Originally Posted by ezlotogura
How can you compare the Lutron processor with a C4 processor? Lutron is just doing mostly lights (maybe blinds) whereas C4 is doing lights, blinds, audio, video, security, pool, voice control, garage doors, door locks, motion sensors, window sensors and who knows what else. Of course the EA has to be over spec’d to do more. It also acts as the Zigbee Server for communication which is why the EA1 is likely limited - likely has to do with something along those lines. It could also just be for financial reasons - to sell a cheaper product to get into single room installations. C4 even has an CA controller which is the power of an EA1 but without the audio/video capabilities.
I compare them b/c when I speak to C4 installers they tell me that the EA1 wouldn't be able to handle my system because of the lights (not even a crazy amount - just under 50 in my Lutron system). And that makes little sense to me because the processing power for lights is nominal based on what the RR2 Main Repeater is capable of. And since C4 has no native ClearConnect, I assume that all it does is send commands (not sure via IP or serial) to the RR2 repeater, which then does all the processing for synchronous activation of scenes. It should barely tax the system. And again, this is on top of a minimal A/V setup - just one TV, one Receiver, 2 input devices (cable, roku) small Sonos deployment and just a single Zigbee device (door lock). There really is no reason an EA1 can't handle this, other than, as you suspect as well, a desire to sell me higher priced equipment.
And its too bad, b/c contrary to much opinion, C4 is, in theory, quite reasonably priced. I think it's like $800 for the EA1/SR260 bundle + Composer HE. That compares extremely well to something like HomeSeer with a Harmony Elite for A/V. For argument's sake let's call those equal on an HA level, but C4 is more powerful on an A/V level. And it essentially has a single Sonos Connect like device embedded. A HomeSeer SEL (the s2 is very limited in # of plug ins) w/Z stick is like $400. Add in plug ins (say 5 at about $40/pop) and a Harmony Elite (really the only option these days for a DIY A/V control) at $250 and its basically even $. Obviously you need to pay for C4 setup and some programming, but that's a time vs. money vs. DIY desirability argument.
But then C4 isn't really about integrating your devices. That's just a gateway selling you the most expensive equipment from them that your budget will tolerate.
And that's backed up by the fact that those who take over existing systems have a hard time getting reliable, reasonably priced service for them. And even more so by the fact that SnapAV just purchased them - it's all about selling the equipment, not servicing the product. Now compare that to your car analogy: The dealer doesn't dismiss me if all I need is an oil change, doesn't care if I bought the car from him, and doesn't only deal me with me if I'm planning to spend $35k on a car. Sure, some are always trying to upsell you on service, but at the end of the day if you say, no, I just want the $75 oil change and tire rotation, they'll do that.