streaming. Add to that, the cable companies can stream the cable signal - I do not have to plug my televisions into a cable anymore. I somewhat hate that the poor woman who spent the money on this garbage got talked into it - something I would never have done as it was clear even 10 years ago that the future was wireless. Control4 needs to GO AWAY.
Most people below hit the nail on the head - you are complaining that 10 year old technology isnt user friend to today's standards. Compare an iPhone from 10 years ago to the latest version, heck it will barely function. My 8 year old iMac Pro is no where near as great as the latest version, so Apple is an awful company for providing me an awful experience.

Look up Walt's TV in your area. I know the head C4 guy there, 100% he can set your 10 year old system straight in a matter of a few hours. Mind you, the original owner may have taken some of their ancillary stuff (receivers, TVs, etc) or maybe even some c4 hardware, so its hard to know from your detail-lacking rant how someone can help you. But if anyone local can help you, its Walts TV. PM me for my contact's name if you are serious about wanting to be up and running in no time.
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post #48 of 79 Old 07-10-2019, 06:32 AM
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oh and if you want to get those smart bulbs go for it. Good luck getting them to talk to your security panel so when you come home your lights go on. Or getting them to go on/off when you walk by so you do not even have to turn lights on and off. You certainly can stream to sticks on TVs, but they will not be in sync across the house.

Until you live in an automated house, people get "control" and "automation" confused. It is very had to get pure automation with over the shelf/big box store appliances. If you want control and not automation, you are going down the right path but if you cannot even diagnose what is wrong in the current set up not sure how successful you'll be with a robust DIY install - just my own $.02.

There is always another way to do something, does not make it better, it just makes it more logical to you, which is fine, as the user.
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post #49 of 79 Old 07-10-2019, 11:39 AM
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LOL. Lets keep on blaming the user.

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post #50 of 79 Old 07-10-2019, 01:32 PM
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I sense a "can I speak to the manager" haircut

Nothing wrong with 10+ year old equipment. I personally have plenty of ancient equipment still in use.

I still have some Panasonic plasmas

My WHA audio equipment (stack of Biamp Nexias) have been around since 2005-2006 and would still do whatever I need. I only replaced them since I got a great price on something else

Still have a squeezebox as an audio source which still plays music and Pandora without issue (2005.) Sonos has been around for a long time.

My lighting control is probably 8-10 years old with zero plans to replace it anytime soon, if ever.

Lots of my RTI stuff is that old, even some of my in-wall controllers which still work with aplomb. The processors which run everything are close to that age and still get firmware updates
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post #51 of 79 Old 07-10-2019, 02:04 PM
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LOL. Lets keep on blaming the user.
I did not blame the user, I am just pointing out some basics. I purchased my house in 2015 with an older but still working DSC alarm that was at least 10 years old at the time. Should I have been upset I had no way to remotely monitor/turn on/off the alarm with an app on a 10+ year old alarm system? Gosh I even had to call a licensed DSC dealer to get it running, swap codes to me and update some sensors - the horror! in fact it took me 3 tries too to find a dealer I liked, but I did not pull out the DSC alarm, I just looked for a better dealer. Been with him now for 5 years and have recommended him to several local friends.

The key is finding the right dealer, and I offered to put the user in touch with someone local who can help. Most dealers make their money off selling hardware, so if they see 10 year old stuff they are likely wanting to sell new stuff:
A) because of profit margin, duh
B) simplicity - their time is worth something and to start to pull wire and investigate a take over isnt that easy
C) for what they perceive to be a better user experience with the latest and greatest

The dealer I know in that area is open to working with older gear assuming it is in working order and the wiring can be identifiable and makes sense.

Honestly - did not even seem like the poster wanted help - just another new person who will come here, rant and likely not return, though people are offering help and suggestions.
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post #52 of 79 Old 07-31-2019, 11:22 AM
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I think you'd be surprised at how capable the DIY systems have become, and at how effective 'voice activation' is in substituting for trigger based automation. In your example, a Nest Secure w/Nest Yale Lock and Google Home would replicate most of it. Code unlock would send you a notification that the specific person arrived (along with a snapshot if you have a nest hello), and disarm the system. I don't believe you can yet trigger Google assistant scenes from a door lock action outside of a separate hub or IFTT, but a simple "Hey Google, I'm here" from the cleaning person would set the lights, and put on the Sonos to a specific playlist (Google has person-specific voice recognition). I'm not really understanding the laundry thing - I mean, for one, what machine has z-wave or zigbee integration? For another, you'd need to make sure there is detergent, the appropriate cycle is engaged and the door is closed. Frankly, if your cleaning lady can't remember to put on the washing machine before she leaves that's a person issue, not a technology one.
Now, can those systems utilize the same components that a Control4 can? No, it's obviously for mass consumer level devices, but then that makes sense given the price points. And of course even C4, Crestron, etc. realized they couldn't play the voice recognition game w/Google, Amazon and Apple so they've made their own systems compatible. And those companies will advance more quickly in the other AI areas as well - they just have too much data and processing and programming power to compete.
As an aside, what's the residential scenario for completely synchronous video? Obviously watching "a big game", but if you're having people over that's broadcast. A movie you are presumably watching on the same screen, and in the case you are not, I can't imagine a few seconds delay would matter - I mean, someone would lose time anyway going from one room to another.
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post #53 of 79 Old 07-31-2019, 12:53 PM
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I think you'd be surprised at how capable the DIY systems have become, and at how effective 'voice activation' is in substituting for trigger based automation. In your example, a Nest Secure w/Nest Yale Lock and Google Home would replicate most of it. Code unlock would send you a notification that the specific person arrived (along with a snapshot if you have a nest hello), and disarm the system. I don't believe you can yet trigger Google assistant scenes from a door lock action outside of a separate hub or IFTT, but a simple "Hey Google, I'm here" from the cleaning person would set the lights, and put on the Sonos to a specific playlist (Google has person-specific voice recognition). I'm not really understanding the laundry thing - I mean, for one, what machine has z-wave or zigbee integration? For another, you'd need to make sure there is detergent, the appropriate cycle is engaged and the door is closed. Frankly, if your cleaning lady can't remember to put on the washing machine before she leaves that's a person issue, not a technology one.
Now, can those systems utilize the same components that a Control4 can? No, it's obviously for mass consumer level devices, but then that makes sense given the price points. And of course even C4, Crestron, etc. realized they couldn't play the voice recognition game w/Google, Amazon and Apple so they've made their own systems compatible. And those companies will advance more quickly in the other AI areas as well - they just have too much data and processing and programming power to compete.
As an aside, what's the residential scenario for completely synchronous video? Obviously watching "a big game", but if you're having people over that's broadcast. A movie you are presumably watching on the same screen, and in the case you are not, I can't imagine a few seconds delay would matter - I mean, someone would lose time anyway going from one room to another.
But Nest has your recordings in the cloud and hold you hostage paying a monthly fee, no? I get Nest/Ring or whatever always confused, but most of those cameras have monthly recurring fees, not my style. I want to have my recordings locally on my own NVR.

My laundry is Wifi Based, it stores up to 50 loads of liquid detergent at once, etc. You could set it to go automatically, you can set C4 to send you a reminder to run it yourself when you get home, etc, various flavors and ways to integrate it.

Re: whole home video, it has become less important, I agree. The main advantage was if you had a family of 3 kids and 2 parents you have potentially 5 different streams being watched at once. But maybe you had 7-9 TVs (one per bedroom, one in a basement, a living room, maybe a guest room, etc). Some people did not want to rent that many cable boxes AND/OR did not like the look of cable boxes hidden below in furniture. So video distribution helped by getting rid of excess cable boxes (you could argue a family of 5 could get away with less than 5 boxes) and also helped interior designers with better furniture layout options. Realize this is a techy DIY forum but high end residential installs are not looking at putting Cable Boxes below a TV. the benefit is live in sync feeds across the house. We use it for "the big game" but I also use it when say doing tasks in my house. Maybe I am cleaning out the attic and a ball game is on, ill keep the TV on in the office (entrance to attic is in office) and then maybe i keep the TV on in the basement where I drag the junk, break up boxes, etc. If that feed was delayed life would go on. I used to have cable 5 years ago, I do not anymore. So right now my distribution system only has a few streaming sticks but I find it easier to manage 2-3 streaming sticks vs ~10 (2 sticks at each of 5 tvs). and the distribution allows for things to be in sync those few times a year I host "a big game" and it also allows for my IP Cameras to be a PiP source so when my doorbell rings I see the live feed via PiP on my TV. My video distribution also helps with cameras when my alarm goes off - the TV can go on and show my cameras (9 of them) in a 3x3 configuration so I can see any issues quickly without looking at small images on my phone and rotating between images, I see them all at once. I automate this by saying if its after 930pm and before 8am, turn on master bedroom TV and put cameras up in 3x3 format if the alarm is triggered

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post #54 of 79 Old 07-31-2019, 02:29 PM
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There must be something in the water in Scottsdale. I have the exact same issue as the OP on a system in Scottsdale. Installed 5 years ago and it literally has never worked properly since shortly after the install. I don't think there is anything wrong with Control 4 hardware, it's just dealing with the dealers that is extremely painful. They don't seem to remember the setup at all, so they were relearning the system every time they came out. I'm sure there are better dealers and worse dealers, but it's "luck of the draw" when you have no basis to know who is good. When we tried to switch to a different C4 dealer, they quoted basically a "from-scratch" configuration price, it's just been a nightmare to deal with. Once the "rescue" is complete, then you can be paired with a dealer you now trust for maintenance of that system.

It is extremely frustrating for anyone. In my case, I have more than a decade of experience with programming Harmony remotes on very complex systems, so to have my hands tied on C4 is 5 times more painful and frustrating.

I don't think it's fair or accurate to say the hardware is bad, but since C4's system success is 100% dependent on C4 dealers' competence and efficiency, they need to do a much better job with ensuring competence and efficiency across all dealers all the time.

This is what C4 should seriously do: Since there are many, many of us who are in the "same boat" with C4 systems that are already programmed for the equipment we have (meaning 95+% of the work is already done), and it only requires minimal work for a qualified expert to get it back up and running, instead of leaving customers in the "wild" to gamble on a new installer, when we are already livid at the old installer, C4 should offer a "rescue" service where customers can open a rescue case with C4 directly to get it up and running. C4 can would still leverage their network of existing installers to do the work, but C4 would be the customer conduit to make sure the system gets working and to ensure customers aren't gouged for a complete reinstall when it only takes 10 expert mouse clicks to get an already programmed system working.

I couldn't stomach spending another penny on a $10k system that never worked, but I was quoted $1100 just for labor for a dealer to get an already programmed system working again. Leaving bitter customers in the wild to gamble on another dealer is torture, especially when they've already been burnt badly and are still smoldering years later. C4 can fix this by offering a rescue service that works with their existing dealers. Both C4 and the dealers will earn a lot more business if they can efficiently rescue the many abandoned systems that are out there.

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post #55 of 79 Old 07-31-2019, 03:02 PM
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You know, this whole thread could pretty much be summarized by:


Q: Do you want a dealer to sell you a home automation system, install it, configure it, and manage it for you?

Yes => C4 (or RTI, etc) is a good option.
Now go interview some dealers in your area, look at reviews / recommendations, find someone you TRUST
They are now your "automation" person

No => All the dealer installed systems are off the table
Start looking at Alexa / Google integration. Maybe SmartThings also


The first is more expensive, but mostly hands off for you once you find a good dealer.
The second is much more affordable and you will have a new hobby

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post #56 of 79 Old 07-31-2019, 04:26 PM
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Yes => C4 (or RTI, etc) is a good option.
Now go interview some dealers in your area, look at reviews / recommendations, find someone you TRUST
They are now your "automation" person
That is what everyone keeps saying but it is a lot easier said than done. Dealers always impress you at first and the problem is most first time customers don't know what they want/need.


From my own personal experience I was promised a lot and then when it came down to it there were a bunch of excuses as to why they couldn't do this or that. In the end I ended up with 3 control units that were literally nothing more than universal remote controls for my TV. Within five minutes of the installer leaving I had already ripped it all out and put it up for sale online.


This entire business model is a dead end and the market for this is getting smaller by the day. While the Google's and Amazon's continue to grow.

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post #57 of 79 Old 07-31-2019, 06:10 PM
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That is what everyone keeps saying but it is a lot easier said than done. Dealers always impress you at first and the problem is most first time customers don't know what they want/need.


From my own personal experience I was promised a lot and then when it came down to it there were a bunch of excuses as to why they couldn't do this or that. In the end I ended up with 3 control units that were literally nothing more than universal remote controls for my TV. Within five minutes of the installer leaving I had already ripped it all out and put it up for sale online.


This entire business model is a dead end and the market for this is getting smaller by the day. While the Google's and Amazon's continue to grow.

I agree it can be hard to know. If you can get recommendations from other people they have worked with it is usually the most reliable (there are some great dealers out there, and some bad ones). Bottom line is you will have to depend on your dealer, so if you aren't comfortable with that then don't go that route.

In my home, I have Control4 but that is because we are an integration partner and I can program it all myself (extra privileges)

I am also a big fan of the both Alexa and Google assistant as a more techie friendly system. That's why we also built in support for those directly in all our products. It is the preferred method for many people.

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post #58 of 79 Old 08-01-2019, 08:09 AM
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This is what C4 should seriously do: Since there are many, many of us who are in the "same boat" with C4 systems that are already programmed for the equipment we have (meaning 95+% of the work is already done), and it only requires minimal work for a qualified expert to get it back up and running, instead of leaving customers in the "wild" to gamble on a new installer, when we are already livid at the old installer, C4 should offer a "rescue" service where customers can open a rescue case with C4 directly to get it up and running. C4 can would still leverage their network of existing installers to do the work, but C4 would be the customer conduit to make sure the system gets working and to ensure customers aren't gouged for a complete reinstall when it only takes 10 expert mouse clicks to get an already programmed system working.
Have you actually contacted c4? I have heard numerous stories about their support team reaching out directly to end users and getting them set up a regional district manager or something who brings in a known good dealer/tech to look at the issues, etc.
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post #59 of 79 Old 08-01-2019, 11:22 AM
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pjp, curious what the process was like when you had your system installed? Did you speak with multiple firms? What caused you to go with the firm you went with?
Recommended by a real estate agent who had used them to install similar systems in high-end rental homes. It's my brother-in-law's house. As the family AV techie, I'm trying to help get it revived, but he's so sick of it he really can't stomach any further investment.
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post #60 of 79 Old 08-01-2019, 11:57 AM
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Recommended by a real estate agent
aka a kickback. hate to say it, i rarely take recommendations on face value from those in the trade. I know a few who work in the trade and its all about kick backs for recommending people. I've learned the hard way, speak to users/owners of said product/service and not take a professional recommendation.

either way, I as expressed above, did you personally contact C4 and get turned away?
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