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post #1 of 14 Old 07-25-2019, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
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control4

Need to know which EA controller I need for my house.

I want to control, All TVs, Music, Security
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post #2 of 14 Old 07-25-2019, 04:07 PM
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Since an integrator / dealer is required for C4, you should list your needs and have the integrator tell you what you need.
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post #3 of 14 Old 07-25-2019, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Tony Wong View Post
Need to know which EA controller I need for my house.

I want to control, All TVs, Music, Security

It all depends on how much you plan on controlling and integrating. If your house is 3000+ sqft, and you plan on multiple zones of audio, distributed video, lots of lighting, security, climate, etc., then you probably should go ahead and invest in an EA-5.
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post #4 of 14 Old 07-26-2019, 06:57 AM - Thread Starter
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control4

how much does it cost ?
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post #5 of 14 Old 07-26-2019, 08:43 AM
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Tony,
Control4 (like any other automation system) can do many different functions.
Each function requires hardware and labor and programming.
Dependent on what you want it to do, and the scale of the system (function: whole house audio. Scale: 4 inputs and 8 output zones) there is a cost.
Control4 requires a dealer to design and install the system. The dealer will meet with you, discuss what functions you are trying to enable and provide you a quote.

Asking "how much does it cost" will get you no real answer without the specifics of what the project requires.

Many times in a Control4 system there are several controllers required for the single installation.

Have you researched a good dealer in your area? Have you researched other automation solutions?
Generally the cost / function is Crestron most expensive followed by Savant and then Control4 and then PC based systems (several). Then, "hub" style controllers like SmartThings Home hub at the bottom of the list.
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post #6 of 14 Old 07-28-2019, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Tony Wong View Post
how much does it cost ?
Depends on your area, depends on how far you want to take it. You could do a simple single room system with an EA-1, still have control of security and climate, for possibly under $1000. You could do a mid-range system with a couple zones of audio for around $10k. You could do 8 zones of audio, video distribution, lighting, climate, security, etc. for much more....

Most important thing to have. A good, solid, reliable network. Don't rely on an ISP modem/router, don't buy some $100 router at Best Buy. Be prepared to invest in your network first.
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post #7 of 14 Old 07-30-2019, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Tony Wong View Post
how much does it cost ?
some sites have MSRP pricing on hardware but as others have mentioned, Control4 is a Custom-Install product. Get a dealer to give you a quote because the quote is design + hardware + labor costs all wrapped up in the proposal.

Re: which EA controller, as mentioned depends on the size of your house, scope of the project, etc. To say you want to automate lights and music is not enough detail. Are you talking 10 light switches and 3 audio zones or 150 lights/switches/dimmers and 24 zones of audio?
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post #8 of 14 Old 07-30-2019, 05:12 PM
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some sites have MSRP pricing on hardware but as others have mentioned, Control4 is a Custom-Install product. Get a dealer to give you a quote because the quote is design + hardware + labor costs all wrapped up in the proposal.

Re: which EA controller, as mentioned depends on the size of your house, scope of the project, etc. To say you want to automate lights and music is not enough detail. Are you talking 10 light switches and 3 audio zones or 150 lights/switches/dimmers and 24 zones of audio?
Looking through the specs, the EA1 and EA3 have the same processing power. Obviously the EA3 has more streams and more outputs, so it can control more A/V equipment, but why should there be a difference in how many devices (like lighting, security panel, door locks, etc) they can handle (outside of obvious port limitations)?

And really given that something like a Homeseer can operate on a Rpi and that Lutron RR2 handles 200 devices on what is a 10yr old and fractionally powerful processor compared to an EA1/3 and likely a pittance of memory, why should an EA1 be limited to 50 devices? I've never understood that.
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post #9 of 14 Old 07-30-2019, 05:52 PM
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Looking through the specs, the EA1 and EA3 have the same processing power. Obviously the EA3 has more streams and more outputs, so it can control more A/V equipment, but why should there be a difference in how many devices (like lighting, security panel, door locks, etc) they can handle (outside of obvious port limitations)?

And really given that something like a Homeseer can operate on a Rpi and that Lutron RR2 handles 200 devices on what is a 10yr old and fractionally powerful processor compared to an EA1/3 and likely a pittance of memory, why should an EA1 be limited to 50 devices? I've never understood that.
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.
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post #10 of 14 Old 07-31-2019, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by ezlotogura View Post
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.
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post #11 of 14 Old 07-31-2019, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by freeoscar View Post
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.
My c4 dealer will do a "$75 oil change/tire rotation" any time I call and ask. You just need to find the right dealer. There is a wave of dealers who make good money on the installs and there are dealers who make good money on the programming/support end of things. I can email my dealer a request and usually within 24-48 hours its handled. If its urgent he certainly can do it faster but I respect his time so if its something I cannot do in HE or I cannot find help/answers at c4forums.com then I'll punt it to him with ample notice. I do not show up at 9am at my car dealership requesting an oil change, nor do I throw work at my dealer, its a relationship, I book in advance, etc.

And I suspect an Ea1 may be feasible for you, but then again it could also depend on sq ft and how big of a zigbee mesh is needed. If you need something to help your signal strength maybe that is why they recommend the EA3. I am not sure how Lutron talks to C4, if its IP, Zigbee or something hard wired.

I am just saying the c4 processor is built to do more than the lutron processor, so its not really an apples to apples comparison.
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post #12 of 14 Old 07-31-2019, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by ezlotogura View Post
My c4 dealer will do a "$75 oil change/tire rotation" any time I call and ask. You just need to find the right dealer. There is a wave of dealers who make good money on the installs and there are dealers who make good money on the programming/support end of things. I can email my dealer a request and usually within 24-48 hours its handled. If its urgent he certainly can do it faster but I respect his time so if its something I cannot do in HE or I cannot find help/answers at c4forums.com then I'll punt it to him with ample notice. I do not show up at 9am at my car dealership requesting an oil change, nor do I throw work at my dealer, its a relationship, I book in advance, etc.

And I suspect an Ea1 may be feasible for you, but then again it could also depend on sq ft and how big of a zigbee mesh is needed. If you need something to help your signal strength maybe that is why they recommend the EA3. I am not sure how Lutron talks to C4, if its IP, Zigbee or something hard wired.

I am just saying the c4 processor is built to do more than the lutron processor, so its not really an apples to apples comparison.
Yes, the C4 is built to do a lot more, which is why when it isn't required to do that much more it should more than suffice. I don't know exactly what's in a RR2 Main repeater, but I suspect the EA1 is several orders of magnitude more powerful.
At any rate, do you know if there's such a thing as a remote dealer who would sell me the equipment and then do a remote install/program? I've set everything low voltage in my house up myself - from the RR2 system (Essentials course), all the cable pulls and terminations, network, security (including programming), etc. so I'm intimately familiar with it and can troubleshoot no problem.
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post #13 of 14 Old 07-31-2019, 11:06 AM
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Yes, the C4 is built to do a lot more, which is why when it isn't required to do that much more it should more than suffice. I don't know exactly what's in a RR2 Main repeater, but I suspect the EA1 is several orders of magnitude more powerful.
At any rate, do you know if there's such a thing as a remote dealer who would sell me the equipment and then do a remote install/program? I've set everything low voltage in my house up myself - from the RR2 system (Essentials course), all the cable pulls and terminations, network, security (including programming), etc. so I'm intimately familiar with it and can troubleshoot no problem.
https://www.c4forums.com/forum/26-lo...an-integrator/
dedicated to finding remote programmers. Feel free to read other's reviews and posts. Spend a few days reading other posts to see what dealers you like - not just based on reviews but personality, etc. You can tell a lot but their thought process when replying to users asking for help and how they tackle problems, etc

If you PM me I could give you references of people I've used in the past.
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post #14 of 14 Old 07-31-2019, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by ezlotogura View Post
https://www.c4forums.com/forum/26-lo...an-integrator/
dedicated to finding remote programmers. Feel free to read other's reviews and posts. Spend a few days reading other posts to see what dealers you like - not just based on reviews but personality, etc. You can tell a lot but their thought process when replying to users asking for help and how they tackle problems, etc

If you PM me I could give you references of people I've used in the past.
Thanks for the advice - PM'd you also.
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