Originally Posted by deewan
I guess my point is for flexibility and adding things in the future, you can either install miles of cables in your walls and cut holes in walls or blank plates on a wall for controls, or go almost wireless and use phones, tablets, your voice or URC, Harmony remotes. With no special software or computer needed.
After 20 years living in a house where every time I wanted to add something and found I had to do some kind of wireless solution because it was no longer possible to get a wire where I wanted it, I could never agree with forgoing wires and assuming wireless will work just as good. Wireless is inherently unreliable, all too often involves batteries, and wireless options are seldom well integrated into other wireless options. I have fought with pulling wires through finished walls too many times to count, or found myself unsatisfied with my options when a wire is not an option. I have created wireless mesh networks that were great when they worked perfectly, and when one thing went wrong it all fell apart. I have relied on zigbee and zwave devices to work and again, they work great until one day they simply stop working, or pause for 15 or 20 seconds before working, which is the most irritating thing in the world when you just want to turn on a light. I have fought a wifi only network in my current apartment where every device had to be wireless, and it took months to figure out how to get a wired network inside it so all my devices actually work every time. I wanted so badly to upgrade my WHA in my last house but I lacked the foresight to run cat5 to the controls and the only option I had was an app controlled system that simply doesn't work when you just stepped out of the shower and are wet and have no glasses on so you can't even turn it down a little with a single button push or twist of a dial. All this led me to the conclusion that spending $1500 on wire when building a $500,000 house is the most worthy investment possible. Hell, a $5k investment to add it to a $250k house would be equally worthy.
I am far from the most experienced person on these forums, so take this with a grain of salt. A decade in the car and home audio business followed by 2 decades as an IT manager has taught me a few rules to live by when dealing with technology.
1) Wired will always trump wireless over time. if it is an option to hard wire, do it every time you can.
2) Hard buttons will always work easier and more reliably than soft buttons.
3) The more complicated something is, the more likely it is to fail or not work the way you hoped.
4) No matter how much you think you will always have your phone by your side, when you need it most you will find it either not there or with a dead battery.
5) No matter how many remotes you have lying around, they will all be out of reach sometimes (or lost in the couch cushions).
6) A device made for a sole purpose will always function better (reliably, intuitively, and simply) than a device made to do many things.
7) As the complexity of a system increases, the amount it will get used by people outside of the tech geek putting it together will decrease on a nearly 1:1 basis. The ratio can get more favorable if effort is made to make it more intuitive to operate.
That's just my opinion of course, and I can't say that any one solution is wrong, particularly if it works for the individual using it.