ELAN vs Control4 vs Savant vs Crestron - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 33 Old 02-19-2020, 02:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Question ELAN vs Control4 vs Savant vs Crestron

Hello, I'm a software developer looking to get into home automation. I've looked into the following home automation systems:

1. ELAN
2. Control4
3. Savant
4. Crestron
5. Home Assistant

I want to specialise in a system that is reliable, flexible, customisable and cost effective. Since I'm not based in the USA, excellent technical support from the tech provider is very important in order to ensure that my customers are up and running quickly after a fault is detected.

Control4 seems to be very popular and diverse in terms of the devises it supports. However, I'm told that other systems such as ELAN have really improved over the years. Crestron and Savant seem to have a good reputation but they may be too expensive for my market.

Home Assistant caught my attention because it is an open source system that can run on a Raspberry Pi. However, is Home Assistant reliable enough to put into a customers home?

It would be nice to hear from installers who have had the opportunity to use all the automation systems and have a realistic understanding of each system and their pros and cons.

Your input will be appreciated.
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post #2 of 33 Old 02-19-2020, 02:23 AM - Thread Starter
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By the way, Im in a place that suffers frequent power-cuts and surges. Most of my installations will be protected via mains power conditioning systems but the system may reboot and therefore needs to be reliable. Light switches would need to be both manual and auto capable. Also security camera integration should be easy and reliable because this is something that all my clients will require. If anyone has any good experience with gigabit managed network switches and AP's that are reliable please let me know.
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post #3 of 33 Old 02-19-2020, 05:32 AM
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They all have their strengths and weaknesses. Crestron has really upped the game with Pyng software. It makes the demand of a programmer minimal. Control4 in my opinion is the most balanced of the four for price, reliability and support. Savant in my geography has damaged its name so much so that it’s almost gone. Nobody wants it where I am.

Of the three the only I’ve never sold or represented is Elan. When I started my own business I took a hard look at it and liked it. The good where I am is nobody has really heard of it or used it. It would be good to not compete with your own product. The bad is ... Nobody has heard of it.

In truth they all can be a good choice. If your third party and offering support I think Elan is a strong candidate. You’d be in higher demand.
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post #4 of 33 Old 02-19-2020, 05:36 AM
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They all have their strengths and weaknesses. Crestron has really upped the game with Pyng software. It makes the demand of a programmer minimal. Control4 in my opinion is the most balanced of the four for price, reliability and support. Savant in my geography has damaged its name so much so that it’s almost gone. Nobody wants it where I am.

Of the three the only I’ve never sold or represented is Elan. When I started my own business I took a hard look at it and liked it. The good where I am is nobody has really heard of it or used it. It would be good to not compete with your own product. The bad is ... Nobody has heard of it.

In truth they all can be a good choice. If your third party and offering support I think Elan is a strong candidate. You’d be in higher demand.

Lutron is the obvious choice for lighting with Elan. Hard to go wrong with Lutron.
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post #5 of 33 Old 02-19-2020, 06:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayzz View Post
Hello, I'm a software developer looking to get into home automation. I've looked into the following home automation systems:

1. ELAN
2. Control4
3. Savant
4. Crestron
5. Home Assistant

I want to specialise in a system that is reliable, flexible, customisable and cost effective. Since I'm not based in the USA, excellent technical support from the tech provider is very important in order to ensure that my customers are up and running quickly after a fault is detected.

Control4 seems to be very popular and diverse in terms of the devises it supports. However, I'm told that other systems such as ELAN have really improved over the years. Crestron and Savant seem to have a good reputation but they may be too expensive for my market.

Home Assistant caught my attention because it is an open source system that can run on a Raspberry Pi. However, is Home Assistant reliable enough to put into a customers home?

It would be nice to hear from installers who have had the opportunity to use all the automation systems and have a realistic understanding of each system and their pros and cons.

Your input will be appreciated.
are you looking to put this into your home?
are you looking to become an approved dealer/installer?
are you looking to become a 3rd party driver developer?
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post #6 of 33 Old 02-25-2020, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by ezlotogura View Post
are you looking to put this into your home?
are you looking to become an approved dealer/installer?
are you looking to become a 3rd party driver developer?
Interesting thread, what would you recommend for someone looking to become an approved dealer / installer ?

Vey few companies offer exceptional support and that is another aspect.
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post #7 of 33 Old 02-25-2020, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by funky54 View Post
They all have their strengths and weaknesses. Crestron has really upped the game with Pyng software. It makes the demand of a programmer minimal. Control4 in my opinion is the most balanced of the four for price, reliability and support. Savant in my geography has damaged its name so much so that it’s almost gone. Nobody wants it where I am.

Of the three the only I’ve never sold or represented is Elan. When I started my own business I took a hard look at it and liked it. The good where I am is nobody has really heard of it or used it. It would be good to not compete with your own product. The bad is ... Nobody has heard of it.

In truth they all can be a good choice. If your third party and offering support I think Elan is a strong candidate. You’d be in higher demand.
Read a little about Crestron + Pyng which is now called Crestron Home OS3 I think, it seems to be very good and I love the UI. Some people claim that it does not support a wide and diverse range of gear like Control4, is that true ? Is Crestron Home still an expensive solution or is that arguable in terms of value, reliability, interface and performance not to mention support.

Like you mentioned, ELAN seems to be unknown and were a bit dormant. However, they seem to have made some interesting new changes and from what I've read, they have their own security cams with better integration and easier to instal which is attractive. Does ELAN support a wide range of gear ? Do they provide their partners/dealers with excellent support ? How does ELAN compare to Control4 from an installers point of view ?

What do you mean by "third party and offering support" - you mean like a dealer ? Do ELAN provide great support to dealers compared to Control4 ?

You seem to be slighted tilted towards Control4 as the best overall. However, what is the 2020 comparison between the two ?
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post #8 of 33 Old 02-25-2020, 11:25 PM
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I guess ELAN and C4 seem to be the ideal choices. C4 probably has the biggest equipment support database.

My main interests would be as follows:-
  1. Security - Door and window sensors and cameras - NVR and integration into back-up alarm systems (Elan seems to be strong here unless c4 is equally capable).
  2. Lighting control - A solution that offers wired solution for new builds and a reliable wireless solution (z-wave / Zigbee) for existing houses. Switches that offer both manual and automated control would be great.
  3. AV/Entertainment room control - Automating entertainment rooms or dedicated theatre rooms. I like the Neeo by C4 but ELAN may have a nice solution too.


Most important is also reliability, affordability and ease of use for the customer and cutting-edge support for the dealer.

Last but not least, upgrading or expanding the system should be a breeze.

Oh, before I forget - I love the fact that some companies are letting end-users easily customise their systems to their preference - That is a strong selling point. Customers feel frustrated if they have to call the dealer for every small little thing and I would never use such opportunities to make money. I'd hate that myself so why subject customers to it. Besides, I'd rather be doing new instals than be wasting time with minor issues that the customer can resolve themselves.
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post #9 of 33 Old 02-26-2020, 05:28 AM
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out of the systems titled in the subject line, only Control4 sells the end user a software product that can do 90% of the programming. The end user cannot bind equipment, add hardware, set up a project, change floor names or room names, etc. with a driver they can change device names, and with the software they can do all the complex programming that a dealer can do. They also have an online When/Then programming which is kind of like IFTTT type programming. You can also create various lighting scenes. Lastly you can add streaming music sources on your own.

To answer your question about becoming a c4 dealer, no specific idea. I know you need to have an existing business in the trade (AV, networking, electrician, etc), a showroom, and a history of sales. I believe Savant and Crestron also have higher entry points whereas I am told Elan is a bit easier since they are a bit less known and trying to penetrate the market more.

You mentioned Elan has cameras, any ONVIF camera (And there are literally 1,000's) can work in any decent home automation system. In fact, buying those pre fab packages of 8 cameras and an NVR are a waste of money. Different locations on the same property will require their own unique camera based on FOV, distance, mounting, etc. C4 sells Lilin and now Luma cameras. I am not a dealer, but those brands are "easy" for a dealer to install and offer a decent product line up, but if you are truly doing it right, you'll likely source cameras based on the need, not necessarily the ease of ordering a camera with a label that matches your controller.
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post #10 of 33 Old 02-27-2020, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by ezlotogura View Post
out of the systems titled in the subject line, only Control4 sells the end user a software product that can do 90% of the programming. The end user cannot bind equipment, add hardware, set up a project, change floor names or room names, etc. with a driver they can change device names, and with the software they can do all the complex programming that a dealer can do. They also have an online When/Then programming which is kind of like IFTTT type programming. You can also create various lighting scenes. Lastly you can add streaming music sources on your own.

To answer your question about becoming a c4 dealer, no specific idea. I know you need to have an existing business in the trade (AV, networking, electrician, etc), a showroom, and a history of sales. I believe Savant and Crestron also have higher entry points whereas I am told Elan is a bit easier since they are a bit less known and trying to penetrate the market more.

You mentioned Elan has cameras, any ONVIF camera (And there are literally 1,000's) can work in any decent home automation system. In fact, buying those pre fab packages of 8 cameras and an NVR are a waste of money. Different locations on the same property will require their own unique camera based on FOV, distance, mounting, etc. C4 sells Lilin and now Luma cameras. I am not a dealer, but those brands are "easy" for a dealer to install and offer a decent product line up, but if you are truly doing it right, you'll likely source cameras based on the need, not necessarily the ease of ordering a camera with a label that matches your controller.
You do NOT need to have a showroom or retail location to be a dealership for any of these systems. It does help to have a history or sales and some part of the industry.

I would also be hesitant to say thing are OBVIOUS with Lutron who deliberately limits certain cross use of their product lines and unneeded upgrade costs for "higher end" devices that are vitally the same. Their proprietary hubs also can go offline regally.

This is really a Control4/Savant question. Crestron isn't the best option for reasons you have already stated.

Both are reliable, both cost about the same, both come from and are almost 100% professionally managed. This is actually in the best well being of the dealer and the client. 3rd party and DYI systems are never stable and susceptible to random API changes and product aquititons

Otherwise Savant has Control4 beat in almost every way.

Savant hand held remotes are the best looking on the market, the NEEO and C4 OS3 software didn't hit the mark still has limited customization on the remote. The OSD and app are similar. Savant allows more customization to overall system view/control including through different users. Control4 offers none of that.

Savant has native IP solutions distributed audio and surround sound zones that are AVB and WISA supported for better performing and less invasive overall whole home audio experience than a traditional system. They also have a native IP video distribution solutions with features such as video overlay, video tiling the Control4 does not offer.

Artisan(Savant) speakers sound better than Traid(C4) but you can use any 3rd party speaker line/amplification with either system.

You can generally use the same camera line ups with either system. Luma and Lilin will work fine with Savant. Pakedge are just re-branded Lilin cams. Luma came from a Hikvison base. IC-realtime is Savants preferred cam.

Security is a wash either way, same systems for the most part work with both.

Most 3rd party A/V and distribution devices work with both systems.

Both systems us the 2N door station, but Savant does not require a separate app or additional costs to access you system remotely in any way like Control4 does.

Both companies offer lighting control and smart dimmer and switches. Savant also offers native color changing and white temperature changing bulbs and LED strips. These bulbs and strips can also be purchased and installed without a full system or dealer needed. Higher end systems can have USAI Lighting provided a native default Circadian setup which is really the next step is smart lighting.

Savant has their own shade line thats better implemented than Qmotion or Somfy, Control4 has to use 3rd party.

The Savant T-stats look appropriate for 2020 sophisticated tech home. They also can double as touch screens for home scene control. Control4 use a very generic Aprilaire unit.

Control4 has never taken networking seriously. Pakedge is extremely over priced from a performance comparison and dumbed down from features and security that is pretty important in todays world. Control4 tends to "not support" most other brands and placates poor networking experience and practices across our industry with its dealers.

Elan isn't really a cheaper cost and has less support and reliability. You might find less "overcharging" from Elan dealers.. The Elan dealer might be a newer firm or someone trying to stand out with cheeper charges, but this also can come with less quality or experience. I have small company overhead and more focus on properly designed systems and client services that can be stable and easily supported at any size project.

Control4 is the only to offer live editing (unique system changes without having to re upload the "project" which can be handy for service or multiple programmers...but a VPN setup on a proper network can allow remote changes and project uploads only take a minute.

It seems like soon we will have as many C4 dealers as McDonalds locations, a lot of them are luxury level dealerships with high installation costs. There are a lot of tech guy "trunk slammers" popping up without the integration/installation experience to back it. I would make sure to understand everything that goes into a smart home system.

I to have a computer science education. I also have 2 decades of custom installation, service and manage experience. Are you prepared to use a drill in someones $1m. home? Do you have any understanding about design or aesthetics? It's as important if not more important than the product you are installing.

Last edited by WiredNuts; 02-27-2020 at 07:10 PM.
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post #11 of 33 Old 02-28-2020, 05:34 AM
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You do NOT need to have a showroom or retail location to be a dealership for any of these systems. It does help to have a history or sales and some part of the industry.

I would also be hesitant to say thing are OBVIOUS with Lutron who deliberately limits certain cross use of their product lines and unneeded upgrade costs for "higher end" devices that are vitally the same. Their proprietary hubs also can go offline regally.

This is really a Control4/Savant question. Crestron isn't the best option for reasons you have already stated.

Both are reliable, both cost about the same, both come from and are almost 100% professionally managed. This is actually in the best well being of the dealer and the client. 3rd party and DYI systems are never stable and susceptible to random API changes and product aquititons

Otherwise Savant has Control4 beat in almost every way.

Savant hand held remotes are the best looking on the market, the NEEO and C4 OS3 software didn't hit the mark still has limited customization on the remote. The OSD and app are similar. Savant allows more customization to overall system view/control including through different users. Control4 offers none of that.

Savant has native IP solutions distributed audio and surround sound zones that are AVB and WISA supported for better performing and less invasive overall whole home audio experience than a traditional system. They also have a native IP video distribution solutions with features such as video overlay, video tiling the Control4 does not offer.

Artisan(Savant) speakers sound better than Traid(C4) but you can use any 3rd party speaker line/amplification with either system.

You can generally use the same camera line ups with either system. Luma and Lilin will work fine with Savant. Pakedge are just re-branded Lilin cams. Luma came from a Hikvison base. IC-realtime is Savants preferred cam.

Security is a wash either way, same systems for the most part work with both.

Most 3rd party A/V and distribution devices work with both systems.

Both systems us the 2N door station, but Savant does not require a separate app or additional costs to access you system remotely in any way like Control4 does.

Both companies offer lighting control and smart dimmer and switches. Savant also offers native color changing and white temperature changing bulbs and LED strips. These bulbs and strips can also be purchased and installed without a full system or dealer needed. Higher end systems can have USAI Lighting provided a native default Circadian setup which is really the next step is smart lighting.

Savant has their own shade line thats better implemented than Qmotion or Somfy, Control4 has to use 3rd party.

The Savant T-stats look appropriate for 2020 sophisticated tech home. They also can double as touch screens for home scene control. Control4 use a very generic Aprilaire unit.

Control4 has never taken networking seriously. Pakedge is extremely over priced from a performance comparison and dumbed down from features and security that is pretty important in todays world. Control4 tends to "not support" most other brands and placates poor networking experience and practices across our industry with its dealers.

Elan isn't really a cheaper cost and has less support and reliability. You might find less "overcharging" from Elan dealers.. The Elan dealer might be a newer firm or someone trying to stand out with cheeper charges, but this also can come with less quality or experience. I have small company overhead and more focus on properly designed systems and client services that can be stable and easily supported at any size project.

Control4 is the only to offer live editing (unique system changes without having to re upload the "project" which can be handy for service or multiple programmers...but a VPN setup on a proper network can allow remote changes and project uploads only take a minute.

It seems like soon we will have as many C4 dealers as McDonalds locations, a lot of them are luxury level dealerships with high installation costs. There are a lot of tech guy "trunk slammers" popping up without the integration/installation experience to back it. I would make sure to understand everything that goes into a smart home system.

I to have a computer science education. I also have 2 decades of custom installation, service and manage experience. Are you prepared to use a drill in someones $1m. home? Do you have any understanding about design or aesthetics? It's as important if not more important than the product you are installing.
For someone new to get a C4 license to sell a showroom is required. Older dealers can be grandfathered in. They are pushing the "C4 Yourself" Mantra and believe the product is best show in a showroom vs out of the back of a car. I've been told that by numerous people who are current dealers or who have recently applied. Maybe with the Snap AV Deal things have or will change, but when it was only C4 that was the rule of late.

A lot of what is posted is also opinion which is fine - I agree OS3 is probably still a drop behind Savant when it comes to the UI. Which remote is better - well that is really a personal choice. Which in ceiling speaker to stream music services sounds better is an opinion. Again same comparison could be said when looking at 2 different $10,000 speakers, but the general home owner, installing 6-8'' ceiling speakers to listen to Spotify in the kitchen or bathroom - I honestly do not think Savant or C4 (or even other brands) will make a huge difference. If you are going to a critical listening room you are going to have a dedicated AVR (not Savant or C4 hardware) and likely better speakers than either offer. For whole home audio, you just want something that works with the services you listen to.

Control4 is part of the Snap AV Family - Snap AV sells MOIP which I believe does video tiling and video overlay. If not, you could go with Video Storm that offers both and free C4 drivers.

The rest again is opinion, not necessarily wrong - but not sure how Qmotion isnt easy to integrate. That said, most customers could care less about the motor and more about the installer/designer picking fabrics, etc. Does a buyer care if the motor says QMotion or Savant?

When it comes to cameras, most of them are really just Hik/Dahua rebranded cameras and as I mentioned you likely need to go to 1-2 vendors to get all of your cameras if security is really given attention and not a check list afterthought saying ok we'll give you perimeter cameras. FOV, any PTZ requirements, license plate detection, facial recognition, hidden cameras or cameras you actually want to see to deter people, etc. You likely have to go to 1-2 vendors (if not more) to really do home security cameras right.

T-stats, bury them and use in wall remote sensors. Even a modern looking tstat will look outdated eventually and just looks bad in general. Never knew why people loved a Nest, get an Ecobee with remote sensors (wireless) or get an ugly tstat, put it in the basement and get an inwall sensor wired up and paint over it.

The big differentiator between the two is the UI and that C4 has Composer Home Edition so the end user can do 90% of programming (not just creating scenes). That will steer a certain type of buyer to C4.

End of day, a good dealer can give you a nice experience with either system at a price point that would be fairly close to one another. I looked at both, and Composer Home Edition is why as an end user I went with C4 over Savant. And at the time C4 had the really ugly circle icons for their UI, but I had faith eventually and slowly it would change. If you are a buyer, get a few references and a few quotes just like any other major home project. Because a big C4 or Savant install will be $10,000's.
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post #12 of 33 Old 02-28-2020, 06:58 AM
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For someone new to get a C4 license to sell a showroom is required. Older dealers can be grandfathered in. They are pushing the "C4 Yourself" Mantra and believe the product is best show in a showroom vs out of the back of a car. I've been told that by numerous people who are current dealers or who have recently applied. Maybe with the Snap AV Deal things have or will change, but when it was only C4 that was the rule of late.

A lot of what is posted is also opinion which is fine - I agree OS3 is probably still a drop behind Savant when it comes to the UI. Which remote is better - well that is really a personal choice. Which in ceiling speaker to stream music services sounds better is an opinion. Again same comparison could be said when looking at 2 different $10,000 speakers, but the general home owner, installing 6-8'' ceiling speakers to listen to Spotify in the kitchen or bathroom - I honestly do not think Savant or C4 (or even other brands) will make a huge difference. If you are going to a critical listening room you are going to have a dedicated AVR (not Savant or C4 hardware) and likely better speakers than either offer. For whole home audio, you just want something that works with the services you listen to.

Control4 is part of the Snap AV Family - Snap AV sells MOIP which I believe does video tiling and video overlay. If not, you could go with Video Storm that offers both and free C4 drivers.

The rest again is opinion, not necessarily wrong - but not sure how Qmotion isnt easy to integrate. That said, most customers could care less about the motor and more about the installer/designer picking fabrics, etc. Does a buyer care if the motor says QMotion or Savant?

When it comes to cameras, most of them are really just Hik/Dahua rebranded cameras and as I mentioned you likely need to go to 1-2 vendors to get all of your cameras if security is really given attention and not a check list afterthought saying ok we'll give you perimeter cameras. FOV, any PTZ requirements, license plate detection, facial recognition, hidden cameras or cameras you actually want to see to deter people, etc. You likely have to go to 1-2 vendors (if not more) to really do home security cameras right.

T-stats, bury them and use in wall remote sensors. Even a modern looking tstat will look outdated eventually and just looks bad in general. Never knew why people loved a Nest, get an Ecobee with remote sensors (wireless) or get an ugly tstat, put it in the basement and get an inwall sensor wired up and paint over it.

The big differentiator between the two is the UI and that C4 has Composer Home Edition so the end user can do 90% of programming (not just creating scenes). That will steer a certain type of buyer to C4.

End of day, a good dealer can give you a nice experience with either system at a price point that would be fairly close to one another. I looked at both, and Composer Home Edition is why as an end user I went with C4 over Savant. And at the time C4 had the really ugly circle icons for their UI, but I had faith eventually and slowly it would change. If you are a buyer, get a few references and a few quotes just like any other major home project. Because a big C4 or Savant install will be $10,000's.
You can keep saying you need a showroom, but that is not correct. Numerous dealerships across the country do not use showrooms and are not "grandfathered" in.

I am not sure why as a professional you would not care about speaker quality in a whole home audio system. Wouldn't you want the speakers being used most often to sound the best for the cost? If two speakers are priced the same for distribution purposes and one is noticeably better sounding than the other, it's something to consider. Savant and Control4 both push dealerships to use their branded speaker lines. It's not a matter of more cost and the idea of selling something "that just works" is why people have bad experiences and poor expectations.


Qmotion is very easy to integrate with, especially for Control4 since they can attach directly to C4s signee mesh. Most lines are "easy" to integrate with but having native product lines usually means more stability and control. Savant shades won't just fail because of "driver update" that can happen in Control4s world for example. The client and the dealership will care about the motors when they have to service them or support them. They will care when they are waiting months past an order and install date waiting for back ordered fabrication. This can be common in the custom shade industry depending on the brand. The process the Savant implements shades helps with some of those issues.

Again, MoIP, Wirestrom, Atlona, JAP etc. are all 3rd party products and can be used across the board with different control systems. Savants is native and as such has more intuitive control within the system and interface and it the quickest to implement.

Your t-stat argument isn't great and a common reason people shy away from home automation. A big sin in integration is trading normal function for form. Home automation isn't about relying on a cleaver app. Just like lighting, the last thing a normal consumer (non tech) wants to do is find their phone/tablet/app just to do a simple thing in their house at 2am. they were able to do for years before tech invaded their home.

You can not add devices or make system changes with Composer Home which is the most common complaint with people wanting to do more with their system. The reality is majority DON'T want to program or mess with their system. They may want to randomly edit lighting or home entertainment scene. They may want to edit HVAC or lighting scheduling from year to year. A lot are purchasing the tech to simplify their lives or enjoy modern features that they don't understand how to set up themselves.

A good dealership is absolutely the most important but thats almost an impossible task for the client. The only way to vet a dealer is to talk to clients with relationships a few years old. It doesnt matter if its a small shop or big shop, new or old... a bad dealer can sell himself looking great to any new client just based on a showroom or demo. That same bad dealer may also have long standing clients who are happy because they get taken care of or pay well. This leaves the middle client (who's not new project money, not an old client who's ready to upgrade, or a high level client not concerned with an invoice) out in the cold. If those type of clients are happy, thats who you want to deal with.

What about C4 os3 is really an improvement besides the graphical change? The interface navigation is far more cumbersome and they have removed half of the home control capabilities from places like the OSD. The Savant app allows users with customization, customization on the app, customization on the remotes, full single view of all home active functions and control of those functions, not just media C4 offers. You also need an additional app in Control4 to use the intercom or door station which defeats the whole idea of a single app home solution.

I have both systems installed in my home and have been a professional integrator doing systems $10k to $500k for both for 15 years, since both companies were started. You can take my "opinion" however you want but I can promise they come from a long list of experience.

Control4 had everyone beat for over a decade but in the world of 2020, graphical IP and digital control and entertainment they fell asleep at the wheel and being acquired by Snap will likely further muddy the sophistication that made them succeed.

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post #13 of 33 Old 02-28-2020, 07:35 AM
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You can keep saying you need a showroom, but that is not correct. Numerous dealerships across the country do not use showrooms and are not "grandfathered" in.

I am not sure why as a professional you would not care about speaker quality in a whole home audio system. Wouldn't you want the speakers being used most often to sound the best for the cost? If two speakers are priced the same for distribution purposes and one is noticeably better sounding than the other, it's something to consider. Savant and Control4 both push dealerships to use their branded speaker lines. It's not a matter of more cost and the idea of selling something "that just works" is why people have bad experiences and poor expectations.


Qmotion is very easy to integrate with, especially for Control4 since they can attach directly to C4s signee mesh. Most lines are "easy" to integrate with but having native product lines usually means more stability and control. Savant shades won't just fail because of "driver update" that can happen in Control4s world for example. The client and the dealership will care about the motors when they have to service them or support them. They will care when they are waiting months past an order and install date waiting for back ordered fabrication. This can be common in the custom shade industry depending on the brand. The process the Savant implements shades helps with some of those issues.

Again, MoIP, Wirestrom, Atlona, JAP etc. are all 3rd party products and can be used across the board with different control systems. Savants is native and as such has more intuitive control within the system and interface and it the quickest to implement.

You're t-stat argument isn't great and a common reason people shy away from home automation. A big sin in integration is trading normal function for form. Home automation isn't about relying on a cleaver app. Just like lighting, the last thing a normal consumer (non tech) wants to do is find their phone/tablet/app just to do a simple thing in their house at 2am. they were able to do for years before tech invaded their home.

You can not add devices or make system changes with Composer Home which is the most common complaint with people wanting to do more with their system. The reality is majority DON'T want to program or mess with their system. They may want to randomly edit lighting or home entertainment scene. They may want to edit HVAC or lighting scheduling from year to year. A lot are purchasing the tech to simplify their lives or enjoy modern features that they don't understand how to set up themselves.

A good dealership is absolutely the most important but thats almost an impossible task for the client. The only way to vet a dealer is to talk to clients with relationships a few years old. It doesnt matter if its a small shop or big shop, new or old... a bad dealer can sell himself looking great to any new client just based on a showroom or demo. That same bad dealer may also have long standing clients who are happy because they get taken care of or pay well. This leaves the middle client (who's not new project money, not an old client who's ready to upgrade, or a high level client not concerned with an invoice) out in the cold. If those type of clients are happy, thats who you want to deal with.

What about C4 os3 is really an improvement besides the graphical change? The interface navigation is far more cumbersome and they have removed half of the home control capabilities from places like the OSD. The Savant app allows users with customization, customization on the app, customization on the remotes, full single view of all home active functions and control of those functions, not just media C4 offers. You also need an additional app in Control4 to use the intercom or door station which defeats the whole idea of a single app home solution.

I have both systems installed in my home and have been a professional integrator doing systems $10k to $500k for both for 15 years, since both companies were started. You can take my "opinion" however you want but I can promise they come from a long list of experience.
Not sure if those numerous dealerships have been recent additions to C4 without prior Snap AV relationships. Again you can have your opinion and information just like I can get information from my sources.

Who said I am a professional? I've said numerous times I am an end user. And the main reason I picked C4 was to have access to Composer Home edition, something that is not available with Savant, Creston or Elan.

Quality of sound is 100% opinion. There has been numerous A/B testing done on speakers in various price points (and speaker wire for that matter). Reports are all over the internet. If I was picking a custom install home automation system the last concern is what 6'' speaker is going into my ceiling to play a streaming compressed digital signal. I dont care about bit rates, it is being compressed from its original form to get from the cloud to your box. I would be more concerned about aesthetics of the speaker (Grill-less for example or no logo on the speaker). Again I am not talking about a dedicated "theater room" or living room with a multi channel set up. Go into Magnolia in Best Buy and demo the 2-3 brands of ceiling speakers, the difference is slim, its there for sure, but its slim, and its a personal decision. You cannot say one is better or worse, sorry. Some people like more bass, some people like more treble, etc and those are the differences. Sound is subjective. So tell me, for floor standing speakers, what is "Better" - Audio Physics Avanti or Revel Performa 3 F225Be? There is no better, its what sounds better to you. I do not even have Triad speakers. I sourced the speakers on my own and went with Sonance and Yamaha because of just overall ease of purchasing and some aesthetic features.

Though I agree with the risks of 3rd party drivers, I believe QMotion has a native c4 driver, not 3rd party. Native driver, for a c4 product or a 3rd party product is really one in the same if you ask me. I am no expert, just a user of c4 with 5+ years of experience and about 75 IP devices and another 80 or so Zigbee devices on my network. So it is a fairly robust set up. Same goes with some of the Video set ups discussed, JAP has been around for 10+ years. I'm active on some C4 forums and user groups and never seen a whisper of any issues with drivers becoming messed up with upgrades, etc.
Again, like I mentioned with security cameras, I do not believe 1 company fits all, so if the best IP components are through a 3rd party, I'd rather do that than get everything Savant or C4 branded but be lacking in features. Back in the day before Triad/C4 I needed digital inputs on my AV Matrix, so I didn't get the C4 one, I got the Video Storm one. Get what is right for the application not what is easiest.

T-stat argument - all in the design of the system. I have 4 t-stats, but I also have 5 c4 touch screens. The touch screens are in common areas (entry in the basement, entry by front door, between kitchen/living room, bedroom and office) - all places we frequent where we'd want t-stat control. no fumbling for a phone, though we could do it on a phone, we just do it on a touch screen. Id rather have 5 nice full functioning touch screens vs smaller t-stats that can also maybe work as a touch screen. Just my preference, less clutter on the walls. We wanted the c4 touch screens for intercom and other daily functions. A truly automated house means you should rarely have to interact with your T-stats to be frank. same with lighting, its rare we interact with lighting. Sensors, timers, etc are pretty well designed these days. and it just works. If the Savant T-stat is so nice and big (7'' plus) just like a regular touch screen and can do everything a Savant (or c4) touch screen can do then that's great.

I am aware not all users will want Composer Home Edition, but I did, and Savant, Elan and Crestron didnt offer that feature. Having to get a dealer to add hardware is what it is, I knew of that requirement. But when I want to change my doorbell sound or work on screen savers or have cameras pop up when the doorbell rings, I can do that on my own. Yes I am in the minority, but this forum is focused on that minority - those who like to tinker. For those who want a DIY System, C4 certainly isnt DIY but its way more DIY than the others mentioned here. And for some, like me, that was a good compromise. Quality/support of a local dealer and long standing company with the ability to do some tinkering on my own when applicable.

OS3 has a better design than OS2, more customized options with wallpapers/graphics and also the ability for the end user to move more used things (tv or audio sources, security, cameras, whatever) to the main screen so there is less clicking/scrolling when you want to access your most used "things" and you can do that on a per room basis. Our opinions are the same, the UI on Savant is still nicer than C4, even with the OS3 launch. But again, that is just our opinion, someone may like OS3 better. There isnt a fact there, just opinions.


End of day, as we both agree, either system is more than capable of delivering a great experience. It really does come down to who is designing it, the infrastructure behind it and the support after the fact. And that is not Savant/C4, that is on the dealer.
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post #14 of 33 Old 02-28-2020, 07:46 AM
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I want to specialise in a system that is reliable, flexible, customisable and cost effective
When you find one that does all this let me know -

Are you going to be doing residential or commercial or both? Conference rooms etc?

If you're just starting out I would look at RTI. Hard to say without knowing where you are or what your distributor situation is, but there's no large buy-in, there's no monthly minimums etc. Interface is all 100% custom so you can do both residential and commercial.

At this point, you need to decide what company fits your business plan. Is your vendor going to bounce you because you're not selling enough of their widgets every month? If you lose your dealer status will you still be able to service your existing clients?

Also, if you're a software developer why would you want to get into this industry lol? You could probably make some decent money writing drivers for these control systems on the side if you're good. I've paid $100+++ a pop for RTI and Crestron drivers. Leave the install and integration for the suckers who have to make all the manufacturer's broken garbage work in the field.
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post #15 of 33 Old 02-28-2020, 08:11 AM
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Not sure if those numerous dealerships have been recent additions to C4 without prior Snap AV relationships. Again you can have your opinion and information just like I can get information from my sources.

Who said I am a professional? I've said numerous times I am an end user. And the main reason I picked C4 was to have access to Composer Home edition, something that is not available with Savant, Creston or Elan.

Quality of sound is 100% opinion. There has been numerous A/B testing done on speakers in various price points (and speaker wire for that matter). Reports are all over the internet. If I was picking a custom install home automation system the last concern is what 6'' speaker is going into my ceiling to play a streaming compressed digital signal. I dont care about bit rates, it is being compressed from its original form to get from the cloud to your box. I would be more concerned about aesthetics of the speaker (Grill-less for example or no logo on the speaker). Again I am not talking about a dedicated "theater room" or living room with a multi channel set up. Go into Magnolia in Best Buy and demo the 2-3 brands of ceiling speakers, the difference is slim, its there for sure, but its slim, and its a personal decision. You cannot say one is better or worse, sorry. Some people like more bass, some people like more treble, etc and those are the differences. Sound is subjective. So tell me, for floor standing speakers, what is "Better" - Audio Physics Avanti or Revel Performa 3 F225Be? There is no better, its what sounds better to you. I do not even have Triad speakers. I sourced the speakers on my own and went with Sonance and Yamaha because of just overall ease of purchasing and some aesthetic features.

Though I agree with the risks of 3rd party drivers, I believe QMotion has a native c4 driver, not 3rd party. Native driver, for a c4 product or a 3rd party product is really one in the same if you ask me. I am no expert, just a user of c4 with 5+ years of experience and about 75 IP devices and another 80 or so Zigbee devices on my network. So it is a fairly robust set up. Same goes with some of the Video set ups discussed, JAP has been around for 10+ years. I'm active on some C4 forums and user groups and never seen a whisper of any issues with drivers becoming messed up with upgrades, etc.
Again, like I mentioned with security cameras, I do not believe 1 company fits all, so if the best IP components are through a 3rd party, I'd rather do that than get everything Savant or C4 branded but be lacking in features. Back in the day before Triad/C4 I needed digital inputs on my AV Matrix, so I didn't get the C4 one, I got the Video Storm one. Get what is right for the application not what is easiest.

T-stat argument - all in the design of the system. I have 4 t-stats, but I also have 5 c4 touch screens. The touch screens are in common areas (entry in the basement, entry by front door, between kitchen/living room, bedroom and office) - all places we frequent where we'd want t-stat control. no fumbling for a phone, though we could do it on a phone, we just do it on a touch screen. Id rather have 5 nice full functioning touch screens vs smaller t-stats that can also maybe work as a touch screen. Just my preference, less clutter on the walls. We wanted the c4 touch screens for intercom and other daily functions. A truly automated house means you should rarely have to interact with your T-stats to be frank. same with lighting, its rare we interact with lighting. Sensors, timers, etc are pretty well designed these days. and it just works. If the Savant T-stat is so nice and big (7'' plus) just like a regular touch screen and can do everything a Savant (or c4) touch screen can do then that's great.

I am aware not all users will want Composer Home Edition, but I did, and Savant, Elan and Crestron didnt offer that feature. Having to get a dealer to add hardware is what it is, I knew of that requirement. But when I want to change my doorbell sound or work on screen savers or have cameras pop up when the doorbell rings, I can do that on my own. Yes I am in the minority, but this forum is focused on that minority - those who like to tinker. For those who want a DIY System, C4 certainly isnt DIY but its way more DIY than the others mentioned here. And for some, like me, that was a good compromise. Quality/support of a local dealer and long standing company with the ability to do some tinkering on my own when applicable.

OS3 has a better design than OS2, more customized options with wallpapers/graphics and also the ability for the end user to move more used things (tv or audio sources, security, cameras, whatever) to the main screen so there is less clicking/scrolling when you want to access your most used "things" and you can do that on a per room basis. Our opinions are the same, the UI on Savant is still nicer than C4, even with the OS3 launch. But again, that is just our opinion, someone may like OS3 better. There isnt a fact there, just opinions.


End of day, as we both agree, either system is more than capable of delivering a great experience. It really does come down to who is designing it, the infrastructure behind it and the support after the fact. And that is not Savant/C4, that is on the dealer.
I didn't state that you were a professional. It's pretty clear that you are a end user which is why your exposure to one system versus the other is limited. Both systems are capable...the question is what is better and why, and there are actual reasons whether you want believe it or not.

Quality of sound its not 100% opinion. Caring about the quality of sound at what $ cost is. You have it reversed...at $10k a speaker, they all pretty much sound great. There are major comparison differences with sound in a lesser expensive speaker.

When I am talking about 3rd party I am not talking about 3rd party drivers like Chowmain or Blackwire. JAP, MoIP etc have to come up with drivers that work with Control4. Either company can make changes to their product that creates communication confit or compatibility issues between them. JAP might make a software update to fix something with Elan that causes issues with Luxul switches on Control4. Snap OVRC had a bad software that caused traffic flooding on Control4 penalized lighting systems. These are thins you as an end user know nothing about. It's the argument for using a dedicated Control4 touch screen versus a 3rd party compatible one. Control4 can utilize it to its most potential within the environment (early intercom for example).

Your tstat touch screen argument is based on what you expect from a smart home but it is not reality and the general end user disagrees with you. The problem is you keep referring to MY opinion. It's not. It's the opinion of 100s of clients and industry conversation. Just like the reaction between the two UIs and the feedback I get from the OS3 update. The ability to grow and succeed in this industry relays on understanding the clients needs, not forcing tech onto them in ways they are not comfortable.

And It's not opinion, its fact. You do not and never did need a showroom to have a dealership for either of these brands. Regardless of what you are being told, you can't argue companies have existed and are being formed under that circumstance. Spend some time looking around. It's pretty common.
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post #16 of 33 Old 02-28-2020, 08:19 AM
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Quality of sound its not 100% opinion. Caring about the quality of sound at what $ cost is. You have it reversed...at $10k a speaker, they all pretty much sound great. There are major comparison differences with sound in a lesser expensive speaker.
.
As a professional if this is your answer then the rest of the response is rubbish. No offense. Compare a 300 speaker to a 300 speaker or a 10k speaker to a 10k speaker. I am comparing apples to apples. Audio is opinion. One is not "better". maybe "better" for the installer given ease/tools needed for install or again different size/shapes/grills, etc. But you cannot tell someone that 1 speaker sounds better than another as a fact. If a sales person told me that I would not believe anything else they say. There are probably $100 speakers that someone may prefer over a $300 speaker and someone may like a $7k speaker over a $10k speaker or vice versa. Quality of audio is an opinion to those who are listening. Whats the magic price where they are all the same - please tell me with your professional background and all.

And I know I am not the most educated on all systems, we all cannot have the impressive background you have displayed. I am only speaking to the ability of C4. I did not make any claims on other systems. I clearly am showing the point of view of your customer, yet you like to argue with me. Good luck to your customers. Though I am sure you'll go on to say they are all 100% satisfied and you have a stellar reputation and I am just an end user so what do i know.

I tried to help the OP with some factual information, not arguing over how to prove who has a better line of speakers. So I'll let you continue to say how Savant is better than C4. Which I'll agree, there is a segment out there that may benefit from some Savant features over C4, and vice versa but you do not like to see that other side of the coin. What I am saying is the dealer will make up a majority of the good or bad experience with either system

Oh and lastly, I do have experience with Savant, a casual friend of mine is a Savant dealer so I see a lot of things first hand and I spoke to a few Savant dealers and got quotes before picking C4. May not have daily usage experience but its not foreign to me. I keep up with the trade publications etc as this is a hobby of mine. But I do not have to prove my credentials to you as you feel the need to do.

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post #17 of 33 Old 02-28-2020, 08:54 AM
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As a professional if this is your answer then the rest of the response is rubbish. No offense. Compare a 300 speaker to a 300 speaker or a 10k speaker to a 10k speaker. I am comparing apples to apples. Audio is opinion. One is not "better". maybe "better" for the installer given ease/tools needed for install or again different size/shapes/grills, etc. But you cannot tell someone that 1 speaker sounds better than another as a fact. If a sales person told me that I would not believe anything else they say. There are probably $100 speakers that someone may prefer over a $300 speaker and someone may like a $7k speaker over a $10k speaker or vice versa. Quality of audio is an opinion to those who are listening.

And I know I am not the most educated on all systems, we all cannot have the impressive background you have displayed. I am only speaking to the ability of C4. I did not make any claims on other systems. I clearly am showing the point of view of your customer, yet you like to argue with me. Good luck to your customers. Though I am sure you'll go on to say they are all 100% satisfied and you have a stellar reputation and I am just an end user so what do i know.

I tried to help the OP with some factual information, not arguing over how to prove who has a better line of speakers. So I'll let you continue to say how Savant is better than C4. Which I'll agree, there is a segment out there that may benefit from some Savant features over C4, and vice versa but you do not like to see that other side of the coin. What I am saying is the dealer will make up a majority of the good or bad experience with either system

Oh and lastly, I do have experience with Savant, a casual friend of mine is a Savant dealer so I see a lot of things first hand and I spoke to a few Savant dealers and got quotes before picking C4. May not have daily usage experience but its not foreign to me. I keep up with the trade publications etc as this is a hobby of mine. But I do not have to prove my credentials to you as you feel the need to do.
You clearly don't know anything about AV. and most speakers come with minimal or zero bezel speakers grills so thats actually not really a selling point. Most either use a dog ear or snap in system which is also not much a selling point since any decent AV installer can do both without problem. It's usually about sound and price for the client, sales profits for the dealership. Saying speakers don't have quality difference is a joke.

The OP asked for feedback from INSTALLERS on a system he would be offering to clients. It's not about what HE wants either. It's a cross comparison between the two systems and why one is better than the other. Not if both are great, they are. So far, YOU have given me only opinion but no point on what makes Control4 better.

The problem is you're not giving factual information. You are stating information based on your own system and some friends you have "talked" to. I state by qualifications because i'm speaking based on conversation with 100s of clients (not just mine) and 100s of professionals. The feedback i'm giving the OP is from that, to the contrary of what I personally prefer or suggest. There is nothing wrong with how YOU want your system or the way you are describing a system BUT you as an end used have no ability to understand the overall industry and suggesting that I am beating my chest for my own gain is insulting.

You understand that you're on a AV forum? You have "friends" that do this sort of thing professionally. You even follow it as much as you can in your own right. Do you honestly think you are the average end user for a pro system like Control4 or Savant?

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post #18 of 33 Old 02-28-2020, 09:06 AM
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You clearly don't know anything about AV. and most speakers come with minimal or zero bezel speakers grills so thats actually not really a selling point. Most either use a dog ear or snap in system which is also not much a selling point since any decent AV installer can do both without problem. It's usually about sound and price for the client, sales profits for the dealership. Saying speakers don't have quality difference is a joke.

The OP asked for feedback from INSTALLERS on a system he would be offering to clients. It's not about what HE wants either. It's a cross comparison between the two systems and why one is better than the other. Not if both are great, they are. So far, YOU have given me only opinion but no point on what makes Control4 better.

The problem is you're not giving factual information. You are stating information based on your own system and some friends you have "talked" to. I state by qualifications because i'm speaking based on conversation with 100s of clients (not just mine) and 100s of professionals. The feedback i'm giving the OP is from that, to the contrary of what I personally prefer or suggest. There is nothing wrong with how YOU want your system or the way you are describing a system BUT you as an end used have no ability to understand the overall industry and suggesting that I am beating my chest for my own gain is insulting.

You understand that you're on a AV forum? You have "friends" that do this sort of thing professionally. You even follow it as much as you can in your own right. Do you honestly thing you are the average end used for a pro system like Control4 or Savant?
there are round bezels, square bezels, bezels with and without logos, etc. but I am sure you know all of that. Also the installation tools and method could lead to sound bleeding in other rooms, so installation should be somewhat of a factor. If you do not have a showroom, how would your client know the difference in sound between 2 speakers? Can't send 'em to Best Buy to listen to the Savant (or Triad) speakers.

Where did I say all speakers are created equal? All I said is what sounds good to you may sound awful to me. I hate bass, yet some people buy certain brands of speaker because they are bass heavy. Who is right or wrong? My opinion is they are buying an inferior product because I do not like it, but that is not a fact, its just my opinion.

You said Savant speakers were better than Triad speakers. So I am asking for factual data proving they are better. Like you could factually say a Lamborghini is faster than a Toyota Tercel, that can be proven in measurements of horsepower, top speeds, etc. You can measure speakers of course, but that does not mean its better to the masses. Without knowing it, people prefer different soundscapes and sound curves. You have your preference and no one (but yourself) is arguing that you can have your own preference. So show me a test where you can prove one speaker is "better" than another speaker. I am sure there are tests showing a car is faster than another car. May be better at replicating a sound range, does not mean its a better speaker. And of course you know speaker location, installation methods etc can also play into giving the customer a good experience.

What did I say that was not factual? I know 2 people with existing businesses who applied for C4 dealerships and were rejected. One was rejected purely because of lack of a showroom and one was rejected for being too new of a business (was less than 2 years old) and also no showroom). That is a fact that you want to dispute which you can but I am just speaking about my experience. And where did I say Control4 was better? I was saying some points you make against C4 can be scene in other vantage points. 3 sides to a story, your side and experience, my side and experience and the truth is somewhere between the two. It is called a conversation. But you like something that is black and white, winner and loser, better or worse, compared to a frank discussion.

and who is slinging insults? not me. I even asked you for your honest professional advice on when price point no longer matters in speakers and you declined to answer your own hypothesis.

I said above I am not the typical owner of a C4 or Savant system, I am aware of who am I and their target market. And I do not necessarily fit into that target market. But then again, their target market could care less with logo is on a IP Matrix or a motor in a blind - that is more for techies. But if I am going to drop $$$ on anything I tend to learn about it. I know more about siding and roofing than I need to know as well, and window manufacturing for that matter too. AV just excites me more so I keep up with it more than the latest window offering.
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post #19 of 33 Old 02-28-2020, 09:39 AM
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I love Triad and have them in my theater. I'm still salty I can't get them anymore since C4 acquired them. Even though Snap AV acquired them, and then acquired my distributor so theoretically I should be able to get them again soon.

What's the comparable Savant speaker to the Triad in-wall bronze? I see their soundbars use the vifa XT which I'm fond of. Do they make an enclosed in-wall with that tweeter? If so, what is retail?
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post #20 of 33 Old 02-28-2020, 09:49 AM
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Most AV places don't have speaker rooms for you to listen to 10 different brands of speakers. They don't have a lot of comparison. If they are designing large systems they are likely wanting to offer a couple brands in each category underneath one control system. Speakers are one of the most focused sales points in a system any just about everything you are saying about whole home audio sales and design isn't correct. A backer box or addition structure at more cost would make a difference with sound suppression etc. but nothing about how to install them will change how they sound.

No. There is a difference between sounding better and preference. Speakers can be more clear, have more range, better depth, better efficiency, more power. More or less base, a wider sound stage etc are preferences based on each user. Just like a theatre, they can choose to have it sound correct or sound how they prefer but there is a difference.

I stated that you do not need a showroom to be a dealer for either of these companies. It is 100% true. I am not sure if you are confused. You stated that a showroom was required for dealership. That is 100% false. The fact that you know people that didn't get dealerships for this reason or others does not mean a showroom is required. There are sometimes 100s of Control4 dealers in certain areas and they have a long list of resons to deny someone a dealership. There are 1000s of dealers in the US without a physical business location. Most products we can demo/compare old with new on site (since the site layout is half of the design). Large system clients usually know what they are getting into anyways or are word of mouth from a already finished installation which they have now seen.

I have been nothing but frank with the topic. You want to finish with, they are all great and the same. Thats just not true. I stated that I have both systems at home. I have installed both systems and Crestron for almost 2 decades and that in 2020 these are the reasons why Savant is a better option as a dealership and product for the user. What again is the reason Control4 is better? You haven't disproven my points but want to discredit what is said.
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post #21 of 33 Old 02-28-2020, 09:56 AM
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I love Triad and have them in my theater. I'm still salty I can't get them anymore since C4 acquired them. Even though Snap AV acquired them, and then acquired my distributor so theoretically I should be able to get them again soon.

What's the comparable Savant speaker to the Triad in-wall bronze? I see their soundbars use the vifa XT which I'm fond of. Do they make an enclosed in-wall with that tweeter? If so, what is retail?

They don't sound the same as old Triad and a dedicated theater setup is a different conversation and unrelated to Control4 or Savant. That all depends on the cost of the theater and ch amounts etc
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They don't sound the same as old Triad and a dedicated theater setup is a different conversation and unrelated to Control4 or Savant. That all depends on the cost of the theater and ch amounts etc
Triad Bronze is a current product. I'm looking for two speakers for my living room, and was holding out until I could buy Triad again.

Seeing as you are the one that brought it up - what's retail for a pair of the portrait or sketch speakers? Including the in-wall brackets. My current speakers have the Vifa XT so seeing an in-wall with those has me interested. I don't think OP is coming back so he won't mind.
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post #23 of 33 Old 02-28-2020, 10:52 AM
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What again is the reason Control4 is better? You haven't disproven my points but want to discredit what is said.
as ive stated numerous times, I did not say c4 was better (or worse). Depending on the user, depending on the dealer either one could flourish. I only said that 2-3x. I am not of the mindset something has to be better or worse with a clear winner. Example:

What is better, a Honda Accord or a Nissan Altima? Look I am not a car guy but just saying they are two cars in the mid size sedan/non luxury/ import market. Can we agree on that? According to a quick google search both literally start at $24,000. I am sure one offers some features the other doesn't, and vice versa. You may like the entertainment unit on one but the safety features like lane departure warning are on the other one. One may have built in auto start, one may be a showroom add on. One gets better gas mileage, one has longer life on oil between changes, who knows. I am making this up. But end of day, the cars are similar. If you test drove both and liked how the Altima handled over the Accord, is and you like the feature set on the Altima better than the Accord, is it a fact the Altima is a better car overall? no. It is a better car for you.

So as a Dealer if you want to say Savant is a better business decision for you, that's great. Kudos you found a solution. But if someone wants to give an opposite view point, they should be allowed on a public forum without being told to quiet down because they are not an installer and have no idea or just not as informed because honestly, you do not know me. You do not know my credentials and we should leave it at that.

So going back to C4 vs Savant. Which is better? For an end user its about the overall experience - like you may prefer the Nissan dealer over the Honda dealer - its closer to your house, they tossed in a year of oil changes, gave you the free mats and undercoating, etc. I think the experience with the dealership is more important.

Sorry I was not aware the end user couldn't chime in with their experience. After all, we are the customers, right? Shouldn't a business owner want to hear from a customer? Or does the business owner have all the answers already?
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post #24 of 33 Old 02-28-2020, 03:40 PM
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You do NOT need to have a showroom or retail location to be a dealership for any of these systems. It does help to have a history or sales and some part of the industry.

I would also be hesitant to say thing are OBVIOUS with Lutron who deliberately limits certain cross use of their product lines and unneeded upgrade costs for "higher end" devices that are vitally the same. Their proprietary hubs also can go offline regally.

This is really a Control4/Savant question. Crestron isn't the best option for reasons you have already stated.

Both are reliable, both cost about the same, both come from and are almost 100% professionally managed. This is actually in the best well being of the dealer and the client. 3rd party and DYI systems are never stable and susceptible to random API changes and product aquititons

Otherwise Savant has Control4 beat in almost every way.

Savant hand held remotes are the best looking on the market, the NEEO and C4 OS3 software didn't hit the mark still has limited customization on the remote. The OSD and app are similar. Savant allows more customization to overall system view/control including through different users. Control4 offers none of that.

Savant has native IP solutions distributed audio and surround sound zones that are AVB and WISA supported for better performing and less invasive overall whole home audio experience than a traditional system. They also have a native IP video distribution solutions with features such as video overlay, video tiling the Control4 does not offer.

Artisan(Savant) speakers sound better than Traid(C4) but you can use any 3rd party speaker line/amplification with either system.

You can generally use the same camera line ups with either system. Luma and Lilin will work fine with Savant. Pakedge are just re-branded Lilin cams. Luma came from a Hikvison base. IC-realtime is Savants preferred cam.

Security is a wash either way, same systems for the most part work with both.

Most 3rd party A/V and distribution devices work with both systems.

Both systems us the 2N door station, but Savant does not require a separate app or additional costs to access you system remotely in any way like Control4 does.

Both companies offer lighting control and smart dimmer and switches. Savant also offers native color changing and white temperature changing bulbs and LED strips. These bulbs and strips can also be purchased and installed without a full system or dealer needed. Higher end systems can have USAI Lighting provided a native default Circadian setup which is really the next step is smart lighting.

Savant has their own shade line thats better implemented than Qmotion or Somfy, Control4 has to use 3rd party.

The Savant T-stats look appropriate for 2020 sophisticated tech home. They also can double as touch screens for home scene control. Control4 use a very generic Aprilaire unit.

Control4 has never taken networking seriously. Pakedge is extremely over priced from a performance comparison and dumbed down from features and security that is pretty important in todays world. Control4 tends to "not support" most other brands and placates poor networking experience and practices across our industry with its dealers.

Elan isn't really a cheaper cost and has less support and reliability. You might find less "overcharging" from Elan dealers.. The Elan dealer might be a newer firm or someone trying to stand out with cheeper charges, but this also can come with less quality or experience. I have small company overhead and more focus on properly designed systems and client services that can be stable and easily supported at any size project.

Control4 is the only to offer live editing (unique system changes without having to re upload the "project" which can be handy for service or multiple programmers...but a VPN setup on a proper network can allow remote changes and project uploads only take a minute.

It seems like soon we will have as many C4 dealers as McDonalds locations, a lot of them are luxury level dealerships with high installation costs. There are a lot of tech guy "trunk slammers" popping up without the integration/installation experience to back it. I would make sure to understand everything that goes into a smart home system.

I to have a computer science education. I also have 2 decades of custom installation, service and manage experience. Are you prepared to use a drill in someones $1m. home? Do you have any understanding about design or aesthetics? It's as important if not more important than the product you are installing.
Having sold and competed against Savant I disagree with most of your view point.

Savants niche is this. If you want something that costs as much or more than Crestron but that is less reliable.. Savant is your answer.

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post #25 of 33 Old 02-28-2020, 04:04 PM
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I didn't state that you were a professional. It's pretty clear that you are a end user which is why your exposure to one system versus the other is limited. Both systems are capable...the question is what is better and why, and there are actual reasons whether you want believe it or not.

Quality of sound its not 100% opinion. Caring about the quality of sound at what $ cost is. You have it reversed...at $10k a speaker, they all pretty much sound great. There are major comparison differences with sound in a lesser expensive speaker.

When I am talking about 3rd party I am not talking about 3rd party drivers like Chowmain or Blackwire. JAP, MoIP etc have to come up with drivers that work with Control4. Either company can make changes to their product that creates communication confit or compatibility issues between them. JAP might make a software update to fix something with Elan that causes issues with Luxul switches on Control4. Snap OVRC had a bad software that caused traffic flooding on Control4 penalized lighting systems. These are thins you as an end user know nothing about. It's the argument for using a dedicated Control4 touch screen versus a 3rd party compatible one. Control4 can utilize it to its most potential within the environment (early intercom for example).

Your tstat touch screen argument is based on what you expect from a smart home but it is not reality and the general end user disagrees with you. The problem is you keep referring to MY opinion. It's not. It's the opinion of 100s of clients and industry conversation. Just like the reaction between the two UIs and the feedback I get from the OS3 update. The ability to grow and succeed in this industry relays on understanding the clients needs, not forcing tech onto them in ways they are not comfortable.

And It's not opinion, its fact. You do not and never did need a showroom to have a dealership for either of these brands. Regardless of what you are being told, you can't argue companies have existed and are being formed under that circumstance. Spend some time looking around. It's pretty common.
I left The industry doing Savant and Crestron, started my own “WITH CLIENTS AND WORK” even contracts.. and the first thing Control4 said in our negotiations was “Where’s your showroom”. I also know of multiple “trunk slammers” who recently lost their dealership. This is all right before the official announcement from snap that they were buying them. Elan right after going direct implied the same things and told me a ridiculous buy in amount.

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post #26 of 33 Old 02-28-2020, 05:15 PM
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Having sold and competed against Savant I disagree with most of your view point.

Savants niche is this. If you want something that costs as much or more than Crestron but that is less reliable.. Savant is your answer.
Please. Enlighten me... Give me a price comparison and what parts of the system generally fail.
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post #27 of 33 Old 03-01-2020, 06:19 AM
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Anyone with any experience with Crestron Home and their new OS3 ?

Is Crestron generally better than C4 ?

How much more expensive is Crestron ?

Home Assistant seems to be gaining momentum but reliability may be an issue - anyone tried it ?
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post #28 of 33 Old 03-02-2020, 01:15 AM
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An idea of the cost factor between C4 and Crestron would really help as I intend to cater to the mid-level market. Hence the solution needs to be affordable.

I'm not ruling out high-end installations once in a while when the opportunity arises but that will not be my main focus.
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post #29 of 33 Old 03-02-2020, 05:18 AM
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Anyone with any experience with Crestron Home and their new OS3 ?

Is Crestron generally better than C4 ?

How much more expensive is Crestron ?

Home Assistant seems to be gaining momentum but reliability may be an issue - anyone tried it ?
Depends on how you define better. Most people would consider Crestron top of the line and most would not argue. I couldn't give you a factor as I do not sell nor have I ever received a Crestron quote, but they are not in the same category price wise. It is a few multiple higher I would suspect.

If you want mid market I would not target Crestron - they have their Pyng/OS which is geared towards middle market but from what I hear (no experience) it is very stripped down and doesn't compare as well to C4 or Savant. I believe the idea is to get you started in the Crestron eco-system cheaper and then upsell you over time to the bigger platform.

I am personally not a huge fan of any voice assistant - nothing about security and people spying on me. The natural language required to interact comfortably is just not there yet. It is a bunch of
"hey xyz, lower lights in master bedroom to 50%", but if you say "lower light" it will not work. And you have to say master bedroom as it is very hard/complex to program it at the room level as most assistants have no location features to know you are in the master vs say the bathroom. To me, sensors and quality programming trumps voice commands any day of the week.
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post #30 of 33 Old 03-02-2020, 10:56 AM
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Anyone with any experience with Crestron Home and their new OS3 ?

Is Crestron generally better than C4 ?

How much more expensive is Crestron ?

Home Assistant seems to be gaining momentum but reliability may be an issue - anyone tried it ?
Never touched Crestron Home. Now, I don't know if it comes packaged with more drivers but you can see the available pyng/framework drivers at drivers.crestron.io. Anyone can create an account and take a look. I would think it's pretty limiting compared to something like Control 4.

I also don't know why anyone would sell Crestron and limit themselves to using that. Full Crestron is not really hard at all to "program"

Is your plan to do residential? I don't do a lot of residential but people don't really care if their interface isn't custom. I would use whatever gets you in and out with the least amount of headache
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